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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
  1. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:09 am:

    A political party with a dearth of business experience relys soley on it’s understanding of state government as politics. Consequentially, even shutting down government becomes an inefficient, mishandled mess.

    The last thing we need is to give these guys more money, more power and more daily responsibilities over our lives.

    Vote them out!


  2. - Jaded - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:18 am:

    Gee, I wonder why the are furlough rumors going around. Maybe because the Governor’s chief of staff was telling Senators last week they were going to furlough employees.


  3. - Cogswell - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:21 am:

    Well the contractors, road building guys, etc. have no reason not to keep working until a check is missed. That may not happen for ten to fourteen days yet. What happens after that would depend on their contracts.


  4. - Mr. W.T. Rush - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:28 am:

    What a whack job
    Oh the drama!
    PeterPressRelease should just pack it in


  5. - The 'Broken Heart' of Rogers Park - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:31 am:

    Mercurial or Maniacal, either word will do.


  6. - macbeth - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:37 am:

    Well, let’s hope at least a few of the smarter agency directors (if they still exist) tell Blagojevich that enough is enough — and it’s time to start governing and stop campaigning.


  7. - Downstater - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:37 am:

    Couldn’t agree with you more VanillaMan. We need to pass that message as much as possible:

    Vote the out!!


  8. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:43 am:

    Anyone surprised by this development is delusional.


  9. - Equal MEANS Equal - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:45 am:

    One of the key components of voting them out is SB 733, which provides equal ballot access to independent candidates. The bill is tied up in the House (Madigan). He is denying our ballot choices. Let’s deny him something HE wants.

    Boycott Lisa Madigan. Take a vow to forever vote against her whenever and for whatever she runs. Spread the word.


  10. - North of I-80 - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:51 am:

    If it was Democrat legislature vs Republican governor, newsmedia would be making it a Huge story. As it is now, the public is laughing it off as no big deal… It’s not being presented as the dreadfully embarrassing saga that it is.


  11. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:55 am:

    equal, taking something out on wives or children is so childish (and wrong), it reminds me once again why third parties don’t succeed. They’re created by little boys who don’t like the rules the majority play by, so they hold their breath until people agree to do it their way.


  12. - JJ - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:57 am:

    Does that mean that Rod’s transporation back to Chicago ends at midnight tonight? haha


  13. - DOWNSTATE - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:03 am:

    All this will be is a group of bubble heads going up and down while the gov.’s people do one of those famous repeat after me.This bunch is still repeating what they will told to say 4 years ago with the budget cuts.


  14. - South of I-80 - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:07 am:

    When is it they can start passing petitions?


  15. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:10 am:

    Cogswell…

    Road contractors cannot work on a state project if the state inspectors are furloughed or otherwise not working. It’s the law. Furthermore, if IDOT is shut down Wednesday, the scheduled construction letting of August 2, containing millions of $ in road work, may be cancelled or deferred, and all the interstate rest areas may be shut down.

    Stay tuned, most think it’s not gonna happen tomorrow, but we’ll just have to wait and see.


  16. - Picture this..... - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:18 am:

    Blagojevich probably hired a two bit carne hypnotist to hypnotize the agency directors in his office. They’ll all come out saying the governor is the greatest.


  17. - 4% - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:27 am:

    Was advised by an IDOT associate that the Governor plans to release and executive order for double-exempt employees. They must report to work and will not get paid (illegal, I might add). Part of the show that his team (director, liaisons, counsel) and working for nothing.


  18. - one of the 35 - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:35 am:

    State employees! Don’t fall for it! Make the governor sign a memorandum of understanding with each one of you to insure you will be paid for your work. Look carefully at the verbage in his letter, it says, ” I WANT to make sure you are paid” It does not say that he WILL make sure you are paid.


  19. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:43 am:

    He can’t promise anything… it all depends on the budget that is eventually passed.


  20. - What in the world? - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:45 am:

    Mr. Blagojevich and company should have kept this letter to himself.

    No employee reports to work unless they are guaranteed to be paid on time. In essence what Mr. Blagojevich, Inc is doing is telling the employees “please come to work, I’m not sure if we’ll be able to pay you on time, but that up to the General Assembly. Forget your pay and think about the people of the State of Illinois.”

