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The FY 2016 dance finally begins

Thursday, Apr 30, 2015

* I told subscribers about this yesterday

With just weeks left before Illinois’ 2016 budget must be passed, Democratic leaders and GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner remain far apart on how to bridge a $6 billion revenue gap.

A memo circulated by Senate Democrats late Tuesday questions roughly $5.8 billion in savings in Rauner’s proposed $32 billion budget. The caucus suggests the proposal may not only violate a provision of the Illinois constitution, which promises employee benefits shall not be “diminished or impaired,” but also likely requires changes to state law and federal policies and requires negotiations with labor unions.

Among the senators’ concerns is that cutting $1.5 billion from the Medicaid health care program for the poor, which is funded by state and federal dollars, would require federal approval.

Lawmakers began meeting this week to work on the governor’s “Turnaround Agenda,” a set of pro-business priorities Rauner wants the Legislature to approve in exchange for consenting to new revenue to save programs near and dear to Democrats. Without that grand bargain, the governor’s proposed spending plan would balance the budget entirely by slashing spending for things like Medicaid, human services programs and state employees’ group health care. The plan also includes a roughly $300 million increase to K-12 education, which the governor has identified as a top priority.

I’ve also been telling subscribers about that Rauner threat to withhold support for new revenues unless the Dems cut a deal on his “Turnaround Agenda.” This is a very high stakes game, campers.

* The full memo

Here’s a rack up of some of the budget challenges faced by the Rauner administration as they negotiate FY16 through working groups.

Many of their plans require changes to state law, court challenges and federal approval. As you know – bills haven’t been filed yet.

Pension Reform: $2.2 billion

    Problem: Constitutional challenges.

Cut Medicaid: $1.5 billion

    Problem: Requires change in state law and federal approval.

Eliminate College Insurance Program and Teachers Retirement Insurance Program: $113 million

    Problem: Requires change in state law that anticipates litigation.

Cut Group Health: $570 million

    Problem: Subject to collective bargaining agreements.

Cut Funding for Local Governments: $913 million

    Problem: Requires a change in state law.

Cut Dedicated Human Services Programs: $492 million

    Problem: Violates consent decrees, judicial orders and some state and federal laws.

Total Hole: $5.788 billion

* The Rauner administration’s response

Rauner’s deputy chief of staff Mike Schrimpf said it’s been known for months that the governor’s budget, introduced in mid-February, is contingent on “statutory changes” to state law.

“The governor is committed to making structural changes to state government,” Schrimpf said. “The Senate Democrats have known that since February 18, as has anybody who’s been paying attention.”

The required statutory changes will make it tougher to get this budget passed because legislators will be forced to take two very tough votes - one to change state law (or the constitution) and the other on the appropriations bill.

* Speaking of the 2016 budget

Local officials from throughout Illinois descended Wednesday on the Capitol, lending their voices to the growing coalition of groups opposed to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget plan.

Along with labor unions, college students, Amtrak riders, social service agencies, and Democrats, mayors of both political stripes said the governor’s proposal for a 50 percent cut to the municipal share of state income taxes would be a devastating blow to local finances. […]

State Rep. Luis Arroyo, D-Chicago, said he disagrees with Rauner’s plan to cut social service programs.

“I’m just not going to vote for that,” Arroyo told his colleagues during a House budget hearing.

Yeah, well, he’s gonna have to vote for something or we’re never getting outta here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


70 Comments
  1. - Stones - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 8:48 am:

    I think you’re in for a loooong legislative session Rich.


  2. - facts are stubborn things - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 8:49 am:

    I think Rauner will be fine with no budget and a government shut down. I believe he feels that he may need to go over the cliff to get things done.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 8:53 am:

    “Game On!”

    The metrics are very simple in the end for the governor. He can yell, scream, demand, twist arms, even give ultimatums.

    Rauner needs 30 and 60, and not just for the budget, and he knows it.

    If Rauner needs more “tough votes”, you’d think being strident on his agenda would waver for the bigger picture. “True believers” never waver, if they think they have “leverage” and if that leverage is welcomed, as crisis brings opportunity.

    ===This is a very high stakes game, campers.===

    …and if I could add, a very dangerous game too.

