Both sides of the nearly seven month long budget impasse may think they’re winning the public perception war, but they both can’t be right.
That’s according to the director of the Institute for Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois, Christopher Mooney, leading up to the governor’s second State of the State address.
Mooney said public polling depends on a variety of factors, but what’s apparent is the opposing sides are at continued loggerheads with no give and plenty of ramped up rhetoric.
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“They do their own polling and whatnot,” Mooney said, “and have their ear to ground in other ways. If they didn’t think the public was on their side and they were going to win the argument come election time either side wouldn't have pushed it this far.”
With Governor Bruce Rauner set to give his second State of the State address, the state is nearly seven full months without a budget.
Meanwhile Mooney says the governor could come out as the “fire eater,” standing up for taxpayers against special interest, or he could come out conciliatory. “Frankly,” Mooney said, “you don’t know which Rauner you’re going to get.”
Mooney said with the ongoing loggerheads between the governor and majority Democrats in the General Assembly it’s difficult to point to major achievements, though some criminal justice reforms and fixing the budget hole in the previous fiscal year are positives.
Mooney also says there are still some uncertain areas in the coming months, including the outcome of the governor’s request for the state labor relations board to review contract negotiations with the AFSCME union.