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 - Lindner; Krause; LaHood; Cig tax (Use all caps in password)

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2007

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

- Posted by Rich Miller   Enter your password to view comments      


This just in…

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2007

*** 10:01 am *** The governor is meeting with agency directors in his office in a few minutes to discuss the lack of a new budget. This meeting is generating tons of rumors that Blagojevich will order at least a partial government shutdown at midnight tonight, regardless of what they were saying yesterday. But so far I’m getting reports from inside that the rumors are overblown.

Nobody can really predict with 100 percent accuracy what the mercurial Blagojevich will do. I wondered yesterday whether he might try to “prove” his relevance by instigating a shutdown and was told that it wouldn’t happen tonight but a partial closure might happen before August 8th.

The governor’s press office, however, just told me this: “We are not furloughing workers.” Apparently, the rumors are flying about furloughs.

The governor is also reportedly sending a letter to state employees today which will, according to the spokesperson, “ask them to report to work in the absence of a state budget, and will explain that we intend to pay them for the work that they do.”

There’s no word yet, however, on what will happen with road projects or other state contractors. The meeting should be over at around 11:30, so check back before lunch.

* 11:27 am - The governor’s letter to state employees, which is currently being distributed, can be downloaded here

I am writing to thank you for your service as a state employee. I am asking for your cooperation to avoid a shutdown in government services by reporting to work tomorrow, and I want to make sure you are paid for the work that you do.

As I’m sure you are aware, on July 27th, I requested that the General Assembly act on a one month budget extension. One of my top priorities in making this request was to provide a measure of certainty for the employees of the State of Illinois. If the General Assembly takes immediate action on my request, then employees will continue to be paid on time, and all agencies will continue to have the resources required to operate.

Should the General Assembly not act on a one month budget extension while we continue to negotiate a full year’s budget, then employees may not receive their paychecks on time. Despite this prospect, I hope you will continue to perform your duties until a full year’s budget is in place. With your cooperation, the people who count on state government will experience no inconveniences.

* 12:11 pm - Still awaiting word on the guv’s meeting with the agency heads, but this tidbit might be interesting…

The governor has reportedly invited the four leaders in for a sitdown at 1 o’clock today. Not sure if they’ll comply yet. The governor is meeting with Senate President Jones as I write this. Jones has strongly and repeatedly advocated against any type of government shutdown.

*** 12:28 pm *** The governor’s office claims that Gov. Blagojevich used the meeting with his agency directors this morning to go over the content of the above letter that was sent to state employees.

So, what about road projects and other state contractors? From the governor’s spokesperson…

“We’re also asking vendors to continue to provide their services with the intention of paying them when we have a state budget.”

Individual vendors might make the choice to shut down, of course.

* 12:49 pm - I’ve been trying to calm some nerves in comments, but I’m not sure it’s doing much good, so let me try again on the front page.

There is NO real difference between the current budget situation and what was happening on June 30th, when the state was also without a Fiscal Year 08 budget. Several days later, the GA passed a one-month budget and everybody got paid and nobody outside the Statehouse barely knew the difference.

The only difference now is that the governor has been playing coy for days about a possible shutdown, which he wasn’t doing in June. But he walked that all the way back today. If he was seriously considering the idea, and not just playing “good cop, bad cop” he most likely realized that if Senate President Jones was against a shutdown, then the governor would lose his only ally and Blagojevich would get the full blame for any unnecessarily preemptive action.

Way too many people bought into the media hype, however, fueled partly by the guv’s office. But now, with this letter to state employees, we can be pretty sure that he won’t pull the rug out from under everyone and shut down the government.

As far as paychecks are concerned, well, the first, relatively small group of state workers will miss a payday if and only if a new budget isn’t approved by August 8th. That’s an eon away in legislative terms.

Everybody just calm down.

* 1:03 pm - The leaders meeting with the governor has reportedly been moved back to 3 o’clock.

- Posted by Rich Miller   123 Comments      


Question of the day

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2007

* The governor, you most certainly already know, has proposed a one-month budget, while the four tops would rather have a one-year budget…

Blagojevich said the deadline shouldn’t be an issue. He wants lawmakers to approve another one-month budget so the state can continue to pay its bills. […]

Legislative leaders say they’re not interested in another stopgap spending plan for the state.

The governor had previously said that he opposed another one-month budget because they were Republican budgets in disguise.

