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Topinka plan round-up - UPDATED x3

Thursday, Aug 24, 2006

This is the sort of thing that I like most about Topinka.

“Is it great? Probably not. Is it the very best in the world? Probably not,” Topinka said, describing her plan to the Sun-Times editorial board. “But it does the job. It’s practical.”

And this is the sort of thing that I like least about Gov. Blagojevich:

The Blagojevich campaign also immediately pointed out via an online ad that Topinka was flip-flopping on gambling, citing her previous comments that relying on more gambling to balance the state budget was a bad path to take.

Blagojevich himself has flip-flopped on his own 2002 promise not to expand gambling, at various times proposing expansion of existing casinos and adding keno, ideas which have gone nowhere.

Sen. Link makes a good point:

The plan does not contain new casinos, which allows Topinka to claim she’s not expanding gambling. But that absence also makes it tough to get the idea through the Senate.

“Why should the people in the South suburban area and Waukegan be written out of this?” said state Sen. Terry Link, a Waukegan Democrat.

And the Tribune editorial board lays down the gauntlet.

The initial response Wednesday from Team Blagojevich wasn’t encouraging. The governor’s campaign sharpshooters immediately issued pages of rhetoric intended to discredit this or that line item of Topinka’s four-year financial plan for resolving Illinois’ bleak plight.

The Blagojevich response was a classic exhibition of a terrible political instinct. Governor, the hope here is that you’ll engage the Topinka plan for what it is, a rescue proposal, rather than attacking its line items in so-many talking points.

Voters will decide whether they like her proposals, for example, to expand gambling and better manage Medicaid dollars. Topinka and Blagojevich can disagree on those and dozens of other specifics. That’s the debate voters deserve.

On Wednesday, Topinka in effect declared that this campaign should be about the two candidates’ competing, long-range visions for confronting financial obligations that threaten to bury this state. Governor, it’s your turn.

UPDATE: Something I forgot to mention today was that Sen. Steve Rauschenberger is handling the detailed budget questions for the Topinka campaign, which may seem a little odd considering Rauschenberger’s harsh comments about Topinka last year.

I just talked to Steve and he has agreed to write a detailed response to Budget Director John Filan’s claim that the JBT proposal would produce a $5.7 billion annual deficit. Hopefully, I’ll be able to post it tomorrow morning. Director Filan will, of course, be offered the opportunity to respond. The resulting back and forth may bore some of you, but the idea is to move beyond the pimpy little digs and get to the heart of the matter.

UPDATE 2: Bill Brady backs the plan had some not unkind words.

State Sen. Bill Brady, a conservative GOP member who ran against the moderate Topinka in the March primary, said he’s pleased that the proposal doesn’t raise taxes.

The Bloomington businessman conceded that “there are a number of conservatives concerned about Illinois becoming over-reliant on gambling,” but he said it was doubtful they’d vote for Blagojevich in the Nov. 7 election.

UPDATE 3: Missed this one.

Reaction among lawmakers who will have to vote for it if Topinka beats Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich in November was tepid.

“I have traditionally voted against expansion of gambling in the past,” said state Sen. Dave Luechtefeld, an Okawville Republican.

“I probably wouldn’t vote for it,” added state Sen. John Jones, R-Mount Vernon.

State Rep. Bob Pritchard, R-Hinckley, said he’d study the proposal, but, he said, “I’m not excited about the expansion of gambling.” […]

State Sen. Dan Rutherford, R-Chenoa, who is now running for secretary of state on the same ticket as Topinka, said in 2005 that gambling is “an inappropriate way to feed the jabberwocky of a hungry government.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 9:46 am:

    The new John Kerry: I was against turning Illinois into Las Vegas, before I was for it.

    Who cares if there’s a license sitting out there? OF COURSE this would be an expansion of gambling.

    The pigs in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” had nothing on Topinka.

  2. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 9:51 am:

    Um, anon?

    ====March 31, 2005 - Governor Blagojevich is betting on gambling revenues to help fund education in Illinois. It’s a plan the governor says will pump $300 million into the state’s schools.

