It's Michael Madigan's party and Bruce Rauner can crash if he wants, too.
Since winning Illinois' governor election two weeks ago, Republican Rauner has made it clear that he would like the Democrat-controlled House and Senate (respectively led by Madigan and John Cullerton) to wait until he gets officially sworn in Jan. 12 before taking action on hot-button issues like raising the minimum wage and extending a state income tax increase.
So when lawmakers re-convene for a lame duck meeting in Springfield on Thursday, Rauner will make sure to be there and make his presence known. His transitional communications director, Mike Schrimpf, tells the Sun-Times that the governor-elect has talked to 50-plus legislators out of 177 and wants to arrange some face-to-face intros when he's in town. "There's more that he wants to meet with," says Schrimpf.
According to the paper, Rauner will refrain from pushing his already-well-known views on a minimum wage increase, which he supports but only with pro-business conditions, and the fate of a bill that would impose heavy restrictions on fast-rising ride-share companies like Uber.
Back in August, Quinn vetoed a measure targeting Uber and other start-ups that threaten to gut the taxi industry with state-wide regulations including mandatory commercial insurance and chaffeur's licenses for drivers.
The Chicago Democrat said he decided to squash House Bill 4075--which could be overturned this week--because it "would have mandated a one-size-fits-all approach to a service that is best regulated at the local level." Rauner had urged Quinn not to cave to traditional cabbies and send "another signal that Illinois is closed to innovation." (Both men drew criticism for pandering to a consumer-friendly yet controversial business that aims for total Windy City--and world--domination. It's a tangled web.)
Last Thursday, Rauner met with House Speaker Madigan and Senate President Cullerton for the first time; Madigan's rep, Steve Brown, described the mood as "cordial" and "professional." There was "consensus the biggest problem is what to do about the state’s temporary income tax hike" that’s due to expire in January, Brown told NBC Chicago.