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This just in…

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

* 1:42 pm - The governor just held a press conference with three of the four legislative leaders (Madigan was not there, of course) to demand passage of the capital plan. From his pres release…

The Governor and the three legislative leaders called for passage of the plan prior to the scheduled legislative adjournment date later this week. […]

“Senate Republicans have been a clear and consistent voice for a responsible capital program. There are so many needs across the state – roads, bridges, schools, universities, airports – the list goes on and on. The infrastructure needs of this state must be addressed. We have the opportunity to address those needs, capture federal money that’s available and create jobs that are sorely needed in Illinois,” said Sen. Watson.

“Because of the great needs for roads, bridges, mass transit and school construction in this state, I support the Hastert/Poshard infrastructure plan. For us to not give full consideration to this well thought-out plan put together by these two respected individuals would be an enormous mistake,” said Rep. Cross.

* 1:45 pm - No year-round betting at the State Fairgrounds yet

A bill to expand harness racing at the Illinois State Fairgrounds stalled in a Senate committee Wednesday, making it unlikely the bill will pass this year.

Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, who is sponsoring the bill in the Senate, asked the Executive Committee to delay acting on it. He made the request after senators from both parties raised questions about how the plan would work. Republican senators in particular said the bill appears to give control of the fairgrounds racetrack to a locally appointed board rather than the state Department of Agriculture.

* 1:46 pm - Blagojevich won’t tip his hand yet on the budget

Gov. Rod Blagojevich isn’t ruling out using his veto pen if he doesn’t like the budget plans currently being considered by Illinois lawmakers.

As Democrats in the House and Senate work to craft a spending proposal by a midnight Saturday deadline, the governor said he hopes whatever arrives on his desk ‘’does good things for people.'’

But, as he entered the State Capitol building Wednesday morning, he said he hasn’t agreed to sign off on any of the spending blueprints.

‘’I'm not going to prejudge anything, I haven’t seen anything,'’ Blagojevich said.

He also said he would be in no rush to sign a budget when it arrives on his desk.

‘’I'll take my time and deliberate and do the right thing,'’ Blagojevich said.

* 2:09 pm - If you’re rooting for on-time adjournment, then this is fairly good news. If you want a capital bill passed right away, it’s not

Blagojevich say he isn’t linking the two issues [budget and capital bill] but believes they can both get done by this weekend. He wouldn’t say how that might happen.

* 2:18 pm -
So, a half hour ago we were told that the Rezko jury had sent another note to the judge. Don’t get all tingly. Here’s part one

“Can I get a new verdict form, today spilled coffee on the old one,” the note from the foreperson read.

And remember how they left early this week but promised to stay late today and tomorrow?

Well, the second part of their note indicated the panel would leave at 4:30 p.m. instead of 5:50 p.m. as they previously said.

It’s like a country club over there.

* 2:27 pm - Frustrated by the slow pace of negotiations, AFSCME is planning informational pickets at several locations tomorrow. The full press release is here.

* 3:10 pm - More capital bill stuff from the AP

House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie says House Democrats are still willing to talk about [the capital bill] but sees the chances of it happening as — quote “somewhere between little and nil.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - jj - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:00 pm:

    I think Gov also said - “I’m not tying this to anything.”

    That maybe makes it more likely that everything will get done on time, right?

  2. - jj - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:03 pm:

    Sen. Jones also said they are working on a budget bill and a capital bill.

    So, who knows. Budget done by Friday. Capital done by Saturday or in a special session sometime in June?

    Ok, everybody, time to burst my bubble. Who will throw a wrench in this one?

  3. - handsome dan - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:09 pm:

    I cannot believe that one person, Speaker Madigan is willing to keep the states infrastructure needs in the 20th century all because he refuses to meet with the governor.

  4. - bored now - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:10 pm:

    the governor is in springfield???

  5. - Garp - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:10 pm:

    If this capital plan is so well thought out-why don’t they have funding or the votes to pass it. Bottom line, Madigan has no intention of letting Blogo claim credit for anything and no right minded person should trust him with more funding.

  6. - DumberThanYouThink - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:11 pm:

    Wow Tom Cross will actually vote for the gambling expansion and giving Blaggo $31 billion….Speaker Hastert must have all the old pictures from the Lee and Tom Roommate Days.

    Or is Tom just open to support the plan.

    Most assume this will the Gov.’s final appearance before TR Judgement Day

  7. - Ann - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:13 pm:

    is this the beginning of bipartisanship in springfield to get something done?

  8. - Former R - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:14 pm:

    Thank God Tom Cross is here to represent the people and not just the special interests.

  9. - jj - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:16 pm:

    Hey Dumber - why weren’t you guys out there?

