Editorials

Patronage loses as governor vetoes local Democrats’ power play

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoes bill at Metro East Sanitary District

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner was in Granite City to veto an Illinois State Senate bill which would have changed the makeup of the Metro East Sanitary District board, which the governor feels is a political manipulation.
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Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner was in Granite City to veto an Illinois State Senate bill which would have changed the makeup of the Metro East Sanitary District board, which the governor feels is a political manipulation.

Taxpayers win. Patronage jobs lose, thanks to Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s visit Tuesday to Granite City.

Rauner vetoed Senate Bill 2368, which was local Democrats’ effort to regain control of the Metro East Sanitary District board. Rauner did the veto in Granite City, a Democratic stronghold and whose mayor would have been the key board vote that could halt reforms.

Since Republicans were elected in Madison County, the drainage, sewage and levee district’s nine years of straight deficits totaling nearly $10 million were halted. Broken drainage pumps that allowed Pontoon Beach to flood are being repaired.

All that because 28 patronage workers were eliminated, workers who got their jobs by being political or being the softball buddies of the district’s old director.

Certainly Rauner used the opportunity as a little campaign moment, but we’re happy to give him that in exchange for rejecting St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern’s and state Sen. Bill Haine’s overt attempt to regain control of the board.

We expect more district reforms as a result of this veto, maybe next going after full-year grass cutters who do heaven-knows-what from October through March.

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