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Unclear on the concept

Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014

* The Daily Herald on Bruce Rauner’s constant refrain about how he’ll shake up Springfield by using the governor’s constitutional powers to issue executive orders

Rauner has pointed to [Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’] use of executive orders to bypass lawmakers and get things done. In Illinois, though, lawmakers can have the final say on executive orders, perhaps tying the hands of a governor.

* There are lots of misconceptions about EOs. WBGZ radio

llinois Governor Pat Quinn has issued an Executive Order that would combine the Health and Human Service programs of Substance Abuse and Mental Health in Illinois. Lawmakers agree that’s a good decision but one State Representative from the Riverbend disagrees with the method through which it was done.

State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) says the Governor’s decision doesn’t give lawmakers a chance to do their jobs.

Kay’s quote…

“When you make a major change that’s going to cost some money at some point in time, that’s our job within the Legislature.

“The governor really today seized the legislative prerogative to hear a bill, debate a bill and determine whether that bill was best for the state of Illinois.

“And that’s not the governor’s job.”

* From the Illinois Constitution

SECTION 11. GOVERNOR - AGENCY REORGANIZATION

The Governor, by Executive Order, may reassign functions among or reorganize executive agencies which are directly responsible to him. If such a reassignment or reorganization would contravene a statute, the Executive Order shall be delivered to the General Assembly. If the General Assembly is in annual session and if the Executive Order is delivered on or before April 1, the General Assembly shall consider the Executive Order at that annual session. If the General Assembly is not in annual session or if the Executive Order is delivered after April 1, the General Assembly shall consider the Executive Order at its next annual session, in which case the Executive Order shall be deemed to have been delivered on the first day of that annual session. Such an Executive Order shall not become effective if, within 60 calendar days after its delivery to the General Assembly, either house disapproves the Executive Order by the record vote of a majority of the members elected. An Executive Order not so disapproved shall become effective by its terms but not less than 60 calendar days after its delivery to the General Assembly.

Reorgs are the only executive order functions spelled out in the Constitution. And there is most definitely an available legislative check on that power.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


46 Comments
  1. - ok - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    Step 1 - Governors pursue broad agenda
    Step 2 - GA offended, blocks agenda
    Step 3 - GA celebrates, calls Governor irrelevant
    Step 4 - Governor uses executive authority to thumb nose at GA
    Step 5 - GA outraged, lawsuits filed

    Rinse, Repeat


  2. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    Won’t all the Republicans who are angry about Obama’s executive orders be put-off that Rauner intends to govern by executive order?


  3. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    That pesky Constitution…

    Rauner is going to learn, real fast.


  4. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    === Obama’s executive orders be put-off that Rauner ===

    Actually, I think the hardcore base loves this. Gives Dems a taste of their own medicine.


  5. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    Most of what Governor’s in Illinois call “executive orders” are really memos to staff, captioned as EOs to look “decisive” and get media attention. They have as much weight under the Illinois Constitution as a call for a referendum on marriage equality. Does anybody on Rauner’s staff even read the Constitution before they poll test their positions?


  6. - Give Me A Break - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    Well Dwight wanted to be Leader, guess he wants to be Gov now. Don’t confuse him with details.


  7. - fed up - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    Carl Nyberg,
    interesting ??

    wont all the Dems applauding obamas executive orders be happy when Rauner does the same.


  8. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    He’s a long way from the governor’s chair, but this does make you wonder what Governor Rauner would be able to accomplish in office, with a very Democratic legislature. Channeling Harry Truman re Eisenhower: he’ll be saying do this and do that and nothing will happen. Maybe his connections to Emmanuel would allow him to work out some deals with powerful Chicago Democrats.
    I bet he knows a lot of those, given his involvement in Chicago civic life. But generally,
    suggestions that he’ll get rid of pensions and unions and turn Illinois into Wisconsin are just silly.

    Of course, he could shake up the upper reaches (the non-union 5 percent) of the state of Illinois bureaucracy. That would be a good thing.
    More technocrats, fewer Democratic hacks. Not gonna happen under Quinn.


  9. - Norseman - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    === That pesky Constitution…

    Rauner is going to learn, real fast. ===

    Unfortunately, the taxpayers will probably end up paying a lot of money for his lessons. Then again, he can go to his old standby statement that he wasn’t involved in the decisions.


  10. - Walker - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    When we have a Democratic Executive, Republicans claim that this is disgraceful, “unconstitutional power grab.”

    When we had a Republican Executive, Republicans called it “strong leadership.”

    The Dems do the same.

    Just so much hot air on all sides.

    Rauner, like his predecessors in Illinois, would have to work with the legislative leaders, or fail.

    Simple as that.