Question: What do you think his game is here?

- Posted by Rich Miller   56 Comments      


Horror story

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2007

The governor told me about this story a few weeks ago. I’m glad to see that it’s finally getting some coverage…

As a press aide to the governor, Annie Thompson helped promote a plan to improve health care access, but didn’t think much about the realities of facing serious illness without insurance.

Now she can think of little else.

In early May, Thompson’s uninsured mother finally agreed to see a doctor for her abdominal pain. The doctors found a softball-sized mass.

Her mother, Pat, underwent surgery for colon cancer and spent about two weeks in the hospital, piling up nearly $100,000 in debt. After a delay over money, she’s starting chemotherapy, with most of the cost covered by a state program she can join only because one of her daughters hasn’t yet turned 19.

“I realized what a struggle it is when you don’t have health insurance. When she was in the hospital, she was turning down pain medications because she knew that every little pill, every little IV bag was going to up the tab,” said Annie Thompson, 25. “It just hit me all of a sudden: It’s a real issue. It’s not just political games.”

There is a valuable lesson in this story, however. It’s very dangerous to drop your health insurance, even if your premiums skyrocket…

Pat Thompson, a self-employed daycare provider in Springfield, said she dropped her health insurance three or four years ago when her premiums tripled to about $300 a month.

“I took the chance and lost,” said Pat, who is in her 50s but wouldn’t give an exact age.

We’ve had innumerable debates about the pros and cons of the governor’s health insurance plan, and over whether or not the state actually should intervene. It’s gotten repetitive and we’ve all gotten the gist by now.

Instead, today let’s discuss your own personal health insurance situations, and any horror stories you might have about yourselves or your families and friends.

- Posted by Rich Miller   49 Comments      


Mushrooms golf while leaders work

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2007

This was obviously not a good idea, despite the noble goal…

The road to a budget deal in Springfield took a detour Monday morning, for a golf outing on the far South Side sponsored by the Legislative Black Caucus, to raise money for college scholarships.

One of the organizers, reverend and state senator James Meeks, says the outing was scheduled months ago when no one anticipated a marathon overtime session, and since they are not due back in Springfield until Monday afternoon, and there is nothing to vote on yet, they decided not to cancel the outing even though the budget extension they passed in June expires at midnight Tuesday.

“If there was legislative business for us to attend to, we would be there in Springfield. But since nobody has planned any meetings that involve us, we’re not there,” said State Sen. James Meeks, Legislative Black Caucus.

“It makes you wonder that why do we have all these state senators and representatives if they’re not really players,” said Jay Stewart, Better Government Association.

Stewart makes a good point. Yes, there was not a lot going on, and yes, hardly anybody showed up

When the Illinois Senate came into session Monday, there were 16 of 59 members in the Senate. The number doubled to 32 after the Pledge of Allegiance and daily prayer were finished.

Over in the Illinois House, there were 26 representatives of 118 on the attendance roll call for the 10th special session ordered for 2 p.m. by Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

However, it appeared that on the Republican side at least one of those lawmakers was absent and someone else had voted him present. Which would make the real number 25.

The House census increased to 67 during the 5 pm session, but that’s hardly an astounding figure.

Events like that scholarship fundraiser only serve to underscore the lack of any real power that rank and file members have - even though they have flexed their muscles and had more input this year beyond anything that has occurred in the recent past. They made themselves look like uninterested, uninvolved mushrooms.

Bad move.

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      


Shutdown hype

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2007

* Just because July’s one-month budget expires tonight, it does not necessarily mean that the government shuts down, despite what you may have read

Lawmakers have until midnight tonight to pass a new budget.

* Again, the lack of a new budget does not mean that the state automatically stops functioning

State Comptroller Daniel Hynes says he only feels comfortable keeping his office in operation until August 8 if the state legislators and the governor can’t agree on a state budget by then. He said in a Statehouse news conference Monday that August 8 is the first day his office needs to cut the checks in order for 4,900 employees to get paid on time and for public schools to get $170 million’s worth of state aid on time to start the school year. […]

But they do have eight full days before Hynes’ warning applies. A full-year budget in the first week of August is possible.

By the way, many congrats to Bethany Carson, who revealed in that above post yesterday that she’s splitting town for a couple of weeks to get married and go on her honeymoon.

