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Madigan, Cullerton say they back making tax hike permanent by end of May

Wednesday, Mar 26, 2014

* House Speaker Michael Madigan told Jak Tichenor today that he admires Gov. Quinn for his courage in proposing to make the income tax hike permanent.

Madigan also said he supports the governor’s plan and said he hopes to try and pass it by the end of the spring session on May 31st. Watch

A spring session income tax vote would be a rarity in Springfield. It almost never happens.

* Senate President John Cullerton said after he talked to Tichenor today that he “fully” supports the governor’s plan to keep the tax hike permanent. He said during the Illinois Lawmakers program after the governor’s speech that he wants the House to vote on the tax hike first, just to make sure it passes. Watch

* House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno also spoke with Tichenor. This video was processing when I wrote this, so give it a few and it should work

- Posted by Rich Miller        


136 Comments
  1. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:39 pm:

    Awesome.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    Dems are “all-in”…with Quinn.

    This whole election will be framed on monies, and if the GOP is going to cut, will it be seniors? Vets? Disabled? Children?

    Class warfare, with the budget as the battleground the Dems want part of it played out.


  3. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    The republican response video is still unavailable as of this post, but I’m assuming that the electronic static I’m currently seeing will be replaced by political static with the end result being the same as far as actual information transfer.


  4. - Bogart - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:46 pm:

    This is good for Rauner. He gets the best of both worlds - beat up on dems for raising taxes and less cuts necessary when he is Gov.


  5. - Bill White - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    === A spring session income tax vote would be a rarity in Springfield. It almost never happens. ===

    At the present moment, calling the vote in the spring session strikes me as being politically brilliant.

    Make the 5% permanent six months before the election and no one can cry “Lame Duck!”

    Once passed, the GOP will need to win a majority of both houses and the governor’s mansion to undo it.


  6. - A guy... - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:49 pm:

    ===Madigan, Cullerton say they back making tax hike permanent by end of May===

    Of course they do. At least they don’t have to try and make it retroactive. Look for a couple dozen GA members to check the status of their Pensions before then. Lame ducks get their last hurrah. This will be interesting to watch.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    Rauner will need alot more Raunerites to overturn this, if he becomes governor.

    State Fair will be real interesting.


  8. - A guy... - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    Yes Mr. White, “Brilliant”. Ask every Suburban and Downstate Democratic Legislator to weigh in on the “brilliance” of this. Madigan is delivering to the Governor exactly what he wants when he wants it. Cullerton’s in the sidecar screaming “You go first Mr. Speaker”. Oh, it’s brilliant alright.


  9. - fed up - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:52 pm:

    I forgot which tax increase is for the children. The old temporary 67% tax increase thats now permenant or the new millionaires tax. Because you know its for the children.


  10. - Bill White - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:53 pm:

    === Look for a couple dozen GA members to check the status of their Pensions before then ===

    What we need is a list of contested IL House races. As I recall, only a small handful of races were closer than 60 / 40 back in 2012.


  11. - A guy... - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    === Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    Dems are “all-in”…with Quinn.====

    Wanna bet?


  12. - Bill White - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    @A guy and @fed up

    Do you really think Madigan and Cullerton said what they said without doing their whip count first?


  13. - downstate hack - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    Tax and spend. No meaningful reforms to reduce spending, just more tax funding for more political dream programs.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    MJM said he was in. Cullerton said he was in.

    - A Guy…-, it seems you ignore all facts equally.

    Dope.


  15. - A guy... - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:57 pm:

    === Bill White - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:53 pm:

    === Look for a couple dozen GA members to check the status of their Pensions before then ===

    What we need is a list of contested IL House races. As I recall, only a small handful of races were closer than 60 / 40 back in 2012.====

    What’s a handful? 6,8,10? that would be a very good start. Two putt’s gone. We might accept gifts from the other party now.


  16. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:59 pm:

    Let’s see if I have this straight:

    Make the recent lame duck personal income tax permanent! More sin taxes! Tax incomes over a million! Change the income tax formula so you are paying more than you did before the “temporary” income tax increases! And by the way, taxpayers, you are saving money by paying higher taxes! Honest! Trust us with your money! We will pay the bills this time! Honest! We are the ruling class of Illinois called the Democratic Party of Illinois!

    Rauner owns 9 houses!

    Helluva message there Democratic Party of Illinois!


  17. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    Heading to a late lunch….

    Be back later, - A Guy… -, so you can mock me more. lol


  18. - UIC guy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    When the pension bill was under discussion a number of people put forward the cynical view that MJM and others were expecting it to be overturned and to be able to use that as an excuse to extend the 5% income tax. (I.e. extend the tax and blame the greedy public employee unions and the ILSC.) But it turns out that the cynical view was wrong! How often does that happen in IL politics?


  19. - fed up - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    This is why a gerrymandered map is a big deal. their are so few competitive races that the primary was the big deal election for both houses. Nice of the General Assembly to let Quinn delay the budget speech until after the primary. Even if Quinn loses Madigan & Cullerton control the purse strings. Maybe instead of Quinn giving loser lame duck House members and state sens, state jobs for votes, this time Madigan or Cullerton will give Quinn, a mail room job at one of their law firms for his signature.


  20. - A guy... - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:01 pm:

    ==== Bill White - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    @A guy and @fed up

    Do you really think Madigan and Cullerton said what they said without doing their whip count first?====

    Mr. White, yes.


  21. - Generation X - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    Perception is reality and all Rauner has to do is point out that raising taxes wouldn’t be necessary with unaccounted for 55 million dollar vote grabs.

    Quinn is going to the well one too many times on taxes imo


  22. - Dirty Red - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    Cullerton saying on the record no property tax adjustments from the state for the city’s pension fund seemed big. Sorry, Rahm. Raise your own tax.


  23. - A guy... - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    Enjoy lunch Willie. A thoughtful debate awaits you upon your return.


  24. - Rod - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    The Governor’s proposed budget developed presents proposed appropriation in two ways. One using the current tax rate sun setting in January, and the other with Governor Quinn’s proposal of making the rate increase permanent. You can see this by going to http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/budget/Pages/default.aspx

    I assume Quinn’s people used the HJ0087 numbers, but the actual presentation of this in the Governor’s proposed budget is at certain places questionable.

    For example in relation to funding lines for K-12 education we can see in the Governor’s proposed budget significant cuts to what are called mandatory categorical lines. They are listed under a column titled not recommend and are in red. These are budget lines in particular for special education if they are cut that would result in cuts in Federal payments to Illinois. There are also similar lines in the DHS budget.

    So for example the budget line “Special Education - Personnel Reimbursement, 14-13.01” in FY 14 was appropriated $440.2 million and in the non-tax rate increased FY 15 budget it would be $383.9 million or a cut of $56.3 million. But actual effect of that cut would be $112.6 million because of the loss of federal revenue.