    The governor is finally dropping his long-standing opposition to more gambling in Illinois — but in a very specific way. He is willing to accept a lot more slot machines, roulette tables and card games in the existing riverboats, but not a single new casino in Chicago or anywhere else. ====

    And then there’s this:

    ===Blagojevich also said that allowing video poker and increasing the number of slot machines at casinos or adding them to horse tracks would not necessarily be an expansion of gambling.===

  3. - Gus Frerotte's Clipboard - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 10:04 am:

    Topinka not only stole the title of Governor Blagojevich’s education plan from two years ago, she also stole his flip-flop on gambling (right down to claiming that expanding slots at existing casinos isn’t an expansion) that was a part of that same plan. Certainly gives some credence to the Green Party advocates on this board arguing that there’s no real difference between the two major parties.

    Much of John Filan’s critique got the expected dismissal on this site, but nobody really responded to the numbers he put out there. Maybe in the first news cycle that’s too much to ask, but I’d really love to see somebody in the media sit down with her numbers, and Filan’s critique of her numbers, and synthesize them into a non-partisan assessment of how likely it is that Topinka’s numbers add up (assuming her plan passed). There’s clearly a huge gap here between the sides, and I would think most people who aren’t rabidly partisan already wouldn’t be inclined to believe either side — they’d want some comparatively independent analysis. Is anyone doing that, or are we going to have to figure it out solely from campaign ads?

  4. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 10:05 am:

    So what? Topinka gets a pass on flip-flops because Blago did it? That doesn’t even make sense.

    I believe I said Topinka was the NEW John Kerry.

  5. - sam - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 10:06 am:

    I said it yesterday - she has made her whole plan about a casino. She will live or die by people’s emotive perceptions of gambling, as opposed to their rational views on her spending/budget cuts.

    WHY!?! It wasn’t even necessary to do that. The casino will only offset 1/10th of her proposed budget. Why tie it all to such a small piece of the pie?!

  6. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 10:06 am:

    And this:

    ===Specifically, he won’t say whether eliminating caps on gaming positions at casinos would constitute this. “That’s open to interpretation; some people might say that it is, some people might say it’s not,” he says.===

    Maybe Topinka is the new Blagojevich, Anon.

  7. - Truthful James - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 10:07 am:

    One can fault her only in that she did not preface her plan by saying:

    “…I have reviewed all the fiscal options which had not yet been foreclosed by the ballooning Blago and Filan game playing with our future. I view it necesaary to retain our money earning assets — the lottery and the toll roads. I believe that putting our chilkdren and grandchildren in debt to pay off political favors and create a temporary balance is not an option — that only postpones the day of reckoning.

    “Gambling does exist close by. Illinois residents are travelling to the Indiana lakeshore to spend their money there. It makes eminent sense to retain those funds within our State. It nakes additional sense to site a facility at that location at which the highest level of revenues can be earned from out of State visitors — thus, Chicago.

    “I did not create the record deficits with which the Governor and his compliant legislature have burdened us. But for damn sure I am going to resolve that problem. It is my first priority.

    “When former governor Jim Thompson ran for the first time, his predecessor, Dan Walker, had left the cupboard bare. It took four years of fiscal responsibility to solve that problem.

    “I expect progress to be slow but steady. There are no miracles. But first, you need to elect a Governor whom you can trust — to put away the smoke and mirrors. And we need a General Assembly who can clearly see what the problem has grown to be and will work with me to solve it — to make the State of Illinois work for all of us.”

  8. - sam - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 10:10 am:

    Should have proofread - The casino will only provide about 1/10th of the new revenue she needs to balance her budget.
    Again - Why tie her whole plan to such a small piece of the pie?!

  9. - Wumpus - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 10:17 am:

    Better yet, Blago is the new John Kerry and JBT is the new Blago…minus being public official A.

  10. - HANKSTER - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 10:19 am:

    Who cares about the flip-flop, anyone who has been in politics for anytime can be accused of that.

    What people should be caring about is that her budget puts a lot of emphasis on a casino that might not be doable and recieving federal block grants for medicaid which have been shot down by the federal government ever since Reagan tried to pass them. There are plenty of major things in her proposal that rely on things happening that are less than likely to happen.

    That is what people should be concerned about, not who flip flopped.

  11. - Bass Man - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 10:27 am:

    Well, aside from a few partisan comments, the good thing is that folks are focusing in on numbers and how to solve the math problems. Now, I would challenge the same to focus on either of the three candidates, inclusive of seeing if there is green in the Greens, to see if we can reach consensus on who’s math is fuzziest…

  12. - DOWNSTATE - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 10:32 am:

    A lot of things Blago said has never happened,been a absolute failure or just a bunch of meaningless headlines.Time to give someone else a try.

