News Local/State

Rauner’s “Turnaround Agenda” Asks Role Of Lobbyists


Gov. Bruce Rauner continued to blame the state's financial problems on Democratic "special interests" Sunday evening as the regularly scheduled legislative session drew to a close.

Among other changes the Republican governor would like is the weakening of lobbyists in Springfield: A powerful group of statehouse regulars who've been around the capitol for years.

But Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Smithton) says lobbyists are a valuable part of the legislative process.
"We're public officials, okay?" he said. "And so people coming here and voicing their opinion is part of what we should do."
Democrats fought with Republicans last week in a hearing over changing the cap on settlements in Civil Suits.

The measure, which was on Rauner's "Turnaround Agenda," failed in committee, prompting a quip from a Rauner spokesman that Democrats were just mad lobbyists didn't write the legislation.