Behind the turmoil at the top, the anti-worker agenda proceeds at the local level.


NY Times map.

Almost at the very moment that Andrew Puzder was forced out as Trump’s pick for Labor Secretary, Republican Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner was making his budget proposals to the Illinois legislature.

While the historic turmoil in Washington seems to have stalled the GOP legislative agenda for the moment, the attack on workers proceeds at the state level.

Among Rauner’s proposals was another go at pension theft, one that will simply increase the now $130 billion state pension debt carried by Illinois taxpayers, which includes the state’s public employees.

Illinois’ Rauner problem is echoed in states around the country where Republicans control governorships and state legislatures and Democrats seems impotent and without a plan to change the situation.

Kentucky Republicans passed laws to gut the collective bargaining rights of labor unions and restrict access to abortion. They also plan to make sweeping changes to the education and public pension systems this year, reports the NY Times.

In Texas and Tennessee there are proposals to take away the right of local communities to establish sanctuary status.

Iowa Republicans will pass a bill to defund Planned Parenthood and Republican leaders announced that they would also outlaw collective bargaining rights of public employees.

Missouri legislators have filed a basketfull of anti-abortion bills. One proposed bill would ban abortions entirely in defiance Roe.

In Kentucky last month the Governor signed laws banning the right to an abortion after 20 weeks and requires that every woman who seeks an abortion undergo an ultrasound first.

In several states that the party has controlled for a longer span, Republican governors have also announced aggressive plans to overhaul the size and functions of government, including a Wisconsin welfare-overhaul proposal, backed by Gov. Scott Walker, and a large program of tax cuts in Florida, championed by Gov. Rick Scott. Both men were first elected in 2010.

Although Republicans don’t nearly reflect the views of the majority of Americans, they control most of the state legislatures and governorships through a combination of gerrymandering, voter suppression and Democratic Party impotence.

In Illinois businessman Bruce Rauner won because the Democrats and the state’s public employee unions stayed with Pat Quinn, the most anti-labor governor that state has had in 50 years. Until Bruce Rauner. Quinn lost because of his pledge to destroy public employee pensions.

Democrats in Illinois now face the prospect of having to choose between two billionaires, J.B. Pritzker or Christopher Kennedy, to run against Rauner.

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