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Noontime update *** UPDATED xSeveral ***

Sunday, May 31, 2009

[Updated with video and bumped up for visibility.]

* 12:29 pm - The House Education Committee is now debating the Senate’s tax hike plan. Gov. Quinn is at the hearing and took a question about the budget. The Senate’s plan requires $2 billion in spending cuts. Quinn said he’d have to do some belt tightening, but that the cuts were doable.

They’re meeting in room 114, so you can listen or watch by clicking here, unless your Mac is like mine and the feed doesn’t work.

* 1:21 pm - The Senate’s tax hike bill passed the committee 11-6-2.

* 1:29 pm -
One House member absent from the chamber today: Democratic Rep. Lisa Hernandez.

* 1:36 pm - Gov. Quinn talked to reporters after the House committee hearing…

* 1:52 pm - The AP has a brief story up about the committee vote. Nothing new in it.

* 2:04 pm - The Tribune’s web story breezes past a very important point…

The tax measure was approved by the House Education Committee on an 11-6 party line vote, with Democrats supporting and Republicans opposed. Two Republicans voted present.

Those two GOP “Present” votes are hugely significant, because House GOP Leader Tom Cross has said that his entire caucus is a “No” on any tax hike plan. There’s more to it, but you gotta subscribe.

It ain’t there yet, but the plot has thickened.

* 2:19 pm - A couple more videos from the committee hearing. Gov. Quinn says property taxes are the most onerous tax in Illinois…

The governor’s closing statement to the committee…

* 2:28 pm - From Rep. Fritchey’s Twitter page

Dems are going to caucus in a bit to talk about taxes. This situation is still very much up in the air.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anon - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 12:48 pm:

    I’ve had the same issue with the House feed not playing on my mac, but discovered it will play with the Windows Media Player for Mac OSX.

  2. - Bill - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 12:48 pm:

    Whitely and the Repubs are so full of it with this myth that businesses and even citizens are “leaving Illinois” because of taxes. There is absolutely no evidence that any number, let alone 400,000 people have “fled” Illinois because of taxes. Give it a rest, morons!

  3. - at it igan - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 1:09 pm:

    My opinion, Mike Madigan does not want any tax bill to pass, for political reasons.

  4. - Rich Miller - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 1:27 pm:

    ===it will play with the Windows Media Player for Mac OSX.===

    Yep. Works. Thanks.

  5. - Steve - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 1:56 pm:

    Bill. I know this may shock you but there’s better places to do business than Illinois. Places that don’t have union problems. Places that don’t have a state income tax. States that don’t have ex- Chicago Mob bookmakers making it to the top. Illinois is do to lose one U.S. House seat after the next census. Do you wonder why?

  6. - dave - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 2:03 pm:

    Steve… but you still haven’t given any evidence, at all, that people are leaving Illinois because of taxes.

    Where is the evidence?

  7. - Steve - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 2:06 pm:

    The evidence is all over the place. Look at Chicago which,according to recent census estimates has lost more people than Detroit this decade!

  8. - Rich Miller - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 2:08 pm:

    Steve, you claim evidence without providing actual correlation. Back up your claim.

    Also, Detroit was already empty.

  9. - Legaleagle - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 2:11 pm:

    Why would any poster call others “morons”? Is this Junior High?Can’t we all try to persuade rather than insult?

  10. - Steve - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 2:19 pm:


    Detroit is still considered a big city by the U.S. Census Bureau even though it’s in decline. Alright, he’s a Brookings Institution study.I’ll quote from it first:

    Total employment in metropolitan Chicago grew moderately before the 2001 recession,declined from 2000 through 2003,and rose again in 2004 and 2005.The region gained 346,000 jobs(an 8.2% percent increase)from 1995 through 2000.Despite recent gains,total employment fell by 109,900(2.4 percent)from 2000 through 2005.Over the entire period 1995-2005,the region gained 236,100 jobs(5.6 percent),well below the national growth rate.
    Manufacturing employment declined almost continously since 1995,with the largest annual losses occurring in 2001 and 2002.The region lost 35,700 manufacturing jobs(a decline of 5.3 percent)from 1995 through 2000 and another 141,300(22.2 percent) from 2000 through 2005.The result was a loss of 177,000 manufacturing jobs(a 26.3 percent decline)over the entire decade,the largest total loss of all regions included in this analysis.

