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This just in…

Monday, Jul 30, 2007

* 11:44 am - Well, this ought to get tongues a-waggin’. House Speaker Michael Madigan has scheduled a meeting of the Committee of the Whole for next Wednesday August 8th. Subject matter: Education.

The hearing was scheduled last Thursday at 1:30 pm, which was before the first meeting with Senate President Emil ones and the other tops on the state budget. Jones’ Majority Leader, Debbie Halvorson and other members of Jones’ leadership team have since said they hope the budget can be done by this weekend. Anyway, this will be treated as a developing item unless I find out something otherwise.

* 12:24 pm - Freshman Sen. Michael Frerichs (D-Gifford) on the negotiations: “I think the four legislative leaders can agree on capital, I think they can reach agreement on revenue… (and) on eduation. But the governor’s health care plan, I think it’s going to be very, very, very difficult if not impossible to reach agreement there.” [Hat tip: IlliniPundit]

* 12:25 pm -
Aaron Chambers has a good column on the exceedingly nasty Operating Engineers’ Local 150 president’s race.

* 1:22 PM - Ruh-roh

Mayor Daley has a whopping $217.7 million hole in his 2008 budget that can only be filled through tax increases, employee layoffs, non-personnel spending cuts or a painful combination of the three, aldermen were told today.

The shortfall is the second-largest in 10 years in the city’s corporate fund alone and is coupled with smaller but still sizeable gaps in the city’s water and sewer funds.

It comes just five months after Daley breezed to re-election on a budget that froze the city’s property tax levy for a third straight year, held the line on all other taxes and fees, and used $94 million of the $1.83 billion Chicago Skyway privatization windfall to finance an array of neighborhood and social programs.

Union leaders accused the city of exaggerating the financial crunch tied to the housing slump to stifle their contract demands. Aldermen claimed just the opposite. They argued that former city Budget Director-turned-Chief Financial Officer Paul Volpe kept the lid on the crisis until after the election. […]

Volpe was in Springfield lobbying for an increase in the telephone surcharge that helped fund Chicago’s 911 emergency center in hopes of shaving the deficit by $50 million. He could not be reached for comment.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Levois - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 11:49 am:

    There have been a lot of committees of the whole convened this year.

  2. - game plan - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 11:57 am:

    To discuss what about education? Need the details.

  3. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 11:59 am:

    That’s all the detail provided so far.

  4. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 12:03 pm:

    And, Levois, the timing indicates that as of last Thursday, Madigan thought we’d still be in session come August 8th.

  5. - BlueByrd - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 12:19 pm:

    What has 354 legs but can’t move? The Illinois General Assembly.

  6. - Jaded - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 1:02 pm:

    I am sure that it was just a message from Madigan that if the leaders don’t get serious about a 12 month budget, they will be here next week.

    At this point, Madigan does not want to be here next week. Now that Blagojevich is out of the discussion (a fact which has been widely reported) the only ones to blame for stalemate is the legislature. If they don’t finish by Friday, Blago can really start putting the pressure on them about how they cut him out of the process and still can’t get a deal done. I am sure he will say that is because of Madigan and the Republicans who were the problem all along. He can also say that while he supported another temporary budget, the legislature and especially Madigan did not, and that is why he now has to shut down non essential government services. The longer this goes on now, the better the Governor looks, so I can’t believe that Madigan, the Republicans, or Emil for that matter, have any interest in dragging this out past Friday.

  7. - Ghost - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 1:03 pm:

    The I wonder if this implies another 1 month budget…we must save the butter cow!

    side note, typo in the 11:44 section, I beleive Emil ones is missing his J. Feel free to del this sentence :)

  8. - GA Watcher - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 1:33 pm:

    The Committee of the Whole meeting on August 8 is supposed to address fiscal and academic accountability.

  9. - Captain America - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 1:36 pm:

    It is standard Daley practice to postpone bad budget news until after an election, to schedule contract expirations after his election, and to hike taxes in the first year after his reelection. No news here, it seems to be a very effective strategy for the Mayor.

    This same strategy would have worked for the Governor and the legislature this year too. That’s’s why I consider this legislative session a squandered political opportunity to improve the state’s fiscal situation.

  10. - fedup dem - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 1:44 pm:

    Fill in the blank: Mayor Daley should be ( ) for pulling this budget stunt yet again.

