Hughes: Rauner's re-election bid could depend on veto abortion bill
It'll be up to Gov. Bruce Rauner to decide the fate of House Bill 40 — legislation that allows state employee health benefits to cover the cost of abortions — and Patrick Hughes says if Rauner doesn’t veto, “he loses re-election.”
Hughes, Illinois Opportunity Project co-founder and co-host of radio show "Illinois Rising," talked about the bill during a recent broadcast. Co-host Dan Proft is a principal of Local Government Information Services, which owns this publication.
“What Rauner is doing here is very politically smart,” Hughes said. “Politically, he has to veto it.”
Hughes said Democrats in the Illinois legislature took up the bill, “so Rauner will veto it," possibly impacting his standing among liberal voters. His opponents could use this bill to say the governor is against women’s rights, Hughes said.
“[It's an] imperfect vehicle for them to do it, but I think it’s the only vehicle they have,” he said. “They can still use the bill as a campaign tool and it’s the best campaign tool on this issue they can get.”
The next gubernatorial election is in 2018.
Rauner and his wife, Diana, espouse pro-choice views in their private life. The couple contributed thousands of dollars to Planned Parenthood, the Chicago Sun Times reported. Before he became governor, the Rauner Family Foundation gave $510,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union’s Roger Baldwin Foundation, which works to protect abortion laws.
But vetoing the bill doesn't have to ruin Rauner's chances of appealing to those voters, Hughes said.
“He can still claim he is pro-choice and the only reason he vetoed it is because we are broke — we don't have the money for this type of expansion," Hughes said. "He can keep pro-choice support.”