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 »
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* 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

          
        * T-Mobile offering free unlimited data refer-a-friend deal from next week
        * Nexus 7 takes center stage in Toyota’s Intelligent System
        * Learn these four oft-overlooked iOS 7 tips
        * Choose to play for the Light Side or Dark Side in Star Wars: Commander
        * Tesla Model S Software Update Brings iPhone Unlocking And Ignition Start
        * Best photo-collage making apps for Windows Phone
        * Lumia 2520 tablet shows up in The Source business guide by T-Mobile

        * LearnHowToBecome Gives You an Overview of a New Career Path
        * EE 4G Roaming Lands In 14 More Countries
        * Facebook ordered to respond to “class action” European privacy suit
        * Utah’s Cloud Software Startup Domo Hires a CFO
        * Learn how to turn your hardware napkin sketch into reality at Structure Connect
        * Cyanogen Beefs Up Its Executive Ranks With Hires From Electronic Arts, Facebook
        * Get a Room: Last-Minute Hotel-Booking Apps Compared

        * Reading Room: Rick Hahn speaks vaguely about September
        * Avisail finds power stroke in loss to Orioles
        * Danks leads White Sox into Bronx for weekend visit
        * Orioles 4, White Sox 3: Homers hector Noesi
        * Noesi unable to keep Orioles in the park
        * Limited number of callups to reinforce roster
        * Rodon's September plans not yet determined


        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


        * Fair share for Edgar?!..
        * Faith Coalition presses Quinn for rail jobs..
        * Rauner, Quinn in virtual tie in latest poll..
        * McCormick Place opts for wind power..
        * Gov. Pat Quinn working overtime to pay down sta.....
        * Rate Pat Quinn's new TV ad..
        * Sports world helps drive challenge..
        * Quinn and Rauner to debate in Peoria..


        * No suspects in shooting death of Chicago boy, 9
        * Last 4 hostages freed in suburban Chicago standoff
        * Appeals court says term limits can't be on ballot
        * U. of Illinois can expect presidential pay to rise
        * Criminal assault charge leads to officer's firing
        * Sheriff: Hostage takers shot through door
        * Marijuana town hall attracts hundreds in Chicago
        * Quinn, Rauner set on 3 traditional debates
        * 2 Americans arrested in Bali under suicide watch
        * Rauner urges immediate appeal to Supreme Court

        * Appeals court says term limits can't be on ballot
        * Marijuana town hall attracts hundreds in Chicago
        * Governor candidates commit to 3 traditional debates, none in Springfield
        * Manar, others tout school funding reform bill
        * Vallas attacks, Rauner defends businesses and investments
        * State retiree insurance premiums dropping to pre-July 1 levels
        * Vallas attacks, Rauner defends businesses, investments
        * State retiree insurance premiums to drop
        * Vallas attacks Rauner's businesses, investments
        * Rauner urges quick decision on term limits measure

        * Sears posts bigger loss as sales fall for 30th quarter
        * Is Drift the hippest eyewear brand in America?
        * 10 Things to Do
        * Dress code: "Business fun"
        * Meet the new Threadless: Fast-growing T-shirt maker Ript Apparel


        * Who sez da mare ain’t no real Chicagoan?
        * Court records shed new light on teen linked to mother’s death in Bali
        * Harvey standoff over; hostages rescued, two men in custody
        * Feds try to tie convicted drug dealer to cop slaying
        * Parents urge CPS to OK new Chatham site for Concept school
        * $1 million pledge changes Lewis’ ‘calculus’ — but not her timeline
        * National school union would put $1 million into Karen Lewis mayoral campaign
        * School closed as Harvey hostage standoff continues
        * Karen Lewis opens campaign fund for possible mayoral bid
        * James Foley was correspondent for Post-Tribune


