Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » This just in… *** House Accepts Governor’s Mass Transit Veto *** Fritchey: Take the guv’s “toys” away *** House passes “trailer bill” *** No trailer bill vote in Senate *** Sen. Link demands Metra rescind rate hike *** Jones promises future trailer bill *** Senate Accepts AV ***
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This just in… *** House Accepts Governor’s Mass Transit Veto *** Fritchey: Take the guv’s “toys” away *** House passes “trailer bill” *** No trailer bill vote in Senate *** Sen. Link demands Metra rescind rate hike *** Jones promises future trailer bill *** Senate Accepts AV ***

Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 - Posted by Rich Miller

*** 12:36 pm *** After a very long House Democratic caucus, it appears that there are now enough votes to accept the governor’s amendatory veto of the mass transit bailout bill. Expect much gnashing of teeth during debate, however.

* 12:43 pm - OK, this I gotta see. From a press release…

The Northwestern University and Evanston communities are invited to attend the LEGISLATIVE LEADERS FORUM: January 23, 2008, 7:00 pm, in Ryan Auditorium, in Northwestern University’s Technological Institute, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston.

Participating will be:

EMIL JONES, President of the Illinois Senate;
FRANK WATSON, Senate Republican Leader;
MICHAEL J. MADIGAN, Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives;
TOM CROSS, House Republican Leader.

HENRY S. BIENEN, Northwestern University President, will moderate.

The four legislative leaders of the State of Illinois will meet to discuss top issues of today and the importance of civic participation, followed by written questions from the audience.

…Adding… I’m told that the contact person for this event is Andrew Madigan, son of the Speaker. A peacemaker in the family? Good for him.

*** 12:46 pm *** The House is starting now. Listen here.

*** 2:02 *** The House has accepted the governor’s amendatory veto. Slightly narrower margin. (One vote less than before.) The bill now goes to the Senate.

*** 2:05 *** The trailer bill is now being debated. SB 1409. The bill will take effect if and only if the mass transit bailout becomes law. The proposal applies the Circuit Breaker program to the free mass transit rides.

*** 2:12 *** Rep. Fritchey just said he’s drafting a Constitutional amendment to do away with the governor’s amendatory veto power. “We’re going to take his toys away from him,” the governor’s own state Rep. said.

Fritchey promsed to file his proposal by the end of the day today.

…Adding… Just in case you’re wondering…

Amendments approved by the vote of three-fifths of the members elected to each house shall be submitted to the electors at the general election next occurring at least six months after such legislative approval

I highly doubt the Senate will go along with this, to say the least.

*** 2:32 *** Just so you know what’s going on. The trailer bill being debated in the House would use Circuit Breaker eligibility to determine who gets free rides in mass transit districts, rather than give the freebies to everyone. Circuit Breaker also includes the disabled, so the freebie would be expanded as well as constricted.

Also, a Senate Democratic spokesperson said a few minutes ago that she didn’t know yet whether the trailer bill would be called in that chamber.

*** 2:42 *** The trailer bill has passed the House with 86 votes. It now goes to the Senate, where it’s fate is uncertain, as they say.

The House may have just made a bit of lemonade themselves. By expanding the eligibility for free rides to relatively low-income disabled and excluding wealthy seniors, they might’ve “found a pony in a pile of manure,” to coin a phrase. lol

…Then again, a commenter makes this point…

I can’t wait to tell my mother who makes $23k a year in retirement how lucky she is – she now is apparently “Wealthy”

*** 3:06 *** It looks like there will be no trailer bill in the Senate. No suprise about that. “We do everything the governor tells us around here,” said one Senate Democrat a few minutes ago - sarcastically, of course.

The lack of a trailer bill is causing one Senate Democrat to switch to “No.” The original bill only passed with 30 votes, but other downstaters have said they’ll vote to accept the governor’s AV.

* 3:20 pm -
Sen. Sandoval just compared the governor’s amendatory veto to Fidel Castro’s dictatorship. He also just blasted the media for focusing on the senior freebie and ignoring the tax hike.

* 3:39 pm - The Republicans are now claiming that Senate Rules don’t allow for two “co-sponsors” of a motion. The objection here is that Sen. Rickey Hendon, who is involved in a spirited primary race, was belatedly given lead sponsorship of the transit bailout bill and then allowed to co-sponsor the motion with Sen. Cullerton (who did most of the Senate work on the bill) to accept the amendatory veto.

