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AFTRA gains on non-compete issue

The Illinois Senate gave new life to the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists' efforts against non-compete clauses in TV talent contracts last week.

The Senate voted to override Governor George Ryan's veto in July of a bill that would eliminate non-compete clauses in broadcast contracts in the state. The vote was 48-10, a pickup two for each side from the pre-veto Senate vote of 46-8.

The House, which voted 110-3 in favor of the legislation eliminating such noncompetes, will take up a possible veto override Nov. 27. For AFTRA, the Republican-controlled Senate appears to have been a bigger hurdle in overriding the Republican governor, and AFTRA Chicago leader Eileen Willenborg said she is hopeful but confident the bill will become law as of next year.

"We're disappointed with the Senate's vote for an override and remain puzzled as to why the Illinois Legislature "singled out" the broadcast industry," said Dennis Lyle, president of the Illinois Broadcasters Association. "Other Illinois industries should now be concerned that they could also become the target of selective interference in these matters that are best left to the courts."

The IBA's opposition to the proposed law has been joined by the State Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Manufacturers Association. - Dan Trigoboff