    “Is this too far to push to get 23 Democrats to be ‘green’ on all these budget items… and my Agenda, leveraged?”

    The Governor has been going all over the state, demanding “his Agenda first”.

    Maybe the question to a “true believer” is, “how much of your true beliefs are you willing to defer to get a compromise needed to govern?”

    Yikes.


  4. - MrJM - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 8:56 am:

    “I’ve also been telling subscribers about that Rauner threat to withhold support for new revenues unless the Dems cut a deal on his ‘Turnaround Agenda.’”

    The Rauner Crisis–Illinois Held Hostage: Day 108

    – MrJM


  5. - chi - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 8:57 am:

    =I think Rauner will be fine with no budget and a government shut down. I believe he feels that he may need to go over the cliff to get things done.=

    I think we see some GOP members defect and vote for a veto-proof compromise with Dems before we see Rauner shut down the government. But I also think it will get very close to the brink.


  6. - Minnow - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 8:58 am:

    I fear this dance will be made up of many tango-ls.


  7. - OneMan - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 8:59 am:

    Lt. Lockhart:

    Cuts have hit every major and minor program in the sate, and hit ‘em hard. In Springfield, the Indiana Embassy has been overrun by people fleeing. the Wisconsin Embassy is standing by to be overrun. In strategic terms, the budgets has been cut the in half… the civilian press are about to wet their pants and we’ve heard even Rich Miller going to say the session is never going to end. In other words, it’s a huge refuse sandwich, and we’re all gonna have to take a bite.

    Private Joker: Sir… does this mean that Ann-Margret’s not coming?


  8. - downstate - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:00 am:

    I’m with F.A.S.T. The Governor would see it as badge of honor to shut down government for a little while.


  9. - archimedes - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:03 am:

    Has Rauner made a tactical mistake in pushing his turnaround agenda directly to the public versus negotiating to implement some pieces of it? At this point, it doesn’t seem there is much local support for it. Wouldn’t that tend to weaken his leverage in the General Assembly? Might he have been better off, more likely to achieve at least some of his goals, without this PR campaign?


  10. - downstate - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:04 am:

    I should elaborate on my previous. The Governor would see it as badge of honor to shut down government for a little while…if it results in him getting what he wants.


  11. - chi - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:05 am:

    Yes, Archimedes, I would agree whole-heartedly with that.


  12. - OneMan - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:06 am:

    Has Rauner made a tactical mistake in pushing his turnaround agenda directly to the public versus negotiating to implement some pieces of it?

    I suspect it polls better than it is doing with the municipalities.. If he thinks a shutdown is necessary, having various entities reject it with the perception that pressure was applied may help him. The whole us vs them thing, us and them to be defined as you see fit.


  13. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:06 am:

    “The governor is committed to making structural changes to state government,” Schrimpf said.

    Prove it by actually governing.


  14. - Cassandra - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:07 am:

    So, he should creep in the door, make nice with various interest groups, try not to offend anybody, and hope he can make a few modest changes, make a few cuts here and raise a few taxes there to fund it all.

    Somebody with Rauner’s background didn’t take the job to be a placeholder. He want to accomplish things. It’s a negotiation and this is his opening bid. What-we want him to cower in his office. Or, just go ahead and hike everybody’s taxes first, big time.

    We are far from the end game-but that’s what these folks are paid to do-negotiate and legislate. Like, we should fee sorry for them?


  15. - facts are stubborn things - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:07 am:

    @ chi - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 8:57 am:

    =I think we see some GOP members defect and vote for a veto-proof compromise with Dems before we see Rauner shut down the government. But I also think it will get very close to the brink.=

    You may be correct, but I think it may be in this environment that a deal is finally reached.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:08 am:

    - archimedes -,

    Shhh! Those tasked with that in the Governor’s office think they are doing important work, don’t rain on their parade.

    Plus, I just got my morning coffee, I need the “ck” email update to really feel like my morning has begun.

    You’re probably right - archimedes -, but noses need to be cut off to spite faces I guess.


