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Senate approves tax hike

Saturday, May 30, 2009

* 9:45 pm - The Senate passed the Meeks/Cullerton income tax increase (2 percentage points for individuals, 0.2 for corporations, expanded sales tax to services) by a vote of 31-27-1. Some good quotes from the debate are here.

The bill moves to the House, which has its own tax hike bill preferred by the governor.

* 9:51 pm - The Senate is now moving the House-approved appropriations bills from last week that captures federal stimulus money and funds employee union contracts.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - anon - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 9:48 pm:

    did anybody get a look at the board? which d’s voted no?

  2. - Pot calling kettle - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 9:49 pm:

    Thanks to 31 responsible senators. Now, lets hope there are 60 responsible adults in the House.

    Folks: The State of Illinois is deeply in debt, do the right thing, lead the State as we have elected you to do. Stop pandering, please. If you think this one is tough, just wait two years or four, the solution will be even more painful.

  3. - Collar Observer - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 9:53 pm:

    Yes - thank you to 31 responsible senators - I cannot believe there is finally a vote on this measure. Congratulations to Senator Meeks and everyone that prayed for this day to come.

  4. - Levois - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:01 pm:

    A sharp contrast to maybe the past two years. They’re actually getting things done this year. What does a change in leadership do?

  5. - Quinn T. Sential - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:03 pm:

    N Bond
    N Garrett
    N Maloney
    N Schoenberg
    P Silverstein

  6. - Quinn T. Sential - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:06 pm:

    Sorry, I forgot

    N Haine

  7. - bob the builder - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:08 pm:

    N Bond
    N Garrett
    N Maloney
    N Schoenberg
    P Silverstein

    hmmmm…..I wonder if this has anything to do with congressional seats that might be opening up soon? cough 9th/10th

  8. - Pot calling kettle - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:10 pm:

    If so, I hope the wimps get nowhere. Time to start supporting real leaders and toss the panderers out!

    (Hey, hope springs eternal!)

  9. - anon - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:12 pm:


  10. - OneManBlog - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:12 pm:

    Pot Calling Kettle….

    My basic issue with all of this, is fundamentally I don’t think I can trust these guys to be good stewards of my money.

    After all of the tricks of the last 6 years to balance the budget to avoid making the hard calls on things. That is my issue. Now my tax bill is going to go up and my property tax bill is not going to go down much.

    That is the issue.

    Also to be frank Senator Sandoval blaming this all on Bush kind of ticked me off. It showed how a complete lack of understanding of how we got here. It wasn’t our fault for expanding government without new revenue, for playing along with Rod’s asset tricks, etc….

  11. - wordslinger - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:13 pm:

    At this point, you didn’t need them. All it took was 30.

  12. - Quinn T. Sential - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:13 pm:

    N Garrett 2003 - Present
    N Maloney 2003 - Present (Senate)
    N Schoenberg 2003 - Present (Senate)
    P Silverstein 1999 - Present

  13. - Chicago Cynic - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:14 pm:

    Why is it only “real leadership” if you vote for a supposed tax swap when everyone knows all we’ll see is the tax increase?

  14. - Felix - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:22 pm:

    This tax increase is an outrage, particularly since the Senate is apparently unwilling to pass any meaningful reform measures or implement any meaningful budget cuts such as cutting pension benefits for future employees. It is a clear example of irresponsible spendthrift government at work. If this income and sales tax increase becomes law there will be a firestorm of outrage that will make the parking meter increase fiasco in Chicago look like a small fire contained in a trash can.

    My guess (and hope) is that this makes it even less likely that the House will pass any type of tax increase during the regular session.

  15. - SangamoGOP - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:24 pm:

    This isn’t leadership. This money won’t pay down the deficit. This money will go to more spending and bigger government. The GA will be back whining about not having enough money next year just like the CTA and CPS and Daley’s Chicago. There is NEVER enough money to satisfy those who only want to see government grow ever larger.

    If 5% is “adult”, would 6% be more adult? Would 7% show true leadership and not just a bit of leadership?

    Adults who lead families & run companies in Illinois understand that when times are tough, spending needs to be curtailed. In Deep Blue Illinois, spending needs to be increased & unions must be fed.