*** 3:47 pm *** Sen. Terry Link is complaining bitterly in debate about Metra’s incredibly stupid decision to announce a ten percent rate increase before the bailout was finalized. Link said Metra ought to reconsider the increase or it could cost them in the future. “What the General Assembly giveth, the General Assembly can take away,” Link said.

*** 4:06 pm *** Senate President Emil Jones said just before the Senate began voting on the AV motion, “I want to do a trailer bill,” but said he wanted to “do it right.” Jones pointed out that several senior discounts (property taxes, Chicago car stickers, etc.) aren’t based on income. Sen. Hendon promised a few minutes later that he would work with “all of you” on the trailer legislation.

*** 4:07 pm *** The Senate just voted to accept the governor’s amendatory veto with 32 votes.. It now goes back to the governor, who must certify that the language in the legislative motion matches his AV.

* 4:13 pm - The Chicago Federation of Labor just issued a press release about today’s events. There were hearty congratulations all around, but not one mention was made of Gov. Blagojevich.

* 4:32 pm -
The governor will be speaking to reporters soon, so we’ll have tape in a while.

       

92 Comments
  1. - Ghost - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 12:46 pm:

    Yah need the wrestling announcer to come out and open it up with the cry…”Geeeeet ready to ruuuuumble!!!”


  2. - plutocrat03 - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 12:48 pm:

    And as usual , the taxpayers get it in the end…….


  3. - anon - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 12:49 pm:

    The AV ought to be accepted unanimously by both chambers, then each candidate could say he/she forced the Governor’s hand to allow free rides for seniors. That has been their plan since before Thanksgiving.


  4. - Levois - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 1:08 pm:

    Hmm I wish I could find my way to NU to see this little presentation.


  5. - Kiyoshi Martinez - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 1:15 pm:

    Legislative Leaders Forum? Hmm… looks like something worth liveblogging.


  6. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 1:16 pm:

    Did someone just get done screaming about how the downstate legislators won’t vote for anything for Chicago because they think we’re all sinners?


  7. - shermans ghost - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 1:17 pm:

    Considering the train wreck we’ve had for months,….isn’t this something of a oxymoronic title ?


  8. - Rod sez I'm pork - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 1:19 pm:

    A discussion of the importance of “civil” participation would be more amusing.


  9. - Doug Dobmeyer - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 1:19 pm:

    hmmmmmmmmm will they read from pre written statements or actually think and talk? It would be good if NU takes questions for the leaders from the public.

    Oh ok, here’s my question:

    Given the Governor has rescinded his no tax increase pledge and an income tax increase is the cheapest way of raising money for the state, will you (each of the four) support an income tax increase to address the state’s fiscal problems, including a capital bill?

    Doug Dobmeyer


  10. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 1:19 pm:

    SG, good point. lol


  11. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 1:31 pm:

    Yes, RRW, that was actually Rep. Sacia quoting a Neil Steinberg column that dissed downstate folks for their opposition to the transit bailout.


  12. - Cassandra - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 1:33 pm:

    A progressive income tax increase is the cheapest
    way of raising money for the state.

    They’ll run from that one. They’re all rich.


  13. - Johnny Boy - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 1:53 pm:

    hmmmmm - this may work as our Gov won’t be there!


  14. - FlackerBacker - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 1:54 pm:

    If I recall correctly, the Governor did the same favor for Speaker Madigan’s son at about the same time last year.


  15. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 1:54 pm:

    What a bunch of losers. They can stand up there and bloviate and demean the governor. But in the end again he has gotten his way again and they are wimps. So just vote on it, sit down and shut up.


  16. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 1:55 pm:

    Yeah. Having the guv back this year might’ve been too much to ask of Andrew’s father. lol


  17. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 1:55 pm:

    Back in the day, AA always found that evening academic events were much more tolerable if Mr. Jack Daniels or Mr. Bud Weiser came along for the event stashed in the bookbag. Just sayin’….


  18. - Ghost - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 2:14 pm:

    It look slike they erased the SID’s license plate bill to write this one in. Its sometimes interesting to see what was on the canvas that the artist painted over.


  19. - jerry 101 - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 2:16 pm:

    circuit breaker program?

    what’s that?


  20. - Ghost - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 2:16 pm:

    So the Dems, who have control, are moving to take away the AV power of a Dem governor? Oh what a twisted world in which we live.


  21. - Princeville - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 2:17 pm:

    so, this is the next chapter we were told to stayed tuned for. Goodbye toy?