    Is this a joke or what?


  21. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:45 am:

    What are you guys reading?

    The actual letter says employees WILL get paid retroactive to August 1.

    “First, my office has been in communication with the leadership of AFSCME and other
    organizations that represent state employees. They have been reassured that all employees will
    be paid for work they have done and that the budget, when approved, will be retroactive to
    August 1st.”


  22. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:46 am:

    And if the ILGA doesn’t figure in that pay into the new budget to pay for education and health care instead… then what?


  23. - What in the world? - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:54 am:

    Macbeth, we are reading it correctly, retroactive pay in not payment on time. When an employee of any business does work, he or she expects to get paid on time and not retroactive pay. You cannot tell your landlord, your gas company, light company, ect, that “Mr. Blagojevich, the Governor said I will recieve retroactive pay so please wait for my rent, gas, light payments. If you have any questions, please call Governor Rod Blagojevich at 312-814……………..”

    Now that’s unreal!


  24. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:55 am:

    That’s a pretty strange question, John. Why would you possibly think that the pay wouldn’t be included in the budget? There is zero precedence for your question.

    Everybody, just relax a bit. Let’s wait until we know more.


  25. - Don't worry, be happy - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:57 am:

    It’s a setup. Nowhere does he actually direct the employees to go to work. He asks for their cooperation, and “hopes” they will continue working. What he has in effect said is that maybe everyone should stay home.

    It’s a way for him to achieve at least a partial government shutdown without ordering it himself - by creating a scenario where he freaks out the employees enough that they start staying home on their own. Then he can blame the legislative leaders for not acting.


  26. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:59 am:

    WITW, people pay their bills late all the time. But, in reality, checks to state workers won’t be delayed until August 8th. Prepare now, worry about it then.


  27. - mike - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:59 am:

    I know where I work if we aren’t paid on time we file charges with dept of labor. Could state employees actually file these charges against the state? My employer has been fined because of screw ups and forced to issue a check the next day.


  28. - Northside Bunker - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:59 am:

    Basically the letter states “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”.

    In Rod We Trust


  29. - Siyotanka - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:00 pm:

    A question to our legal minds in the audience…How can our Gov solicit business for a private entity (Credit Union 1)…(using state resources)…Hummm?


  30. - Peeved state worker - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:03 pm:

    First time shame on you, second time shame on me. As a Merit Comp employee who hasn’t sold out to this kakistocracy, I worry if and when I’ll get a paycheck, let alone a raise. I don’t believe anything this guy says.


  31. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:05 pm:

    Rich, I noticed a full moon last night, so maybe that’s why everyone seems to have gone wacky.


  32. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:06 pm:

    Checks were a week late in 1991, I believe.


  33. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:08 pm:

    And Schnorf — no one is going “wacky.” People have legitimate concerns about their pay. I’m not sure what purpose it serves to marginalize the concerns by calling the people who have them “wacky.”

    It’s not wacky to expect a pay check on time.


  34. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:11 pm:

    There is also 0 precedence for a budget this late, hasn’t stopped them. Why would I ask a question like that? Because I don’t trust them. They could do it… they probably won’t, but they could. They’ve already dipped into our pensions once (despite a pretty strong constitutional argument that they couldn’t do that). When some spoke up, legislators told them to shut up or they’d amend the constitution. This behavior doesn’t inspire trust.


  35. - GLT - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:13 pm:

    Steve,

    I agree that holding relatives and children hostage is wrong, or actually punishing them for something their relatives do or don’t do is wrong, but that doesn’t stop governor’s patronage staff, program staff and department staff from doing it when the opportunity presents itself. I saw it happen many times in the Thompson, Edgar, Ryan and Blagojevich administrations. You have too.

    Why should the voters play any different?


  36. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:17 pm:

    GLT, under Edgar and Ryan, name 2 or 3. I just don’t remember seeing it happen myself, but perhaps you will remind me of something I’ve conveniently forgotten.


  37. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:18 pm:

    C’mon, John, that’s just ridiculous. Just because you think it might happen doesn’t mean it’s within the realm of reality.