  17. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:12 am:

    “The governor is committed to making structural changes to state government,” Schrimpf said. “The Senate Democrats have known that since February 18, as has anybody who’s been paying attention.” And if the Governor’s Office had been paying attention, they would understand that the Governor absolutely cannot count the $2.2 Billion in pension savings in this year’s budget.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:14 am:

    - chi -,

    Normally, I would agree, in principle, with your thought on the GOP and veto-proof…

    But I have $60 million reasons, $25+ million on hand reasons, to disagree.

    Rauner owns 67 ‘green lights’.

    I doubt any of the 67 GOPers will move. They’re owned. It’s a new day.


  19. - RetiredStateEmployee - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:17 am:

    So no GOPers will vote in the best interest of the citizens of the State of Illinois. I guess that’s the end of democracy.


  20. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:18 am:

    “The governor is committed to making structural changes to state government,” Schrimpf said. “The Senate Democrats have known that since February 18, as has anybody who’s been paying attention.” If the Governor had been paying attention, he would understand that the $2.2 Billion in pension savings cannot be counted in this budget either. Smelling salts needed all around.


  21. - MrJM - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:18 am:

    “So, he should creep in the door, make nice with various interest groups, try not to offend anybody, and hope he can make a few modest changes, make a few cuts here and raise a few taxes there to fund it all.”

    I love the smell of a straw man in the morning…

    – MrJM


  22. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:21 am:

    ===So no GOPers will vote in the best interest of the citizens of the State of Illinois. I guess that’s the end of democracy.===

    How about this….

    “No GOPers will vote, unless it’s in the best interest of Rauner and the leverage of his $20 million, pointed directly at them. There is no guessing, it’s the end of the independence of the GOP GA as a body.”

    That’s probably “more true”…


  23. - A guy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:22 am:

    Akin to playoff hockey OT. It either ends quickly in the first OT, or you’re in for a marathon. They’re talking. There are policy positions in front of them now. The working groups are…working. Let’s see where it goes. With due respect to Mr. Arroyo, he’s not the Democrat I’m focused on here.


  24. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:24 am:

    Springfield just spent a decade and a half of irresponsible “leadership” in taking the easy way out to avoid reducing costs of government, or even the INCREASES in the cost of state government, or raising taxes to fund the pols political largesse. the only “debate” was in the back rooms concerning how the massive problems could be addressed. It was a MASSIVE fail, as would any “quiet” dealmaking here. This has to be an open discussion of the unpleasant choices that need to made. The way that Springfield created law, provided “one way” retirement benefits they KNEW they wouldn’t pay for or adjust, kept spending on “pork” capital projects instead of addressing the real capital “needs” instead of “wants”, and now that bad law they created will NEED to be changed if Illinois is to have a chance to viably survive. Rauner’s put the things that need to be done on the table. The culture of irresponsibility in Springfield has to change. It’s finally time for the Springfield Dems to come up with their alternatives to move forward or get out of the way fro those serious enough to try to fix their mess.


  25. - dupage dan - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:27 am:

    === legislators will be forced to take two very tough votes ===

    Expecting cowards to do twice what they won’t do once - heh.

    Yeah, I know, they passed the conceal carry law. With the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads. What’s hanging over their heads now?


  26. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:27 am:

    ===It’s finally time for the Springfield Dems to come up with their alternatives to move forward or get out of the way fro those serious enough to try to fix their mess.===

    (Sigh)

    Governors, not Democrats, not Republicans, not politics, Governors, propose.

    Always been, always will be.

    It’s not a partisan thing, it’s a governing thing. Geez.


  27. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:30 am:

    “I love the smell of a straw man in the morning… – MrJM”

    And, I the smell of Arizona …


  28. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:34 am:

    “What-we want him to cower in his office. Or, just go ahead and hike everybody’s taxes first, big time.”

    I don’t want anybody to cower in office. I also don’t want someone so rigid that he or she won’t budge. If this is Rauner’s end game, start out as rigid as possible, push to get all that you can until you absolutely have to yield, but then you yield on some things, particularly things that won’t get passed, like right to work zones, then that won’t be so bad.

    What is the end game for Rauner? I fear that he will not yield at all and cause all kinds of chaos and ill will with a government shutdown. I also hope that he will accept some modified version of his agenda in exchange for some revenue increases, which I believe we absolutely must have.

