One of the top Democrats at the state Capitol says Gov. Bruce Rauner is showing he does not know everything. Case in point: any appetite to put down union labor in Illinois. “There are some Republicans who are pro-union; he found that out in his own primary that he almost lost,” Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) told the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and Illinois Retail Merchants Association in a speech Wednesday. “There are prison guards, who are part of AFSCME, who are voting Republican, and teachers in Central and Southern Illinois. So I don’t know that there’s this same attitude even among Republicans in the General Assembly that we are at war with the workers.”
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About an hour later, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) invoked the name of former Gov. Jim Edgar, who said the most important thing a governor can do is “get his arms around the budget.” Afterward, a reporter pointed out how Rauner is prioritizing his right-to-work–leaning “Turnaround Agenda” over everything else.
“We can walk and chew gum at the same time,” Durkin retorted. “The (legislative) working groups are working through every one of these issues. The fact is: we can do all that in a short amount of time.”
Short in that the session is scheduled to end May 31; Durkin says lawmakers can hit that mark if they are so inclined.