    And to “Don’t worry,” there are enough conspiracy theories out there without you adding to them. Again, everybody just take a deep breath.

    State employees ought to know that occasionally these things happen. They have a right to be upset, but them’s the breaks when you work for state government. There are other benefits that balance things out, so just try to keep a balanced perspective. You’re falling into the governor’s hype trap by buying into all this craziness.


  38. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:20 pm:

    And, John, there are plenty of precedents for a budget “this late.” Last year’s budget was extended for a month, so a new budget should only be considered “late” as of tomorrow. And we’ve seen plenty of overtimes that have gone past the end of the fiscal year.


  39. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:24 pm:

    Rich, I outright said it probably won’t happen, and I also gave you reasons for my mistrust. I’m not saying it will happen… I’m saying I don’t trust Rod at his word.


  40. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:24 pm:

    Rich, in fairness to the commenters, perhaps we should explore whether Blago was the second gunman on the grassy knoll.


  41. - GLT - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:26 pm:

    Steve,

    Let’s just confine it to the Edgar administration for now. With all due respect, I have a question. Were you familiar with Edgar’s patronage operation?


  42. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:30 pm:

    GLT, fairly much so, since most hiring went through CMS.


  43. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:34 pm:

    John, the bottom line is I don’t appreciate someone yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater when someone lights a match onscreen. Chill the heck out.


  44. - Captain America - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:36 pm:

    First let me say that I don’t want any State employee/vendor to miss a paycheck/voucher. No one wants anyone to go hungry as a result of our political dysfunction.

    But I think all this shutdown mania is much ado about very little. As a federal civl servant, I went through this regularly in the early-to-mid 80’s becasue of the Hyde amendment,prohibiting public funding of abortions for poor women. We got sent home once, and we were paid for that day.

    I think Senate President Emil Jones has come to his senses, and that we will have a budget before anyone misses a paycheck. Madigan and Jones are going to come up with a 12 month budget fairly soon, most likely before the critical dates cited by Dan Hynes. If a paycheck is delayed, I think creditors will understand the situation is very temporary. I recall reading quite some time ago that credit union loans would be available to many State employees.

    After the Republican/Gingrich-engineered federal shutdown debacle in the mid-90’s, no one wants to see a real “shutdowm” because they don’t want to be blamed.

    I am against any temporay budget resolution since it merely enables the Governor to prolong the overtime agaony indefinitely without any likely change in the outcome - Sadly, his scaled-back health care plan will not pass before the 2008 legislative session.


  45. - GLT - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:37 pm:

    Good answer Steve! I think we should let sleeping dogs lie (pardon the pun) at this point. I will not name names, and based on your last comment, I don’t think I have to.


  46. - Jaded - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:40 pm:

    One amendment to your statement Captain American. Madigan, Jones, Cross and Watson will come up with a budget fairly soon. Because the Dem leadership couldn’t get their act together in May, anything they pass now needs Republican votes (at least in the House). That is not a partisan rip on the Democrats, just a fact.


  47. - part-timer - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:41 pm:

    Does anyone know what will happen to a state worker who doesn’t show up to work beginning tomorrow because there is no budget? Will they be let go?


  48. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:42 pm:

    GLT, I meant what I said; I don’t remember seeing spouses or children punished for others’ actions under Edgar or Ryan. The only time I suggested it to Edgar, he was very unhappy at the suggestion and told me so in strong terms. But, I admitted to you, I may have missed or forgotten something.


  49. - Shelbyville - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:42 pm:

    You will get paid. You have the governor’s word.

    By the way, those of us that are telling you guys “not to worry” all work elsewhere or draw a fat retirement check.


  50. - Jaded - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:44 pm:

    Steve,
    Considering Blago’s opposition to guns, I doubt very seriously he was on the grassy knoll. My guess he was more of a behind the knoll on the grass kinda guy.


  51. - GLT - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:45 pm:

    Okay Steve. Thanks.


