In the matter of one hour Friday afternoon, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner emerged from his bunker and broke his silence of the past few weeks to say he was "cautiously optimistic" an agreement could be reached with the Democrats after a meeting with all four legislative leaders. And then, Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan let it be known he wasn't budging.
By the time lawmakers shut down the spring legislative session on Sunday, Michael Madigan had compared Rauner's approach to that of Rod Blagojevich, Senate President John Cullerton said Rauner was holding the state budget hostage and Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno said it all comes down to one issue: "The Democrats only want another tax increase."
Rauner, meanwhile, vowed to not back down against "insiders" who "will not give up their power easily."
"The insiders in Springfield, who make their money from the government, are at war with the people of the state," Rauner said Sunday evening. "The taxpayers, the homeowners, the schoolchildren and their parents, small business owners. Those are the folks who are suffering in Illinois."
We stand at the brink of an abyss the likes of which we have never seen in Illinois.
Continue reading Madeleine Doubek and Matt Dietrich's editorial at Reboot Illinois.
While the two sides are disagreeing politically on how to run the best government for Illinoisans, Rauner, Madigan and their colleagues have surprisingly similar stated goals in the work: champion the middle class. But they also are questioning their opponents' motives. Find out what's going on at Reboot Illinois.