Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » 2006 » August
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - McKeon Replacement Named; Target News Feed (use all CAPS in password - use YESTERDAY’S password)

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Question of the day

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006

Are you planning to work on any campaigns this fall? If so, which one(s) and what will you be doing?

- Posted by Rich Miller   76 Comments      


Budget debate - Rauschenberger responds to Filan

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006

Within hours of Judy Baar Topinka releasing her budget plan last week, Gov. Blagojevich’s budget director, John Filan, was claiming that Topinka’s proposal would produce $5.7 billion annual deficits.

So, I offered Topinka’s budget point person, Sen. Steve Rauschenberger, an opportunity to respond to Filan’s claims. This is Rauschenberger’s full response. All emphasis is in the original. Topinka’s original proposal is here, and Filan’s response is here. Both are pdf files.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to John Filan’s release on Judy Baar Topinka’s Financial plan.

Let’s look at the numbers one at a time.

Under proposed new spending.

Education $2.05 billion. It appears Filan has taken Topinka’s cumulative increase of $8.2 billion and divided by four years. For complicated reasons, that method doesn’t accurately represent the average increased spending per year. In addition, our 8.2 billion figure included teacher pensions, which he appears to double count below.

School Construction Debt Service $270 million. This appears to be an attempt to assign a debt service figure to Judy’s $3 billion school construction plan. This would be close to the level where debt service tops out, so they have picked the highest year to place in his table. I believe this figure is a shade high, but in the neighborhood. If this represents a “top-out” debt service figure, it would be applicable to perhaps FY12 or FY13 when the six year program is in full swing.

Funding Pension System at 1995 Plan $627 million. This might be John Filan’s estimate of the FY08 increase in pension payments. If that is the assumption, then he is close for an All Funds (including Federally Funded, University Income Funded, etc. employees) figure. Judy’s financial plan is a GRF plan, and the first year GRF increase is closer to $520 million.

Rehiring State Employees $150 million. Judy’s plan calls for rehiring 400 prison guards over 4 years. The funding for that initiative tops out at $16 million in FY11 if you assume $40,000.00 per guard per year. Filan’s figure would represent $375,000.00 per guard per year.

Pay Raises for Merit Comp Employees $33 million. Judy’s plan is silent on this issue (maybe John is feeling guilty and suggesting it), but she does believe pay raises for merit comp employees are important, if affordable.

Energy Plan $60 million. No one I know has any idea where this figure comes from.

Higher Education $100 million. This represents the incremental increase in higher education funding in the first year, FY08.

Local Property Tax Reimbursement $1.2 Billion. This is the total that will be spent on property tax relief in FY09.

John Filan appears to add these cherry-picked numbers from different fiscal years, and adds them up to call them “New Spending”.

Under Budget Cuts he lists only:

Cutting Healthcare to “Kids and Seniors” ($725 million). He appears to have taken the $2.9 billion four year cumulative spending difference between Topinka’s Medicaid plan and Blagojevich’s Medicaid plan, and divided by four. Unfortunately, Medicaid math does not work this way and this number is useless.

Filan fails to acknowledge the other budget savings proposed by Topinka’s financial plan including the elimination of pork spending and clout contracts and politically connected jobs.

Under New Revenue Filan lists:

Chicago Casino ($850 one-time, $250 annual per year starting in Year 2). Perhaps $850 million one-time is a reasonable estimate of the auction value of a 3000 position Chicago license… but in Judy’s financial plan they used a conservative estimate of $650 million. For the record Judy’s plan DOES NOT budget one-time revenues for the operating budget. She specifically reserves this resource for one-time spending needs, therefore the number should not even be on Filan’s chart.

As to operating revenue, John Filan is apparently assuming that a 3000 position casino in the heart of Chicago will yield $250 million in gaming taxes. According to the estimate by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, the 1200 position riverboat in Elgin will generate almost $200 million this year. The financial plan’s estimate of $600 million per year is much closer to Mayor Daley’s own estimate of three years ago.

Additional positions at existing casinos $350 million. Filan’s own revenue estimates assume the 9 operating riverboat licenses will bring in $700 million this year. He seems to be arguing that allowing existing riverboats to expand up to 150% of there gaming positions (from 1200 to 3000) will yeild a revenue increase of just 50%… he is way to low.