  52. - ChicagoDem - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:47 pm:

    It seems that the Governor is looking way ahead..say 1 to 1 and 1/2 year from now when jury selection is made for his awaited indictment and trail. Considering the fact that there are millionis of people without insurance, it is not too far fetched to think that a person who might have had a good personal experince where the Gov’s insurance made the difference and perhaps even saved a life could be chosen for jury duty. No doubt such a personal story would leave an everlasting effect on a potential juror’s mind…, enough to hang a jury. Afterall, the Gov. cannot be that bad of a person if he was willing to ‘fight’ for the uninsured! What a humanitarian the Gov. is…the juror would say. And, yes…everything boils down to a political question…except perhaps saving a drowning person.


  53. - Equal MEANS Equal - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:47 pm:

    Sorry for causing a stir…I forgot how well things were working in Springfield…


  54. - Jaded - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:54 pm:

    Don’t think I am getting soft on the guy or anthing, but if all the updates from 11:27 on are true, this is the closest he has come to actually governing in 5 years. I am almost impressed.


  55. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:56 pm:

    It’s days like these that I start thinking maybe Cassandra is right.


  56. - He makes Ryan Look like a Saint - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:57 pm:

    As a state worker, I worry about a shut down, but there are far too many rumors that are scaring the heck out of people. Just work people…stop listening to the garbage that is out there.


  57. - Crimefighter - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:58 pm:

    Darn it, I was looking forward to an unpaid vacation.


  58. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 12:59 pm:

    HMRLLAS, thanks for that.


  59. - Captain America - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 1:00 pm:

    Jaded,

    I concede yoor point: the four tops will come up with a budget soon. I’m very glad Pate isn’t around anymore. Can you imgine Blago and Pate going at it? Since Madigan has been branded as a “right wing Republican” what would Blago call Pate?


  60. - Anonymous ZZZ - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 1:16 pm:

    LOL, You and me both, Crimefighter.


  61. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 1:23 pm:

    Do state workers make interest on unpaid paychecks?


  62. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 1:23 pm:

    Just kidding. (But I was wondering about that.)


  63. - Belle - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 1:35 pm:

    Aren’t the union contracts broken if an employee works and pay is withheld? Delayed? Is that why he asked and didn’t demand staff show up?


  64. - scoot - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 1:38 pm:

    “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”


  65. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 1:48 pm:

    Belle-

    Unless the state gives 5 days advance notice of an emergency shutdown or 30 days advance notice of a systematic layoff, the state is in violation of the union agreement, and employees sent home could file a grievance and probably get paid for their time off. Asking employees to come in (rather than ordering them to come in, or ordering them to stay home) does 2 things: 1, it does not put a grievable activity in motion, and 2, it does not force employees who may not get paid in a timely fashion to come in and work against their will. A very astute decision, if I do say so.


  66. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 2:00 pm:

    It’s days like these that I start thinking maybe Cassandra is right.

    I agree there are a few state employees who are seeing Black Helicopters here. I also know that several edicts have come down where all state employees were supposed to shoulder a burden equally in hard times, only to have the union come to the rescue of those who were covered, leaving the non-unionized employees hanging out to dry. 4% pension contribution, forced furlough days without pay, loss of vacation days, etc. the unionized state employees have nothing to worry about here, IMO…but I wouldn’t be too sure about the merit comps and others. Of course, this will only increase the unionization of the state’s ranks higher and higher up the chain. Ask a state manager how many levels have been added to the union at their agency within the last few years due to managers successfully petitioning to join the bargaining unit.


  67. - one of the 35 - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 2:02 pm:

    No one has yet answered Mike’s question from 11:59. If pay checks are delayed can the U.S. Dept. of Labor intercede and force payment?


  68. - Little Egypt - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 2:05 pm:

    This is absolutely, positively 100 percent from the horse’s mouth. I just called Credit Union 1 in Springfield and this is an exact quote of what was told to me:

    “Credit Union 1 will offer no fee 0 percent loans of net pay to all State employees currently on payroll. Phone number 217/789-4151.”

    So for any of you worrying about how you will pay your bills in the event of no paychecks being issued, you can call the above phone number and get more information. I think we all need to relax and chill a little bit about the paycheck thing as there is an absolute no cost option for all State employees who may miss a paycheck.


  69. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 2:06 pm:

    35, I’m pretty sure the state is exempt. But you haven’t missed a check yet, so please relax.