    Here’s something from Crain’s Chicago Business:

    Financial pressures on Illinois residents are deepening, as the state continues to lose economic ground compared to the nation and its own past.

    That’s the gloomy bottom line on a comprehensive study of the state’s economy being released this morning by the Chicago-based Center for Tax and Budget Accountability and the two research units of Northern Illinois University at DeKalb.

    The study finds that, though the rate of decline has somewhat slowed, Illinois continues to lose good-paying manufacturing jobs to service-industry posts that tend to pay less.

    As a result, most Illinois workers actually earned less in 2007 than they did in 2000, adjusted for inflation, with median household income dropping from $54,900 in 1999-2000 to $49,328 today.

    Here’s the Wall Street Journal:
    And the evidence that we discovered in our new study for the American Legislative Exchange Council, “Rich States, Poor States,” published in March, shows that Americans are more sensitive to high taxes than ever before. The tax differential between low-tax and high-tax states is widening, meaning that a relocation from high-tax California or Ohio, to no-income tax Texas or Tennessee, is all the more financially profitable both in terms of lower tax bills and more job opportunities.


    Texas created more new jobs in 2008 than all other 49 states combined. And Texas is the only state other than Georgia and North Dakota that is cutting taxes this year.

  11. - Rich Miller - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 2:22 pm:

    Steve, unless we find lots of oil and natural gas here and start taxing coal sales at a much, much higher rate, then we’ll never be able to compete with Texas on income taxes. There’s no way to eliminate our income tax unless we move it to the sales tax.

  12. - Rich Miller - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 2:26 pm:

    From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram

    ===A multi-billion dollar budget hole had long ago threatened to make this an especially bitter session. But budget negotiations turned out to be fairly cordial once the state’s coffers received a $12.1 billion boost, courtesy of the federal stimulus package.

    “We were fortunate that the stimulus arrived when it did,” said Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland. “It softened the blow and it allowed us to preserve the ‘rainy day fund,’ which will be [important] for the next session.”

    Indeed, lawmakers are already talking about raiding that fund, based on robust oil and gas income, in preparing for a possibly larger budget shortfall in 2011. ===

    [Emphasis added]

  13. - Steve - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 2:29 pm:


    No doubt that Texas oil helps but Texas is more than oil now. It has more Fortune 500 corporate headquarters than any other state. This isn’t a coincidence. Low taxes and less regulation help. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Plano is the wealthiest per capita large city ( cities with populations over 250K ) in the U.S. This isn’t due to oil. It’s due to high tech and consumer products like Pepsico.

  14. - Patiently waiting - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 2:31 pm:

    Can someone give a summary of where the proposed gov’t $2B cuts will occur? Education, executive branch agencies, etc.? Thanks.

  15. - Rich Miller - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 2:37 pm:

    ===summary of where the proposed gov’t $2B cuts will occur?===


  16. - Bill - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 2:49 pm:

    I sure would like to be a fly on the wall in those caucuses.

  17. - Willie Stark - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 2:53 pm:

    A Texas legislator, Eliot Shapeleigh from El Paso, every year for the past several years has put out his own version of a “State of the State” report called “Texas on the Brink.” It’s a compendium of statistics about Texas, pulled from reputable, legitimate sources, like the Census Bureau, and fully footnoted. It doesn’t paint Texas in such a favorable manner.

