Outgoing Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn desperately wants the minimum wage raised during his watch. Passage would be a validation of sorts of his policies despite his defeat at the polls.
And so Quinn is pushing for a minimum wage vote in the veto session this week, even though incoming governor Bruce Rauner has asked lawmakers to take no major action until he takes office on Jan. 12. Lawmakers may see this as a last-ditch chance to do something they think is more important than the new governor’s wishes and the state’s future.
But the person who really will decide this matter is House Speaker Michael Madigan. The Democrats now control everything in the General Assembly, but it’s Madigan who controls everyone.
If Madigan wants a House vote on the minimum wage this week, it will happen. (And conversely, if he doesn’t, it won’t.) If he wants the measure to pass, he will produce the needed votes.
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This isn’t democratic process that Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin envisioned. But it’s the reality in Illinois.
We know that Quinn and Madigan, despite being members of the same party, couldn’t work together; Madigan has shown little respect for him. Let’s hope Madigan has some respect for the new governor, he will wait for him to take office before deciding anything on the minimum wage.