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*** LIVE SESSION COVERAGE ***

Thursday, May 31, 2012

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- Posted by Rich Miller        


55 Comments
  1. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 9:32 am:

    So, basically, Tom Cross, the Tribune, and the Illinois GOP are costing Illinois taxpayers somewhere between $27 billion and $51 billion?

    Oy.


  2. - AtALoss - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 9:36 am:

    Sounding more and more like a train wreck.


  3. - Liberty_First - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 10:27 am:

    I love the chamber comparison between the private and public sector. It is apples and oranges at every level. (I’ve worked both and been self employed) The minute you become a public worker, your options are limited, social security is cut more than in half and you cannot get your contributions returned with any matching funds or decent interest rate.


  4. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 10:40 am:

    Just tuning in and missing the earlier discussion, I see in the tweets that the Chamber says public retirement benefits should be cut like those in the private sector. This to me is the worst of the arguments. Private sector workers should be striving to get better retirement benefits in my opinion, instead of widespread cuts that don’t affect the higher earners and some corporations.


  5. - Gov't worker - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 1:17 pm:

    And when the economy was booming and private employees got massive raises/bonuses and sky-rocketing 401(k)s (plus commensurate Social Security COLAs), why weren’t the Chamber of Commerce, etc., clamoring for government workers to receive comparable increases?


  6. - Joe Melugins - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 2:09 pm:

    “If I don’t have a good pension, then nobody should”

    “If I don’t have good health insurance, then nobody should.”

    That kind of thinking just puts us all on a race to the bottom.


  7. - PublicServant - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 2:25 pm:

    So, let me get this straight. We had an approximately 85 billion dollar unfunded pension liability yesterday, but after the pension bill “shifts” costs to employees and retirees, the pension liability is dramatically decreased…but that’s not a diminishment of the pension? Can’t wait for this to get to court.


  8. - Easy - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 2:38 pm:

    ydd–costing? no. saving?yes


  9. - Fed up - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 2:42 pm:

    So Madigan went from sponsoring the pension bill to voting no on it in about 18 hours.


  10. - Dirty Red - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 3:30 pm:

    McCarter flipped his “yay” on bill to lift campaign contribution limits to a “nay” after bill was declared passed. Brings count to 29-27-0.


  11. - G. Willickers - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 3:35 pm:

    I don’t remember seeing Matt Murphy’s proposed cuts to show how he wants spending to go down…

    I do remember seeing a lot of hot air and whining from “Lt. Governor” Murphy, and by the looks of the Twitter feed that “theme” is continuing.


  12. - Dee Lay - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 3:36 pm:

    When will the gaming discussion/”distraction” begin in the senate?


  13. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 4:14 pm:

    @Easy -

    Without putting hard constraints into place — a sound economic practice backed by every conservative think tank — local school boards WILL continue to shift pension costs on to state taxpayers, costing us $20 - $50 billion.

    Once school boards realize they are actually responsible for paying for their own pension promises, there’s every reason to expect and believe that they’ll rein in those costs, either by reining in pensions or reining in costs elsewhere.

    According to the most recent school report cards, school districts outside Chicago spend less than 47% of their money inside the classroom. That means there’s 53% of their budget that they can look to for savings.


  14. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 4:16 pm:

    Public pensions like th privates?
    How do you spell U-N-I-T-E-D?


  15. - Yossarian - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 4:22 pm:

    For Joe:
    “If I don’t provide a pension plan for my lowest worker, then nobody should.”
    “If I don’t provide health insurance for my lowest worker, then nobody should.”
    This thinking puts us in a race to the bottom.


  16. - Inactive - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 4:23 pm:

    A race to the bottom only for the 99%


  17. - johhnypizza - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 4:23 pm:

    Oh Lord save my soul. I actually agree with YDD. Eventually - maybe in a separate bill later in the year - pension costs for school district employees must be shifted back to the ditricts. I am no fan of higher property taxes; but, what is fair is fair. Why should taxpayers in Chicago, Springfield, or Rockford foot the bill for pension costs for school employees in Bloominigton? Not a good reaason can be given.


  18. - Anyone Remember? - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 5:34 pm:

    YDD -

    What are the definitions? In some states, money spent on federally mandated Individualized Education Programs are counted as “outside the classroom.” Is that true in Illinois?


  19. - Robert - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 5:35 pm:

    What happens to districts in poorer areas of the state without much property tax available to pay for their own pensions - economically depressed Chicago suburbs and Forgottonia? I haven’t seen this discussed on Cap Fax, though I could have missed it.


