Thoms discourages focus on right-to-work reform
Illinois District 72 House Rep. Jordan Thoms believes Gov. Bruce Rauner’s right-to-work reform, packaged as part of the governor’s Turn Around Agenda, should not be a high priority at the moment.
The Republican candidate recently rendered his opinion on right-to-work laws at the Rock Island County NAACP candidate forum last Thursday. He said that, in light of the enormous problems Illinois is currently facing, enacting such laws -- either in parts of the state or statewide -- should not be the focus right now, QCOnline reported.
“Right now, there’s too many issues that are more important,” Thoms said. “This is not something that I find important.”
Right-to-work laws are rules established at a statewide level to prevent unions from requiring workers who decline membership from paying related fees and dues to cover the cost of collective bargaining they still benefit from.
In his Turn Around Agenda, the governor has proposed to give government employees the right to decide for themselves whether or not they want to join a union, and to allow each county to vote on whether or not right-to-work laws should apply to the county. He also wants to limit some of the state’s unions’ ability to collectively bargain with the state.
Rauner believes right-to-work laws will strengthen the state’s economy and raise the standard of living. Right-to-work laws exist in 26 states, but many argue that such legislation does not significantly benefit a state’s economy. Furthermore, some say it is difficult to analyze how effective right-to-work laws are for boosting a state’s economy by comparing states because many states share other similarities that could be viewed as invaluable factors contributing to the state’s economy.
Thoms may not share Rauner’s views on right-to-work reform; however, Thoms did agree with the governor on term limits for state legislators, which is also part of Rauner’s Turn Around Agenda. Thoms said term limits are necessary to prevent elected officials from making a career out of the positions they hold.
Thoms, a marketing manager at the Fyre Lake golf course, also believes legislators should not receive pay until a balanced budget is passed and that funding should be dedicated to education, senior programs and other essential services for Illinois’ most vulnerable residents.
The forum was held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center and moderated by Augustana College Political Science Professor Chris Whitt. All candidates running for the District 72 seat were present except Brandi McGuire, Thoms’ primary opponent.
Thoms was born and raised in Rock Island; he attended Rock Island High School and Augustana College. He hopes to effectively represent the people in District 72 by relying on the experience he has gained from building a successful career in small business, real estate and sales. Thoms is vying to replace retiring incumbent Pat Verschoore (D-Milan).
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