* These guys are so blatantly hypocritical sometimes…
The Blagojevich administration’s efforts to promote a capital spending bill came to Springfield Wednesday, touted as a way to build a $10 million simulated hospital at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. […]
In Springfield on Wednesday, labor leaders, educators and others touted the simulated hospital that would give physicians training in situations they will encounter in emergency rooms, operating rooms, intensive care, obstetrics and other areas before dealing with patients.
* Why the hypocrisy? Check out what’s buried way down in that SJ-R story…
Michael Boer, chairman of the commission that oversees Springfield’s medical district, also attended Wednesday’s event, even though Blagojevich cut $350,000 from the state budget that would have allowed the district to hire full-time staffers.
“Because we don’t have staff doesn’t mean we aren’t concerned with accomplishing the purposes we were created for,” he said. “The most important one is creating health-care-related economic development in the (district).”
* Speaking of hypocrisy, the Daily Herald looks at the governor’s flip-flops on gaming…
When Gov. Rod Blagojevich backed a casinos-for-construction deal last week, it marked the second time in recent months he’d reneged on a campaign promise to oppose gambling expansion.
He first broke that promise in May when he offered his support for a Senate casino deal that would have funded the governor’s coveted health care expansion. At the time, Blagojevich said he wasn’t thrilled with more casinos, but he’d make the sacrifice if it meant health coverage for needy families.
“Without health care, I’m not going to accept any new gaming proposals,” Blagojevich said in late May.
That plan never came to fruition.
Now, he’s backing the biggest gambling expansion since the state first legalized riverboat gambling even though it has nothing to do with health care.
* While we’re on the topic of gaming, last fall the governor’s budget honcho John Filan wrote a guest piece for this blog trashing Judy Baar Topinka’s gaming plan, which was smaller than the governor’s plan now on the table…
When you increase the gaming opportunities in the State as much as Topinka has suggested, these opportunities begin to become counterproductive. That is, casinos are luring the same dollars statewide, and these dollars will begin to be split among facilities, rather than moved from other facilities. Some market share will be taken from Indiana and Wisconsin casinos, and as a result, we estimate based on studies by Deloitte Consulting, LLC and the Illinois Department of Revenue that about $600-700 million annually may be obtained from recurring revenues, about half the $1.25 billion annually that Topinka predicts. There is absolutely no empirical support for an additional $1.25 billion in revenue per year.
* And despite all the talk of a massive infusion of immediate cash from the governor’s proposal, Filan had this to say about the timeline of getting a Chicago casino built and operating…
As most of us know and as suggested in the discussion about capital above, it takes time to build additional space, we estimate very aggressively no less than 9 months for existing casinos and 18 months for the Chicago casino. This means that the full value of the gaming expansion won’t be available until 2010 or 2011- at the earliest. And this doesn’t even take into account the amount of time the 10th license will remain in limbo.
* More budget stuff, compiled by Paul…
* Deeper CTA cuts in ‘08 officials warn
* Illinois gaming industry lobbies for Internet gaming
* Governor sees support for casinos, Madigan wary
* State plans for casinos runs into trouble
* State leaders talking, but no progress seen
* Senate deal may make winner out of Watson
* Leaders tout capital spending plan
* Leaders push capital budget
* CPR: Blago and legislative leaders meet to resolve disagreements
* Push for health-care expansion continues