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Budget roundup

Thursday, May 15, 2014

* House Speaker Michael Madigan stated the obvious yesterday

Democrats in the Illinois House began advancing a budget Wednesday that is built on the presumption that the legislature will extend the state’s temporary income tax increase.

House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, said setting the spending plan first will “set the bar” and help convince House members to vote for the tax increase.

But Republican House member Dennis Reboletti of Elmhurst said setting a budget, before knowing revenue, is putting the cart before the horse.

“That’s not how a business operates. That’s not how my family operates its budget,” Reboletti said, adding that you don’t buy a new house and “hope to have more money.”

* Madigan had some blunt words for those who believe that passing a budget without the tax hike revenues included could wind up as unconstitutional

Republicans also argued that the math being used by Democrats was unconstitutional, noting the nearly $4 billion shortfall that could result and pointing to a provision in the Illinois Constitution that states “appropriations for a fiscal year shall not exceed funds estimated by the General Assembly to be available during that year.” […]

Madigan dismissed the legal concerns as “fiction,” and Rep. Greg Harris, a Chicago Democrat who chairs the human services appropriations committee, argued that lawmakers must first determine what they want to spend money on before asking taxpayers to pony up for it. He said there were other revenue ideas floating around the Capitol beyond the tax increase, such as the possibility of keeping more of the tax money sent to local towns, though that proposal has failed to gain traction.

* But some top Senate Democrats piled on

“It’s not responsible,” said state Sen. Dan Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat and budget committee chairman. “I’d have a very hard time voting for a budget based on revenue that we don’t have.” […]

State Sen. Heather Steans, a Senate appropriations chairwoman who like Kotowski says she can’t support a spending plan without having hard revenue estimates in place, outlined a strategy in which the Senate would wait to act on any House spending plan until it also produced a revenue measure. Cullerton has said for weeks that he’s confident he has the 30 votes needed for a tax increase in the Senate.

“I think we sit on their budget for a period of time and see what happens on the House on the Revenue. Hopefully they will send that over too,” Steans said.

Steans noted, however, that the Senate’s approval of a House budget is no sure thing.

* The end of session clock is ticking loudly, but Madigan said he’s not concerned

“Don’t worry about the deadline,” the speaker said as he walked away. “Don’t.”

* And the Speaker still wants another big budget-buster

Along with backing a change in a business tax incentive program, Madigan said he supports legislation that would cut the corporate income tax rate in half.

“I’m prepared to advance that bill… as part of a balanced package,” Madigan said.

There’ll have to be a whole lot of reworking the numbers if he goes through with that, unless he finds other revenues.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


27 Comments
  1. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    Durkie fails to explain why he refuses to list his program repeals and cuts… and/or Shakey Mitt Rauner’s spending plans….wow and we thought Cross was a lump.


  2. - Walker - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 10:03 am:

    Rebolletti misstated it.

    It’s really: “You don’t give up your temporary second job, until you figure out if you can still pay your mortgage.”


  3. - Just Me - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    Given that the Speaker, who is Constitutionally required to a affix his signature to bills stating that they are Constitutional, but yet has appeared on camera in previous years and publicly admitted that a budget is not balanced (and therefore not Constitutional), it shouldn’t be any surprise that the House would pass a budget that is unconstitutional again.


  4. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    –Along with backing a change in a business tax incentive program, Madigan said he supports legislation that would cut the corporate income tax rate in half.

    “I’m prepared to advance that bill… as part of a balanced package,” Madigan said.–

    As Judge Smails would say, “Well….. we’re waiting!”

    Seems like more cards to be played here.


  5. - fed up - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    According to Rep Franks the state is losing 10’s of millions each year because of the Lottery contract that Pinnochio Pat Quinn negotiated. Quinn is the definition of incompetent and more and more its starting to look he has some criminal issues also.


  6. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    Wow LiteDwight wants to ask those same questions all day….yawn….still looking for his list of repealed programs


  7. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    Someone tell Rebbuff that biz and family operate without laws and mandated programs….none of which he offered


  8. - bigdaddygeo - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    No one thought the temporary tax increase was temporary when it was first passed. Legislators should stop the acting.


  9. - 'Chancy' Gardner - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    In the garden one must carefully apply the fertilizer or risk suffocating the plants under too much manure.


  10. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    @bigdaddy

    =No one thought the temporary tax increase was temporary when it was first passed. Legislators should stop the acting.=

    Big Daddy, the Dems in the legislature COULD have made a permanent tax increase in their lame duck midnight tax grab with very little blow back in THIS election. They chose not to under the hopes that some miracle would happen and new revenue would be coming in from recovered employment and business growth.

    A long shot, to be sure, but few thought that the income tax drag on the economy, in addition to industrial diversity factors in Illinois, would restrict revenue growth as much as it did.

    Bottom line here is that the GA will suck as much financial blood as it can without losing power, that’s why I think that they’ll vote on the tax increase in the lame duck session. People will be used to the tax burden by 2016, so there will be no political consequences.

    The ones most at risk are the suburban Dem legislators, and I assume they’ll be given a “pass” to vote against it when it comes up.

