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Another twist - Pension note goes down, for now - FAILS on second try

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

*6:00 - The Senate just defeated the pension bonding bill. It came up two votes short.

However, the SDems believe they will have another vote today on another concurrence motion.

* Voting no or present among Dems were Clayborne, Forby, Frerichs, Jacobs, Lightford, Meeks, Noland, Steans.

* 6:18 pm.- Sen Trotter told reporters that they’ve picked up a vote and will be voting again tonight.

* 6:30 pm - Here’s video of Sen. Trotter explaining what’s ahead with the budget, and also with the failed (at least temporarily) pension note plan. If that plan doesn’t pass, it’ll blow a $2.2 billion hole in the budget…


*** 8:22 pm *** SB415, the pension note plan, failed on the second try,

But Senate President Cullerton told the chamber that after Gov Quinn came out in favor of the bill, he worked against it in the Senate. Oy.

We’ll have Cullerton video soon.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


39 Comments
  1. - David Ormsby - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 6:17 pm:

    The wheels seems to have completely come off the budget wagon.


  2. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 6:18 pm:

    What are they thinking?
    Maybe they can twitter us


  3. - Games people play - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 6:26 pm:

    Why did this happen and what are these senators trying to prove?


  4. - I'm Just Saying - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 6:27 pm:

    RUTRO :)


  5. - what? - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 6:28 pm:

    I’m sorry, but what does this mean? I’m still trying to understand what they were trying to do with the pension that would help the budget.


  6. - I'm Just Saying - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 6:31 pm:

    basically it borrows $2.2B that takes that obligation off the books and lowers the Deficit by that same amount….


  7. - Fed Up - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 6:41 pm:

    I look at it this way…. the budget is like a 3 legged stool. In the past we have blamed Rod (he’s gone) we have blamed Emil Jones (he’s gone) leaving us with one leg of the stool, Mr. Madigan do you really feel you are an asset to the State of Illinois? I say not!


  8. - what? - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 6:43 pm:

    And they wouldn’t want to do this why?


  9. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 7:13 pm:

    Just say “NO!!!!” to pension borrowing!

    Pay for the spending with the tax increase that is clearly needed OR pass the cut budget and cut spending to match the revenues we have.

    The latter choice would be put up or shut up for the Republicans and quite a few Democrats.


  10. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 7:14 pm:

    Rich, any video of MJM? Sure would be nice of him to weigh in and enlighten us all. Any interviews? Anything? OMG, is he in Argentina?


  11. - Tea Leaves - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 7:15 pm:

    1. Most if not all of the Democrats voting against have a strong record of supporting a tax increase that provides for education and property tax relief. Holding up the borrowing puts pressure on Republicans to come to the tax increase table.

    2. The press has given little attention to the fact that the borrowing scheme this year puts us in a deep budget hole for the next five. Imagine you only bring home $30,000 a year and you were about to put $2200 on your credit card.

    3. If I had tons of AFSCME members in my district, I wouldn’t go near ANY pension deal with a ten foot pole.

    4. When in doubt, vote No. Sooner or later, someone will make you a better offer.


  12. - L.S. - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 7:19 pm:

    Three legged stool? very profound. really gets to the core of the issue. what’s your next offering, the budget is like a box of chocolates?


  13. - John Bambenek - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 7:21 pm:

    The easiest way to think of it is that they are blowing a $2.5B hole in next years budget, but that doesn’t matter because the field will be set by then.


  14. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 7:25 pm:

    ==the field will be set by then==

    Yes, and many members won’t for for a tax increase because they will have opposition.


  15. - Anon - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 7:27 pm:

    Sen Trotter, I lost my job today because you can’t get your act together. Thanks. I will not go and find a way to pay my mortgage.


  16. - Bill - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 7:35 pm:

    The House stands adjourned.


  17. - DuPage Dave - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 7:41 pm:

    This is all pretty embarrassing to our state. Not New York or California or South Carolina level of embarrassment (we had that with Blago), but still we look so goofy for not being able to (sorry to agree with Quinn here) act like grownups and get the job done.

    This isn’t a case where two parties are using drastically different economic estimates or feuding over two competing plans for the budget. Everyone knows that revenues are in the dumper and no one wants to cut services severely. So we have to pay the bills and the math is pretty basic.

    My old guesstimate was a temporary income tax hike by July 7. I hereby abandon that fantasy and await the worst.

    My best wishes for a Happy Fiscal New Year 2010 to all the Cap Fax visitors….


