SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - McKeon Replacement Named; Target News Feed (use all CAPS in password - use YESTERDAY’S password)

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Question of the day

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006

Are you planning to work on any campaigns this fall? If so, which one(s) and what will you be doing?

- Posted by Rich Miller   76 Comments      


Budget debate - Rauschenberger responds to Filan

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006

Within hours of Judy Baar Topinka releasing her budget plan last week, Gov. Blagojevich’s budget director, John Filan, was claiming that Topinka’s proposal would produce $5.7 billion annual deficits.

So, I offered Topinka’s budget point person, Sen. Steve Rauschenberger, an opportunity to respond to Filan’s claims. This is Rauschenberger’s full response. All emphasis is in the original. Topinka’s original proposal is here, and Filan’s response is here. Both are pdf files.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to John Filan’s release on Judy Baar Topinka’s Financial plan.

Let’s look at the numbers one at a time.

Under proposed new spending.

Education $2.05 billion. It appears Filan has taken Topinka’s cumulative increase of $8.2 billion and divided by four years. For complicated reasons, that method doesn’t accurately represent the average increased spending per year. In addition, our 8.2 billion figure included teacher pensions, which he appears to double count below.

School Construction Debt Service $270 million. This appears to be an attempt to assign a debt service figure to Judy’s $3 billion school construction plan. This would be close to the level where debt service tops out, so they have picked the highest year to place in his table. I believe this figure is a shade high, but in the neighborhood. If this represents a “top-out” debt service figure, it would be applicable to perhaps FY12 or FY13 when the six year program is in full swing.

Funding Pension System at 1995 Plan $627 million. This might be John Filan’s estimate of the FY08 increase in pension payments. If that is the assumption, then he is close for an All Funds (including Federally Funded, University Income Funded, etc. employees) figure. Judy’s financial plan is a GRF plan, and the first year GRF increase is closer to $520 million.

Rehiring State Employees $150 million. Judy’s plan calls for rehiring 400 prison guards over 4 years. The funding for that initiative tops out at $16 million in FY11 if you assume $40,000.00 per guard per year. Filan’s figure would represent $375,000.00 per guard per year.

Pay Raises for Merit Comp Employees $33 million. Judy’s plan is silent on this issue (maybe John is feeling guilty and suggesting it), but she does believe pay raises for merit comp employees are important, if affordable.

Energy Plan $60 million. No one I know has any idea where this figure comes from.

Higher Education $100 million. This represents the incremental increase in higher education funding in the first year, FY08.

Local Property Tax Reimbursement $1.2 Billion. This is the total that will be spent on property tax relief in FY09.

John Filan appears to add these cherry-picked numbers from different fiscal years, and adds them up to call them “New Spending”.

Under Budget Cuts he lists only:

Cutting Healthcare to “Kids and Seniors” ($725 million). He appears to have taken the $2.9 billion four year cumulative spending difference between Topinka’s Medicaid plan and Blagojevich’s Medicaid plan, and divided by four. Unfortunately, Medicaid math does not work this way and this number is useless.

Filan fails to acknowledge the other budget savings proposed by Topinka’s financial plan including the elimination of pork spending and clout contracts and politically connected jobs.

Under New Revenue Filan lists:

Chicago Casino ($850 one-time, $250 annual per year starting in Year 2). Perhaps $850 million one-time is a reasonable estimate of the auction value of a 3000 position Chicago license… but in Judy’s financial plan they used a conservative estimate of $650 million. For the record Judy’s plan DOES NOT budget one-time revenues for the operating budget. She specifically reserves this resource for one-time spending needs, therefore the number should not even be on Filan’s chart.

As to operating revenue, John Filan is apparently assuming that a 3000 position casino in the heart of Chicago will yield $250 million in gaming taxes. According to the estimate by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, the 1200 position riverboat in Elgin will generate almost $200 million this year. The financial plan’s estimate of $600 million per year is much closer to Mayor Daley’s own estimate of three years ago.

Additional positions at existing casinos $350 million. Filan’s own revenue estimates assume the 9 operating riverboat licenses will bring in $700 million this year. He seems to be arguing that allowing existing riverboats to expand up to 150% of there gaming positions (from 1200 to 3000) will yeild a revenue increase of just 50%… he is way to low.

