RAUNER RE­VERSED

Af­ter Se­nate rolls over ve­toes in ‘ rapid- fire’ fash­ion, gov still in­sists it’s not ‘ per­sonal’

Chicago Sun-Times - - POLITICS - BY TINA SFONDELES Po­lit­i­cal Reporter Email: ts­fonde­les@ sun­times. com Twit­ter: @ Ti­naS­fon

“WHAT I CAN SAY IN TALK­ING TO A LOT OF MEM­BERS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE IS I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY MEM­BERS AC­TU­ALLY TRUST BRUCE RAUNER AT THIS POINT.” State Rep. DAVID MCSWEENEY, R- Bar­ring­ton Hills

In his first two years in of­fice, Gov. Bruce Rauner was able to keep Repub­li­cans united to fend off all but three over­rides.

On Wed­nes­day, the gov­er­nor wit­nessed a stark con­trast as the Illi­nois Se­nate moved quickly to over­ride nine of his ve­toes — with the help of some Repub­li­cans.

Were the over­rides a mes­sage of de­fi­ance to an em­bat­tled gov­er­nor? A post- HB40 world where con­ser­va­tives still have an ax to grind? Rauner on Thurs­day laughed off whether they sig­nal a re­volt.

“Not at all. These are [ part of ] a bro­ken sys­tem that we’re try­ing to fix, and it takes time,” Rauner said.

He, too, said his ve­toes were “not a per­sonal thing.”

“It’s not about me. It’s not about any par­tic­u­lar leg­is­la­tor. This is about what’s best for the peo­ple of Illi­nois. The Gen­eral Assem­bly passed a lot of bad bills that are go­ing to cause more tax hikes. They’re go­ing to cause more deficit spend­ing. They’re go­ing to cause more jobs to leave the state. And I ve­toed these bills. Some were suc­cess­ful in pro­tect­ing the peo­ple of Illi­nois, and some weren’t,” Rauner said.

Oth­ers had a more pointed view. State Rep. David McSweeney, RBar­ring­ton Hills, said the over­rides show a lack of trust be­tween leg­is­la­tors and the gov­er­nor.

“What I can say in talk­ing to a lot of mem­bers on both sides of the aisle is I don’t know how many mem­bers ac­tu­ally trust Bruce Rauner at this point,” McSweeney said. “I would say his cred­i­bil­ity is zero with Spring­field at this point.”

Of Rauner’s 40 ve­toes this year, 15 were over­rid­den — nine of those on Wed­nes­day. Of his 10 amenda­tory ve­toes, three were over­rid­den.

The Debt Trans­parency Act, which Rauner has called “po­lit­i­cal ma­nip­u­la­tion,” was among the over­rides. De­spite the veto be­ing unan­i­mously over­rid­den in the Illi­nois House two weeks ago and pass­ing on Wed­nes­day with a 53- 3 vote in the Se­nate, the gov­er­nor on Thurs­day said he didn’t re­gret his veto.

“It’s go­ing to cost a lot of money, and it will ac­com­plish al­most noth­ing,” Rauner said.

In the 99th Gen­eral Assem­bly, there were just three over­rides — to­tal veto over­rides of a Chicago pen­sion sav­ings plan bill, a bill tar­get­ing heroin abuse and an over­ride of Rauner’s amenda­tory veto of a pen­sion bill for Chicago pub­lic safety work­ers.

Rauner’s of­fice quan­ti­fied his veto losses last year at 3 per­cent and 36 per­cent for this year. In com­par­i­son, in the 98th Gen­eral Assem­bly, Gov. Pat Quinn lost 20 per­cent of his ve­toes. He ve­toed 35 bills, with seven be­ing over­rid­den and 28 sus­tain­ing. In the 95th Gen­eral Assem­bly, then- Gov. Rod Blago­je­vich lost 53 per­cent of his ve­toes, the gov­er­nor’s of­fice said.

Demo­cratic gu­ber­na­to­rial can­di­date J. B. Pritzker called the veto over­rides on Wed­nes­day “a rapid­fire re­buke of this failed gov­er­nor.”

But the gov­er­nor’s of­fice down­played the so- called “rapid- fire” ve­toes, ar­gu­ing there were plenty of ve­toes that have re­mained.

“The gov­er­nor was very in­ter­ested in main­tain­ing his push to cre­ate jobs. We think we ac­com­plished that in keep­ing the door open to job growth in SB 1905 [ which would have pro­hib­ited right- to- work zones]. And there were other pieces of leg­is­la­tion that the Gen­eral Assem­bly chose not to over­ride his ac­tions, which we be­lieve is good for the peo­ple,” Rauner spokes­woman Patty Schuh said.

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