Sunday, June 2, 2019

Last man standing? It’s Mr. Speaker!

The Illinois General Assembly completed its business for the 2019 spring session this weekend – one day after they were scheduled to do so on Friday. History will record that they managed to get a lot of things done – including some measures (a casino within Chicago) that in the past seemed next to impossible.

MADIGAN: Illinois making recovery?
So perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, felt the need to issue a congratulatory (of sorts) statement.

BUT READING THROUGH it, I couldn’t help but sense the real purpose was to remind people that Bruce Rauner is political history, while he remains in office. Rauner being the guy who spent four years in office perpetually blaming Madigan for Illinois’ inability to get anything done.

And even implying, at times, that Madigan ought to be the Chicago politico facing criminal indictment – rather than Edward M. Burke!

For as Madigan put it, 2019 will go down as the year of a balanced budget that boosts education funding, helps senior citizens and women and helps pay off $1 billion in old bills.

“While there remains more work to be done to put Illinois fully back on track, in these steps we see what Illinois can be when our leaders stand up for our middle-class families while still seeking common ground,” Madigan said. “When we use our time to build compromises, when we have a governor who encourages Illinois to think big again and when we all commit ourselves to working together to build a stronger Illinois.”

I’M SURE THE ideologues of the rural portions of Illinois will have their own retaliatory rants. But the sense is that we are better off for not having a government that was so anxious to play political games with organized labor that it was willing to disrupt its daily operations.

RAUNER: He gone!
Heck, even Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of suburban Westchester called the budget deal “bipartisan” and praised the fact it did not include tax increases.

Which makes the Madigan proclamation of the session’s end seem all the more the equivalent of a political raspberry – aimed in the direction of Gov. Bruce himself.


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