Ultimately, though, I suspect the governor is going to have to pare back his expectations about how much of his pro-business, union-weakening Turnaround Agenda he wants. The state budget is still wildly out of balance, and we go further into hock every day, with the state’s backlog of bills already at around $8 billion.
Neither the governor nor the state ultimately can live with that. Retiring state Rep. Jack Franks, D-Woodstock, was absolutely right when he told colleagues during the House floor debate that enacting the stopgap budget was just kicking an ever larger can down the road. That means Rauner’s eventual gains likely will be few.
I have to say, though, that Madigan doesn’t help his cause much sometimes. Instead of following the lead of House GOP Leader Jim Durkin, who said “negotiation (is) what adults do,” Madigan had to make things personal, apparently to let the world know that he’s still the big gorilla in Springfield and everybody, including Rauner, had better remember that. Sigh.
This compromise stuff is new to this governor. How about showing a little class, Mr. Speaker? Lord knows, there’s certainly lots and lots of stuff that still needs to get done to get state finances back on their feet.