Filan’s rebutal fails to acknowledge the new Federal revenue that would be realized by the implementation of the Medicaid Block Grant.

Under lost revenue as defined in Filan’s response.

Economic Development Plan (from Tax Credits) $1.5 Billion. No one I know (except perhaps John Filan) has any idea where this number comes from or what it ties to.

Restore Corporate Fees/Eliminate Chargebacks $408 million. Judy’s plan calls for the elimination of fund sweeps, but does not call for the elimination of Chargebacks. I do not know where he gets this number from.

Re-Open Corporate Loopholes $30 million. Topinka, I am sure would argue the characterization, but the number is close.

Lost Federal Revenue from Medicaid Cuts $775 million. Under Topinka’s financial plan, Medicaid is converted to a block grant. You cannot lose federal match under a block grant because the federal contribution is fixed and NOT subject to matching.

For fun, let’s assume that Filan missed the whole point on Judy’s Medicaid reform, how does he forecast a loss of $775 million in federal aid when he earlier asserted this same plan called for a $725 reduction in Medicaid spending?? If his number is right on the spending reduction of $725 million, the federal aid loss is 50% or $362.5 million; if his number on loss of federal aid is right at $775 million, the program spending must be reduced by $1.550 BILLION.

I realize John Filan was taking a vacation day when he worked up this response to Treasurer Topinka’s four year financial plan. I do not fault him for not completely understanding a rather complex series of financial documents developed over more than 10 weeks at first glance. I do believe he has a responsibility as both the Budget Director and as a Licensed Accountant to make every effort NOT to mislead people regardless of how rushed he is.

The response he has issued mixes permanent and one-time revenues, uses numbers from different fiscal years as if they can simply be summed. His response doesn’t document where any of his numbers come from. In short, I believe this response was designed to confuse the issues, not debate them. That is wrong for the Budget Director to do, wrong for an accountant to do. Using the cover of one’s official office to mislead the public and the press is wrong.

- State Senator Steve Rauschenberger

Director Filan’s office was e-mailed a copy of Rauschenberger’s statement yesterday afternoon and will be allowed an opportunity to respond here as early as tomorrow. I reserve the right to allow further responses.

- Posted by Rich Miller   49 Comments      


Immigrant boom in suburbs

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006

These are amazing numbers.

The number of foreign-born U.S. citizens jumped by nearly 38 percent in the suburbs over the last five years — leaping almost 50 percent in DuPage County alone and doubling in Will and Grundy counties, according to an analysis of Census information by a pro-immigrant group.

Calling it “a fundamental sea change of where immigrant citizens are living,” the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights argues the changes have far-reaching political ramifications. […]

Most important politically is the rise in the number of immigrants who have become U.S. citizens, making them eligible to vote. In the last five years the number of naturalized citizens in Illinois rose 23.1 percent, to 736,161.

But the real growth has been in the suburbs.

While Chicago only experienced a 4 percent increase in naturalized citizens of voting age during the period, the suburbs saw a boom of 37.5 percent.

The 48.2 percent rise in DuPage County means that 14.4 percent of its voting age population are naturalized citizens. In Will and Grundy counties, the number of adult naturalized citizens doubled, making them 6.3 percent of the total voting age population.

Read the full report here, and read the full press release here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   8 Comments      


Ace in the hole

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006

As I’ve said before, the governor desperately needs to win the Civil Service Commission case against Dawn DeFraties so he can claim that he’s been vindicated of allegations of patronage abuse and pin the whole blame on the whistleblower. Apparently, the guv had an ace in the hole.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed his children’s baby sitter to a $21,507-a-year post on a panel that resolves state hiring disputes. […]

As a member of the Illinois Civil Service Commission, Bukraba soon could be asked to rule in a key case centering on accusations of political clout being used to fix hiring for state jobs.

Given the close relationship between Bukraba and the Blagojevich family, government watchdog groups question whether she might have a natural bias in favor of the Blagojevich administration.

“If I were appearing in front of the commission, yeah, I’d be concerned about her being on that panel deciding my fate,” said Jay Stewart, executive director of the Better Government Association. “(Bukraba) is not a stranger to the governor, some Democrat who had relevant experience, as those appointments are typically made.”

I think I read about this first in a comment posted here several days ago. I kinda sped by it and, stupid me, didn’t follow up.

