* House Speaker Michael Madigan talked to reporters after yesterday’s marathon meeting with House Democrats and Gov. Pat Quinn…
Madigan said that Quinn worked hard to present his case, but he doesn’t know yet if any minds were changed. “I thought he did an excellent job of presenting his position, arguing for his position, taking questions. He took every question. He answered every question. He got very animated on a lot of his answers because, at times, he wasn’t hearing what he wanted to hear,” Madigan said.
“I think it’s significant that there was opposition expressed from all sectors of our caucus. I’m going to continue to work to find 60 Democrats to vote for the governor’s bill. We are significantly away from 60 today.” When asked how he would get the votes, Madigan said, “It’s going to take a great deal of persuasion.” He refused to answer questions about possible alternative revenue sources or what would happen with the budget if he cannot get the votes for the extension.
Opposition was, indeed, expressed from “all sectors” of the caucus. As I tweeted yesterday during the meeting…
Subscribers have more details.
* The governor tried to be more upbeat…
“It was really enjoyable. Everybody had a good chance to speak their minds,” the governor said afterward.
Quinn declined to talk in specifics about how much support he thinks there is for the tax issue. […]
Quinn centered his presentation Monday on the state’s responsibility to fund education, even carrying a copy of the state Constitution into the meeting to emphasize that it says the state is primarily responsible for education.
So, it was an “up day”?
* But he did demonstrate that he understands the reality of his situation…
“I think we need to make sure that we properly invest in our schools. Our state over relies right now on property tax to fund education. I think we have to do better. We have to use a tax based on ability to pay, the income tax, to properly fund our schools. I spoke about that quite a bit in the caucus,” Quinn said after he addressed the Democrats. […]
“You’re always building a majority on any issue; it’s a building of a majority to get to 60. I think we’re doing our very best to get that majority. I think my philosophy in life is hope for the best and work for it. So, we’re working real hard on getting those 60 votes in the House of Representatives. Obviously, we have to keep on working until we get there.”
* The reaction from Bruce Rauner was expected…
Monday’s meeting between the governor and his erstwhile House Democratic allies came after he endured another withering day of being beaten up by Republican gubernatorial rival Bruce Rauner, who labeled Quinn a “tax-and-spend” politician and failed leader who can’t move Democratic supermajorities in the House and Senate to do his bidding.
“They’re playing political games and showing a lack of leadership and unfortunately in Springfield, that’s been the status quo,” Rauner said after a campaign event in Northbrook.
“Right now, they’re trying to portray themselves as just doing whatever the voters want. They’re saying voters like more spending so we’re gonna give them more spending. Voters don’t like taxes so we’re just not going to vote on taxes,” Rauner charged.
“That’s political gamesmanship. That’s playing political football with our financial health. It’s a huge mistake. It’s a failure of leadership. It’s a failure of the General Assembly and the governor down there,” Rauner said.
It’s not that I disagree, it’s just that I’d kinda like to see a plan from Rauner. It doesn’t have to be a 500-page line item appropriations bill. Just sketch something out on a napkin or something. Anything.
If Madigan is “determined and he needs his 60 votes, he finds a way to get there,” [House GOP Leader Jim Durkin] said. “But he’s not going to get it with Republican participation.”
Madigan and Quinn both dismissed remarks from Durkin and Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner, who was critical of Democrats for pushing a tax hike that he says is not needed. Rauner has contended the high taxes are causing businesses and people to leave Illinois.
Madigan shot back: “People are leaving because they’re looking at the prospect of Rauner as the governor.”
Nice pivot, but I kinda doubt that.
* Watch the raw video of both Quinn and Madigan via our good friends at BlueRoomStream.com…