With Illinois' state government divided (a Republican executive and a Democratic legislature), Rich Miller of Capitol Fax wonders why, after months of being forced to work together, members of the two parties haven't been able to understand each other:
[L]ast week's bitter and divisive House overtime session showed that they still fundamentally misunderstand one another.
What follows are some questions I'm hearing and my own responses.
* Republicans: Why would the House Democrats propose such a weak workers' compensation reform plan last week when they knew Gov. Bruce Rauner wants so much more?
The Democrats' plan didn't contain much real world progress, and actually regressed in part. Unless you read between the lines. Workers' comp insurance is essentially a no-fault system designed to keep disputes out of the courts. Republicans have for years attempted to insert "causation" into the system in order to weed out employees whose injuries are mostly not the fault of employers...
* Democrats: Why won't the Republicans accept the fact that we're moving in their direction, but can only go so far? We're not Republicans.
The governor believes that Republican legislators were far too content in the past to accept any crumbs the Democrats would offer. Those days are over. We now have a Republican governor who is demanding significant change. And with the session currently in overtime, he's not going to want to look like he's caving to Madigan, as so many of his predecessors did. The Democrats must keep moving toward the governor's position or this thing ain't ever gonna end.
(Read the rest of Miller's thoughts at Reboot Illinois.)
The political divide has caused other contentions recently. Scott Reeder of the Illinois News Network explains that he thinks the Democratic criticism of Rauner education adviser Beth Purvis is hypocritical. Democrats have expressed anger that Purvis is being paid $250,000 from the Department of Human Services' budget instead of the governor's office. But, Reeder says, Democrats have been guilty of similar practices in Illinois history.
(Get the whole scoop on "ghost payrolling" at Reboot Illinois.)