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Cullerton: Revenue options will be “on the table” after election day

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

* The problem with kicking the can down the road is eventually you get to the end of the road. So, this comment shouldn’t come as a shock

Senate President John Cullerton says lawmakers will have to hold a vote on extending Illinois’ temporary income tax hike or find another source of revenue after the November election. […]

Without the tax extension lawmakers are considering a roughly $35 billion budget they acknowledge won’t cover the state’s costs. It could lead to layoffs and delays in paying bills.

Cullerton says various revenue options will be “on the table” after the election.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


53 Comments
  1. - countyline - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    Of course they will, cowards…


  2. - Nobody's Perfect - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 9:58 am:

    Here at the ShakeyMitt Rauner HQ we began our day tossing a 200 great TV commericials killing PQ for uping taxes
    We also yelled at Durkie for trying to get some of his own pork in the pork bill
    Big No No Durkie ….PQ gets nothing….how else can our nothing look like something?


  3. - Hit or Miss - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    I think that it would be better to put the options on the table this week (before the end of the current session). Where our elected officials stand on this important issue needs to be known by the public.


  4. - PublicServant - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    I agree that they’re cowards. I also believe the extension is the right thing to do in order to pay for the state’s programs that they voted into existence.


  5. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    “Cullerton says various revenue options will be “on the table” after the election.”

    This may be one reason why Rauner’s mum on a budget plan. He might want to be governor first and deal with the budget later, when he may vote for an income tax increase. I hope that this would be the scenario and not an austere budget that will force cuts on schools, the poor and government workers. We don’t need more cuts to public sector jobs if we want to improve our jobs numbers.

    Human nature is such that at times, we wait for things to get out of hand before we act. We seem to be on that path now, to some degree, and I hope we get off that path soon. The state can’t afford any more gimmicks and irresponsibility.


  6. - champaigndweller - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    I wonder if Cullerton realizes how pathetic that statement is.


  7. - The Boy Blunder - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    Rich, if you’re going to post private staff analysis for public consumption, at least remove the staffers’ names. It’s just professional courtesy.


  8. - OneMan - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    Does this real surprise anyone?


  9. - Bogart - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    Like thieves in the night. When will cutting options be “on the table”? Or is all they know is how to increase spending? The fact that increase came in a lame duck session is a significant factor in the lack of support for the extension, and they want to do this again. Obamacare similarly came on a single party vote and never enjoyed any bipartisan support thereafter. Cullerton is tone deaf. This is no way to govern.


  10. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    I wonder who will put the revenue options “on the table” first, Cullerton or Rauner? Could it be that neither will do so before the election?


  11. - Union Man - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    What cowards to wait until after the election. Vote them all out. Can’t get much worse…. really!


  12. - Diogenes in DuPage - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    Can. Road. Kick. — Real “leadership.”

    “We can’t serve if we don’t get re-elected.” — If you don’t serve, should you be re-elected? Geesh.


  13. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    Everything’s always on the table, nothing’s ever final.


  14. - Downstate Illinois - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    Hopefully someone will challenge the budget in court as unconstitutional and force it back in lawmakers’ laps.


  15. - Dave - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    **I wonder who will put the revenue options “on the table” first, Cullerton or Rauner? Could it be that neither will do so before the election?**

    Ummm…you do know that Cullerton has been pushing revenue this whole session, right? The Senate was more than willing to pass Fair Tax, and then more than willing to vote to maintain the 5% income tax rate.

    But hey…let’s not let facts get in the way.


  16. - s k hicks - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    Doesn’t this type of statement undermine the position that pension problems are so dire that legislators must impose their police authority to right the ship? The Senator seems to be saying there are options out there, but we lack the testicular fortitude to expose our flank before November. I understand that philosophy, I just don’t respect it.


  17. - Dave - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    **Hopefully someone will challenge the budget in court as unconstitutional and force it back in lawmakers’ laps.**

    How, exactly, is this budget unconstitutional?


  18. - downstate hack - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:32 am:

    Gambling expansion and a Chicago casino in November


  19. - RonOglesby - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    Ahh. after the election. Lets just go ahead and keep kicking. LEADERSHIP!


  20. - A guy... - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    They talk it and they don’t walk it. What hypocrites. Nothing new. Their own party won’t hold them accountable because they never do. You want more of the same, keep sending more of the same down there. This just proves they can’t help themselves.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    Wonder how a possible “Governor-Elect” Rauner and his newly minted Floor Leaders, and shadow Staff that November/December/January would participate?

