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*** UPDATED x2 - Ives, Madigan in testy exchange *** Madigan moves non-binding minimum wage referendum to committee

Friday, May 16, 2014

* Sun-Times

House Speaker Michael Madigan plans Friday to push a plan to ask voters this fall to decide whether Illinois’ lowest-earning workers deserve an increase in pay. […]

Madigan’s legislation is posted for a Friday morning hearing in Springfield. Brown said a floor vote on the measure likely will come next week. […]

As much as Madigan is seeking input from voters on the question, his push also could help spur turnout in the Democratic Party base and help Quinn in what is a tight re-election bid against Bruce Rauner.

The referendum also keeps alive what key Democrats believe is a potent campaign weapon against Rauner, the multimillionaire private equity investor who has waffled on the question of whether to require employers put more in the pockets of Illinois’ lowest wage earners.

* Tribune

Under the measure, voters could voice their opinion on whether the minimum wage in Illinois for adults over the age of 18 should be raised to $10 an hour by Jan. 1. With the first-of-the-year trigger date, the referendum could place the matter on the legislative agenda in the post-election fall veto session, since it’s unlikely to pass before lawmakers go home at month’s end. […]

Democratic Sen. Kim Lightford of Maywood said approval of a referendum could help her bid to pass a minimum wage hike in the Senate, where she believes she is a couple of votes shy of the 30 needed to pass. The idea of a referendum gained currency as Madigan, who doubles as Illinois Democratic Party chairman, and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., suggested the issue should go before the general public to build support, Lightford said.

As we’ve discussed before, this is a “win-win” for Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton. They avoid a fight-to-the-death showdown with groups like the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, put Bruce Rauner on the spot by making this a campaign issue and maybe gin up a little turnout in November.

*** UPDATE 1 *** From Dave McKinney…


*** UPDATE 2 *** Both unclear on the concept. Sun-Times

Madigan got into a testy exchange with one Republican on the panel, state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, who opposes his plan and justified her position from observations she collected as a tax preparer for eight years.

“I can assure you that I have done a number…of tax returns for people at the bottom and when it’s all said and done — when you take into account all the public benefits they’re receiving — they receive an inordinate amount, well over their amount in earned income, in benefits back from the government,” Ives told Madigan. “There is a safety net already in place, and I personally think this is…anti-business.”

Madigan appeared to grow angry at Ives’ statement.

“I don’t think you should use the word ‘inordinate’ when you’re talking about people who are on government benefits. They don’t want to be on government benefits. They want a job where they can earn a living, support their family, live a nice life. So please,” Madigan continued, his voice rising, “don’t use the word ‘inordinate’ when people are on government benefits. They don’t want to have the benefits.”

Madigan missed Rep. Ives’ point. She was talking about the working poor, not the unemployed. Notice Ives mentioned “earned income.”

But Ives also missed the point. Those workers are on government benefits because they don’t make much money. And so those government benefits are acting as a direct subsidy of the businesses which employ workers at sub-par wages and don’t offer full-time employment. Ives is basically arguing to continue that government subsidy.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


61 Comments
  1. - Arizona Bob - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 9:03 am:

    Smart politics w/no downside for the Dems.

    Anyone doubt that MJM will have people out in low income areas telling them if they vote for wage increase (and Dems, of course) they’ll actually be getting big raises?

    You KNOW that’s going to be happening, and Illinois voters are notorious for voting themselves what they THINK is free money without caring about the consequences.

    That’s what keeps the Dems in power (along with GOP political ineptitude).


  2. - Anon - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 9:04 am:

    Illinois political gamesmanship at its finest.

    We deserve exactly what we get.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 9:05 am:

    Turnout, and controlling a turnout, that is a huge factor here to move a small bit of numbers.

    If successful in getting this on the ballot is a help needed.

    The ILGOP needs to drive their controlled turnout, not just put stuff out there…in hopes…to drive a turnout for My Party.


  4. - Barney - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 9:13 am:

    So if you are a dem, the good news is you finally got something right. The bad news, it’s a non-binding referendum.


  5. - Stones - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 9:15 am:

    I wonder what % of the electorate will understand this this is a non-binding referendum?