    It is unlikely ISBE would elect to make cuts that would cost it even more money because of federal requirements than the original revenue estimate based cuts and would shift the cuts away from lines that would cause a drop in federal dollars. Moreover, in the ISBE Superintendent’s message dated March 24, 2014 he states as follows: “Last week, I testified before a joint hearing of the Senate’s Appropriations Committees. Senators requested that we return to provide them with testimony in anticipation of reduced revenues of nearly $1 billion while ensuring Maintenance of Effort of federal funds.” http://www.isbe.net/board/archivemessages/2014/message_032414.pdf

    So what Quinn’s people did is simply do a percentage cut across the board to all lines to get their “not recommended” column line.
    This was very sloppy work and Rauner’s people are even now digging away at his type of stuff. While overall Quinn is correct on the impact of the sun setting of the income tax increase his budget Quinn’s people made some mistakes in presenting how the budget reductions would probably be carried out by various agencies. The devil is in the details on an issue like tax increases.


  25. - Bill White - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    In 2012, 71 Democrats were elected to the Illinois House

    61 won with 60% or more of the vote
    5 won with more than 55% and less than 60%
    4 won with between 51% and 55%
    1 race was 51/49

    ===

    In 2012, 47 Republicans were elected to the Illinois House

    37 won with more than 60% of the vote
    6 won with more than 55% and less than 60%
    3 won with between 51% and 55%
    1 race was 51/49


  26. - Bill White - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    Well okay then, time will tell . . .

    Me: Do you really think Madigan and Cullerton said what they said without doing their whip count first?

    A Guy: Yes.


  27. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    You know, running on hiking the income tax is generally not a good strategy (see Netsch, Dawn Clark). But with Rauner’s anticipated attack on Quinn’s honesty, this budget is the perfect foil.

    I assume Rauner will dismiss this as more tax and spend and he’ll claim we can live without the 5% income tax hike. Unfortunately for him, even the Republicans in the General Assembly know that isn’t possible without politically impossible cuts.

    If Rauner is going to double down on sunsetting the income tax, can he really run as the “honest” candidate?


  28. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    I’m a Republican. I don’t hate government, and I don’t mind paying taxes (the two positions kind of go hand in hand, don’t you think?). I do mind government not being reasonably efficient and effective with my tax money. That’s not an unusual position for people to hold, I think.

    Show me rational proof that we spend too much, and that we tax too much, because right now I don’t believe that. If you can’t show me data that tell me otherwise, I’m going to continue to believe our tax burden is moderate and our spending is reasonable.

    If you believe our state government doesn’t spend our tax dollars reasonably efficiently and effectively, tell me where, and show me data or evidence to that end.

    If you want to make cuts in spending so taxes can be reduced, tell me where, and by how much, so we can measure what the effect of the cuts will be, and on whom.

    I agree completely that the tax burden on lower, and to a certain extent, moderate income people should be reduced. I understand that means people like me will have to pay more, and I’m OK with that. It doesn’t work any other way.

    Please don’t be intellectually dishonest about this and spout slogans and talking points, it’s too important.


  29. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:14 pm:

    We’re already paying this tax. Voter memories are short. From Quinn’s perspective, better to get it done now, then move on to the populist “millionaire’s tax,” which is a bit of a misnomer but does provide for good ads when you are running against a very wealthy person. Who could be against a millionaires’ tax except those greedy rich folks (cue for pix of one of Rauner’s 9 houses).


  30. - Aldyth - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    Schnorf: Most reasonable and thoughtful comment of the day.


  31. - Frenchie Mendoza - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:21 pm:

    I agree with Steve S. I don’t mind paying taxes. I also think keeping this tax is a no-brainer.

    However, I do believe that cutting the state government as we have over the years has done far more to harm Illinois than help it. Cutting is not the answer — and I suspect that the ‘cut more spending’ spending is, in fact, one of the more intellectually dishonest things to come out of this election cycle.

    We need to spend more in order to help people who depend on the government — and I don’t mind paying a bit more each year to do it. I think (and this is a dirty word) that government does have a moral obligation to be compassionate — and to help those in need.

    Quinn’s speech today was more of the more honest things to come out of Springfield in a long time, IMHO.


  32. - D.P.Gumby - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:28 pm:

    Schnorf again cuts through the propaganda and cites reason. Now, politically, this is a reasonable strategic gamble v. the likely rhetorical campaign from Brucie. Can’t wait to hear if Brucie has any substantive response; he can’t legitimately avoid that now.


  33. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:30 pm:

    Downstate Hack

    “Tax and spend. No meaningful reforms to reduce spending, just more tax funding for more political dream programs.”

    Please tell us exactly what cuts and reforms that you support to replace the income tax revenue.


  34. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    Can’t say I saw this coming, what with the other trial balloons that have been floating out there.

    I’ll echo what Schnorf said about responsible governance. It certainly isn’t sneaky politics; the Dems are flipping all their cards in March.

    I think, lol.


  35. - Generation X - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    I will list the cuts to who, where and when right after Quinn or anyone else details exactly how much money will be going to the school, what the schools will use them for and reasonable assurances that further monies are necessary to improve the quality of education. What specifically is missing in these schools that more money will fix and take care of the glitch.

    Buzzwords like modernization, Birth through 5 etc etc tells me nothing


  36. - Chitownhv - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    Well said, Mr. Schnorf. More please from your side of the aisle,


  37. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:37 pm:

    Louis G Atsaves

    “Let’s see if I have this straight:

    Make the recent lame duck personal income tax permanent! More sin taxes! Tax incomes over a million! Change the income tax formula so you are paying more than you did before the “temporary” income tax increases! And by the way, taxpayers, you are saving money by paying higher taxes! Honest! Trust us with your money! We will pay the bills this time! Honest! We are the ruling class of Illinois called the Democratic Party of Illinois!

    Rauner owns 9 houses!

    Helluva message there Democratic Party of Illinois!”

    OK, tell us you would do to fix the Illinois budget. Please be specific. It is easy to always be against. What are you for ?


  38. - Capitol View - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:38 pm:

    I’m a realist, like my friend Steve Schnorf.

    And so I concur in his perspective on current revenue and spending levels as reasonable - but there still is a need to modernize our revenue systems.
    I am retired, but I should be paying some state income taxes. Currently I do not.
    Expanding the sales tax onto more services as a user fee - you only pay it if using the services - is long over due in Illinois.


  39. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    The people here who claim that forcing people to pay more for their government are claiming that it takes “courage” for them to do this.

    Why courage? What is so courageous about this?

    The men and women who are doing this are not risking their lives. They make much more money than the people who taxes they are raising. They are raising the taxes of people who do far more courageous things for a living - and they are taxing that living - and calling themselves courageous?

