Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican who has pushed an agenda to curb organized labor's power, won a significant victory when the House failed to reverse his veto on union-backed legislation to aid contract negotiations.

The House voted 68-34 to override Rauner's veto of the bill. It needed 71 votes to become law. There were nine members voting "present."

The measure would have involved an independent arbitrator if there was an impasse in contract negotiations. Rauner and the state council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees have been negotiating on a pact to replace the contract that expired June 30.

Either side could call for an arbitrator. Once the process started, workers wouldn't have been able to strike and the government couldn't lock out workers.

Rauner said the measure took away from the taxpayers the right to negotiate a contract. The union said it was trying to prevent a government shutdown.

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