    I am hopeful that Rauner will yield some of the more controversial plans


  29. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:42 am:

    OW, this may be hard for you to swallow, but Rauner isn’t a “ruler”, he’s a GOVERNOR. He’s proposed a solution that involves legislative changes. In fact, they’re a necessary part of any viable plan.

    You know this, but you keep on giving the GA a pass, especially dems who have a veto proof majority (I know there are some mavericks out there who may not go along, though) and laying it all on him.

    You also know that while the Governors can propose, the Dem and GOP GA (almost entirely DEM)DISPOSE.

    He’s made his proposal. You know better than trying to deflect on this (sigh).

    Tell me, OW, what do YOU think should be done to solve this mess? Try a little creativity instead criticality sometime. You may find it more productive.


  30. - Arsenal - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:43 am:

    “Has Rauner made a tactical mistake in pushing his turnaround agenda directly to the public versus negotiating to implement some pieces of it?”

    I think he probably played the hand he had. He obviously cares most about curtailing the unions, and the GA was never going to go along with that in any meaningful way. Nor was it going to hack at Medicaid, and even Workers’ Comp would be a heavy lift. So, try to go over their heads. It’s the only play he really had.


  31. - Arsenal - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:45 am:

    “So, he should creep in the door, make nice with various interest groups, try not to offend anybody, and hope he can make a few modest changes, make a few cuts here and raise a few taxes there to fund it all.”

    Policy matters. “We need some big changes!” doesn’t mean we need ANY big change. If Rauner proposed a France-style cradle-to-grave social safety net, that would be a big change, too, but probably not one you would support (or one that would actually solve the state’s problems).


  32. - Langhorne - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:48 am:

    ===Many of their plans require changes to state law, court challenges and federal approval. As you know – bills haven’t been filed yet.===

    One month to go before OT. Step one–file actual bills. Step two–careful consideration, analysis, posturing and bloviating. Step three–vote the bills down. Then focus on the elements required for a budget. Wait for rauners head to explode.


  33. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:51 am:

    First - Arizona Bob -, welcome back.

    To your Comment,

    ===You know this, but you keep on giving the GA a pass, especially dems who have a veto proof majority (I know there are some mavericks out there who may not go along, though) and laying it all on him.===

    I have discussed Caucus Governing with you time after time. Governors propose, they always have, and veto-proof majorities are not used to drive revenue increases that will be vetoed, then to be voted on again, and further, and specifically to this Dem Super-Majority, Jack Franks is a “no” no matter what, so it’s moot in reality.

    To my solutions?

    I’ve said many times, compromise on common ground agreemeable issues, and work to get revenue increased, while ceding to Rauner issues so he can claim victory and also allow Rauner his room to govern.

    Use the search key, Ive said plenty on what I’d like to have seen, but it always boiled down to divided government working within already agreed parameters.

    Rauner wants his parameters, in the leveraged crisis mode, fueled by $60 million threatened, not governing achieved.


  34. - pett311 - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:51 am:

    The true budget reform required is to stop spending and truly pay down debt when new sources of revenue are found, not pay for new ideas. Additionally,how can we afford a new capital plan when we are 6 billion in the hole.


  35. - Arsenal - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:51 am:

    “He’s proposed a solution that involves legislative changes. In fact, they’re a necessary part of any viable plan.”

    1) He hasn’t proposed a solution; even if you think 4 changes to state law are just a trifling matter, you’ve still got consent decrees, federal approval, court challenges, and a the Constitution blocking this. It’s not a solution, it’s Illinois Government Fan Fiction.

    2) And, “in fact”, none of those things are necessary to fix the state’s budget, or at least, the GA isn’t convinced that they are.


  36. - Demoralized - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:53 am:

    Welcome back Arizona Bob.

    Nobody is giving the GA a pass, Bob. But, it’s Rauner’s ballgame now. He’s the Governor. He has a master plan (flawed as it may be) and it’s his job to now sell it to the GA. While he may enjoy going around the state giving a bunch of speeches those speeches don’t mean squat if he can’t get the GA to go along with it. And no matter how much you believe it or try, this is no longer just the Democrats issue (though I know it would pain your partisan beliefs to acknowledge it). Like it or not there isn’t anything that will be done with out Republicans in the General Assembly participating now. There’s a new day and people can no longer whine and complain that the Democrats can do what they want. It’s equal opportunity now. All are in the game.