  70. - Mr. W.T. Rush - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 2:06 pm:

    I am glad to see PeterPressRelease/ aka I.M. NotInsane has tubed his government shutdown plan. That would have been his dumbeset move. I guessing the Blaggomopes discoverd they did not know what agencies did what and back down before they killed someone.
    I guess we could call that progress :)


  71. - b-dogg - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 2:35 pm:

    I personally hope the state government shuts down and stays shut down. Anarchy has been given a bad name by people in black clothes with mohawks. Once the state govt. shuts down I think people will learn to appreciate the absence of an inefficient, bloated bureaucracy running their lives. Heaven forbid we come to depend on each other instead of the state. A utopia here on earth is close! Please Blago help us out!!


  72. - Fan of the Game - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 2:35 pm:

    The only thing to do is to plan as if the government were shutting down. If it does, you are prepared. If it doesn’t, you can simply move forward.

    Life is good.


  73. - Fiscus - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 2:40 pm:

    Well, I heard the state workers are going to get paid with ShruteBucks! Or maybe Stanley Dollars. Fits, since the gov manages like Michael Scott from “The Office”.

    You have to laugh, it breaks up some of the tension at work and takes your mind off of things like how close your family lives to each paycheck.


  74. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 2:57 pm:

    Not to interrupt the fun here nor to contradict our Hon. Comptroller (who is looking more statesmanlike by the hour) but as i understand it he said yesterday that the line in the sand, if you will, was drawn at Aug. 8th, as that that date would be the first major payroll to bounce. However, if ththat PR is for services rendered in the prior period, the unions, etc. hasve a less powerful argument for any day before the 15th.


  75. - sine die - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 3:24 pm:

    My understanding is that Credit Union 1 will also be granting extensions on outstanding loans until the budget crisis is resolved. In other words, state employees will be able to miss a home, auto or other loan payment without penalty. This action should also help to ease some of the fears out there.


  76. - Just commenting... - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 3:44 pm:

    sine die…That’s great IF you bank at Credit Union 1. I don’t think my bank will be quite as understanding.


  77. - OneManBlog - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 3:51 pm:

    JC,

    Some other banks did do something along the same lines in the past. Back in college at NIU we were near a shutdown and the First National Bank of DeKalb was offering the 0% loans and delays in payments for NIU Employees (I was a student but paid out of a state account not a University account if I recall correctly).

    Also Alexi has a lot of money to deposit places so he could ‘encourage’ a large number of banks to help if needed.


  78. - Mr. W.T. Rush - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 4:12 pm:

    CaptFax must be dozing
    Leaders took a little break from each other
    Will head back soon
    PeterPressRelease continues to wait.


  79. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 4:25 pm:

    Our Comptroller almost always looks and acts in a statesmanlike manner


  80. - Southern Right - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 4:29 pm:

    Paranoid? Show up to work. Things will work out. Do your job and you’ll get paid. These people will want your votes again.


  81. - bluedog demo - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 4:31 pm:

    Lay’em off Blago, furlough them Blago, let’s see how many of them we can do without. Bet there are thousands !


  82. - bluedog demo - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 4:39 pm:

    Wow how these GOPer state employees hate the thought of missing a government paycheck. These are the same folks who decry and ridicule government at every turn but they sure like getting that paycheck from big ole bad government. Hypocrites the whole lot of the them. Send them packing for awhile Blago !


  83. - Herself - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 4:55 pm:

    I am a state employee. I am going to work on Wednesday, and Thursday, and so on….until I am told not to. I hate the governor with every fiber of my being. As hard as this is for me to say, at least he stepped up to the plate and is keeping state government open. I will eventually get paid. My kids are depending on me.


  84. - NIEVA - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 5:03 pm:

    I am a Teamster with IDOT and yes we did lose a days pay under the Rod. I believe the real prolbem will be when the public aid checks and child support checks don’t go out on time. Then rod will find out how popular he is!!


  85. - Little Egypt - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 5:07 pm:

    Just Commenting - you don’t have to bank at Credit Union 1 for them to float you a 0 percent loan if the paychecks are held up. All people have to do is call the number I put in my post or look in the phone book. No, I don’t work there. I’m just trying to ease some anxiety.