    Just the moving parts and the Revenue issues alone would be interesting to see how a Rauner Administration would set their tone to this.

    The rest, is probably what was inevitable, given the lack of plain support for the permanency of the Income Tax, and the 5 whole votes for that Budget idea…

    I am far more worried, and paying far more attention to the Supremes and the Pension Bill and that fly that could contaminate this ointment.

    Maybe Cullerton is too(?)


  22. - Apacolypse Now - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    Cullerton/Madigan-Gutless


  23. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    Nobody’s Perfect:

    Actually, it is the worst of both worlds for Quinn.

    Rauner can run broadcast ads attacking Quinn for raising taxes and wanting to raise them again.

    At te same time, Quinn has to eat all of the negative fallout from managing cuts.

    Heck, assuming he signs the budget, Rauner will likely whack him on the back of the head, ala Gibbs, for raising taxes and then cutting health care for seniors, etc., in targeted mail and phone calls.


  24. - Dan from Springfield - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    So, cullerton & madigan are going to back door the tax payers after the election to make the “temporary tax” increase permanent the same way the implemented it in the first place.


  25. - Mittuns - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    Cullerton is stating the obvious: the House does not have the votes/courage to make the tax permanent. The votes are there in the Senate.

    Madigan and Rauner are in the same boat on the budget/tax. Specifics and responsibility need not apply.


  26. - PublicServant - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    Leadership is lacking on both sides of the isle. Contrary to the standard line of “Hey, you have a super majority, we don’t, so you lead…”

    A super majority may make it easier to enact a law, but it has nothing to do with Leadership as we have clearly seen.

    Now would be an ideal time for Republicans to show us the courage of their convictions. What have you got? Move into the front seat and drive, instead of being content in the back seat. Oh, and how you move into the front seat is to get people to vote for you, not against the Dems.


  27. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    The Boy Blunder, those documents were distributed by the Speaker’s office to reporters and not as background, either. They’re posted as is.


  28. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    PS, there’s never been a time in my life when GOP lawmakers have been happier and more content to be irrelevant.

    I’d wager a majority of GOP lawmakers in both chambers have never taken a tough vote in their careers.

    Wasn’t always that way…..

    If they were serious in “opposition,” they’d present an alternative and raise hell about it.

    But enough safe seats, enough staff, an office allowance…. equals contentment.


  29. - Walker - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 10:56 am:

    Cutting options were formally on the table — one from Quinn, one from Madigan, and supported by some other leaders as well. The proposed spending cuts were roundly rejected. One party voted “no” as a bloc without offering other spending cut options.

    This isn’t a problem of “leadership” per se, but of political courage of the average legislators.

    And like it or not, they are being driven by their perceptions of what the average voters will do to them if they act appropriately in this instance.

    I’ve always found it ironic, that what some critics call “lack of political courage” is actually being responsive to the the desires of the average voter in your district — while the same critics will claim they are not being responsive enough.

    When the average voter wants to get 5, but wants to pay only 2, it’s time to have responsible representative government.


  30. - JSlim - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    Do you really think Cullerton/ Madigan would pass a tax hike days before Rauner took office (should he win)? I just find that unlikely.

    I’d think they would be more likely to let him try to cut away and struggle w/ limited revenue. Am I wrong?


  31. - Arizona Bob - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    @union man
    =What cowards to wait until after the election. Vote them all out. Can’t get much worse…. really!=

    They’ve taken the option of “voting them out” away in many, perhaps most, races through collusion in the Springfield “combine”.

    Unfortunately there’s no mechanism for voting someone out if there’s no one else opposing them on the ballot.

    I’ve seen this process up close and personal. The GOP leadership makes deals, like trading baseball cards, as to which Dems get serious opponents and which get a pass. They trade protection of Dems for protection of some Republican incumbents. The GOP leadership REALLY hates it when a truly independent candidate files for the GOP and messes up all the deals they’ve made. While they’ve given hundreds of thousands of dollars from House and Senate GOP funds to single “Friends of Cross/Radogno” candidates, they give bubkiss to the grass roots GOP.

    It’s a sure way to irrelevancy, but that’s the way GOP leadership likes it!