  37. - walker - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:59 am:

    Rauner’s proposed budget(so far), would require changes in statutory law, constitutional law, and Federal approval. Only the first might be a legitimate reason to put a number in the budget effective July 2015.

    Statutory changes, to which Nuding refers, could be possible in that time frame, but the others never were.

    Many commenters knew and pointed out, that the numbers couldn’t work.

    Rauner’s budget proposal was more in the style of a political platform from which to work, and less a practical proposition. So be it.

    He presumed, I guess, that the GA will set the budget as they often have, and he can then claim the right not to spend as outlined.


  38. - Runbikeswim1 - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:06 am:

    Arizona Bob - The GA takes what the Governor proposes and molds it into a budget. Checks and Balances. He is the executive leader of the system. I would argue the he has been trying to be the “ruler” and making mistakes along the way. One big one has been him pushing his “turnaround agenda” and demanding people take it or leave it. His “it’s us versus the union” has not played well in most of the state.


  39. - Demoralized - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:07 am:

    ==State Rep. Luis Arroyo, D-Chicago, said he disagrees with Rauner’s plan to cut social service programs.

    “I’m just not going to vote for that,” Arroyo told his colleagues during a House budget hearing.==

    Lines in the sand are never good.

    Also, there’s no chance in heck that a final budget won’t include some cuts to social services. That’s where all the money is. They can do it intelligently so that it has the least possible negative impact, but there will be negative impacts on social services by the time this is over.


  40. - Skeptical - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:17 am:

    Grandson of Man on the issue of “Rigidity of Rauner”

    As I was reading your post I was reminded of a Chapter in the Tao Te Cing (Chapter 76 titled “Rigid behavior will kill you”). Here it is:

    When alive, the body is supple, yielding.
    In death, the body becomes hard, unyielding.

    Living plants are flexible,
    In death, they become dry and brittle.

    Therefore, stubborn people are disciples of death, but
    Flexible people are disciples of life.

    In the same way,
    Inflexible soldiers cannot win (a victory).
    And the hardest trees are readiest for an axe to chop them down
    Tough guys sink to the bottom, while
    Flexible people rise to the top.


  41. - Liberty - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:24 am:

    We know how well shutting down government works for Republicans.


  42. - walker - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:26 am:

    ArizonaB: Good to hear from you.

    As usual you present a fulsome argument which ignores key obvious facts. The numerical problems with the Governor’s proposed budget go well beyond any required statutory changes. In fact those gaps, which cannot possibly be closed for fiscal 2016, are even greater.


  43. - east central - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 11:05 am:

    Is it likely that votes will be forced on the proposals without modification prior to any negotiations?

    It would be interesting to see how many Republican legislators will vote to impose cuts that negatively impact medical providers, health insurance companies, and local government employees including police and fire.

    Potentially excellent campaign material for 2016.


  44. - Rod - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 11:08 am:

    This article contains the links to the comments by candidate Rauner supporting a shut down of state government http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/05/bruce-rauner-shutdown-video_n_5652143.html

    Supposedly he backed off of those comments, but I have my doubts about that. I can’t see any thing in the IL constitution that would prevent the Democrats from putting forward and passing a budget to be vetoed by the Governor. Article 8 section 2 (a) does not require explicitly that bills containing the budget be submitted to the Assembly, only that it be presented by the Governor which it was on February 18.

    The truth is the Democrats would be terrified to put forward a budget that required additional revenue or one that contained cuts of their own design with no additional revenue. Governor Rauner will put the burden of rejecting his “balanced budget” with no new revenue on the Democrats and blame them for a shutdown if things proceed as they are currently going.


  45. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 11:33 am:

    ===The truth is the Democrats would be terrified to put forward a budget that required additional revenue or one that contained cuts of their own design with no additional revenue.===

    The truth IS…

    They don’t have to. Governors propose. That’s how this all works.