Filan’s rebutal fails to acknowledge the new Federal revenue that would be realized by the implementation of the Medicaid Block Grant.

Under lost revenue as defined in Filan’s response.

Economic Development Plan (from Tax Credits) $1.5 Billion. No one I know (except perhaps John Filan) has any idea where this number comes from or what it ties to.

Restore Corporate Fees/Eliminate Chargebacks $408 million. Judy’s plan calls for the elimination of fund sweeps, but does not call for the elimination of Chargebacks. I do not know where he gets this number from.

Re-Open Corporate Loopholes $30 million. Topinka, I am sure would argue the characterization, but the number is close.

Lost Federal Revenue from Medicaid Cuts $775 million. Under Topinka’s financial plan, Medicaid is converted to a block grant. You cannot lose federal match under a block grant because the federal contribution is fixed and NOT subject to matching.

For fun, let’s assume that Filan missed the whole point on Judy’s Medicaid reform, how does he forecast a loss of $775 million in federal aid when he earlier asserted this same plan called for a $725 reduction in Medicaid spending?? If his number is right on the spending reduction of $725 million, the federal aid loss is 50% or $362.5 million; if his number on loss of federal aid is right at $775 million, the program spending must be reduced by $1.550 BILLION.

I realize John Filan was taking a vacation day when he worked up this response to Treasurer Topinka’s four year financial plan. I do not fault him for not completely understanding a rather complex series of financial documents developed over more than 10 weeks at first glance. I do believe he has a responsibility as both the Budget Director and as a Licensed Accountant to make every effort NOT to mislead people regardless of how rushed he is.

The response he has issued mixes permanent and one-time revenues, uses numbers from different fiscal years as if they can simply be summed. His response doesn’t document where any of his numbers come from. In short, I believe this response was designed to confuse the issues, not debate them. That is wrong for the Budget Director to do, wrong for an accountant to do. Using the cover of one’s official office to mislead the public and the press is wrong.

- State Senator Steve Rauschenberger

Director Filan’s office was e-mailed a copy of Rauschenberger’s statement yesterday afternoon and will be allowed an opportunity to respond here as early as tomorrow. I reserve the right to allow further responses.

- Posted by Rich Miller   49 Comments      


Immigrant boom in suburbs

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006

These are amazing numbers.

The number of foreign-born U.S. citizens jumped by nearly 38 percent in the suburbs over the last five years — leaping almost 50 percent in DuPage County alone and doubling in Will and Grundy counties, according to an analysis of Census information by a pro-immigrant group.

Calling it “a fundamental sea change of where immigrant citizens are living,” the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights argues the changes have far-reaching political ramifications. […]

Most important politically is the rise in the number of immigrants who have become U.S. citizens, making them eligible to vote. In the last five years the number of naturalized citizens in Illinois rose 23.1 percent, to 736,161.

But the real growth has been in the suburbs.

While Chicago only experienced a 4 percent increase in naturalized citizens of voting age during the period, the suburbs saw a boom of 37.5 percent.

The 48.2 percent rise in DuPage County means that 14.4 percent of its voting age population are naturalized citizens. In Will and Grundy counties, the number of adult naturalized citizens doubled, making them 6.3 percent of the total voting age population.

Read the full report here, and read the full press release here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   8 Comments      


Ace in the hole

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006

As I’ve said before, the governor desperately needs to win the Civil Service Commission case against Dawn DeFraties so he can claim that he’s been vindicated of allegations of patronage abuse and pin the whole blame on the whistleblower. Apparently, the guv had an ace in the hole.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed his children’s baby sitter to a $21,507-a-year post on a panel that resolves state hiring disputes. […]

As a member of the Illinois Civil Service Commission, Bukraba soon could be asked to rule in a key case centering on accusations of political clout being used to fix hiring for state jobs.

Given the close relationship between Bukraba and the Blagojevich family, government watchdog groups question whether she might have a natural bias in favor of the Blagojevich administration.

“If I were appearing in front of the commission, yeah, I’d be concerned about her being on that panel deciding my fate,” said Jay Stewart, executive director of the Better Government Association. “(Bukraba) is not a stranger to the governor, some Democrat who had relevant experience, as those appointments are typically made.”

I think I read about this first in a comment posted here several days ago. I kinda sped by it and, stupid me, didn’t follow up.

