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Quinn press conference - Strong Blagojevich echoes

Tuesday, Jul 7, 2009

*** The governor’s veto message can be read by clicking here *** [Fixed link.]

* 2:08 pm - Gov. Pat Quinn’s 2:30 budget press conference will be broadcast live by the Illinois Information Service. You can click here to listen. We’ll do a bit of live-blogging as well.

* Likely live-Tweeters include…

* Sen. Dan Rutherford

* Ben Yount

* IL Senate GOP

* Carlos Hernandez Gomez

I’ll add more when I see them.

* 2:34 pm - And here we go…

The governor just said he would “veto a bill that the General Assembly sent to me last week.” It’s another budget bill. Dealing with “a lot of parts of state government.”

Quinn said he would veto the bill and send it back with instructions for “how they can save money.”

Bill didn’t follow principles of sacrifice. Some agencies got the same amount of money as last fiscal year, for instance, Quinn said.

$185 million cut from state operations. 2,600 layoffs. Notices “have begun to go out already.”

Furlough days.

Remember, none of these announced cuts are new, except for this new veto.

Previously announced budget cuts are outlined at this link.

The guv has not yet said which bill he is vetoing.

Ben Yount

Most telling line so far, Quinn says lawmakers wanted cuts so he’s giving them what they want.

* The appropriations bill Quinn is vetoing is reportedly HB 2145.

This is a full veto.

* Question: How will you get the unions to go along with furloughs? Answer: I support unions, etc., etc., etc. but no real answer except to say furloughs will limit layoffs and he hopes to convince the unions of that.

Quinn also wants to talk to the union about killing off the scheduled raises.

* Quinn: No furloughs will mean another 2,500 layoffs.

* Quinn won’t confirm a report earlier today that he might implement early release for some inmates. He would only say the Dept. of Corrections would have to change the way it operates.

* Quinn: “They are cuts in [Fiscal Year] ‘09 spending.”

* Full document outlining Quinn cuts is here.

* “They want me to do it,” Quinn said about the GA’s desire for him to make cuts.

* The governor is blaming the GA again, but he won’t admit that he could use the item reduction and line item vetoes on his own. Instead, he wants to get together with the GA to work out the cuts.

* It sounds like he just took a question at his press conference from a non-reporter. That would be very Blagojevichian.

* QUINN: “We’re going to keep vetoing it and vetoing it until we get spending in line.”

* Quinn: At least $25 million in savings from constitutional officers. Hello, Lisa?

* The governor’s press release is now out…

July 7, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today vetoed House Bill 2145 saying the General Assembly’s bill fails to make any significant cuts in state operations. Instead, the Governor proposed passing a responsible “Tough Choices” budget, which calls for cutting an additional $1 billion in state costs.

“I am vetoing this bill in its entirety because it favors preserving the government status quo and fails to make the necessary cuts and reductions in state government operations,” said Governor Quinn. “It does not reflect the spirit of shared sacrifice that must prevail throughout our state government, particularly during these harsh economic times.”

HB 2145 appropriates $3.8 billion to fund state operations. However, HB 2145 fails to adequately cut the cost of state operations, including the budget of the General Assembly and other Constitutional Officers, including the Attorney General, Treasurer, Comptroller and Secretary of State.

Governor Quinn said the General Assembly and all statewide officers should cut their budgets by at least 10 percent, a cost-cutting move that includes an option of ordering up to 12 furlough days for all employees.

“I presented my budget to the General Assembly on March 18 with a clear message: When it comes to making cuts, we have to make tough choices, not bad choices. It was true then and it’s true today,” said Governor Quinn. “My goal has always been to pass a fair and comprehensive state budget that serves the fundamental needs of the people of Illinois.”

The Governor’s “Tough Choices” budget proposes cutting $1 billion from the state budget including:

· $185 million from state operations, including approximately 2,600 layoffs and 12 furlough days for state employees

· $140 million from Medicaid and health insurance

· $250 million in targeted reductions in grant programs

· $125 million from the Department of Corrections

· $175 million cut from proposed increases for K-12 education

· $25 million from other state offices, departments and agencies not under the Governor

· $100 million in additional reserves

* Quinn said the budget bill is “so flawed” from “beginning to end” that he couldn’t just do reduction or line item vetoes. Instead, he believes they must “start from scratch” and begin again.

* Ben Yount

Quinn: legislative leaders to meet Monday, lawmakers could have “busy Tuesday”

* Quinn is again complaining (valid complaint, by the way) about how this approp bill unconstitutionally bars him from letting professional and artistic contracts.

* “We vetoed your first effort, now let’s get serious,” Quinn said, talking to the GA.

* Quinn said he would sign another approp bill dealing with Medicaid reimbursement.

* The governor also said he “just got” the capital bill and that’s why he hasn’t moved on it yet. That’s such a bogus claim. He could’ve looked at the capital bill online for weeks.

* Ben Yount

Quinn: If lawmakers think they can “muzzle the Governor” I have to veto them.

On July 7th Gov says “now it’s time to get serious.” Not May, not June, but July 7th.

* “I’m giving them specific recommendations on how to cut the budget… They’ve sent me a document here that overspends by a wide margin.”

He’s now vetoing the bill.

Finis.

* 3:36 pm - The Tribune hed and lede play up the flip-flop angle: Quinn changes mind, vetoes whole budget bill

A day after he said he’d take responsibility for $1 billion in budget cuts, Gov. Pat Quinn today instead threw the issue back into the laps of lawmakers.