    Everyone missed you, I am sure.

    Why does Madigan feel he has to smear Tom Cross for doing what he has always pledged to do - pass a capital bill.

    Looks like Madigan has mis-judged the fall elections yet again. What could have been a 5 seat pickup might now be a 5-seat loss if it is Madigan’s ambition for the House Dems to be the impediment to a capital bill.

  10. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:19 pm:

    ===is this the beginning of bipartisanship in springfield to get something done?===


    This has been another episode of simple answers to simple questions.

  11. - nonewtaxes - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:20 pm:

    is there a bill number for the capital plan?

  12. - MOON - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:24 pm:


    The wrench has already been thrown in. The idea of selling/leasing the Lotto will not fly. In future years, if the sale came to be, how would you fund education?

    This proposal is a one time fix, but, will not solve the dire financial straights Illinois is in.The only answer is an increase in the income tax rate or no capital plan.

    Then there is the question of trust. In the past Blago and Jones have not lived up to their promises. How can the House Dems. be assured the money will be spent in an equitable way?

    Get ready for another drawn out overtime in Springfield!

  13. - jj - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:24 pm:

    See, Ann, you have your view of partisanship mixed up.

    In Illinois, its the Mad-again party vs. sanity.

    Put Cross in charge for a day, you would get more done.

  14. - jj - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:27 pm:

    “The only answer is an increase in the income tax rate or no capital plan.”

    Haha - the House Dem party platform? Raise taxes or else?

    Even Cross and Watson are on board with the Lottery lease (which DOESN’T lose education revenue).

  15. - sparky - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:27 pm:

    Its sad Speaker Madigan is so vindictive and cant think about whats best for the state. the capital plan will restart Illinois’ economy, create jobs, and end up paying for itself with the new revenue generate from the economic development Illinois will see as a result.

  16. - Anonymous45 - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:30 pm:

    Sometimes I can’t decide if the Speaker is a saint like or just a human being like the rest of us…like right now for instance…

  17. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:30 pm:

    The Rezko jury cracks me up. Spilled coffee on the verdict form? What’s next? Dids someone tape over the wiretaps?

    Most people who serve on juries want to get out as soon as possible. These guys seem to be milking it.

  18. - hmmm - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:34 pm:

    I love it. We’re in full swing for the week of “wrong.” Everyone makes predictions, no one is right and everyone gets testy. We’ll see if they can even get the capitol bill out of the Senate. Then we will see if A-Rod decides to ruin everyones summer. The mushrooms might actually have to revolt. I’m not sure that the leaders can agree that the sky is blue.

  19. - Muskrat - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:38 pm:

    This is what I don’t get about Springfield and the Governor. He’s being coy about whether he’d sign the budget being worked on, which is going to land on his desk in about three days. I can think of three reasons why he might do so: a) he’s trying to get some specific items in or out and he’s holding back approval to get them. b) He either hasn’t bothered to staff it out for a thorough review yet and so can’t say (or the bill itself is in such flux that he can’t have his staff review it yet), or c) he really hasn’t made up his mind whether to play 52 pickup with the state’s operating budget this year.

    a) would be normal politics. b) would be bad governance, but hardly unheard of. c) would be just downright scary.

    Please tell me it’s not c).

  20. - Vote Quimby! - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:47 pm:

    Did the trial accommodate the juries personal schedule? Cheez….how long would it take if we sequester them?

  21. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:49 pm:

    This leaving early despite previous promises has the makings of a very pro-blagojevich jury

  22. - jj ll kk mm - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:52 pm:

    “The only answer is an increase in the income tax rate or no capital plan.”

    Haha - the House Dem party platform? Raise taxes or else?

    Even Cross and Watson are on board with the Lottery lease (which DOESN’T lose education revenue).

    Cross and Watson are on board? Education won’t lose revenue? jj you seem to know so much more than the rest of us. Please explain.

  23. - Anon - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:52 pm:

    “Even Cross and Watson are on board with the Lottery lease (which DOESN’T lose education revenue).”

    Then it loses revenue somewhere else. And who wants to be whether that “somewhere else” is going to fight education for every penny that is lying around loose or that can be pried loose?

    The lottery lease (or sale) is nothing but borrowing against the future revenues of the lottery, which means those revenues will have to be used to pay off the borrowing rather than for the purposes they would otherwise be spent on.

  24. - d to the e - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 2:58 pm:

    I hope that this show of leadership convinces House D’s that their “leadership” is not working for them or the state. Speaker Fritchey has a certain ring to it.

  25. - jj - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 3:27 pm:

    I know so much more because I use the Google and listen to what people say at press conferences.

    Kinda beats talking out of your rear.

