In enacting a series of executive orders, newly elected Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed Executive Order 2019-02 requiring all state agencies to immediately comply with the state’s Project Labor Agreements Act. The state’s Project Labor Agreements Act requires state agencies to consider on a case-by-case basis whether PLA should be utilized on public works projects. Agencies are required to weigh whether the use of a PLA would advance the state’s interests, which include cost, efficiency, quality, safety, timeliness, skilled labor force, labor stability, or the State’s policy to advance minority-owned and women-owned businesses and minority and female employment. Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order opens up, according to 2017 estimates, $9.1 billion dollars worth of public construction projects at the state and local level to the use of union-only PLAs.
Former Governor Bruce Rauner opposed the use of PLAs on public works projects and implemented an Executive Order of his own discouraging the use of PLA’s on publicly funded construction projects. Rauner was defeated in his re-election effort by Pritzker last November.