Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Long summer ahead?
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Long summer ahead?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

* The final budget deal is a mess. There is no deal. It’s not even near final. They aren’t even close.

“I think the lines in the sand have been drawn so deep, it’s been very difficult to come to some type of agreement,” said State Rep. Marlow Colvin, D-Chicago.

* And stuff like this, tucked into the gaming bill, just makes it more difficult to get anything done…

Nearly two dozen female and minority investors in the failed Emerald Casino could get bailed out of their multimillion-dollar, bad investment under a massive gambling expansion backed by Gov. Blagojevich and Senate President Emil Jones.

Tucked within the 218-page gambling bill is a controversial provision that could allow the clout-heavy group to recoup $32.8 million lost on the Emerald deal and have an ownership stake in one of four new casinos proposed for Chicago and the suburbs.

Lawmakers from both parties and a top government watchdog condemned the plan, questioning why taxpayers should be expected to swallow the losses of the politically influential group or to wade anywhere near the legal morass involving Emerald.

* As I told subscribers this morning, there are a whole lot of other problems with this gaming bill. Here are just a couple more, but the list is long, including, but not limited to, the $40 million annual Chicago State subsidy…

But the fine print of the current plan is raising both eyebrows and opposition at the Capitol.

As proposed, the state would legalize and license bookies to take horse racing bets over the phone or Internet. Horse tracks would be able to create electronic poker networks that could allow people to gamble online from their homes.

* The fact that the governor’s former chief of staff is lobbying for the tracks is not helping the bill’s credibility much…

As talk of gambling has surfaced in recent days as a way to help plug holes in the state’s budget, Monk signed on May 22 to represent the Racing Associations of Illinois, which is based at Balmoral Park Racetrack in Crete, according to state records. Horse-racing interests want legalized slot machines at the tracks as part of any gambling deal.

* The rancor has put the legislative leaders on a dangerous collision course, and yesterday’s meeting between Gov. Blagojevich and the entire House Democratic caucus didn’t move the ball forward at all

Gov. Blagojevich went before House Democrats for more than two hours Monday to try to broker a budget deal but left with some members predicting an agreement is more remote than ever.

The governor appealed to House Democrats to back him on a budget or risk letting Republicans dictate terms of a deal if the General Assembly spills into overtime Thursday. But lawmakers said the governor seemed unwilling to compromise.

“To be honest with you, I don’t think it looks very good for an adjournment date for this Thursday unless he’s playing a great game of chicken,” said Rep. Marlow Colvin (D-Chicago), chairman of the Illinois House Legislative Black Caucus.

* The basic disagreement is over the scope of the governor’s proposals…

Several Democrats emerged from the meeting saying there remains a huge gap between what the governor wants to spend and what House members think is a realistic spending increase. Blagojevich remained adamant that he wants lawmakers to approve his universal health-care plan, even though lawmakers have made it clear they won’t approve the tax hikes needed to pay for it.

* More on that topic

Many lawmakers consider the plan too big, especially after other recent expansions of health care programs. It would cost at least two billion dollars a year and cover people making up to four times the federal poverty level.

Senator William Delgado compares the ambitious plan to trying to eat a large pizza all at once — “It’s not going to happen.”

* Afterwards, the governor attempted to blame the House Democrats and Speaker Madigan for the impasse, which just threw fuel on the fire…

The Democratic governor emerged from the meeting and lashed out at House Speaker Michael Madigan of Chicago and his Democratic members, suggesting that it will be their fault if an agreement cannot be worked out before the General Assembly’s scheduled May 31 adjournment deadline.

* More tax and spend and end-of-session stories, compiled by Paul…

* Democrats skeptical of Governor’s call

* Illinoize: Gov: it’s your turn, House Dems

* Illinois would OK more casinos to fund health plan

* Governor battling lawmakers’ lack of enthusiasm for health care

* Seven steps to a state budget

* Highlights of governor’s health care plan

* Sweeney: Governor’s health plan pushed in casinos

* Morrissey to back push for Rockford casino

- Posted by Rich Miller        

20 Comments
  1. - bored now - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 9:05 am:

    LEADERSHIP. this doesn’t mean talking to people you like, or who think like you do. it means talking to people you may not like, who do not necessarily think like you, because of the power and/or influence they have.

    just thought i’d mention that…


  2. - Enough is Enough! - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 9:08 am:

    Game over, start the impeachment proceedings.


