One Illinois lawmaker says it's not the same Governor Bruce Rauner talking about the budget now as it was a few months ago. State Senator Andy Manar says he recalls being criticized by fellow Democrats for giving Rauner some positive marks not long after he first took office.
"I thought the Governor did a good job early on of reaching out to lawmakers, and reaching out to even local officials on the local level to say, 'what are your priorities?' 'What are your needs?' 'What does your district need to accomplish in the upcoming session?'" says Manar.
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He thinks that started the process well, but Rauner's demeanor has changed dramatically, insisting on things like prevailing wage and right to work legislation before any compromise on a budget. Manar says he and his colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee did their part to form a spending plan despite cries of it being "phony" or a "sham." "We've had dozens of hearings across the state, hundreds of people testifying," says Manar. "Opposing views, many times, which is what our process is designed to do -- is bring out opposing views, come to a compromise at the end of the day. We've gone through that process, and we put a functioning budget together, advanced it to the Governor." Manar says he's willing to compromise, and Rauner should be, too.