* Tuesday, December 5th…
Reporter: You ran on a platform of taking on the Speaker and reducing his power. If you have been unable to do that successfully, and are not in charge now, what is the argument for having four more years if the Speaker isn’t going anywhere?
Gov. Rauner: Ah, but the point is I believe he will be going somewhere. Into, uh, into retirement. And that’s what we’re working on. […]
Reporter: So, are you saying that you envision a scenario where you get elected to a second term… and the Speaker is not the Speaker any more?
Gov. Rauner: I think there’s a very, very high probability of that and it would be a wonderful step for the state.
Yesterday, I explained why the governor’s repeated boasts about taking away Madigan’s Democratic majority were almost surely empty. So, it’s back to the ol’ drawing board.
* The Tribune pressed Rauner yesterday on this very same topic…
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on Tuesday raised the central questions surrounding his re-election campaign: What exactly would be different in a second term? Why won’t his agenda “just be crushed by” Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan “again and again?”
The governor then sought to provide answers, saying he’s counting on the courts to give him several “transformative” wins over organized labor, allowing him to bypass Madigan’s opposition. […]
Top among those is an expected June ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on an Illinois case that Rauner supports and the Trump administration Justice Department backs. The case challenges the requirement that public union members pay “fair share” dues even if they disagree with union membership.
“If we win, it will transform government. It will transform state government, local government and school districts in every state in America,” Rauner said.
“I will be able to have thousands of state employees not be in the union who don’t want to be, and I will be able to pay them based upon productivity and merit and bonuses, and pay them more based on what they do for the service quality and taxpayer benefit than seniority,” he added.
Unless he can decertify AFSCME, he’ll still have to negotiate and deal with the union under state law. And keep in mind that “fair share” fee-payers have dropped since Rauner took office as workers decided to become full dues-paying union members. So, the scenario he painted seems pretty darned pie in the sky. There’s also the little problem of civil service protections.
The governor also told the Tribune that he is pinning his hopes on a court ruling that his local “right to work” zones case is valid (which he claimed will bring “dozens of manufacturing firms” to the state) and state courts will back him in the judicial sparring over AFSCME’s contract.
* Rauner administration to appeal AFSCME step pay ruling: Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration will fight an appellate court ruling that it violated state law when it stopped awarding step increases in 2015 to eligible members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees… Rich Bossert, spokesman for the Department of Central Management Services, said the state is asking for the Supreme Court review because the Illinois Labor Relations Board previously said the ste increases did not have to be paid after the AFSCME contract expired… “Illegally denying steps to the newest-hired and lowest-paid state employees fits Bruce Rauner’s pattern of anti-worker behavior,” Lynch said. “Unfortunately, despite the court’s ruling, he is unrelenting and refusing to honor the law.”