* The AP drilled into the governor’s budget a little bit and found a few surprises. The biggest surprise, which probably shouldn’t be a surprise…
Quinn also has suggested zeroing out funding for the Community Based Organizations for Violence Prevention program, which succeeded the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, which has received $15 million over the past two years.
You’ll recall that the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative was at the center of a scathing Auditor General’s report for its shoddy and goofy operations. Obviously, the governor wants to distance himself from that program. But what happens if violence spikes again this year?
* A few more…
The Murphysboro youth center, which closed two years ago, could serve as a facility minimum security facility for more than 400 drunken driving offenders, according to the governor’s office. […]
The Joliet Youth home, which closed last February, also would be repurposed, according to governor’s budget office documents. […]
The governor’s office of management and budget would see a 30 percent budget increase under Quinn’s plan, as it adds seven positions. Pallasch said the increase “comes from the addition of a new requirement that would audit state grants and is housed in the governor’s office.”
But that “requirement” is a bill sponsored by state Rep. Fred Crespo of Hoffman Estates that hasn’t yet been passed by the Legislature.
* Despite the expansions, the governor turned thumbs down on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s dream of expanding Soldier Field in order to attract a Super Bowl…
“We have serious financial challenges,” Quinn said. “Changing Soldier Field, making it bigger? It just ain’t gonna work.”
* From the Daily Herald…
In defending his proposal to make Illinois’ 2011 income tax increase permanent, Gov. Pat Quinn Friday called his Republican challenger Bruce Rauner’s plan to let the tax lapse and slash the budget a “scheme.”
Quinn argues Rauner can’t promise to both stabilize the state’s troubled budget and lower tax rates. Illinois needs the extra money to fix its budget woes, Quinn said.
“He basically has a scheme, and it’s not an honest scheme,” Quinn said.
Pushing the larger tax as he seeks re-election is risky, but Quinn has blasted Rauner and other Republicans for not offering a similarly detailed proposal.
“Some people think you get elected by not saying anything substantive,” Quinn said.
The governor’s office also pointed out to me this morning that slashing the budget could result in higher local property taxes, if education takes a hit. Rauner has pledged to protect education spending, but where would he find the money if the tax hike expires or is repealed? He doesn’t really say. The Illinois Policy Institute has called on the state to drastically cut funding to local governments, but that would also undoubtedly lead to property tax hikes.