  86. - Little Egypt - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 5:09 pm:

    Herself - you’re giving Blago way too much credit for State employees reporting for work tomorrow. Remember the dislike you have for him and keep it with you until the next election.


  87. - update - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 5:17 pm:

    Rich, Ryan Hermes is starting to make you look bad.
    http://www.wlsam.com/Article.asp?id=445439&spid


  88. - Magpie - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 5:22 pm:

    To North of I-80:concerning the furlough day, Teamster employees had to take the furlough day - without pay and no repayment of our time off- AFSCME did not have to take a furlough day!!!
    To bluedog demo: DO NOT categorize State Employees as a bunch of lazy slackers. We work very hard just trying to keep our heads above the water!!!!!


  89. - Plaza 00 - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 5:25 pm:

    Magpie

    YEA! With no help from Blagojevich!


  90. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 5:28 pm:

    1. The General Assembly will pass an 11-month budget.

    2. The Governor may veto portions of it, but not state agency budgets (look for a veto of member pay raises and any legislative “pork”)

    3. State employees won’t miss a paycheck.


  91. - Walter Sobchak - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 5:29 pm:

    This is perhaps not pertinent to this thread but I was down in Springfield for the first time in a few years two weeks ago and was flabbergasted at how little support the Governor enjoys. Legislators from both parties, staffers, the press, even lobbyists hold him in such contempt. The adjectives freely tossed around were: dumb, egotistical, arrogant, crooked, untrustworthy, shallow, clueless, and, even more troubling: know one cares what he thinks anymore. In the two weeks since, having discovered the Capitol Blog, I doubt that opinions have changed.


  92. - Dem 61350 - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 5:38 pm:

    Most state employees are paid on the 15th and the last day of the month, for work two weeks ago. They are paid Aug. 15th for the pay period July 15th through July 31st.
    So the real question is, and one I haven’t seen yet or addressed by the Comptroller: If a budget isn’t reached by Aug. 8th, are those state employees going to get a check for the last pay period (ending July 31st) on time Aug. 15th, or is the check on Aug. 31st the one that is in jeopardy of being late???


  93. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 5:43 pm:

    So exactly what was so bad about the Federal shutdown?

    Worker got paid, time off was had…..

    Publicity was bad, but I have not heard of a single person who was ‘iinjured’ by the Federal stopage. I suspect the same for this time if the legislators don’t get to work


  94. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 5:44 pm:

    “. . . a check for the last pay period (ending July 31st) on time . . .” - Those pay checks should be covered in the July budget. The Aug 8 issue is really where the schools get left out on their payments for starting the school year.


  95. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 5:48 pm:

    Rich and everyone else for the love of Jesus is Blagojevich didn’t want state emoployees to start griping about receiving their pay on time then he would have worded his letter in a better manner. I think we have a right to “yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater when someone lights a match onscreen” did not our Beloved Governor do the same with his letter to us today? Blame Blagojevich not the state employees whom are expressing themselves on here. If anything as Governor he should have guaranteed everyone that their paycheck will be on time because he should be willing to make any sacrifices or any Executive decision possible to hold himself to that promise. Let the people gripe, their leader has opened up a can or worms that won’t be close until a budget of some sort is reached. Hear the people out.


  96. - Squideshi - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 7:20 pm:

    I have got to wonder if any state contractors have clauses in their contracts, making the state liable for fees on late payments and exactly how much a delay might cost the state. I do think that the state should be charged for late payments–just like I think that contractors should be penalized for cost overruns and missed deadlines. We need to negotiate good contracts.

    “Do state workers make interest on unpaid paychecks?”

    They should–money has a time value; and by paying late, the state is essentially forcing workers to involuntarily provide a loan to the state.

    “I’m pretty sure the state is exempt.”

    Perhaps the state may be exempt for the purposes of that particular law; however, I would find it hard to believe that the state wouldn’t be liable for some sort of civil tort–perhaps breach of contract–sovereign immunity, after all, has been generally abolished in Illinois.

    In any case, in my opinion, legislators are not doing their job if they don’t recognize the current situation as a problem needing attention and enacting legislation to help prevent it from occurring again. For example, there should be an automatic contingency plan for how funds are spent in the absence of a budget; and explicitly, this plan should include the payment of state workers.

