* After not speaking to reporters since he gave his budget address, Gov. Rauner took questions yesterday, including on whether he helped or hurt the Senate’s attempt at reaching a bipartisan compromise…
“President Cullerton in the media asked me to weigh in. Democrats and Republicans in private asked me to weigh in. That’s what I did. I honored their request. And if you listen to what I said, everything that I laid out was very reasonable, very reasonable,” Rauner said. […]
Rauner’s parameters include a permanent property tax freeze in exchange for a permanent income tax hike. The Senate plan currently calls for a two-year property tax freeze. The governor also wants a limit on spending and further changes to the workers compensation law for employees hurt on the job, as business groups say the Senate’s plan to curb workers’ compensation costs doesn’t go far enough.
“We should do these things, and they should in no way infringe on or hurt the ability to get a final deal,” said Rauner, who noted the House approved a permanent property tax freeze earlier this year.
But that vote came during the lame-duck session when there was no possibility the bill would be taken up by the Senate, a move designed to provide political cover to Democrats. Local schools and towns oppose a property tax freeze, saying it would hurt their ability to tap into money for day-to-day operations.
Actually, President Cullerton said it would help get Republican votes if the governor came out in favor of the grand bargain. Instead, the governor laid down a list of his own demands.