  6. - Grandson of Man - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 9:17 am:

    “We deserve exactly what we get.”

    Some of us would like the minimum wage increase to pass now and have no politics played over the issue. That apparently won’t happen.

    If the ultimate goal is to pass a minimum wage increase, and it can’t be passed now, why not try to milk some political gain out of it?


  7. - Wensicia - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 9:19 am:

    Bruce Rauner should fully support this; he wants everything else decided by voter referendum.


  8. - countyline - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 9:27 am:

    Stop playing games. If you want it, have the courage of your convictions and lets see a bill.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 9:28 am:

    ===You KNOW that’s going to be happening, and Illinois voters are notorious for voting themselves what they THINK is free money without caring about the consequences.

    That’s what keeps the Dems in power (along with GOP political ineptitude).===

    Example?

    If Illinois voters are so notorious, it should be quite easy.


  10. - Demoralized - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 9:39 am:

    @Arizona Bob:

    You never fail us with your partisan ranting.

    And it’s not free money you dope. It’s a WAGE. You know, something people WORK for.

    Besides, it’s a referendum. That’s it. Enough with your fake outrage.


  11. - Ahoy! - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 9:42 am:

    If this is a good idea, than wouldn’t it also be prudent to put the income tax sunset on the November ballot was well?


  12. - Louis G. Atsaves - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    Democrats guffawed when Rauner suggested a non-binding referendum on gay marriage. They thought Rauner’s position was spineless. Now Democrats want a non-binding referendum on the minimum wage?

    GUFFAW!


  13. - Arizona Bob - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 9:48 am:

    @Dem
    =And it’s not free money you dope. It’s a WAGE. You know, something people WORK for.=

    Ok, JERK, how much of this increase for private sector workers will come from the GAs budget? ZERO! How much will come out of minimum wage workers taxes to pay for this? LESS THAN ZERO!

    So it’s FREE for the pols and FREE MONEY to low income workers to pay for it.

    A raise without improvement of skill or productivity is not EARNED, Dem. It’s either extorted through unions or the political process, or UNEARNED.

    Ever hear about what’s called an unconscionable contract, Dem? It’s a contract where one party gets something for nothing, and is often overturned in court if challenged. This raise is “something for nothing” so it certainly fits the bill.


  14. - A guy... - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 9:49 am:

    In some cases people will have an opportunity to kill their own jobs. Evil genius at work.


  15. - Anon - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    If a referendum was appropriate for marriage equality, as Bruce Rauner claims, then why not for the minimum wage?


  16. - wordslinger - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 9:54 am:

    I’m with Louis. Dems shouldn’t duck the issue or play it for politics.

    Unless you don’t believe in any minimum wage laws at all, an increase is obviously in order.

    Taxpayers are spending billions subsidizing low-wage employers through SNAP, CHIP, Medicaid and EITC.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 9:55 am:

    ===A raise without improvement of skill or productivity is not EARNED, Dem. It’s either extorted through unions or the political process, or UNEARNED.===

    “Extorted”?

    You do realize if the wage does go up, no company is required to have employees? If a company can afford 10 employees now, and if a non-binding referendum puts a company at 7 employees at the “new wage”, companies will do what is in their best interest…So…

    Where is this “Extortion”? lol

    Your talking points need to match the ISSUE, that would be a swell change.


  18. - Walker - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    No Louis G Atsalves: These are two different types of issues.

    The minimum wage issue is not a civil rights issue, as usually understood.

    The problem with referenda on civil rights issues in general, is that they are meant to protect the rights of minorities in society — to decide them on simple majority votes of the general public seems obviously off base. They are better handled by statute by representative legislatures, and courts.


  19. - Demoralized - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    @word:

    Exactly. The same people that complain about raising the minimum wage are the same people that complain about government programs like those you mentioned. It’s hypocrisy at it’s finest.


  20. - DuPage Dave - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    Can we have a non-binding referendum on sending Bob back to Arizona? Just wondering….


  21. - Wumpus - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    Geniusness, that is why he is Speaker Palpatine.


  22. - Arizona Bob - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    @OW
    Pretty simple. Willie.

