The deep distrust between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats who run the General Assembly boiled over Thursday on an unusual final day of the fall session that featured a testy veto message, a lawsuit against the governor and several lawmakers knocking off before the heavy lifting was done.
And as legislators zoomed up interstates to get home, it was a massive energy bill that emerged as the major accomplishment. Republicans and Democrats united to raise electricity rates on Illinois residents and businesses to bail out a pair of Exelon’s nuclear power plants. On average it’ll cost ComEd customers an extra 25 cents or $4.54 a month, depending on who is doing the math. The governor plans to sign the bill.
Left by the wayside once again was just about anyone who relies on state government. Lawmakers and the governor didn’t agree on a new state budget as many social service agencies teeter on the brink of financial collapse and public universities are in bad shape. Legislators left in limbo whether they would overturn Rauner’s move to yank $215 million in teacher pension help from an already shaky Chicago Public Schools. And Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to shore up two city worker pension funds didn’t clear the Senate due to lawmaker absences, although the governor has strongly suggested he’ll veto it anyway.
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