CHICAGO — The Illinois House failed Wednesday to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of a controversial labor bill, handing the governor a victory in his ongoing budget battle with the General Assembly.
House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, called the bill for a vote Wednesday evening after more than an hour of debate, with a final vote of 68-34. The bill needed 71 votes, or a three-fifths majority, for the override to succeed.
Senate Bill 1229 became the latest front in the political showdown between the Democrat-controlled General Assembly and Rauner. The stalemate has blocked adoption of a balanced budget for the fiscal year that began July 1.
The legislation, supported by public employee unions, would have required independent binding arbitration in the event negotiations between the government and public sector unions failed. Supporters said it would have prevented a strike or a lockout in the event of failed negotiations. Critics said it would take away the government's negotiating power. The bill would have expired in four years.
"I want to thank every House member who stood with taxpayers today," Rauner said in a statement after the vote. "I hope today's action marks the beginning of serious negotiations over how we can deliver needed structural reforms and a balanced budget."
After the vote, unions issued statements saying the governor would "stop at nothing."
"The governor's assault on this bill may have won the day but poisoned the well for legislators of both parties who want to work together responsibility to solve problems and serve the people of Illinois," Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan said in a statement. "It is clear that Governor Rauner will stop at nothing to carry out his scorched-earth agenda against working people."