    For years Illinoisans elected a GA and Governor who gave out far more in public pension benefits than the tax base would allow, thinking they were “taking care of” public workers for “free”. Ever since Edgar this wasn’t true. Voters should have known it wasn’t sustainable and affordable, but they kept ramping up benefits with the people they elected anyway. They thought they were getting it for “FREE” and kept electing the sellout pols of both parties. Foolish, but consistent. If they were told they would have to “pay as they go”, my guess is that spending would have been less or different people would be elected. Illinois voters chose to live in a fool’s paradise giving out these “free” benefits.

    For years Illinoisans wanted to increase education funding “for the children” and set quietly by as public teacher salaries, benefits and pensions went through the roof. They chose not to believe that inflating education spending per pupil at twice the rate of inflation was somehow happening without requiring them to pay higher state and local taxes. They thought all those unnecessary salary and benefit escalations and excessive overbuilding of schools would somehow be paid off with “free” money from other than their pocket books (state or Federal) and kept electing people to the GA and school boards who continued the insanity until it became a crisis. Now we spend about the 14th highest amount among states in the nation, and pay the 12th highest teacher salaries, yet our student performance is middle of the pack, at best, with similar to national demographics. Once again Illinois voter thought they were getting something for free…..and were WRONG!

    Want more examples? We can get into Medicaid expansion, Prevailing wage and project labor agreements ripoffs and just about everything done in the City of Chicago.

    Need I go on?


  23. - Anon - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    “If the ultimate goal is to pass a minimum wage increase, and it can’t be passed now, why not try to milk some political gain out of it? ”

    I agree.

    You can also favor banning same sex marriage. Why not try to milk some political gain out of that to? How about undocumented immigrant amnesty? Banning abortion?

    So many things we can hold non-binding referendums on in order to get the vote out!


  24. - Walker - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    ===Illinois voters are notorious for voting for themselves what they THINK is free money, without caring about the consequences.===

    Agreed.

    Exactly the same thing occurs with many (not all) who support drastic cuts to what they pay in taxes. More money for them without concern for the overall consequences.

    I don’t think this describes the minimum wage increase well at all. That would not directly and positively impact most of those who would vote for it.


  25. - Grandson of Man - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    “A raise without improvement of skill or productivity is not EARNED, Dem.”

    No one person has sole ownership of what is defined as “earned.” Right now, most voters agree that the minimum wage should be increased, therefore they think the workers earned it.

    “It’s either extorted through unions or the political process, or UNEARNED.”

    Extortion is a crime. Collective bargaining and giving money to politicians for desired policies are legal. Opponents of minimum wage increases and unions also spend money and use their influence to “extort” politicians to do what they want.


  26. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 10:18 am:

    ===For years Illinoisans elected a GA and Governor who gave out far more in public pension benefits than the tax base would allow, thinking they were “taking care of” public workers for “free”.====

    And…

    ===…They thought all those unnecessary salary and benefit escalations…===

    Those wedging of talking points, lol

    “Teachers! Teachers pay! Unions and benefits”…

    ===Your talking points need to match the ISSUE, that would be a swell change.===


  27. - olddog - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    @ AZ Bob — When, exactly, was it that “teacher salaries, benefits and pensions went through the roof?” I guess I was too busy grading papers to notice it.


  28. - dupage dan - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    Besides, it’s a referendum.

    Yep, nothing to see here - just a non-binding referendum. Doesn’t mean a thing - we’re just messing around - doing the whole civil government education thing. It’s just practice. Move along.

    It’s a political ploy. Plain and simple. Gin up the vote. Talking points. It’s politics. It ain’t just a referendum.


  29. - dupage dan - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    === No one person has sole ownership of what is defined as “earned.” Right now, most voters agree that the minimum wage should be increased, therefore they think the workers earned it ===

    In a capitalist economy, it’s the market that sets the costs of goods and services & wages, etc. When gov’ts get into that business, it can cause problems. Command economies are unwieldy at best, harmful at worst. We have seen the loss of low skill labor jobs over the years as many of these functions are automated, in part to control labor costs. Low wage service/fast food jobs now may well be subject to some automation. Maybe those folks who lose their jobs taking orders at a McDonalds can get a job as a material handler at US Steel. Oh, wait…. never mind.