  26. - anon - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 3:33 pm:

    What makes this a “show of leadership”? It is certainly a show, though.

  27. - Garp - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 3:36 pm:

    I would think that the jury leaving early today means they probably think they can wrap it up pretty quick tomorrow and don’t want to finalize it at 5 p.m.

    I also think it must be going well for the prosecution because Fitz announced new indictments while they were deliberating and he usually waits for a verdict before moving on.

    Or not

  28. - jj - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 3:39 pm:

    I think we need to see a picture of the coffee stain to determine whether they are going to convict him or find him innocent.

    If there is high velocity java spatter, then he will be innocent.

    If it is a large puddled spill, he will be found guilty.

    If it is a ring, it will be a hung jury.

  29. - 618er - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 3:47 pm:

    This is hilarious. Leadership Blah Blah Blah!. None of these people are leading, they are more worried about keeping their job than leading. Remember it is an election year. Rod might not be up for reelection but you all can better believe he is gearing up to run. Jones, Cross and Madigan have opponents this year. The republicans can say we have no control and have to play the card we are dealt, but that won’t gain them any seats in either house. The democrats really seem to have the most to lose. They really have no excuse, except pettiness, for the endless bickering amongst themselves. They all want us to forget about last year’s messy summer. No one up for election wants a repeat of that….

  30. - There he goes again - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 3:58 pm:

    It’s time for Illinois to pass a capital bill so that it will grow itself out of this recession.
    A capital bill will create $8 billion in GRF over the next five years. Projects like the proposed WIU-QC riverfront campus will grow an entire region. It’s time.

  31. - frank from blank - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 4:03 pm:

    I don’t think that Cross and Jones are worried about losing their jobs. I think they want to get something positive done. Madigan might have to worry about losing his job if the House Dem’s wisen up to his me first ways.

  32. - DumberThanYouThink - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 4:08 pm:

    Watson talks about more negotiations and Cross has some mumbo jumbo about a willingness to move on some ideas.
    Neither comment sounded like “I am voting yes”
    But let’s not nit pick

  33. - jj - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 4:20 pm:

    Sure, Dumber, let the Speaker keep being the obstacle. See what happens.

    Denial ain’t just a river in Cairo.

  34. - Garp - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 4:22 pm:

    I think some of the people writing on this blog are shills for the capitol plan Well it will not happen this year unless the jury aquits Rezco.

  35. - There he goes again - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 4:29 pm:

    What’s the bill number of the capital plan pushed by Poshard-Hastert-Blagojevich-Cross-Watson-Jones-Sullivan, etc.?

  36. - jj - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 4:34 pm:

    Garp - everybody except Madigan is for a capital plan. So I guess *everyone* is a shill, then.

    Cross is the real leader - he has been leading the charge on this.

  37. - Sprint Speed! - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 4:44 pm:

    Hey Dring - don’t you have real work to do?

  38. - Kevin Fanning - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 4:47 pm:


  39. - Little Egypt - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 6:18 pm:

    No capital bill until Blago is gone. He can’t be trusted and, in my opinion, would divert the first dollar in the new budget to his health care plan. No, nill, nadda capital bill. Not now, not until 2011 or when Blago exits. Poshard recommended MOU’s. What planet has he been living on for the past 6 years?

  40. - some former legislative intern - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 6:29 pm:

    “jj”, “d to the e”, and whoever else:

    In my estimation, the reason the Speaker and HDem leadership are opposing the capital bill is that it is founded on poor fiscal policy. Anytime you sell and then lease an asset, you lose. What about in the future, 5 to 10 years down the road, when you need another capital bill? Use lottery proceeds? Sorry, we already sold it off. What asset is next? The DNR parks? The Old State Capitol? Ridiculous. Once that asset is gone, its gone. Its like saying, “I am going to take my DVD down to the pawn shop to pay for roof repairs.” When the roof get fixed, however, there is no money left to get the DVD back from the pawn guy. All along, you realize you should have found a better way, like saving money or working more hours.

    That is what is happening here: Blago, et. al. want to take the State of Illinois down to the pawn shop.

    Anytime you sell an asset, only to lease it back, its gone.

    Finally, with the gambling portion: it has been 10 years since the state passed any new gambling initiative. Every attempt since then has failed. What makes you think they will find votes among gambling opponents now? To the opponents, it is a religous issue. How are you going to cut a deal with people opposed on religous grounds?

    A tax increase is the only responsible way to do this. It is the only wat that makes sense fiscally. Politically, not so good, but responsible.

    Madigan should be given credit for standing up and doing the right thing despite the politics.

