April 27, 2018
To the Honorable Members of
The Illinois Senate
100th General Assembly:
Today I veto Senate Bill 193 from the 100th General Assembly, which inappropriately usurps the authority of the Illinois Department of Labor (the “Department”) by conferring enforcement authority over many of the statutes it enforces to the Illinois Attorney General without clear cause or justification.
The legislation purportedly seeks to combat the State of Illinois’ underground economy and establish the Worker Protection Task Force, goals that are admirable and of great importance to this administration and the Department. However, the way this bill addresses critical issues of workers’ rights is flawed and lacks consensus in its approach.
The Department already enforces laws which protect workers from the pitfalls of the underground economy, including the Prevailing Wage Act, the Employee Classification Act, the Minimum Wage Law, the Day and Temporary Labor Services Act, and the Wage Payment and Collection Act. This bill would create a new unit in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, a separate constitutional office that serves to represent the Department in court, to unilaterally and simultaneously enforce these same statutes without so much as consultation with the Department. Instead of creating a cooperative environment between the Executive Branch and the Attorney General to determine how best to navigate complex and important cases, this bill inappropriately creates opportunities for conflict and competition.
Further, while establishment of a Worker Protection Task Force to study the underground economy is a laudable goal, failure to appoint Task Force Members representing the Department and other key stakeholders will render this initiative far less productive than it could be.
This administration is committed to fair and effective regulatory and administrative processes to ensure that workers across Illinois are being paid properly and treated according to their rights under the law and welcomes opportunities to participate in collaborative efforts to curb the underground economy.
Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return Senate Bill 193, entitled “AN ACT concerning regulation” with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.