If those defeats inclined the Republican governor to bend on his “Turnaround Agenda,” he showed no sign of it in a March 21 press conference. Although he did not take a question about the election, he devoted the last two minutes to defending his proposed program, repeating language he has used before.
“This is not a partisan, radical, extreme agenda,” Rauner said.
However, in one change, Rauner said that he had called Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan to ask for a private meeting.
Last year, Rauner convened what he called “four-leader” meetings with top Democratic and Republican leaders from both the House and the Senate.
This week, Rauner suggested that one-on-one negotiation with Madigan would be more effective. “I don’t think the Speaker—his style is not to be compromising in a group— that’s not how he works,” Rauner said.
Rauner said Madigan’s office had not committed to meet. “I’m hoping the speaker and I can meet in private soon,” Rauner said. “Like, today maybe—but whenever.”
A spokesman for Madigan’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Illinois will enter its tenth month with no budget on April 1st. Rauner has insisted that legislators consider adding term limits to lawmakers and collective bargaining limitations as part of budget negotiations.