    There is something horribly wrong when the political power players in a state government laud themselves as some kind of saviors by taxing other people’s money from them. Do they understand that when they do this supposedly courageous thing, they force everyone to work harder to earn the same amount of take-home pay they did before? Do they even understand that this is not their money?

    It is not courageous to take money from wages earned by others in order to avoid making political decisions one does not wish to make.

    How the Quinncome Tax was passed, was not courageous - it was actually incredibly cowardly. And it was handled in a way to suggest that there was really never any truth to the idea that the Quinncome Tax was intended to be temporary at all. Instead a Lame Duck General Assembly passed the Quinncome Tax after ensuring themselves of their future political viability within the very government system they prioritized over Illinoisans. There is no reason to believe today’s announcement was not an original part of the entire Lame Duck/Quinncome Tax scheme.

    How courageous?

    Courage involves sacrifice and risk. The only risk here is the political risk which is not fatal. These people didn’t risk their lives. These politicians have such a warped sense of courage, they think it is courageous to pull off this tax heist in daylight after they had conditioned Illinoisans to having missed their wages.

    The state government in Illinois is broken and it is being swamped by fiscal reality. Instead of finding a way to create a more efficient and modern state government, cutting off legislative abuse of grant money, instead of demonstrating sacrifice - they pull off the Quinncome Tax and call themselves courageous?


  40. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    Courageous, necessary, whatever. Clips of Quinn calling the tax temporary could be mighty powerful if Rauner can execute.


  41. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:44 pm:

    GX, read the budget book, if you’re truly interested. It does exactly that. And BTW, if you don’t know what Birth thru 5 means perhaps this isn’t the right blog for you


  42. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:44 pm:

    steve schnorf

    “I’m a Republican. I don’t hate government, and I don’t mind paying taxes (the two positions kind of go hand in hand, don’t you think?). I do mind government not being reasonably efficient and effective with my tax money. That’s not an unusual position for people to hold, I think.

    Show me rational proof that we spend too much, and that we tax too much, because right now I don’t believe that. If you can’t show me data that tell me otherwise, I’m going to continue to believe our tax burden is moderate and our spending is reasonable.

    If you believe our state government doesn’t spend our tax dollars reasonably efficiently and effectively, tell me where, and show me data or evidence to that end.

    If you want to make cuts in spending so taxes can be reduced, tell me where, and by how much, so we can measure what the effect of the cuts will be, and on whom.

    I agree completely that the tax burden on lower, and to a certain extent, moderate income people should be reduced. I understand that means people like me will have to pay more, and I’m OK with that. It doesn’t work any other way.

    Please don’t be intellectually dishonest about this and spout slogans and talking points, it’s too important.”

    Exactly. The big problem is that everybody wants everything, but nobody wants to pay for it. This struggle has resulted in Illinois taxes actually being lower than most surrounding states. There are constant demands to cut, cut, cut, but no acknowledgement that there’s very little to left to cut. Illinois government has been trimmed to bare bones for several years now. I am still waiting for those that keep demanding cuts to identify just what cuts should be made.


  43. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    Generation X

    “I will list the cuts to who, where and when right after Quinn or anyone else details exactly how much money will be going to the school, what the schools will use them for and reasonable assurances that further monies are necessary to improve the quality of education. What specifically is missing in these schools that more money will fix and take care of the glitch.

    Buzzwords like modernization, Birth through 5 etc etc tells me nothing”

    So what you’re really saying is that you don’t have the foggiest idea what you’re talking about.


  44. - bottom rung. - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:47 pm:

    Interesting, States most and least dependent on feds:

    http://wallethub.com/edu/states-most-least-dependent-on-the-federal-government/2700/#main-findings


  45. - fed up - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:47 pm:

    Word,
    I’ll echo what Schnorf said about responsible governance. It certainly isn’t sneaky politics; the Dems are flipping all their cards in March.

    It is sneaky politics because Quinn lied back in 2010 about the tax increase. Quinn ekked out a narrow victory and was able to rubber stamp a gerrymandered map that guarantees Dem control. without real competitve elections no need to worry about the voters anymore. Is the tax increase the right thing probably, but yes it was done in a sneaky manner. The GOP is mostly at fault for having such a sad state party org. but the way Quinn lied his way to the last election taints all of this.


  46. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:48 pm:

    CV, I’ve said for years that I pay no Illinois income tax on about 75% of my income, and that isn’t right, so I agree completely. And when we acknowledge the effect of the federal income tax code, paying additional state income taxes of 2 or 3% by upper income bracket people doesn’t really affect them much.


  47. - Reality Check - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    Steve, do you prefer extending the flat 5%, Sen. Harmon’s fair tax amendment and/or the speaker’s millionaire’s tax?


  48. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:51 pm:

    “I don’t hate government, and I don’t mind paying taxes (the two positions kind of go hand in hand, don’t you think?). I do mind government not being reasonably efficient and effective with my tax money. That’s not an unusual position for people to hold, I think.”

    I agree with this and think you have a wonderful attitude. To me it’s a breath of fresh air, after looking at other opinions, and talking points without any backing or proposals.


  49. - Anon - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    Will MJM really want to take the heat for the income tax hike prior to the election? So much so that he puts 60 of his 71 votes on it, while no Republicans vote for it? I find it hard to believe.


  50. - OneMan - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    AFSCME Steward

    Not Steve, but I guess what I fail to understand is why over time, the state needs to take a bigger % cut over time of what I make. That would imply in part the state needs a bigger chunk of overall gross product to operate.

    That would imply to me that government is growing (needing money) faster than the general economy and it is growing faster than the economy 5% of what my wife and I make now is a bigger number than is was when I got out of school.

    The thing is, like you I wouldn’t even mind paying more, if I could trust we were going to use that money to fix existing financial issues first. But to be blunt, I can’t trust them to do that.

    So I have to ask, why does it take a bigger chunk of the pie to run government? Have government labor costs (including benefits) gone up faster than the general growth of the economy? Is it other costs, if so what are those costs?


  51. - Generation X - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    No Afscme Steward what it means is that I do not trust giving a blank “check” for education and like programs to people who have not proven to be good stewards with money. What advances in education in Illinois can we point to and say yeah these guys have a plan and it will work.

    With all these great ideas and control over House, Senate and Gov I wouldnt expect the Education in Illinois to be in such peril


  52. - Bill White - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 2:58 pm:

    OneMan and GenX

    It appears to me you will have ample opportunity to make your case between now and November. So will everyone else.

    Then, we vote.

    Sounds like democracy to me.


