Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner said Monday he is “going to run again” in 2018, but acknowledged Democrats could pick up Illinois House seats in November and warned that could turn Speaker Michael Madigan into “the dictator of the state.”
During a far-reaching interview with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board, Rauner also suggested Mayor Rahm Emanuel was not strong enough to stand up to the Chicago Teachers Union and said a teachers strike or allowing Chicago Public Schools to file bankruptcy was needed to turn around the financially struggling district.
Rauner’s comments came as he stepped up his media appearances with Illinois approaching one full year without a state budget, a historic stalemate in which he has sought to use his bully pulpit against what he called Democratic “mouthpieces” angled against him.
The first-term governor is pushing a six-month stopgap spending plan for the budget year that begins July 1, as well as a full-year education funding plan Democrats contend does little for what CPS says is a $1 billion deficit. Rauner has spent recent weeks asking the media’s “viewers,” “listeners” and “readers” to contact lawmakers to back his legislation.