  41. - DuPage Dave - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 6:40 pm:

    I don’t get all the Madigan bashing today. He showed in the past that as Speaker he could work productively with various governors. The current governor is a world unto himself. What promises has he kept? When has he ever demonstrated that he could be trusted?

    The fact that Blagojevich and Madigan dislike each other does not mean that they are equally to blame for the state’s troubles. On the one hand you have a competent, experienced legislative leader, and on the other hand you have an opportunistic hustler who has squandered the good will of the people of Illinois and has precious little to show for his five years in office.

    My prediction: budget passed and wrapped up by July 11. Same as last year….

  42. - A Citizen - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 6:56 pm:

    guv won’t keep his “promises/agreements” with or without MOUs, Emil renigs on his agreement on veto over rides last year with MM . . . Seems to me that Madagin is the only TRUSTWORTHY dem in a “leadership” position. End of the story!

  43. - Northside Bunker - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 7:10 pm:

    The Governor Ultimatum demands, imagine that….

  44. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 7:38 pm:

    jj, speaking of talking out the rear, I like Tom Cross a lot, but if you’re serious about thinking Madigan is going to lose 5 seats, I’ve got a little action for you.

  45. - Easy - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 7:59 pm:

    Was Madigan worried about the fiscal condition of the state when he raided the pension fund to pay for his pork projects? Was Madigan worried about the state when he supported leasing the Thompson Center? Was Madigan worried about the state this year when he proposed a budget over $3 billion out of balance.

    It’s cliche to say, but it is true that the inability of MJM and Rod to get along has blocked programs that would improve Illinois.

  46. - A Citizen - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 8:14 pm:

    If guv would just take a 60 day leave of absence we could get the answer we all know is true. Guv IS the impediment to progress and sound management.

  47. - Bookworm - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 8:31 pm:

    Anyone notice that the no-rulemaking amendment or “JCAR rider” that the House pushed this session seems to be going down in flames in the Senate, which non-concurred in a bunch of Senate bills that had been so amended? A prolonged game of legislative ping-pong isn’t going to help end the session any sooner.

  48. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 9:08 pm:

    “It’s time for Illinois to pass a capital bill so that it will grow itself out of this recession. A capital bill will create $8 billion in GRF over the next five years. Projects like the proposed WIU-QC riverfront campus will grow an entire region.”

    Illinois needs more higher ed slots like Pat Fitzgerald needs more cases to prosecute.

    Why don’t we instead close down a directional state school and use those real savings to fund a capital bill?

    Oh, and the Dead, er, Quad Cities have said that same thing for the past 25 years when they had to have a casino, civic center, blah blah blah. Those all worked out real good. Not. You folks up there need to hire a new PR firm to a least come up with a fresh idea for the new millenium.

    These ideas of borrowing ourselves into prosperity, whether it’s issuing bonds to cover the 1990’s pension debt, leasing the Lotto to replace roads and buildings that would have lasted longer with better maintenance, or selling buildings and leasing them back all hit old AA as the three strikes of stupidity. I can’t believe that Republicans swung at any of these sucker pitches.

    Thank God for Speaker Madigan.

  49. - Truth - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 9:16 pm:

    A Citizen,
    A men.

  50. - Disgusted - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 9:18 pm:

    If the governor is thinking of running for a 3rd term, he must be totally out of his mind OR his narcissism and hubris knows no bounds.

  51. - Gregor - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 9:27 pm:

    The Madigan-bashing is an attempt to draw the attention off the looming Rezko verdict for the weekend news cycle. Classic magician’s trick, to divert your attention. The GA members, particularly the House, smell blood in the water: the longer they hold out, the weaker Rod gets, and the weaker Rod gets, the weaker Emil gets.

    Those guys just showed up to the press pop to say yes, the infrastructure improvements would be good and they are all for them. To not show up would be to give Rod an opportunity to paint them as obstructionist in the press. Really, it’s all a huge kabuki theatre piece, in the end, none of them will do jack until we get into supermajority overtime, or we get a Rod indictment, whichever comes first.

  52. - Jay from Jersey - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 9:35 pm:

    Madigan should run for gov. With all the important things he hates doing this state would be back on track in no time. Because of failed Dem leadership for the past 6 years, the state has no choice but to lease the lottery or a gaming expansion. If Dems would have cut out wasteful spending we would never have had this problem.

  53. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, May 28, 08 @ 10:24 pm:

    Nick Q,

    Get a clue.

    AA is no “D.”

    But admires the Speaker too.

    (Darn. Almost Haiku’d w/o trying.)

  54. - Louis Howe - Thursday, May 29, 08 @ 6:46 am:

    The judge is a wimp…Closing down the jury deliberations so a juror can attend a job interview is crazy…..Where is her concern for taxpayers…..

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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