CHICAGO -- As Springfield works on a grand compromise, Governor Rauner was in Chicago today to announce jobs coming to the South Side.
But his day started on a sour note at Chicago State University, where he was booed during the graduation ceremony. Gov Rauner was on hand to congratulate the Class of 2017.
But CSU is casualty of the Springfield budget stalemate. Last year, the school laid off 400 workers or 40 percent of its staff.
A university official tells WGN News the governor accepted CSU’s invitation this past Tuesday.
Governor Rauner, hours later, suggested the jeers were not for him.
“There was clapping but there was also some negative feedback,” he said. “You know what? I share their frustration. This system is broken. I am totally with them. I’d love to boo our system as well. I’m not going to boo it. I’m going to change it.”
After the CSU appearance, the governor headed to Flex-N-Gate, an automotive parts manufacturing bringing almost 300 job to Chicago’s South Side.
Rauner and Mayor Rahm Emanuel attended the announcement together but the two men remain light years apart.
Chicago Public School money is caught up in the Springfield budget battle. And Mayor Emanuel is working to come up with funds to keep CPS from ending the school year early.
The Illinois Senate is trying again to pass a grand bargain, a mix of tax hikes and Rauner’s reforms. But there’s no guarantee Speaker Madigan will sign off.
Madigan told WGN Radio, “Illinois is a moderate state. It’s not an extreme state and the Rauner agenda is extreme.”