* As I told you earlier, House Speaker Michael Madigan appeared on Rick Pearson’s Sunday Spin show. Have a listen…
* Some quotes…
If you want to have a broad-based approach [on workers’ comp reform] it should include whether the insurance companies are being fair about this and whether they should reduce their premiums.
The number one problem afflicting the government of the State of Illinois is the budget deficit and the accumulated debt. That’s why the focus should be on the elimination of the deficit. Eliminating the deficit is going to happen in moderation. It’s not going to happen in the extreme. People will want to bring non-budget issues to this debate. They’ll be able to do it to the extent that they do it on the extreme, which I think Gov. Rauner is doing, they’re not solving the problems. The solution to the budget deficit problem will be in moderation.
* To the governror’s plans on advertising, again, to the extent that the advertising takes this debate and this discussion to the extreme, it doesn’t help to eliminate the budget deficit, which is the number one problem facing the State of Illinois. The solution to the budget deficit will be in moderation. Everybody being reasonable. To the extent that you take this to the extreme, you get into name-calling, all unrelated to the budget deficit, you hurt the solution, you don’t help the solution.
[The governor’s pending advertising is] a new element of consideration. We’ve thought about it, we’ve planned for it. We’re not going to move away from our belief that the governor’s non-budget issues will hurt the middle-class families of Illinois.
Every member of the General Assembly was elected based upon a campaign in their districts. For the Democrats, they were elected by middle-class families of Illinois and they’re not prepared to walk away from those middle-class families.
The governor apparently is spending time on fundraising and dispersing funds. I’m not doing that.
It’s incredible that there hasn’t been more reporting on something like this. A governor of a state files a budget, the budget presumes spending $2 billion in savings from a pension proposal and he never filed the bill.
I know you’re going to be surprised that the end game is in moderation.
I’m rejecting that linkage [to the governor’s Turnaround Agenda items] when it’s in the extreme.
* [Do you agree with one of your members that Rauner reminds him of Rod Blagojevich?] Well, I would be concerned if Mr. Rauner does start to act like Blagojevich. The governor one or two days ago said he was not going to call a special session because that would be like Blagojevich. It is true that there have been certain actions taken by Gov. Rauner which clearly look like the things that were done by Rod Blagojevich when he was in office. And I just don’t think Illinois needs Rod Blagojevich.
[What type of things?] Um, negotiating positions, and, uh, statements in these working groups that were set up by the governor. There, there was a, a clear resemblance to the Blagojevich tactics. And I know that Gov. Rauner was concerned about that. He has said he doesn’t want to be viewed as another Blagojevich.
* [Why aren’t you voting that much on bills this year?] If you would review my voting record over the entire session, you’ll find that I’m a very active voter on the bills, and you can check the last few days. Sometimes I don’t vote on a bill simply because I don’t feel comfortable that I have enough knowledge about the bill to vote on a bill.
[You’re the Speaker of the House, you’re the only guy in this building who reads every bill.] Yeah, but I’m busy talking to people like you.
* Madigan also appeared on Craig Dellimore’s program…
While Governor Rauner castigates House Speaker Michael Madigan for rejecting most elements of his turnaround agenda, Madigan says it’s the governor whose staked out positions on non-budget items like term limits and workers compensation.
“What we need is for everybody to be reasonable,” Madigan said. “I’ve been through these disputes in the legislature in the past. I know from my experience that you don’t solve these problems by working in the extreme. You solve these problems by working in moderation. That’s what happened in the past when I worked successfully with Governor Edgar, Governor Thompson, Governor Ryan. When people are functioning in the extreme, they are not working toward a solution.”
He says he’s told the governor that Democrats are willing to make cuts in Medicaid, for example, but not lower the standard of living for the middle class.
“Illinois has severe budget problem,” Madigan said. “You cannot cut your way out of the problem. You need cuts such as the Medicaid program cuts and you need new revenue. On new revenue, you need reasonable people to come together, look at each other, commit to be reasonable and not functioning on the extreme.”