    Best way to raise your income? Stay in school, get your HS diploma, get some training in the skilled trades or work your way thru college on the pay as you go 6 year plan - or get another job. Tried and true strategy practiced by recent immigrants to this country for well over 100 years. It ain’t fair, it ain’t easy - nor should it be.


  30. - wordslinger - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    Is the United States a “command economy,” DD? What are you talking about?


  31. - anon - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    No one seems to have mentioned Ives criticized the woman testifying about how difficult it is for her to live on the current minimum wage. Showed just how out of touch Ives with average people.


  32. - Grandson of Man - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    “In a capitalist economy, it’s the market that sets the costs of goods and services & wages, etc.”

    In a first-world country, there is no such thing, nor should there be a such thing, as a pure free market economy. People have the right and exercize the right to regulate markets.

    I don’t want to live in a country without any free market regulation.

    “When gov’ts get into that business, it can cause problems.”

    That can happen, as can the lack of government getting into business. Collective bargaining has helped millions of workers over the years. Having a minimum wage sets a barrier against total worker exploitation. Why have a minimum wage at all? Some people would like to squeeze every drop of labor out of workers and pay them as little as possible.

    No individual owns the ability to determine what are fair wages. The market plays a large role in determining them, and citizens who participate in the political process also have a role. Right now, most voters consistently support a minimum wage increase. That means that millions of people agree that certain workers deserve a small raise.

    The question I have is does Madigan have the votes to pass the increase now? I’m not sure he does. I would like it to pass now and not play political games.


  33. - bigdaddygeo - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    It should be binding and go into effect on January 1.


  34. - FormerParatrooper - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    I agree the minimum wage should be increased. How much I don’t know. There are pros and cons to everything.

    I also agree with grandson of a man that government does have a role in this. I also personally believe it is a small role.

    If the Democrats really believe that they are doing this to help the economy and the people of Illinois they should not wait for a politically expedient time for elections but to do it now while they are in session.


  35. - A guy... - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    === Walker - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    No Louis G Atsalves: These are two different types of issues.

    The minimum wage issue is not a civil rights issue, as usually understood.====

    I’ve come around to the idea that Gay Marriage was well debated and have no problem with it becoming enacted law; with or without a referendum. People had plenty of opportunity to make their voices heard. A whole lot of people were elated and those who weren’t for it shouldn’t have seen any material change in their lives. I still don’t believe for a minute that this was a Civil Rights issue, because it wasn’t. Doesn’t really matter, other than calling it that is incorrect and it would redefine Civil Rights from something far different than what they truly were. Let’s agree that it’s good that gay marriage has been passed. Sorry about the tangent, but I objected to it then and I object to it now.


  36. - A guy... - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    The minimum wage should be revisited every session as the economy ebbs and flows in regular cycles. It would be less of a political football if it were dealt with as a matter of course. God forbid if there were ever a strong case for it to go down based on economic numbers. It should have parity with the Federal minimum wage (not the same! parity!)This whole notion of having to “catch up” with huge jumps (over a buck and a half an hour x employees x hours) is devastating to big and small business. It takes away any incentive for any employer to offer a raise not knowing what’s coming. People will overwhelmingly vote for a higher minimum wage. Like these legislators, there’s no risk to you when your spending other people’s money. Or is there, and we’re experiencing it and don’t know it?


  37. - dupage dan - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 11:51 am:

    === Is the United States a “command economy,” DD? What are you talking about? ===

    Perhaps you are a little rusty on history, word. Nixon put wage and price controls on the economy back in the 70s. There is an example of a command economy action. I wasn’t saying that such an economy exists today, did I? I merely said that such activity doesn’t work very well - and there is history to prove it. Does a simple minimum wage hike equate to a command economy? Likely more on the micro level than a macro level but it is debatable as to whether or not it will have the effect intended by those pushing for the hike.


  38. - wordslinger - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    DD, you need to look up “command economy.” Regulation does not equal communism.


  39. - countyline - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 12:54 pm:

    “Madigan continued, his voice rising, “don’t use the word ‘inordinate’ when people are on government benefits. They don’t want to have the benefits.”