  20. - Inactive - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 6:13 pm:

    One room schoolhouses/85/room. Save state tons of cash tho.


  21. - nadia - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 7:15 pm:

    Looks to me like it’s “Let Cross get the votes now or 71 later with or without a pension shift”


  22. - PublicServant - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 7:24 pm:

    I agree with Robert. Exempt the shift for teachers and admins earning less than X dollars annually. But to toss the cost shift entirely? No way the dems will cost shift to the employees and the retirees for God’s sake without some equity from suburban and downstate school districts pension cost shift. Madigan is absolutely right to insist on it. Everyone gets a haircut, or no one does.


  23. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 7:26 pm:

    Local Jurisdictions SHOULD be the ones to pay for the pensions they promise. Then they will be held accountable by the local residents for promising such absurd amounts.


  24. - PublicServant - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 7:33 pm:

    Cross doesn’t have the votes! Won’t call the bill according to Illinois Statehouse News quoting Political Editor. The democrats sound more like Republicans than Republicans, but they still won’t meet the democrats halfway. Mike, I hope you learned your lesson.


  25. - PublicServant - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 7:40 pm:

    Oh right…Cross says the Governor made him not call the bill. lol. Yeah right…he’s in Quinn’s pocket.


  26. - PublicServant - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 7:44 pm:

    If you’re concerned about the bond houses, then issue POBs now when rates are at their lowest.


  27. - roadiepig - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 7:48 pm:

    Watching the pension bill evolve and implode over the last two days would have been great theater if my future economic well being wasn’t what was at stake. And now- on to another overtime session!


  28. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 7:53 pm:

    @Anyone Remember:

    That 46% includes ALL instructional expenses.

    Dear Republicans -

    Cross needed 30 Republican votes tonight. He’ll need 40 over the summer. Good luck with that.

    When Cross referred to himself as a legislative backbencher, it was about the only thing he’s gotten right.

    YDD


  29. - PublicServant - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 7:58 pm:

    I agree Road.


  30. - reformer - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 8:04 pm:

    Sen. Murphy complains the budget spends too much. Yet his caucus opposes closing downstate facilities. You can’t have it both ways, Matt, if you expect credibility!


  31. - Freeman - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 8:05 pm:

    Tweet of the night tied so far:

    From SJ-R: “Meanwhile the Senate defeated the K-12 budget. The wheels are off, folks.”

    Ron Sandack: “The wheels have just come off the Senate Democrats’ bus.”

    I’d like to solve the puzzle, Pat: Overtime.


  32. - Freeman - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 8:07 pm:

    And people say the Republicans don’t have their act together. LOL.

    Nothing like a two way street.


  33. - reformer - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 8:09 pm:

    In overtime Cross would have to come up with 35 votes instead of 30.


  34. - Freeman - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 8:13 pm:

    RT @ilhousegop: How many votes did you have/? Cross:30.


  35. - western illinois - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 8:14 pm:

    The Bond rating. What a canard we still have plent of buyers and rates are so low what difference doesa few basis point make


  36. - PublicServant - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 8:22 pm:

    Murphy is in the Koch Bros. pocket


  37. - Amuzing Myself - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 8:31 pm:

    YDD: That’s absolutely hysterical! Dems control both chambers and the Govs office - have for a decade -, but the mess should be blamed on Republicans? Thanks for that laugh. I really needed it!


  38. - PublicServant - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 8:31 pm:

    Don’t give in Mike. You risked your neck and tried to get everyone involved in pension reform. You were willing to hit your constituents hard, if you could get the republicans to agree to the cost shift to local school districts to minimally offset the cost shift to state employees and retirees. You met them more than halfway, but they wanted to put it all on state employees. You were right to back off when they wouldn’t “take a haircut” too.


  39. - western illinois - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 8:48 pm:

    Kudos to Sen Schmidt for standing up for 2 million for Lake Coounty from IL SEN GOP?
    They sound ready for a cost shift


  40. - western illinois - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 9:17 pm:

    Murphey(the Koch guy?) just brought up the judgement of the ratings agencies ,,,When do we get to judge them?
    When do we get compared to Greece again?


  41. - PublicServant - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 9:17 pm:

    ===Murphy-We will be judged by the ratings agancies===

    What a lame attempt at a scare tactic.


  42. - legislative liaison - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 10:01 pm:

    Thank you for the Twitter updates because the live stream on ilga.gov is horrible!


