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items tagged with Michael Madigan

Democrats and Republicans Still Have Much to Learn About Each Other
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2015-06-07 11:34:02

After five months, you’d think that the warring parties at the Illinois Statehouse would have learned something about each other. Instead, last week’s bitter and divisive House overtime session showed that they still fundamentally misunderstand one another.

What follows are some questions I’m hearing and my own responses.

• From Republicans: Why would the House Democrats propose such a weak workers’ compensation reform plan last week when they knew Governor Bruce Rauner wants so much more?

The Democrats’ plan didn’t contain much real-world progress, and actually regressed in part. Unless you read between the lines. Workers’ comp insurance is essentially a no-fault system designed to keep disputes out of the courts. Republicans have for years attempted to insert “causation” into the system to weed out employees whose injuries are mostly not the fault of employers.

But House Speaker Michael Madigan’s bill used the term “causal” in relation to a certain kind of injury. This was a pretty good indication that after more than 30 years as speaker, Madigan is moving away from his complete opposition to causation standards.

The speaker appears willing to deal on this topic because he attached his language to a House bill that can now be amended by the Senate. If he’d used a Senate bill, it would’ve been “take it or leave it.”

So build on the causation issue and ignore his other items that set the negotiations back. It’s not rocket science.

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Why Is Madigan Refusing to Cast Votes?
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2015-04-26 20:39:50

A couple of weeks ago, I started noticing that House Speaker Michael Madigan wasn’t voting on most legislation during his chamber’s floor debates. Madigan was feeling under the weather that week, and was ill enough that a leadership meeting with the governor couldn’t be scheduled until a few days later, so I let it go.

But the pattern continued the following week. A spot check of roll calls showed Madigan was listed as present and accounted for but hadn’t voted for or against much of anything.

What the heck?

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Polls, Money Point to Democrats Being More Reticent
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2015-01-18 11:34:09

A solid majority of Illinoisans wants newly inaugurated Governor Bruce Rauner to find common ground with the Democratic legislative majority rather than be confrontational, a new poll finds. However, most aren’t confident that the state’s leaders can avoid gridlock, and a majority believes Democrats will be to blame.

In a January 15 We Ask America poll, 1,026 registered voters were asked: “Do you think Republican Governor Bruce Rauner should try to solve the state’s problems by working to find common ground with the Democrat-controlled legislature, or should he take a more confrontational approach with the Democrats in trying to solve this state’s many problems?”

Sixty-seven percent said they want Rauner to find common ground, while 22 percent said he should take a more confrontational approach. Another 6 percent said he should do both, and 5 percent were unsure.

Eighty-four percent of Democrats and 63 percent of independents wanted him to find common ground, while 76 percent of African Americans and 67 percent of whites said the same.

Every demographic favored the common-ground approach, although only a 49-percent plurality of Republicans did so, as opposed to 36 percent who wanted a more confrontational approach from the GOP governor.

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Blame Can Be Spread Widely for Minimum-Wage Failure
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2014-12-07 22:41:54

Pretty much every Statehouse finger of blame was pointing north toward Chicago for the minimum-wage-hike bill’s failure during the legislative veto session that ended last week.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel does indeed have a lot of explaining to do. His decision to move up a vote to pass a $13-an-hour minimum wage for his city completely undercut Springfield’s efforts to pass a statewide minimum wage capped everywhere at $11 an hour.

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Rauner Should Be Able to Work with Madigan
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Illinois Politics

2014-11-16 11:23:15

Last December, Bruce Rauner appeared on a WLS Radio talk show and revealed that he planned to form a new campaign committee to counter the power of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.

“We’re gonna raise a PAC, we’re gonna raise a fund dedicated to the state legislature, members of both parties who take the tough votes,” Rauner said. “We’ve gotta protect the members who take tough votes.”

“Right now,” Rauner continued, “Madigan controls the legislature from his little pot of cash. It isn’t that much money. And he runs the whole state government out of that pot. We need a pro-business, pro-growth, pro-limited-government, pro-tax-reduction PAC down there in Springfield working with the legislature for those who take tough votes.”

Word is that Rauner’s new legislative PAC will be launched relatively soon – perhaps after the governor-elect’s transition committee has finished its job.

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