* GateHouse

Refusing to wear the collar alone for painful choices, Gov. Pat Quinn today said he’s rejecting a budget bill approved by lawmakers and directing them to cut $1 billion from state operations.

*** The governor’s veto message can be read by clicking here *** [Fixed link]

* If you look at the veto message linked above, you’ll see the governor never outright claims that the budget is out of balance. Instead, he relies on other constitutional issues within this one bill - issues that, while mentioned at today’s presser, were not the governor’s prime focus at all.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


109 Comments
  1. - Obamarama - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 2:27 pm:

    We could probably just cut and paste the live-blogging from any of the last 3 budget pressers he’s held…


  2. - trying to make sense - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 2:29 pm:

    How bout we cut the time and money and effort it took to post the “kids need to wear sunglasses” stuff. Come on, what is that. Really.


  3. - Princess - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 2:36 pm:

    another veto?


  4. - dave - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 2:43 pm:

    Is this a full veto? Or an amendatory veto? And do we know which specific bill he is vetoing? There were five budget bills…


  5. - Raghib Ismail - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 2:45 pm:

    Total veto of HB2145


  6. - Irish - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 2:45 pm:

    So he is not announcing cuts right now…he is vetoing this bill and the cuts he is mentioning are his suggestions to the GA on how to make the necessary cuts? I am confused


  7. - dave - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 2:47 pm:

    Irish… the Governor cannot really make cuts on his own. He is telling the legislature that this bill doesn’t work, and that they need to make a bunch of cuts. He is then proposing what those cuts could/should look like.


  8. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 2:47 pm:

    2145 had several problems that needed to be fixed. The Veto is the easiest way to do it (and most efficient). The cuts are being presented for the GA to consider as they craft a budget to reflect the cuts.


  9. - ilrino - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 2:49 pm:

    Ten percent cuts in grant programs. Does this negate the much larger percentage cuts (50%-75%) he made to social service agencies that’s been all over the media?


  10. - I wish I were Mrs. Guillen - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 2:51 pm:

    did he say layoff notices went out today?


  11. - dave - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 2:51 pm:

    Does this negate the much larger percentage cuts (50%-75%) he made to social service agencies that’s been all over the media?

    No… this $1B in cuts assumes that a tax increase will still happen.


  12. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 2:53 pm:

    The Gov DIDN’T make the 50% cut to social services. The GA did. He also vetoed that bill last week.


  13. - Louis Howe - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 2:53 pm:

    Quinn sounds good, but I hope he has thought this strategy through…What is his plan for state payrolls if he doesn’t have a budget by next week?


  14. - A Naughty Moose - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 2:54 pm:

    Has he never heard of a reduction veto?


  15. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 2:55 pm:

    ===the Governor cannot really make cuts on his own===

    Yes he can. Item reduction and line-item vetoes.


  16. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 2:57 pm:

    @ A Naughty Moose

    Have you happened to read HB2145? It was a disaster. Some agencies were so underfunded they couldn’t function for a month. Others were over appropriated. The splits between the PS lines were all over the place.

    The bill was a wreck. It needed to be killed and started over.

    Seriously, read the bill. Then you will understand why it was shot down.


  17. - Irish - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 2:58 pm:

    Dave, Thanks, I kinda understand that but he is announcing on one hand that the layoff notices are going out today then turns around to say he is sending these recommendations for cuts to state government to the Ga to come up with a new budget that reflects this. That is where my confusion comes in. He says he has named cuts in his recommendation to the GA agency by agency. But he is sending out layoff notices today. But then he wants to sit down with unions to see what can be done as far as furlough days and stopping pay raises to minimize the cuts.

    After listening to this presser I would have to answer the QOTD as any but but Quinn.


  18. - A Citizen - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 2:59 pm:

    Well, betcha MJM and Cullerton are scared now. Sorry to say it, but we still need a new guv - this one’s no better than the last, just less “in your face” but same incompetence.


  19. - dave - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:02 pm:

    Yes he can. Item reduction and line-item vetoes.

    True. And it is pretty clear why he is unwilling to do so - he wants the GA to take responsibility for the cuts.


  20. - upstate - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:02 pm:

    Gov got it all wrong. He a good example why it all falling apart. His mother get aid. He sohould be paying for not the tax payers that sum the whole problem with social agency funding issues. TAKE CARE OF YOUR OWN not the state…


  21. - Will County Woman - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:05 pm:

    * “They want me to do it,” Quinn said about the GA’s desire for him to make cuts.

    Great is he trying to generate hysteria and panic among the state workers, by putting the blame on the GA? Will state workers call legislators and bombard them with raises taxes demands? Storm the capital and protest in 112 degree heat?

    state workers no doubt are unhappy, but I don’t think they’ll let themselves be used as pawns the way the social service providers did.


  22. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:07 pm:

    Yeah you can do the ‘who gets layed off’ thing in one day….

    Right Pat….


  23. - Princess - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:08 pm:

    Yawn. So in a nutcup 2,600 out the door, & unless unions wide open the contract another 2,500 will follow. Does not matter if agencies can actually deal with such a high loss, just once again smack a stateworker cause it looks good to the public. Pfft.