    “To bluedog demo: DO NOT categorize State Employees as a bunch of lazy slackers. We work very hard just trying to keep our heads above the water!”

    Yes; and according to the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, our state employees are actually very efficient–Illinois is a low headcount state (ranking 50th in public employees per capita) and a mere 4% of the budget is spent on administration (far less than most for-profit companies.) To suggest that state employees are somehow lazy, inefficient, or ineffective is just anti-government character assassination that ignores the facts.

    “Legislators from both parties, staffers, the press, even lobbyists hold him in such contempt.”

    There are more than two political parties in Illinois. In fact, there are even more than two legally established, major parties in the state. Please don’t perpetuate the myth of a duopoly by using terminology like “both political parties.”

    “When is it they can start passing petitions?”

    August 7th, 2007. See the State Board of Elections’ 2008 Candidate’s Guide.

    “That’s great IF you bank at Credit Union 1.”

    Please forgive me, but I think you’re crazy if you DON’T “bank” at a credit union. Why in the world would you allow someone to charge YOU fees for the use of YOUR money, so THEY can make a profit?


  97. - Lainer - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 7:45 pm:

    Any word from the 3 p.m. leaders meeting? Was there a leaders meeting at all? Did they forget to show up? Or did they just give up and say the heck with it?

    On a side note… maybe it’s too soon to tell, but I wonder if retailers, etc. in the Springfield area have seen sales drop lately due to state workers not being sure when they will be paid next?


  98. - silentk - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 7:50 pm:

    “Everybody just calm down.”

    Rich, there is more at stake here than just state employee paychecks. Illinois Arts Council has sent out letters to arts institutions across Illinois that the delay in the budget most probably will delay arts grants.

    For some of our smaller not-for-profit arts organizations these grants may mean the difference between a stable organization and going under due to a cash-flow crisis. Taking another loan is not always an option.

    So, you see, there is cause for panic. The budget delay affects not only state highway workers, but our artists who rely on State support.

    Care to debate the need for art in Illinois?


  99. - Emily Booth - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 7:56 pm:

    I’ve been thru this before with the state. Was it 1991 when some state employees had to get a loan at the credit union due to a delay with their paycheck? I remember seeing it on the news. They got their paycheck at the beginning of the month and were affected by the delay in the budget. We got our paychecks later in the month and were not affected. Remember this affects everyone who works for the state — the gov, the GA, the State’s Attorney, the judiciary, the State Police…I’m sure a budget will be passed in the next 10 days. It’s just the first time we got a letter from the gov. In the past, we would get the budget impasse info from our administrators, the newspapers and TV.


  100. - Emily Booth - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 7:58 pm:

    I just wanted to add my title went into the bargaining unit last year. : )


  101. - Sahims2 - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 8:35 pm:

    Excuse me blue dog, but a paycheck is a paycheck, regardless of the employer - that is far different than the checks written to cover the socialist left-wing cradle to grave care of bloated government programs designed to keep the masses dependent upon big government a la the democrats.


  102. - RJW - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 8:49 pm:

    Rich:

    How come no updates from the leaders meeting. I’m extremely disappointed in some of the Capitol Fax’s coverage lately.


  103. - Little Egypt - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 9:04 pm:

    Dem 61350, I believe paychecks to State employees are staggered way more than just the 15th and 30th of each month. My check came on the 11th and 26th.


  104. - 'nuffsAnuff - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 9:05 pm:

    I am sure that the true political junkies will continue to play Rods speechs backwards untill they are able to convince themselves that the voice they hear is John Lennon preaching the word of satan. If regular voter types had been in the meeting with agency and department directors they would have heard the following: As a second term Democratic Governor with a solid vote margin he is dedicated to providing universal health care, funding education, funding the pension plans and paying for it with new revenue. Golly, I realize he might not be boozing with the Sfld regulars but even when I squint I don’t see the horns.


  105. - Little Egypt - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 9:06 pm:

    RJW, Rich cannot keep his nose to the ground sniffing out info AND continually update this blog, especially now that Paul is gone. Give him a break and just be happy Rich is providing great information. CapFax is still the best.


