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Translation: When heck freezes over

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014

* The Senate Republicans said they won’t work cooperatively with the Democrats on the budget without some preconditions being met

Answering a challenge from Democrats to present a counter plan, the GOP lawmakers announced their list of demands Wednesday at a Capitol news conference. Earlier this week, Democratic Senate President John Cullerton warned of a $3 billion budget hole next year. That includes a $1.6 billion revenue dip if the state’s temporary income tax increase expires as scheduled in January 2015, as well as about $1.3 billion in increased costs to required programs and services.

“If they want us to work with them, there are (several) things they’re going to have to recognize and commit to,” Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont said, noting numerous GOP budget proposals have been “mocked” and “buried in committee” in past years.

* And here’s what they want

* The temporary income tax increase to be allowed to phase out, as is called for under current law.

* A proposal to amend the state’s Constitution to allow for a graduated income tax to be taken off the table.

* The approval of a workers’ compensation reform bill that includes a requirement that employees prove they were hurt on the job.

* A prohibition on new programs and the expansion of existing programs in the FY 15 budget.

* Attorney General Lisa Madigan to request that the Illinois Supreme Court speed up its ruling on the pension changes that were recently passed into law.

* More aggressive implementation of the cost-saving Medicaid reforms approved in 2012.

What, no kitchen sink?

* Oh, wait. Here it is

Republicans said school aid needs to be changed to eliminate a block grant for Chicago that takes millions of dollars away from suburban and downstate schools

- Posted by Rich Miller        


50 Comments
  1. - A Modest Proposal - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    Cullerton is asking for something that will never happen, so now the GOP is asking for something that will never happen in return.


  2. - Jorge - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 9:58 am:

    Since when did Ted Cruz move to Illinois? I thought he was from Canada.


  3. - RonOglesby - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    Might just be a starting position… I just put a house under contract and the buyer came in WAY low at the first offer with a huge amount of closing costs included. I countered with something more realistic and way above what they offered. Maybe there is movement here.


  4. - Anon - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    The question of the day had got to be “what other demands should they make?”


  5. - Smoggie - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    For about the past five years I’ve been considering moving over to the GOP, and the first part of that list shows why. Pretty reasonable.

    And then we get to the last one and I remember that as long as I live in Chicago, it would be pretty stupid to vote for the GOP.

    When the GOP decides to end its war on Chicago, they might get a few Chicago votes.


  6. - A guy... - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    And 19 of 59 are going to stand firm with no daylight between them. Odd they’re rattling a saber when the other side could have 10 renegades and still pass whatever the heck they want. And prevent anything too. Might want to speak softer and carry any size stick you can find.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    Radogno?

    “I strenuously object?” Is that how it works? Hm? “Objection.” “Overruled.” “Oh, no, no, no. No, I STRENUOUSLY object.” “Oh. Well, if you strenuously object then I should take some time to reconsider.”

    “Lt. Commander JoAnn Galloway” never disappoints.


  8. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    How about Chicago receives more money for roads and bridges since majority of those funds go to to downstate. The war on Chicago in downstate works, but it is very far from the truth.


  9. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    –Attorney General Lisa Madigan to request that the Illinois Supreme Court speed up its ruling on the pension changes that were recently passed into law.–

    What the heck? You don’t even want to do your jobs in the Senate, but you get to tell the attorney general and the Supreme Court how to do theirs?

    Sorry that some of your proposals were “mocked.” That happens in politics. Grow a thicker skin.


  10. - ZC - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    Today we learn what the Illinois House GOP has in common with undergraduate radicals at Berkeley today: both have forgotten how to actually organize to win power, both suck at negotiations, and both are living on a faded memory and self image of when they used to be relevant….


  11. - Bogart - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    In other words - “We are in a hole - first thing - let’s stop digging”. Sounds reasonable, except for the shot at Chicago.


  12. - RNUG - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    If the GOP were to take the tax requests off the table, it would be a very reasonable set od demands.


  13. - Bill White - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    They should add this one

    - AG Lisa Madigan to support future State Treasurer Tom Cross when he files his lawsuit to demand a “balanced budget” -


  14. - From the 'Dale to HP - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    And we wonder what the Illinois GOP can’t get any traction with voters…


  15. - countyline - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    All of it sounds pretty reasonable, all fiscal issues, none of those social issues that the left finds so repulsive. Pretty simple really…

    stop. spending. money. we. don’t. have.


  16. - Bill White - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    Why can’t the IL GOP simply introduce their own budget that includes all these items?

    Let’s see Leader Radogno and Leader Durkin propose sufficient line item budget cut to balance a budget, on their terms.


  17. - Ike - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    ===”Lt. Commander JoAnn Galloway” never disappoints===

    Appropriate, Willy. None of them can handle the truth!


  18. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    This is what is wrong with the ILGOP. No alternative plans. Just demands. Do they understand they are in the minority, a really really big time minority ? We won’t work with you unless you meet our demands. What kind of leadership is that ? Where is the GOP budget ? Where are the GOP ideas ? Why should anyone vote GOP in Illinois ? What are they doing to change things ? Just issuing whiney ultimatums is not discent. It’s just whining.


  19. - tominchicago - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    There isn’t $3 billion in savings in that wish list.


  20. - Powell - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    A bit ironic since it was Radogno who cut the deal on worker’s comp that excluded causation.


  21. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    The reality is, there’s only 19 of them, and they’re pretty divided as it is.


  22. - Aldyth - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    Kind of reads like a wish list from the Dark Side.


  23. - Tom Joad - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    Did Radogno draw up this list or was it the Manufacturers lobbyist that drew it up?