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      


Divide and conquer

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006

This leak…

Dorothy Brown, the clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court, intends to announce plans to run for mayor next year, according to a person close to her campaign committee.

Ms. Brown plans to announce her decision Thursday afternoon at the Hotel Allegro in downtown Chicago, months after forming an exploratory committee to eye a potential campaign for City Hall. The mayoral election is scheduled for February 2007.

…may have been caused by this

As for Dorothy Brown, Axelrod says she may be jumping in now because the word on the street is that Jesse Jackson Jr. is contemplating some type of announcement of his own in the next few days, and she wants to beat him to the punch.

…which undoubtedly triggered this leak…

Chicago Housing Authority Chief Terry Peterson is taking a leave of absence to run Mayor Daley’s re-election campaign in the first concrete sign that Daley intends to shake off recent corruption scandals and seek a sixth term, sources said Tuesday.

“Nobody’s heard him say it, but if you’re looking for tangibles, this is as good a sign as any,” said a Daley adviser, who asked to remain unnamed.

Meanwhile, there’s more division in the African-American community.

In an exclusive CBS 2 News report, CBS 2’s Mike Parker has learned that some leaders among the Democrats want Todd Stroger off the ballot for November and replaced by a stronger candidate to face Peraica.

“I’m going to win, and I don’t see any reason why I would want to bow out,” Stroger said.

But quietly, some Democrats have discovered that election law allows the candidate to refuse the nomination before Oct. 1. Party leaders would then select somebody else.

One possible alternative appears to be Interim Board President Bobbie Steele. In the wake of a patronage hiring flap, Steele issued an executive order Tuesday threatening to discipline anybody who hires, fires or promotes, based on politics.

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      


Guv turns down tollway sale again, but it’s a whole lot of cash

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006

The governor said once again that he doesn’t want to sell or lease the tollway.

“We’re not going to sell the tollway. I’m not interested in that, for several reasons. We’ve done a lot of great things at the tollway to help commuters get to where they want to go faster. One of the problems with privatizing the tollway is the private companies whose motivation is to raise profits. They’re apt to raise tolls, and they may be less interested in maintaining the infrastructure,” said Blagojevich, a Democrat in his first term.

The governor said he doesn’t believe there’s enough support in the Legislature to pass a tollway privatization bill.

But some legislators who were briefed yesterday came away drooling at the possible $24 billion windfall.

Supporters of leasing out the tollway downplayed Tuesday the potential impact of related toll hikes as several suburban leaders appeared increasingly skeptical of the idea.

Yet, the prospect of raking in as much as $24 billion from the lease so intrigued lawmakers of all stripes during a hearing in Glen Ellyn that none would rule out such a sweeping deal.

“This is a unique opportunity,” said Republican DuPage County Chairman Robert Schillerstrom, who listed several caveats to leasing the tollway, before concluding, “I do not believe we should close the door.”

Steve Rauschenberger wasn’t impressed.

“You buy four or six years of political peace with that,” he said.

And some of the tax-eaters have already said what they want if the tollway is ever sold.

Schoenberg got an earful a week ago from AFSCME Illinois Council 31, Business Leaders for Transportation in the Chicago area, the Mid-West Truckers Association, the Transportation for Illinois Coalition, and the Laborers International Union of North America Midwest Region. Each offered wish lists for safeguarding wages, benefits, retirement and training of current tollway employees. They also urged caution in deciding how the extra state revenue would be spent.

- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      


Morning shorts

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006

· Illinois students improve in math, fall in verbal scores

· Poverty rises in Illinois, holds steady nationwide

· “[T]he handsome and flamboyant Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich proved that he could outshine any Bollywood star with his crowd catching demeanor and easy mingling with the people. He won everybody’s heart and induced other Parade Marshals like Dorothy Brown to emulate his example and mix with the crowd. “

· Editorial: Slow down search for state school chief

· Topinka discusses funding for reading during daycare stop

· Topinka’s new robocall

· State retirees work to keep taxes at bay

· Editorial: The imperfections of man

· I pre-ordered the new Dylan album, and I agree with most everything in this review.

- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* Fracking rules finally unveiled
* Question of the day
* A big IDOT roundup
* Even Steven, for now
* *** UPDATED x1 - Confirmed *** Report: Libertarians file charges
* Big guys dinged a bit, but little guys helped a lot
* Today's photo
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Rumors hint various iWatch models priced at $400 or less
        * Google mulling bitrates on Cast extension, beta available
        * The new Moto X rumor roundup: previewing Motorola’s next flagship
        * Microsoft promotes IFA Lumia launches with a selfie
        * Iliad purportedly in talks with private-equity firms to raise cash for T-Mobile bid
        * Hugely popular ‘Wayward Souls’ has come to Android
        * Samsung grows bolder in latest Galaxy Note 4 teaser video

        * Make Any GorillaPod Magnetic with $5 in Materials
        * Samsung’s ‘Gear Circle’ Combines Headphones With Text Alerts
        * Philips’ Hue Lux Bulbs are Connected Bulbs at Half the Price
        * PlayStation 4 Themes Support Confirmed
        * NYT: Tech is Replacing Clothes for Fashion-Conscious Teens
        * Google X’s ‘Project Wing’ is a New Drone-Delivery System
        * Android One Smartphones Expected At September 15th Event

        * Podcast: Dunn Deal
        * Thoughts on the Adrian Nieto experiment
        * Breaks turn in Quintana's favor against Tigers
        * Molina outrighted; roster spot opens up for Rodon
        * Wilkins, Snodgress part of White Sox shuffle
        * Noesi looks to continue push toward season's end
        * Breaks turn in Quintana's favor against Tigers


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Gov. Quinn will live on minimum wage for week..
        * Quinn begins one week with minimum wage..
        * Governor Quinn signs law to support Illinois' L.....
        * Illinois to spend another $102M on high-speed rail..
        * Gov. Quinn Announces $102 Million Investment Fo.....
        * Quinn, Rauner ad war at full throttle..


        * Patients to start applying for medical marijuana
        * Bloomington shuttle bus driver charged with DUI
        * US Rep. Duckworth announces she's pregnant
        * Chicago police: Murders down, shootings up
        * Little League team honored with parade in Vegas
        * Rauner vow revives governor's mansion question
        * Quinn to live on minimum wage for a week
        * Infection affecting west-central Illinois soybeans
        * Newborn baby found alive inside Illinois trash bin
        * Bank loans used to collect unpaid medical bills

        * Does the governor need to live in the Executive Mansion?
        * Statehouse Insider: Hands off investments
        * State of unions: AFSCME wins some, loses some on outsourcing
        * State of unions: Domination of Illinois' workforce becomes campaign issue
        * State of unions: Lawmakers approved keeping some workers out of unions
        * State of Illinois posts applications for medical marijuana businesses
        * DNR issues long-awaited ‘fracking’ rules
        * Quinn grants 38 clemency requests
        * IDNR issues long-awaited ‘fracking’ rules
        * Court rules state retirees can stop paying health insurance premiums

        * If only it were this easy to lift share prices
        * 'Chicagoland' star returns to school
        * Amid re-election fight, Quinn pushes through a tax on business
        * Chicago's worst IPO in 2014: Ryerson
        * Why ComEd is worried about your smartphone


        * Prosecutors: Man in CTA stabbing permanently disfigured
        * CTA offering free rides for students on first day of school
        * Alvarez: Crime lab backlog held up DNA evidence on Evans’ gun
        * More rain, storms possible for rest of Labor Day
        * Pullman Park needs Congress’ support
        * Leave the Knee Defender at home
        * Dump ‘Fake IG,’  give Ferguson more power
        * Not so fast, say the grown-ups
        * When common sense and gun rights collide
        * EDITORIAL: Jury still out on justice in Koschman case


        * 1 dead, 13 hurt in shootings across city
        * Rainstorms part of Labor Day forecast
        * Tammy Duckworth pregnant, expecting girl in December
        * Cops: Man batters woman and child, throws toddler from vehicle
        * Tougher rules ahead on domestic abuse
        * New sculpture in Niles to be dedicated to St. John Paul II
        * 'As horrible as it sounds, it came out of love': family of 4 dead in murder-suicide
        * No bail for 2nd man charged in killing of woman days before Mother's Day