  53. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:00 pm:

    RC, as usual, pragmatist that I am, I prefer that which is doable. If for purposes of discussion we assume any or all to be doable, I think a progressive income tax coupled with a substantial increase in the EITC, extending the income tax to retirement income with some provision for a minimum exemption of some reasonable amount, and an expansion of sales tax to services coupled with a decrease in the sales tax rate would be pretty close to ideal. Good tax policy-base as broad as possible, rates as low as possible, diverseness to protect as much as possible against economic dislocations.


  54. - The Dude Abides - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    What Steve Schnorf says is true but people just don’t want to hear it. I saw some poll results from earlier this week and saw that a majority of respondents favor no cuts to present programs but they don’t want the current tax rates made permanent. It is impossible to pacify them on that.
    We have lost about a quarter of our state workers from just over a decade ago. Last Friday I went down to the Secretary of State Licensing facility on Klein to get a new license sticker and I was there almost a half an hour. People were lined up outside the door. The clerks were doing a fine job but there just aren’t enough of them. These generalized comments from Rauner about streamlining state government to help solve our budget problems are nonsense. If we lose another quarter of our workers tomorrow that wouldn’t solve the budget problem, it’s just not that big a piece of the budget pie.
    We got into this problem in the first place because we ignored the structural deficit caused mainly by lack of revenue. Like it or not we can’t cut our way out of this, we can cut where we can but we have to have more revenue too.


  55. - A guy... - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:03 pm:

    Mr. Schnorf, head to Oslo. They love you here and your prize awaits you.
    On the way, help with the 25-40% in Medicaid fraud. Explain how over $60M could materialize for a politically motivated play that inadvertently found its way to paying gang members minimum wage to pass leaflets. That’s the good news. Much of the rest of the money cannot be found. Please look at State contracting rules at IDOT, Family Services, the Department of Prisons. Oh heck, just look through the entire budget at every department. You’ll be the first whose done so seriously. You don’t feel you’ve been taxed enough. Please go ahead and pay more, whatever you’re comfortable with. Mr. Rauner has put millions of his own dollars into education. Now granted, he’s very wealthy. So, simply put the same proportion of your money into some public need and you’ll be liberated and free to criticize him.
    The seriousness is your “throw down” that apparently the state has some record of responsible spending. I dispute that vigorously. A blog isn’t the place to have essays go back and forth. I know many here were impressed with your mini-essay above. I found it aggrandizing. Feel free to not care.


  56. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:09 pm:

    –Once passed, the GOP will need to win a majority of both houses and the governor’s mansion to undo it.–

    Who said they want to undo it? They want to campaign against it. Different things entirely.

    This might be the Dems gift to the Civvies to take some air out of the graduated tax proposal.

    Five percent is still less than the 8.98% top rate in Iowa; or 7.75% in Wisconsin; or the plus-6% combined state and county rates in Indy; or the 6% rates in Kentucky, Tennessee and Missouri.

    Less, but more in line, with surrounding states.


  57. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:11 pm:

    OneMan

    “Not Steve, but I guess what I fail to understand is why over time, the state needs to take a bigger % cut over time of what I make. That would imply in part the state needs a bigger chunk of overall gross product to operate.”

    Maybe you should move to Wisconsin the state Rauner & the Tea Partiers are always holding up as the way to do business. Oh wait, Wisconsin’s Taxes are high than Illinois’.

    Since you are opposed to the current Illinois revenue stream, please tell us what you would cut & how.


  58. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:11 pm:

    –So I have to ask, why does it take a bigger chunk of the pie to run government? –

    Because they’re not shorting the annual pension contribution anymore.


  59. - ah HA - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:14 pm:

    So in other words, this tax increase will be already spent on new programs instead of paying down pensions and the backlog? We’ll never get a handle on that.


  60. - fed up - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:14 pm:

    ANON-
    “Will MJM really want to take the heat for the income tax hike prior to the election? So much so that he puts 60 of his 71 votes on it, while no Republicans vote for it? I find it hard to believe”
    Not hard to believe at all which members of his caucus do you think this vote puts in danger of losing the election.


  61. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    – A blog isn’t the place to have essays go back and forth.–

    Yeah, let’s not get bogged down with facts and informed opinion. Hysterical rambling is where it’s at.

    Dude, give it up. If the Baron hasn’t put you on the payroll yet, he ain’t gonna.


  62. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:19 pm:

    steve schnorf

    “RC, as usual, pragmatist that I am, I prefer that which is doable. If for purposes of discussion we assume any or all to be doable, I think a progressive income tax coupled with a substantial increase in the EITC, extending the income tax to retirement income with some provision for a minimum exemption of some reasonable amount, and an expansion of sales tax to services coupled with a decrease in the sales tax rate would be pretty close to ideal. Good tax policy-base as broad as possible, rates as low as possible, diverseness to protect as much as possible against economic dislocations.”

    What needs to be done is fairness. There is too much income from the extremely wealthy that is not being taxed. It should be simple, if it gets in your pocket or bank account it’s taxed. No shelters no dodges. Straight tax on all take home income, just like I pay.

    Pragmatic solutions ? Are you kidding? This is Illinois.


  63. - Jerome Horwitz - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:19 pm:

    As usual Mr. Schnorf is correct. I would vote for you.


  64. - fed up - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:20 pm:

    Word, Tennessee does not have an income tax.


  65. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    Fed, you’re correct. Interest and dividend income only for Tennessee. Misread a chart. Mea culpa.


  66. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    So far all I’m hearing from the R’s (with exceptions such as Mr. Schnorf) amounts to “The Shoe Is On the Other Foot.” Edgar lied to us about his “Temporary” tax increase. Ryan raised revenue to fund a huge pork boondoggle (remember “Build Illinois”? He raised over $1B for projects like lights for a high school football field.) And the patron saint of the Republicans, Ronald Reagan ran up huge deficits for his pie-in-the-sky programs. I’m certainly not saying “Tax and Spend! Tax and Spend!” What I am saying is maybe the R’s need to look at a picture of themselves next to Quinn and say “Hmm…you know, there might be some similarities there, maybe we shouldn’t complain about things that we do too.”


  67. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:35 pm:

    ==Mr. Schnorf…Oh heck, just look through the entire budget at every department. You’ll be the first whose done so seriously.==

    Steve Schnorf was the budget director under Edgar. He’s done looks plenty of times.


  68. - Jimbo - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:38 pm:

    A guy, it is very difficult to get state contracts if you so much as have a lobbyist on staff, or a relative with a position in any official capacity. If you are speaking to the rise of direct contracting, sole source, etc. that is not due to fraud, it is due to the standard procurement methods now being so ridiculous that there isn’t time to use it in many cases. Four months from award to contract. No joke. You lose federal funding that way.


  69. - Sir Reel - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:38 pm:

    I can accept 5%. It’s hard to go through the budget and find programs to cut. But I worry Quinn and legislators will continue to place their cronies in high paying State jobs - think former DNR Deputy Director Travis Lloyd. This is what I worry will happen.


