For the first time since the election, Gov. Pat Quinn called Governor-elect Bruce Rauner. A spokesperson for the Rauner campaign described Wednesday’s conversation as “cordial.”
Many wonder what kind of working relationship Mayor Rahm Emanuel will have with the governor-elect.
The mayor–a loyal Democrat–has an outside-politics relationship with the Republican governor-elect. But will that translate to help the city during the next four years?
When asked what he needs from Republican Governor-elect Bruce Rauner, the mayor put it simply.
“More money. Does that help?” Emanuel said.
Seriously, Emanuel listed aid for public transportation and parks, pension reform and most of all, increased state funding for Chicago Public Schools.
“We need the help of the state financially for our schools so we don’t undermine all the hard work our parents, our teachers and our principals are doing in achieving educational growth for our students,” Emanuel said.
And to ensure against education funding cuts, the mayor supports extending Illinois’ 5% income tax rate beyond January 1, when by law, it falls to 3.75%.
“I don’t support to just buy more gravel to fill in a gravel hole. I support it if you’re going to increase education,” Emanuel said.
Rauner– who promised tax cuts during his campaign– met Emanuel when both worked in the private sector and the two have kept a social relationship evidenced by this photo taken near the super-wealthy Rauner’s Montana ranch.
The friends disagree over how to raise the state’s minimum wage. The mayor wants an increase quickly and unconditionally.
“I don’t think any child should be raised in a home where a parent works and be raised in poverty,” Emanuel said.
But, Rauner- as he did during his campaign- continues to insist on attaching what he calls “pro-business” reforms to any measure that increases the state’s minimum wage.
“So we raise the minimum wage and we get workers comp reform, tort reform and tax reform as part of that overall effort,” Rauner said.
“I’m for the minimum wage, have been my whole life working for President Clinton all the way through Congress to now,” Emanuel said.
The mayor vows to continue his effort to begin raising the city’s minimum wage–ultimately to $13 an hour–no matter what happens statewide, or what soon-to-be Gov. Rauner thinks about it.