Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan is congratulating himself and the bipartisan legislators who voted for his budget today for their “good work.” (See updates from Capitol Fax.com)
But what’s in the budget? Democrats are denouncing Republicans in the U.S. Senate for drafting their compromise health care reform “in secret.” So where were the hearings on Madigan’s budget? I guess we had to pass it to find out what’s in it.
What’s most galling though about the partisan calls for compromise is that Gov. Bruce Rauner has given up just about all of his 40-point comprehensive “turn around” budget while Madigan hasn’t budged one inch. Rauner has even agreed to a tax increase if Madigan would agree to just a tiny bit of reform. Madigan’s unyielding stance has worked, as he got some Republicans to vote for his budget because they’ve finally had enough of the stalemate. They know that the state cannot survive this crisis.
Madigan’s failure to compromise even in the face of substantial movement is well described by Ted Dabrowski, Vice President of Policy for the free-market Illinois Policy Institute in “Rauner’s reform demands: from 44 to 0.”
Yet, this obvious movement by Rauner compared with Madigan’s rigid no-compromise stance is little noted in the media. In fact, most commentators and reporters seem to lay equal blame for the stalemate on both Rauner and Madigan, as if they were equally intransigent.
Maybe Madigan will show me to be wrong. Maybe the budget the House passed today will show genuine compromise and be truly comprehensive. Stay tuned.