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Not gonna happen

Friday, Jan 27, 2012

* If Gov. Pat Quinn sticks to his guns, this request won’t be fulfilled

The Illinois State Board of Education is asking for $265 million more in state funding next year. The board approved its budget recommendation Thursday.

The $6.9 billion being sought for fiscal year 2013 is a 3.9 percent increase over the current budget.

Education officials stress that it’s still $426 million less than the funding received in 2009, the year with the highest level of school funding.

They say the increase is needed to cover costs associated with reform and growing numbers of low-income students.

As you already know, Gov. Quinn’s three-year budget projection includes no increase at all for education during the next three fiscal years. That funding level in 2009, by the way, was heavily augmented by the federal government. The cash has since disappeared.

* Meanwhile, you could probably safely bet big money that this proposed fee increase won’t pass in an election year

A state panel is suggesting a $1 increase in Illinois license plate fees to encourage usage of electric cars.

The recommendation is included in a report forwarded to members of the Illinois General Assembly and Gov. Pat Quinn by the state’s Electric Vehicle Advisory Council.

The panel suggests the money raised be used to help pay for rebates and grants for alternative fuel vehicles.

The $1 increase would bring Illinois’ standard license plate renewal cost to $100 annually.

The Democratic majority already has enough problems with the income tax hike. I highly doubt they’ll up the plate fee again. Yes, it’s only a buck, but it’ll get a lot of press if it passes.

* Related…

* Report card changes don’t impress official - 205’s Joel Estes says school funding inequity more important: Some of the changes mandated by the new law include curriculum information — the availability of advanced placement classes, availability of foreign language classes, school personnel resources and dual credit enrollment — student outcomes, including percentage of students meeting and exceeding state standards; graduation rates and percentage of college-ready students, as well as numbers relating to student progress and school environment.

* Illinois revamps School Report Cards

* Funding In IOUs: Throughout the 2009, 2010, and 2011 fiscal years, state payments to the universities were less than expected. The 2011 fiscal year, which started on June 30, 2010 and ended on July 1, 2011, was the worst for Illinois universities. That year, Eastern Illinois was appropriated $47.8 million. By June 30, 2011, the state still owed the university about $20 million. It would take until Dec. 6 for the state to pay out the full appropriation for the previous fiscal year.

* IHSA opposes bill on football practice waiver: The Illinois High School Association objects to proposed legislation that would give high school football players who have gone through military basic training waivers if they have not completed the minimum required 12 practices. The association, which governs high school athletics in Illinois, wants lawmakers to kill Senate Bill 2550, proposed by state Sen. Shane Cultra, R-Onarga. The association requires high school football players to go through 12 practices before participating in a game. Cultra’s bill would allow coaches to evaluate players and recommend to local school boards whether the requirement could be waived if the student had been serving in the military.

* State legislators seek more detail on JDC closure plan: However, panel co-chairman Sen. Jeff Schoenberg, D-Evanston, said he’s not sure the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability will hold more extensive hearings or again vote to recommend against closing JDC.

* House Speaker Spreads Blame for State’s Mess

* State of the States in Online Gambling

* Illinois nursing homes to get $110M in federal aid

* DuPage mayors: Make cops, firefighters part of pension reform

* Editorial: Time to reduce or even ground state’s aircraft

* Gov. makes appointments to work injury panel

- Posted by Rich Miller        


32 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 9:52 am:

    –The Illinois High School Association objects to proposed legislation that would give high school football players who have gone through military basic training waivers if they have not completed the minimum required 12 practices. –

    Kind of micro-managing there, don’t you think, Sen. Cultra? Perhaps you should let the coaches and their training staffs check a kid out for 12 practices before deciding on putting him in a game. They carry the liability.


  2. - chuddery - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 10:00 am:

    ==Cultra’s bill would allow coaches to evaluate players and recommend to local school boards whether the requirement could be waived if the student had been serving in the military.==

    @Wordslinger, isn’t that what this part of the bill does?