* The governor isn’t helping matters much, refusing to say when or if state government will shut down…

During a bill-signing ceremony in Farmersville, Blagojevich said contingency arrangements have been made to keep essential state services running if a temporary budget is allowed to expire at midnight. The governor did not elaborate on those plans. […]

Later, Blagojevich spokesman Justin DeJong said, “The state has contingency operations plans that are to be used in case of emergency, and on August 1 (Wednesday), we will begin putting those plans into motion.” He, too, declined to elaborate, although he said the plans do not call for the immediate closure of either state parks or historic sites.

* But at least the governor hasn’t ordered a premature closure tonight

Gov. Blagojevich’s administration has directed state workers to come to work Wednesday, despite the lack of a state budget and the possibility of not getting paid on time.
With no new progress to report on budget negotiations Monday, the threat of a partial government shutdown looms larger as a temporary budget passed last month lapses on Wednesday.

Without offering specifics, the governor said his administration has had preparations in place for a possible shutdown “for weeks and, in fact, months.

* Back to Hynes

Comptroller Dan Hynes says the absence of a spending plan doesn’t have to mean prisons, universities and state parks will close immediately.

He says Aug. 8 is the key date. That’s when Hynes says he needs to know the spending plan so he can get money to schools and make the state’s payroll.

* Some checks have to be written, others won’t…

Even without a budget, some state payments will continue, Hynes said. Checks to state retirees, welfare recipients and bond-holders must all be paid even with no budget.

Others, though, will be out of luck.

Hynes said his office would normally write about $100 million a day in checks for Medicaid payments, child care, equipment and other expenses.

* And a coinkydink?

Aug. 8 also is the date House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, has set for a special hearing on education, indicating that he might believe lawmakers could still be working on a budget then. […]

“I see the glass as half full,” Blagojevich said. He added about Madigan: “Evidently, he sees it as half empty.”

* Meanwile the four tops continued to meet without the governor…

All four leaders met for about an hour … Not much was said only that they’re making progress. […]

The senate president’s spokesperson says the leaders will meet again tomorrow … Without the governor. But adds the senate president has the same goals as the governor. When asked if the governor was a problem during the negotiations… She wouldn’t respond. The speaker is calling for the entire house to meet next Wednesday about education funding.

* More

Legislative leaders emerged from a closed-door meeting on Monday with little to report.

House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, and Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson, R-Greenville, declined to comment.

Senate President Emil Jones said only that the meeting went well and the leaders were trying to get the budget done “as soon as possible.”

* And a small protest was held yesterday in Chicago…

Chants filled the air and candles lit up the night in front of the Thompson center as more than 100 people gathered to urge state lawmakers to pass a budget.

The People’s Movement, which sponsored the event, says lawmakers need to consider money for affordable housing, housing for the homeless, HIV patients and provide adequate resources for after school and violence prevention programs.

The Reverand Archury Phillips says any potential shutdown of the government would hurt the neediest families and communities.

- Posted by Rich Miller   11 Comments      


Morning shorts

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2007

* $684,924 and we’re counting

* City’s ‘08 budget picture not pretty: $217 mil. short - Fees may rise; aldermen say no property tax hike

* Another budget crunch expected - City’s ‘08 shortfall could be $217 million

* Stroger agrees to pay raise deal for non-union workers

* Cab Drivers Stay Parked In Protest Of Low Fares - Cabbies Say Fares Haven’t Kept Up With Insurance, Gas Price

* Effect of taxi strike unclear

* Illinois Gov. gets own lawyer after AG bails on Fed. subpoena cases

* IL taxpayers sponsor latest tawdry episode of AG v. Gov. soapie

* Blagojevich Says He Wants New Lawyer

* Student-loan agency sells more assets

* Weller, Biggert back Rudy

* Agency cuts back on meal program

* Cole to try a second time for power over alcohol

* Officials interpret AG letter differently - Disagree on what it says about ISP report on police misconduct

* Sun-Times: Atheist and agnostic doctors are as likely to provide care for the poor as religious physicians, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Chicago and Yale New Haven Hospital.