  70. - Walker - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    A guy:

    Your statements like “go to Oslo” and “25-40% Medicaid fraud”, just reduce your credibility. They express your frustration and bias, but not your argument.

    You might like to know that Steve Schnorf is one of the very few people who has actually seriously worked thru an entire Illinois state budget and every department, in a previous role. That is why he has such high credibility here.


  71. - Anon - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:45 pm:

    Does Madigan believe the corporate rate should be kept at its current rate or lowered like the bill he introduced earlier in session?


  72. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:46 pm:

    skeptic, what temporary increase did Edgar lie about? He campaigned for Governor on a platform that included making the then temporary and expiring increase permanent.


  73. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:46 pm:

    Steve Schnorf speaks, I listen. Period.

    MJM and Cullerton never vote on things until they gave the votes, and the votes are Ripe.

    Great comments. Always learning.


  74. - Hans Sanity - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:47 pm:

    I didn’t see the speech but read the transcript.

    What I read was that Quinn’s plan would maintain current income tax rates.

    I didn’t look at his plan, so I’m not sure if he meant for the current fiscal year or for the duration of the five year plan.

    It’s not permanent, though it’s lasting a good while longer.


  75. - Downstater - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:49 pm:

    Symbolic, but if you looking for cuts, let’s cut the pay and eliminate pensions and other benefits for state legislator, who are some of the highest paid in the country. We know, in this case, high pay and benefits doesn’t mean good outcomes. How many legislators don’t take a pension? Just a few, I would expect. Maybe, term limits will take care of some of this.


  76. - Jorge - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:50 pm:

    This whole taxed enough mentality is so tiring. Its like crying wolf every time something is wrong. Eventually people just tire and ignore you. Until you get new name and troll yourself into oblivion yet again.


  77. - Hans Sanity - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:50 pm:

    ….and I’ll guess that if Illinois voters don’t believe that the Governor means the maintaining of current rates for a year or more longer is NOT the same as permanent, he will lose in November.


  78. - Lookie here - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:52 pm:

    ==Mr. Schnorf…Oh heck, just look through the entire budget at every department. You’ll be the first whose done so seriously.==

    Steve Schnorf was the budget director under Edgar. He’s done looks plenty of times.

    Look at actual expenditures, not budgets, to see the waste and built in inefficiencies. I believe a 10% factor applies from my govt experience.


  79. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:58 pm:

    @A guy:

    Steve Schnorf has about a billion times more credibility on this issue than you would ever hope to have. I doubt there is anybody that understands the state budget any better than he does. You can disagree with him in a much better way than the foolish comment you made because you look like a dope with that comment.


  80. - Walker - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:02 pm:

    Also surprised by the timing and firmness of MJM and Cullerton’s statements. “Cards on the table” indeed.

    Personally doubt the votes are already all in the bag. This will be a big test of their leadership, and travel a difficult and twisting path.

    In the end, some GOP support might be won with hard limits on spending below the “balanced budget” number.

    Unfortunately what individual legislators, from both parties, want in trade often involves more spending, not less.


  81. - Skeptic - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:04 pm:

    Steve Schnorff: You’re right, he did do that. My point is that when the tax was passed it was a “temporary” one, passed by an R Governor and R legislature. And anyone with a brain knew on the day it was passed, there was no way it was going to be temporary. Perhaps I shouldn’t have singled out Edgar (I did like the guy after all.) Now this time around the R’s are all up in arms. I’m just not seeing the difference.


  82. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:05 pm:

    It has been fun reading the comments, and then Steve Schnorf just take to task the talking points, and bringing reality to the discussion.

    ===Show me rational proof that we spend too much, and that we tax too much, because right now I don’t believe that. If you can’t show me data that tell me otherwise, I’m going to continue to believe our tax burden is moderate and our spending is reasonable.===

    Always the adult, with undisputed credibility…

    ===Please don’t be intellectually dishonest about this and spout slogans and talking points, it’s too important.===

    A man with the battle scars of this process to point to and ask us all this simple request.

    Going to be a heck of a discussion from now to November.


  83. - OneMan - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:10 pm:

    Bill White

    True that, the thing is this is only place I can hear an intelligent conversation about it.

    Like I kind of said, I wouldn’t have a problem paying what I am now or even a bit more if I trusted in how it was going to be used.


  84. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:15 pm:

    lookie, this will probably shock you, but we actually did look at the approp bills, and they still do. You can’t expend more than is appropriated. But this whole back and forth become tiresome. The numbers are readily available, from credible sources, showing how our taxing and spending compares to other states, in raw numbers, by percent of income, per capita, by percent of state domestic product, etc etc. We don’t need to debate opinions, especially on a blog where most posters are anonymous, thereby preventing us from making more of an analysis of their credibility. We could actually debate facts, and their meaning. That would be refreshing.


  85. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:22 pm:

    Steve Schnorf > A Guy. To put it in financial terms, I’d pay the cover charge to hear Schnorf speak at an event, but I wouldn’t give a plug nickel to hear A Guy hold forth. Steve, we disagree on many things but I could work with you, and it isn’t that you’ve left the Republican tent, it’s that the tent is being stolen by Bruce, A Guy, and others like him. Bravo Steve, and thanks for the glimmer of hope that your views represent.


  86. - Keyser Soze - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:22 pm:

    Cullerton and Madigan have safe seats. I’m not so sure about Quinn’s.


  87. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:26 pm:

    Why more State spending as a percentage of income?
    More elderly needing services. Collapse of families with 40 percent of children born outside marriage and 54 percent of births paid by Medicaid. This means most children born into poverty. State is asked to help more.
    Also most state services are labor intensive with lower productivity gains. If the state output per worker had matched the gains made on the farm we would be in great shape.


  88. - AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:28 pm:

    Love Wordslinger’s comment at 3:11. The skimming from public employee pension savings is over, exposed. Since it has to be paid back, all the cash we’ve all gotten courtesy of retirement funds is now due back. Couldn’t have gone on forever, could it now?


  89. - Charlie Wheeler - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:29 pm:

    Point of Information:

    A. Bill backlog, March 26, per comptroller–
    $ 4,291,789,562.45

    B. FY 14 appropriation for Legislative Agencies (GA & service units), per COGFA FY14 Budget Summary–
    $ 114,786 ($ thousands)

    Years to retire bill backlog, assuming no appropriation for Legislative Agencies–
    37 years, four months (approximately), per A divided by B

    Charlie Wheeler


  90. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:30 pm:

    “If the state output per worker had matched the gains made on the farm”

    The state output per worker is very high for frontline workers in DHS, with all the retirements and positions not being refilled.


