Did Rauner ‘pull votes’ off the grand bargain?
“Intercession” by Gov. Bruce Rauner was responsible for Republican senators pulling their support for a sweeping bipartisan budget deal in the hours leading up to their expected votes on the final key components of the compromise.
That was the conclusion of a public radio reporter who investigated the governor’s role in derailing the deal known as the grand bargain, which was supposed to help end the nearly two-year budget stalemate that has crippled state government under the Rauner administration.
Ten Republican senators voted for at least one bill in the wide-ranging grand bargain package, which had been negotiated in the Senate over the course of many weeks without the governor’s input. Senate Democrats were shocked when Republicans abruptly peeled off the bipartisan deal overnight and it collapsed.
The reporter set out to ask all 10 of the GOP senators about Rauner’s role in stopping them from voting for more of the compromise, which had been lauded as a show of good governance.
LISTEN: NPR Illinois investigates
TRANSCRIPT: Gov. Bruce Rauner continues to insist that he is not responsible for derailing the state Senate's so-called grand bargain. But Democrats say he pulled Republican votes off the bipartisan deal, which was trying to end Illinois' budget stalemate.
Both assertions cannot be true — so I decided to investigate.
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In the news: If you can’t cut the budget, maybe negotiate a deal
Could school funding resurrect grand bargain?
A comprehensive school funding reform measure filed in the Senate last week could breathe new life into the grand bargain budget negotiations.
The plan, Senate Bill 1, was filed as the Senate returns to session this week. Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is sponsoring the bipartisan measure.
“This proposal allows us to begin the school funding debate anew in the Legislature with an eye on the larger picture of long-term investment in our schools and economic prosperity for all of Illinois,” Manar said.
Are good-paying union jobs coming to Illinois
Mariano’s groceries opened its newest location in Des Plaines last week, bringing with it 375 new union jobs.
Senator Laura Murphy, a Des Plaines Democrat, said that’s evidence Illinois is open for business in spite of Gov. Rauner’s claims to the contrary.
“The governor’s anti-worker agenda will do nothing to create a single job in Illinois,” she said. “He needs to drop his radical agenda and focus on passing a budget to create economic stability in our state.”
Illinois’ unemployment rate dropped to 5.4 percent, the lowest level since before the recession, according to figures released last week by the Rauner administration. The state gained 26,000 jobs in February.
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