Rauner says Rahm ‘unwilling to help’; Rahm hits ‘finger-pointing and name-calling’

SHARE Rauner says Rahm ‘unwilling to help’; Rahm hits ‘finger-pointing and name-calling’
SHARE Rauner says Rahm ‘unwilling to help’; Rahm hits ‘finger-pointing and name-calling’

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner added his old friend, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, to the list of Democrats that he says won’t compromise during the state’s budget stalemate.

“At this point Mayor Emanuel has made a number of requests of our administration and of the state government to assist the city of Chicago, and there’s not a single request that he’s made so far that we haven’t said that we are willing to pursue,” the governor saidThursdayin Chicago.

But, Rauner said, “At this point the city of Chicago and the mayor have been unwilling to help us in our reform agenda to reform the state. And this has got to be a two-way partnership. This has got to be mutual, effective reform. It can’t be one-way. And we can’t make requests upon the state of Illinois and state taxpayers to help Chicago if Chicago is unwilling to help the state help its taxpayers, help its school children, help its recipients of services.”

Emanuel is desperately trying to get $500 million in state cash to plug a teacher pension gap but said he is unwilling, in exchange, to endorse Rauner’s bid to limit the influence of public unions.

“Unfortunately, in private, it’s a pretty constructive conversation,” Rauner went on. “In public it’s not. We’ve got to take things to the next level. We are willing to do everything so far the mayor has asked us to do, but we have got to get reforms for the state as part of it.”

The statements comes just weeks after Rauner said a spending plan would have been done if House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, wasn’t involved — and if he were just working with Emanuel and Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago.

During aThursdayevening appearance on WTTW’s “ChicagoTonight,” Emanuel said Rauner’s “finger-pointing and name-calling” are not the way to get results. And the mayor expressed frustration over Rauner’s tactics.

“Two weeks ago the governor said that with me and John Cullerton, he’d get a deal already, and now I’m a problem this week.”

When asked if Rauner was trying to get Emanuel to turn on Madigan, Emanuel said: “That’s not going to be a successful effort.”

Rauner has lambasted Madigan for weeks for not cooperating in budget negotiations andon Thursdaysaid, “The mayor is very powerful in the Legislature, more than folks like to talk about, and Speaker Madigan is right out of the Chicago Machine. There is no more Chicago than Mike Madigan.”

A Madigan spokesman said the budget is the No. 1 issue, and Rauner “shouldn’t expect [Madigan] to support the governor’s ideas that would basically trash middle-class working families.”

Madigan has said he’s made compromises to try to meet the governor “halfway.”

EarlierThursday, before Rauner spoke, Emanuel was asked what conversations he’s had with Madigan about picking up the normal cost of teachers’ pensions.

Currently, Chicago taxpayers pay for their own teachers’ pension through property taxes, and other teachers’ pension in the state through the state income tax. Other districts receive state funding for their pensions.

The mayor replied by calling Madigan a “a tremendous advocate on behalf of the teachers, students and taxpayers of Chicago.”

Then, Emanuel reiterated the same talking points parroted by new Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool, the mayor’s former chief of staff.

“The way I look at this, for the first time, a governor is now on record agreeing that we should eliminate the disparity for students, teachers and taxpayers in Chicago and bring ’em up to par with what suburban students, teachers and taxpayers receive in the sense of support for pension payments,” the mayor said at an unrelated news conference at Midway Airport.

“You have the speaker of the House who agrees with that. A Senate president agrees with that. And in my conversations with the minority leaders of both the House and Senate, they agree. For the first time ever after fifty years of inequity in the system, everyone is in agreement that Chicago teachers, Chicago children and Chicago taxpayers should not be at an economic disadvantage when it comes to teacher pensions.”

On Monday, Claypool said, CPS will unveil a budget that assumes $500 million in pension help from Springfield byDec. 31. That cash may never come, but Claypool doesn’t believe that’s the fiscal equivalent of rolling the dice.

“It would be unconscionable not to put that in the budget. That would mean we’d have to lay off hundreds and hundreds of additional teachers and increase class size beyond what is acceptable while Springfield is in session,” Claypool said.

“This budget buys us time for Springfield to deal with its own budget issues as well as the pension crisis in Chicago and the unfairness.”

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