Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » 2007 » July
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 - AUDIO: Leaders postgame - Senate President Jones, and GOP Leaders Cross and Watson

Friday, Jul 27, 2007

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

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


READER COMMENTS CLOSED FOR THE WEEKEND

Friday, Jul 27, 2007

This weekend’s leaders meetings were cancelled and the special sessions will most likely be gavel in/out, so except for a post later today with audio from the postgame show, there will be no Capitol Fax and no blogging until Monday. I think I’ll monitor the budgeteers meetings from the boat.

You can keep up with events at Illinoize

See ya.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Senate President Jones on the shutdown, the one-month budget and working with the other leaders *** Updated with Madigan audio and quotes ***

Friday, Jul 27, 2007

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

- Posted by Rich Miller   Enter your password to view comments      


This just in…

Friday, Jul 27, 2007

[Bumped to the top for obvious reasons.]

* 9:17 am - The governor has called a special session for tomorrow at 9 am to take up the matter of a one-month budget. House Speaker Michael Madigan just told his members to plan to be in session throughout the weekend, as well as next Monday and Tuesday.

Adding… The current one-month budget expires next Tuesday.

* 9:29 am - I just asked Senate President Emil Jones’ spokesperson about the special session proclamation. She talked to Jones and issued this statement from him: “We are working on a twelve-month budget.”

* 9:33 am - That looming deadline of July 31st was specifically cited by the governor’s office as reason for the special session proclamation, which apparently hasn’t yet reached the House, according to Speaker Madigan.

The “bright rumor” had been for days that the leaders would stay in town this weekend and members would go home. But Senate President Jones was coy with some of his members yesterday, and reportedly wouldn’t indicate one way or another what the schedule might be.

* 10:05 am - The governor’s special session proclamation (number 9, if you’re keeping track) can be downloaded here.

* 10:16 am - Thanks to a commenter for reminding me about this memo, sent by Secretary of State Jesse White to all of his employees this week…

“Recent news reports of an Illinois government shutdown have raised questions regarding the impact of the office of the Illinois Secretary of State.

“If a shutdown does occur, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office will remain open and employees will be required to work their normal schedules. Employees will be compensated, as always, for this time.”

* 10:47 am - Rep. John Fritchey has announced that he will run for 32nd Ward Democratic Committeeman. Read the press release here.

* 10:49 am - My intern Paul, who is “retiring,” just got a nice round of applause from the entire state Senate.

* 11:17 am - I’ll post the audio of the availability in the subscribers only section, but the AP has this

Senate President Emil Jones says he’s not interested in another temporary budget. He wants to come up with a real budget.

*** 12:00 pm *** WLS reporter Ryan Hermes has posted excerpts from interviews with three legislative leaders.

* President Jones…

“Myself and the other two leaders, Cross & Watson & the speaker sat down to talk about the budget.”

- “The governor let his views be known, but we’re the legislative leaders.”

- “It’s up to us to make that decision as to what we should do and where we should compromise.”

- “We should fashion a budget to were we don’t have a government shutdown.”

- “We’re taking about education, healthcare, capitol program, mass transit funding.” […]

- “I intend to try to get it (budget) done around the first week in August - no later than the first week in August . I’m working towards a budget for a full year, not just a one month extension.”

* Speaker Madigan…

- “I think we could do a 12 month budget before Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.”

On yesterday’s leadership meeting:

- “I found it to be a very productive meeting. We identified the areas of difference and had some very productive discussions as to how we can find sufficient revenue to pay for - say - an increase in education.”

- “Our plan is to meet again today.”

- “I’m very hopeful that this process (meeting without the governor present) will give us a 12 month budget some time next week.”

* Leader Cross…

“I still think we’ve got a long way to go.”

- “One side (Senate) wants to spend into the billions and the other side (House) says they can get it done with existing revenues.”

- “You have to look to the Democratic party and the Democratic administration and say ‘why can’t you get this done?’”

* 1:12 pm - From Ryan Hermes’ WLS updates

I just saw Senate Republican Leader Frank Watson (R-Greenville) come strolling out of the governor’s office.

He told me he met with Governor Rod Blagojevich for about 30 minutes.

The two talked about “building a relationship.”

A little late for that.

* 3:38 pm - FYI, the four legislative leaders have been meeting in Senate President Emil Jones’ office since about 2 pm. The governor, as before, was not invited. There was hope throughout the Statehouse that Jones might try to convince the governor to rescind his special session proclamation. But his spokesperson said a while ago that the Senate planned to meet tomorrow, as per the proclamation.

*** 4:15 pm *** Paul reports that it was just announced that there will be no further leaders meetings this weekend. This afternoon’s leaders meeting concluded a few minutes ago. Cross and Watson talked to the press. Madigan refused. Jones is still in his office. Audio later in the subscriber section.

* 4:20 pm - The budgeteers will meet this weekend. That often means there was progress on an outline. Special session will continue as planned, but don’t expect a big turnout.

