Right to Work
I oppose right-to-work laws for the private sector. The government should not interfere in private contracts between employers and unions. If an agreement is signed regarding union membership for company employees, that should not be overridden by state law.
However, public sector unions do not have the same balance of power as in the private sector. A private sector employer will only agree to compensation and benefits that are financially sustainable. In the public sector, politicians can be enticed by campaign contributions to increase benefits and make promises that taxpayers cannot afford to fulfill. For this reason, public sector employees should not be required to join or pay dues to a union as a precondition of employment.
Pension obligations to current state employees will be paid. Illinois must not renege on its obligations to state employees. When a contract is signed, it must be upheld.
It has been suggested that Illinois issue an additional $107 billion in bonds to fund our pension obligations. Illinois taxpayers and obligees would be better served by a state reserve fund instead of more and more debt. However, I would support such a move if it is accompanied by reforms to end the practice of promising pension benefits as unfunded future liabilities.
Future employees, and current employees who wish to opt in, should be given 401(k)-style pension plans instead of the current defined-benefit plans. 401(k) plans are guaranteed to always be fully funded upon retirement, because they are part of current obligations. The current practice of unfunded promises is not fair to taxpayers, nor employees who are left wondering if the state will be able to afford their pensions upon their retirement.