* The Tribune editorial board believes Gov. Rauner has done pretty much everything he could for the past two years…
He took office in January 2015 with 44 items on his Turnaround Agenda. He dropped most due to opposition and as gestures in compromise. He’s open to a politically risky tax hike. Anything else?
He tried meeting with legislative leaders behind closed doors. He tried putting a camera in the room. He tried meeting with leaders individually. He tried lobbying individual lawmakers.
He tried staying out of negotiations. He tried inserting himself. He tried tough talk. He tried gentle prodding.
He tried introducing his agenda in bill form: Scroll through all the bills in House rules, Speaker Michael Madigan’s dead letter office, to find the pillars of that agenda. They’ve been ignored, along with Rauner’s last two budgets.
What compromise or agenda have the Democrats offered? Not much in the House. Dems gave their speaker a 17th two-year term and received engraved clocks that read: “The Honorable Michael J. Madigan, Longest-serving House Speaker of a state House of Representatives in United States History.”
Note what Rauner didn’t do: Cave to that longest-serving speaker. Rauner won’t write a blank check, via a tax hike, for Democrats without also getting pro-growth reforms to help build Illinois’ tax base. That’s what he ran on, what he continues to stand for.