As Rauner Hunts For A Grand Bargain, He's Leaving The Actual Bargaining To Others

May 2, 2016

Gov. Bruce Rauner says it's better that rank-and-file legislators are in talks. They may be able to accomplish what he and other leaders haven't -- a budget deal. But any plan would need Rauner's and leaders' blessings.
Credit Amanda Vinicky

As the state budget impasse has entered an eleventh month, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he's hopeful a "grand bargain" can be worked out by the end of May; but he's leaving the bargaining to others.

Groups of legislators have been meeting in private, attempting to hammer out compromises. "I think the good news is they're talking about very significant reforms, I've been told," he said Monday. He's been told.

Rauner says he's not directly involved in talks.

But he's the governor.

When asked whether he should be, Rauner answered: "At various points in the past I have been, and I think what ... and I don't think the leaders in the legislature are directly involved either ... This is a grass roots effort from members of the General Assembly. And it's just the right thing. I think they're taking the bull by the horns."

Rauner, a Republican, continues to say a deal must include pro-business measures Democrats have thus far opposed, but he wouldn't get into specifics. He says he doesn't want to get ahead of legislators.