Illinois Constitutional Amendment Faces First Legal Challenge Friday

May 20, 2022

(WMBD-TV) — The June primaries may be about a month away, but come November, Illinois voters will have the chance to vote on a constitutional amendment.

This amendment faces the first legal challenge on Friday.

“The goal of this lawsuit is to keep this unconstitutional measure off the ballot,” said Liberty Justice Center President Jacob Huebert.

The measure referenced is known as “Amendment 1,” or the “Illinois Right to Collective Bargaining Amendment.”

State Sen. Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) sponsored the amendment and said it passed with bipartisan support.

“It’s a constitutional amendment to ban “right to work” laws for going into effect in the State of Illinois,” Villivalam said.

The Senate Joint Resolution passed during session in 2021. The language for alerting voters about the amendment was passed this April.

Villivalam said the amendment affirms Illinois’ promise to support workers and unions in the state.

“We believe fundamentally that workers should be able to organize and collectively bargain over wages, working conditions, benefits, and so much more,” Villivalam said.

Jacob Huebert, the president of the Liberty Justice Center, said federal law governs private sector workers’ right to collective bargaining.

“The state cannot legally create a right to collective bargaining in the private sector. What it could do is create a stronger right to collective bargaining in the public sector,” Huebert said.

Friday afternoon, plaintiffs, represented by the Liberty Justice Center and the Illinois Policy Institute, will appear in Sangamon County Circuit Court. The plaintiffs will petition to block the constitutional amendment.

The amendment will be published, with explanations, as well as arguments in favor and against it.

The Illinois State Board of Elections told WMBD the last day the Secretary of State can “publish the mailer,” is October 11 at the very latest. Sen. Villivalams’ office says the flyers will be mailed out with a link to a website containing information for voters.

If you’d like to read the full text of the Senate Joint Resolution, click here.