        * Boy, 9, gunned down in backyard: 'Why? Just a child'
        * James Foley slaying: Negotiations, silence, then a chilling warning
        * Nanny service care.com sued over infant's death
        * Divvy bike-share expansion delayed until spring
        * State plans to boost Medicaid funding for contraception
        * More questions than answers for medical marijuana entrepreneurs
        * Boy, 9, shot to death on South Side
        * Man gets 15 years for impregnating girl, 12
        * Car drives into Northfield Mariano's, 4 injured
        * Body of Chicago woman killed in Bali returned to U.S. for second autopsy


        * Watchdog Applauds Investigation of Electric Supplier
        * Springfield Supt. Previews Coming School Year
        * Green, Libertarian Parties Await Approval For Nov. Ballot
        * The tale of the two-flat
        * Why The Rush? Term Limits Decision Time Deadline, Explained
        * Push Continues For School Funding Overhaul
        * Appellate Court Confirms: Term Limits Not Eligible For Ballot
        * Listen to State Week - August 15, 2014
        * 'PechaKucha' Highlights Unique Springfield Stories & Characters
        * (Cow) Tipping The Governor's Race


        * Bernard Schoenburg: Possible Ward 10 aldermanic candidates emerge as Griffin considers future
        * Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan: Cybercrime inevitable, so protect yourself
        * Eugene Robinson: The ones left behind
        * George Will: Fed up with cupcake cops
        * Appeals court says term limits can't be on ballot
        * Marijuana town hall attracts hundreds in Chicago
        * Governor candidates commit to 3 traditional debates, none in Springfield
        * Manar, others tout school funding reform bill
        * Michael Gerson: Rand Paul’s bogus outreach
        * Our Opinion: Double down on outside lottery management


        * Alongi's to give away tickets to veterans
        * Advisory group meets to discuss downtown Carbondale development
        * U of I Deputy Police Chief Skip Frost 8/21/2014
        * Champaign holds community service day
        * You're fired
        * Some good comes from family's search for Skipper
        * Tolono waives fees for new fire station
        * A bountiful crop
        * Reserves will balance Fisher school budget
        * Fed up with cupcake cops


        * Twitter caught in censorship dilemma over graphic images on site
        * California drought stings bees, honey supplies
        * Mcdonald's shuts four Moscow restaurants on watchdog's order
        * Berkshire defies short seller by adding to Chicago bridge stake
        * Vegas offering all but marriage to LGBT tourists

        * Roskam, Kirk speak to local business owner...
        * Roskam Talks Taxes - Alton Daily News
        * Roskam gives business leaders vision for f...
        * Roskam: Fighting human trafficking in the ...
        * Nadler, Roskam Introduce Bipartisan Resolu...
        * Rep. Nadler, Roskam Introduce Resolution C...
        * Rep. Roskam In Letter to Kerry: Stop Runni...
        * Reinvigorating The Antibiotics Pipeline - ...
        * What's next for Peter Roskam? - Chicago Su...
        * Inactive Congress Discussed - Alton Daily ...

        * Durbin calls for tougher train safety regu......
        * Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Mark P......
        * Officials looking to cut down on late Amtr......
        * Officials looking to cut down on late Amtr......
        * AUDIO: politicians and policymakers target......

        * Kirk Talks Imports and Exports...

        * Emanuel Calls On Rauner To Release 2013 Tax Information
        * TIF Workshop At CivicLab
        * CPS bans parent Rousemary Vega.
        * Jersey Jazzman. The myth of the burned-out older veteran teacher. We get better with age.
        * Movement in Hinsdale D86.
        * Sun-Times’ Mark Brown. Teachers ready to teach Rahm a lesson.
        * Updates, Day One: No Casino for Wabash?? (And no walkway for you!)
        * The Week In Chicago Rock
        * The Cub Factor: Bobbleheads We'd Like To See
        * Reality BobbleCubs


        * ICYMI: Term limits amendment — and citizens — lose
        * ICYMI: Rauner directs legal team appeal to Supreme Court
        * Rauner Response to False and Misleading Quinn Ad
        * ICYMI: Rauner ratchets up pressure on term limits question
        * Department on Aging Hosts Financial Summit to Strengthen Financial Abuse Protections of Seniors - Summit held during annual Adult Protective Services Conference




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