Governor-elect Bruce Rauner has put together an impressive transition team that includes prominent Democrats, key business and civic leaders, and state staffers familiar with the nuts and bolts of government.
The next key thing on Republican Rauner’s to-do list needs to be meeting with House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, both Democrats. It’s crucial that Rauner get off to a solid start with them; they hold the keys to getting things accomplished in Illinois. Democrats still hold supermajorities in the House and Senate. Just one Senate seat switched from Democrat to Republican, and no House seats did. So the message of voter dissatisfaction and the need for a different direction isn’t resonating in the General Assembly.
Rauner has to win Madigan‘s and Cullerton’s support and cooperation if he is to be successful. As current departing Gov. Pat Quinn learned the hard way, bullying and public shaming doesn’t work with these two leaders, especially Madigan.
Rauner must get the legislative leaders to see the benefits of finding common ground. That all starts with a meeting.