- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois’ Democratic House speaker says he’s scheduling a vote on Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposal to allow employees to opt out of unions.

Speaker Michael J. Madigan announced Thursday the vote is scheduled for May 14, even though the governor hasn’t filed a bill with the Legislature.

Rauner has spent recent months pitching city councils and business groups on the idea of local “empowerment zones.” The zones would allow voters to make union membership voluntary, rather than mandatory, at unionized workplaces in their communities.

It’s a key part of a set of pro-business reforms the governor wants passed in exchange for new revenue.

Madigan says the proposal would significantly impact on middle-class families.

A Rauner spokesman says the governor will remain at the negotiating table for “as long as it takes.”

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