SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Nearly three dozen Illinois legislators of both political stripes are asking Gov. Bruce Rauner to resume contract negotiations with the state’s largest public-employee union.

The lawmakers said Wednesday the issue is crucial to the struggling state.

Decatur Democratic Rep. Sue Scherer says “nothing happens if you’re not at the table.”

Republican Rauner ended talks last winter with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees state council. A state labor board sided with Rauner this month that talks were at “impasse.”
That means the governor can impose his terms.

He did that a second time Wednesday in announcing an employee drug and alcohol testing plan.

AFSCME says in a statement it will talk. Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly says the two sides should cooperate on implementing the governor’s provisions.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)