A state lawmaker has been getting attention for what he's not doing. Chicago Democrat Ken Dunkin, absent from a September session at which several bills critical to House Democrats failed by a vote – presumably his – chose not to vote on a couple of bills which ran Tuesday. “No one bears more responsibility for the defeat of this legislation,” said SEIU Healthcare Illinois vice president Jaquie Algee, “than Rep. Ken Dunkin himself.” The bills in question would reverse the Rauner administration's cuts to child care and home health care programs. Rauner's office has claimed in the last few days it's attempting to compromise, but home care provider Gail Hamilton of Springfield is not buying it.
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“It's shameful to me that Gov. Rauner wants credit for restoring the programs that he cut,” she said. “It is laughable and predictable, given the willingness of Bruce Rauner to play politics with the lives of vulnerable people.” Hamilton, Algee, and other advocates and providers joined the Speaker of the House, Mike Madigan, for a late-afternoon news conference Tuesday, as House proceedings continued into the night three floors above. Madigan thought little of giving them a platform to bash Dunkin, a longtime member of his caucus who has now allegedly formed an alliance with the governor.