    I still can’t quite figure out why including the unapproved tax increase in the budget revenues creates a political advantage for the Dems.

    The only reason that seems to make sense is that budget commitments were made in return for ground troops and campaign cash that require the tax increase, and if the Dems don’t get the support from these special interests that they expect, they’ll scuttle the tax increase and renege on the pork payouts.


  11. - 'Chancy' Gardner - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 11:35 am:

    One who sews seeds bred from deceitfulness will one day choke on distateful fruits.


  12. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    Lookee here….Folo the path…someone pass this along to DwightLite
    http://www.ilga.gov/commission/lis/98bill_law.pdf


  13. - Toure's Latte - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 11:54 am:

    MJM is still the best at reading the playing field and making adjustments. He sees a likely Rauner Governorship, and will see to it Rauner is as hamstrung as possible right out of the box. Rauner’s LG is not Governor material, so, hold the line for four years and come back strong. That may be the perfect time for Madigan to “retire” and for Lisa to make her run.


  14. - Toure's Latte - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    I have yet to see a coherent budget proposal from the GOPer crowd. Saying NO is not offering an alternative, and an IPI Luddite wishlist is NOT a budget.


  15. - Anon - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    I’ve decided I’m going to buy a Ferrari. I have no idea how I’m going to pay for it, but I want one. #illinoislogic


  16. - wordslinger - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    –That may be the perfect time for Madigan to “retire” and for Lisa to make her run.–

    The Lisa Conspiracy is back!


  17. - jerry 101 - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 12:09 pm:

    Someone should inform Mr. Reboletti that the State of Illinois is neither a business nor is it his family.


  18. - CircularFiringSquad - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    After less than 2 hours of whining DwightLite and other wizkids have run out of gas and now busy stuffing pizza down their throats
    Fire,aim ready


  19. - Jerome Horwitz - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    I would like to see the plan for cuts in spending from the House Dems’ that plan to vote no on the tax extension.


  20. - Befuddled - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.


  21. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 1:19 pm:

    @Latte

    =I have yet to see a coherent budget proposal from the GOPer crowd. Saying NO is not offering an alternative, and an IPI Luddite wishlist is NOT a budget.=

    One of the advantages of being legislatively powerless is that you no longer have the obligation to lead. Even the best, most comprehensive budget plan in the universe doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t have the political power to move it forward.

    The GOP producing a budget would only have negative effects for them, and us:

    1)The cuts they’d need to propose would just make political enemies and add support to the Dems.

    2) Any realistic budget needs to get some “pork” there to get supportive votes. That leaves you vulnerable to criticism from within and without your party.

    3)It would take the focus off the REAL budget under consideration, which is to the Dem’s advantage.

    4)Whatever you propose, even if it has merit, will just be added on to existing spending that should be cut.

    For example, one time I was on a community building committee in my school district, and I found a way that would cut several million dollars from the cost and provide superior facility function. The Board wanted a new “big box” gym that wasn’t needed, but I proposed adding an exercise room suitable for aerobic activity that would be better for student fitness for a fraction of the cost.

    The Board agreed…to add the exercise room AND the big box gym. Then, instead of leaving the space open for aerobics, they bought about $150,000 of exercise equipment for the room from a “friend of the district” and gave him a lucrative maintence contract for the equipment as well.

    In crooked government, it’s never “or”. It’s always “and”.

    A GOP budget being proposed would have no chance of passage, it would just add to an already unsustainably large deficit and distract from the Dem budget which is the only viable plan this year.

    The best the GOP can do is point out flaws in the Dem budget this time around.


  22. - Cook County Commoner - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    Just wondering if our solons in Springfield have considered during their budget deliberations whether the Springfield Circuit Court’s staying of the implementation of the state pension reform legislation may be a signal that the Circuit Court believes the law will be tossed in whole or in part by the IL Supreme Ct.
    Also wondering if the state budget process is considering the implementation of the GASB pension reform rules this year which will make all state, county and local government pensions look worse than they already are and require increased contributions.


  23. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 2:10 pm:

    The best vision of a no tax increase budget is Governor Quinn’s not recommended budget. If that does not give you pause, consider how Departments will be paralyzed as they try to shift and cut in July. It will be ugly.


  24. - Anon - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 4:26 pm:

    == “That’s not how a business operates. That’s not how my family operates its budget,” Reboletti said, adding that you don’t buy a new house and “hope to have more money.” ==

    Unless Dennis has enough wealth to pay cash, then he takes out a mortgage the way most of us did to buy a new house.


  25. - Anon - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 4:38 pm:

    AZ Bob
    The GOP is opposed to the budget with the tax extension, but is also opposed to the draconian budget without the tax extension, which they also oppose. To have credibilty, you ought to have some kind of coherent plan other than Democrats are bums.


  26. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 4:42 pm:

    As Arizona Bob points, you can’t write fact free tirades if you have to stick to something like a pesky budget blueprint you’ve come up with. Why put a lid on the hypocrisy?


  27. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, May 15, 14 @ 5:54 pm:

    To sum up the last 8 hours: The Republicans who won’t support taxes and want budget cuts are complaining that there aren’t enough government services in their areas?


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