  13. - 3rd Ward - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 10:47 am:

    I am an African American, who lives in Chicago and I usually vote Democrat.
    This is great politics for JBT. A lot of influential Chicago politicians, ie. Sen. Emil Jones and Mayor Daley would be inclined to at least look the other way while the Republican candidate picks up some momentum in Cook County promoting one of their pet projects.
    JBT has been working hard to sure up her support down State. She only needs to siphon off a portion of Chicago from an extremelly unpopular Blago.
    People will start to pay attention to the upcoming election after the holiday, JBT’s plan will be the main topic of conversation.
    Oh and I am sure their is some campaign cash to be gained from the affluent casino industry.

  14. - Rich Whitney - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 10:54 am:

    You know, I have generally refrained from posting to this list myself but in this instance, I can’t resist, in light of the tenor of the discussion. Here is an excerpt from a press release out today, written in the first person. For the complete text, see my website at

    With the release of Judy Baar Topinka’s Budget Plan today, it now looks like I am the only candidate in the Governor’s race who opposes gambling. I have always opposed legalized gambling as a matter of principle. I thought Judy Baar Topinka did as well. But now she herself is gambling that her dramatic shift in position will help her get elected.

    It shouldn’t. Not only is her budget plan a bad idea because it relies on gambling to fund our schools. Her budget projections also rely on an awful lot of guesswork, unsubstantiated projections and generalities (e.g., eliminating $400 million in unidentified “pork”) on the revenue side, while making some grandiose promises on the spending side (e.g., “Record Education Funding and School Construction.”) In this regard, she very closely resembles her Democratic opponent.

    Last January, I criticized Governor Rod Blagojevich for his ill-conceived proposal to finance school construction by bringing Keno to Illinois – breaking his promise not to expand gambling in the State. Now Judy Baar Topinka is following suit. Just like Blagojevich, she is claiming, “No tax increases” – and just like Blagojevich, she is instead looking to meet the budget deficit by getting into the back pockets of working taxpayers in other ways.

    The fact is, gambling is a hidden tax on the poor. It preys on the poor by taking advantage of the desperate and the ignorant, who often fail to recognize that “the house always wins.” Those who can least afford it – people with household incomes under $10,000 – bet nearly three times as much on lotteries as those with incomes over $50,000, according to a recent report from the National Gambling Impact Study Commission. The rates are undoubtedly similar for casino gambling.

    When Judy Baar Topinka assesses the benefits of state-sanctioned gambling, is she also taking into account the economic and social costs of higher suicide and divorce rates, more bankruptcies and homelessness, more broken homes, more abuse and neglect cases? Do any of the advocates of gambling ever consider that if working people hung on to more of their disposable income and expended it on real goods and services instead of giving it away to casino owners, there would be a positive, healthier economic impact?

    Our State government needs to be placed on a sound fiscal footing, by enacting badly needed tax reforms to raise new revenue, while at the same time making our tax system more fair to lower- and middle-income taxpayers. And I am the only candidate in this race who is being up-front in pledging to do just that. No more gimmicks. No more hidden costs and fees. No more placing the burden of unpaid pensions on future taxpayers.

    I am campaigning explicitly for House Bill 750. . . .

  15. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 10:59 am:

    Rich, if Topinka was the new Blagojevich she would be winning instead of getting trounced in every poll.

  16. - North of I-80 - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 10:59 am:

    Link to IL ranking of all US states ala taxes [local and federal] 1970 to 2006. Interesting trends:

  17. - Squideshi - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 11:03 am:

    Let’s compare the candidates on gambling expansion:

    Rod Blagojevich (D) - Supports
    Judy Baar Topinka (R) - Supports
    Rich Whitney (G) - Opposes

    Now what was someone saying about The Real Difference?

  18. - Cassandra - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 11:34 am:


    House Bill 750 is a plan to take money out of the Chicago suburbs and the collars and give it to Chicago and Downstate. Chicago is a wealthy city and can afford to pay for its own schools.
    Downstaters don’t tax themselves much for schools and wait for the state to bail them out.

    Under 750 many suburbanites will see a net tax increase and a reduction in state funds for education for their communities. They will eventually be forced to raise property taxes to make up for the reduction. While we might see a temporary drop in our property taxes, in a couple of years, the property taxes will be back up with the income tax added on.

