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“I’m only asking for one more term. I’m a believer in term limits. There’s no scenario where I’d ask for a third term. Absolutely none,” Rauner said Tuesday in a wide-ranging session before Crain’s Chicago Business’ editorial board.
While saying he now is looking for incremental wins after a first-term that found his pro-business agenda stalemated against a Democratic legislature, Rauner continued to push for local right-to-work laws for counties, municipalities or neighborhoods that would be free of union regulation.
He also is pushing for fewer state mandates on local governments and school districts, which include requirements that certain jobs or construction contracts be held by union members or pay prevailing wages. And he also wants to take health care coverage out of collective bargaining with state employee unions in a move he said would save a half-billion dollars.
All of those are positions similar to ones he sought four years ago and were rejected outright by Democrats in the House and Senate who hold organized labor as a key constituency.
Of local right-to-work zones, Rauner said he’d like to have “a few areas where’s it labor flexible,” such as some impoverished Chicago neighborhoods or suburbs as well as Downstate. He said African-American lawmakers should back such a move.
“Why does one size have to fit all? Pick 10 counties, and pick them in remote parts of the state, frankly. You watch and five years from now which counties have more jobs, which counties are running surpluses, which counties can fund their schools properly?” Rauner said.
“How about if we pick Harvey, Dolton, Blue Island? Let them do it. I will bring two manufacturing plants right there. You watch the jobs go up and the wages go up. How about it?” he said. (Rick Pearson)
What’s on tap
*Mayor Rahm Emanuel will speak at the 2018 One Summer Chicago Breakfast. Later, he’s scheduled to announce the launch of Smart911.
*Gov. Rauner will attend an Interstate 80 interchange groundbreaking in New Lenox.
*Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will preside over a board meeting.
From the notebook
*Manufacturing, eh? At Crain’s, Gov. Rauner also was asked about Minnesota, a state with higher taxes and more regulations than Illinois, but still attracting new business and job growth. The state has only had deficits in four of the past 15 years, based on a Pew Charitable Trusts study of the 50 states.
“So, Minnesota,” Rauner said, “I’m sorry, they’re not doing all that well and they are not dependent, they are not dependent upon manufacturing anywhere near to the degree that we are. Manufacturing is our lifeblood in so many ways, and we are getting crushed. Minnesota is never dependent upon manufacturing like we have.”
According to the National Association of Manufacturers, manufacturing in Minnesota accounted for 14.4 percent of its gross state product and nearly 11 percent of its nonfarm employment, based on 2016 statistics.
By comparison, manufacturing in Illinois accounted for 12.7 percent of its gross state product and 9.5 percent of the state’s nonfarm employment.
Maplewood, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul, is also the headquarters of 3M Co. The firm’s name came from its founding more than a century ago as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co. (Rick Pearson)
*There’s more to Rauner’s new ad: Team Rauner launched a new ad featuring a suburban woman describing herself as a lifelong Democrat who is still backing the Republican governor for re-election.
The ad features Anne Wedner, a former backer of President Barack Obama who is founder of Kent Road Strategies and who has worked on Democratic and Republican campaigns with a focus on the North Shore.
One of those campaigns that she’s worked for? The Rauner re-election campaign.
Campaign disclosure reports show Wedner’s Kent Road Strategies has been paid $50,000 by the Rauner campaign from July through October of last year for “strategy consulting.” (Rick Pearson)
*It begins: Mayor Emanuel’s financial team started the process this week of getting his final city budget through the City Council with a series of closed-door briefings for aldermen.
Northwest Side Ald. John Arena, 45th, said the mayor’s budget team asked for money-raising ideas but didn’t offer any of their own. Arena said he urged them to cut down on the cost of police overtime, and garbage and recycling collection contracts.
With Emanuel on his way out, Arena said he hopes the budget process this fall sees more aldermen showing independence and pushing back against the mayor’s ideas they don’t agree with. “I always hope that’s the case,” he said. “I haven’t been through one of these (with a lame duck mayor), so we will have to see.”
The initial briefings are a routine part of the process, and Emanuel should have little trouble getting broad council support for an election year spending plan certain to be light on politically onerous tax or fee hikes. The projected shortfall this year is just $98 million after the mayor forced the City Council to do much of the hard work with massive tax hikes in earlier budgets.
Future budgets also look ugly, with city pension obligations ramping up considerably. Emanuel will be long gone by then, though, with his successor and the City Council holding the fiscal bag. (John Byrne)
*Deer lawmakers, it’s a veto: Rauner on Tuesday vetoed legislation that would have launched a trial program to see what might happen to the state’s wild deer herd if Illinois lifts a 15-year-old rule that makes it illegal to feed them.
Supporters, including the makers and distributors of deer feed, say the test would show whether the wild animals could better fight off some illnesses if they are given a nutritional feed infused with supplements like proteins, vitamins and minerals.
Foes feared that establishing feeding stations would attract large gatherings of the animals, making healthy deer vulnerable to catching and spreading a variety of diseases, like chronic wasting disease.
In his veto message, Rauner wrote that the bill “needs further discussion to better define the scope and aims of such a study. It should include more flexibility for experts to exercise their judgment and further involvement by the Department of Natural Resources.” (Mike Riopell)
What we’re writing
*Harold says Raoul has turned AG race into referendum on her views on same-sex marriage, abortion.
*Fired cop with history of physical abuse pitched in on Garry McCarthy’s campaign.
*Cook County judge reassigned after allegedly insulting prosecutor, suggesting he had sex with her.
*Chicago mayor candidate Willie Wilson questions rival Toni Preckwinkle’s record on criminal justice reform.
*Top vote-getter, former convicted felon sworn in as Markham mayor after Rauner intervenes.
*Obama Foundation spent nearly $12 million on programming, $5 million on architects.
*Early voting for Illinois’ 2018 midterm election starts Thursday. Here’s what you need to know.
*Cook County sees surge in voter registration ahead of midterm election.
What we’re reading
*Five takeaways from the sixth day of testimony at the Van Dyke trial.
*Archdiocese to pay $2.9 million to settle suit of man who says he was sexually abused by Rev. Daniel McCormack as a boy.
*Bill Cosby sentenced to 3 to 10 years in state prison after judge declares him “sexually violent predator.”
Follow the money
*Rauner last month sent Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker $20,000. Rauner has considered Walker one of his political role models. Walker is seeking a third term against Democrat Tony Evers, the state’s superintendent of public instruction. Recent polls have shown Evers with a slight lead.
*World leaders laugh as Trump boasts of his achievements.
*Rosenstein’s departure was imminent, but he may survive until after the midterms, officials say.
*Dunkin’ is dropping Donuts from its name in 2019.
*GOP congressman questions whether accusation against Kavanaugh should disqualify him, even if true.
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September 26, 2018 at 06:21AM