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The leaders react

Wednesday, Mar 6, 2013

* Via Jak Tichenor’s most excellent public television program, House Speaker Michael Madigan reacts to the governor’s budget address…

Madigan talked extensively about pensions, the new AFSCME contract, gaming and other stuff. It’s a must-listen.

* Republican leaders Tom Cross and Christine Radogno react, part 1…

Part 2…

* Leaders Cross and Radogno also held a press conference. has the video.

* I may have audio of Senate President Cullerton later in the day. Check the live blog for that link.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - SG8prl - Wednesday, Mar 6, 13 @ 3:06 pm:

    “Mike Madigan is not going to alienate labor unions.” Is that starting now or is it that the “just one or two” don’t count?

  2. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Mar 6, 13 @ 3:24 pm:

    Good call Rich, the Tichenor interview is first-rate.

    The cost shift = ending the “free lunch.”

    Too early to talk about extending the temporary income tax increase.

    “I might alienate one or two unions, but not all of them.” Lol.

    Off sets will fund AFSCME contract costs. Back pay is a “good question,” which sounds pretty noncommittal. Layoffs or raises.

    Local government payments look secure.

    Gaming: cautious optimism. “Chances look pretty good.”

    Fracking: Extraction tax, the amount and purpose, is an unanswered question. Some strong support for a moratorium too.

    Guns: ISRA has a “real bad attitude” on CCW. Lol.

  3. - Kasich Walker, Jr. - Wednesday, Mar 6, 13 @ 3:56 pm:

    So who kept Cross and Radogno waiting, and why: Quinn or Madigan?

  4. - Caveman - Wednesday, Mar 6, 13 @ 4:05 pm:

    Did Madigan really say the feds would do well to look to Illinois as an example of how to get budgets done? Wow!!!

  5. - Kasich Walker, Jr. - Wednesday, Mar 6, 13 @ 4:20 pm:

    Listened more carefully: it sounded like everyone had to wait for Speaker Madigan for an hour, then they had a ten minute — or less — meeting.

    Patient bunch.

  6. - Former Merit Comp Slave - Wednesday, Mar 6, 13 @ 5:15 pm:

    Yes they were all waiting an hour for Madigan. I found it most interesting in Madigan’s interview that he said they would allocate X amount of dollars to the agencies and if they want to pay raises recently agreed to in the AFSCME contract then those agencies could lay off people to cover the increase. I can’t believe that isn’t all over the news!!

  7. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Mar 6, 13 @ 5:24 pm:

    Wow! More specifics from the Speaker, in one sitting, than I’ve heard in years.

    Great job, Jak Tichenor!

    As to the budget process, we do have a clear way to set a firm spending cap in advance of the detailed budgeting, that the Feds could use. It’s only been in effect for three years, but is having significant impact. Too bad we didn’t have it 20 years ago.

    This control process is specifically thanks to Rep Nekritz, without whom it simply would not have happened. She continues to lead on a lot of tough issues of interest to both sides of the aisle.

  8. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Mar 6, 13 @ 6:03 pm:

    I thought Madigan’s tone and his comments overall were an olive branch to the Governor, and take that as a very good sign.

    Madigan is clearly frustrated with the “nonparticipants” in the Republican Caucus on pension reform.

  9. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Mar 6, 13 @ 6:36 pm:

    FMCS, that’s Mike Madigan, self-described “friend of labor.”

  10. - iThink - Wednesday, Mar 6, 13 @ 6:59 pm:

    Can we stop perpetuating the idea that Chicago taxpayers pay twice for pensions, theirs and TRS. It has been well established that the state give CPS extra money expressly for this purpose.

  11. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Mar 6, 13 @ 7:53 pm:

    @iThink -

    I missed that one. I know that it was established that it was the HOPE of CPS that the state would pay for pensions for Chicago teachers through a lump sum. I don’t think that hope was ever realized.