  43. - TwoFeetThick - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 10:16 pm:

    === Thank you for the Twitter updates because the live stream on ilga.gov is horrible!===

    Indeed! Kudos to Captain Fax!


  44. - western illinois - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 10:30 pm:

    Great on the feeds. I just watched the QC /Peoria locals plus Ch 7 online. All led w end of session budget passed no pension. Generally them on all has been local panic over cost shift. Panic is no exaggeration either from the schools


  45. - sense of a goose - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 10:31 pm:

    amuzing myself Do you remember what the budget hole was at the end of George Ryan’s term? Amazing to me that Rod didn’t double it. The structural deficit has been brewing for many years and we’re at least progressing in the right direction. Medicaid changes this year were pretty big. We should do better but lets remember our history.


  46. - western illinois - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 10:38 pm:

    Amanda Vinickys coverage has really be above and beyond. She predicted pension collapse last night
    Murphey seems to be concerned about some poorer rich people too(Arlington Park Duchissous) sp.


  47. - TwoFeetThick - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 10:56 pm:

    Regarding Sen. Collins and her vote on gaming, the answer is no. Asking that she be recorded as no does not change the vote. Having voted on the prevailing side, however, she can ask that the vote be reconsidered.


  48. - TwoFeetThick - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 11:00 pm:

    Members often think that making such an “I intended to vote” statement changes how their vote is recorded. It does not. Their vote remains what it was, but the fact that they indicated that they voted incorrectly is noted in the journal. The roll call is not changed.


  49. - Freeman - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 11:16 pm:

    Did someone else cast Collins’ vote for her? That’s what some of the tweets said.


  50. - John - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 11:22 pm:

    “Did someone else cast Collins’ vote for her? That’s what some of the tweets said.”

    According to her Yes.


  51. - Freeman - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 11:33 pm:

    Wow. Thanks for replying, @John.

    That would certainly add another layer of intrigue to a legal challenge.

    And according to Robert’s Rules of Order, one MAY change their vote after it has been cast and even after the vote has been closed and called, as long as they do so before another member has been recognized to speak in debate on another bill.

    See RONR (11th ed.), p. 408, l. 21 to p. 409, l. 10; see also p. 48, ll. 28-34.

    Going to check the House Rules at the moment as well.


  52. - TwoFeetThick - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 11:35 pm:

    If someone else voted her switch, perhaps she should be sitting in her seat during voting to ensure that that doesn’t happen. Doing that works 100% of the time.


  53. - Freeman - Thursday, May 31, 12 @ 11:48 pm:

    It appears Collins can move to reconsider immediately. That would solve things in a hurry.

    From ILGA Senate Rule 7-15(a): “When the motion to reconsider is made during the last three scheduled days of regular session, or any time thereafter during the regular session, or at any time during a veto or special session, any member may move that the vote on reconsideration be taken immediately.”


  54. - John - Friday, Jun 1, 12 @ 1:06 am:

    Freeman,

    Dale Righter tried to do that but was ignored by who ever was running the floor. I think it was Sullivan at the time but I am not sure. I had the audio feed on at the time. Saying he was not happy is an understatement.


  55. - SouthernIL - Friday, Jun 1, 12 @ 6:54 am:

    Regarding “Pension Reform”. All was well when “nothing” was being touched to decrease one’s way of living ~ high on the horse with riches (?) galore ~ no worries. Now, that economics is hitting one’s own backyard ~ ouch! Take funds from someone else ~ not mine!! We have new hire pension plan in place, let’s take that to those who have worked 20 years or less. Those who have worked over 20, leave their pension plan intact. For those who are retired, leave their pension/COLA alone. The % they put in was to go towards their COLA ~ not to be eliminated. Healthcare costs minimal ~ 3%-10%, of their “annual” base pension upon retirement, depending on $$ level = “annual” health cost for the rest of their days. For those who are 80 years of age and over who have “no cost” health coverage - let it remain as is. I believe the retirees could live with that. No one should expect to retire from the State and be rich, but former employees worked towards comfort…to a certain degree…they had planned on. They put in their time for the State. The State presented the retirees with a contract of retirement terms ~ it’s now time for the State to live-up to their end of the bargain. Did our situation happen over night? No. But, when all is “well”, human nature is not to buck until diversity comes knocking at their own door. In this case, I feel, they are very justified to take a stand. Even with their pensions, most are under the poverty level as it is. At least allow them their dignity of being able to “currently” take care of themselves.


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