  91. - A guy... - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:33 pm:

    ===- Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:46 pm:

    Steve Schnorf speaks, I listen. Period.

    MJM and Cullerton never vote on things until they gave the votes, and the votes are Ripe.

    Great comments. Always learning.====

    Because nothing ever goes to the floor and loses, right? Or just things MJM wants to teach a lesson on. That could also be the definition of a ripe vote. The lessons are not only taught when something passes.


  92. - G'Kar - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:34 pm:

    I would hope that Steve will write up his 2:13 post as a newspaper oped piece. It is something that more than us political junkies need to hear.


  93. - A guy... - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:39 pm:

    === wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    – A blog isn’t the place to have essays go back and forth.–

    Yeah, let’s not get bogged down with facts and informed opinion. Hysterical rambling is where it’s at.

    Dude, give it up. If the Baron hasn’t put you on the payroll yet, he ain’t gonna.===

    Slinger, it’s liberating not to be on any political payroll. I’m out here in the private sector, unlike Mr. Schnorf, paying state income tax on most of my salary. I’ll allow you to be the arbiter of my facts or not to your own desire. I’m offering my thoughts and opinions like you. No more. No less. I just don’t need to be liked as much as you do. Clearly that works with many of the folks here. There’s another side of the argument and you’re hearing it. Otherwise, why bother with any of this. I’ll just keep calling myself Dope for you.


  94. - BentheDem - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:40 pm:

    Mr. Schnorf–do you by any chance have a link to the tax rate comparison by state? I’d be really interested to see the specifics if it gets into total tax burden, rather than just one tax or another.


  95. - Charlie Wheeler - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:40 pm:

    Historical Point of Information:

    Income tax rates were increased to 3 percent from 2 percent for individuals and to 4.8 percent from 4 percent, effective July 1, 1989. The legislation creating the increases was signed by Gov. James Thompson, a Republican, after passing the Illinois General Assembly, both chambers of which were controlled by Democrats (House, 67-51; Senate, 31-28.)

    Charlie Wheeler


  96. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:41 pm:

    hey, guy, welcome back. I’m still waiting for your sources on the 25-40% Illinois Medicaid fraud. You post anonymously, make drive-by comments, challenge other peoples credibility, and when people bite back you change the subject.


  97. - Hans Sanity - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:43 pm:

    WLS TV reporting that Quinn wants to make the 67% Tax Hike permanent.

    Quinn will lose if the majority of Illinoisans are blown away by the idea of 67% and permanent, rather than understanding of the need for maintaining the increase from 3% to 5% for several more years.


  98. - A guy... - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:45 pm:

    -==== Walker - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    A guy:

    Your statements like “go to Oslo” and “25-40% Medicaid fraud”, just reduce your credibility. They express your frustration and bias, but not your argument.

    You might like to know that Steve Schnorf is one of the very few people who has actually seriously worked thru an entire Illinois state budget and every department, in a previous role. That is why he has such high credibility here.====

    Walker, Medicaid fraud is public information. It’s in the recent news. The reforms are moving forward excruciatingly slowly. Patti Bellock is working very hard on it. I think Mr. Schnorf would certify her as credible. The numbers used to describe “fraud” are 25-40%. It’s in the billions of dollars. It’s so messed up, 15% is the closest they could come to estimating fraud. Mismanagement and lack of efficiency are other problems there. Sorry if that’s not credible friend.


  99. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:49 pm:

    ===It’s in the recent news.===

    Then finding a link shouldn’t be too hard for you to do guy. We’ll wait.


  100. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:50 pm:

    ===Because nothing ever goes to the floor and loses, right? Or just things MJM wants to teach a lesson on. That could also be the definition of a ripe vote. The lessons are not only taught when something passes.===

    - A Guy… -,

    The General Assembly is a great place to learn. Those Freshman who come in to “teach” usually get taught the toughest lessons.

    The SSM Vote is a great example of MJM and Ripe votes. Madigan waited, worked, timed, gauged, and when it was Ripe, came out “For” it, called it for a vote… Done.

    Cullerton and MJM came out on this from Jump Street today. Guess why? They can “count”, and they understand yhe politics and the politics of their Chambers.

    I trust them over you, and given how MJM votes his tough votes, especially ones he “wants”, its easy to see his this movie will probably end.


  101. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:50 pm:

    A guy, could you post a link on those numbers? If the link is to IPI, don’t bother. But otherwise I’d appreciate it.


  102. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:52 pm:

    ben, there are many sources, here’s one http://keypolicydata.com/tax-burden-data/


  103. - Generation X - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:57 pm:

    Don’t know if this is what A Guy is referring to but here are some stats:

    http://watchdog.org/117832/despite-staggering-success-illinois-drops-medicaid-fraud-finder/


  104. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 4:59 pm:

    guy, 15% is a number I’ve heard. The number is generally used when trying to describe the possible fraud rate in Medicaid and Medicare combined nationally, tho I’ve never seen it validated. I’m still waiting (I guess a lot of us are waiting now, because 40% Medicaid fraud rate in Illinois could produce some real savings, even after losing the federal match, and that could help reduce spending) Again, what’s your source? Really, “in the news” doesn’t count.


  105. - Ahoy! - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 5:03 pm:

    It would be nice if more data and information was available, particularly on what a graduated decease of the income tax would like like. Such as going from 5% to 3.75% over the course of 5 years going down 1/4% a year. This would also give the legislature time to improve our business climate which could produce “natural” revenue growth as well as look into some tax reforms such as extending the sales tax into services.


  106. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 5:05 pm:

    === - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:11 pm:

    –So I have to ask, why does it take a bigger chunk of the pie to run government? –

    Because they’re not shorting the annual pension contribution anymore ===

    The world is watching…….for now. Important to remember that many folks want something for nothing. Politicians get this - loud and clear. If there is a way (pension skimming) to be everything to all people, the politicians will do that.

    How long do they have to keep up the appearances before they slip back into old bad habits. It’s really up to the voters - ultimately, we get the gov’t we deserve.


  107. - A guy... - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 5:06 pm:

    -==== Walker - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 3:40 pm:

    A guy:

    Your statements like “go to Oslo” and “25-40% Medicaid fraud”, just reduce your credibility. They express your frustration and bias, but not your argument.===

    Walker, you did get my inference that Oslo is where the Nobel Prize for Economics (and other areas) are presented, right? It was a joke around the U of C for years to say “go to Oslo”. Funny thing is, many of them did.


  108. - Norseman - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 5:11 pm:

    Public Servant, you’re on to it. The GOP Solons depend on IPI for cover on their wild numbers. It’s absurd to say that Illinois Medicaid fraud is in a range from 25% to 45%. Guy’s problem is that too many people on this blog rightly question the source of information before they accept them as legitimate


  109. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 5:18 pm:

    GX, enrollment doesn’t equal spending. Rep Bellock is absolutely correct. There was a period of 3 or 4 years when the State did an abysmal job of redetermining eligibility. For all practical purposes, they just about quit doing it, citing a lack of funding for the staff necessary to do the work.