- Posted by Rich Miller   41 Comments      


Question of the day

Friday, Jul 27, 2007

Predict the final adjournment date for this overtime session.

*** UPDATE *** I took this photo weeks ago, and have been mulling over how (and if) to use it ever since. I think it might be appropriate for today’s QOTD…

- Posted by Rich Miller   48 Comments      


Time for a change?

Friday, Jul 27, 2007

* My Sun-Times column today is entitled “Gov needs compromise or new plan”

What’s more evil: The absence of universal health insurance in Illinois or a modest state income tax increase?

I asked Gov. Blagojevich that question the other day.

Blagojevich has been pushing a universal health insurance bill all year. He’s claimed it’s the greatest moral issue of our times and even said it’s “God’s will” that all people should have access to health care. So far, however, he hasn’t had a lot of luck, or demonstrated much skill in making his dream a reality.

His initial plan was grand and sweeping, funded partly by a 3 percent payroll tax on employers. The rest of the multibillion-dollar plan was paid for with the doomed - and gigantic - gross receipts tax on business. Both ideas died.

Through it all, Blagojevich has steadfastly vowed to veto any increase in either the state income tax or the sales tax. He’s even said that if the General Assembly overrides those vetoes he would call special legislative sessions until they changed their minds.

The governor’s obstinacy has greatly complicated his quest. Legislative pressure has built for decades to finally “solve” education funding. The most widely accepted solution was an income tax hike coupled with significant property tax relief. This was supposed to be “the year” to get it done. Nothing has happened, mainly because of the governor’s threats.

Mass transit is experiencing a serious funding crisis, and legislators and advocates have come up with a plan for a minuscule 0.25 percent sales tax increase in the RTA service area. Blagojevich has said he will veto that.

Horse trading is the usual way out of sticky legislative situations. I agree to most of your ideas, you agree to most of mine and then let’s all go home. That hasn’t happened yet this year because of the governor’s intransigence.

Please read the whole thing before commenting. Thanks.

* Meanwhile, the impatience grows at the Peoria Journal-Star’s editorial board…

If the state’s needs are that dire, then its leaders should be making the case to average Illinoisans - all of them, not just some - to open their wallets. When they can’t bring themselves to do that, it only communicates that the situation isn’t that serious, after all. That’s unfortunate, because in fact many of Illinois’ challenges are very daunting, with long-range implications that will not be pretty.

Make no mistake, we’re not advocating a tax increase, not this late or this knee-jerk in a humiliating legislative session in which so few have done anything to elevate the public’s trust in them. There’s precious little talk of living within the state’s means, which ought to be on the table, as well. Some Republicans mouth that recognition, though it’s fair to question their motivation: Do they really believe it, or are they just content to reap the political gain of watching ruling Democrats spontaneously combust?

Allow us to let you in on one other dirty little secret, in answer to this question: Why the now-or-never tax hike urgency? It’s simple: 2008 is an election year, and heaven forbid that anyone should make any hard or controversial decisions before voters go to the polls. Well, there’s an election every other year, which means that half the time, the Legislature doesn’t allow itself to do anything of significance. Maybe its members should be paid half as much, then. Bet that’s one proposal we won’t see in bill form.

Again, cowardice and dishonesty are getting government exactly where they always do: Nowhere.

* Property tax relief has dropped off the Statehouse radar, and the Daily Southtown wants it put back

So once again, we remind lawmakers and the governor that the region’s high property taxes are their fault. That is, local property taxes go primarily to schools, and school taxes continue to increase every year because the state refuses to pay its fair share for education. The state constitution mandates that the state should be the primary funding source for public schools. But the Legislature, with the tacit support of a succession of governors, has declined to be the primary funding source. Schools only have one alternative when the state ducks its duty, and that is to raise property taxes.

* And then there’s this topic, which I’d like to forget

Gov. Blagojevich’s office Thursday wrongly suggested it had enlisted Cardinal George to persuade recalcitrant lawmakers to support the governor’s languishing health-care plan.

* More end of session stuff, compiled by a slightly tired and surprisingly non-hungover Paul…

* Tribune Editorial: A decent transit deal

* $613, 824, and we’re counting

* Williams-Harris: 12-month budget buzz

* Editorial: Capital needs, transit still priorities

- Posted by Rich Miller   13 Comments      


A bit of the back-story

Friday, Jul 27, 2007

* We talked about the newly revised cigarette tax yesterday. As you know, a new amendment was introduced in the Senate to up the proposed tax hike from 75 cents per pack to 90 cents. A Senate committee approved the amendment yesterday. Check this out

No opponents were allowed to testify during Thursday’s hearing.

* The Daily Herald breaks through the clutter of the partisan committee debate yesterday and gives us this…

With Democratic support possibly wavering on the plan, Senate leaders reached out to DuPage County in hopes of gaining support from that county’s Republican senators. The latest version would let DuPage and every other county in Illinois impose up to a $2-per-pack tax. Currently only Cook County can do that.

DuPage County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom has spent months lobbying for this, saying a $1 tax there would raise $25 million annually, enough to restore jobs and social service programs cut from the county budget. […]

Although all Republicans voted against the plan in a Senate committee Thursday, the strategy is likely to work with the full Senate. State Sen. Dan Cronin, an Elmhurst Republican, said he supports it, and sponsors said at least two other DuPage senators are also supportive.

“On balance, I think it’s the best a guy in the suburbs, a minority Republican, could hope for,” Cronin said.

* A bit more from Michael Sneed on the amendment’s sponsor, Sen. John Cullerton…

Cullerton, who was raised in DuPage County, has promised to help Schillerstrom ease DuPage budget pressures by cutting him cash for the county.

- Posted by Rich Miller   8 Comments      


More on LaHood’s retirement *** Updated x1 ***

Friday, Jul 27, 2007

* I had this on the blog yesterday, but it was late in the afternoon so many of you didn’t get a chance to comment…

U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, who earned a reputation for civility in the harsh world of politics, will retire after seven terms in Congress, an aide said Thursday. The Peoria Republican will formally announce his retirement during news conferences today in Peoria, Jacksonville and Springfield, spokesman Tim Butler said. LaHood, 61, said in an interview Thursday that the prospect of leading an ordinary life after 30 years in politics ‘’is pretty appealing.'’

* Why announce now?

LaHood said he is announcing his retirement early to give prospective candidates time to consider a run for the seat, which has been held for nearly a half-century by LaHood and his predecessor, Bob Michel, a Peoria Republican who served as House minority leader.

“There’s no heir apparent. … This will be a wide-open race,” LaHood said.

* When?

We’re told by his spokesperson that Congressman LaHood will finish out this term — his seventh

* The past

LaHood considered leaving the House twice in recent years, first to run for governor, then to apply for the presidency of his alma mater, Bradley University. He passed both times, but some Capitol Hill Republicans quietly questioned whether his heart had already left Congress — speculation that LaHood dismissed on Thursday

* And the future

GOP leaders have said in the past they aren’t worried about losing LaHood’s seat. Democrats say they’ll compete seriously to capture it; Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) called the district “Republican-leaning, but not a Republican lock.”

Two Peoria Republicans said they would consider running to replace LaHood: state Reps. Aaron Schock and David Leitch.

Thoughts?

*** UPDATE *** More potential candidates from The Politico

State senator John Sullivan would be a likely Democratic candidate, and he has already spoken with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Republicans also have a number of potential candidates in the wings. Tazewell County Attorney Stu Umholtz, who ran for attorney general last year, and 25-year-old state Rep. Aaron Schock — a protege of LaHood’s — are two of the better-known GOP prospects within the district.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax (Use all caps in password)

Friday, Jul 27, 2007

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

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Morning Shorts

Friday, Jul 27, 2007

* Questions raised on enforcing smoking ban

The practical question of how the smoking ban will be enforced was raised by Craig Riggins, an environmental health officer in the county department.
“I know if people are not obeying that, (others) are going to be calling the Health Department (with complaints),” he said.
Working on the law’s enforcement and other ramifications “will be the next big thing on our plate,” said Whitaker.
“Hopefully, we’ll see this get implemented and go well,” he said. “There will be some conflict because people will feel their rights are being infringed upon.”

* Legislature approves electric rate relief

* Electric rebate plan goes to Governor

* $1 billion electric rate deal sent to Governor

* Illinois utility rate relief passes

* Electric rate relief OK’d

* State lawmakers pass electric rate relief

* Utility rate relief bill goes to Governor

* Electric relief bill wins approval

* Animal Farm: How suburban lawmakers voted on power deal

* Judge: Fighter jets must leave Illinois

* Illinois lawmakers OK FutureGen incentives

* Blagojevich will sign FutureGen legislation

* Oberweis fined $21,000 over TV ad

* Sun-Times Editorial: Don’t add to tax misery; how ‘7% solution’ works

* Stroger tells plan for old hospital

* Stroger says deal on wage hikes ‘close’

* Neil Steinberg: Raise the bar on lawyer pay

* Is Daley setting stage for tax hike?

* $6 million in cuts planned for the city

* Secretary of Hired Truck boss charged with perjury; more here

- Posted by Paul Richardson   5 Comments      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Rauner vetoes second bill to address gender wage gap
* Munger moves to DCEO
* Preckwinkle mayoral announcement roundup
* Follow the money
* Empty threat? Or does somebody know something we don't?
* A couple of quick debate clips
* Supremes side with hospitals on property taxes
* Report: IEPA stonewalls AG until HGOP leader steps in
* A TIF primer
* Raoul's new ad blasts Harold over abortion rights
* Debate coverage roundup
* Question of the day
* *** 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


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

Archives
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