* I was starting to have some second thoughts this afternoon about being so harsh on Speaker Madigan’s statement yesterday and about Deputy Majority Leader Lang’s list of ideas.
Why? Because, once I thought about it some more, I realized these announcements could be seen as “markers” set down by Madigan. It’s the stuff he may want from a final deal. In that light, it shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. It could very well be another step in the dance that must be taken before we’ll get to a deal.
And then, when I was deciding how I should write about this topic or if I should write about it at all, an e-mail suddenly landed in my in-box…
Speaker Michael J. Madigan, D-Chicago, has requested a legislative committee take up potential cost-cutting changes to the state’s procurement process offered by Gov. Bruce Rauner.
“Governor Rauner has proposed a series of changes to the state’s procurement process that could generate savings for the state, and I believe they are worth considering,” Madigan said. “I want to work with the governor to reduce the cost of state government while maintaining transparent and ethical conduct in contracting.”
Illinois enacted procurement reforms in 2009 following the impeachment of Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The reforms created a system of checks to reduce conflicts of interest, including the use of chief procurement officers, state purchasing officers, procurement monitors, and the Procurement Policy Board.
In a letter to state Rep. Al Riley, chairman of the House State Government Administration Committee, Madigan urged members of the committee to immediately begin vetting Rauner’s proposed changes to the state procurement code, and consider the governor’s proposal to streamline the process and reduce costs. In doing so, the committee will thoroughly vet the current procurement process and determine how the Legislature could eliminate unnecessary costs while ensuring ethical conduct.
“Considering these changes is an important step in making state government run more efficiently and at a lower cost to taxpayers, but also in fostering cooperation between the governor and the Legislature,” Madigan said. “The state’s procurement process must provide adequate protections for taxpayer dollars, but we must always be open to considering ways to implement this process with reduced cost.”
Usually whenever Madigan calls for a hearing on a gubernatorial idea, he’s planning to kill it. But today’s press release and the letter he sent to the committee’s chairman (click here) don’t seem to indicate that we’re in for yet another “fair trial before the hanging.”
So, anyway, let’s see where this goes.