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Cross wants budget veto

Wednesday, Jun 4, 2014

* Rep. Tom Cross voted against the new state budget. Sen. Michael Frerichs voted for it. Cross is now trying to make this a campaign issue in the race for state treasurer. From a press release…

Illinois State Representative and candidate for Illinois State Treasurer Tom Cross today released a letter he sent to Governor Quinn urging him to veto the unbalanced budget approved by the Illinois General Assembly. Cross also informs Quinn that should the legislature’s budget become law, and should he be elected State Treasurer by the people of Illinois, his first official will be to challenge the legality of the budget by defending the state’s constitutional requirement for a balanced budget.

Excerpts from the Letter

“The General Assembly’s inability to honestly address the budget situation has led to the passage of an unbalanced and irresponsible budget that relies heavily on borrowing, one-time revenues and delaying the payment of bills. The budget approved by the General Assembly exacerbates Illinois’ worsening fiscal condition while increasing our state’s backlog of bills and creating a multi-billion dollar budget deficit for FY16.

“I strongly urge you to use the powers given to the Governor and reject the budget as passed by the General Assembly. Now more than ever, Illinois needs a responsible and honestly balanced budget. If this budget is signed into law and should I be so fortunate to be elected Illinois State Treasurer, my first act upon taking the oath of office will be to immediately seek to protect Illinois taxpayers by asking for the courts to declare the budget in violation of the state’s constitutional requirement of a balanced budget.”

* Meanwhile, Frerichs voted to expand the sales tax to services a few years back, and he’s talking about it again

Frerichs says he would work to create a more fair revenue stream… in part by pushing to expand the sales tax to include services, while lowering the overall rate to make it a more progressive tax.

* Frerichs’ campaign supporters basically say [changed because the campaign isn’t actually saying that, but some supporters are - I was moving too fast when I wrote it] three things…

1) Illinois is a “blue” state

2) Statewide Democrats who outspend Republican opponents never lose

3) Frerichs has outraised Cross and will outspend Cross

Except that ever since Cross voted against the state pension reform bill that he helped negotiate, there’s been rampant speculation that Cross essentially traded that vote for bigtime monetary support from Team Rauner.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    Not sure how far Treasurer Cross would get with a lawsuit on a balanced budget, especially the FY15 one you can ‘claim’ is balanced. Suspect the courts would try to stay out of it, citing separation of powers and also saying it is not up to the courts to second guess the General Assembly on funding and expenditures (kind of the same logic as the 1976 pension funding ruling).

    Now if it was the foreseeable FY16 budget with no semi-plausible way to paper it over, it might get a different reception …

  2. - Barney - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    sounds like frerichs has a pretty solid plan: hope.

  3. - 4 percent - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    I’m curious why Cross voted for a few budgets about 3-4 years ago that were not balanced.

  4. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    –…there’s been rampant speculation that Cross essentially traded that vote for bigtime monetary support from Team Rauner.–

    Check must be in the mail. Doesn’t look like it’s shown up yet at ISBE.

  5. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    Why would voters support a state treasurer candidate who thinks it is their job to look for new ways to take their money from them?

    Frerichs is suggesting, at least to me, that he won’t be a guard dog for our money - he will be an attack dog that bites our hands for our money.

  6. - Walker - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    Since budgeted spending doesn’t match the agreed and passed official revenue forecast, there is good reason to veto it.

    Either follow the rules previously put into law by the legislature, to establish a statutory spending limit, or go back to work until you do.

    This is equally on the GOPers for not supporting either of the two reduced spending plans offered by the Dems, or not putting forward one of their own. Some day, the complaints of not being involved in the budgeting, become empty.

    I’m not being political — my guess is that the Republicans might well come up with a better spending plan to consider. Hopefully a veto will drive toward that resolution.

  7. - Just Me - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    4-percent: you’re kidding, right?

  8. - Bill White - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    This demonstrates that neither candidate truly wants to be Treasurer, in stark contrast with Jesse White who truly wanted to be Secretary of State - and just Secretary of State.

    It is not the role of the Treasurer to be a self-appointed budget watchdog. See the IL Constitution.

  9. - The Prince - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    These guys are running for Treasurer, not legislator. That said, Frerichs should ask former Treasurer Nancy Drew Sheehan how his three-pronged strategy works.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    ===Check must be in the mail. Doesn’t look like it’s shown up yet at ISBE===

    Cross would be smart to wait until after the June 30th filing to take any pass through cash.

    Plus, @FakeMikeFrerichs sees;

    1) Illinois is a “blue” state

    2) Statewide Democrats who outspend Republican opponents never lose

    3) Frerichs has outraised Cross and will outspend Cross

    So the Most Annoying Statewide Candidate this cycle proves, once again, “I know very little, but little I know makes me more and more annoying.”


    1st Tweet…

    I was happy to co-sponsor and vote for #SJRCA0075 today in #Springfield. It’s long past time to pass the #ERA nationally and in IL. #twill

    Very. Next. Tweet.

    Kudos to @HeatherSteans and @StateRepLouLang for their work on passing #SJRCA0075. Onto the House! #twill #ERA #PasstheERA

    The point?

    “Look at me, Look at ME!… Yikes, too much me, maybe better look like a team player. Plus, I got my Glomming out first!”

    So self-centered, easily the most annoying.

    Amateur hour.