    Here’s the rub. When re-d is done, the people who don’t respond are knocked off the roles. One significant group of them is people who have moved out of state: however, we aren’t spending money on them, so there is no savings. Another significant group is people who don’t respond because they aren’t currently using the services: ergo, we aren’t spending, so no savings. BTW, many of those people will come back into the program when they need services again, and in a majority of the cases they will once again be eligible.

    Next, many of the people knocked off by re-d are kids, and Medicaid spending per kid (in Illinois and elsewhere) is very low. So, for example, knocking of 10% of enrollees, if 75% of them are kids, won’t produce anything close to 10% savings.

    None of this is to say that the effort isn’t worthwhile: it is. It should have been being done when it wasn’t. But again, enrollment doesn’t equal spending.

    BTW, it would probably be helpful if someone who from Medicaid explained this. I can only report what we found when we did re-ds in the past.


  110. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 5:21 pm:

    @ A guy:

    You are woefully uninformed when it comes to budget matters. You want to debate, then have the facts to debate with.

    Also, we all eagerly await your answer to Mr. Schnorf’s question.


  111. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 5:26 pm:

    Don’t expect much in facts or reason from Guy.

    He’s been going on for two days now spinning that Edgar was “never popular in the suburbs.” Because he could only get 79% of the vote in DuPage County.

    But Guy was there, and he talked to people, and the people said……

    It usually goes something like that.


  112. - Hans Sanity - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 5:28 pm:

    =====It’s really up to the voters - ultimately, we get the gov’t we deserve. ==

    I haven’t heard that one in a while.

    I never liked or accepted the idea that if constituents don’t have the desire or time (or make the time) to follow politics or get involved in politics they deserve to get ripped off.


  113. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 5:31 pm:

    Well, at the very least Hans, what you get is the government someone else picked for you


  114. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 5:35 pm:

    hey guy, still waiting


  115. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 5:39 pm:

    This place, this blog, is not the place to come and think you won’t have to defend your posts, or random thoughts passed off as “facts” won’t be questioned.

    That is why this place is unlike others, or your father’s newspaper blog.

    Thank goodness.

    Imagine the administration this blog could cobble together as one unit. That would be one heck of a Crew.


  116. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 5:50 pm:

    “I’m out here in the private sector”

    How’s the food at Mickey D’s, Guy?

    Digging the Mighty Wings?

    Sorry, friends, I couldn’t help myself.


  117. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 5:53 pm:

    We’ll I can’t argue with A Guy about his take on his fellow suburbanite’s perceptions, but governing takes more than letting your bias control your actions. Steve’s posts have gravitas because he’s been in the trenches, and when he weighs in on a subject, you’d be well advised, if you’re going to disagree with him, to be prepared with other than just anecdotes and “facts & figures” you can’t support.

    That’s why I like guys like Ralph Martire at CTBA. They back their proposals up with legitimate, verifiable facts and figures, unlike IPI whose M.O. Is to state a fact (whose source is usually refuted easily like Rauner’s 90k jobs loss figure), and then another fact (Pat Quinn was governor) and then imply correlation.


  118. - Steve - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 5:57 pm:

    It sure is greedy of Madigan, Quinn, and Cullerton to be for higher taxes on those who make under $100,000. Especially since Illinois hasn’t really recovered from the recession in 2007. Don’t they care about working people?? Plus , those higher tolls. Government sure is greedy.


  119. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 6:00 pm:

    Steve, can I put you down as being for a progressive income tax then, or are you just doing one of your typical inane drive bys?


  120. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 6:38 pm:

    “State did an abysmal job of redetermining eligibility”

    As someone who works for the state, I can also add info. There was a time recently when we were told that OIG wanted us to do more fraud referrals, to fight welfare fraud. That priority fell by the wayside, probably because of the huge workloads, short staff and the need to make timely dispositions on the thousands of applications that are pending.

    As I stated previously, we had one or more self-employment/property workers who had the computer programs to look at stuff that caseworkers couldn’t see, like bank accounts and property. Lots of fraud was found in this way, and case cancellation/denial recommendations came pretty much every day.

    One of the workers retired, and that position was terminated. We need the resources, personnel and agency mission to do a better job fighting Medicaid fraud, in my opinion.

    I’m listening to the Madigan sound clip, and it appears that the millionaire surcharge is still in play. Madigan is saying that millionaires have to help pay for schoolkids, and Illinois will oppose voter disenfranchisement.


  121. - AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 6:39 pm:

    Great comment Public Servant. Was just about to say the tax is to save those high earners from having to dig into their stash.


  122. - As Requested - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 6:43 pm:

    In response to Steve S and others, Illinois has at least three issues that need change
    1. our income tax is almost the most regressive in the country. the hike from 3 to 5% costs people making $50k and additional $1,000 every year (those making 75k and additional $1,500 and those making 100k an additional $2,000 per year) - alot of money Quinn and the Dems give lip service to a graduated tax but never tried over decades to change the constitution. Btw the state could tax interest, capital gains and dividends (the rich folks income) at a different (higher ) rate than other income if they wanted to. Much of the flat tax could be replaced by a sales tax on services (which is where the economy is) and cost the middle income people above way less (it’s a big number $7B+), am. Even if those above spent 10k every year on services, that would be $500 much less that the income tax increase, which is compulsory. Add that to fixing the dysfunctional corporate income tax and you have some major money . How then is a flat tax of 5% good for Quinn’s middle class
    2. Pensions _ Rauner is right - the fix is a band aid and the actuarial assumptions remain optimistic, which will result in increased underfunding. btw what the Gov is not telling you is the payments in the next several years will continue to underfund the liability.. In the meantime the State of Ill gets killed by the interest on the unpaid liability (about 8%) The pensions need an asset infusion - real money soon, like the tollway. Of course hard but real - just like in life the interest is what kills ya
    3. the state tries to do too many things at the expense of public education - primarily in the Dept of Human Services where there are more growing programs than we can possibly fund. We also continue to expand the homes services program (a good thing but not the way its done) for the elderly (remember the boomers are retiring for the next 20 years in big numbers) with no revenue source to keep pace
    Anyway just a few ideas but I dont see how this budget is pro middle class


  123. - Lost in the Weeds - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 6:49 pm:

    Steve thanks for the link regarding state tax burdens. Would not want data to get in the way of spin.

