* Leader Durkin has a valid point…
“We’ll call [the minimum wage bill] on the floor [Thursday] sometime after 1:30 in the afternoon, and my expectation is the bill will pass,” House Speaker Mike Madigan said. “My expectation is that there will be no Republicans in the House voting for the bill.”
Republicans, on the other hand, said the fast-tracked advancement of the measure puts an end to a short-lived era of good feeling between the parties at the Capitol.
“This is a change of attitude since last month,” Republican House Leader Jim Durkin said. “There was all these platitudes and statements that were made about how we were going to work together and solve these problems. That is not the case today. Republicans have been shut out in negotiating in the House, and we have had no voice with the administration.”
* From November…
Democratic Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday — the day after his comfortable win over GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner — that he is laying groundwork for bipartisan action when he takes office.
Pritzker told The State Journal-Register that on Election Night, he spoke with Senate GOP Leader Bill Brady of Bloomington and House GOP Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs “to say that I look forward to working with them to solve the big problems, the big challenges we’ve got in the state, and I hope they’d be open-minded in working with me, and they both agreed that they would be.”
Pritzker also named Republican former Gov. Jim Edgar as one of the co-chairs of his transition team.
* From early December…
Pritzker has dispatched invites to Senate President John Cullerton; House Speaker Michael Madigan; House Minority Leader Jim Durkin and Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady — and their wives Pam, Shirley, Celeste and Nancy — to wine and dine at Pritzker’s Astor Street mansion.
* From late December…
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.”
* From January…
Another plan would let the incoming governor replace the Tollway board now chaired by former Republican DuPage County chairman and candidate for governor Bob Schillerstrom amid controversies over contracts and spending on expensive banquet tickets.
Republicans voted for both proposals, and a spokesman for House GOP leader Jim Durkin said he will support both “as a gesture of good faith moving forward,” helping clear the way for their likely approval in the coming days.