Wednesday, May 25, 2016

House fails to override Rauner veto of arbitration bill, will veto House democratic budget

Well, we seem to be back at full impasse in Springfield.

The Democratic House "supermajority" failed to override a veto of the AFSCME arbitation bill, which would have made an arbitrator the final decision maker, outlawing strikes by AFSCME or imposed terms by Rauner. Instead we await the ILRB decision as to whether negotiations have reached an impasse, as Rauner claims. If Rauner wins, he imposes terms, doubling our healthcare costs (if we do not choose reduced benefits), with AFSCME's only alternative being a strike.

Rauner also vowed, predictably, to veto the budget the Democratic House is sending his way. He has the constitutional ability to veto the bill as a whole or in part--but the only part he might let through would be K-12 funding. He has yet even to sign the social services spending bill passed on a bipartisan basis, utilizing "special funds" and thus "paid for" via the GOP calculus. The Southern has a persuasive editorial on that topic.

It sure seems as if Madigan and Rauner have both dug in their heels, meaning there will be little or no Higher Education funding until after the election. And there seems little reason to expect the election will change things much, unless the Democrats can pick up enough seats in the House to make their supposed "supermajority" (veto proof majority) actually stick--and have the moral courage to pass budgets with spending cuts and tax increases without Republican support. Rauner will pour millions into GOP campaigns, however, and the Democrats would have to win in Republican-leaning districts (like that of Terri Bryant) to pick up seats. If he picks up a few seats, though, that would not change anything as far as I can see: Rauner would still need Democratic votes to pass anything.

I'm off for a few days for a little conference and will try to forget about Illinois politics for a while.

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