Bipartisan Effort to “Turnaround” Self-Inflicted Budget Stalemate
CHICAGO-News came over the weekend that Comptroller Leslie Munger, who once described herself as Bruce Rauner’s “wingman,” has joined the chorus of Republicans, including former Gov. Jim Edgar, who want Rauner to halt the attacks on collective bargaining that are at the heart of a budget stalemate that has been devastating to vulnerable Illinoisans.
Edgar, for his part, said late last week that Rauner was holding the budget “hostage” with his extreme, non-budgetary demands and even went so far as to say that he would reconsider his endorsement of Rauner.
It’s just a latest sign that Rauner’s “my way or the highway” approach to harm unions, which is shredding the Illinois social safety net in the meantime, is being rejected across Illinois.
The movement against Rauner began gaining steam in early September, when several Republicans joined House Democrats and bucked Rauner’s efforts to eliminate home healthcare for 34,000 seniors and people with disabilities—a piece of legislation that Rauner inexplicably has not signaled whether he will sign, with the 60-day deadline less than three weeks away.
Rauner already had drawn opposition from his own wife for his efforts to destroy child care in Illinois with rule changes that exclude 90 percent of previously eligible working parents, which has already denied at least 15,000 Illinois families child care assistance that allows them to accept employment or keep their current jobs.
Chicago Archbishop Blasé Cupich last month spoke forcefully against “so-called” “right-to-work” efforts, which are at the heart of the Rauner budget stalemate.
And the public outcry against the Rauner billionaire agenda has manifested itself in the polls, including in southern Illinois, where Rauner romped last November. According to a Paul Simon Institute survey released last week, Rauner is underwater there, with an approval rating of a mere 37.4 percent.
But it’s not ALL bad news for Rauner. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that he made $57.5 million in income last year while campaigning for governor, with a large chunk of that money taxed at a rate far below what the working families he wants to deny the right to bargain collectively pay on their income.