Last night I was at the University of Illinois at Chicago speaking on a panel about
disability issues for LEND students. I was joined by Aaron Bishop, Commissioner
at AIDD, Director Kevin Casey, Nicole Jorwic, J.D. Governor’s Staff on
Employment First and Randall Owen, Ph.D., Dept. of Disability. It was a great
evening. Dr. Heller has done an outstanding job at UIC. Her efforts to develop
new leaders is appreciated by The Arc.
Today I’m in Joliet for a Regional Health Transformation Summit
Earlier this week Governor Quinn reached out to Governor Elect Rauner and
yesterday the Governor Elect met with Speaker Madigan and President Cullerton.
It is interesting to witness the transition of one administration to another.
Story from the State Journal Register below.
Rauner has ‘productive’ meeting with Madigan, Cullerton
By Sophia Tareen
The Associated Press
November 13. 2014 12:10PM
Illinois Governor-elect Bruce Rauner
CHICAGO — After months of bashing top Illinois Democrats for their leadership,
Republican Governor-elect Bruce Rauner met privately Thursday with House
Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton in talks
described as “positive” and “forward looking.”
The trio gathered for roughly two hours at the members-only Chicago Club two
months before Rauner — Illinois’ first GOP governor in over a decade — is set
to take office. The Winnetka businessman had been trying to speak to the
legislative leaders since ousting Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn last week,
mentioning in his victory speech that he’d called them as one of his first acts as a
newly elected leader. But Rauner didn’t actually speak to either that night, forcing
him to clarify during his first news conference as governor-elect two days later.
The tone of Thursday’s meeting was in contrast to the hard-fought gubernatorial
contest during which Rauner often criticized Cullerton, Madigan and Quinn. In
one Rauner campaign ad, an announcer added up their collective years in
office — along with those of imprisoned ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich — and
deemed it “100 years of failure.” Spokesmen said Thursday’s gathering, which
included staff members, was “positive” and “pleasant.”
“It was very forward looking for how people can work together and get to know
each other,” said Cullerton spokesman John Patterson.
Madigan said the biggest challenge ahead is Illinois’ budget. Lawmakers have
to decide what to do when the state’s temporary income tax increase rolls
back in January, eventually leaving Illinois billions of dollars short in revenue.
“The speaker felt it was a productive meeting,” said Madigan spokesman Steve
Brown. “He plans to work professionally with the governor-elect.”
The closed-door meeting falls ahead of next week’s veto session and the
January “lame-duck session.” While agendas for both are in the works, Rauner
has been meeting individually with lawmakers and requesting they avoid major
issues until he’s governor. He reiterated the request in the meeting with
Cullerton and Madigan.
“He expressed his interest in working with them to forge bipartisan solutions to
make Illinois the most compassionate and competitive state in the nation,” said
Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf.
But Quinn, who addressed reporters for the first time since conceding the race,
said lawmakers have a job to do.
“You’re not sworn in for part of your term. Every day counts,” he said at an event
marking the second open enrollment season under President Barack Obama’s
health care law. “Every day of your term you have to be ready to do your job and
I would say to all the legislators, ‘This is not holiday time. This is workin’ time.’”
The Chicago Democrat said his advice to Rauner in working with legislative
leaders was to pass the minimum wage.
He made raising the state’s $8.25 rate to at least $10 a key campaign issue in
seeking a second full term. Two-thirds of those who voted supported a nonbinding
ballot measure calling for an increase by January. Rauner changed his stance
during the campaign, but now supports raising the wage if done in conjunction with
other business reforms.
Quinn disagreed, saying it was clear the public wanted an increase.
“No conditions. The people of Illinois spoke,” he said. “Raise the minimum wage.
That’s the best way to help many, many people escape poverty.”
Quinn and Rauner have interacted little since the Nov. 4 contest.
Both attended a Veterans Day event in Chicago this week, but didn’t speak. Quinn
called Rauner on Wednesday for a brief conversation about the Affordable Care
Act. Quinn has vowed to get as many people covered as possible. The deadline
to sign up is Feb. 15, more than a month after Quinn is set to leave office.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423