PLAs On The Way In Illinois, Rep. Shimkus Must Decide On PLAs In DC

Illinois’ route of President Obama Executive Order 15302 – requirement of project labor agreements on contracts on public works – just took a turn for the worse.  As reported to us by State Sen. Kyle McCarter on Facebook last night:

SB 2987 forces contractors bidding on public works projects to sign a PLA (Project Labor Agreement), raising the cost of roads & schools by up to 18%. Why would we raise our cost and build fewer schools & fewer miles of roads when we are cutting services to balance the budget? I am going to defend the 84% of workers who are non-union, vote NO, and help put them back to work.
Yesterday at 4:11pm

The result of the vote?

SB 2987 passes 33 yes, 26 no. Not only is Illinois not a “right to work” state, it is a “forced to join the union” state. This is not the way to turn our state around and put our families back to work. One more blackeye for Illinois. Sad day.
Yesterday at 4:20pm

I have to agree with State Sen. Kyle McCarter.  Of course, if you have been my posts for the last few weeks, it seems I have been stuck on one issue – Project Labor Agreements, and in particular, US Rep. Shimkus’ (R-IL 19th CD) continual support of such PLAs.  To read more about the damage that PLAs do, please read here.

I swear (unless something comes up), I will not say another word about PLAs for awhile.  As I said above, Rep. Shimkus has a problem with PLAs.   He’s heard it from local business owners and he’s heard it from local conservative bloggers here and elsewhere.  I put it to Rep. Shimkus right now.  Jeff Flake (R-AZ) added an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2012 Military Construction, Veteran Affairs, and Related Appropriations Act that would effectively bar PLAs mandated by President Obama’s Executive Order 15302.  This amendment is applauded by the Associated Builders and Contractors amongst other related pro-business groups. The appropriations bill with Flake’s amendment is scheduled for debate in the House in June.

In addition, there is a provision within the appropriations bill that requires contractors to use E-verify to ensure all their workers are legal citizens.

So the question is how will Rep. Shimkus vote when this appropriations bill comes up in front of the House in June?  You have to know that the Democrats will try to amend the E-Verify and anti-PLA provisions out of the bill.  If the Democrats try to amend out the E-Verify portion of the appropriations bill, I’m sure Rep. Shimkus will vote against it – he does have a good track record regarding illegal immigration.  But, will Rep. Shimkus vote with his Democrat friends across the aisle (again) and continue his support of PLAs?

On a side note, I’ve been told via a friend by phone, passing on a message from “someone high up in the GOP” that I need to “stop these articles about Rep. Shimkus now“.  Furthermore, a Rep. Shimkus surrogate via Twitter has told another conservative blogger that Rep. Shimkus has”heard us loud and clear” and to basically cease and desist (I have a copy of the Twitter and Twitter DM conversation).

If we have been “heard loud and clear” by Rep. Shimkus regarding PLAs, the real test will be June when this appropriations bill comes up for a vote in front of the full House.  Rep. Shimkus, we will be watching how you vote….closely.  One last thing, a “not voting/present” on the amendment or the bill at large will be counted as supporting the Democrats’ position on PLAs; we will settle for nothing less than a clear vote against PLAs.  No easy way out.  Show the conservatives that have consistently backed you that you have “heard us loud and clear”, then and only then will be be silent.

P.S. Govtrack.us is a God send.

Crossposted at Downstate Illinois Advocate