* Bernie’s latest column focuses on a quote from Gov. Bruce Rauner about how Speaker Madigan was successful at “breaking the General Assembly to force a tax hike with no reforms whatsoever“…
I have wondered about Rauner’s repeated claim, in absolute terms, about the lack of reforms, as he has made his way across the state signing bills that sure seem like they contain some of what he wanted.
Take for example his announcement in Urbana on Aug. 9, when he signed Senate Bill 8, described in his news release as “a bipartisan bill that makes the state procurement process more efficient and transparent, thus saving money for Illinois taxpayers.”
“Reforming the procurement process allows more flexibility for vendors,” Rauner was quoted in the release. “Removing red tape will make it easier for small and midsize businesses to bid on state contracts. This is a win for our government agencies, for universities, for businesses and, most importantly, for taxpayers.”
In the budget package itself, there is some pension reform, with elements of a 401(k) style defined contribution program included. The legislation he praised Thursday in Naperville would keep retired police officers from re-entering the pension system a second time if they return as chief or join another force. And in Oak Brook on Aug. 14, he signed Senate Bill 3 and House Bill 607, both of which help enable local officials to consolidate governments. But the headline of that day’s news release also showed he thinks “more action is needed.” […]
“It seems inconvenient for the governor to admit that we enacted significant reform, largely at his direction and request,” [Sen. Don Harmon] said. “He seems to like playing the victim. He seems to like saying he didn’t get his way, when in fact he got his way on a significant number of bills.”