  22. - the commuter once known as So Ill - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 2:18 pm:

    For that comment (and the proposed amendment), John Fritchey is my hero. Sorry I don’t live in your district, John, but if you ever run for an office I CAN vote for, you got my vote, lol.


  23. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 2:19 pm:

    Jerry, that’s why Google was invented. :)


  24. - Beyond Disgusted - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 2:23 pm:

    Good for Rep. Fritchey! Blago should get his toys taken away, because he does not play nice!


  25. - Napoleon has left the building - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 2:29 pm:

    Rep. Fritchey is on to something. Talk about bi-partisan support . . .

    Maybe take away his ability to run for a third term while you’re at it!


  26. - Greg - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 2:34 pm:

    The income tax is absolutely not the “cheapest way.” Perhaps it’s the most progressive, or cheapest for your example family, but its distorting effects make it rather expensive.


  27. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 2:38 pm:

    Removing the Governor’s amendatory veto makes sense for the Senate, in the long run.

    Anything that weakens the Executive Branch and strengthens the Legislature’s power is good for lawmakers.

    The question is, what will Mike Madigan think?

    With Lisa Madigan a potential candidate for Governor, will he want to weaken her hand?

    This cuts both ways.


  28. - Bill - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 2:42 pm:

    YESSSSSSS!
    Another victory for Governor Blagojevich and the people of Illinois. Congratulations to the Representatives who put aside their personal feelings, did the right thing, and voted for good public policy.


  29. - Princeville - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 2:44 pm:

    On the other hand YDD, would not this make it so the next governor shows up and partakes in the process rather than just scream ’send me a bill so I can improve it”


  30. - j - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 2:48 pm:

    I can’t wait to tell my mother who makes $23k a year in retirement how lucky she is – she now is apparently “Wealthy”!


  31. - Bill - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 2:52 pm:

    Gee, does anybody want to guess when the trailer bill will be called for a vote in the Senate?


  32. - the commuter once known as So Ill - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 2:52 pm:

    J, why don’t you just buy her a roll of quarters to pay for the first 4,000 dollars in merchandise affected by the sales tax hike and call it even?


  33. - Good Citizen - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 2:55 pm:

    They make take away Rod’s toys but, even Super Nanny can’t make him play nice.


  34. - BigDog - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 3:01 pm:

    “HENRY S. BIENEN, Northwestern University President, will moderate.” And probably have the urge to drink heavily later that evening.


  35. - the commuter once known as So Ill - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 3:05 pm:

    This has nothing to do with much of anything, but it just really came to my mind.

    The sales tax hike will cost us all $10 for every $4,000 of goods we purchase. That’s apparently a travesty.

    But where was the Governor when seniors in southern Illinois had their electric bills go up $10, $20, $30, $100 dollars a MONTH? They weren’t paying $4,000 a month, they were paying $100. And then that rate went up drastically, and the Governor was absolutely silent on the topic. So were many of the legislators, for what that’s worth, but he has the biggest megaphone and neglected to use it for change.

    I hope my friends in southern Illinois remember this come election time. I have a feeling some politician will try and remind them.


  36. - Ghost - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 3:05 pm:

    J, and she was pushing for free transit before this bill? So she may be losing a benefit she never had and most likely was not asking for… at least she has her wealth to fall back on.


  37. - anon - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 3:06 pm:

    Even if the Senate says ok to the AV, the Governor could still send the bill back as a vetoed bill with the claim that the GA should have included the disabled in the version returned to him, or some other excuse. Is that likely? I could not say, but it is possible. He still has 60 days to certify it.

    The House bent both the Constitution and its own rules pretty signficantly in accepting the AV as not a major change in the engrossed bill.


  38. - anon - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 3:08 pm:

    Hopefully the senate doesn’t pass the trailer bill, since Governor Giveaway would probably use his amendatory veto to let all seniors, all disabled and any other potential juror to ride for free


  39. - Jay - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 3:17 pm:

    $23k is a lot of money, just ask those single mothers working 2 jobs to provide for their child.

    Fair is fair if you’re going to give away a service people should be paying for.


  40. - j - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 3:23 pm:

    “Sen. Sandoval just compared the governor’s amendatory veto to Fidel Castro’s dictatorship.”

    So, he’s voting yes, then?


  41. - Headache - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 3:28 pm:

    What is that horrible humming noise in the background of the Senate debate over the Internet?