  11. - RNUG - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    - Cassandra - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    About 1/2 of that upper 5% / non-union group (usually career SPSA’s) are the technocrats that keep things running in spite of the political hacks and their idiocy.


  12. - RNUG - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    Electing Rauner Gov will be the same as the GA passing a Consitiutional Lawyer Full Employment Act.


  13. - veritas - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    Rauner = 4 more years of gridlock


  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    - Norseman -,

    Going a step further;

    It is going to be about litigation wins, not legislative victories, or ideology compromises for the benefit of the greater good.

    In actuality, politics will defer to litigation. Politics is dead to the decisions of the Illinois Supreme Court and the Executive powers in the process of governing.


  15. - A guy... - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    Rich, I agree completely with your thesis. Only one “red-herring” in there. For the Legislature to exercise their authority, a lot of members need to go on the record to stop him (Blago, Emil Jones diary) There’s a lot more bravado in the districts than in the chamber. Rauner has been full of surprises over the last year. Madigan has been negotiating with himself since Pate Philip and George Ryan left the patch. You just never know what might happen if two strong guys get enough of what they want from one another. I predict the predictions above will not come true. Both want legacies. Rich and powerful guys always do.


  16. - Commander Norton - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:17 am:

    Either house? Yep, that’s some check on the executive.


  17. - Norseman - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    === Either house? Yep, that’s some check on the executive. ===

    What’s that supposed to mean?


  18. - Publius - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    Be interesting to see how much money Rauner or his allies have donated to legislative candidates. Then contemplate how much he will spend during the first two years of a possible governorship to buy a tractable legislature. All those Rauner advisors are going to need work after the election.


  19. - Roadiepig - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    - RNUG - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    Electing Rauner Gov will be the same as the GA passing a Consitiutional Lawyer Full Employment Act.

    RNUG for the win!


  20. - Under Further Review - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    What is up with all of these people (D.C. and Springfield) who have decided to ignore the “separation of powers”? It used to be considered one of the better features of the American system of government.


  21. - Give Me A Break - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:31 am:

    - Under Further Review - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    What is up with all of these people (D.C. and Springfield) who have decided to ignore the “separation of powers”? It used to be considered one of the better features of the American system of government.

    The House GOP loves to do that much like they can’t figure out the State can’t set policy on federal policy on LINK cards but the House GOP keeps introducing bills that try to. They don’t understand their own jobs.


  22. - olddog - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    == But generally,
    suggestions that he’ll get rid of pensions and unions and turn Illinois into Wisconsin are just silly. ===

    === I predict the predictions above will not come true. ===

    So Rauner’s OK because he’s not going to do the things he says he’s going to do? I can’t wait to see that on a bumper sticker.


  23. - anon - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    I predict GOP criticism of executive orders will be muted if Rauner is in the mansion, issuing far broader EOs than Quinn.


  24. - CollegeStudent - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    ===Step 1 - Governors pursue broad agenda
    Step 2 - GA offended, blocks agenda
    Step 3 - GA celebrates, calls Governor irrelevant
    Step 4 - Governor uses executive authority to thumb nose at GA
    Step 5 - GA outraged, lawsuits filed

    Rinse, Repeat ===

    When does “Step 6 - Governor impeached” come in.


  25. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    One of my concerns about Rauner is his idea he is going to come in and run the State like he runs his companies. That is fine, but what happens when he finds out that the State cannot operate that way? In his world, if a business is bad he sells it. How is this going to work as Governor of the state? I guess he could simply resign, its not like he is doing it for the money.

    He seems to be someone who always gets his way, and unfortunately that is not going to happen if he is elected Governor. Then what?


  26. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    –Harry Truman re Eisenhower: he’ll be saying do this and do that and nothing will happen.–

    Cassandra, that’s a great insight.

    Truman was commenting on the challenges Ike would face transitioning from becoming a supreme military commander to president in a tripartite government with shared powers.

    For the record, Ike did pretty well. He was a pretty good politician as Supreme Allied Commander.

    He made LBJ and Sam Rayburn partners from the get go, and kept the looney-toons on the fringe, where they belong.


  27. - the Patriot - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    The AV and budget veto is where he really gets his power. The last 2 dems have widely expanded the Gov office in this regard and dems have let it go. History shows this often bites the party who expanded the power in the tucas. He can rewrite the budget and make dem 100% responsible for the states woes if they over ride.


  28. - YO - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    =separation of powers being one of the better features of American government==

    Good one. I laughed at that. To people like Bruce, that feature is just a pain in the rear. Authoritarianism is so much more expedient.


