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More defining Statehouse moments

Monday, Jun 2, 2014

* Doug Finke

“I haven’t read the language of the amendment.” Speaker Madigan in response to a question about a bill he sponsored making the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum its own state agency.

Oy.

* On the other hand, this could very well signal some real progress on the city’s pension reform bill. Somebody was apparently using his or her noggin

As Mayor Rahm Emanuel waits for Gov. Pat Quinn’s decision on a measure that would partially fix the finances of city worker pension funds, the mayor isn’t saying whether a 911 fee increase on phone bills would allow him to avoid a property tax hike. […]

Emanuel has talked about raising property taxes to come up with the city’s share, but that puts Quinn in a tight spot. The Democratic governor is running for re-election against anti-tax Republican challenger Bruce Rauner.

Meanwhile, the legislature last week gave Emanuel and Quinn a possible escape route by approving a bill that would allow the city to raise a 911 tax on landline and cell phones by $1.40 a month to $3.90. The resulting $50 million or so a year from the 911 tax could allow the City Council to put off raising property taxes until after next year’s city elections. […]

“I don’t think we should be subsidizing (OEMC) from” other revenue sources, said Emanuel, who added that the 911 budget “should be self sufficient and independent.” But Emanuel did not address the property tax portion of the question during his news conference.

The city claims it was subsidizing 911 services out of general revenue. So, this tax hike frees up that general revenue cash, which could, indeed, postpone a property tax hike until after election day.

So, sometimes, we can have positive defining moments.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


17 Comments
  1. - A guy... - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 2:01 pm:

    The 3 card monte game continues. We admire our legislators for being clever, not clear. More great news from the worst governed state in the country.


  2. - The Prince - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    He read it.


  3. - Norseman - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 2:16 pm:

    “I don’t need to read it. If it doesn’t do what I asked staff to prepare it to do, heads will roll.”


  4. - MrJM (@MisterJayEm) - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 2:31 pm:

    “We admire our legislators for being clever, not clear.”

    Says a commenter who applauds Bruce Rauner for keeping his secret “plan” a secret..

    – MrJM


  5. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 2:34 pm:

    –“I haven’t read the language of the amendment.” Speaker Madigan in response to a question about a bill he sponsored making the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum its own state agency.–

    Odd statement. Probably very lawyerly, for some reason.

    I thought the book on MJM was that he bored his staff to death making them read everything put in the hopper.


  6. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    –More great news from the worst governed state in the country.–

    If that’s the case, doesn’t it bother you that through all your efforts in such a state, you still come out on the losing end, often?

    What does that say about your ideas, efforts and powers of persuasion?

    Some of you guys, A Guy, like to pretend that the GOP has never been a player in Illinois. You’re very wrong.

    Perhaps you should engage in some self-reflexion as to why in recent years you couldn’t beat Blago or Quinn.


  7. - William j Kelly - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 2:45 pm:

    Rahm wants to tax 911 calls?!!!! That’s taking the never let a crisis go to waste attitude a little too far! If you agree join me and Dick Morris on 6/20, williamjkellyforchicago.com for all the details.


  8. - Chi - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    If he didn’t read it, he had 4 different staff members read and analyze it, draft summaries on it (which he did read), and discuss it with his top staff.


  9. - A guy... - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    I reflect all the time Word. I know exactly how we found ourselves where we find ourselves. It takes a long term effort to unfix the fixed. It’s very depressing honestly. I’ve committed to stay and do something and not move to State X, Y or Z. I could very well die trying.

    So much of what screwed this state up was the GOP working alongside the Dems to divide the people’s spoils. Pigs get fat, Hogs get slaughtered. Ryan turned into a Hog. Blago, Hog. Madigan, very careful Pig. Same with Pate Philip.

    I’ve had my share of wins. But the losses are very bothersome. Rauner has the resources to take this another direction, just as Giuliani and Bloomberg did when NY was considered “ungovernable”. It’s worth a try. I’m old enough to remember a much better place called Illinois. That one’s worth not giving up on.

    Thanks for asking.


  10. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    It’s weird to mock a legislator for not reading an amendment while you report on amendments that you haven’t read (See Senate Floor Amendment No. 2 to HB 105)


  11. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 2:59 pm:

    ===mock a legislator for not reading an amendment ===

    Um, wasn’t it his amendment?


  12. - Jake From Elwood - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 3:06 pm:

    If you don’t read your own bill, that is mockable.
    Even when you introduce as many bills as MJM has.


  13. - cover - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 3:23 pm:

    = this could very well signal some real progress on the city’s pension reform bill =

    We’ll know for sure within the next week. The Governor has 60 days to take action on bills once they are sent to him, and that bill (Senate Bill 1922, for those interested in reading it) was sent to him on April 10. That means he must take action no later than June 9, or the bill defaults into law. Not that I think he would let that happen - that would require Blago-level inattention to governance.


  14. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 3:38 pm:

    ===that would require Blago-level inattention to governance===

    It might also be a way to keep his hands clean and point the finger at the General Assembly.


  15. - Wally - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 5:01 pm:

    So it is the GOP’s lack of ideas that caused them to lose elections to Blago and Quinn??? Hmmm, thought it was the high concentration of dems in Cook County and all the state giveaways. Who knew?


  16. - DuPage Bard - Tuesday, Jun 3, 14 @ 9:32 am:

    If you watched Channel 11 last night you saw all of the legislators throw their hands up and shrug shoulders over Rahm’s 911 fees. It’s actually a pretty classic dodge from all 4.


  17. - Knome Sane - Tuesday, Jun 3, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    =The resulting $50 million or so a year from the 911 tax could allow the City Council to put off raising property taxes until after next year’s city elections. […]=

    I am not sure who floated the “$50 million or so” figure, but if I do my math correctly, it’s more like $100 million.

    3,000,000 cell phones billed to Chicago addresses
    3 million landline phones billed to Chicago address equal 6 million. 6,000,000 x $1.40 x 12 (months) equals $100,800,000. And that doesn’t include the 7% to 9% increase in the prepaid point-of-sale fee on prepaid phones.


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