State. Rep. Dan Caulkins said this week he opposed Amendment 1, noting that the measure would be another blow to the state’s economy. 

The measure, according to Illinois Policy, would give unions the power to strike for an indefinite period of time if negotiations fail to meet their demands. The website also noted that Illinois families, who are already poised to see their property taxes rise by $2,100 over the next four years, could see much larger increases with expanded powers for unions. 

“This is another nail in the coffin of the economy,” Caulkins, a Decatur Republican, said in an email interview. “This would be another blow to companies that are here or looking to move here. It’s another reason to bypass Illinois. We should be trying to be more business friendly and not putting restrictions in our constitution that gives these companies reasons for not being here.”

The website noted that while neighboring states do not allow government workers to strike, Illinois seemingly is headed in the opposite direction, with the Chicago Teachers Union staging walkouts in each of the last three years. Plummer noted in the interview that it will increase the power of public sector union bosses. 

“These are radical terms that we should not be putting in our constitution,” he said in the email interview. “It’s not good for Illinois or our economy and will make doing business here more expensive.”

The amendment, according to the website, expands what unions can bargain over and the taxpayers will be on the hook for the tab. Amendment 1 includes such new bargaining points like "economic welfare" and "safety at work" which don't have a clear definition, leaving unions more powerful. 

“We already have the most labor friendly provisions in the country and our school contracts are done in secret,” Caulkins said in the interview. “All the other states around us are are thriving and they’re doing things differently from the way we are. The whole climate is different.”

The provision granting unions the permanent right to strike if their demands cannot be granted could prove to be an issue, and Caulkins noted it will lead to costly demands from unions. 

“What’s going to happen is if this becomes law it will embolden public sector unions to insist on provisions that will be very expensive to implement and the only way for the state to implement them will be to raise taxes,” he concluded in the email interview.