Illinois State Rep Cheers Teachers’ Janus Activism

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Glenn Minnis has the story on Metro East Sun.

Dwight Kay can only see good things coming from Chicago Public School (CPS) system employees exerting the freedoms he argues have been denied to them for far too long.

“The Janus decision is a good one because no matter what side of the political aisle you’re on, we can all agree that no one should be forced to pay money for something they’ve made the decision they don’t want,” Kay told the Metro East Sun. “That’s not how democracy works and that’s not what having the freedom of choice represents.”

WBEZ recently reported that more than 300 CPS staffers have ceased shelling out the roughly $1,000 in annual union contributions. This comes after the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision in June that Illinois child support specialist Mark Janus did not have to pay union dues to American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) because they violated his First Amendment rights by engaging in political speech with which he does not agree.

Over the last decade, Illinois Policy Institute reports among other actions that have most riled members are a pair of school strikes that led to the closure of 50 schools and thousands of CPS staffers being laid off.

“Frankly unions will now have to work smarter in terms of being more cooperative about the obligations they have and the demands they make across the board,” said Kay, running against incumbent Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville) in Illinois’ 112th District. “It’s certainly going to have an impact on how much money unions will be able to contribute to political candidates.

Illinois’ 112th District includes Bethalto, Caseyville, Fairmont City, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Pontoon Beach, Roxana, Shiloh and Swansea.