'Rebel' Lawmakers on State's Political Impasse


As summer turns to fall, time seems to be at a standstill in Springfield as the political battle between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic legislative leaders continues to ensnarl efforts to pass a state budget.

And the stakes continue to climb as Mayor Rahm Emanuel calls on state lawmakers to provide relief for homeowners as he pushes for a historic property-tax hike to help shore up police and fire pensions and construction projects for Chicago Public Schools, which also has its hand out in Springfield for $480 million in state aid to prevent more than 5,000 layoffs.

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With the House not scheduled to meet anytime soon, is now the time for state lawmakers to break ranks and come up with a plan B? And if so, what practical options do they have?

We’ll talk with a group of so-called rebel lawmakers: Reps. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock), David McSweeney (R-Cary), Scott Drury (D-Highwood), and David Harris (R-Mount Prospect).

"We shouldn't be called 'rebel lawmakers' because we have thoughts. That's our job," said Drury during our discussion. "The fact that we're rebels because we think – it's shocking to me."

Recent 'Chicago Tonight' stories on state budget impasse

State Budget Standoff Reaches 90 Days

Wednesday's discussion is a follow-up to Monday’s conversation with Senate President John Cullerton and Minority Leader Christine Radogno about the state logjam and possible ways the two can work together toward a solution. 


Generating Bipartisan Votes to Solve Illinois' Budget Impasse

Ahead of the three-month mark of the stalemate, Illinois Reps. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock) and David McSweeney (R-Cary) discussed the possibility of a bipartisan path out of the state's current mess.


State Rep. Ken Dunkin: ‘I Don’t Work for Mike Madigan’

State Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago) had some angry words for House Speaker Michael Madigan in the wake of the failed override of a major union bill that became a flash point in the ongoing political war between Madigan and Gov. Bruce Rauner.


Labor Bill Veto Override Falls 3 Votes Short

After a failed override of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto, state Reps. Ken Dunkin and Scott Drury talk about the role of independent lawmakers in moving forward in the never-ending legislative session.

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