|RAUNER: At what point is it Bruce's fault?|
It’s a routine ritual – the governor puts forth a spending plan, the opposition party in the Legislature says the governor is out of touch. His allies come to his defense, and in the end the General Assembly approves a plan that will be about 99 percent of what the governor asked for in the first place.
OR AT LEAST that’s the way things used to work each spring when it came to putting together the plan by which state government would spend the money it had available from state taxpayers and federal government grants.
For as we all know, Illinois government hasn’t had a formal budget in place since the 2015 fiscal year that was the end of the Pat Quinn era of state government. Rauner came into office with a desire to impose a series of changes meant to undermine the authority of organized labor.
Under the disguise of being “reform,” he has decided that getting these changes is more important than having a government that operates functionally.
While I don’t doubt that Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, is more than willing to play political games in order to mess with the governor’s mind and prolong any gaffes he makes, this standoff we have been in for two years now is truly going to be Rauner’s lasting legacy.
AND IT IS one that is now going into its third year. Rauner will make his third attempt at proposing a state government budget, even though he’s the governor who has never been able to get a budget passed into law.
|MADIGAN: When will he be reasonable?|
Legislators whose bills continually get stalled and thwarted wind up becoming the subject of ridicule.
So the question arises what will we get from Rauner this year? Is he finally determined to show he’s capable of handling the operations of state government as many Republican governors have managed to do while dealing with Madigan as the Illinois House speaker?
Or are we truly moving forward to being on our way to having yet another year without a state budget – which is a hassle because of the Illinois Constitution requirements that a budget be in place for government to operate the way it should.
THERE HAVE BEEN efforts within the Illinois Senate to put together a budget plan that could get the state operating the way it should and enable officials to focus on the backlog of bills that now totals in the billions of dollars.
Although there are questions about whether the Illinois House of Representatives would follow suit and approve something, Besides, there also are the objections of Republican types who say this plan is nothing more than the same old tax hikes and (what they consider) overspending that has caused the financial situation that has Rauner so willing to thrown the proverbial monkey wrench into the works of state government.
So what will happen Wednesday?
I have no doubt Rauner will attempt to sound oratorical and try to make us think he’s having deep thoughts about our state’s future. Although I always suspect that our state officials don’t think too deeply about what they do – it would confuse them.
JUST LIKE THE legendary baseball catcher Yogi Berra who once said of the mechanics of hitting a baseball, “How can you hit and think at the same time?”
|The wit and wisdom of Yogi applies too often|
But at some point, Rauner is going to have to be the one who breaks – unless he really wants to be the one-term governor remembered because he couldn’t get a budget passed. There's only so far that all the GOP "Dump Madigan!" can go before people turn on the governor.
There’s a lot of rhetoric being spewed about Facebook and Twitter, with the slogan “Do the Job!” being used almost as an order to Rauner. If anything, Rauner could wind up appearing to be the reasonable one if he were to make serious efforts toward putting together a functional budget now. That is how he could convince people it's really Madigan's fault.
As for those ideological, anti-union dreams the governor has, they’ll still be there following the upcoming election cycle of 2018 – when the many millions of dollars of his own money that he’s putting into Republican political coffers may be capable of buying him a Legislature more sympathetic to his desires!