    When 750 came up before, I believe the Trib did an analysis and predicted huge tax increases for suburbanites and for some parts of Chicago as well. I can’t find the article, but it was done within the last couple of years and is likely pretty applicable today.

    750 is a raid on suburban pocketbooks for the benefit of Chicago (mismanagement, corruption)
    and Donwstate (too cheap to raise taxes) schools.

    Also, under Blago, we know that much of that money garnered through a raise income tax will not go to the schools. It will go to corrupt contractors, overpaid state bureaucrats, and for legislative pork–all firmly imbedded in Illinois’ governing processes and unlikely to change no matter who the governor is.

  19. - Lovie's Leather - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 11:35 am:

    Ah, Squideshi, more of “the real difference” crap! Do you find it funny that it makes me defend Democrats?! Just looking at “the real difference,” I can tell you right now that the Green Party is genereally against economic freedom and prosperity, against just-war, and anti-human rights. Congrats, comrade.

  20. - Pat Hickey - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 11:45 am:

    JBT pulled down Blago’s britches in fron of the whole school. Rather than pull them up like a man, he walks around telling everyone that Judy yanked his Farrah’s to his Red Goose loafers.

    JBT’s got him on the ropes and can keep him there.

    It’s twelve rounds to November. Keep the damn Casino on the Lakefront and out of the neighborhoods. Just what neighborhoods need more “I GET TREATED BETTTER” Pay Day Laon BillBoards. And No Goose Guts in the Casino Kitchens! Itll scare off the bridge jumpers. There. I feel better.

  21. - Scott Fawell's Cellmate - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 11:51 am:

    Someone please make sure Pat Hickey is taking ALL his meds, because that last entry read like some sort of medicated political haiku.

    “Topinka. Britches. Harrah’s. Loafers. Ropes. Lakefront. Pay day laon. Bridge jumpers. There. I feel better.”

  22. - Huh? - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 12:14 pm:

    The Topikna Express just drove down the main drag in Ottawa.

  23. - Pat Hickey - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 12:15 pm:

    Sorry, Busy, Mult-tasking, Haitian Blue, How’s the Joint?

  24. - just watching - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 12:18 pm:

    Mr. Whitney, I will take a pass on your idea to begin placing a nice large tax on services that I can not do with out, thank you.

  25. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 12:39 pm:

    Residential property tax rates are much higher in much of downstate than they are in Chicago.

  26. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 1:02 pm:

    I don’t know that Brady backs the plan. This was in today’s “Herald & Review”:

    State Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, who challenged Topinka for the GOP nomination in March, gave Topinka credit for outlining a way to pay for her programs.

    However, he said, “I am concerned about an expansion of gambling. I’ve never supported it.”

  27. - Buck Flagojevich - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 1:05 pm:

    Better to have money coming into or staying in the state per JBT’s plan. Our current governor seems to believe that Press Releases and credit cards are the way to govern. What a Putz.

  28. - Dem Voting R - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 1:26 pm:

    The Trib has it right (they don’t always!). This is a serious proposal to get this state out of the red, and a responsible, measured proposal at that. What will Filan offer other than more borrowing?

  29. - Sound Reasoning - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 1:35 pm:

    Thankfully at least one of the campaigns for Governor is coming up with plans and numbers to address some of the problems the current administration has placed upon the state.

    Maybe what is needed is for an independent third party to examine the numbers to see how they all pan out. What we don’t need is for Filan to throw out some numbers to try and discredit Topinka’s plan and expect us to believe them. Remember Filan is the budget man that can’t perform simple math. Filan’s the one that gave us 200 million plus 400 million equals 800 million when he was calculating how much money the Blago administration was going to give to education because he double counted the first years contribution. Even when Blago and Filan were called to task on this obvious error in accounting they went on to defend this method which no auditor would ever approve.

  30. - Squideshi - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 2:43 pm:

    I believe that as many as 95% of Illinois taxpayers will pay the same or less than they are now, with the passage of House Bill 750. 95% is a large majority any way you look at it.

  31. - zatoichi - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 2:56 pm:

    Groups get upset because a plan wants to cut funds, or because funds come from gambling (but don’t raise taxes), or someone changed their opinion (how dare they), or there is not enough growth, or there are new programs(with no known funding source), or the numbers do not seem to add up(even as the current numbers do not look good). Please show a plan that will meet the obligations, within the amount of money available without borrowing/credit card and raising taxes, and have room for growth. Pretty hard to do and satisfy everyone. The groups all want to show how incompetent the other is by nitpicking to death. If you do not like it get a better plan and throw it our there and you take the heat.

