Rauner sends gift to inject humor into bickering with Emanuel

Kim GeigerRick Pearson and John Byrne Chicago Tribune

At issue is a political game of mutual needs.

Emanuel’s just-passed city budget, as well as spending plans for Chicago Public Schools and the CTA, count on more than $800 million in help from the statehouse, either in money or spending relief.

Rauner, pushing a pro-business agenda, wants to leverage Chicago’s cash needs to enlist Emanuel in trying to enact the governor’s union-weakening proposals over Democratic opposition as part of a budget agreement. Emanuel has refused to go along — and it’s questionable whether the mayor could engender enough support from lawmakers if he did.

The Republican governor wants to give local governments the ability to weaken collective bargaining rights and end a law requiring that prevailing union wages be paid for work on publicly funded construction projects. Democrats, with allies in organized labor, have opposed Rauner.

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