  3. - wordslinger - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 10:04 am:

    Chud, it seeks to waive the requirement of a 12-practice evaluation.


  4. - TCB - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 10:34 am:

    @Rich

    =That funding level in 2009, by the way, was heavily augmented by the federal government. The cash has since disappeared.=

    Exactly. That’s just the General Funds decease (as far as I can tell from the ISBE website). So ISBE is doing without boatloads of dollars they had just 2-3 years ago. Yet, I’ve seen some people who are pretty upset about the fact that they requested an increase. I just don’t understand that. If you look at the ISBE’s all-funds budget, they had about $11.3 billion in FY10 & they are only requesting $10.1 B in FY13. Obviously many agencies have taken a much large cut than this over the last few years, but shouldn’t our education truly be the sacred cow of the state budget? Shouldn’t we maximize our investment in the future competiveness of the Illinois workforce?


  5. - Stateline - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 10:35 am:

    The IHSA has good reasons for a “12 practice rule”. The number one reason is liability. Any exceptions will weaken the rule, regardless of its good intentions. The IHSA has a competent board of school administrators, athletic directors, coaches and game officials working to make sound decisions. The State does not need to be in this debate.


  6. - JBilla - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 10:35 am:

    Electric cars are awesome. And with 10.4 Million Vehicles registered in Illinois, a $1 increase on state stickers is a targeted way to raise money for rebates and grants for EVs. Effective, efficient, transformative.


  7. - Irish - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 10:44 am:

    OMG…. Headline. “Businesses pour out of Illinois and state continues to collapse as Governor and GA prepare to debate legislation on frequency of feeding your cat.”

    GA and PQ - Let the IHSA solve their problems and
    you start dealing with yours!


  8. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 10:51 am:

    hey Capt Fax
    You missed the best clip
    Tribbie Editorialsts admitting they don’t read their own paper or the Sun-Times.
    They run their ususal anti Madigan rant one whole week after the Kassamoron ode to nonsensebut only after Capt Fax and the SunTImes report.
    What a crushing admission for the Tribbies


  9. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 10:57 am:

    ===Businesses pour out of Illinois and state continues to collapse===

    Take a breath, dude.


  10. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 10:59 am:

    Under what circumstances would somebody be in high school after military service? (Just wondering)


  11. - dupage dan - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 11:04 am:

    Irish, We have been assured that the GA can multi-task. They will get to all the important issues just as soon as they put the finishing touches on the bill to provide chaperones on all dates.


  12. - Irish - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 11:04 am:

    Sorry Rich, I was just being snarky. I know those two things aren’t happening now, but the tendency for these folks to search for the mundane to occupy their time and to create more laws is frustrating.


  13. - dupage dan - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 11:07 am:

    Jbilla,

    When you plug your electric car into the outlet, do you know where the juice comes from? In Illinois, mostly from coal and nuclear power.

    That’s awesome.

    (BTW I support the use of both fuels - believe that we can safely and cleanly generate alot of electricity using both)


  14. - wizard - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 11:35 am:

    jbilla-if you like and desire an electric car, by all means buy one; however, do not use my money to assist your purchase. my job requires driving upwards of a 100 miles per day. yesterday it was 421 miles. can not use such a vehicle. i have nothing against them, just don’t use my money. dupage dan-very good point that is usually not noted in any media reports.


  15. - PQ's Primary Opponent - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 11:49 am:

    ON Line Gaming?? The Gov’s office wont figure it out, but you can bet the Speaker’s staff already has a plan to keep all that money generated with the State, and run by the State..too many potential dollars to let the private world have it all..


  16. - PQ's Primary Opponent - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 11:58 am:

    hey circular firing squad! I guess you can put me in the same camp as the Tribbie editorialists: I DON’T READ THEIR CRAPPY PAPER EITHER. Haven’t bought a Trib in over 8 years..