    Here are some low-lights:

    1) 49th in teacher pay
    2) 1st in the percentage of people over 25 without a high school diploma
    3) 41st in high school graduation rate
    4) 46th in SAT scores
    5) 1st in percentage of uninsured children
    6) 1st in percentage of population uninsured
    7) 1st in percentage of non-elderly uninsured
    8) 3rd in percentage of people living below the poverty level
    9) 49th in average Women Infant and Children benefit payments
    10) 1st in teenage birth rate
    11) 50th in average credit scores for loan applicants
    12) 1st in air pollution emissions
    13) 1st in volume of volatile organic compounds released into the air
    14) 1st in amount of toxic chemicals released into water
    15) 1st in amount of recognized cancer-causing carcinogens released into air
    16) 1st in amount of carbon dioxide emissions
    17) 50th in homeowners’ insurance affordability
    18) 50th in percentage of voting age population that votes
    19) 1st in annual number of executions

    Quite a few other metrics besides job creation and number of F500 companies by which to fairly (note “fairly” is the operative word) rate a state.

    If you are interested, the full report is here:

    So, please, spare us the Texas is a paradise line. Despite what Steve, Tom Cross and the Illinois Policy Institute corporate welfare recipients believe, it’s not and it has a lot for which to be ashamed.

  18. - Better late than never - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 3:36 pm:

    I know I’m coming in late in this game but the Repubs would be insane not to force this thing into OT and get their say.

    “Gov. Quinn is at the hearing and took a question about the budget.”

    That is the most refreshing thing about this whole budget year. At least Quinn is down there fighting for it.

  19. - L.S. - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 3:44 pm:

    -Repubs would be insane not to force this thing into OT and get their say.-

    Not gonna happen, if the tax hike doesn’t work (and it probably won’t) it will be the 50% operations budget and away we go. Overtime is not an option.

  20. - Cassandra - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 3:44 pm:

    I’m still surprised that the corporate increase is so low. It could be much higher in tandem with the proposed individual tax but instead it’s infinitesimal. Yet in the latest House version, a family making $50,000 would take quite a hit.
    The proposals are becoming less and less progressive as time goes on.

  21. - Mdog - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 3:56 pm:

    Texas is said to have the best business climate in the United States. What I do know is that since we have had one party control in Springfield, it has been one debacle after another. It is to bad that the average Illinoisan remains uninformed about the political leadership that runs this State. I think if they knew then many of these “leaders” both Republican and Democrat would be out of a job. At some point you have to level out spending. Under the current ideology that taxpayers should foot the bill everytime our elected leaders overspend, then doesn’t that mean that taxes will always have to go up? Maybe we shouldn’t try and provide services to every single special interest in the State? Maybe we can’t afford to provide everyone insurance? I often ask myself; what did I do to someone to make them think that I should pay for their health care.

  22. - dave - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 4:12 pm:

    Steve… not one of your pieces of “evidence” gives any facts that would mean that people have left Illinois because of taxes. Not one of them.

    A couple imply such, even though the facts that they present say nothing of the sort.

  23. - soccermom - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 4:27 pm:

    Given the aging of the baby boom, I think it’s reasonable to assume that a good number of older Illinoisans are moving to Sunbelt states, driven more by ice and snow than by taxes. Perhaps the
    General Assembly should take action to bring our weather in line with competing states?

  24. - Pelon - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 4:45 pm:

    For those of you who don’t think Illinois’ tax and business climate has contributed to people leaving the state, how do you account for Illinois relative decline in population?

  25. - Plutocrat03 - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 6:52 pm:

    The legislative puppets are dancing as fast as they can. The special interests who feed their campaigns and supply the armies of door knockers have made their needs for more money known and those are the needs that must be met.

    If the politicians were honest, they would plan for a tax increase that would be abated when the economy improved. Unfortunately the history of Illinois is that of self dealing, special deals for special people and dishonesty in dealing with the public.

    As far as business climate is concerned, how often do you see a company coming to Illinois without unrecoverable subsidies? is usually an announcement that they are relocating away from here.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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