  16. - Collar Observer - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:25 pm:

    I think it is even more pathetic to vote present for Silverstein on this bill - what a coward. Garrett, Schoenberg and Bond too for that matter. I hope you Northshore folks remember this night at the ballot box.

  17. - Chicago Cynic - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:26 pm:

    I’m a Dem but this also reflects the problem of one party rule in Springfield. I favor a significant tax increase but idealogical compromise often produces better legislative solutions.

  18. - OneMan - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:27 pm:

    If you listened to Senator Sandoval this was all George Bush’s fault anyway.

    When ’seniors, children, etc’ were ‘taking it in the pants’ the last 8 years where were you senator. The state could have decided to increase revenues to ‘help’ those folks then? Did you do that, no you went along with Rod’s stupid budget tricks and everything else.

    Would a little personal responsibility out of these folks be that hard? I realize they are politicians but give me a break.

  19. - Quinn T. Sential - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:28 pm:


    Structured Roll Call.

    They get to have their cake and eat it too.

  20. - Chicago Cynic - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:30 pm:

    Oh, and why is Schoenberg pathetic? He voted his district. If you’re from New Trier district, you don’t vote for this, pure and simple.

  21. - this old hack - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:30 pm:

    Quinn: I have to agree! What kind of structured roll call is that when Silverstein, Schoenberg and Garrett are voting NO or Present and targets like Holmes are voting YES? What’s going on?!?!

  22. - steve schnorf - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:30 pm:

    Well, this represents a chance for House Rs to be real players in this without risking anybody. I think they should make a list of aggressive but not unreasonable demands (more cuts-maybe 1B, spending frozen, none of the tax money to go for anything but old debts & rainy day fund the first year, maybe the second 1% temporary for 12 or 15 months, etc) in return for some number of votes.

    Either way, they are now the grownups. All these things need to be done, they aren’t unreasonable, etc. If the Ds refuse reasonable demands they are the bad guys, if the Ds accept it, Tom C has shown real leadership and he and his members have forced some very real Republican budgetary reforms onto the process.

    I hope!!! but I’m not holding my breath

  23. - this old hack - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:32 pm:

    Cynic: good lord! Maybe 10 years ago you would have been right, but these days he is a tier 2 at best. Dont forget, Schoenberg voted for the Edgar school funding proposal in 1997 when he was a tier 1.

  24. - Collar Observer - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:32 pm:

    Chicago Cynic - you have to be kidding - the New Trier folks do get it - and I hope they show it to Schoenberg in the next election - whether it is re-election or for Congress.

  25. - westsider - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:37 pm:

    The state still has 2b in cuts to make, maybe those cuts should come in districts where people voted against this bill! All this stuff about reforms, and this chicago gets everything garbage. This whole downstate vs upstate (chicago) needs to stop we are one state. I wonder if there was ever task force that looks to see if the Chicago gets its fair share of state dollars that it sends to springfield I seriously doubt its fair, and I am ok with that as long as its for the betterment of the entire state. Yes those Dems that voted no are cowards they rather pander than do the right thing.

  26. - Chicago Cynic - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:40 pm:

    Steve, you’ve hit the nail on the head. That would be a far better bill. I know we need to raise taxes. I know there is a structural deficit in IL. But I’m sick and tired of politicians who only know how to look for more revenue without doing the analysis and making the hard choices.

    It’s almost enough to make me a Republican. Ok, just kidding. It’s just enough to make me a frustrated Dem. Nothing could turn me into an R.

  27. - steve schnorf - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:42 pm:

    I also believe Meeks and Cullerton deserve praise Jim Meeks has been working on this issue tirelessly for 5 years. He has said he could pass it if he could get a vote, and with Cullerton’s help he got the vote and the votes. Good for you Rev Senator Meeks, and good for the Senate’s new leadership.

  28. - this old hack - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:45 pm:

    Westsider: you are 100% correct.

    Here is a REAL reform: anyone who votes NO, the cuts come from their districts. Don’t want to vote for the revenue? Fine. We start cutting in your backyard, and let your constituents call you.

  29. - OneMan - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:48 pm:

    this old hack

    Ok, but only if you don’t have to pay the increase as well….