  24. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    It appears Cullerton just formalized his support for extending the tax increase.

    Unless he also has a “secret” budget plan, lol. That was a good line.


  25. - circularfiringsquad - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    Looks like the GOPies were seriously into the silly sauce…cannot believe they did ask for deporting all union bosses from IL and a two year term limit


  26. - M - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    It’s so cute how the Republicans think they are relevant.


  27. - Walker - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    The Dems must “commit” to all of these, BEFORE the GOP are willing to “work cooperatively”?

    That’s negotiation? That’s the start of compromise?

    It’s a laughable statement.

    Radogno’s personally smarter than that. Many of her caucus clearly are not.

    How about simply requiring these ideas get due consideration and come out of committee? Some of them are worth debating and dealing with.


  28. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    Oh, and one more demand.

    when monkeys fly out of my butt.


  29. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    As long as the GOP remains as a neutered minority power broker in the General Assembly, anything they say is a freaking joke.

    When the Democrats screw us, they do so without any GOP approval.

    This is nothing but a political statement, not a governing one from a party no one is allowing to govern.


  30. - fed up - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    How about a demand that Quinn stop lying ie I will veto any tax increase over 4%, or I support the death penalty. Maybe follow the law about giving his budget address oh forget about that until after the election, or no more lame duck sessions where losing Dems trade votes for state jobs.


  31. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    OK, here’s a thought. If Radogno can put together an FY15 budget that includes the phased out income tax hike, which obviously would include no new or expanded programs, and contain more aggressive implementation of the Medicaid reforms, AND put 19 votes on it, then Cullerton should give her a vote on Worker’s Compensation reform and the goofy Constitutional Amendment.

    Btw, doesn’t the existing Constitution pretty much prohibit a graduated income tax? What exactly would her amendment do?

    Changing the school aid formula? That’s just taking hostages.


  32. - Will Caskey - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    Why so timid, Republicans? I think you need to knuckle down on downstate seceding.


  33. - Walker - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    RonOglesby: I agree that maybe there can be movement here.

    That’s because Radogno is highly capable and willing to work cooperatively. Murphy and Brady did move positions in compromise on the Pension Conference Committee. If she can exert control over her own remaining obstructionists, then things can happen.


  34. - Skeptic - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    This strikes me as eerily similar to what happened in Congress. The R’s said “No budget deal until ObamaCare is completely dismantled! And that’s non-negotiable!” I wonder how that turned out?


  35. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    They forgot one…”First, you lay down your arms and return home, stopping at every home along the way and apologizing for a hundred years of corruption, oppression, and torture (remember Burge?)and kiss their arse!” (with apologies to William Wallace)


  36. - Excessively Rabid - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    And then the Dems can say, “OK, we base the income tax on federal taxable income.” That’s what a sane state would do. Problem (actually, numerous problems)solved. You’re welcome.


  37. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 11:16 am:

    Radogno has some pretty good thoughts, Cullerton
    makes some good points

    Lets hope they negotiate and actually get something.
    The workers comp. idea of being sure someone actually gets hurt on the job makes perfect sense.


  38. - The Whole Truth - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    Looks like a pretty reasonable list and place to start from a working person’s perspective. We have to pragmatically organize and budget our own households. That government has been allowed to do differently is why we have the mess we have now.


  39. - whetstone - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    What 47th Ward said about the constitutional amendment. A graduated income tax is already taken off the table by the state constitution. I’m confused.


  40. - whetstone - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    Re: constitutional amendment–I read that wrong. They want the proposed amendment taken off the table. Beware the passive voice.


  41. - Norseman - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 11:47 am:

    Willy, she can’t handle the truth.

    Cullerton got under their skin so they came up with this feel good response (to their base).

    So what we end up with is meaningless political posturing from everyone.


  42. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 11:49 am:

    Thanks Whetstone, that makes sense. I still think Cullerton should call her bluff and take this off the table for now if she can put 19 votes on her budget plan.


  43. - 3rd Generation Chicago Native - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    * The approval of a workers’ compensation reform bill that includes a requirement that employees prove they were hurt on the job.

    If insurance companies are doing their job should this one even be out there?


  44. - zatoichi - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 1:32 pm:

    So here is what we want. OK. The formula seems to be missing the counter-balancing ‘what do you give’ portion.


  45. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    seems to me to be a possible beginning point for negotiations, if we Rs are serious


  46. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 3:27 pm:

    - steve schnorf -,

    That is why I responded as I did;

    I feel the tactic is just that, a tactic, and not looking for a starting point to be relevant in the discussion in working for Illinois.

    Remember the table full of food.

    Same, same, same. Not moving the discussion forward. Nothing serious in trying.


  47. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 3:38 pm:

    I always believe the basics needed for a grand bargain are there. D Leaders will prefer to have some R votes for continuation of at least most of the tax increase, and to avoid as many program cuts as possible. Rs should want more WC reform, UI reform, not all the tax increase to continue, some more cuts in program area spending. Add a little of this, a little of that, and you could have soup-IF we’re serious


  48. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 3:45 pm:

    - steve schnorf -,

    Could not agree more. No snark.

    Even the optics, politically for the SGOP make looking for commonality a winner in GOP circles, (deferring to you) if they are/were serious.

    Thank you.


  49. - Norseman - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 4:08 pm:

    Steve, it would be great if this could occur. However, I don’t see the political will or leadership on both sides of the aisle and rotunda to get such a deal done.


  50. - Skirmisher - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 4:30 pm:

    The Democrats can’t govern and the Republicans live in Fantasyland. No wonder this state is in such a hopless mess!


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* Afternoon updates
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