    Regardless, Madigan’s point is a good one. It’s fiscally irresponsible to have one government entity deciding how big their employees pensions should be and another required to pay for them.

    Imagine if Toys R Us got to decide what benefits its employees could have, but Wal-Mart was forced to pay them. Would Republicans think that was a good idea? I doubt it very much.

    Yet Tom Cross fights tooth-and-nail to protect that very practice in state government.

  12. - x ace - Wednesday, Mar 6, 13 @ 8:01 pm:

    It appears to be a top notch job by the interviewer, Mr. Tichenor. And whether right or wrong , Madigan’s smooth.

  13. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Mar 6, 13 @ 8:55 pm:

    By the way, intentional or not, I thank Rich Miller for pointing out the irony of the situation.

    While Mark Kirk argues forcefully that the federal government shouldn’t be responsible for the state’s pension costs, Tom Cross argues that state government should be responsible for the pension costs of suburban school districts.

    Steve Brown must have spit out his coffee when he read that post this morning.

  14. - Original Rambler - Wednesday, Mar 6, 13 @ 9:16 pm:


    It’s not so much the double payment by Chicago taxpayers as the way school districts would game the system with end of career raises to their employees knowing that the taxpayers throughout the State would pay and not the school district taxpayers. If the school districts had played fair they wouldn’t be faced with upcoming wrath of Madigan on this issue. Current school district employees should be pointing the finger of blame at their predecessors who will unfairly reap this benefit for decades, not the Speaker or the Governor or Chicago taxpayers. Or, more likely, they’re just mad that the gravy train is coming to an end before they were able to get on board. Is that your situation?

  15. - Anon - Wednesday, Mar 6, 13 @ 10:16 pm:

    We must change the pension system to save it or it will run out of money because we darn well won’t put the state funds into it like we were or are suppose too, we have better things to spend that money on.

  16. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Mar 6, 13 @ 11:00 pm:

    “Regardless, Madigan’s point is a good one. It’s fiscally irresponsible to have one government entity deciding how big their employees pensions should be and another required to pay for them.”

    But is it really any different than the state imposing some sort of mandate on a unit of local government and then not funding it?

  17. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 7, 13 @ 7:13 am:

    ===But is it really any different than the state imposing some sort of mandate on a unit of local government and then not funding it?===

    Look at it from the other side. Locals are now imposing a huge, multi-billion dollar unfunded mandate on the state.

  18. - PublicServant - Thursday, Mar 7, 13 @ 7:26 am:

    Local governmental units are authorized by the state, not the other way around. Their powers derive from the state, and they are obliged to follow its laws, mandates etc…Not the other way around…

  19. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 7, 13 @ 8:13 am:

    Fracking tax — I wonder how much we’re talking? North Dakota makes a bundle.

    –In 2010, the industry paid nearly $750 million to North Dakota in oil and gas production and extraction taxes, $85.2 million in royalties and another $295 million in lease bonuses to trust funds managed by the North Dakota State Land Department (Source: North Dakota Petroleum Council).–

  20. - b - Thursday, Mar 7, 13 @ 8:57 am:

    re- fracking. speaker’s comments seem to indicate that it is far from a done deal. loved the “moratorium” mention. leverage much? forget giving this money to the state- i want my royalties check. how do you think the Sauds stay in power? the democrats could learn from their example. lol.

  21. - iThink - Thursday, Mar 7, 13 @ 9:39 am:


    Because I disagree with the cost-shift I must be “one the gravy train” right? Please. Did you read my post? I said in it to adjust the end of career raises. I also understand that the past practice of ridiculous end of career raises did contribute to where we are at financially. BUT, if you actually look at the data, this pension disaster is largely due to missed pension payments and lower than expected returns during the great recession - let’s not lose sight of that.

    I am going to reiterate it - our state funding for education is dismal and too reliant on local revenues. This reliance leads to large disparities in funding, and subsequently the education these children receive. Cost-shifting pensions will only exacerbate this.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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