  11. - publius - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 1:50 pm:

    here’s how it goes 1)win election 2) give forthright reading of budget situation 3) propose cuts—lay-offs etc. 4) propose some tax increases 5) work with guys in your party who control legislative body 6) pass budget 7)govern competently 8) get re-elected—-or there is rod’s way

  12. - Squideshi - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 1:56 pm:

    Will there be an opportunity for public comments at the hearing?

  13. - Limerick - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 1:57 pm:

    The City’s awash in red ink,
    As corruption continues to stink.
    Will we only get clean
    Of this greedy Machine,
    When the “City That Works” starts to sink?

  14. - Retired State Employee - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 2:11 pm:

    Having lived through the 1991 overtime session, someone will have to explain to me why “government shutdown” is on everyone’s lips. Who started this and why does it get such big play in the media? Although the appropriations bill was late in ‘91, everyone kept working and got paid. Why is this time different?

  15. - Retired State Employee - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 2:14 pm:

    Another thought that I was going to add as well. In ‘91, there were fiscal problems that needed to be fixed. This year, it’s not fiscal problems as much big new programs and funding sources instead of addressing current funding problems, a manufactured issue if you will.

  16. - Malone - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 3:27 pm:

    Agreed. AFSCME memos are out. There are many union issues with a shutdown. Notifications need to be made and haven’t been. AFSCME employees will be at their desks. Paychecks may be late as in 1991 (AFSCME memo misspelled Edgar’s name, BTW) but workers will still work. If not, then the workers will get sent home but still paid.

    In the words of Samuel Beckett: I can’t go on I must go on I’ll go on

  17. - office bound today - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 4:08 pm:

    Rich, Are the leaders meeting right now?

  18. - Thomas Paine - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 5:20 pm:

    What percentage of the City budget does 21 million make up? Isn’t the budget about 5.5 billion? It seems the term “whopping” is quite an exaggertaion.

  19. - Thomas Paine - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 5:21 pm:

    My bad, 217 million is substantial. Regrets

  20. - Little Egypt - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 5:25 pm:

    I just read on the Tribune that Blago is “OK with the leaders meeting without him.” Well duh, duh, and duh. He better be because they are going to meet without him whether he likes it or not. The Tribune article is laughable. Is anyone paying attention to what comes out of Blago’s mouth these days. Can you spell d-e-l-u-s-i-o-n-a-l?

  21. - FED UP - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 7:50 pm:

    What a surprise city union contracts expired on 30 jun so the city is broke now. Dalet stroger blago there all the same

  22. - Another State Employee - Monday, Jul 30, 07 @ 11:40 pm:

    I am fed up with this session and it’s disgusting. I heard things from non-essential staff being furloughed on Wednesday and some reports saying by Monday with no state budget. The things about the union saying that noone gave 30 days notice and employees deemed nonessential would still be paid. If this is the case then why have people sit at home that you will eventually have to pay and why have some media report that Wednesday state employees would be furloughed and some media saying Monday is furlough day. This ABSOLUTELY makes no sense. Sit down and get a budget. Do the lawmakers no that there is an impending teacher’s strike in Chicago and all this BS is contributing to negotitation trouble…I’ve also read that other school superintendents won’t open their doors until they know what type of money they are getting (and they don’t have to worry about teacher negotiations). Everyone MUST comprimise, Blago, Jones, Madigan, Senators, Reps and the people of Illinois.

  23. - Truthful James - Tuesday, Jul 31, 07 @ 8:35 am:

    As Betty Crocker once said, “Make No Small Pans.”

    What is wrong with another one month Budget? The revenue keeps rolling in, all last year’s earmarks are bought and paid for. This year’s slush should be only 10/12 of last years.

    I know nobody gets a raise (not enough yeast, sorry Betty).

    School Boards are screaming because all the sweetheart contracts they negotiated don’t have State money behind them. They have operated without fiscal discipline for so long and teh teachers have them over a barrel.

    I see that the charter schools that are successful are taking less money per pupil from the Districts in which they operate than the general per pupil expenditures in that District.

    Does that give anybody ideas?

    Legislators — do not worry about NEA and AFSCME wrath. Who else are they going to support?

    Let’s go with another one month budget.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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