    They don’t want to have the benefits…now THAT’S funny. Try making them work for those benefits, and listen to them scream that that isn’t fair…


  40. - Demoralized - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 12:55 pm:

    Rep. Ives provided a prime example for the statement I made about wages and government benefits. Those opposed to raising wages for the working poor are also the same people that complain the loudest about government benefits? Inordinate benefits Rep. Ives? Really? Simply a despicable thing to say.


  41. - Demoralized - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 12:56 pm:

    ==Try making them work for those benefits==

    Bought into that tired talking point hook, line and sinker haven’t you. Saying something over and over doesn’t make it true. But keep up that pathetic narrative.


  42. - countyline - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 1:01 pm:

    While it is a noble cause, it demonstrates a lack of understanding of simple economics. Raise the minimum wage, employer costs go up, employer costs go up, prices go up, prices go up, the income level at which one qualifies for welfare also goes up, so those same people stay on welfare.


  43. - countyline - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 1:05 pm:

    Its not a narrative Dem, its a fact, otherwise we would be doing it. It used to be that most people would work three jobs in order to avoid asking for handouts, not they go straight to the handout without thinking about it. I may be over simplifying it, but you are certainly ignoring the fact that those people exist.


  44. - Demoralized - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 1:11 pm:

    @countyline:

    A lot of people getting those benefits are working. I know a few people who get LINK. None of them want it and all of them work - at least one works two jobs. It’s not right or fair to categorize these people as not working because most do. It’s a sad state of affairs when you work and still need assistance. That’s why we need an increase in the minimum wage.


  45. - wordslinger - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    –Try making them work for those benefits, and listen to them scream that that isn’t fair…==

    Tell us more, professor. Only people who don’t work receive government benefits?

    SNAP, EITC, Medicaid, and CHIP are huge subsidies for low-wage employers.

    Forbes reports that WalMart employees receive $6.2 billion a year in public assistance. Fast-food industry employees receive $7 billion in public assistance, with $1.2 billion of that going to McDonald’s employees alone.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2014/04/15/report-walmart-workers-cost-taxpayers-6-2-billion-in-public-assistance/


  46. - olddog - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    === I may be over simplifying it, but … ===

    Yep.


  47. - countyline - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    - but you are certainly ignoring the fact that those people exist-

    yep.


  48. - wordslinger - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 1:31 pm:

    LOL, Countyline apparently agrees with himself!

    Dude, quoting yourself in a second post doesn’t reinforce your point.


  49. - wordslinger - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 1:41 pm:

    Countyline, since you’re a scholar on those who receive government benefits, I’m sure you’ll find this link old news.

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3677


  50. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 1:58 pm:

    I call Shenanigans!

    Honestly, how many of the working poor have a tax accountant?

    My mom spent a weekend at the dining room table every year.

    SHENANIGANS!


  51. - wordslinger - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    –Reagan strongly supported the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which sends checks to Americans who work but earn less than around $46,000 a year, depending on family size. Recipients of the credit are among those who don’t pay income tax, but Reagan never regarded that as a problem. His administration estimated that the 1986 reform of the tax code would remove 6 million working poor from the tax rolls. Reagan called the reform a “sweeping victory for fairness” and “perhaps the biggest antipoverty program in our history.”–

    Milton Friedman turned Reagan on to the EITC. I guess those guys would be RINOS in some circles today.

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-09-19/reagans-workers-are-romneys-47-percent-takers


  52. - siriusly - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    I would never want my tax preparer to make any public statements or judgements about what they learned about my finances. I think Ives’ statements are invasive and presumptive.


  53. - siriusly - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 2:21 pm:

    But as a GOTV tactic, I think the referendum on minimum wage is a good one for the Dems.


  54. - dupage dan - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 2:40 pm:

    It’s a spectrum, word. On one end is capitalism, on the other communism. It isn’t like a light switch is turned on or off. It’s a continuum. At what point does regulation invade every economic decision that is made? It would be nice if everything was black and white, night and day - but it isn’t.

    But back to the point of this post. A political stunt to gin up support for the November ticket. With MJM in command. What would that be? A command government?