  32. - Gus Frerotte's Clipboard - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 3:11 pm:

    Squideshi, you are totally wrong. A lot of businesses will end up saving money, but most middle class taxpayers will get creamed on this bill. The Tribune figured that out, and that’s why it died. Even most of the bill’s supporters now acknowledge that overall, it’s a tax increase, and it’s exactly the tax increase Cassandra thinks it is — north Cook, DuPage, and much of the rest of the collars get creamed on taxes, with no real increases for their schools, so that other locations can come out ahead. The only part of the state that absolutely wins under HB 750 is south Cook; even a lot of downstate communities don’t do very well. And Chicago residential taxpayers do very badly.

  33. - Truthful James - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 3:36 pm:

    The saddest part is that the 750 swindle was not exchange. The A+ Illinois peopel and “Honest Ralph” (would you buy a used budget from this guy?) Martire admitted it but only after a great deal of prodding and the former not in public. It was designed to give Blago instant budget relief — as if the Bush tax cuts were not enough. I did the numbers. As Carl Sagan might have said, I found new billions and billons of (dollars) floating in the sky. Let’s get Sirius.

    Have danny boy tell you about 30 Billion in uncollected tax revenues receivable. Blago is sliding down the razor blade of life.

  34. - Reddbyrd - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 3:50 pm:

    This is all too zany
    We are still waiting for comments from the two other bus buddies on the NosenseExpress — Pankau and Rodgno. Is is “Chicks For Chips” or “Gal Pals Snub Slots”?

    Meanwhile Dr.Green comes out for letting the biz boys off the hook on funding education with the 750 shuffle. Color him gone.

  35. - Buck Flagojevich - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 4:46 pm:


    I will color Mr. Green “gone” after he helps getting your idol knocked out of office.

  36. - Shallow Pharnyx - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 5:53 pm:

    I’ve been saying it all along Rauschenberger would make a great budget director. I am very happy to see the Repubs getting it together. Rauschenberger knows his numbers. I can’t wait for a Rauschenberger/Filan tit-for-a-tat.

  37. - Information request - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 6:07 pm:

    Anyone have the Chicago Tribune Article breaking down HB 750 available online? Much appreciated!

  38. - Shallow Pharnyx - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 6:24 pm:

    You should be able to get it off the state’s website. Just go to legislative and then bills. Read it if you like but if Cassandra is against it, it has to be a good bill.

  39. - Justice - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 7:07 pm:

    I like a lot about JBT’s plan and I especially like gambling. Well, we did gamble on Bolgo and lost….On second thought I’m not sure I like gambling. Oh, wait, can I change my mind. Yep, I can and I did, I like gambling, I just don’t like Blogo. Overall a great plan JBT!!

  40. - taxmandan - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 7:12 pm:


    What’s the real difference between these parties?

    “The task, the aim of socialism, as we see it, is to convert the land and the industrial enterprises into the property of the Soviet Republic. The peasant receives land on condition that he works it properly.” V.I Lenin Soviet Communist Party March 4, 1918

    “Socialist revolution aims at liberating the productive forces. The changeover from individual to socialist, collective ownership in agriculture and handicrafts and from capitalist to socialist ownership in private industry and commerce is bound to bring about a tremendous liberation of the productive forces. Thus, the social conditions are being created for a tremendous expansion of industrial and agricultural production.” Mao Tse Tung-Chinese Communist Party January 25,1956

    “When corporations do behave irresponsibly by shutting down and/or relocating production facilities, local governments should be authorized to use the power of eminent domain to take control over those facilities and turn them over, either to their workers, organized as a cooperative, or to homegrown small businesses.” Rich Whitney Green Party

  41. - muletown - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 9:13 pm:

    Judy Barr Topinka’s plan has merit. I don’t see a 10th casino being viable but it plays well in north of I 80 where the votes are. A lot of people who are looking for another reason to vote against the current administration. This is it!!! Somebody explain “jabberwocky of a hungry government to Jesse White so he can chime in also.

  42. - Pink Tomato - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 10:09 pm:

    Like it or not, Judy has presented a plan. It includes Property Tax Relief, something Blago hasn’t even thought about. I think she caught him off guard on that.