    However I see the solution on that web page regarding the tax burden of winning the Lake Tahoe home on HDTV. Seems like if we can get HDTV to give away some homes then this could be a big source of revenue for the state. Who has such homes…

    http://www.keypolicydata.com/blog-archives/income-tax-consequences-winning-hgtv-dream-home-lake-tahoe-2014/


  124. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 7:00 pm:

    Word, 5 percent is also just slightly less than you’d pay in income taxes if you lived in Indianapolis, Ind. Gotta add in those “local income taxes” to the state rate to get the real tax burden.


  125. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 7:02 pm:

    I am no Schnorf, but I will try to explain:

    1/3 of Medicaid enrollees - seniors and people with disabilities - account for 2/3 of Medicaid spending.

    Once they become Medicaid eligible, they tend to remain Medicaid eligible, because their income rarely if ever increases.

    The GAO estimated states identified 10% in “improper payments” in 2010, and the Justice department suggested another 5% or so might go undetected. As far as I know though, the AG is pretty aggressive about recovering monies once impropriety is detected, and there is a big difference between improper payments and “fraud”, which implies criminal intent.


  126. - Mokenavince - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 7:18 pm:

    If Madigan says it’s permanent ,thy shall be done.
    Next.


  127. - FormerParatrooper - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 7:26 pm:

    The issue seems more about this was sold as a temporary tax increase and is now being made permanent. That creates the perception if dishonest governing.

    Steve S… Thanks for the info you posted. Gives me a perspective I don’t see in the news or in the sound bites from the political parties.

    I think I may start taxing the allowances I give the kids, will help offset the tax I pay. Snark of course.


  128. - countyline - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 9:40 pm:

    -That creates the perception if dishonest governing-

    No perception, lying is what they do best, and many people that post on this board are so deep in it they don’t know the difference, or just don’t care. If lying is “just politics”, then politics needs to change.


  129. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:13 pm:

    hey guy, we’re still waiting


  130. - Jorge - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:45 pm:

    countyline,

    Aren’t you just a paragon of virtue.


  131. - Anon - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 12:00 am:

    I hear the ghost of Dick Ogilvie.
    Respected for his political courage…and a private citizen thereafter.
    Actually this is a fine legacy for PQ


  132. - Bill White - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 7:22 am:

    After thinking about this overnight, I now hope Madigan and Cullerton arrange the introduction of a bill to make the 5% permanent, sooner rather than later, and after counting the vote behind closed doors (and twisting arms as necessary), call the vote, sooner rather than later.

    Then send the bill to Governor Quinn.

    No later than the end of May would be about right.

    IMHO.


  133. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 7:46 am:

    Generation X

    “Don’t know if this is what A Guy is referring to but here are some stats:

    http://watchdog.org/117832/despite-staggering-success-illinois-drops-medicaid-fraud-finder/”

    Very interesting report, except it for some reason, which I’m sure is totally unintended (snark intended), fails to make note of the extremely high Maximus error rate. Around 40% of those people who were dropped from the Medicaid rolls had to re-reinstated These erronous cancellations caused great hardships for eligible recipients, many of whom were children with serious health problems. Additionally, many of the cases that were correctly cancelled were done so because the families no longer live in Illinois, and were not using Medicaid services.

    The report also cites sloppy work by caseworkers, but fails to mention the soaring caseload sizes in most offices. The reason the medical reviews weren’t being done was not because of lazy employees, it was because there weren’t enough employees to do them. Additionally, the states’ data collection and computer systems are horribly obsolete. All the Maximus contract did was provide better data & more employees, which the state could have done for less money in house.

    It is interesting how some of the Raunerbots out here only post sources to back up their arguments that are journalistically questionable and totally agree with their positions. Quasi-news sites set up by political organizations to promote their positions are not reliable sources of information. Those of you that continue to use these sources as truthful journalism reveal much about yourselves & how ignorant you are. It might be enlightening to sometimes read something that does not always back up your beliefs. If you do you might actually learn something and see that the issues are much more complex than your simplistic answers indicate.


  134. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 8:02 am:

    steve schnorf

    “GX, enrollment doesn’t equal spending. Rep Bellock is absolutely correct. There was a period of 3 or 4 years when the State did an abysmal job of redetermining eligibility. For all practical purposes, they just about quit doing it, citing a lack of funding for the staff necessary to do the work.

    Here’s the rub. When re-d is done, the people who don’t respond are knocked off the roles. One significant group of them is people who have moved out of state: however, we aren’t spending money on them, so there is no savings. Another significant group is people who don’t respond because they aren’t currently using the services: ergo, we aren’t spending, so no savings. BTW, many of those people will come back into the program when they need services again, and in a majority of the cases they will once again be eligible.

    Next, many of the people knocked off by re-d are kids, and Medicaid spending per kid (in Illinois and elsewhere) is very low. So, for example, knocking of 10% of enrollees, if 75% of them are kids, won’t produce anything close to 10% savings.

    None of this is to say that the effort isn’t worthwhile: it is. It should have been being done when it wasn’t. But again, enrollment doesn’t equal spending.

    BTW, it would probably be helpful if someone who from Medicaid explained this. I can only report what we found when we did re-ds in the past.”

    Steve:

    Your analysis is totally correct. The cancellations being cited are a numbers game being created to make it look like Maximus is saving a lot of money. The reality is that what Maximus provided, technology & additional employees, could have been handled by the state for less money. Medical redeterminations became less and less a priority as caseloads soared due to the recession and the hiring freeze. In my office the caseloads doubled over a 10 year period but the number of employees actually decreased substantially. Processing SNAP applications & renewals became the priority. The staffing issue is so extreme that for the last 2 years or so the state has gotten a waiver from the feds to skip a SNAP renewal cycle for most households once a year (review done once a year instead of every six months). The SNAP payment error rate has dramatically increased as a result of that decision (this may not reflect in the actual QC error rate because the sampling size is very small). Large numbers of households are being denied because income exceeds the standards. Many of these households were ineligible for as long as a year but still received benefits. The Medicaid & SNAP payment errors are all due to failure on the part of the state to hire sufficient staff to do the work necessary to make proper eligibility decisions. Whenever it fails to do so it costs money. I will bet that the errors caused by failure to hire employees are more costly than if proper staffing levels were maintained.


  135. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 8:06 am:

    –The state government in Illinois is broken and it is being swamped by fiscal reality. Instead of finding a way to create a more efficient and modern state government,–

    How would you fit in with a “more efficent and modern state government?”


  136. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Mar 27, 14 @ 8:15 am:

    FormerParatrooper

    “The issue seems more about this was sold as a temporary tax increase and is now being made permanent. That creates the perception if dishonest governing.”

    There is also the issue of political reality. It might have required a deal to make it temporary just to get the increase passed. After 2 years, the reality sets in and now it becomes apparent that the Illinois revenue stream is insufficient to meet what the citizens are asking for. Changes of this sort are not necessarily dishonest, just part of the legislative process that comes from compromise.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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