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      


Divide and conquer

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006

This leak…

Dorothy Brown, the clerk of the Cook County Circuit Court, intends to announce plans to run for mayor next year, according to a person close to her campaign committee.

Ms. Brown plans to announce her decision Thursday afternoon at the Hotel Allegro in downtown Chicago, months after forming an exploratory committee to eye a potential campaign for City Hall. The mayoral election is scheduled for February 2007.

…may have been caused by this

As for Dorothy Brown, Axelrod says she may be jumping in now because the word on the street is that Jesse Jackson Jr. is contemplating some type of announcement of his own in the next few days, and she wants to beat him to the punch.

…which undoubtedly triggered this leak…

Chicago Housing Authority Chief Terry Peterson is taking a leave of absence to run Mayor Daley’s re-election campaign in the first concrete sign that Daley intends to shake off recent corruption scandals and seek a sixth term, sources said Tuesday.

“Nobody’s heard him say it, but if you’re looking for tangibles, this is as good a sign as any,” said a Daley adviser, who asked to remain unnamed.

Meanwhile, there’s more division in the African-American community.

In an exclusive CBS 2 News report, CBS 2’s Mike Parker has learned that some leaders among the Democrats want Todd Stroger off the ballot for November and replaced by a stronger candidate to face Peraica.

“I’m going to win, and I don’t see any reason why I would want to bow out,” Stroger said.

But quietly, some Democrats have discovered that election law allows the candidate to refuse the nomination before Oct. 1. Party leaders would then select somebody else.

One possible alternative appears to be Interim Board President Bobbie Steele. In the wake of a patronage hiring flap, Steele issued an executive order Tuesday threatening to discipline anybody who hires, fires or promotes, based on politics.

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      


Guv turns down tollway sale again, but it’s a whole lot of cash

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006

The governor said once again that he doesn’t want to sell or lease the tollway.

“We’re not going to sell the tollway. I’m not interested in that, for several reasons. We’ve done a lot of great things at the tollway to help commuters get to where they want to go faster. One of the problems with privatizing the tollway is the private companies whose motivation is to raise profits. They’re apt to raise tolls, and they may be less interested in maintaining the infrastructure,” said Blagojevich, a Democrat in his first term.

The governor said he doesn’t believe there’s enough support in the Legislature to pass a tollway privatization bill.

But some legislators who were briefed yesterday came away drooling at the possible $24 billion windfall.

Supporters of leasing out the tollway downplayed Tuesday the potential impact of related toll hikes as several suburban leaders appeared increasingly skeptical of the idea.

Yet, the prospect of raking in as much as $24 billion from the lease so intrigued lawmakers of all stripes during a hearing in Glen Ellyn that none would rule out such a sweeping deal.

“This is a unique opportunity,” said Republican DuPage County Chairman Robert Schillerstrom, who listed several caveats to leasing the tollway, before concluding, “I do not believe we should close the door.”

Steve Rauschenberger wasn’t impressed.

“You buy four or six years of political peace with that,” he said.

And some of the tax-eaters have already said what they want if the tollway is ever sold.

Schoenberg got an earful a week ago from AFSCME Illinois Council 31, Business Leaders for Transportation in the Chicago area, the Mid-West Truckers Association, the Transportation for Illinois Coalition, and the Laborers International Union of North America Midwest Region. Each offered wish lists for safeguarding wages, benefits, retirement and training of current tollway employees. They also urged caution in deciding how the extra state revenue would be spent.

- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      


Morning shorts

Wednesday, Aug 30, 2006

· Illinois students improve in math, fall in verbal scores

· Poverty rises in Illinois, holds steady nationwide

· “[T]he handsome and flamboyant Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich proved that he could outshine any Bollywood star with his crowd catching demeanor and easy mingling with the people. He won everybody’s heart and induced other Parade Marshals like Dorothy Brown to emulate his example and mix with the crowd. “

· Editorial: Slow down search for state school chief

· Topinka discusses funding for reading during daycare stop

· Topinka’s new robocall

· State retirees work to keep taxes at bay

· Editorial: The imperfections of man

· I pre-ordered the new Dylan album, and I agree with most everything in this review.

- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Dunn out at SIU
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* This won't show up in a TV ad. No way. Not a chance
* Unsurprisingly, Raoul and Harold differ on suing the Trump administration
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - This just in...
* Question of the day
* Eight days of intense and comical weirdness
* Cook: Rodney Davis "remains the favorite," but chances improve for Dem
* Did AFSCME gain members here after Janus?
* *** UPDATED x3 - ISBE "very likely" the hacked board described in indictment *** 12 Russian military officers indicted for elections interference, including at least one Illinois angle
* "There is a greater racial gap in infant mortality rates today than there was during slavery in America"
* A "revolving door of failure" at DCFS
* Live radio ain't easy
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Rauner taking heat for introducing VP Pence, will face DPI protest led by Rep. Mitchell
* AP fact-checks Pritzker's new TV ad as the candidate triples-down
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


* OUR VIEW: Streator celebration inspires hope fo.....
* Illinois Governor's Mansion has reopened to.....
* Fact-check: Pritzker camp wrong on Rauner and j.....
* How Rahm Emanuel and Groupon “disrupted” me int.....
* Police reports: Vehicle parked in Elmwood Park .....
* Champaign News-Gazette: In Illinois, ethics rul.....
* Editorial | Time for details on Discovery Partn.....
* Jim Dey | In Illinois, ethics rules are written.....
* A Foot in the Door for the Next Generation..
* Walter Jacobson's Perspective 07/15/18: .....


* Man killed by Chicago police ran away, reached for waist
* The Latest: Video: Chicago man ran away, reached to waist
* CVS apologizes after managers call cops on black customer
* Injuries at poultry processing plants often underreported
* Woman fatally shot in Chicago during attempted carjacking
* New Illinois program to offer retirement savings plan
* U of Illinois names alum, 1st woman to head computer science
* State to offer funds to spark Lake Shelbyville resort bids
* The Latest: Overwhelmed poker champ: $8.8M ‘life-changing’
* The Latest: Police say 4 protesters arrested after shooting

* Durbin not confident Illinois election systems are secure
* New Illinois program to offer retirement savings plan
* Illinois Governor's Mansion reopens to public
* State agency director Mays has spent $66K on travel
* Governor's Mansion reopens to public on Saturday
* State officials: Illinois was Russian hackers' target
* McDonald's removing salads from 3,000 stores after illness
* Woman berated for Puerto Rico shirt says officer 'blatantly ignored' her
* Board to state: Figure out how to pay step increases
* State has to explain what it's doing to make good on step increases

* DTF? The Chicago Transit Authority isn't
* To sue Trump or not to sue Trump: That's the question in Illinois AG race
* Correction
* Citadel hedge funds extend hot streak
* U of I President urges 'big-picture' education reform


* Suspicious fires reported on Far South Side
* Woman fatally struck by CTA train on West Side: police
* Dear Abby: Friends abandon teen treated for depression
* Man, 64, killed in hit and run while crossing the street in Cragin
* Woman killed in single vehicle crash on I-55
* Protesters march peacefully a day after fatal police shooting of Harith Augustus
* Horoscope for July 16, 2018
* Police warn of robberies, assaults in Albany Park
* 2 men shot, 1 fatally, in Austin
* Fatal police shooting of Harith Augustus leaves community in anger, anguish, searching for answers


* 2 killed, 2 injured in city shootings
* Woman hit, killed by Green Line train
* Cubs' Drew Smyly targets rehab assignment soon
* Cubs' Joe Maddon saddened by Mike Matheny's firing and curious about new Cardinals manager
* Cubs finish first half with 2 1/2-game lead in NL Central but will need more from starting rotation to hang on
* Elon Musk, insisting he helped in Thai cave rescue, calls actual rescuer a 'pedo'
* Chicago police release body camera footage of fatal officer-involved shooting that prompted protests
* Short on sleep, David Bote gets the job done again for the Cubs
* ‘Claws’ Episode 6 recap: 5 things to know about ‘Double Dutch’ and hints towards Desna's resurgence
* In exodus from Fulton Market, surviving meatpackers scatter and adapt


» Durbin Says He Hasn't Taken Position on SCOTUS Pick — Also Has Doubts About Election Security
» Look Inside The Renovated Governor's Mansion
» Angry Crowd Protests After Chicago Police Fatally Shoot Man
» Chicago Police: Man Killed By Police Appeared To Be Armed
» State Week: SCOTUS Nominee, Dan Ryan Protest, Misleading Ads
» Controversy Over Firing Of Popular Chicago Public Schools Principal
» Russia Indictments Likely Cover Illinois Hack, State Official Says
» Science Heroes In Children’s Books; Creating Manufacturing Jobs; The Miller Park Zoo
» WBEZ’s Chicago And Illinois News Roundup: July 13, 2018
» The Week in Review: Hate Crime Charges Follow Forest Preserve Rant


