Though past governors typically provided a preview of their budget address to reporters, department heads and other interested/affected parties, Gov. Bruce Rauner is keeping his cards close to the vest. However, on Tuesday afternoon, the governor did meet privately with legislative leaders.

According to the Trib, don’t expect sunshine and rainbows on Wednesday.

“We had a very pleasant discussion,” said House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago. “The governor simply said that he’s got some tough medicine to deliver tomorrow. He understands that some people will not be happy, but he’s committed to reforming the finances of the state. And he has a program and an agenda to accomplish that.”
Madigan said he doesn’t expect the governor to propose ways to raise new revenue but does anticipate at Rauner push for large spending reductions. Madigan indicated Rauner was in store for a tough fight on that front.
“I said 10 days ago, I don’t think you can cut your way out of the problem,” Madigan said. “I think you need some additional revenue, and that’ll be my position tomorrow.”

The speech is at noon.


The governor has been in constant campaign mode since Inauguration Day, but the Illinois Observer reports that the campaign doesn’t seem to have taken off.

Rauner’s 43% approval rating is down 9 points and disapproval up five points since a We Ask America January 14th poll that put Rauner’s approval at 52 percent and his disapproval 23 percent.
What happened?
He pursued a confrontational approach rejected by voters.
A We Ask America January 15th poll of 1,026 registered voters, commissioned byCapitol Fax‘s Rich Miller, asked the following question:
“Do you think Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner should try to solve the state’s problems by working to find common ground with the Democratic-controlled legislature, or should he take a more confrontational approach with the Democrats in trying to solve this state’s many problems?”
The answer?
A whopping 67 percent urged Rauner to “find common ground,” while just 22 percent backed confrontation.

The governor has been dipping into the legislature to find department heads. Coincidentally, some of those he’s plucked from the General Assembly happened to be lawmakers with ties to labor. One of those was Rep. Wayne Rosenthal of central Illinois’  95th district.

Rosenthal gets to head the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the people of the 95th district get a 22 year-old law student.


Avery Bourne of Pawnee, one of 10 people who applied for the job, was chosen Saturday at a meeting of Republican leaders from the four counties within the 95th District: Macoupin, Montgomery, Christian and Madison. […]

She is a law student at Washington University in St. Louis and has volunteered on several candidates’ campaigns, including those of U.S Rep. Rodney Davis, Rauner and Rosenthal.

“Avery shares the conservative values of the constituents in the 95th District. She is very intelligent and has a bright future ahead of her,” Macoupin County Republican Party Chairwoman Terri Koyne, one of the leaders on the committee that chose Bourne, said in a press release. “Avery has shown that she is talented and that she will make it her mission to represent and serve the residents in the district, regardless of their background, experience or views.”