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Thursday, May 31, 2012

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If you’re looking for constantly updated end-of-session coverage…

Thursday, May 31, 2012

* It’s at this link. We’ll have updates throughout the day and late into the evening. Check for videos of press conferences and press releases, plus live reports from numerous reporters on the ground. Don’t miss it!

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Question of the day

Thursday, May 31, 2012

* By now, you’ve seen Rep. Mike Bost’s rant on the House floor the other day. Profanity alert

* From the Southern Illinoisan

State Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, said colleague reaction Wednesday, a day after he erupted at the onset of a discussion to overhaul state pensions, was generally empathetic.

“I think they understand. I don’t normally do that,” Bost said late Wednesday afternoon while legislators worked to get a state budget passed and continued work on pension reform.

Bost’s tirade, directed at Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, was shown on state and national media outlets Wednesday morning.

It began, “Again, total power in one person’s hands — NOT the American way” shortly before Bost tossed a handful of papers up and gave them a midair swat.

Bost tore into Madigan for purportedly making rules that bind legislators and pervert the idea of representative democracy. “Enough,” Bost said during his outburst. “I feel like somebody trying to be released from Egypt. Let my people go. My God, they sent me here to vote for them.”

Bost said he thought no differently Wednesday.

“One good thing about this is people in the media understand the tyranny we’re under with this leader,” Bost said.

He said he was contacted all day by national media. Additionally, websites such as The Drudge Report, The Huffington Post and YouTube carried clips. The state lawmaker said he received so many emails, his cellphone quit working.

As I mentioned the other day, Bost voted for pretty much all of the rules that he complained about.

* Aaron Blake at the Washington Post

Illinois state Rep. Mike Bost’s (R) explosion on the floor of the Illinois state House may go down in history as one of the great political rants of all time.

Bost manages to swing and miss at a stack of papers, offer an awkward rallying cry of “let my people go,” and even attempts the vaunted mike drop — with a microphone that is attached to a podium.

Phil Davison , you’ve met your match.

* The Question: Was Rep. Bost’s outburst justified? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


- Posted by Rich Miller   76 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: New Senate district term list

Thursday, May 31, 2012

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More on the House’s budget

Thursday, May 31, 2012

* As mentioned below, the House Republicans pulled out of budget negotiations after Speaker Madigan refused to bend on pension reform. That caused a chain reaction. Some GOP projects were cut because Republicans weren’t voting for the budget, but state facilities in Republican districts that had been targeted for closure were left intact. The Democrats also added $50 million to the General State Aid budget for schools. Republicans were furious

House Minority Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego, also accused Democrats of adding money to the budget after they learned that Republicans would not support it.

“There’s $50 million more than when we were working with you,” Cross said. “Fifty million is a lot of money. You can’t control yourselves. That’s what happens when you are left to your own devices.”

Democrats said they added $50 million to general state aid to schools. With the addition, general state aid would drop by $161 million under the House budget, instead of $211 million. […]

Rep. Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates, said Republicans told him they would not support a budget that did not keep all state facilities open.

“We found the money. Isn’t that something?” Crespo said.

Although many of those facilities are in Republican districts, they still voted against the budget.

The House Democrats say that even with the school money, which came from refinancing state debt, the budget will still be $4 million below the spending cap the chamber agreed to earlier this year.

* More

Republicans were also unhappy about some changes made to the human services budget. Funding for transportation for mental health patients was taken out, and instead, more money went to the Department of Children and Family Services. Money for drug addiction prevention and youth in transition programs also fell under the Democratic budget ax.

“It was a good budget before you started whacking away at it,” said Rep. Rosemary Mulligan, a Republican from Des Plaines. “Now you’ve cut things that everyone at the table agreed to, Democrat and Republican.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      


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