    Dear Frerichs Crew,

    Get “ahold” of your Twitter feed, remember what has happened to the annoying tweets of Dan Rutherford.

    Or don’t. Sen. Frerichs makes it easy for me to mock, almost too easy.

  11. - Almost the Weekend - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    OW, as much as I think your @FakeMikeFrerichs is over the top I have to agree. Looking through his twitter feed, I don’t see one thing about his policies he would enact as Treasurer, but he tweets about everything else… From the Blackhawks to deserts in Chicago. Might be time to hire a comms person and have them get it under control and on-message.

  12. - Federalist - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 12:26 pm:

    ” We’ve had decades of bad practices: borrowing, deferring, not funding your pensions, not paying your bills, not being willing to make the tough decisions on the revenue side,” Vallas said Sunday in a speech to Champaign County Democrats in Urbana, Ill.

    “When people want to focus on the Democrats as the source of the problem, believe me, it was a collective effort,” declared the prospective lieutenant govenor. “Part of the problem was the desire to spend more and the desire to not raise the money to meet the bills the spending needs. I’m not saying all of those decisions were bad decisions, but the bottom line is, the bad practices put the state in a severe financial situation which only intensified when we got hit with the great recession.”

    Follow us: @nbcchicago on Twitter | nbcchicago on Facebook

    Wow! Such intelligent thoughts are never stated by a politician. He could get in big trouble for this. And as it relates to this post to this it is obvious to me that Vallas is not in love with the proposed budget and sees it for what it is- more smoke and mirrors.

    Does not reflect well on Quinn, Frerichs, Cross, Rauner et al. Either they have voted for these budgets or in Rauner’s case he continues to state what he would have as his budget priorities.

  13. - low level - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 1:11 pm:

    Mike should have voted NO on the budget (his Yes vote wasn’t needed) and should not be proposing what can be said is an expansion of taxes!

    Yes that is only one half of the proposal but it will be portrayed otherwise. Especially when whoever the Treasurer is would have 0 influence over such a thing passing - if it ever did!

    Cross is outmaneuvering him and they don’t even realize it.

    By the way, what the heck is it with Champaign area politicians and the tax on services idea? Laurel Prussing 20 years ago, etc.

    Mike, dude! That’s a fine idea but it will not happen all on its own. Republican votes would be needed, and that would require negotiations and would occur at the end of a session. You don’t campaign on that!


  14. - low level - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 1:15 pm:

    And OW is absolutely correct: if you can’t get the Twitter right, stay off of it! I have never heard of Twitter being the reason a candidate lost. But it HAS been the reason they’ve lost, or worse.

  15. - Weils Up - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    Frerichs has a real plan there. Keep it up team Frerichs and you will still be able to cast a vote for a tax increase next February.

  16. - low level - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 1:24 pm:

    Sorry - twitter has never been the reason someone WON but it has been at least one of the reasons for losing - or worse (Rutherford)

  17. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    ===twitter has never been the reason someone WON but it has been at least one of the reasons for losing…===

    Isn’t it more dangerous to partake in something that has the potential to backfire the way you use it?

    Very good point - low level -

  18. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 1:44 pm:

    Sounds to me like neither one of these guys understands what the role of the Treasurer is. It isn’t looking for revenue streams and it isn’t the budget.

  19. - facts are stubborn things - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 2:37 pm:

    I am pleased the Cross beleives the Il Constitution should be upheld. I wish he would come out just as strong about the clearly unconstiutional pension law that is passed. I agree with RNUG that the courts would have little to do with this issue at this time.

  20. - Anon - Wednesday, Jun 4, 14 @ 3:20 pm:

    If Cross wins, we’ll see if he applies the same standard to Gov. Rauner’s budgets. For some reason I suspect our self-described fiscal watchdog would become a partisan lapdog.

    “the passage of an unbalanced and irresponsible budget that relies heavily on borrowing, one-time revenues and delaying the payment of bills. The budget exacerbates Illinois’ worsening fiscal condition while increasing our state’s backlog of bills and creating a multi-billion dollar budget deficit for FY16.==

    Since Cross opposes extending the temporary income tax, the only alternative to the kick-the-can gimmicks is a budget that has been severely slashed. Cross can’t have it both ways.

  21. - PublicServant - Thursday, Jun 5, 14 @ 6:47 am:

    Someone ought to tell three putt that the treasurer’s job is to invest state monies safely. Dude, if you want the bureaucratic position, learn its duties. The state budget is not within your purview. Dope.

  22. - low level - Thursday, Jun 5, 14 @ 7:13 am:

    Public Servant - very true, but politically anyone running for that spot has to come up with other things b/c the actual duties are pretty dull. I I mean, what are you going to say? I want to invest state funds in this CD or this Treasury Bond 30 year over the 15 year? I will avoid risky investments? Zzzzzz. (I love the three putt name though - LOL

  23. - PublicServant - Thursday, Jun 5, 14 @ 8:59 am:

    And because Treasurer is such a non-political job, we should have politicians running for it why? It should be an appointed state job where the qualifications of the appointee actually have something to do with finance and investment as opposed to the Masters in Bloviation that Three Putt has.

  24. - A guy... - Thursday, Jun 5, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    Quoted from a Half-way house with random thoughts…

  25. - Obama's Puppy - Thursday, Jun 5, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    Cross’s conviction on any given issue were up on ebay right after he settled on running for Treasurer.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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