Illinois to divert ‘fair share’ fees from unions

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Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office has instructed state agencies to begin diverting “fair share” fees from nonunion members’ paychecks away from unions.

A memo obtained by The Associated Press directs departments to create two sets of books to do it.

The Republican governor signed an order last month ending the practice of collecting union fees from non-union members. He labelled it a First Amendment violation and asked a federal court to overturn the state requirement.

Unions collect the fees to defray the cost of work that also benefits nonmembers.

The money now will go to agency accounts rather than unions. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union calls it a “legally questionable scheme.”

Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly says the administration is “confident in the process laid out.”

By JOHN O’CONNOR=