The Madison County Record Sep. 8, 2015, 2:14pm


“It’s political payoff, pure and simple,” Rep. Peter Breen, R-Lombard, said of Senate Bill 1229. “This bill is corrupt, so corrupt it would make Rod Blagojevich blush.”

Now that's corrupt!

Quite an image, too: Blagojevich blushing, as if he had the capacity for feeling shame.

Or Mike Madigan either, for that matter – or the other self-serving Democrats in our state legislature, who insist they're looking out for the middle class while doing everything they can to disadvantage it by destroying opportunity in the Land of Lincoln.

SB 1229 was a thinly veiled effort to obstruct a key objective in Gov. Bruce Rauner's Turnaround Agenda by making it impossible for him to address the more deleterious effects of compulsory unionism.

To get state finances under control, Rauner must revise the unreasonable pay and benefits packages enjoyed by unionized government workers. SB 1229 provided for mandatory arbitration if unionized government workers declared an impasse in contract negotiations with the state.

The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees and its 35,000 Illinois members liked that provision and almost surely would have invoked it, given the opportunity. Republicans warned that an arbitration-approved raise of $1.6 billion for already well-compensated state employees would necessitate an increase in state taxes, the burden of which is already prompting an exodus of Illinois businesses and citizens.

SB 1229 passed the Senate and the House and was vetoed by the governor.

The Senate overrode his veto, but Rauner's veto survived the House, which last week fell three votes shy of the necessary number.

“It is encouraging that many legislators recognized the dire financial impact this legislation would have had on our state,” Rauner remarked after the House vote. “I hope today’s action marks the beginning of serious negotiations over how we can deliver needed structural reforms and a balanced budget.”

Needed reforms would be greatly facilitated by bipartisan support, but certain shameless persons would first have to learn how to blush.

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