  24. - RJW - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:09 pm:

    Upstate:

    My grandmother gets aid also b/c she has to live off of $500 a month. She gets utility assistance and assistance paying for drugs. It IS THE STATE’S RESPONSIBILITY to help care for its citizens that cannot care for themselves. I hope one day you find yourself needing help with medical care or some other thing and I hope the government tells you to go die in a ditch.


  25. - RJW - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:11 pm:

    OneMan:

    He didn’t say that. The letters can go out in one day. He said the process would take probably the whole 1st quarter.


  26. - Confused - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:11 pm:

    If he needs the GA to vote, why not call them back before the 14th?


  27. - A Naughty Moose - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:12 pm:

    “The same old overspending” yadda yadda

    Didn’t they approp the agencies at QUINN’S REQUESTED LEVELS?!


  28. - Segatari - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:13 pm:

    The GA should bare a lot of the blame. They passed a “six-month” budget then decided to skip out and go home not having done anything that they were supposed to do. Quinn is actually here, but the GA won’t come back until July 14th.


  29. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:15 pm:

    Exactly, Princess. That was my point in the other thread. The layoffs make not even a dent. But everybody is smacking their hands and salivating because state employees are going to be laid off. Everyone is ignoring the fact that the layoffs barely make a dent in the budget — and will make a *significant* dent in the quality of state provided services.

    Yeah, way to go. This is what folks want? Whatever.


  30. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:17 pm:

    BTW — is there an AFSCME response anywhere? They haven’t changed anything on their website yet.


  31. - dave - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:19 pm:

    Didn’t they approp the agencies at QUINN’S REQUESTED LEVELS?!

    Yes… but Quinn’s requested levels went along side Quinn’s requested tax increase.

    And the budget projections are even worse now than they were in March.


  32. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:19 pm:

    Where’s the reset button on this state? Can we re-boot? Anybody got an owners manual?


  33. - Will County Woman - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:20 pm:

    Note to Dan Hynes:

    Be nice (polite), but be strong in your disappointment/disaproval.


  34. - A Naughty Moose - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:21 pm:

    Quinn’s requested levels went along side Quinn’s requested tax increase.

    He’s still calling for that increase! Now he’s saying these CUTS go along with the increase!


  35. - phocion - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:26 pm:

    ‘We’ll be getting to the capital bill “pronto,”‘ so says the Gov. When does he sign it?


  36. - RJW - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:26 pm:

    Where’s my last post?


  37. - Ghost - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:26 pm:

    TII


  38. - OT - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:26 pm:

    Do you think Quinn somehow found Blago’s version of “Governing for Dummies” because that’s what this sure feels like.


  39. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:28 pm:

    Another flip-flop?
    Days ago he was calling for tax hike
    Now says go back and cut
    Duh


  40. - Princess - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:29 pm:

    –”He’s still calling for that increase! Now he’s saying these CUTS go along with the increase!”–

    “He’s” not calling for these. Bottomline, Republican demands. Wonder if Cross wants to be invited to union negs? That would be interesting.


  41. - Idontgetit - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:29 pm:

    Rich How soon before specifics will come out?


  42. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:32 pm:

    I thought state employees already started getting the first part of their several contractual raises last week. That sounds like the purest bluffing on Quinn’s part.

    Also, since we don’t really know what the budget deficit is, it’s hard to say if these threatened layoffs would occur even if a tax increase is implemented. Quinn apparently wants us to think so, then he can be the hero when, presto, they find the money post-tax-hike. And maybe a lot more too, for “earmarks.” Or maybe not. Maybe the deficit is higher than he says. At this point, it is impossible to believe anything the guy says.


  43. - Will County Woman - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:32 pm:

    “It IS THE STATE’S RESPONSIBILITY to help care for its citizens that cannot care for themselves. I hope one day you find yourself needing help with medical care or some other thing and I hope the government tells you to go die in a ditch.”
    ______________________________________________
    Why are you people who support the tax increase without anything for taxpayers so mean-spirited and vindictive in wishing others who disagree with you ill and misfortune, so that they too may know suffering?

    I’m sorry about your grandmother. but the gov was and is wrong on how he approached this whole thing. he went with tax increase first during a recession—a critical failure.

    I really hope that the Obama administration gets on the ball because clearly states are not going to be able to manage all by themselves. If Obama continues on the path he has taken, there will be another depression—The Greater Depression or Great Depression II or the New Great Depression.

    California will not be able to dig its own way out, so the administration will have to help. and, they better keep that check book open because another 46, or so, states will come looking for money too. Illinois included.


  44. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:33 pm:

    Idontgetit, the guv was supposed to include the veto message in the press release, but what was sent to me didn’t include it. lol

    I’ll post it as soon as I get it.


  45. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:33 pm:

    Does this mean employees get vouchers and everybody has to go to the state credit unions for paychecks?

    (I remember that threat — and all the info about getting paid — from several years ago.)


  46. - RetiredStateEmployee - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:33 pm:

    I have looked briefly at the SB Quinn vetoed and this HB. Although I am very familiar with only one agency, I only see GRF funding. Where are the Federal and other state fund appropriations? Are they in a different bill?


  47. - Merit Comp Slave - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:34 pm:

    Anyone else notice that the proposed cuts do NOT include any personnel layoffs at CMS? Talk about leaving the fat on the bone!


