In case you stayed awake last night because you hadn’t heard the news and couldn’t fall asleep worrying, Democratic Party Chairman and Speaker of the House Mike Madigan was elected as Speaker for the 17th time. He got every Democratic House members’ vote except for Scott Drury from someplace called Highwood. Highwood is somewhere between the north shore towns of Highland Park and Lake Forest. He courageously and boldly abstained.
Drury was one of those Democrats who refused to give Madigan his veto proof majority, even on the good stuff.
My youngest daughter was six years old the last time Illinois had a House Speaker not named Madigan, except for one session (1995) when the Republicans took control.
She just celebrated her 40th birthday.
In the fight against Governor Rauner, the state’s public union leadership including the IEA calls Madigan, our goalie.
It is a lovely metaphor. It means they are counting on the Speaker to block Rauner’s anti-union anti-labor shots.
What choice do they have? The union leadership has proven itself incapable of doing the job.
Madigan, you may recall, rebuffed Cullerton and the state labor coaltion’s efforts to draft a pension theft bill aimed at stopping one that they thought would be worse.
It was worse. Madigan drafted it and the Supreme Court tossed it out.
In the Senate chamber, Democratic Senate President John Cullerton has all but caved to Rauner’s Turnaround agenda. His recent Grand Bargain with Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno (IEA endorsed) gave Rauner major parts of his Turnaround Agenda, including property tax freezes and pension theft.
Time ran out before the Grand Bargain got very far. It will be back.
As of now it does not seem that Madigan will go along.
I talked with a progressive House member the other day who also believes there is little support for the Grand Bargain among Democrats in the House. Including any unconstitutional pension thievery.
However revenue reform is also not on the agenda. There is no talk of a fair graduated income tax.
In fact our goalie is calling for cutting corporate taxes by half.
And they are bringing back the Edge corporate tax giveaway which allows the state’s largest corporations to collect employee state income taxes and then keep what they collect for themselves.