* Cramer’s ‘Mad Money’ Recap: Doomsday Scenario

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax (Use all caps in password)

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2007

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

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Rauner wouldn't move police and fire to 401(k)
* Question of the Day
* Keep calm, and Scribble on
* Quinn raises what Rauner contributes
* Assume everyone is wearing a wire, and stick with your friends
* Morning Shorts
* 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

          
        * Ad Company Tremor Video Now Offers Automated Campaign Optimization Across Screens
        * Possible Google+ redesign shown in leaked images
        * Travel gear, HBO, Passbook, and Amazon buys some comics
        * YouTube app update brings live video to Chromecast
        * See how Elena photographed for Nokia in Puerto Rico
        * Report: Yahoo hoping to woo Apple away from Google
        * Google+ posts could become ads for some pages

        * The Designer and Drummer's Rocking Workspace
        * Users Report Cortana Having Problems Setting Alarms
        * Microsoft Discounting Windows XP Support For Enterprise
        * Jasper Wireless lands $50M to connect the internet of things to mobile networks
        * Google Develops Algorithm That Can Decipher Its Own CAPTCHAs
        * They may be filled with trolls, but comments still have value — and they could have even more
        * Streem Offers Unlimited Cloud Storage and Streaming for $20/Month

        * Following up: Avisail Garcia waits for spring training
        * Robin Ventura vents about replay system after unsuccessful challenge
        * Big chill: Alexei motors home on walk-off error
        * Unlike previous seasons, Alexei catching fire
        * Ventura not pleased call at first base stands
        * White Sox 2, Red Sox 1: A win for the pitchers
        * Big chill: Alexei motors home on walk-off error


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

        Archives
        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


        * Extra Extra: Lake Shore Drive Re-Opened After S.....
        * Durbin banks more than $6M for 2014 Senate bid..
        * Rauner wouldn’t move police and fire to 401(k)..
        * Revised gaming bill pitched at hearing..
        * Arlington racetrack: Half the slots won’t cut it..
        * Gambling Supporters Propose Casino In Thompson .....
        * Opponents of Murray center closure win round in.....
        * Chicago casino plan draws more support at hearing..


        * Chicago casino plan draws more support at hearing
        * New warden named for Menard prison
        * Illinois-Chicago, faculty union reach agreement
        * ComEd seeks rate hike to help pay for Smart Grid
        * Durbin banks more than $6M for 2014 Senate bid
        * Lake Shore Drive reopened after suspicious package
        * Addiction experts: Cuts could hurt drug treatment
        * Topinka reports $125,000 in Illinois income
        * Inmate charged in Rockford lawyer's 2008 death
        * Dress codes: Where should schools set limits?

        * Lt. Gov. Simon to raise sex assault awareness
        * Report: Big cuts to state aid for schools if tax expires
        * Legislative hearing on Chicago casino begins
        * Chicago casino plan draws more support at legislative hearing
        * Simon: Illinois farmers markets should accept LINK
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Battle on for GOP state party post
        * Quinn promotes autism awareness at Brookfield Zoo
        * Broadcaster Samuelson named to Illinois Racing Board
        * Tough tax votes loom for lawmakers
        * Statehouse Insider: It’s spring break time!

        * Chicago casino plan draws more support at hearing
        * UIC, faculty union reach tentative labor contract
        * Burger King hamburger gets a chicken makeover
        * Astellas Pharma to pay $7.3M settlement in drug marketing case
        * Bloomberg plans $50 million gun control network


        * Turnaround for  struggling schools worth the upheaval
        * Lake Shore Drive reopens after package forces closure
        * Even casual marijuana use can alter the brain, new study shows
        * Priest reinstated after inquiry finds abuse claim unfounded
        * Faculty union says it has tentative agreement with UIC
        * Man held without bail for alleged sexual assault in Boystown
        * UIC, faculty union reach tentative agreement
        * Man held without bail for alleged Boystown sexual assault
        * Lake Shore Drive begins reopening after package forces closure


        * Sinaloa cartel associate brought to Chicago to face charges
        * Cops who saved kids from fire: 'You just have to do what you need to do'
        * Professor charged with sexual assault of former student
        * Two teens charged with trespassing at Sandburg High School
        * Cops: 2 dogs attack boy, 9, in East Chicago
        * 2 Board of Review analysts sentenced to prison for bribery
        * 2 Board of Review analysts sentenced to prison for bribery
        * Latest casino expansion proposal aims for Quinn backing
        * Naperville trucking company wins ruling to return to road
        * Wife of Villa Park man who died after swan attack files suit