  48. - Been There - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:35 pm:

    If all he needs is another billion to stave off layoffs, he should ask to have a gaming bill passed and sent to him. The one Madigan had last year and to a lesser extent the one Link passed out of the Senate would plug most, if not all of that gap. I know Madigan said he wasn’t in the mood for a gaming bill this year but then he went ahead and passed video gaming in bars. The equivalent number of machines to opening 40 to 50 new riverboats. He should be calling for the legislators to send him a gaming bill before announcing these layoffs.


  49. - Princess - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:40 pm:

    Cassandra, in my case the money in paycheck I receive the 13th is June’s wages. The check on the 28th is the money earned July 1st to the 15th. It’s the last check in July that will have the increase on it. That is if they decide to pay us.


  50. - RJW - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:48 pm:

    Will County Woman:

    Since you are so enlightened what would you do with a $9B deficit. Gov. Quinn was upfront and told everybody at the beginning a tax increase was necessary along with other things, like cuts. Either acknowledge that revenue is needed (fact) or that state government has to shut down (fact). I don’t advocate for a particular type of tax increase. Increase sales taxes or some other tax. I don’t want to pay it anymore than you do but $9B doesn’t just disappear on its own.


  51. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:48 pm:

    WCW is right on here. If the state needs to raise taxes now, the time to make that case is probably gone. Quinn led with the tax increase request (demand!) first and paid lip service to cuts. There was talk of reform but that doesn’t equate to cuts in services provided by the state. Increasing taxes in a recession turns a crisis into desperation. If it has to be done here, now, Quinn had a responsibility to make his case to the people. He has failed miserably. Hard to make the case for increased taxes when you are all over the place with your predictions of doom if the tax increase isn’t passed ASAP.

    While it is the states’ responsibility to protect the vulnerable the people have a right/duty to hold the state accountable. If the economy/state budget collapses due to total fiscal failure where will the vulnerable turn to then - apple carts?


  52. - Ghost - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:52 pm:

    === he went with tax increase first during a recession—a critical failure.===

    I disagree. The critical failure was not dropping by Cross house fo tea and scones, or crumpets if you prefer, and working with the GOP and Dem leaders to support the increase from day 1. Sending emissarires to cros and rodango in late may was also a failure. Instead of bringing in Big Jim, QUinn should have waloked over to their offices and sat down with the GOP leaders and ultimately key dems.

    These cuts remove money and spending from IL already troubleded econmy and will slow donw economic recovery and will cause more private sector business to fail.

    The tax increase draws a realtively small amount of money from people and circulates it into the economy through spending, which speeds up economic recovery.

    People seem to miss the act that the spending IL does is primarily in IL. So if you cut 7 billion in spending, you are taking 7 billion that is normally in the economy of IL and removing it.


  53. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:55 pm:

    ===The critical failure was not dropping by Cross house fo tea and scones, or crumpets if you prefer, and working with the GOP and Dem leaders to support the increase from day 1===

    My own opinion is Quinn should’ve led with the Doomsday budget and allowed the impacted groups to lobby it all session, instead of finishing with the doomsday budget after session ended.

    Water under the bridge now, of course.


  54. - Anonymous45 - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:56 pm:

    I have decided WCW and Cassandra must be good friends or drink the same water…


  55. - 2centsworth - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:58 pm:

    EVERYONE has to learn to do more with less, including state government. I hate that layoff notices have gone out to state employees, but I also hate that layoff notices are going out by the hundreds to private employees too! Just because you are a state employee doesn’t mean you are exempt from feeling the pain. Would you rather get your raise and have more layoffs?? What about looking our for our fellow man/woman?


  56. - sal-says - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:58 pm:

    Dear Gov Quinn & 4 Tops:

    Your blame game is fun apparently.

    If you were in major private industry, ya’ll would have been fired the first day of the new reporting-year [fiscal-year in your lingo] and replaced with folks who the ‘Board’ [taxpayers in your case] felt could do better or at least in a new direction.

    Too bad the taxpayer-Board has to wait. Go do your jobs for IL taxpayers; ya’ll are still being paid by us.


  57. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:59 pm:

    Is there any chance that the GA might agree to a smaller income tax hike — only to 3.5 or 4 percent — in return for Quinn having made these cuts?


  58. - Rob_N - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 4:00 pm:

    Dupage Dan, the Owner’s Manual is called a Constitution. ;)

    The next opportunity for a partial reboot is February, 2010… after that you’ll have to wait til November, 2010 but will potentially have fewer choices.

    The voting public voted down the opportunity for a complete reboot last year re the ConCon question.

    You also wrote separately, “While it is the states’ responsibility to protect the vulnerable the people have a right/duty to hold the state accountable.”

    Precisely. The problem is that legislative leaders are not directly elected by the people. Instead, there are several very strong firewalls between the voters and the Speaker/ President/ Minority Leaders.


  59. - RJW - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 4:00 pm:

    Rich:

    I think Quinn would be criticized either way and I don’t think it matters in the end. This gutless and spineless GA won’t vote for a tax increase anyway. I’ve been working down here for 12 years now and have yet to see the GA do anything that required any guts.


  60. - Rob_N - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 4:01 pm:

    Secret Square asks, “Is there any chance that the GA might agree to a smaller income tax hike — only to 3.5 or 4 percent — in return for Quinn having made these cuts?”

    Quinn only proposed cutting another 1 billion.

    Supposing you take Quinn’s first tax proposal and simply reduce it to 3.5 or 4% (instead of 4.5%) you’d still be short some pretty heavy pocket change.


  61. - Oldspringfield - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 4:04 pm:

    Can someone from HR in a state agency get on here and clarify for panicy state workers…. When he says “layoff notices are going out”, are these via US mail, will people get called in, emailed, what? How do people find out if they are getting cut, and how soon will they find out?


  62. - walter sobchak - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 4:05 pm:

    I don’t think I have read a more fatuous comment than RJWs. What responsibility do you have to care for your grandmother? Or the rest of her children or grandchildren to take her into their homes or help pay for her care? What a world view your family has…Orwellian isn’t half of it.


  63. - Princess - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 4:05 pm:

    –”Just because you are a state employee doesn’t mean you are exempt from feeling the pain. Would you rather get your raise and have more layoffs??”–

    And what gives you the idea that stateworkers have felt no pain? Or for that matter, that some state employees have not learned to do without? Actually you should see how creative some employees and sites have been while dealing with previous cuts and no money trinkling down.


  64. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 4:13 pm:

    Also, 2centsworth, how do you know that some state employees didn’t take those jobs after “feeling the pain” of layoffs, cutbacks, or closures at the private employers they used to work for? I did.


  65. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 4:14 pm:

    Good god, if anyone thinks state workers have been feeling no pain — you’re delusional. Since Blagojevich was elected (well before this “recession” I might add) state workers have been consistent and frequent targets for retribution and endless uncertainty.

    Where in the private sector does one worry about not getting paid at the end of a fiscal year? Where every single up and down is played out across every state paper?

    There have been layoffs during the Blagojevich years — many — and folks here salivating over additional layoffs have forgotten that.

    Good god. Cassandra et al. conveniently forget the “pain” caused for the past seven years and seem to fixate on what they assume to be “phony” layoffs.

    It’s bizarre — and a drastic misreading of the state of public service in Illinois.


  66. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 4:17 pm:

    BTW — if there’s any one who hasn’t felt the pain — either political pain or economic pain — it’s Michael J. Madigan. He’s the consistent and principal actor over these many, many years. Blagojevich is gone, Cullerton is new, Emil Jones is gone, and Quinn is clueless — but MJM keeps tooling along.

    There’s the recipient of all this misplaced venom. It’s not with the DOC workers or the average agency schmoe just tooling along in obscurity. It’s with Madigan — plain and simple.


  67. - Princess - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 4:19 pm:

    Old Springfield, don’t panic. If you’re union read your contract (it’s online)each details lay-offs and also give your local a chance to answer your questions. There is a total process, and it has to be followed, and no they can’t just email you. Your union will be certain that the process is followed and that every ‘i’ is dotted and ‘t’ is crossed.


  68. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 4:21 pm:

    Rob_N,

    I like the metaphorical connections to real life - it works.

    Ghost,

    The tax increase had a chance only, and I stress ONLY, if the state (Gov/GA/MJM) had first laid out what would be done to make the state as lean as possible. It is necessary to convince a skeptical public on the need for increased revenues. People don’t necessarily look at the state “books” first and do a detailed analysis of the health of the state. The citizens only look at the articles on the loss of jobs and homes and go from there.

    The Gov could have, and certainly should have, laid that out starting from 2/09 forward. If it would have helped to invite the GOP over for tea and crumpets all the better. Instead, nothing was done for months. That is a failure of leadership.

    While you may be right about how the cuts will remove money from the economy it doesn’t matter. It was the responsiblity of the Gov to make the case for the tax increase. One must be aware of the tactics and strategies necessary to win over the opposition. The fact that you are a nice guy and the economics may be behind you (I don’t agree with your analyisis - but we have discussed that before) DOES NOT MATTER. Timing matters, strategy matters, vision matters. Quinn has failed to make the case - right or wrong.


  69. - Grim Reaper - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 4:23 pm:

    RJW look at what they said the Gov can afford to pay for his mother not the State. Yes I agree the State should help those in need, but it gone way beyound help some to all just because they live in Illinois.


  70. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 4:25 pm:

    Macbeth-

    We’ve all suffered under the last 6 years of the Dems…not just state employees.

    I’m not fixating on layoffs. As I’ve been saying, the problem is a lack of clarity on the size of the deficit and Quinn’s apparent inability to settle on a deficit amount and act accordingly.
    For example, if the deficit is as bad as he says, why did he give corporations a gift by reducing their proposed increase from 7.2 to 6 percent. Why did he back off so quickly on teacher pension adjustments. Etc. Maybe neither layoffs nor a tax increase is needed. Maybe more layoffs and even higher taxes. In the growing confusion, nobody
    knows, including Quinn. That’s a big problem when you are reaching into folks pockets for several billion extra bucks over the next couple of years.


  71. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 4:25 pm:

    Plus, if many or most of these cuts are going through anyway whether there’s a tax hike or not, won’t most voters now argue “Then what’s the point of a tax hike?”


  72. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 4:32 pm:

    ===why did he===

    Your guess is as good as anyone’s at this point.


  73. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 4:34 pm:

    walter, you obviously do not have any experience in these matters or you’d know better than to make statements like that.


  74. - Been There - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 4:38 pm:

    ===The tax increase had a chance only, and I stress ONLY, if the state (Gov/GA/MJM) had first laid out what would be done to make the state as lean as possible===
    Ghost, I think another avenue would have been to insist on using part of the income tax hike with the capital bill. Instead of using video poker he should have asked for a 2% raise in the income tax with a 1/2 % tied to the capital bill. But instead he tossed out his anti-gaming principles and (supposedly) agreed to the capital bill “package” which included video poker. If he had held out and had it part of the “package” it would have easily passed since the legislators would have had something to point to with their vote, like roads and bridges.


  75. - Anon - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 4:39 pm:

    Poor state employees they get it both ways, first as the cause of everything with layoffs, paycuts, furlough days and the stigma of being in public service and then as part of the cure since most are also tax payers they also have to pay higher taxes, fees and reduction in benefits.

    Where in private industry does this happen where the employees suffer on both sides of the profit equation.


  76. - Oldspringfield - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 4:43 pm:

    Princess,
    I am not union, I am merit comp… Any idea how that process goes?


  77. - David Ormsby - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 4:45 pm:

    Rain is forecast for tomorrow. Madigan’s fault.


  78. - Quinn T. Sential - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 5:08 pm:

    {* If you look at the veto message linked above, you’ll see the governor never outright claims that the budget is out of balance. Instead, he relies on other constitutional issues within this one bill - issues that, while mentioned at today’s presser, were not the governor’s prime focus at all.}

    Is it just me; or is anyone else having trouble getting the Veto Message link to open? All I get is brought back to the CF Home page.


  79. - George - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 5:10 pm:

    My agency, which works with the homeless, AIDS, youth at risk, etc., is barely hanging on. If agencies managing critical human needs must “share the burden” (as if we aren’t burdened enough already) to the tune of 50% budget cuts, certainly the GA should take a 50% cut as well - including, Palatine’s governor wannabe. At least we do our job.


  80. - Emily Booth - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 5:37 pm:

    #

    - Cassandra - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 3:32 pm:

    I thought state employees already started getting the first part of their several contractual raises last week. That sounds like the purest bluffing on Quinn’s part.

    Also, since we don’t really know what the budget deficit is, it’s hard to say if these threatened layoffs would occur even if a tax increase is implemented. Quinn apparently wants us to think so, then he can be the hero when, presto, they find the money post-tax-hike. And maybe a lot more too, for “earmarks.” Or maybe not. Maybe the deficit is higher than he says. At this point, it is impossible to believe anything the guy says.

    We do know what the budget deficit is. It’s at the State of Illinois website. There is a link there for Quinn’s budget. All of the numbers are there on the first page of his budget.


  81. - jonesey - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 5:40 pm:

    I thought it was a good speech. The budget is back where it belongs in the legislature’s lap. Quinn is being honest–we need more revenue. Honesty matters, maybe we’re not used to it in Illinois politics. All the political experts can second guess his strategy, but any other Quinn strategy would have also failed because Madigan wasn’t going to allow a tax increase to pass the house under any circumstances–he doesn’t want to allow Quinn to look too good. It’s that simple. This showdown was inevitable, as is a tax increase.

    I keep hearing how Madigan loves to play parlimentary chess and what a master he is. That’s probably true and that’s admirable in a way–Lyndon Johnson was another parliamentary master. Madigan was so good at it that he was able to vote for the tax increase while organizing a majority against it. Then he was going to borrow from the pension funds to make the budget he sent Quinn look more a tad more reasonable, to make Quinn look more unreasonable for vetoing it, even tho that kind of borrowing is a big part of the problem–it’s what has passed for budgetary solutions for the last 20 years. This has been all gamesmanship, not statesmanship. I don’t think we need chess players right now as much as honesty. I think the plann Quinn outlined in January will be realized eventually. I appreciated the honesty then and I admire Quinn for his demeanor and his optimism throughout.


  82. - Cat - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 5:42 pm:

    You don’t suppose that any of the lay-off notices went to the double-exempt Blago hacks still around? That would be a big dent in the 2250 number, and definitely higher salary amounts! Argh!


  83. - Quinntastic - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 5:59 pm:

    Quinn’s move is a smart one legislatively, even if the execution was a little clumsy.

    The budget bills passed under a simple majority, and, in the House atleast Republican votes will be needed.

    Lawmakers WILL have a tough time explaining why they voted to eliminate funding for rape and domestic violence victims, child abuse and elder abuse victims, etc. but voted to protect “bureaucrats.”

    And even if they do vote to override his vetoes, Quinn can go back to the Democratic base, argue he did everything he could, and blame the Madigan Family during the General Election.

    Clumsy execution, but the right move.


  84. - Will County Woman - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 6:02 pm:

    @ rich & rjw

    he should have surveyed the landscape and anticipated that republicans would want cuts (they usually do—no surprise there) that would have taken care of cross and rodogno, in terms of working with them upfront. post blago and ryan, the public wanted and needs reform , so he should have worked with madigan and cullerton upfront to assess which reforms he and the reform commission could get away with. at which point they would have said in effect, look these reforms are aimed at us when they should be aimed at you (meaning the gov’s office) he should have then carried that message back to the reform commission and given them time to re-work something to make everyone happy.

    then, knowing full well that he needed a tax increase, he should have pushed that he made cuts and reforms prior to his march 18th budget address.

    at his budget addreess he should have said i’ve done everything I could to get the budget in order, but we are still short. i know its a recession, but i am now left with no choice but to seek a tax increase. (a lie? sure. he wanted a tax increase all along, but should have kept in his back pocket rather than being so insistent upon it).


  85. - anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 6:08 pm:

    get rid of the double exempt employees - lot of money there.


  86. - Angry Chicagoan - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 6:12 pm:

    I think Quinn is doing exactly the right thing here. The GA — particularly the House and above all Speaker Madigan — has collectively acted like a spoiled five year old, and needs to be punished accordingly. Besides, the people of Illinois are so cynical about government, and rightly so, that I think savage cuts have become a necessary growing pain for this state. The idea is to drown the machine in a bathtub by removing its power to allocate money. No money, nothing to allocate, and hopefully we start over.


  87. - Angry Chicagoan - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 6:14 pm:

    And I’ll add — if the machine chooses to sidestep Quinn’s interference and their own unwillingness to raise revenue by way of bleeding the less fortunate while trying to keep what pork they can, voters, community organizers, campaign donors and prospective candidates for office will hopefully act on the lesson.


  88. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 6:22 pm:

    ==You don’t suppose that any of the lay-off notices went to the double-exempt Blago hacks still around? Argh! ==

    No budget cuts mentioned for IDOT at all, and no layoffs at CMS or DCEO. So most of Blago’s hacks appear to be safe.


  89. - Ricketts Utay - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 6:44 pm:

    ==Rain is forecast for tomorrow. Madigan’s fault.==

    LOL Too true!

    It seems that the new state sport is to bash MJM for all this state’s ills, and that’s understandable given the current crisis, BUT…

    If he uses his power to get something done, he gets criticized for being a tyrant. If he doesn’t use his power to ram something through, he’s wrong for not pushing hard enough. If he holds up legislation that is only designed to be an embarrassing vote for his party, he’s an enemy to democracy, yet if he were to let those come to a vote, he would be derided for not exercising his authority to keep frivolous bills off the agenda. If he refuses to meet with somebody who can’t be trusted, he’s selfish, but when he relents, he’s wrong for trying to work with them.

    I’m not suggesting that MJM is above criticism because he most certainly is not. I’m simply pointing out that his critics routinely flip-flop more than Quinn, and that is scary.

    Let’s nevermind that we have negative revenue growth and a majority of the populace opposed to a tax increase. Let’s disregard that MJM has been speaker under Thompson, Edgar, Ryan, Blagojevich, and now Quinn, yet he wasn’t the problem until this year. Let’s also forget that our present governor was the champion of the amendment that was largely responsible for giving MJM the power he has today.

    Yep. It’s all MJM’s fault. Plain and simple. Sounds like an open and shut case to me!


  90. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 6:47 pm:

    Anon-

    There are probably some very pragmatic reasons for no layoffs or furloughs at IDOT, seeing as how they are in the middle of running their crews ragged in spending our federal stimulus tax dollars. And when you are trying to save or create jobs in a 10%+ unemployment environment, it makes sense that you wouldn’t want to cut the agency whose mission is to stimulate job creation. CMS…no comment. But the aura of unequal treatment of agencies can’t be good for morale at the agencies that received the most cuts. Not sure the general public cares much, as long as “something” is being cut.


  91. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 6:52 pm:

    Ricketts-

    Let’s just say MJM, and IL government in general, worked best when there was more power-sharing and checks/balances in state government.


  92. - state employee - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 7:08 pm:

    I am outraged by how much the House, Madigan, the Republicans attack and target state employees.
    I hope everyone knows that in 2004, $600 MILLION of pension fund money was invested in derivatives (AIG, JP MORGAN, etc), and not a penny has been returned, including principle. No to mention other reckless investing which has lost over $32 Billion, all of which taxpayers now pay over $2 Billion annual interest for.

    So easy to cut and slash state workers, a small fractional amount of above numbers. Honest working middle-class people, and so easy to waste, steal our pension money. Yes, you Madigan, father and daughter. I have an extremely LOW OPINION OF YOU THE RINGLEADER. Also the cowardly sell-out House Reps such as Tom Cross. Absolutely disgusting. You have much blood on your hands harming the state’s most vulnerable people and now us state employees who care for them on the frontlines.


  93. - state employee - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 7:17 pm:

    “Ghost” thank you for your enlightened postings. Very refreshing.


  94. - Amy - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 7:34 pm:

    getting rid of Rod did not end the problems of the duel of the
    General Assembly and the Governor. read Rod’s final statement
    again. shouldn’t he have been impeached earlier? Daddy Mad
    did not have the whatever to do it. rant all you want Daddy Mad, and co. you are not the Governor. and you should try to make things better for our state. Quinn is not Rod. but he is not under Daddy Mad’s control and DM does not like that. so that is why we are where we are.


  95. - pc dem - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 7:42 pm:

    let the GA recommend the cuts to Illinois and the guv no thats students to Illinois and oh heck
    maybe Sarah can help I’m so confused


  96. - Ricketts Utay - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 7:43 pm:

    Six, I’m in absolute 100% agreement with you. I was just pointing out the terribly misguided hatred against one man.

    Mike Madigan is not the total of the problems in Illinois. The national economy is IMO the largest part of our current woes, and when you couple that with one-party rule, you’re going to have problems regardless of which party is in power. Illinois is not alone in our budget shortfalls. Even the GOP’s favorite state to point to for comparison, Indiana, has a higher unemployment rate than Illinois.


  97. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 8:16 pm:

    –My own opinion is Quinn should’ve led with the Doomsday budget and allowed the impacted groups to lobby it all session, instead of finishing with the doomsday budget after session ended.–

    That just seems so elementary. Why wasn’t it done?

    I’ve become convinced that Quinn has been using he budget battle as the opening round of the gubernatorial primary, painting himself as the champion of the regular folks in these hard times.

    It’s not going as I think he envisioned. He should have reduced line items in the bill and signed it. Time to move on.


  98. - State Worker W/ an MBA - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 8:31 pm:

    Old springfield;

    When they did this late time under G Ryan they mailed a letter to your home address.

    Do you think they have the nads to tells us to our faces?


  99. - Banker - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 8:40 pm:

    What is the status of the Capital Bill? How can they justify borrowing/spending this kind of money when the state can’t pay it’s current bills?


  100. - Quinn The Eskimo - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 8:46 pm:

    Anyone know the number of the medicaid bill Quinn said he intends to sign at today’s presser?


  101. - Geezer - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 9:08 pm:

    Lay-offs. Springfield will be a ghost town. I may look into an Alpo franchise because I may need the money……and the food.


  102. - Leatherneck - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 9:25 pm:

    Unless I’m not understanding exactly what Quinn means by his $25 million cut to “agencies, offices, and services” not under the Governor (which I thought included the constitutional officers)–but while he’s asking the constitutionals outside of the Governor’s office to take a 10% cut to their budgets, wouldn’t that MORE than SURPASS $25 million?

    For instance, on the constitutionals’ proposed total FY2010 budgets per the Governor’s recommended appropriations in the Budget Book (outside of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor’s office):

    AG: 75,792,000 (10%=$7,579,200)
    SOS: 390,239,000 (10%=$39,023,900)
    Comptroller: $106,548,000 (10%=$10,654,800)
    Treasurer: $1,792,347,000 (10%=$179,234,700)

    Total amount of 10% cuts from these four constitutionals alone: $236,492,600–less than 10 times MORE than the total amount Quinn wanted cut from agencies, departments, and offices not under his control.


  103. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 9:52 pm:

    == There are probably some very pragmatic reasons for no layoffs or furloughs at IDOT, seeing as how they are in the middle of running their crews ragged in spending our federal stimulus tax dollars. ==

    Yes, you have to feel for all those poor, overworked county “spokespersons” they hired, even though they had no experience other than working on Blago’s campaign. IDOT, CMS and DCEO were Blago’s favorite agencies for parking his hacks, so why are they the ones with no layoffs?


  104. - Athens - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 9:57 pm:

    How can the governor seriously talk about layoffs when he still has overpriced contractors doing the same work that can be done by state employees? Did Quinn take a page from Rod’s pay to play book? How much did IBM give?

    I mean look at how much the state gave IBM last year: $54 million. That is the equivalent of 1,000 state employees at 50K a year.

    Those IBM TSP’s are still around even though we apparently don’t have an appropriation to pay for them. So who exactly promised them that they would be paid?


  105. - Fed UP!!!!!!!!!! - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 10:22 pm:

    OMG!!!!!!!!!! When will this end?! He’s such a joke-I’ll do it-no you do it-no wonder we are in such a mess AGAIN!!!!!!!! This is not helping people of Illinois get confidence in government! We need to restore confidence and move forward there is no easy solution-but a solution needs to be made! They ALL need to work TOGETHER not apart! This is basic skills! Do we(citizens of Illinois) ALL need to get a copy of budget and help make the decisions that the people we elected are unable to do?! I’m not saying that ALL are not trying-there are some good politicians and I’m sick of the bad ones ruining
    it for everyone. This will be a ROUGH re-election for ALL politicians AND families-I feel bad for the families that have to go through this nightmare AGAIN! I’m sorry for them!


  106. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 10:47 pm:

    State employee wrote at 7:08 pm-
    “I hope everyone knows that in 2004, $600 MILLION of pension fund money was invested in derivatives (AIG, JP MORGAN, etc), and not a penny has been returned, including principle. No to mention other reckless investing which has lost over $32 Billion, all of which taxpayers now pay over $2 Billion annual interest for. ”

    Huh?


  107. - state employee - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 11:14 pm:

    If you don’t get it, maybe you should ask someone at an accounting firm such as Accenture to explain it to you, AA. That much money from pension funds has been lost due to reckless investing (over $35 Billion in the last few years). I don’t know how else to say it.


  108. - state employee - Tuesday, Jul 7, 09 @ 11:21 pm:

    Oh and by the way people, I wonder if the people working for the state full time on Smartpath (no one knows what this is) and Fruit and Veggie Challenge, are at risk for layoffs. If not, I know where the state’s priorities are.


  109. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 8, 09 @ 9:36 am:

    As if unilateral cuts by a single individual not directly elected by the people would be a better solution and more democratic than getting the elected representatives of the people to do their job?


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        * Adopt-A-Highway Spring Cleanup Begins Today - Annual Event Honors Earth Day, Tackles Roadside Litter After Harsh Winter
        * Illinois Schools Win No Child Left Behind Waiver - Federal Government Approves Flexibility Needed for Successful Implementation of State Strategies to Improve Student Learning
        * Illinois filmmakers invited to enter state’s Shortcuts competition - 7th year for Illinois Film Office contest honoring local talent




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