  29. - Commander Norton - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    Norseman -

    I was just noticing in the state constitution that an executive order doesn’t take effect if either chamber votes by simple majority to disapprove it. You can get almost any idea through one of the two chambers. This is a very strong check on this particular executive power.


  30. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    ===and dems have let it go===

    Um, where have you been? Did you somehow miss the lawsuit over legislator paychecks last year?

    Get with the game, dude.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    ===You can get almost any idea through one of the two chambers.===

    If that was true, Lobbyists would be out if a job…

    ===Um, where have you been? Did you somehow miss the lawsuit over legislator paychecks last year?===

    That was ONE. Rauner’s possible overreaching will lead to many more “discussions” with the Judiciary being an arbiter.


  32. - Sure will - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 12:21 pm:

    IE, Mitch Daniels, Rauner is talking about an EO for Right to Work state. You think this wheels are off this clunker now vote for Rauner and have him fight Madigan every day.


  33. - circularfiringsquad - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 12:21 pm:

    More Mitt Rauner demonstrating that he knows next to nothing about governing. Blagoof knew little too but he didn’t show until it was too late Not so here

    BTW anyone else notice Mitt may have been swindled by a guy in St. Louis. We say may because Mitt may have got his cash out


  34. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    Re Ike - anybody who can rein in the likes of Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery & General George Patton all while beating the tar out of the Nazis has got the right stuff. Orders rolled of their backs like water off a duck.

    Question - what happens to the EO if the GA passes same? Is it still just an EO (can be tossed by the next governor, like at the fed level)? Or does it become law, since it has passed the GA?

    Has this ever been done?

    Schwarzenegger thought he could roll over the CA GA with the force of his own personality and public acclaim. Rauner appears to be counting on a similar vision - on the wings of glory he will be elevated to the level of the Grand PooBah. With all the rights and privileges accruing therein. This would be fun to watch if it were another state.


  35. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 12:52 pm:

    “Good one. I laughed at that. To people like Bruce, that feature is just a pain in the rear. Authoritarianism is so much more expedient.”

    Was it Rauner who said, “I have a phone, and I have a pen”?


  36. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    Authoritarians, misanthropes and stupid politicians don’t like Democracy.

    We don’t know which of these is Mr. Rauner, but he seems like a guy able to learn pretty quickly on his feet.


  37. - downstate demo - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 1:12 pm:

    Is all this executive action stuff like what the Republicans do not like about what President Obama is doing get around the Republicans in Congress


  38. - A guy... - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    downstate demo- asked and answered. ya gotta read the thread man.


  39. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    This is the kind of thing that worries me about Bruce Rauner. He doesn’t understand how government works. That’s not a good thing.


  40. - YO - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 2:08 pm:

    Kinda like Donald Trump for President. When you’re used to getting everything you want immediately and money is not object, it can be a difficult concept to cooperatively work together let alone LISTEN to anyone else’s opinion especially when it’s different from yours.


  41. - Pensioner - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    Just to put things in perspective, as much as Quinn is hated, Rauner does not have a snowball’s chance in hell of being Gov.


  42. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    –Just to put things in perspective, as much as Quinn is hated, Rauner does not have a snowball’s chance in hell of being Gov.–

    Dude, you’re delusional. He’s a heavy load for Quinn, who ain’t the most popular guy in the world.


  43. - A guy... - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 3:48 pm:

    –Just to put things in perspective, as much as Quinn is hated, Rauner does not have a snowball’s chance in hell of being Gov.–
    It’s hard to imagine anyone thinking this let alone saying it. Let me guess; velcro not shoelaces.


  44. - RNUG - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 4:34 pm:

    Assuming Rauner wins the primary (pretty safe guess at this point since he would have to self-destruct big time to lose), the Quinn / Rauner matchup is going to set a number of new records in Illinois not seen for many, many decades, in terms of spending, attack ads, and overall dirty politics.

    From the ads I’m now hearing on the radio, Rauner has already switched to general election mode. Given the levels of public dis-satisfaction today with Illinois politics, at this point I think the general election will also be Rauner’s race to lose.


  45. - Pensioner - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 5:15 pm:

    wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    Dude, you’re delusional. He’s a heavy load for Quinn, who ain’t the most popular guy in the world.

    - A guy… - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 3:48 pm:

    It’s hard to imagine anyone thinking this let alone saying it. Let me guess; velcro not shoelaces.

    @Slinger and Guy. Copied and pasted your brilliance. Will re sling to this forum after the election and we will see who is delusional. Guy, I wear sandals.


  46. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Feb 25, 14 @ 10:41 pm:

    Does anyone have any evidence to support the notion that Rauner is the least bit genuine in his promises to shake up business as usual?

    Business as usual has been pretty good to Bruce.


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