  55. - Walker - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 2:44 pm:

    Ives just made the best argument for raising the minimum wage, and doesn’t even know it.

    Almost one-half of the adult homeless we serve in the N and NW suburbs of Chicago are currently working minimum wage jobs. Many of their employers know that they can pay extremely low wages and still get employees, because the taxpayers are providing their employees government assistence.

    Is this how we want it all to work? We want the taxpayers to subsidize business profitability through wage support?

    General economic theories can be true and helpful, but often don’t work well at the margins of the real world market. This level of minimum wage is beyond the margin for our economic system to work well.


  56. - wordslinger - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    DD, it’s not a spectrum, but whatever.


  57. - countyline - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 3:11 pm:

    Clearly when one has no legit argument to the contrary, they result to insults…right Word ?


  58. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 3:12 pm:

    BTW, if Ives thinks the EITC is too generous, she should take that up with her caucus. Every EITC expansion I recall in Illinois has had strong bipartisan support.


  59. - Ahoy! - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 3:32 pm:

    Some on here assume that businesses can just increase their wages, but there are those who can not. Its not fair to lump small independent businesses in with the Wal-Marts of the world (and to some extend the McDonald’s but a lot of those are franchises). What happens when some of those jobs just disappear because the business closes down? We’ll end up losing our small businesses and creating more big business that can cash flow through it.

    Also, there’s plenty of jobs out there that can be filled with certificates and minimal training. Why not focus our efforts on workforce development? Or at the very least lets differentiate between big businesses with CEO’s that make 1,000 times more than the average worker and and the small business where a minimum wage increase will cost the businesses entire profits.


  60. - wordslinger - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 3:39 pm:

    Ahoy, there are a number exemptions to the minimum wage.

    http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/q-a.htm


  61. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, May 16, 14 @ 4:34 pm:

    @Ahoy!

    Would love to focus on workforce development.

    Unfortunately, Republicans want to cut state spending too.

    Would love to reign in tax brakes for big corporations, but every time we do, the GOP and business lobby accuse us of chasing businesses out of Illinois. And they hide behind small businesses and “family farmers” to do it.

    Heck, I’d settle for having those CEOs pay their fair share in income taxes, but according to the GOP, that makes me a socialist.

    Someone pick a lane, please.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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        * Government shutdown - Bureau County Republican..
        * Politicians are nonexistent while Illinoisans w.....
        * Wallace asks citizens to fight cuts - The Rock .....
        * Former Gov. Edgar, Republican candidate Dillard.....


        * Sandbagging effort keeps floodwater at bay in Meredosia
        * Illinois city condemns childhood home of actor Dick Van Dyke
        * Woman known for trying to sneak on planes released from jail
        * Danville condemns childhood home of actor Dick Van Dyke
        * Thousands truckin' to Chicago for final Grateful Dead shows
        * 8 shot even as Chicago officers work long hours over holiday
        * Could insulin pills prevent diabetes? Big study seeks answer
        * Without a budget, providers prepare, officials go to court
        * Union lawsuit seek full pay despite no Illinois budget
        * Parents of Illinois players don't believe coach allegations

        * State employee lawsuit seeks assurance of full pay despite no budget
        * U of I freezes administration hiring over budget
        * Attorney General Lisa Madigan seeks court ruling on state payments during budget impasse
        * Illinois EPA: State has landfill capacity for 21 more years
        * State lawmakers point fingers over budget impasse; temporary budget in limbo
        * Former Illinois treasurer employees under Dan Rutherford sue over firings
        * Lawmakers point fingers over budget impasse; temporary budget in limbo
        * Illinois medical marijuana patients now number 2,600
        * Budget impasse shuts down Lincoln's Challenge program for troubled youths
        * Illinois House defeats 1-month budget; same bill coming from Senate

        * Leo Burnett loses Special K
        * Aetna to buy Humana in $37 billion deal
        * Illinois weathers second day without state budget
        * Yelp calls off sale talks—for now
        * How a Reddit rally generated huge turnout for Sanders in Madison