  42. - Macbeth - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 3:46 pm:

    Well, after reading all this, one thing’s for sure: you’re never going to find “Illinois statesman” and “Blagojevich” in the same sentence.

    You might find “divisive moron” or “unabashed grandstander” in the sentence or nearby. But “statesman” and “bridge builder” will be nowhere to be found.

    And I have no doubt that Blagojevich is proud of that. He knows that “statesman” has nothing to do with winning elections in Illinois.


  43. - North of I-80 - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 3:50 pm:

    Looks like my 4 vote change from yes-to-no is in jeopardy. Maybe after it passes, the Governor will veto it again and promise Ride Free to EVERYONE. Then our legislators will throw another hissy fit, scream, act angry but then roll over and let him have it his way again.

    Why does the Governor act the way he does? Because he can. They let him.


  44. - Bill - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 3:53 pm:

    We, in Illinois, are fortunate to be led by that courageous Illinois statesman, Rod Blagojevich, a bridge builder who works with both sides of the aisle to make our state a better place to live.


  45. - Jay - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 3:53 pm:

    Mr. Link…can we give the General Assembly away?


  46. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 3:56 pm:

    Bill, must you? lol


  47. - Bill - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 4:01 pm:

    Sorry. and now let’s go to that esteemed statesman and bridge builder Sen. Ricky Henden to “close”.


  48. - Levois - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 4:03 pm:

    What is Sen. Link talking about? What is he trying to take away? Perhaps I should ask if I should be laughing at that statement?


  49. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 4:04 pm:

    FLIPPERS!!!!

    I noticed two of the Gov’s four guys in the House flipped to YES on accepting the AV….

    Rich, any analysis of who the other flippers are?


  50. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 4:06 pm:

    and you can bet that someone will be attaching the trailer bill to every piece of legislation that comes over from the senate this year….


  51. - Bill - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 4:09 pm:

    YESSSSSSSSSSS!
    Somebody get Rod a pen!


  52. - Zak - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 4:25 pm:

    Does this mean that the circuit braker provision passed–or Blago’s free rides for all seniors?


  53. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 4:26 pm:

    As I wrote above, the trailer bill was never called in the Senate. So the bill as amended by the governor only is what is now heading to the governor’s desk.


  54. - game plan - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 4:27 pm:

    The actions of this governor demand the implemenation of a contitutional convention to institute RECALL.


  55. - Cassandra - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 4:29 pm:

    Well, that’s over, and, as usual, the middle class taxpayer takes the hit. I suppose new furniture, nice rugs, and other goodies are in order for CTA headquarters. Their win.

    Todd Stroger likely is greatly heartened and his two percent Cook County sales tax is coming right up at the end of the month.

    Now let’s see what our fearless leaders do with
    the much more serious problem of a developing recession, a huge backlog of bills, and probable shrinking revenues. In New York City, Mayor B.
    is cutting spending, not raising taxes, to deal with imminent fiscal woes pertaining to the almost-recession. But this is Illinois. The pols and their relatives and contributors have to get fed first. Gobble gobble. Munch munch.


  56. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 4:29 pm:

    Why? Because you don’t want seniors to ride free? That won’t hold up very well.


  57. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 4:30 pm:

    Cassandra, NYC has a hugely bloated payroll that it can cut. This state has a payroll that is the lowest per capita in the nation - and was so even before the mass exodus caused by Ryan’s early retirement law.


  58. - Truthful James - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 4:33 pm:

    There was a Marx brothers movie with the boys on board a ship — one of the funniest movies ever made — but it had nothing on the Illinois GA


  59. - Anon - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 4:38 pm:

    The CFL didnt thank the governor? What a shocker. Dennis Gannon has been such a supporter of the governor since being elected. Remember that the governor is more supportive of the people who earn service employee wages, not building trade wages. The CFL is one of the reasons that labor has gotten a bad name.


  60. - Bill - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 4:40 pm:

    Truthful,
    You are right about that. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. The contrived vitriol, particularly on the part of downstate reps was unbelievably amusing. Oh well all’s well that ends well.


  61. - Bill - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 4:41 pm:

    Labor does not have a bad name.


  62. - The 'Broken Heart' of Rogers Park - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 4:43 pm:

    CFL doesn’t need to thank Rod, he’ll do just fine thanking himself.


  63. - Cassandra - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 4:46 pm:

    My friends in NYC government would not agree with you. They, like civil servants across the world,
    believe they are severely understaffed. Also, I believe Illinois may use contractors more, which might explain some of the differences in payroll
    headcount numbers among states.

    I don’t care if seniors ride free or not. My point is, I (and I can’t believe everybody but me on this blog is economically way way above average) am getting hit from all sides. Tax increases here and there, inflation, gas price increases, food price increases and now an almost-recession.
    We’re too rich to qualify for the freebies but we don’t have the wealth enjoyed by so many of our leaders (and readers of this blog, apparently).
    Legislators have to come up with solution that
    doesn’t involve us paying a disproportionate part
    of the government freight.


  64. - Southern Right - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 4:47 pm:

    Bill, Enjoy your day. It’s going to be a long ,bad year for your little hero.


  65. - I want to do it right - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 4:50 pm:

    Dear Emil, don’t use that excuse for the trailer bill if you’re willing to vote on that poor excuse for an AV. There’s nothing specific about those specific recommendations for change. Moreover, nothing is done right in the Senate. Did anyone see the gaming and capital bills that came out of there?


  66. - jwscott72 - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 4:52 pm:

    I realize Bill is the Kool-Aid Drinker-in-Chief, but he is really giddy about this. Why? Is he a senior citizen about to get a free ride on the El?

    Honestly, what did you expect the legislature to do? There was no chance that they would override the AV. Not in an election year. It’s a shame that the seperation of powers were trampled all over today. Hold your noses indeed!

    I’m 100% in support of Rep. Fritchey’s amendment to strip the AV from the Governor. May I suggest an addendum sir? Take the special session power away from him as well.

    Yesterday Rich asked who in state government would make you vote for Blago. No one. I’ve always said that I’d never vote Democrat for Governor. If Rep Fritchey ran for Governor, I’d change my tune.


  67. - Garp - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 5:07 pm:

    Well if this is considered victory for Blogo, I would hate to see defeat. I mean, did anyone listen to what was said about the Governor on the house floor. It was devastating and the worst came from his own party. Lou Lang was brutal and so were many others. I know he has skin as thick as an elephants but he is going to need it.


  68. - nino - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 5:21 pm:

    what about the pope?


  69. - Truthful James - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 5:26 pm:

    Bill may be right.

    It shapes up as a great political victory, the results of which will not be seen until November.

    a. Not a great economic victory for the state. It did nothing for the huge fiscal problems and the inaction on highway issues and hospital issues for which the Feds had programmed billions to come to Illinois…if and only if the State took some fiscal appropriation action

    b. Leaders do not have to be loved by the troops. The latter may rise up and assasinate (poetically speaking) their elected Caesar. (Mike Madigan as Cassius; Emil Jones as mark Antony.) But the seeds have been laid for the election of Democrats in DuPage County GA races. The Republican machine fell for the OPM — other people’s money — argument. That will grate against them with the voters paying higher sales taxes than Cook in November.


  70. - Princeville - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 5:31 pm:

    The answer, Cassandra, is not a across the board cut in budget either. It’s not the ones you keep mentioning that take that cut. The understaffing is at the bottom, the cuts they’ll make is to needed projects and equipment to do the job. And then there’s the upper and middle management that really have no clue what it takes to do a job or how to do it, yet they pull the money strings.

    Enough off topic, I could roll for hours on this topic, but that’s a no-no.

    I wonder if while Fritchey is at it if he could get something in there about having to call bills when enough legislatures want a chance to vote on it.


  71. - Bill - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 5:34 pm:

    e tu, brute


  72. - Levois - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 5:46 pm:

    I wish I was wealthy. That way not only would I be able to waste some time here at this site but I could actually afford the newsletter as well.


  73. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 5:47 pm:

    Levois, you already waste a lot of time here… So you’re half way there! lol


  74. - Truthful James - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 5:54 pm:

    Bill –

    That would be “et tu Brute”, and in the play they are followed by “Then fall Caesar.” his last words before death with Brutus having stabbed after Cassius and Casca. Perhaps it is appropriate here — but Caesar is still alive.

    n.b. it is also the comic answer to the question “How many hot dogs did you eat, Caesar?”


  75. - DumberThanYouThink - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 6:26 pm:

    Gov gets boxed in, run over by the bus, forced to buy 3 tax hikes, and pretends like the free ride is a great trade off and sends out the bloggers to declare a “great victory” —- Guess the slogan “Dumber Than You Think” IS right on track for this crew.