  17. - JBilla - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 12:02 pm:

    Illinois is the national leader in Nuclear generation. There are also electricity rate plans that allow you to purchase up to 100% renewable energy. We are top ten in wind production, somewhere between Number 7 and Number 5. I’m not a fan of coal for the future. I lived by one in Pilsen for a while and it just makes everything dreary. Nuclear I’m ok with, but I would say any new electricity installation in the state should be in the solar, wind, or battery catagories.


  18. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 12:08 pm:

    ===just don’t use my money. ===

    I rarely drive when we’re not in session because my office is in my home.

    So, in your mind, would people like myself be due a rebate for all the taxpayer-sponsored Dept. of Defense spending in the oil-rich Middle East for the past 70 years?

    Just sayin…


  19. - TCB - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 12:13 pm:

    @Anon 10:59

    Nowadays, high school kids can attend basic training during summer vacation between their junior & senior years of high school if they meet certain provisions. Its a practice that’s been around atleast a decade.


  20. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 12:36 pm:

    Subsidies for the rich to but electric cars (or solar panels), etc. is a bad idea.

    Regular folks buy $25K cars that have to meet all their needs. Only the rich can buy a $40K car that meets some of their needs.

    You can buy hybrids and plain regular cars that get 40mpg+ starting at less than 20K new.

    If you want a toy, or live where you do not exceed the range required, bless you. The economy needs your stimulus. Lets not tax everyone for something that only the elite can benefit from.


  21. - dupage dan - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 12:37 pm:

    JBilla,

    To provide for the needs of this large country, relying on wind and solar power is just not doable. Wind power has been shown to be a bust in Spain, where the country went all in for it. Current solar power technology involves the use of inefficient photo-voltaic panels that are very UN green to produce and VERY hard to recycle and don’t stay viable for long periods of time.

    Using breeder reactors to make electricity and to recycle nuclear waste until it has a more manageable half life is a viable means of producing energy long term. Just try getting that kind of project approved, however.

    I am not sure what you meant by your reference to battery installations. Are you suggesting batteries produce electricity like coal or natural gas does? Of course, you would know that batteries only store electriciy, they don’t make it (except for the AAs you use and throw away). Indeed, batteries are an inefficient way to store electricity which is evidenced by the meager total miles an electric car can travel before having to stop for a LONG TIME to recharge even with the most advanced technology now available.


  22. - JBilla - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 12:37 pm:

    Wizard,
    =my job requires driving upwards of a 100 miles per day. yesterday it was 421 miles. can not use such a vehicle. =

    There are new low cost DC Quick Chargers which take 15 minutes to charge up EVs, so you could use an electric for your job. And given your heavy daily driving usage, it will save you over $3,000 a year in energy costs to buy an EV.

    100 Miles a day times 52 weeks times five days a week times $4 a gallon at 25 mpg = $4,160.

    At $0.10 a kWh with a 40 kWh battery pack capable of 100 mile range you are looking at 260 $4 plug-ins. That’s $1,040. You save over 3 Grand. Not bad savings for an extra dollar a year for infrastructure, incentives at point of purchase, and bringing jobs to Illinois to manufacture these EVs.
    Good news.


  23. - TCB - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 12:42 pm:

    @Rich & Wizard

    This gives me an idea….maybe I should get my local lawmaker to draft a bill which charges license plate fees based on the amount of miles you drive. Then guys like wizard, who put more wear & tear on the roads, can do their part to help the state maintain the roads…..I mean after all, he wants things to be fair, right?

    Maybe some kind of formula like $0.01 per mile. This way, if you drive 10,000 miles per year, your fee will be $100. Ofcourse we’d need to add a multiplier for vehicles of excessive weight (semis, dump trucks, etc)

    Thanks for the idea, Wizard!


  24. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 12:46 pm:

    Yeah, there’s an idea, TCB. Have the government monitor every move my car makes. Wunderbar. I’m sure nobody would be upset about that.


  25. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 12:50 pm:

    Wizard already pays for his road use through state and federal taxes on gasoline. Our electric using friends are scofflaws, who still use the roads, but pay nothing toward their upkeep outside their registration fees. Thanks guys.


