Rauner rejects expanded union benefits for paramedics, EMTs

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed legislation that would expand benefits and collective bargaining rights for city paramedics and emergency medical technicians.

The Republican took the action Sunday on plans that would define paramedics and EMTs as "firefighters" for purposes of union bargaining and benefits for injuries or death .

Rauner has sought to limit unions' collective bargaining power at the local level. He says the legislation would be an "unfunded state mandate" and cut flexibility municipalities have to determine employment conditions.

He added that the collective-bargaining legislation "perpetuates the decades of political corruption" in Illinois. He says elected officials invariably grant sweeping power to unions in exchange for campaign contributions.

Both measures received the General Assembly's approval by wide bipartisan margins and could face veto-override votes.

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