  76. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 6:28 pm:

    I find myself speechless here. How much worse can it get for this state. Anyone that would celebrate
    this train wreck has more than a few screws lose.


  77. - Bill - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 6:35 pm:

    That sounds like sour grapes,Dumber.


  78. - Springfield Watcher - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 6:59 pm:

    Don’t blame me I voted for Jim and Judy


  79. - A Citizen - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 7:06 pm:

    Well, my goodness. Everyone seems to be tripping over each other to pander to the seniors. Free transit, circuit breaker, energy subsidies - how good it is! Maybe they need to develop a “cafeteria plan” for seniors to choose from. How else can the old folks keep this largesse straight and take Full advantage of the taxpayers! Does there exist a readily understood delineation of all of these giveaway programs and the associated costs? With all this stuff flowing my way I plan on voting several times, at least.


  80. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 7:11 pm:

    Johns never going to get his bill past Emil. What does it take to get a constitutional amendment to take away the Governor’s line item ?


  81. - Blue Dog - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 7:57 pm:

    So, seniors have no free ride after all. Their meds go up with the sales tax to cover the free bus ride. Nice deal. Then, if they go to another area in the state and don’t have that transportation ID card, they pay for the ride. So, no free ride. Priceless.


  82. - Lee Corso says: - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 8:00 pm:

    I was in the committee when the metro folks were asked about the fare increase, first by link and martinez and then by radogno. They stated absolutely that there was a pending fare increase that would occur but that they saw no reason for any other increases for the forseeable future. They talked about it for several minutes. Link’s tirade means he either wasn’t listening or is providing himself with political cover. Unfortunately, the Senate does not record committee hearings, but I’ll bet there is a media recording somewhere….


  83. - pc - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 8:17 pm:

    @Blue dog, as has been pointed out many times before, you’d have to spend $800 on medication to pay enough in “raised” sales tax to offset a single $2 bus ride. Really, this is a GREAT deal for seniors.

    @Cassandra, maybe you didn’t notice that Spitzer and Bloomberg have promised an additional $600 MILLION a year to NYC MTA? And that congestion pricing passed? The auditor general’s report (which I know I’ve mentioned here many times) did not find the RTA/CTA waste that you and others keep harping on. So, where is it?


  84. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 8:41 pm:

    There are no state sales taxes on medication.


  85. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 8:43 pm:

    Also, the ageism here is a bit much. Tone it down, please.


  86. - Don't say my name Tony - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 9:09 pm:

    I can think of two toys that should be taken away from Blago - his airplane and Emil.

    Hendon. What good is he. All he does is blow more hot air than a frat house after a beer and beans marathon.


  87. - ZC - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 9:18 pm:

    Does that mean it’s over? Please, God? at least for a little while?


  88. - muon - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 9:29 pm:

    The state does not levy its 5% tax on medication, but the RTA tax already does apply. The increase will apply to medication and food as it will to other items. Page 167 of HB 656 explicitly sets it for food and medicine in Cook, and no exemption is given for these items for the collar counties.


  89. Pingback WurfWhile » Blog Archive » Illinois General Assembly Passes Transit Funding - DuPage And Collar Counties Get Extra Sales Tax - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 11:13 pm:

    […] Both the Illinois House and Senate passed the half-billion dollar state transit funding bill today averting a mass transit crisis by days. The bill of necessity included Governor Rod Blagojevich’s last minute amendatory veto demand that seniors 65 and older ride mass transit free. As reported in Capitol Fax, the General Assembly is considering a trailer bill which passed the State House and may be considered in some form in the State Senate. The trailer bill would likely change the free senior rides to something more income and/or disability based. […]


  90. - Mike Rowe - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 11:27 pm:

    I hear there’s a job opening for a Blagojevich spokesman, do you think I could use it as an episode of my cable show?


  91. - Gregor - Thursday, Jan 17, 08 @ 11:29 pm:

    After looking up compromise in the dictionary, “winner” Blagojevich needs to look up “Pyrrhic victory”.


  92. - Bookworm - Friday, Jan 18, 08 @ 9:03 am:

    A question for PC and others: if the official auditor general’s report on the CTA didn’t find evidence of the waste Cassandra and others complain about… assuming that is true, then why is there such a perception of massive waste, fraud, etc.? Is it just a matter of faith that anything run by the government (especially in Chicago or Illinois) must by definition be crooked and wasteful, or is there other evidence?


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