Here are some of the topics our panel discussed on 4 The Record this week.
+ An end could be in sight for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
+ Iowa’s governor backs off the fetal heartbeat law.
+ Illinois’ governor goes big in his first budget address.
All of these topics came up for discussion with former AFSCME Local 46 President Gregg Johnson and former Iowa Republican Party Chair Steve Grubbs on 4 The Record.
Going big in Illinois
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker took an aggressive stance in his first budget address this week.
+ Education spending from early childhood through universities
+ An increase of $650 million in spending
+ $265 million more for human services
+ Almost $38 million more for public safety
+ New taxes on plastic bags, legalized sports gambling, marijuana licenses, cigarettes and Medicaid.
Pritzker also wants to adopt a progressive income tax rate in time with a constitutional amendment.
He claims his plan would turn the state’s more than $3 billion deficit into a $155 million surplus.
We heard Bruce Rauner make big promises too.
Pritzker does enjoy Democratic majorities, but how much of this can realistically get done this year? Is he overplaying the financial benefits?
We asked Johnson and Grubbs.
Iowa’s fetal heartbeat law
Governor Kim Reynolds announced she won’t appeal the court ruling that struck down the state’s controversial fetal heartbeat law.
She says she couldn’t see a way to win.
Republicans always knew this would require a battle in the courts.
Grubbs and Johnson addressed why the law was passed in the first place if they weren’t going to fight for it.
End is near?
CNN broke the news this week that Special Counsel Robert Mueller could wrap up his investigation next week and forward his report to Attorney General William Barr.
He’s indicted or gotten guilty pleas from 34 people.
This week former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe made the rounds on his book tour and indicated the agency raised concerns early in the Trump administration with congressional leaders that the president might be a Russian asset.
William Barr will have a big decision in front of him only weeks into his job when it comes to making the Mueller report public.
Johnson and Grubbs weighed in on how much he should make public and how much he will make public.
Senator Bernie Sanders made it an even dozen this week when he launched his campaign for president.
Yes, there are now 12 Democrats in the race, a number that’s still likely to climb.
The candidates vary in their policies. One of them, John Delaney, says Democrats will be choosing between forms of socialism and a more just form of capitalism.
He subscribes to the latter.
Grubbs and Johnson talk about how correct he is and to what extent the Democrats are struggling with their own identity.
Watch the video above for the full conversation.
Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.