          * Nearly 2,000 pounds of illegal fireworks seized
          * Chicago priest protests same-sex marriage, won't sign civil marriage licenses
          * Woman known for trying to sneak on planes released from jail
          * 4 dead, 7 wounded in city shootings
          * Hot Doug's sausages featured at new Wrigley concession stand
          * Follow our live coverage of the Fourth
          * 2 arrested in human trafficking investigation
          * Danville condemns childhood home of actor Dick Van Dyke
          * Body found after garage fire in Portage Park identified
          * White House Brief: Things to know about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker


          * Coping while black: A season of traumatic news takes a psychological toll
          * Rauner proposal would advance $450M to help Chicago schools
          * For same-sex marriage opponents, the fight is far from over
          * Emails show Emanuel, top officials aware of Clinton's private address
          * After pension payment, Chicago Public Schools to make $200M in cuts
          * CPS, Emanuel warn of deep cuts, layoffs to school district
          * After marriage equality, what's next for the LGBT movement?
          * The night Chicago politicians spent punching each other in the face
          * The legacy of Willie Dixon on his 100th birthday
          * Preckwinkle may reevaluate sales tax plan if Springfield acts on pensions


          * State employee lawsuit seeks assurance of full pay despite no budget
          * Our Opinion: Springfield's toilet paper caper exposes the worst and best in people
          * Esther Cepeda: Adding a woman to $10 bill an empty gesture
          * U of I freezes administration hiring over budget
          * Attorney General Lisa Madigan seeks court ruling on state payments during budget impasse
          * Illinois EPA: State has landfill capacity for 21 more years
          * Our Opinion: Winslow looks to heal divisions
          * Bernard Schoenburg: Gov. Rauner's tone has changed, Sen. Andy Manar says
          * George Will: Some GOP candidates becoming unhinged
          * Eugene Robinson: In Charleston, 'the power of God's grace'


          * Review: 'Mary's Wedding' a fascinating time-bend experiment
          * Tom's Mailbag July 3, 2015
          * Champaign man arrested shortly after Urbana bank robbery
          * East Peoria unveils new, paper city map
          * 07-03-15 Penny for Your Thoughts
          * Misconduct trial of BPD officer delayed again
          * #sundaySneak: Urbana lounge to open second-floor karaoke club
          * Rollover crash near Colfax under investigation
          * Illinois man has donated 25 bodies' worth of blood
          * Traffic headaches: Holiday complications


          * Desjardins stays with Blackhawks
          * Glenbard West adjusting expansion plans to address Zahrobsky garden
          * Five local fireworks shows that will dazzle you
          * Serena Williams battles back to beat Watson at Wimbledon
          * Colombian man dies by euthanasia with government backing

          * House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
          * Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
          * The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
          * Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
          * Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
          * CBD Oil, and politics
          * Simon considering state Senate bid
          * Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
          * Shutdown? State may not notice
          * Rep. Bob Dold

          * Cuba Embassy - RiverBender.com...

          * Mississippi River mayors focus on invasive......

          * Kathy, Linda & Ron: A Love Story
          * Chris Christie joins 2016 presidential race
          * Starkehaus: Pastel patriotism’s rainbow connection
          * Black Out Pride "die-in" interrupts Chicago's Gay Pride Parade
          * Rep. Breen scolded to "Sit Down!" by Democrats during House floor debate
          * Friday photo: Greedy developers built your city
          * Illinois is home to the worst manufacturing recovery in the Midwest
          * Where's Weyermuller? With Donald Trump in Chicago
          * ILGOP launches ad campaign against Duckworth
          * Vote White Sox!


          * State, Teamsters Reach Tentative Agreement - Workers at IDOT, DHS, IDES, and CMS in Cook County to Vote on New Contract
          * Governor Rauner Extends Tax Filing and Payment Deadlines for Businesses and Individuals Impacted by Recent Tornado - Deadlines Pushed to December 31, 2015
          * Illinois EPA Releases Annual Report on Landfill Capacity
          * IDNR Urges Public to Leave Fireworks Displays to Those Who Are Licensed and Trained - Fireworks Show Sponsors Reminded to Check Credentials of Fireworks Vendors
          * Governor Receives Initial Criminal Justice Commission Report




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