  32. - A guy... - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    Walker, you’re not wrong with that analysis, except for “5″ is never defined and neither is “2″ for that matter. No matter what people pay in taxes, if you’re dissatisfied with government- it’s too much. That’s the feeling out there. Everything the state does, it does poorly, inefficiently and expensively. There are cases where that’s true, but it’s not generally true. The tax raise has been turned into a referendum on public service pensions, not education, human services or anything else. That has turned out to be a strategically bad decision that’s getting worse by the day. Had they passed this bill (making the tax permanent-which I am not for) at the very least they’d have months to promote the good that it did in Education, Social Services, Law Enforcement, etc. Now they will carry the onus of being pro tax and being responsible for cuts and devastation. Someone on that side wants something different than others do.

    Had they passed the bill they could have promoted everything BAD that didn’t happen and everything GOOD that did and take their chances with the vote 5 months behind them. This one’s a head scratcher.


  33. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    Both YDD, and even wordslinger, are correct.

    Quinn was in for a penny, in for a pound regarding the tax extension, so instead of making the issue moot by passing the extension and then getting beaten over the head by a moot point, Rauner can beat Quinn over the head for wanting to pass taxes that even his fellow Democrats didn’t want. Then Rauner gets to beat Quinn over the head for all the problems created by not passing the extension.

    Rauner has to be worried that the job will end up being his and he has to be able to make the rain come with new revenue for the state, or move the farm by cutting back on the supposed pork.

    There is a strong chance that Rauner will be the next governor and the GOP will need to finally become a part of a conversation Madigan let them avoid when the Speaker cut them out of the processes over the past decade.

    In 2015, the GOP has a chance to pass bipartisan tax increases, new taxes, new cuts, and have a year to get attacked by the Democrats while they do it - then hope the dusk settles for the 2016 campaigns.

    If he has an eye on 2016 at all, Mr. Illinois GOP has to be ready for their close-up, hit their spots, pass their legislation, then point at what they accomplished by the beginning of 2016 - or another change election could be in the offing.

    Voters will not settle for a dormant, but elected GOP, as they have settled for a dormant, but elected Democratic majority over the past decade. The Democrats had a decade to show that they can govern better than the GOP, but Blagojevich, Madigan and Quinn showed voters that they cannot.

    This could be the year they get replaced with a bipartisan group of statewide elected officials. Those guys and gals have a year to make this silly state look like it has a functioning government.

    Or the voters will replace them in 2016.


  34. - Responsa - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 11:31 am:

    I’m not convinced that “kicking the can down the road” once again is going to have the salutary effect on voters that it has in the past.


  35. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    I suspect that at least some small part of the is a Madigan message to Candidate Rauner of “be careful what you ask for”. That’s a message we’ve seen the Speaker send many times before.


  36. - DuPage - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    JSlim@11:03
    Good question. I think Cullerton/Madigan will have different actions depending on who wins the governorship. I think you are right, they will let Rauner try to run things without enough funding. A “Rauner train wreck” will follow.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    ===The GOP leadership REALLY hates it when a truly independent candidate files for the GOP and messes up all the deals they’ve made. While they’ve given hundreds of thousands of dollars from House and Senate GOP funds to single “Friends of Cross/Radogno” candidates, they give bubkiss to the grass roots GOP.===

    Hmmm, - Arizona Bob -, maybe it could be they see “independent candidates” that think Illinois is ripe for Right to Work legislation, and despises teachers’ unions so overtly it’s a default result, maybe both GOP Caucuses are trying to get away from the “crazy”, and try to win where there is a “maybe”(?)


  38. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    Think of the fiscal mess we will have between this “budget” and if the Supremes throw out the pension bill.

    Why anyone would want to be Governor of this state is beyond me.


  39. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 11:44 am:

    ===Why anyone would want to be Governor of this state is beyond me.===

    The housing?


  40. - Keyser Soze - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 11:45 am:

    The comment was a slap in the voter’s face. And yet, we continue to elect these guys. So be it.


  41. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    ===Why anyone would want to be Governor of this state is beyond me.===

    The future, Mr. Gitts, the future!

    Seriously, it’s a sweet gig. You’re the biggest macher in every room you walk into in the state.

    Look at the Emanuel/Quinn relationship. The Chicago media portrays Emanuel as a big shot and Quinn as a weakling.

    Yet Quinn can, and has, rolled Emanuel anytime he feels like it.


  42. - RNUG - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    While I can’t say for sure on the latest iteration, the previously proposed budgets did not plan on any pension savings in FY15.