  3. - High Roller - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 9:20 am:

    “The governor appealed to House Democrats to back him on a budget or risk letting Republicans dictate terms of a deal if the General Assembly spills into overtime Thursday.”

    Cross is no hothead, he can work with Mike to craft something that at least resembles a responsible budget. What I am hoping for is that Watson can remain statesmanlike once the super-majority rule kicks in, because Emil “kilowatt” Jones is all over the map these days with irresponsible actions. Blago himself will be able to take political cover and blame the legislature when the final budget comes out and does not match his lofty proposals. His next gut check then will be, does he veto the plan they give him, hold them hostage all thru June and into July, hoping by such a friendly gesture that they’ll reciprocate by acceding to his will? Will they have enough cohesion to override him? He’s probably praying they will, because that gets him off the hook PR wise.


  4. - Shock the Monkey - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 9:22 am:

    Monk’s back, eh? Well, you know what they say about returning to the scene of the crime.


  5. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 9:26 am:

    Why is this happening?
    It is because Illinois did not benefit from the Bush economic boom and it looks like it is peaking this year. This would be twice that our state did not boom along with the US during the past economic cycles.

    This is a big deal. Illinois needs to be a boom state, and had been one for most of it’s history. We have also seen that what capital had been built up over the century is being spent on short term spending. Illinois is eating it’s seed corn, and has been for 20 years.

    Even as Illinois keeps from “losing”, it loses by not growing. Our state continues to loose political representation, citizens hungry for a family future are leaving for greener pastures available in the South and West, and this leaves behind needy citizens demanding even more nanny state programs to survive. Illinois is in a free-fall.

    Our politicians know this. However, they haven’t any idea how to address our problems without alienating their political supporters. So each looks to the other to bite the bullet and be the “bad guy”.

    Blagojevich doesn’t want to lead Illinois towards fiscal responsibility - he wants to pander.
    Madigan and Jones are too old to do much more than pad their own political nests. The Illinois Democratic Party doesn’t know how to fix our fiscal problems without robbing citizens.

    It is rather simple, but challenging - we must either grow out of our malaise, (Jimmy Carter’s legacy word), or cut back on our spending. It would be better to grow out of this mess, but that is a long term solution in a short-term political world. The other option - cutbacks, won’t get anyone re-elected in Illinois. As Chicago evolves from a can-do industrial giant, to a whiney finger-pointing government services giant, the rest of Illinois is dragged down too.

    I don’t mind the sincere legislator too ignorant or hamstrung to fix our fiscal problems. But I do have problems with legislators who see our situation and use their political clout to shovel more into their pockets at our expense. Their unethical actions confirm our worst fears; our state’s problems cannot be addressed, so they are taking care of themselves first. This happens whenever major catastrophes hit governments, whether it is in Port-au-Prince, Detroit, St. Louis or Chicago.


  6. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 9:27 am:

    Loose?!
    LOSE!
    I can’t believe even I screwed that up!


  7. - Cassandra - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 9:39 am:

    Perhaps we middle class Illinois taxpayers should have been demanding a tax cut instead of merely begging our legislators to just let us keep our current tax burden. After all, Emil is apparently attending to the needs of the Emerald investors in the gambling proposal. Aren’t we as good as they are? We want our share of Illinois’ tax goodies and we certainly need need it more than, say, Emerald investors Sandra Degnan and Chaz Ebert.

    If our legislators are able to put together a last minute multibillion dollar tax package, based on gaming, and “loophole” cutting, how difficult would a tax cut be. It would definitely be welcomed by the middle class taxpayers who actually feel the tax load in this state and who will get precious little from the largesse provided by the latest post-GRT proposals.

    There are some caveats, of course, although crafty Emil and the feckless Blago sail blithely on. What corporate loopholes will be filled, exactly? One person’s loophole is another person’s sage tax policy. And do we really want our state government’s fiscal health to rely even more on the health of the gambling industy. There must be a limit to people’s appetite for handing over their money to the casinos. And if nearly all the money garnered from this last minute tax raid goes into the state’s general fund won’t that provide our legislators and guv with an overwhelming temptation to raise the corruption tax and cut billions more out of the budget for contributor and political pals, via contracts and patronage. The more vague the planned uses for the tax, the better for Illinois’ rapacious pols and their cronies. Health and education and transportation will merely get the remains. And when this budget session ends, we have to start fighting the battle against the tax swap and assorted individual income tax schemes all over again.