        * Newborn Found Alive In Jacksonville Trash Bin
        * DNR Releases Fracking Rules
        * Listen to State Week - August 29, 2014
        * 'Belleville' The Movie Is NOT A Documentary
        * Journalist and doctor encourage honest conversations about death
        * Undocumented Immigrants Call For Presidential Orders
        * State Retirees To Stop Paying Health Premiums
        * How America's most plentiful bird disappeared
        * Pregnant Workers To Be Protected Under New Law
        * Updates From The Prairie Capital Convention Center


        * Does the governor need to live in the Executive Mansion?
        * Our Opinion: Driving into floodwater a deadly practice
        * Angie Muhs: A debate in Springfield would send the right message from candidates
        * Charles Krauthammer: Lower corporate tax rates. Now.
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Dillman, Watson looking at possible runs for alderman
        * Statehouse Insider: Hands off investments
        * Statehouse Insider: Hands off investments
        * State of unions: AFSCME wins some, loses some on outsourcing
        * State of unions: Domination of Illinois' workforce becomes campaign issue
        * State of unions: Lawmakers approved keeping some workers out of unions


        * PHOTOS: Labor Day parade
        * Murphysboro to host Chautauqua
        * St. Clair County property tax bills due on Wednesday
        * 09-01-04 Monday Morning Quarterbacks
        * Fried chicken at Giant City Lodge
        * Ag leaders honored for long service
        * Council discusses changes in liquor laws
        * Weekend Wrap: Fitzgerald shines for Chargers
        * David Leake Director of the Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College 9/1/2014
        * Public sector labor unions in the spotlight


        * No one hurt in Buffalo Grove townhouse fire
        * Donnie Wahlberg and Jenny McCarthy wed in St. Charles
        * Lawmakers: Islamic State groups want to hit USA
        * Iraq veteran U.S. Rep. Duckworth ‘thrilled' to be pregnant
        * Obama seeks to do no harm to Democrats in midterms

        * Rep. Luis Gutiérrez: Chicago Murder Outbre...
        * As 145 Arrested in White House Protest, Re...
        * Luis Gutierrez and the Amnesty Stack - Rus...
        * Rep. Gutierrez on how Obama may act on ill...
        * Gutiérrez: Obama Amnesty Forced By 'Anti-i...
        * Rep. Gutierrez: Obama Can Use Executive Ac...
        * Gutiérrez: Obama's legacy on the line with...
        * Emanuel, Gutierrez: Chicago Will Lead upon...
        * Rahm, Gutierrez want Chicago to be model f...
        * Gutiérrez: Dems Weren't True to Their Valu...

        * At national election turning point, all is......
        * At national election turning point, all is......
        * At national election turning point, all is......
        * The race that decides the Illinois GOP's fate...
        * The race that decides the Illinois GOP's fate...

        * Rubio, Colleagues Call For Latin American ......
        * Putin Hopeful Russia Won’t Lose Right to H......
        * Susquenita enters Tri-Valley League under ......
        * Putin hopeful Russia won't lose right to h......
        * Soccer-Putin hopeful Russia won't lose rig......

        * Common sense steps to defend against cybercrime
        * Allen West in town to raise funds for GOP 8th CD candidate Larry Kaifesh
        * State Sen. Sue Rezin Blast Quinn-Madigan Fiscal Irresponsibility [video]
        * Netflix vs. Healthcare.gov
        * Exports growing in Illinois’ high-tech sectors
        * PBS Will 'Humanize' Late-Term Abortionists
        * Big Data and Chicago’s Traffic-cam Scandal
        * Illinois Schools In Pension Limbo
        * Quinn's clean hands
        * What Happened to Chicago’s Crime Rate When Illinois Relaxed Gun Control Laws


        * Governor Quinn Invests $102 Million in High-Speed Rail Upgrades on Chicago-St. Louis Line - Funding Will Improve Capacity, Safety on Joliet-Dwight Segment
        * Quinn Refuses to Answer New IDOT Questions
        * IDNR Delivers Revised Rules to Implement Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act - Rules strengthened to ensure public participation, improve transparency, toughen penalties and protect the environment
        * Governor Quinn Proclaims September as “Recovery Month” in Illinois - Encourages people to speak up about mental illness and substance abuse
        * Governor Quinn Dedicates Jane Byrne Interchange - Governor Renames Circle Interchange in Honor of Chicago’s First and Only Female Mayor to Date




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller