SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Time to grow up?

Monday, Feb 28, 2011

* My syndicated newspaper column looks at Speaker Madigan’s latest move

After decades of dominating every tiny aspect of life in his legislative chamber, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan now appears to want his members to grow up a little and do some things for themselves.

One of the first steps in that process to adulthood is handing more power to the House’s five appropriations committees and the House Revenue Committee.

The appropriations committees have been toothless kittens for decades. They listen to a parade of agency directors outline their upcoming budget requests and press them about jobs for various constituencies, minority and otherwise. Occasionally, an appropriations chairperson will briefly have a seat at the bargaining table when the governor and the leaders sit down to talk turkey.

But, for the most part, they’ve been cut out of the process. That’s especially been the case the past two years when the General Assembly has sent “lump sum” appropriations to the governor in order to avoid cuts.

But Illinois’ new “Budgeting for Results” law has given Madigan an opportunity to hand off a bit of power to see how his members deal with it. The law requires that the state first determine how much revenue is available to spend before deciding how to spend it. Then, agencies have to come up with realistic benchmarks to prove that their programs are performing up to par.

So, Madigan has introduced a House resolution to establish how much cash will be available to the state from every possible revenue source. Determining the actual anticipated revenues will be the job of the House Revenue Committee, which will begin holding hearings on the matter this week.

Once the resolution is passed, each of the five appropriations committees will be given a spending limit. They will then decide how the state cash is divvied up agency by agency. If they exceed the limit, or discover they don’t have enough money to go around, they’ll have to make cuts.

To be sure, Madigan’s staff will have a lot to do with this process. And dealing with how the Senate determines its own revenue and spending process hasn’t yet been figured out. The two chambers could hold a conference committee (which we haven’t seen in years), or the “budgeteers” (trusted appropriations lieutenants) could step in and negotiate, or Madigan and the other leaders could just take it from there.

But considering that more than half the chamber’s members sit on the various House appropriations committees, it will, at the very least, be a needed eye-opening experience for these people, who so often have been shielded from making any hard choices.

Madigan, by the way, also has informed standing committee chairmen that they need to learn to say “No” a lot more often. Usually, the committees will approve legislation as a courtesy, or send bills to the floor even though the measures still may need a lot of work.

But Madigan reportedly is concerned about the large number of bills introduced this year and wants the chairmen to start weeding them out. In the past, Madigan has imposed limits to the number of bills his members could advance. Now, though, he wants members to try to take more responsibility for themselves.

To an outsider, this story probably looks pretty silly. Of course legislators should be more responsible. But those of us who’ve watched the House over the years know how much they’ve been spoiled by a leader who has taken it upon himself to do everything for them.

After the 2001 terrorist attacks, Illinois’ revenue streams crashed with the economy. The General Assembly was faced with the prospect of approving a budget with less money than the year before. Madigan told Republican Gov. George Ryan and Republican Senate President Pate Philip that his chamber was full of people who wanted to keep spending freely. So, they devised a scheme to pass a bloated budget and then Ryan would either reduce or delete spending items. The House would vote to override the cuts, then the Senate would vote to accept and everybody would be happy.

Now, though, Madigan may be thinking of what might happen when he’s not around to protect his members from reality. Nobody will ever again have the immense power and sway over the process that he’s had.

The question, however, is: After three decades of pampering his mushrooms, how long will it take to move his members into adulthood?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


10 Comments
  1. - MrJM - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 1:31 pm:

    After three decades of pampering his mushrooms, how long will it take to move his members into adulthood?

    Can stunted bonsai
    ever hope to grow up into
    a mighty oak tree?

    – MrJM


  2. - the Other Anonymous - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 1:33 pm:

    It sounds to me like Madogan is going to end up with more, not less, power over the budget process. If Madipgan has decided that the State needs to make substantial cuts in the budget to get out of the deficit hole, this gives him a lot of leverage over wayward legislators.Remember, the Revenue Committee is composed of Madign loyalists, probably more so than even the Executive Committee. Thus Madigan will have a large hand in giving the various appropriations committees the limits on spending, and thus control over the level of spending. His members and the Republicans will never get a chance to vote on bills with different spending levels.


  3. - just sayin' - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 1:36 pm:

    The gene pool on the D side is definitely deeper. Madigan has always looked for smart, competent people. I think they’ll rise to the occasion quickly.

    It’s the R side that’s really stuck in kindergarten.


  4. - Palatine - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 1:44 pm:

    Through the years we have witnessed what happens when power on both side of the asile is to closely heald. Something has to change and this is a good first step. Oh of course it will help the speaker in distancing his last name when the cuts come down. Hello Lisa I mean Gov. Lisa


  5. - Boone Logan Square - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 1:55 pm:

    This may not be in the spirit of growing up, but the popular @MayorEmanuel twitter account has been revealed to be the work of Punk Planet founder and Columbia College professor Dan Sinker.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2011/02/revealing-the-man-behind-mayoremanuel/71802/

    No word on what charity Sinker will select for Mayor-Elect Emanuel’s donation


  6. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 2:01 pm:

    Do we think this move signals that Madigan will resign the General Assembly within the next few years? Appropriate times for such a resignation could be (1) after redistricting; (2) after the 2012 election, to pave the way for Lisa to run in 2014.


  7. - Pink Tomato - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 2:01 pm:

    Wishful thinking. I will believe it when I see it.


  8. - Holdingontomywallet - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 2:17 pm:

    “It’s the R side that’s really stuck in kindergarten.” - always looking for an opportunity to zing the republicans. I’ll be the first to admit the republicans open themselves up for criticism, but the democrats have had complete control of Illinois government since 2002 and our financial situation is pretty poor to say the least. The committee chairman do need to say “no” to proposed bills more often and publicize it when they do. People need to know that the legislators are doing their job. Cuts are inevitable and they all need to grow up and share the responsibility. How long will it take to move them into adulthood? Not long, it’s expected - they see the writing on the wall.


  9. - Old Milwaukee - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 2:44 pm:

    just sayin -
    Is that the same brilliant D side that spent us into a $13 billion deficit and kept telling everyone it was going to be OK?

    Not exactly top of the line number crunchers down there.


  10. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 28, 11 @ 2:46 pm:

    –Now, though, Madigan may be thinking of what might happen when he’s not around to protect his members from reality. Nobody will ever again have the immense power and sway over the process that he’s had.–

    I’ve been thinking that he’s looking to wrap things up, too. The moves on pensions, teacher tenture, spending, etc. seem to indicate that.

    And no, it’s not the Grand Lisa Conspiracy. She could have ran last year and knocked Quinn out of the primary (think she would have beat Brady?).

    If she had, Hynes would have probably beat Alexi in the Senate primary and Kirk like a rented mule in the general.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* This just in... Special session called for January 8
* *** UPDATED x1 - GOMB disputes numbers *** Today's number: 3,000
* Shake this up, please
* On "war zones" and "foreign invasion"
* Topinka memorial roundup
* Question of the day - Golden Horseshoe Awards
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Bank of America Promoting Apple Pay in New Shopping-Focused TV Commercial
        * Tile App now available on Android to help forgetful people
        * Sony SmartWatch 3 Review
        * Apple Researching Enhanced Touch ID Security Using Finger Motion Tracking
        * No fitness for Christmas: Jawbone delays UP3 until 2015
        * Major Fleksy update brings virtual keyboard extensions to your phone
        * Lumia Denim takes imaging to a whole new level

        * Lumia Denim update arrives, bringing Cortana and better pictures
        * Ask for the C.L.U.E. Report Before You Buy a Home
        * AI startup Expect Labs raises $13M as voice search API takes off
        * US Cellular gets into the connected home biz
        * Columbia Journalism School Tries to Make That $92,933 Tuition Worth It
        * The customer-experience mandate: Build lasting engagement with better websites
        * Wrist Rests Are for Your Palms, Not Your Wrists

        * Windy City revival: Cubs, White Sox revamped for '15
        * ZiPS projections underscore White Sox's riskiest bets
        * AL Central looking like one powerhouse division
        * Samardzija, Lester are right fits in Windy City
        * Samardzija, Lester are right fits in Windy City
        * White Sox offseason momentum transfers to fans
        * Samardzija, Lester are right fits in Windy City

        ...............


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        December 2014
        November 2014
        October 2014
        September 2014
        August 2014
        July 2014
        June 2014
        May 2014
        April 2014
        March 2014
        February 2014
        January 2014
        December 2013
        November 2013
        October 2013
        September 2013
        August 2013
        July 2013
        June 2013
        May 2013
        April 2013
        March 2013
        February 2013
        January 2013
        December 2012
        November 2012
        October 2012
        September 2012
        August 2012
        July 2012
        June 2012
        May 2012
        April 2012
        March 2012
        February 2012
        January 2012
        December 2011
        November 2011
        October 2011
        September 2011
        August 2011
        July 2011
        June 2011
        May 2011
        April 2011
        March 2011
        February 2011
        January 2011
        December 2010
        November 2010
        October 2010
        September 2010
        August 2010
        July 2010
        June 2010
        May 2010
        April 2010
        March 2010
        February 2010
        January 2010
        December 2009
        November 2009
        October 2009
        September 2009
        August 2009
        July 2009
        June 2009
        May 2009
        April 2009
        March 2009
        February 2009
        January 2009
        December 2008
        November 2008
        October 2008
        September 2008
        August 2008
        July 2008
        June 2008
        May 2008
        April 2008
        March 2008
        February 2008
        January 2008
        December 2007
        November 2007
        October 2007
        September 2007
        August 2007
        July 2007
        June 2007
        May 2007
        April 2007
        March 2007
        February 2007
        January 2007
        December 2006
        November 2006
        October 2006
        September 2006
        August 2006
        July 2006
        June 2006
        May 2006
        April 2006
        March 2006
        February 2006
        January 2006
        December 2005
        April 2005
        March 2005
        February 2005
        January 2005
        December 2004
        November 2004
        October 2004

        Blog*Spot Archives
        November 2005
        October 2005
        September 2005
        August 2005
        July 2005
        June 2005
        May 2005

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Gov. Quinn calls session for comptroller election..
        * Illinois lawmakers to meet in special session..
        * Quinn calls legislative session to consider spe.....
        * On Elected School Boards and Horseshoes..


        * George Ryan: Cuba relations will open markets
        * Gov. Quinn calls session for comptroller election
        * Illinois jobless rate falls to 6.4 percent
        * Caterpillar sees Cuba relations as an opportunity
        * Man charged in Illinois gun theft tied to Ferguson
        * Freud's goal: Keep Chicago's Lyric Opera relevant
        * Kraft Foods CEO to retire; Cahill named successor
        * APNewsBreak: Judge rejects NCAA concussions deal
        * Video game developer to open studio in New Orleans
        * U. of Illinois to sexual assault group starts work

        * Quinn calls legislature back to Springfield to approve special election to replace Topinka
        * Chicago couple convicted of stealing state grants
        * Topinka remembered as tough, honest leader at memorial service
        * Illinois employers reminded of income-tax rollback
        * Memorial service for Topinka begins in suburban Chicago
        * Police use vacant Jacksonville site to train for worst-case scenarios
        * State-grant fraud case in hands of federal jury
        * Gov.-elect Rauner says some agency directors may stay
        * Attorney blames couple's bookkeeper in state grant fraud case
        * Attorney general: Quinn, Rauner each should name comptrollers, then voters choose in 2016

        * AvantCredit lures two consumer lending veterans to board
        * Caterpillar sees Cuba relations as an opportunity
        * Citadel discloses stake in newly public insurer
        * Kirkland attorney Garcia quits World Cup probe
        * Law school enrollment plummets to 27-year low


        * Rauner using out-of-state company for inaugural festivities
        * Emanuel hopeful his pension plan will survive legal challenge
        * Virginia lawmaker who spends nights doing time in jail resigns
        * White House: 'Sophisticated actor' hacked Sony
        * In another step toward 2016, Jeb Bush steps down from Barclays
        * Gov. Quinn calls special session on comptroller vacancy
        * Emanuel off to Chile on family holiday — with no apologies
        * time for new course in Cuba
        * Unions may win  HOLLOW victory with pension suit
        * Boehner takes shot at executive orders in holiday jingle


        * 'Amazing Race' finale features Barrington woman
        * South Carolina provost to be next UIC chancellor
        * Quinn wants special election in 2016 on Topinka vacancy
        * Travel agent charged in religious trip scam
        * Garrett Popcorn reaches settlement in Chicago Mix dispute, court records show
        * Two Wisconsin girls in Slenderman case to appear in court hearings
        * Police captain talks of getting shot at standoff: Next time I'll duck better
        * A look at plans for Chinese developer's massive skyscraper on Chicago River
        * Father of 3 slain on way home from work: ''We were supposed to get presents and put up the tree''
        * Former Park Ridge tutor found with child pornography


        * IIAA Teaches Life Skills Through Sports
        * Illinois Republican: Cuba Agreement "Good First Step"
        * Unions sue to stop Chicago pension overhaul
        * Durbin leaving Congressional roommates behind
        * In 'up-and-coming' area, what's the tipping point for gentrification?
        * 'Uber-gentrification' a force in Chicago's West Loop
        * Obama: US re-establishing relations with Cuba
        * Obama re-establishing US relations with Cuba
        * Sangamon Auditorium: Beware Second Party Ticket Brokers
        * Real-estate developer in hot area sees bright future — and displacement


        * Quinn calls legislature back to Springfield to approve special election to replace Topinka
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Schmidt considers challenging Sgro for park board president
        * Brian Sauder: Faithful decisions for the holidays
        * Eugene Robinson: The price of being hacked
        * George Will: A Texas-sized license plate dispute
        * Quote of the day: Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014
        * Chicago couple convicted of stealing state grants
        * Topinka remembered as tough, honest leader at memorial service
        * Illinois employers reminded of income-tax rollback
        * Quote of the day: Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014


        *
        * Streator grade school pushes tax referendum
        * Chickenpox outbreak forces prison lockdown
        * State police handling lots of interstate crashes
        * Michael Amiridis named UIC chancellor
        * Deere sells crop insurance business
        * Chickenpox forces prison lockdown
        * Quinn schedules special session on Topinka vacancy
        * Economic benefits of gambling casinos touted
        * UI names South Carolina provost as new chancellor for Chicago campus


        * Gauge of U.S. economy rises 0.6 percent in November
        * Aer Lingus rejects bid by British Airways parent
        * Putin: West is trying to ‘defang' the Russian bear
        * Average U.S. 30-year loan rate falls to 3.80 percent
        * Poll: 81 percent of Russians back Putin even as ruble falls

        * US, Cuba patch torn relations in historic ...
        * Area family receives Congressional Award
        * Davis cheers Cuba move
        * Last Navy frigate at Everett to be decommi...
        * Unclaimed ashes to be scattered on Puget S...
        * Mark Reardon: Illinois Congressman Rodney ...
        * The 113th Congress had positives for the S...
        * FCC Agrees To High Speed Internet In Rural...
        * Davis hopes cooperation blooms for preside...
        * Davis backs $1.1 trillion spending bill

        * Not much chance of Congress stopping Cuba ......
        * Reaction to release of Alan Gross, future ......
        * Galesburg veterans facility named in honor......
        * Not much chance of Congress stopping Cuba ......

        * Obama signs legislation naming veterans fa......
        * Durbin, Kirk split on Obama’s shift on Cub......
        * Why is he so upset? Because of the secret ......
        * Galesburg VA clinic renamed after Lane Evans...

        * Telecom companies expected to push for deregulation and end to land lines
        * O'Keefe and Stossel discuss investigative reporting and Illinois 'eavesdropping' law
        * Former Illinois state rep enrolls in sex offender database
        * With Frerichs victory, Dems move to merge Treasurer and Comptroller offices
        * Capitol Fax: On “war zones” and “foreign invasion”
        * The Weekend Desk Report
        * Thorner: Common Core exposed at Heartland Institute event
        * Organization claims Mark Kirk "Grubered" Illinois and America
        * Thorner: Jim DeMint in Chicago. Proposes bold agenda for a better America.
        * Dienhart: Lucas Museum of the Narrative Arts


        * Governor Quinn Calls Legislative Special Session - Governor Urges Legislature to Set Up 2016 Special Election for Comptroller
        * Governor Quinn Statement Commemorating First Night of Hanukkah
        * Illinois Observes National Impaired Driving Prevention Month - December designated to educate communities about the numerous risks associated with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
        * The Illinois Office Of The State Fire Marshal Promotes Fire Safety During The Holiday Season - Christmas Trees and Decorations Could Pose Risks of Fires
        * Honoring Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka




            Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller