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News Roundup: Rauner’s Calls for Bipartisanship and Budget Discipline “Ring Hollow” in SOTS

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Republican Lawmaker Calls on Rauner to Resign

Governor Bruce Rauner gave his annual State of the State yesterday. How was it received? Well, one member of his own party said Rauner should resign after it was over. So…not great. 

Others also had major problems with the speech, in which Rauner called on legislators to work in a bipartisan fashion to revive the economy. Rauner simply is not a credible messenger here – his no-compromise style of partisan politics led to a two-year budget crisis that slowed job creation. Strangely, Rauner made no mention of the budget impasse yesterday. 

Newspapers across the state found Rauner’s speech lacking:

Peoria Journal Star Editorial: “If you grade on the Rauner curve, this was an upbeat, forward-looking speech, but if reality is your guide, his calls for bipartisanship, like his promise of a balanced budget, ring hollow in light of his own recent history. It was Rauner who pulled his Republican troops off the so-called ‘grand bargain’ regarding the budget last year.”

State Journal-Register Editorial: Rauner hasn’t been much better when it comes to working across the aisle or building coalitions. Madigan is his constant scapegoat for anything that doesn’t go his way. More than a few people in the Capitol believe the governor is the reason the Grand Bargain fell apart last year. And Rauner’s promise to present a proposed balanced budget during his Feb. 14 address was met with doubt, because he has yet to do that.” 

NPR Illinois Headline“Rauner Tries To Sell Bipartisanship In State Of The State Address, But Few Are Buying.”

Chicago Tribune: “Rauner did not address the unpleasant side effects of the yearslong budget impasse that left the state awash in billions of dollars in debt, resulted in major cuts for social service providers and forced layoffs at universities, but he did paint himself as a ‘careful steward’ of taxpayer dollars.”

Chicago Sun-Times: “There was nary a mention of the budget impasse that nearly stretched into its third year last year — besides the governor talking of vetoing the income tax hike the helped to end the historic impasse. Or of President Donald Trump and how the Republican president’s policies may affect the state.”

WTTW: “The annual address comes at a critical time for Rauner, who has been marked as the nation’s most vulnerable governor by RollCall and the Cook Political Report.”