  8. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 9:40 am:

    It’s noteworthy that Willie Delgado — who championed universal heath care while in the House, is crapping all over the Governor’s All Covered proposal.

    Talk about a reality check.


  9. - leigh - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 9:43 am:

    Bring in Cross. The best hope for a decent and responsible budget is one devised by Cross and Madigan. The other yahoo’s have proven their ineptitude. I cannot support universal health care for illegals while our streets and schools need help.


  10. - Truthful James - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 10:00 am:

    Good old Emerald City. Is Emil really the Wiz?

    Any bill which gives fat cats back their dough is insane. They gambled and lost.

    That is money which offsets the revenue available from the new licensing fee. I can hardly wait for that auction. The State has still not got it right.

    I guess it is only the taxpayer and the players which pay.


  11. - i d - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 10:54 am:

    When I heard that the only source of more money would come from casinos, I could only laugh. How did this state ever pass any budget prior to legalizing gambling? We learned early on that only the legislators and their “friends” make large amounts of money from gambling. When are we going to vote out these old villians? We could really use some young candidates and young voters to take on the old bulls and drive them from the herd.


  12. - Leroy - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 11:44 am:

    “Nearly two dozen female and minority investors in the failed Emerald Casino could get bailed out of their multimillion-dollar, bad investment under a massive gambling expansion backed by Gov. Blagojevich and Senate President Emil Jones.”

    Only in Illinois could the lawmakers turn a casino - a virtual license to print money - into a bad investment.


  13. - Truthful James - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 11:56 am:

    Will somebody please tell me why “minority and female investors” make a damn bit of difference?

    We are not talking about the truly needy in the Cabrini/Taylor/Lathrop homes. These are fat political cats with different plumage.

    Leroy — The state did not make this a bad investment…they did it to themselves. They thought it was a sure thing — probably were told that as the sponsors tried to bring in anough people with enough clout as to make Emerald a stone impossible to cut.


  14. - Crimefighter - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 1:27 pm:

    Anyone who voted Democrat last November got EXACTLY what they deserve.


  15. - Wake Up Already! - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 1:41 pm:

    SO? Does this mean there would be a bill giving back all the State of Illinois employees who got screwed out of their jobs by the Rod and Emil their jobs back with retroactive pay too?
    But this tolerated? Tucked within the 218-page gambling bill is a controversial provision that could allow the clout-heavy group to recoup $32.8 million lost on the Emerald deal - backed by Gov. Blagojevich and Senate President Emil Jones.


  16. - Dark Forces at work - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 3:09 pm:

    Illinois, U.S.A. = Corruption Headquarters Central

    There wouldn’t be a budget problem if Rod wasn’t giving our money away!


  17. - Where's the Outrage? - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 3:23 pm:

    Illinois is getting swindled by Blagojevich and Jones.
    The so-called budget crisis is of their own doing.
    Prison or Impeachment?


  18. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 3:56 pm:

    I want to move. Seriously. This state is in the ol’ outhouse and it’s about to get tipped over. Our officials lack leadership, and it’s apparent that no one really knows what’s really going on.


  19. - Papa Legba - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 5:46 pm:

    Oooooo! Rod chose a new boogie man. First big corporations now its Madigan and the house.

    Who’s next?


  20. - Disgusted - Tuesday, May 29, 07 @ 6:13 pm:

    Buying people off is now a way of life in Illinois. How else would Milarod and Emil get anyone to talk to them. A couple of charmers they are NOT. They are inept bullies trying to line their own pockets and those of their family members and to hell with the rest of us. What a bunch of crooks. It’s good to be a crook however, and know where all the bodies are buried.
    Cowards and crooks - what a legislature.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Stava-Murray updates
* Pritzker's inauguration ball tix will benefit Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic and Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation
* Rauner claims he's been too busy to reflect on his term
* Pritzker's day in DC
* *** UPDATED x1 - Schneider responds *** Rauner says he tried to drop out of race after primary
* Feds re-raid Ald. Burke's office
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

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

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

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

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


Loading


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

Archives
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
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