  43. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    “Actually, it is the worst of both worlds for Quinn.”

    I wonder about this. Quinn is at the bottom and can either stay there or go up. If the income tax increase was passed, Quinn would have to own it, of course, and people wouldn’t fear what they’re not going to lose–i.e. budget cuts.

    Now that the income tax increase has not passed, and people are threatened with cuts, many of whom would vote for Democrats, it might benefit Quinn to fight for those people and fight for adequate funding. It could help motivate them to vote. It would create another stark contrast between the two candidates, one who wants to keep funding for state services and to pay bills while another who wants to sharply reduce funding and has no plan.


  44. - Walter Mitty - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    Drive by warning…. I really would love to know if anyone can tell me an adult in either party? Yes there is a super majority for the D’s… But can I get something from someone? Not anyone running for any jobs of these folks… The ones that are paid and expected to legislate NOW. Sorry, but I have not seen one person in office that shows leadership.


  45. - Norseman - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    === Does this real surprise anyone? ===

    Only that he said it to reporters.


  46. - BMAN - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    What would one expect from a bunch of quislings!


  47. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 1:06 pm:

    –…a bunch of quislings!–

    You do not know what that word means. It is not remotely appropriate in this context.


  48. - Mouthy - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    I agree with wordslinger.
    “A quisling is a person who collaborates with an enemy occupying force. The word originates from the Norwegian war-time leader Vidkun Quisling who was the …”


  49. - Mouthy - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 1:19 pm:

    IMO Cullerton’s statement all but assures Rauner’s victory in November. I can see the ads now…


  50. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 4:22 pm:

    Sounds like a television rerun that nobody wants to see again. This episode aired in December of 2010.


  51. - Anon - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 4:39 pm:

    == In 2015, the GOP has a chance to pass bipartisan tax increases, new taxes…==

    If Republicans know this, are they OK with higher taxes so long as some members of their party vote for it? IPI? IR?

    == IMO Cullerton’s statement all but assures Rauner’s victory in November. I can see the ads now… ==

    That assumes Rauner will oppose any tax hikes. VM has the opposite assumption (see the first quote).


  52. - Anon - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 4:47 pm:

    In Pontiac on May 24, Rauner said, “Our plan is to roll that income tax back ¬– all the way back to 3 percent.”

    Three percent would dig an even bigger hole since the rate is scheduled to drop to 3.75%. If Rauner sticks to his word if he becomes governor, then an income tax hike is out. That would mean regressive taxes that soak the poor would be on the menu, which is the kind our conservative friends like best.


  53. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, May 28, 14 @ 11:07 pm:

    VMan: back at you. Many good points, except I would not go so far as to accuse Madigan of cutting Republicans out of the process.

    First, Republicans largely withdrew themselves from the process. Cross allied himself with Blago, and MJM was having none of that. And Cross had a nagging habit of making all kinds of demands regarding the budget but not having any votes. Perhaps Durkin can fix that. I have to believe that whatever went south between MJM and Rep Saviano did not help either.

    Schnorf makes a related point: Rauner needs to be very careful what he wishes for while he is rubbing the bottle.

    I think there are way to many moving parts to expect a rush of legislation during veto. If Quinn loses, every Democratic constituency will probably have a bill they want to see passed. I believe Daniels rammed some really partisan junk through in 1995…Democrats can point to that as precedent.

    Keep in mind that we might be rolling right into a mayoral race, win or lose in November, Democrats might not be on speaking terms with each other until the mayoral race is over.


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* Sneak Peek: Upcoming Outdoor Space At Lawrence House
* Where's Weyermuller? At Illinois Tea Party's 2016 Golf Outing & Dinner


* IDOT Hiring in Preparation of Winter Weather - Temporary help needed to assist with snow-and-ice removal, public urged to apply
* Illinois Department of Insurance Reminds ‘Land of Lincoln Health’ Customers to Enroll In New Coverage - The deadline for ‘Land of Lincoln Health’ customers to enroll in a new plan is September 30, 2016; Consumers could experience a gap in health care cove
* Governor Rauner Celebrates Illinois’ Hunting Heritage on National Hunting and Fishing Day
* Governor Signs Executive Order Creating New Illinois Bicentennial Commission
* State of Illinois Announces Online Enrollment Platform for Group Insurance Programs - MyBenefits Marketplace continues Illinois’ digital transformation, improves state employee experience




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