    ===uts of their own design with no additional revenue. Governor Rauner will put the burden of rejecting his “balanced budget” with no new revenue on the Democrats and blame them for a shutdown if things proceed as they are currently going.===

    Rauner may try that, but the Rauner Cuts and the Rauner Budget, and even the Rauner lockout, if it comes to that, will be on Rauner.

    It’s governors that own these things.


  46. - Aldyth - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 11:36 am:

    A vulture capitalist is comfortable with leaving nothing but bones behind.


  47. - OneMan - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 11:41 am:

    Can’t spend what you don’t have and like democracy or not, the elected officials seem to think taxpayers do not want a tax increase on themselves and there isn’t a bucket of ‘other people’ you can tax to the tune of 6 billion dollars without it being a problem in other ways.


  48. - east central - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 12:05 pm:

    Would this be a possible way out for the Democrats?

    Bond the pension debt. To pay off the bonds, pass a bill with a constitutional amendment that enables a combination of a graduated income tax and a tax on retirement income, both with a specified high rate on large incomes and a relatively low rate on those earning below the median. Perhaps toss in some service taxes. The expiration date for the taxes is fixed in the amendment so that the amendment and the associated taxes self-destruct when the bonds are paid off (30 years?). Engineer the budget so that devastating cuts occur if the amendment is not approved by the voters to incentivize a positive vote in the next election.


  49. - Norseman - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 12:06 pm:

    Who’s got the pool on when session ends? August may be looking good.


  50. - RNUG - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 12:08 pm:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3FMtjGTCvo


  51. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 12:08 pm:

    ===…with a constitutional amendment that enables a combination of a graduated income tax and a tax on retirement income, both with a specified high rate on large incomes and a relatively low rate on those earning below the median.===

    That bill, that Constituional amendment, they won’t pass, and don’t have the time frame to work for FY2016.

    I hear ya, just not realistic.


  52. - east central - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 12:15 pm:

    OW, Start bond repayment the following year?

    Agree that passing it would be tough. OTOH, sooner rather than later it will be necessary to deal with the burden of the pension debt.


  53. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 12:23 pm:

    - east central -, the FY2016 challlenges do not, today, allow the luxury of thinking beyond getting the FY2016 budget through, and make it Constitutional too, and all that that means.

    FY2017 is just too far away. Sadly.


  54. - RNUG - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 12:25 pm:

    Some of the state statutes MIGHT get changed. No way changing Federal law, especially quickly. As has been pointed out, the best a State Constitutional amendment would be enacted by mid-FY17 and that’s not a sure thing. Other than a starting point, Rauner’s budget proposal is DOA.

    Given the time constraints, the possible revenue enhancements would be (more or less in terms of speed to implement):

    a) reduce / skip pension fund payments (but it isn’t big enough by itself and just pushes the payment down the road)

    b) reinstate a higher state income tax rate

    c) eliminate corporate and personal income tax deductions

    d) increase current sales tax

    e) increase various fees (but pretty tough sell given past increases and fund sweeps)

    f) borrowing (you have to pay it back)

    g) new /expanded service taxes

    That’s pretty much the revenue choices for FY16.

    We know budget cuts won’t close the entire gap so pick your poison.


  55. - east central - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 12:25 pm:

    PS. Obviously this would be done following the anticipated rejection of pension changes by the ISC. It would be presented specifically as a response to that ruling.


  56. - east central - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 1:03 pm:

    OW @ 12:23,
    If bonds will be issued late in 2016 to cover the pension debt, then the $5+B GRF payment to the pension funds for debt could go away which comes close to balancing the FY16 budget without major cuts. Then at the beginning of 2017 you need the new pension debt repayment taxes to cover the bond payments.

    Even if a plan like this were vetoed, it would be a way to shift blame for a shutdown and massive cuts. If the tax is structured to have little impact on most middle class voters (and blamed on the ISC ruling), then vetoing it might look bad relative to a shutdown and cuts.


  57. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 1:11 pm:

    - east central -,

    It doesn’t matter. Rauner owns this, veto or not.

    Governors own budgets.