    Anyway, now she can get back to bashing him on corruption issues.

  43. - WWDMD - Thursday, Aug 24, 06 @ 11:39 pm:

    downstaters do’nt pay asmuch taxes and “wait” for the state to bail them out??? Hunnnn???
    750 is designed to level up and to decrease the disparity in educational funding to at least meet EFAB’s recommendation. weather you agree with the over reliance of property tax to fund education or not, the JBT plan depends of gaming…period. Is this a better way to “fund our schools”?

  44. - WWDMD - Friday, Aug 25, 06 @ 12:31 am:


  45. - steve schnorf - Friday, Aug 25, 06 @ 12:47 am:

    I believe that beyond a doubt the best thing for Illinois to do is increase the income tax, broaden the sales tax, reduce the schools’ dependence on property tax by increasing the state share of funding, increase funding to schools spending at the lower end of the scale per pupil without tearing down the taxpayer sanctioned spending at the higher end of the scale, and provide mechanisms to prevent the new higher total tax burden from harshly affecting middle and lower income families, thru methods such as EITC.

    750 would do all that. However, both the Governor and JBT oppose raising the income or sales tax, so it doesn’t look like it will happen in the next four years. So, how do we pay?

    In elections we never get to choose between absolute good and absolute evil; we only get to choose between competing less than perfect people and ideas.

    To me that’s the key here, not which plan is perfect, but which plan is better. I think we’ll have an interesting debate here in Illinois on this one.

  46. - Criminal Enterprise Called Illinois - Friday, Aug 25, 06 @ 2:02 am:

    Dan - “jabberwocky”? And I thought Vice President Spiro Agnew had lost it with his “nattering nabobs of negativity” statement in the 1970s. Do politicians use a different dictionary than the rest of us or what!

  47. - Bill - Friday, Aug 25, 06 @ 7:35 am:

    Why is Pat Hickey always talking about pulling down sombody’s pants?

  48. - Truthful James - Friday, Aug 25, 06 @ 8:44 am:

    1. The EFAB is a single purpose entity designed to ratify the desires of the Teachers for more money and provide cover for the ISBE. All they do is hire a third party to run regression studies designed to show how many additional dollars it will require to ake every student above average. The regression people have bever come up with other than a large incrwase to the Foundation level — why should they? But increasing the Foundation level never works. Look at the school output. Has there been any increase in output — in Education Value for the huge increase in costs? The answer is a resounding no, amplified by the ISBE playiung games with lowering certification passing grades, dumbing down the standardized tests and norming up the results. The teachers and the administratiors used the additional money to increase their final years’ salaries by up to 20% to increase the pension. How does that increase Education Quality?

    2. Look at San Francisco and other places. Quality is being increased by Competitive Choice.

  49. - Cassandra - Friday, Aug 25, 06 @ 8:57 am:

    As Diane Rado of the Trib pointed out in her May, 2005 article, as a whole, Downstate communities as a group typically devote a smaller proportion of their property taxes to school funding than Chicago-area communities and they also typically receive more state aid for their schools.

    Their overall residential property taxes may be higher, but apparently they typically don’t assign nearly as much of those taxes to schools.

    And the current system in effect rewards this by giving them more state aid.

    As Rado points out, however, under HB 750, even
    many Downstaters would see a significant increase in their total tax burden.

  50. - Truthful James - Friday, Aug 25, 06 @ 12:54 pm:

    Steve S.

    I know it must have slipped your memory, but the original Martire Winkel proposal was a tax SWAP. To my bizarre and bazaar mind that menas a trade of equal value. Ralphie pulled the shee fur over a lot of people’s eyes, until his numbers — which we originally characterized as sloppy proved to be a huge tax increase on business among other things. Ralphie knew exactly what he was doing. Winkel ducked and retired. It was designed to benefit the state wastage. The cunukative total pork increase was larger than the value of all Illinois hog farms, for sure.

  51. - steve schnorf - Friday, Aug 25, 06 @ 1:45 pm:

    James, that’s revisionist history.

  52. - steve schnorf - Friday, Aug 25, 06 @ 1:51 pm:

    And, James, business in general would see their total tax burden reduced significantly if Martire’s proposal was enacted in law. The Chamber and IRMA people I’ve talked to understand that completely. Their fear is that knowing our government, they would get sold out on proerty tax relief.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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