  18. - TheCommonDenominator - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 7:50 pm:

    is there any leadership from the Dem majority in the House?


  19. - Mary, Sterling - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 7:52 pm:

    We NEED the worst, Dave. Only a good Bitc* slap will bring these ninnies to their senses. NO TAX INCREASE.
    Big-time pension/salary/perks reform, cuts across the board. All suffer, no one gets a pass(including legislators).


  20. - Bill - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 7:53 pm:

    So where is the Senate? Are they gonna pass the stupid pension note or not?


  21. - state employee - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 8:05 pm:

    THE PENSION HAS NOT BEEN PROPERLY FUNDED (BREAKING THIS STATE’S OWN CONSTITUTION YEAR AFTER YEAR) AND BORROWING $2.2 BILLION IS NOT THE SOLUTION–MORE AND MORE AND MORE BORROWING IS OUTRAGEOUS, DON’T THESE PEOPLE LEARN ANYTHING FROM THE MORAL AND FISCAL ABYSS WE ARE NOW IN. The pension deficit is $82 Billion b/c of 30-40 years of NOT FUNDING it. Do not blame the teachers and employees, who HAVE BEEN paying into the system. Pensions are modest at average of $18,000 after 30 years of service. If you had my job for 30 years, you would know how much we deserve that modest pension.

    EVEN IF THE STATE WERE SHUT DOWN COMPLETELY ALL YEAR, it would not solve the current budget deficit, even Rodogno acknowledged this fact. THEY NEED TO RAISE TAXES ASAP. STOP BEING SELFISH, PEOPLE WHO FIGHT A TAX HIKE, PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING AND DYING NOW, BEING TURNED AWAY FROM CARE.
    Can you pay an extra $50-$100 per year in state tax or would you like people to be turned away from care, seniors, children, working poor, disabled people??? Also criminals will be released onto the streets, people with additions not treated, so crime will be going up very soon.
    ABSOLUTELY OUTRAGEOUS. THE ERA OF “READ MY LIPS NO NEW TAXES” (NO RULES AND IRRESPONSIBILITY AND FANTASY WORLD OF TRICKLE-DOWN) IS OOOOOOOOOOVER.


  22. - Bill - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 8:15 pm:

    Calm down, dude. This note won’t hurt your pension and it might even save your job.

    They are back for a vote.


  23. - sal-says - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 8:20 pm:

    “If that plan doesn’t pass, it’ll blow a $2.2 billion hole in the budget…”

    Actually, that just further compounds the holes in the budget.


  24. - state employee - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 8:22 pm:

    You really don’t understand “Bill.” Drinking the cool-aid still??


  25. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 8:22 pm:

    The supporters of the Senate tax increase are concerned that the GOP will point to the pension note and declare the problem solved.

    And don’t forget, fed stimulus money doesn’t last forever….


  26. - Bill - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 8:27 pm:

    Pension note failed!!


  27. - Bill - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 8:29 pm:

    …and that’s all folks


  28. - state employee - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 8:30 pm:

    Good, thanks for the update. It was a tiny band-aid on a gaping gushing wound.


  29. - me - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 8:35 pm:

    It looks like nobody will be marching in any parades this weekend. Also, the capitol bill which went to the Governor today can be sat on for 60 days. Why don’t they just schedule 12 month sessions, what is the point of adjournment anymore!


  30. - Bill - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 8:35 pm:

    Well state employee to me 70% would have been better than 50% but maybe that’s just the Kool Aid talking. Good luck tomorrow, Buddie.


  31. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 8:37 pm:

    I think some of the Senate Dems are telling Cullerton they don’t want to play second fiddle to the House.


  32. - Capitol View - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 8:43 pm:

    70% looks good enough to Speaker Madigan. “Let the governor decide how to spread it around.” But 30% less funding is not adequete, and Lightford and others were smart enough to realize that if the funding level stayed at 50%, there is much more likelihood of an appropriate revenues fix.

    Speaker Madigan is a fiscal conservative at heart. He also is a master strategist, but using human services providers as political pawns to make certain other political office holders look bad is not “Democratic Values”, why liberals vote Democratic.

    Not a happy day today. And the Speaker says that he will work to override the budget veto, and maintain the fiscal status quo? Sounds like he’s channeling Terry Park to me…


  33. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 9:54 pm:

    The “Democratic Leadership” in Illinois couldn’t run a McDonald’s.


  34. - state employee - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 10:01 pm:

    Check out the latest news from Progress Illinois. A judge is ordering the state not to cut monies to DCFS (already being done to their providers). Sad that the legal system needs to step in to tell these ignoramouses how to get the job done (HELLO


  35. - DuPage Dan - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 10:51 pm:

    I also heard that Equip for Equality has filed a suit which seeks to prevent the state/private agencies from discharging persons receiving mental health treatment (state operated facilities and group homes along with community mental health services) which has any federal funding component to it (which accounts for most, if not all services provided).

    The storm is coming, folks. I wonder if MJM has a raincoat?


  36. - Gregor - Tuesday, Jun 30, 09 @ 11:11 pm:

    Look, a 2 billion dollar hole in a budget that’s 7 billion out of whack is like complaining you left the shower running… on the Titanic.

    I didn’t like the Pension Obligation Bond in the first place; it was another case of “kicking the can down the road”, and not a real solution. Well, folks, the can’s still empty, and we’ve done run out of road!

    Pass a big tax hike to clean up the mess while holding the spending at or below 09 levels. Make a 2-teir pension deal with AFSCME AND SIEOUANDSOMETIMES Y, and let’s stop the games.

    The incredible anti-incumbent feeling this disaster is generating will have effects that do not respect party lines.


  37. - state employee - Wednesday, Jul 1, 09 @ 8:36 pm:

    No Two-Tiered pensions “Gregor” see my posting above for the reasons why and please do your research before you blame the wrong people for this mess.


  38. - state employee - Wednesday, Jul 1, 09 @ 8:41 pm:

    Other reasons for no two-tiered pensions: You want to lose your best current and future teachers? They will move to more fair states who value teaching and public service and compensate better. You would be blaming and hurting future teachers and all the people they teach and serve, and their families.
    Also, you would have corrections officers, teachers, and state police chasing criminals and risking their lives for 35 YEARS until AGE 67. You will create big time tensions between current workers and teachers and new hires.
    Just some of the many reasons why this 2-tiered pension idea is absolutely unconscionable.
    The criminal legislators need to pay up now and to make up for 40 years of stealing from us (the pension funds). That’s right, stealing, instead of doing the correct thing and raising needed revenue all those years.


  39. - PalosParkBob - Thursday, Jul 2, 09 @ 7:45 am:

    State employee:

    Exactly where does a public school teacher go from Illinois for “better pay”?

    According to the NEA’s latest rankings report, Illinois teachers have the 6th highest average salary, even though Illinois spending per student ranks only 16th.

    We’re also within about 10% of the highest paid teachers in the #1 fiscally dysfunctional state, California.

    When you consider salary, benefits and cost of living, Illinois teachers are WAY ahead.

    As a former teacher, I can tell you that the main reason we lose most of the “type A” people from teaching in the first 4 years is the unfair tenure laws and compensation schedules.

    You claim that discord would result from a two tier pension program. How much animosity do you think is caused from ineffective and lazy “senior” staff member getting paid over $100K for nine months work while a younger, more effective and harder working teacher is only paid $40K for doing exactly the same job?

    This results in most of those who can do something other than function in a government bureacracy leaving public education.

    After 10 years in the system, I’ve found that two main types of people are in public education; those who truly love teaching and would be teachers even if it paid McDonald’s salaries, and people who are virtually unemployable in any private sector job.

    Based on Illinois student performance, there’s little doubt as to which group predominates.

    If you want the “best and the brightest” to enter and stay in public education, you’d do the following:

    1) End tenure protection of poor teachers. Everyone should get, and maintain, their positions based upon the quality of service they deliver.

    2) End “one size fits all” salary schedules for teachers. An aggressive, effective young teacher who makes those around him/her better SHOULD be rewarded far better than a failing teacher with 20 years experience who “phones it in” and fails the kids. The unions have contempt for the former and protect the latter.

    3) End early retirement programs, and use resources to KEEP the life-changer teachers teaching, not pay them the equivalent of a full salary NOT to teach. When I left teaching at a private high school, I was replaced by a recently retired Science Department head at one of the highest performing public schools in Illinois. He loved teaching and he wasn’t ready to quit, but being paid a six figure pension at 55 was just too good to pass up. When resources are used to actually HURT students, the policy NEEDS to change.

    The only salvation for public education, IMHO, is for it to become more culturally entrepreneurial than bureaucratic, and I’m pessimisic that necessary reform can be made without funding the student rather than the system.

    Change and improvement will only come with competition.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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