    No deep thinking in that


  58. - Rod - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 1:22 pm:

    Re: Oswego Willy Rauner put forward his budget on Feb 18, no bills have followed. According to the Governor the bills are drafted but have not been introduced and won’t be until the last possible moment assuming significant parts of the Illinois Turn Around agenda are not adopted.

    The Democrats will get tagged for a shut down unless they act in the court of public opinion because it will be the Democrat majority that votes down the “balanced” cut loaded budget proposal that leads to a shut down. Team Rauner has a big PR budget just to make sure the people get the message.


  59. - Arsenal - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 1:25 pm:

    “It’s finally time for the Springfield Dems to come up with their alternatives to move forward or get out of the way fro those serious enough to try to fix their mess.”

    I really love the inanity of this. “If the GA isn’t willing to pass a tax hike over the Governor’s veto, it should just shut up and rubber stamp whatever he wants.” I mean, yeah, makes total sense, legislative brinksmanship is totally preferable to compromise.


  60. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 1:27 pm:

    - Rod -,

    Take a breath.

    Governors own these situations. They always have.

    Even @statehousechick can’t save Rauner.

    If the unions wait for a lockout, the unions will own the message.

    Further, Rauner, if he fails to get a budget, after the shaking and bringing back language… it will weaken his image, and be seen as someone who can’t deliver.

    Rauner needs a budget, not the Dems.


  61. - Skeptic - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 1:35 pm:

    “it would be a way to shift blame” or, perhaps “kick the can down the road some more.”


  62. - Rod - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 1:36 pm:

    Willy time will shortly give us the answer I suspect.


  63. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 1:40 pm:

    Where are the bills Schrimpf? By your own words, we’ve been waiting since February 18th.


  64. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 1:41 pm:

    It’s all good, - Rod -,

    If there is one thing I know I learned with Rauner, and being in a hurry, and waiting Rauner out (Rauner Cuts - Good Friday Massacre) is that patience and reacting to Rauner is better in his governing.

    Rauner is impatient.


  65. - BlameBruceRauner - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 4:04 pm:

    Rauners proposals are fantasy. Might as well have proposed establishing a government sponsored counterfeit operation to cover all outstanding bills. They guy has never brought people together he’s TEARING THINGS APART. He is tearing Illinois apart making it much worse. No new revenue. What a Joke! Have fun Rich


  66. - zonz - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 5:03 pm:

    We are witnessing the profound effects of
    1) hubris, and
    2) epistemic closure*
    prevailing in the world of Rauner/Schrimpf et al.
    ______________________
    *Gov. Pence Feels the Effects of Epistemic Closure http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2015_03/gov_pence_feels_the_effects_of054843.php


  67. - zonz - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 5:16 pm:

    ========= - Arsenal - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:43 am:
    “Has Rauner made a tactical mistake in pushing his turnaround agenda directly to the public versus negotiating to implement some pieces of it?”

    I think he probably played the hand he had. He obviously cares most about curtailing the unions, and the GA was never going to go along with that in any meaningful way. Nor was it going to hack at Medicaid, and even Workers’ Comp would be a heavy lift. So, try to go over their heads. It’s the only play he really had =========

    Thoughtt experiment: would it be wiser in a crisis situation to execute a risky PR ploy (that clearly is backfiring) than spend the weeks post-Feb. 18* actually negotiating?

    Only someone in the bubble of hubris and epistemic closure would choose to execute the PR ploy.
    __________________________________
    *Full text: Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget address https://shar.es/1pyEf4 via @crainschicago


  68. - walker - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 5:41 pm:

    Out in the field, at least around me, Rauner’s PR is pretty much working so far. It will fall apart when gov offices are shut down, and turn against him only when local mayors and school boards blame him for their property tax increases. He’d have a party rebellion on his hands if he keeps half the distributive funds and follows up with a property tax freeze campaign across the state.

    These current budget and trust issues are inside baseball.


  69. - Federalist - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 6:17 pm:

    @Walker,

    You got it right!


  70. - nona - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 8:09 pm:

    Republicans have been pretty self-righteous in denouncing the phony FY 15 budget that wasn’t balanced. Now their governor proposes one that is even more out of balance, yet they suddenly have no aversion to phony budget.


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