  106. - Shatner - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 9:10 pm:

    You know what’s not being reported in all this crap….no one outside of this blog cares. They really don’t. So much more to life than debating the endless nonsense in Springfield. Talk about a bunch of arm chair quaterbacks, wow.


  107. - Little Egypt - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 9:10 pm:

    ’nuffsAnuff - who are you kiding? What’s this about a solid vote margin? I remember Blago getting less than 50% of the vote. And it will be worse than that next time around.


  108. - Little Egypt - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 9:11 pm:

    Shatner, you would be shocked at how far reaching this blog is.


  109. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 9:25 pm:

    - Little Egypt -
    I am convinced many on this site are shocked on a regular schedule . . . by their psychiatrists . . . at the clinic near the gov’s house. He jogs there regularly!


  110. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 9:51 pm:

    LOL. Rich dropped out early this afternoon.


  111. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 9:55 pm:

    - Shatner -
    So those are the new Blago talking points? Weak weak weak Buddy. The state’s citizens care - they also would like to stop being on national news as laughing stock! Wake up the gov and tell him to get to work, or better yet, just continue to stay out of the way, and let the big guys get the job done!


  112. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:09 pm:

    Will there be fireworks at the Cap. to celebrate the shut down of state government at midnight - about an hour and forty five minutes from now?


  113. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:23 pm:

    Is this what the gov meant by no more business as usual? Or did he just mean No More Business? Thanks Blago - you are a real trip!


  114. - Shelbyville - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:34 pm:

    Well, yeah - the unemployment office over near South Grand and I think that is 9th street.


  115. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:36 pm:

    The lines are already forming - looks like a Harry Potter deal.


  116. - State Employee - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 10:46 pm:

    State Government IS NOT SHUT DOWN!!!…or at least for state employees. The Comptroller loses his ability to WRITE CHECKS. Day care action payments and payments to doctors who accept medicaid can not be written at this time. Trouble begins around the 8th of August (and that is when employees should be worried). We have another week so take a chill pill ad go to work!!!


  117. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:30 pm:

    Nothing really happened at the leaders meeting. If something big had happened, I would’ve told you. Details for subsribers tomorrow.

    Sorry if you don’t like the coverage. Go elsewhere. If you want to know who’s eating a sandwich, go read it. If you want to know if anything happened, stay here.

    There’s no shutdown. Too many got worried for nothing.

    Goodnight.


  118. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:34 pm:

    Rich, Your coverage is great - the news is just not so good. Thanks for your hard work!


  119. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 11:41 pm:

    One last thing.

    RJW, bite me.

    Now, I feel better. Going to bed.


  120. - Frank Sobotka - Wednesday, Aug 1, 07 @ 12:21 am:

    “I have got to wonder if any state contractors have clauses in their contracts, making the state liable for fees on late payments and exactly how much a delay might cost the state.”

    Nope.
    It’s covered under prompt payment act, and that interest doesn’t kick in till an invoice is 60 days late. So, unless the delay goes 60+ days, there really isn’t a significant extra hit to the state budget.
    Also, most contracts wouldn’t make it past the Comptroller without a clause that says in essence ‘no st. budget => no cash, deal with it’.

    “Do state workers make interest on unpaid paychecks?”

    No. We will have to just make do, if it comes to that, which I doubt at this point. Ask me again on 8/7. :)


  121. - From the Sidelines - Wednesday, Aug 1, 07 @ 8:45 am:

    Rich… Thank you so much! I appreciate all of your work to keep us up to date.


  122. - Lainer - Wednesday, Aug 1, 07 @ 8:49 am:

    Just for the record, I have no complaints about Rich’s coverage of this issue. I was just curious about whether the leaders had even bothered to meet since the guv’s letter had apparently allayed fears of an imminent government shutdown. If anything significant had happened, we would have known about it right away. Keep up the good work Rich!


  123. - Comment Box - Wednesday, Aug 1, 07 @ 8:58 am:

    Suggestion #1: RJW should go start his own blog, and start humping it a bit to get the story himself.

    Then we can all sit back and complain about how crappy he is at his job!


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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