Pritzker has a balancing act with unions

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By Rich Miller This past May, Illinois House Deputy Majority Leader Jehan Gordon Booth (D-Peoria) and Gov. JB Pritzker worked out a deal with some key state business groups to mandate seven days of paid leave per year for every employee in Illinois. Workers wouldn’t have to give any reasons for the guaranteed paid leave.…

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Pritzker points to ‘many victories’

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By Rich Miller March 26, 2021   I’ve given Gov. JB Pritzker some grief for his failures during the past few months. His graduated income tax proposal went down in flames in November. He failed to pass his top priorities during January’s lame duck legislative session. His candidate for Democratic Party of Illinois chair lost…

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JB needs to get voters excited

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By Rich Miller March 19, 2021   For the first year or so of his administration leading up to the beginning of the pandemic, Gov. JB Pritzker’s polling wasn’t exactly horrible, but it was still pretty darned underwhelming. But after some spectacular crisis-induced polling spikes last year, the governor has seemingly come back down to…

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JB on a losing streak with lawmakers

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By Rich Miller March 12, 2021     When legal questions were raised about U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly’s campaign for state Democratic Party chair last week and Kelly only got stronger, that should tell you a couple of things.   One, Kelly is a genuinely well-liked, well-known and trusted person within the Democratic Party, and…

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Balancing act ahead for Welch

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By Rich Miller March 5, 2021   Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch gave his standard reply to a question about redistricting reform last week when queried at the Chicago Economic Club, saying different people have different opinions about what a “fair map” actually is.   But then the new House Speaker leaned a bit harder…

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Madigan grew weary of ‘gardening’

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By Rich Miller February 26, 2021     “The 22nd District is a garden,” then-House Speaker Michael Madigan told reporters several years ago when asked about his House district. Some thought it was funny, but he was serious. And he’s most definitely the head gardener.   I’ve often said that Madigan, who officially resigned from…

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House takes baby steps to reform

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By Rich Miller February 19, 2021     While the House Republicans made some decent points last week when arguing against the chamber’s new rules, they all but dismissed some pretty darned historic changes.   For years, decades even, the House Republicans have argued for leadership term limits. House Speaker Michael Madigan rebuffed them at…

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Pols’ vaccine spat is only that

By Rich Miller February 12, 2021 The immediate partisan reaction to the governor’s reversal on whether legislators should be allowed to be vaccinated during Phase 1B was fairly predictable. “Governor Pritzker is prioritizing young, healthy felons and Springfield politicians over high-risk adults,” the Illinois Republican Party seethed. However, no such press release was issued the…

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Welch putting his stamp on the House

By Rich Miller February 5, 2021 Just a couple of weeks into a job that most people couldn’t imagine being held by anyone other than the guy who had it for decades, Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch is putting together a House that looks both familiar and different at the same time. Welch’s first week…

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General Assembly ‘back in business’

By Rich Miller January 29, 2021 Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan avoided calling the General Assembly back into session during the pandemic for several reasons, many of them having to do with himself. But Speaker Welch told me earlier this month that “The legislature is back in business. We’re going to work in 2021.” “We’re…

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