An appellate court ruling last week ensured that paychecks will continue without a budget for the foreseeable future. This legal battle is far from over and what we've seen so far is a perfect illustration of how the political deadlock between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrats who control the General Assembly is spilling beyond the Capitol.
The fact that the law may not be on his side here is irrelevant. The bigger question: What lawmaker right now will be willing to be a plaintiff in the lawsuit that seeks restoration of those statutorily guaranteed raises? Precedent says it will be a slam-dunk victory in a court of law. But the jury in the court of public opinion won't be so kind.
Gov. Bruce Rauner says he can ease the pain of a state government shutdown by paying state employees for as long as takes to enact a state budget. House Speaker Madigan suddenly is the most media-friendly figure in Springfield. He's presenting himself as the genteel, moderate figure in the budget standoff.
Last week, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner released a TV ad campaign aiming to convince regular Illinoisans to side with him, and not House Speaker Michael Madigan, on the state's budget debate. Capitol Fax's Rich Miller says the governor's ad was not as foreceful as some might have expected them to be, but it still wasn't not necessarily productive.