* The QC Times is one of the most reliable editorial voices against House Speaker Michael Madigan, but it is turning on Gov. Rauner in a big way over SB1…
Rauner is scrambling and his agenda is a shambles. And his acts of desperation are making him more difficult to support and defend by the day.
This month’s veto override that ended a two-year budget impasse was a significant loss for Illinois’ Republican governor. The standoff accomplished nothing of value. That bipartisan rebuke of Rauner’s veto, in many ways, left Illinois back where it started prior to Rauner taking office. […]
There’s no doubt that much of Rauner’s consternation is about playing to his base. It’s easy to bang around downstate Illinois blasting Chicago fat cats. Parochialism is good politics in a state like Illinois. But it’s also an explosive chemical compound.
Divisive populist regionalism will never fix Illinois’ failing pension system. It’s a pointless attack on the symptom that does nothing to cure the disease.
More than two years of brinkmanship accomplished precisely zilch for Illinois. But, politically desperate, it appears Rauner is going all in as his 2018 re-election bid nears. After the budget defeat, he sacked his most senior staff. He replaced it with right-wing partisans from the Illinois Policy Institute. And now, he’s banging around the state scapegoating his state’s one major market.
Rauner’s rightward leap risks not only his political fortunes but the well-being of his state.
* Same with the Peoria Journal Star…
Indeed, the language leaping out of sleepy Sangamon County has been uncommonly colorful. A Republican governor who promised to veto part of SB1 should Democrats ever get around to sending it to him finds the latter’s behavior “unconscionable,” their stalling tactics “evil,” the minority’s efforts to take back control nothing short of a coming “revolution,” according to various reports. The Democrat Senate president, meanwhile, questions the governor’s “mental state” while inviting him to negotiate something more to his/their liking.
This a clearly furious governor finds “outrageous!” while continuing to demand that Democrats put SB1 “on my desk!” so that he can have his way with it. Curiously, this governor from Chicago has declared war on his Chicago — granted, no Republican gets much love from Chicago — characterizing this as a “bailout” for the city’s school pension system. He calls a special session, to which many legislators hardly pay attention, judging by the no-shows.
Gov. Bruce Rauner continues to berate House Speaker Michael Madigan as public enemy number one, even though it’s the Senate’s John Cullerton who’s sitting on the bill. Apparently he’s decided it’s more politically advantageous to have the monster that is state government wear Madigan’s face. Meantime, the governor doesn’t do his own cause many favors when he can’t quite say how he arrived at the numbers he insists make downstate schools big winners, or explain how the savings necessary to do that seem to be coming out of Chicago’s block grant rather than pensions, or be more specific about his promised veto. […]
But on which party will parents take out their wrath? That’s the gamble, isn’t it? We’re in a pox-on-all-their-houses sort of mood. They argue ad nauseam, but nothing gets done. Illinois on school funding reform, meet Congress on health care reform.
* The Tribune, however, remains firmly in the governor’s camp…
For Illinois households with school-age children, August is not simply a month on the calendar. It is closure and reset. Sleepovers taper off. Bedtimes get earlier. School shoes displace flip-flops. Wet bathing suits yield to pleated pants.
The sweet back-to-school ritual is unfolding across Illinois, even as lawmakers in Springfield jockey over legislation — a fight that could jam a shiv into the August calendar. Without agreement on an education funding bill, schools might not be able to open on time. Yes, parents, while you’ve been preoccupied with lemonade stands and summer camps, Democrats in Springfield have been jeopardizing the timely opening of schools.
Democrats and a handful of Republicans supported a budget in early July that tied money for schools to a controversial rewrite of the school funding formula, which they had approved May 31. On top of that gamble, the Senate refused to send the rewrite package to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk. Two months have passed with no action, only dueling press conferences and noisy insults.
Just when you think Senate President John Cullerton and House Speaker Michael Madigan couldn’t be more scheming, they prove you wrong. In this case, they’re jeopardizing the start of the school year. Brinkmanship at its worst. A game of chicken with school families trapped midfield.
*** UPDATE *** The ILGOP finds other supporting editorials…
Editorial boards this weekend slammed Mike Madigan, John Cullerton, and Democrats in Springfield for holding school funding hostage to their Chicago bailout demands.
The Chicago Tribune: Dear Illinois parents: You’re being played by Democrats in Springfield
Yes, parents, while you’ve been preoccupied with lemonade stands and summer camps, Democrats in Springfield have been jeopardizing the timely opening of schools.
… Just when you think Senate President John Cullerton and House Speaker Michael Madigan couldn’t be more scheming, they prove you wrong. In this case, they’re jeopardizing the start of the school year. Brinkmanship at its worst. A game of chicken with school families trapped midfield.
To emphasize, parents: August is here and your legislature has not agreed on how to send your state tax money to your schools. You’re being played. You’re supposed to panic and blame a governor who’s, yes, still waiting for that May 31 funding bill to arrive.
The Belleville News-Democrat: Illinois lawmakers set time bomb to get Rauner, hit students instead
Lawmakers couldn’t pass a budget for more than two years and were willing to owe other people $15 billion, but they sure got their paychecks on time. The rest of us don’t get paid if we don’t work.
So could it be that they realize the optics are bad on that issue? They fear facing voters in 2018 looking like a bunch of self-serving, ineffective louts? Do they think limiting the per diems would give them the ability to say, “See, we aren’t all about us”?
They got a chance to earn another $111 a day plus mileage this past week, when Rauner called lawmakers back into session to advance Senate Bill 1, the education funding bill. They failed to do so because Rauner promised an amendatory veto to remove a Chicago Public School pension bail-out. Big surprise, because they are likely doing all this to force an August showdown to get that Chicago money and hand Rauner another fanny-whoooping — at the cost of our students.
Herald & Review: Our view: We’re back where we started with Springfield
What’s the better solution? Remove the Chicago pension funding proviso from the legislation.
That would meet Rauner’s satisfaction while preserving the core mission to fix the backwards funding formula.
It’s easy for us to say, but Chicago pensions shouldn’t break this legislation. We must think of students statewide.
Remove the pension rule.
Sign the bill.