This just in…
Tuesday, Jun 12, 2007
* 1:18 pm - House Speaker Michael Madigan was the last person to walk into the leaders meeting a few minutes ago. It was supposed to start at noon, but was delayed for whatever reason.
* 2:03 pm - Voices for Illinois Children has a new position paper on how the state income tax could be made more progressive without amending the Constitution, which requires a flat tax. Go here to read the pdf file.
* 3:25 pm - Meeting should be wrapping up soon. Paul will have audio as soon as they’re done talking.
* 4:45 pm - Here are audio clips from the leaders after the meeting…
Minority Leader Watson-
Deputy Governor Nix-
* 4:59 pm - I haven’t listen to all of the audio yet, but it appears that three of the four legislative leaders have rejected the idea of leasing the Lottery to bail out the pension funds. Only Emil Jones supports it, Jones admitted.
Madigan regarding the governor’s involvement with the utility rate issue: “The governor has never taken any interest in that issue… To my knowledge he’s never been around the issue.”
Nix: Madigan’s budget “actually results in cuts in education.”
Nix: “Not entirely accurate” that Lottery lease is off the table now. Madigan said that he did not support it, but his members weren’t here today so he wasn’t able to caucus on the issue. The issue has not been surveyed in his caucus, so we think that there may still be open to negotiation. “The other leaders had some questions, but actually did not rule it out.”
Nix: “The House Democrats did not understand what they voted for” (regarding budget), so they should be brought back to town and be informed that they had voted to cut education funding. [I’ve asked for an explanation on this, but have yet to receive a reply.]
Nix: “They’re getting paid to work, so they should be able to be here without a special session.
Watson: “I just don’t know for sure whether the governor really truly wants to get out of here… If he did, we’d be focusing on the budget, we’d be talking about the issues of revenue and spending.”
Watson: Not getting message that GRT is dead. He talked about it “several times” today.
Watson: Too many people in the room. 25 last week, 30 today.
Madigan: House spending is not going to go over the 3 percent in the House-approved budget.