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With Democratic super majorities in the House and Senate, Speaker Madigan has long held an iron grip on the decisions made in Springfield, and eventually he gets his way regardless of who is the Governor.  Governors Edgar, Ryan, Blagojevich, Quinn, and now Rauner have all had to face The Speaker, and the outcome is usually the same, The Speaker get what he wants and Illinois gets what he thinks is best for us.

Apparently Governor Rauner has had enough of that approach and with help from a $4 million dollar donation from billionaire real estate investor Sam Zell, Rauner’s Turnaround Illinois PAC launched a statewide television ad campaign targeting Democratic lawmakers, specifically Madigan for the current budget impasse and inability to get meaningful changes to resolve the pension crisis.

Rauner for his part is doing what he knows how do which is balance a budget and get companies to fiscal solvency.  As a former venture capitalist, he has taken a take business like attitude toward the state, willing to willing to cut services, programs, and state government to get to solvency regardless of the impacts it may have on the least vulnerable.

In the past Madigan has been able to outfox, outmaneuver, or outspend his opponents, and regardless of how bad things got in the press, their was never a paid negative ad campaign running concurrently with the negotiations, and there was rarely any overt assaults on The Speaker, which meant that eventually both sides would negotiate a reasonable solution and avert a state crisis.  In this case things do not appear to be heading for a solution, in fact may are speculating the Governor Rauner would prefer a state shutdown, while others remain cautiously optimistic.

“Whenever someone new comes into government, there is a getting to know each other process,” said State Representative Marcus Evans (D-Chicago).  We are trying to work with the Governor to get a solution, and I remain optimistic.”

As evidence of their good faith efforts to work with Governor Rauner and acknowledgement that Illinoisans voted for change, the Democrat controlled Illinois General Assembly agreed to let the temporary tax increase expire and they agreed to sweep all govern

According to Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Chairman Kimberly Lightford (D-Westchester) “The goal of the ILBC is to avoid a shut down.  When the Governor came into office we agreed not to take any major actions until he had an opportunity to review the budget.  We thought that he would come in with new ideas.  He didn’t, he came in with cuts.”

“What most people don’t understand is that Governor Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda does nothing to solve the budget crisis.  We have a $4 billion dollar hole that that cutting services will not fix,” the Senator stated.

According to the Commission of Government Forecasting and Accounting, the state of Illinois a budget shortfall of approximately $3.2 billion, meaning Governor Rauner’s proposed cuts are just, “a drop in the bucket,” according to Lightford, “there is no way to fix this without increase revenue.”

Democrats acknowledge that explaining that message to their constituents will be a difficult task, especially considering that Rauner is spending almost a million dollars to attacking them.  Combine that with rumors that Rauner plans to spend up to $1 million per candidate to run against Democratic incumbents, and the situation presents some very difficult choices for legislators who begin circulating petitions this fall.

“The Governor is definitely using scare tactics with members and the citizens of Illinois.  He is proposing a lot of cuts that will be damaging, not only to Black families, but poor families,” Lightford continued, “so we have to take our message to the people.”

The ILBC will hold rallies at Chicago State University, South Suburban College, and South Austin Coalition this Thursday calling on Gov. Rauner to restore funding and increase revenue.


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