        * Illinois Senate Joins Push For U.S. Constitutional Convention
        * Study: Pre-K Education Provides For Economic Growth
        * The Vanishing Millionaire Tax
        * City Approves More Video Gaming Despite Upcoming Ordinance
        * Rutherford: Dismiss Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
        * Durbin Calls For A Return of 'Earmarks'
        * Quinn, Rauner At IEA Conference - Full Audio
        * FBI agents say indicted state rep took them to get bribe cash
        * McCarthy dismissive of crime research
        * Gas Station Owners Warn Against Fuel Tax Increase


        * Report: Big cuts to state aid for schools if tax expires
        * Comptroller Topinka reports $125K in income
        * Addiction experts: Illinois budget cuts could hurt drug treatment
        * Legislative hearing on Chicago casino begins
        * Their view: Remembrance in the cruelest month
        * 2015 tax rates still far from settled
        * House bill urges schools to make digital emergency plans
        * Chicago-only casino option to face opposition
        * Rutherford's lawyers ask judge to dismiss sexual-harassment lawsuit
        * GOP's Rauner raised $9M in first quarter of 2014


        * Granite City man charged in heroin overdose
        * Macoupin County Board blocks sheriff's hirings
        * LIVE Nike show at Krannert
        * Madison County approves land sale to Edwardsville for police, fire station
        * Sports Talk 4-16-14
        * Mother, daughter tea event canceled
        * MTD likely to take over rural transit
        * UI-Chicago, faculty union reach contract deal
        * New warden named for Menard prison
        * Illegal dumping increasing in metro-east


        * The 10th District money race
        * Aurora Democrat calls out IHSA
        * Lawyers: Ill. hazing law vague, unconstitutional
        * Ill. House OKs lower-cost hunting bill for seniors
        * Quinn’s running mate takes new consulting job

        * Lipinski seeks artistic submissions - The ...
        * Lemont VFW honors Vietnam veterans - Subur...
        * Lipinski Votes to Protect the Paychecks of...
        * Meet the 8 House Dems who don't co-sponsor...
        * Jeff Vorva's Editor's Notebook: In this ca...
        * Rep. Lipinski Honors Vietnam Vets on House...
        * Southwest Airlines Adding 9 Non-Stop Daily...
        * Lipinski Announces Southwest will Start Fl...
        * Lipinski Thanks Voters for Support in Unco...
        * Rep. Lipinski Joins Students from Lemont a...

        * Loading Koch Industries Website Too Many T......
        * Maryland and DC among worst for food aller......
        * Cleveland State University to reestablish ......
        * Convicted political boss Al Sanchez runnin......
        * Candidates make last filings for local, st......

        * Illinois Lt. Gov. Simon opposes pension le......
        * Dillard Odd Man Out on Pension Deal Reaction...
        * Sen. Mark Kirk sides with Rauner on pensio......
        * Governor's race infighting threatens pensi......
        * SCHOONERS - Home of Everyone's Favorite Be......

        * New Jersey Panel Could Call Christie To Testify
        * A Year After Background Check Defeat, Modest Goals
        * Ten minute drawing. Bob Fioretti.
        * Governor Quinn. Veto Rahm’s pension bill.
        * Former New York Mayor Bloomberg To Spend $50 Million In Anti-Gun Drive
        * Court To Weigh Challenge To Ban On Campaign Lies
        * Obama To Announce $600 Million U.S. Job-Training Initiative
        * Fed Survey: Growth Picks Up Across Most Of US
        * UIC Faculty Reaches Tentative Agreement With University
        * CTA Considering Two Red Line Extension Routes


        * Governor Quinn Releases First-Ever Illinois Bike Transportation Plan - Plan Formally Makes Bicycles Part of Illinois’ Long-Range Transportation Vision
        * IEMA, American Lung Association Announce Winners in Student Video, Poster Contests - Winning entries unveiled during IEMA’s 11th Annual Radon Networking Day
        * Governor Quinn to Address Small Business Advocacy Council Annual Meeting - Will Discuss His Proposals to Drive Small Business Development and Expansion
        * Governor Quinn Honors Jackie Robinson - Barrier-Breaking Baseball Player Was American Icon
        * Governor Quinn Urges Homebuyers to Act Fast and Take Advantage of Welcome Home Illinois Program - Program Offers First-Time Homebuyers Down-Payment Assistance and a 3.75 Percent Interest Rate on a 30-Year Fixed Mortgage




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