When Gov. Bruce Rauner suggested in his State of the State Address raising the minimum wage to $10 over seven years, Democrats in the audience laughed loudly. Is this a harbinger of Springfield gridlock to come? "When people are laughing at you... they don't care what you think and they're most definitely not listening," writes Rich Miller of Capitol Fax:
I don't believe I've ever seen a governor openly and loudly laughed at on the House floor. At least not while he was present...
Legislators erupted in loud applause when the governor proposed raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour. But when Rauner added "over seven years," their laughter was even louder, and longer. Democrats appeared to realize that they might've fallen for a bait and switch, and it was mostly downhill from that point on...
But it would've been much better for Rauner if he was booed last week. From some I've talked to, he may even have wanted that to happen. Being booed by the "entrenched elite" would've been a net positive for him with the general public. And legislators might've felt bad about booing him once they had time to reflect. Maybe they'd even feel the need to apologize for such a negative reaction.
When people are laughing at you, however, they don't care what you think and they're most definitely not listening.
Read the rest at Reboot Illinois to see how this exchange could affect Rauner's leadership going forward.
The day after that showing of disapproval with the governor's minimum wage plan, the Democrat-controlled Senate passed a minimum wage increase bill which would raise the state's minimum wage to $9 by the middle of the year and $11 over four years. Though this plan is faster than Rauner's suggestion, it is still not as fast as voters indicated they wanted to see in November. Check out Reboot Illinois to see how else Rauner's and the Senate's propositions differ.