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Is this the start of a new era?

Monday, Jan 7, 2019

* The Tribune’s Rick Pearson wrote a story in late December about hoped-for bipartisanship in the new JB Pritzker administration. You should definitely click here to read the whole thing, which includes some positive words from the two Republican legislative leaders. I’ve covered some of this stuff for subscribers, but here’s the ending

One Pritzker confidant said the incoming governor envisions a return to what was once known as the “agreed-bill” process, in which all of the various stakeholders on an issue, such as labor and management, agree to sit down together to work to resolve a problem and that no legislation would move forward without such an agreement.

Such a process, still used regarding the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund, allows lawmakers to implement an agreement that is approved by all sides.

“Illinois has really only worked well when everyone works together on bipartisan solutions to the problems. It’s never really worked well, Illinois has never really prospered, with a ‘my way or the highway’ approach,” [Rob Karr, the president and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association] said. “We are confident in the early stages that he’s going to take that approach, and only time will tell.”

But the more politically active and Republican-allied Illinois Chamber of Commerce already is girding for the Democratic domination. A recent internet seminar promoted by the group warned that “the Pritzker administration is going to be aggressively pro-labor when it comes to creating new workplace laws and greater regulation that this state has (believe it or not) yet to experience.”

The title of the event was: “The Employers’ Survival Guide under Gov. Pritzker.”

* Meanwhile, Rep. David Harris (R-Arlington Heights) talked to the Daily Herald about his new job in the Pritzker administration

Harris, who began his second stint in the House in 2011, will leave the post on Jan. 9 when the new General Assembly is sworn in. He said Pritizker’s decision to have him head the Department of Revenue is a positive sign for state government.

“The governor-elect really wants to build a bipartisan administration,” Harris said, recalling that Barack Obama as president-elect reached out to retiring Republican U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood of downstate Illinois in 2008 and selected him as transportation secretary.

He added he hoped his management experience as chief of staff for the U.S. State Department Iraq Reconstruction Office and as Illinois adjutant general would be helpful in running an agency with 1,500 employees and a $55 million budget.

* Related…

* Stratton bringing love of mediation to lieutenant governor’s office: Her mediation training while still in law school led to various pursuits, including being director of the Center for Public Safety and Justice at the University of Illinois Chicago. The Center, Stratton has said, works with small- and medium-sized police departments across the country, doing training on “how to build trust with the communities that they serve.” After her stint at a law firm, she also worked as an administrative law judge, hearing officer and mediator for city of Chicago departments, as an adjunct faculty member at Loyola University Chicago, as executive director of the Cook County Justice Advisory Council, and as a mediator for the Center for Conflict Resolution. She is also a trained peace circle keeper and restorative justice practitioner.

* State Dems in control — can they get work done?: “I suggest that Gov. Pritzker come in with four or five important initiatives, moderate in nature, which can succeed,” said Rep. Mike Zalewski, a Riverside Democrat beginning his sixth term. “We’ve had a turbulent eight years and if we focus on small successes, they can translate into big successes in the long run.” That might be the plan before the 101st General Assembly is even sworn in on Wednesday. The lame-duck 100th assembly will be in Monday and Tuesday. A note to House Democrats instructs them to be in Springfield for action on “the items being requested by the governor-elect.” Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh said only that Pritzker “is working with lawmakers to introduce good-governance legislation to move forward on key priorities” as soon as next week.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Brendan - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 11:22 am:

    “Employers Survival Guide under Gov. Pritzker”

    It’s called stop treating your labor like wage slaves. Simple as that.

  2. - Deadbeat Conservative - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 11:49 am:

    “He added he hoped his management experience as chief of staff for the U.S. State Department Iraq Reconstruction Office…”

    Just do the opposite of that wasteful office and you should be fine general Harris.

  3. - Blago's Hare - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 11:53 am:

    Lang is leaving that might be a start to a new start.

  4. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 11:56 am:

    I support Pritzker reaching across the aisle and developing good relationships with Republicans. The job of improving the state comes first. Good ideas can come different people. There’s a time for politics, but the current incumbent played politics his whole term.

  5. - anon2 - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 12:18 pm:

    The agreed bill process would mean that the huge Democratic majorities would be allowing the minority to emasculate progressive legislation.

    Let’s face it, the IRMA won’t agree to any significant minimum wage hike. The IMA won’t agree to stricter environmental regulations on, say, noxious emissions from factories. The GOP won’t get on board any graduated income tax. So if movement on those issues requires unanimous agreement, then progressives are out of luck.

  6. - Anon - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 12:21 pm:

    The voters rejected bipartisanship. They decisively ousted Rauner and relegated Republicans in the legislature to a super-minority. So *of course* we’re hearing that the incoming Dem admin is staffing key posts with Republicans and is considering procedural schemes that will kneecap its legislative agenda.

  7. - Chicago_Downstater - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 12:31 pm:

    I’m definitely excited to see how this will work. Differing POVs don’t have to be antagonistic. Some of the best work I’ve done has been in groups with folks that think very different from me. Let’s see.

  8. - RNUG - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 1:03 pm:

    You don’t have to use an agreed bill process for everything. But it is a good place to start legislation … and it keeps the fisticuffs off the floor and out in the hallways and back rooms.

    That you can build the bill on points of agreement AND understand the basis of any opposition. Working the process can, and often does, result in a better bill. Plus, in the case of an issue where your base is soft, you can work for bipartisan support. And it allows you, as party leader, to let your vunerable members take a pass on votes that might harm their re-election.

    Let’s be honest; good politics is more about persuasion and horse trading than brute force. Smart politicans only use brute force after bipartisanship fails.

  9. - Honeybear - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 1:16 pm:

    We are Athens after the plague
    (History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides)
    We have a choice
    Regain and maintain civility,
    not conflict aversion in word thought and deed
    but full bore civility
    an ardent striving, conflict and adversity ridden
    but according to democratic principle, process,
    and respect.
    We’ve got to wrestle in the ring.
    by the rules
    No more Malum in se,
    No more violation of Jus ad bellum
    no more violation of Jus in bello
    clean fight from here on out.
    No Chamber of Commerce
    No more false victimization, no more hostage taking,
    No more perfidy.
    Athens after the plague
    We need to make a different choice.
    Athens chose real politik
    “The strong will do as they will and the weak will suffer what they must.” (Melian Dialogue)

    We already know how that turned out.
    But beware Bi partisanship.
    Not all is forgiven or forgotten.
    Raunerites must not be allowed a place within
    any government agency.
    Rauner was not democratic in any way.
    Taking hostages, Starving agencies and education, running up debt, throwing his own people under the bus, on and on
    His way or you “have a f%^king problem”.
    No we have to do the hard government the honest, transparent, wrestling way.
    Rauner was not a Republican
    A stranger in our house as OW says.
    Why keep those strangers still in?
    Pritzker must root out all Raunerites.

  10. - walker - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 3:50 pm:

    Anybody who could get Shia and Sunni chiefs (somewhat) together to help form a new Iraqi government, will find this executive job child’s play. Best wishes to David Harris. A gentleman and a natural leader.

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