  26. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 12:53 pm:

    ===Wizard already pays for his road use through state and federal taxes on gasoline.===

    No, he doesn’t. See my above comment regarding this. It’s a supreme fallacy to assume gas taxes pay for it all.


  27. - JBilla - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 1:00 pm:

    DuPage Dan,
    =I am not sure what you meant by your reference to battery installations.=

    I am referring to community energy storage. When you see a light on in a room, the electricity was produced nanoseconds ago, mostly at a nuclear or coal plant as you mentioned previously. The goal is to take advantage of the consistent base load provided by our nuclear generation by charging a battery overnight and discharging during the day. In this way there is an economic and environmental gain: cost disparity of $0.02 a kWh overnight and $12 during peak times, which saves a dime on every kW you use. With regards to the solar panel lifetime, the latest figures I saw are around 25 to 30 years of continuous generation. I don’t know enough about the issues of recycling solar panels, but your comment on reusing our spent nuclear fuel rods as France does is a great point. We already have the fuel rods in cooling pools and dry casks around the state and if we were the only state that retrofitted a nuclear plant to handle this reaction we could have a nearly unlimited supply before the rest of the country caught up.


  28. - JBilla - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 1:03 pm:

    sorry, that was $0.12 duringpeak times, not $12. That would be quite the real time pricing.


  29. - TCB - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 1:29 pm:

    @Rich

    Im sure you realize I was only mocking Wizard, but if something like that passed, I’d have no problem. When you register your vehicle you simply tell the SOS how many miles are on your car & he charges me on the change from last year……..I think these days its pretty difficult to roll back an odometer.

    Obviously this would never happen because there are too many problems with it……I just thought it was funny.


  30. - wordslinger - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 1:32 pm:

    –Subsidies for the rich to but electric cars (or solar panels), etc. is a bad idea.–

    The Chinese would disagree with you. They’re going all in on developing alternative energies and have in fact been dumping solar panels here in order to kill a developing industry.

    If you think Free Trade without government protection through subsidy or tariff is the way to go, ask the folks at CAT how that worked when Komatsu was dumping here, or Harley when Honda was dumping here, or US Steel when Nippon was dumping here, or Detroit when Toyota was dumping here……

    If you want to maintain a manufacturing base here, you’re going to have to subsidize one way or the other, or you just give those industries away. Nobody plays by Macro 101, Day One, rules. By the way, they never have.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/25/us-solar-imports-idUSTRE80O2AB20120125


  31. - Going nuclear - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 1:47 pm:

    @Plutocrat03 – Not all electric vehicles cost $40,000. The retail price for the Mitsubishi i EV is going to be around $29,000; that’s without the federal tax credit. Like the early horseless carriages that were marketed to the rich, the cost of EVs will drop with advances in technology. By the way, when are we going to see an end to the federal subsidies for the oil and gas industry?

    @dupage dan – breeder reactors = expensive technology that is going to have a hard time attracting private investment without federal funding and support. I think we’ll get more “bang for the buck” by investing in energy efficient technologies and products, decentralizing some of the power production and upgrading the grid.

    @JBilla – keep an eye for out for several fast charging stations that are going to be installed on the Illinois toll roads over the next few months.


  32. - Plutocrat03 - Friday, Jan 27, 12 @ 3:48 pm:

    Never said the road taxes pay for all road work, but to point out that EV folks pay nothing.

    I also never said anything about Federal trade protection regarding imports. Komatsu and Honda (you can argue whether Honda is an American manufacturer as well) are here and the American manufacturers are competing just fine against them. I don’t see anyone giving subsidies to buy the American stuff over the foreign products. Dumping is a matter for the international courts, not for the feds to pick winners and losers.

    I and many folks would not want to drive something as small as a MiEv. (Something about the law of conservation of momentum) However if one did, you can buy a gas powered car for much much less than 29K and use the difference to pay for the fuel cost over the like of the car.

    I


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