Greising: Gov. Pritzker, Don't Dismiss the Republicans Too Quickly

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has talked a lot about taking a bipartisan approach to governing Illinois. He'll do well if he puts it into practice.

J.B. Pritzker (Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

BGA President David Greising writes every other week for the Chicago Tribune Opinion section.

Bipartisanship is a laudable goal and a noble sentiment. It also is a rare phenomenon in modern politics, so the onus will be on the administration of Gov. J.B. Pritzker to prove the two-party talk of his early days in office is more than just empty rhetoric.

In his budget speech Wednesday, Pritzker doubled down on the tone of bipartisanship he has been striving to set since being elected in November. “Budgeting will not be done by taking the state hostage, or by court orders, consent decrees and continuing appropriations but instead by debate and compromise and a return to regular order,” he said.

This follows some showy moves from the transition period: appointing former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar to help lead his transition; turning over the Department of Revenue to a Republican; even appearing at a GOP celebration during inauguration festivities.

The tone stands in stark contrast to Pritzker’s predecessor, Bruce Rauner, who vilified House Speaker Michael Madigan and the Democrats to get elected, then never let up after he won. In word and deed, Pritzker has signaled an intention to change the tone and tactics of governing.

But the math of politics is working against such sentiments, and Pritzker’s early move on the minimum wage bill — for which he earned not a single Republican vote — is a sign that the comradely talk will be tough to put into action.

Read the rest at chicagotribune.com.