* George Will: Don't fix baseball, even if it may be broken
* Durbin not confident Illinois election systems are secure
* New Illinois program to offer retirement savings plan
* Illinois Governor's Mansion reopens to public
* Our View: A year after the impasse, all is not well
* UIS perspectives: UIS campus stays busy in summer
* State agency director Mays has spent $66K on travel
* Statehouse Insider: Try, try, try, try again
* Thumbs up to the gift of a renovated Governor's Mansion
* Governor's Mansion reopens to public on Saturday


* Random Acts of Kindness: Lost billfold turned in
* Ice cream or frozen fish ice cubes, it was all happening at Scovill Zoo
* Overheating device sets carpeting on fire in Decatur home
* Teens hospitalized after ‘jokingly’ swerving into each other on Southern Illinois highway
* 2018 Champaign County Fair Pageant
* Kim receives 'best birthday present' winning JDC
* Prizes awarded to artists at Sugar Creek Arts Fest
* Mr. Lewis: 'Things have gotten worse for me'
* Police investigate fatal stabbing of East St. Louis man
* TOGETHER DECATUR: On Lake Decatur, a lesson in standing tall


* Puerto Ricans cheer return of electricity but remain wary
* With flags, song, pride, French celebrate unifying victory
* Lakers give LeBron a good show, make NBA Summer League semis
* Review: Sacha Baron Cohen back with old style, same results
* Man killed by Chicago police ran away, reached for waist

* Members of Congress tour Yucca Mountain in...
* Shimkus frames Yucca Mountain as political...
* Illinois congressman is back to waste more...
* Indy DC Download: House members to visit Y...
* Congressional delegation to tour Yucca Mou...
* Gun 'sanctuaries' spreading across...
* Roskam's committee work advances lower...
* Letter: Let's talk about farming and f...
* Rauner embraces Trump White House, calls P...
* Vice President Mike Pence In Chicago To Pr...

* Durbin not confident Illinois election sys......
* Durbin: More work needed to make sure Russ......
* Democratic Voters Want To See A Fight Agai......
* Dems reveal plan of attack; focus on impos......
* Have Democrats forgotten their manners?...

* Trump tells CBS' Glor that the EU is a......
* ACLU finds inspiration from the NRA for a ......
* Tammy meyers 2020...
* Highchairs and cuddles: how parliaments ar......
* Good luck to first lady in battling bullies...

* Free Ice Cream At Buttercup Park On Monday
* JASC Continues "Memories Of Now" Series With Seminar About WWII Japanese War Brides
* Illinois AG race about more than 'Obama clone' vs. 'lawyer Barbie'
* Aldermanic Ward Night Schedule
* Why Online?
* How the Blockchain Can Transform Government
* A college program that ‘never ends’
* For refugees in Kenya, an education in hope
* Serving and learning: MSL student takes classes while stationed in Kuwait
* Skills gap could have alarming consequences


* Gov. Rauner meets one of oldest living WWII veterans
* IDOT reopening lanes where possible for July 4 travel
* Bellock named DHFS director
* Follow-Up Samples from the Illinois River Show No Microcystins
* Illinois Department of Public Health Heat Safety Tips

  
* Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer likely arriving on July 24
* Xiaomi Mi Max 3 screen and battery confirmed, other specs leaked
* ​Seven cloud vendors lining up for government security clearance
* Telstra makes 5G phone call across commercial network with Ericsson and Intel
* Cryptocurrency reality checks and the coming boom
* Rolls-Royce air taxi idea has propulsion but needs airframe
* How to validate your brilliant idea and launch your business with Growth Hacking

* White Sox Minor League Update: July 15, 2018
* Six Pack of Stats: White Sox 10, Royals 1
* Basabe blasts 102.3-mph pitch for World Team
* Chicago White Sox, Charlotte Knights fans await the next big...
* Slumping Abreu still the right choice to represent White Sox...
* Abreu leads White Sox into second half vs. M's
* White Sox prospects Luis Basabe, Dylan Cease shine in All-St...


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller