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McCann has a plan to spend part of one-time revenue boost

Thursday, May 8, 2014

* As I told subscribers on Monday morning, the Commission on Governmental Forecasting and Accountability has revised its Fiscal Year 2014 revenue estimate upwards by $588 million. Most of this is considered to be a one-time income tax windfall, so next fiscal year’s estimate was revised up by just $167 million.

Anyway, some Senate Republicans have a plan for spending some of that found money

Thousands of state workers are owed an estimated 112 million dollars in back wages. Governor Pat Quinn negotiated raises with members of AFSCME back before the 2010 elections, but lawmakers never came through with the money to pay them. […]

“We’re not calling for any new spending, any new spending proposals here. We’re just asking for commitments to be honored. Bottom line,” [GOP Sen. Sam McCann] said.

Under McCann’s proposal, the rest of the extra revenue would be used to pay down the state’s backlog of bills. Illinois owes schools, hospitals, and many other service providers nearly five billion dollars.

Sounds like a good idea to me.

* Related…

* McCann still open to keeping current tax rates: “I don’t think the people of the 50th District sent me here, just like the people of everyone’s respective districts back home sent them here, to stick their fingers in their ears and not listen to what people have to say,” said Carlinville Republican Sen. Sam McCann. “They don’t send us here not to roll up our sleeves and go to work on their behalf. They send us here to engage.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


16 Comments
  1. - Norseman - Thursday, May 8, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    Yes. Good job Sen. McCann.


  2. - Bill White - Thursday, May 8, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    One route to accomplish what Rep. McCann seeks would be to link income tax revenue over 3% to the debt service on new bonds to retire unpaid bills.

    Provide clearly that once those bonds were paid off, the income tax increase terminates. Prohibit using this revenue for anything except debt service on bonds issued to pay the backlog of bills.


  3. - PoolGuy - Thursday, May 8, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    Sen. McCann well said and way overdue to those workers.


  4. - Bill White - Thursday, May 8, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    PS - Paying unpaid wages would be part of the existing backlog of bills owed by Illinois


  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, May 8, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    Sen. McCann is On It.

    Covers a great many Sins, makes things “square”, good PR for all, including the workers, who can say their voices were finally heard.

    Great optics for all…

    Plus, it’s a windfall paying a one time debt that fixes a wrong to a right, just a perfect reaction.


  6. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, May 8, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    “Thousands of state workers are owed an estimated 112 million dollars in back wages. Governor Pat Quinn negotiated raises with members of AFSCME back before the 2010 elections, but lawmakers never came through with the money to pay them. […]

    “We’re not calling for any new spending, any new spending proposals here. We’re just asking for commitments to be honored. Bottom line,” [GOP Sen. Sam McCann] said.”

    Holy (if I said the next word I’d be banned for life)… the ILGOP actually doing something that respects the hard work of public employees. Keep that up & they might actually start getting union votes again.


  7. - Johnnie F. - Thursday, May 8, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    Quinn negotiated to restructure the salary schedules and timeline in a supplemental agreement with the union. The raises were part of the union’s 2008-12 contract.


  8. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, May 8, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    Senator Sam needs o remember
    a. extra cash is already spent on old bills
    b. agencies get billions so they can pay for what they want to pay for with that moolah


  9. - Demoralized - Thursday, May 8, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    == agencies get billions so they can pay for what they want to pay for with that moolah==

    Wrong. It’s not a free-for-all. You can only spend it on what it has been appropriated for. There has never been any money appropriated for the back wages owed.


  10. - VanillaMan - Thursday, May 8, 14 @ 12:16 pm:

    SAM MCCANN?
    Well I’ll be damned!
    I’ve got to reconsider that pigeonhole I put him in…


  11. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, May 8, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    Circular

    “Senator Sam needs o remember
    a. extra cash is already spent on old bills
    b. agencies get billions so they can pay for what they want to pay for with that moolah”

    Partially correct, but mostly wrong. Agencies can only spend left over money on expenditures that fall within the appropriate appropiation for the current fiscal year. The money cannot be spent on anything unless it is related the an appropriation. Bills and liabilities from a previous fiscal year (such as the back pay) require legislative action.


  12. - Joe M. - Thursday, May 8, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    ==One route to accomplish what Rep. McCann seeks would be to link income tax revenue over 3% to the debt service on new bonds to retire unpaid bills==

    Don’t forget that the State also has around $100 billion in unpaid bills it owes to the State pension systems that it hasn’t paid. And if the courts shoot down taking some of that money out of the hides of state employees, teachers and university employees - then the State is going to have to pay the entire amount.

    And the State should have to pay the entire amount - it is State debt just like salaries, payments to bond holders, payments to vendors, etc.


  13. - Hit or Miss - Thursday, May 8, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    I would use the extra money, if it actually arrives, into funding the pension system. The pension debt is also a debt owed to the workers and in the long run is more valuable, in my eyes, to the workers.


  14. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 8, 14 @ 6:05 pm:

    Boy, these tax-and-spend GOP senators are just owned by AFSCME, aren’t they?

    Bruce will put a stop to this corruption.


  15. - RNUG - Thursday, May 8, 14 @ 8:44 pm:

    I’ve always liked Sam McCann since I had an opportunity a few years ago to meet and talk with him. He listens and isn’t afraid to think for himself. The GOP could use more of his caliber.


  16. - Getting Their Dues - Thursday, May 8, 14 @ 8:52 pm:

    This is fiscally smart. Pay off the debt. It’s incurring interest. The Democrats haven’t wanted to pay it, or just haven’t done it for two years.

    Irony: Maybe this Republican idea will finally get this issue resolved.


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