  30. - anon again - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:48 pm:

    I guess all the real citizens of illinois are sleeping and the only ones awake are you guys who make a living off of state dollars, i hated blago but i think he was right in one instance you must agree

  31. - steve schnorf - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:50 pm:

    CC, try it. It really isn’t bad. You just have to keep in mind that becoming an R doesn’t automatically make you a gun-toting racist homophobe sexist any more than being a D makes you a big-government, US hating liberal. Really! Try it!

  32. - North of I-80 - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:53 pm:

    This is Real Leadership?

    Real Leadership is taking the tough road and addressing the uncontrolled spending… raising taxes is the EASY solution but the most destructive.

    Real Leadership is working to attract manufacturing, trucking, all kinds of business to IL - not scaring it away with increasing taxes. [Why are businesses fleeing CA and moving to NV and TX ?]

    Real Leadership is spending responsibly, less than what is taken in and building up reserves during good cycles and then living off the surplus during the bad cycles. If that leadership screws up and fails to manage our tax money, it is THEIR job to correct their errors and cut. Much of what they spend our $$ on is NOT in the state or US Constitution - but rather than take the tough route and cut those programs, our leaders are voting to punish us. If only WE could just vote ourselves pay raises instead of cutting our own personal budgets during tough times….

  33. - PalosParkBob - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:54 pm:

    Passing this kind of tax increase means that any hope of cutting waste, patronage and corruption is dead for the forseeable future.

    If this passes both houses, there will now be no political reason to get rid of the “prevailing wage” theft from taxpayers through overpricing public works construction.

    There will be no incentive to take the necessary steps to get Medicaid back to fair and reasonable income limits (about double the poverty rate instead of the “Blago” 400% of poverty level), saving about $2.6 bilion per year.

    There will be no incentive to switch to a high quality managed care Medicaid system that encourages lower cost preventative medicine instead of having recipients go to a pricey emergency room for a case of the sniffles. A good managed care program costs about half the “fee for service” cost, but it’s harder for the GA to stiff a big managed care firm like the they do for a large group of “small potatoes” providers.

    With this tax increase the GA won’t even attempt to limit education salaries and benfits to a sustainable rate of growth through prohibitng school boards from approving increases they can’t fund without hurting the kids. A fair limit for increases would be about 70% of new, unrestricted revenues, about the current ratio for school salary and benefit spending.PTELL virtually ensures at least a CPI increase every year even with such a restriction.

    With this new tax burden, there will be no incentive to create a fair pension program by ending those “end of career” sweeteners like including unused vacation and sick days in the pension calacution. The recently released former Wheaton 200 Super got a 185 vacation day “bonus” to fatten his pension. The four year cummulative 6% raises prior to retirement virtually mandated by the state will continue to unfairly inflate pensions by about 16%.

    175,000 Illinois jobs were lost during during recent national “boom” years. This job exodus, as well as the net loss of 735,000 citizens over the lasy decade, will accelerate from these new taxes.

    The expansion to include services will likely also cause a big good paying job migration in engineering, high tech, and financial consulting industries. We just can’t compete in what is already a competitive market against state income tax exempt Texan, Nevadan, and Floridian tech firms with the additional burden of corporate and sales taxes.

    Job killing tax burdens on service industries, lower overall income from a tax induced economic contraction in Illinois, elimination of urgency for fair reform of education, pensions and healthcare.

    No economically informed person can call the passage of this tax increase anything but another step towards making Illinois the next Michigan.

    What will all those of you feeding at the state trough do when there’s no one left here to generate private sector income?

  34. - truthteller - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:54 pm:

    If this bill doesn’t pass, the legislature will find itself in the same pickle again next year.
    It’s the only bill that addresses the structural deficit by expanding the sales tax base.
    Why would any legislator want to go thru this agony again?
    Schnorf is right about Meeks, but he forgot to mention Ralph Martire .
    If there were more Democrats like Bond, Schoenburg,and Garrett in the Congress, Obama’s economic program would be dead.

  35. - Chicago Cynic - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 10:54 pm:

    I think I’ll just pay the darned taxes, grumble a lot, work to change the system (which I do everyday) and vote in better people. Your party doesn’t look terribly appealing these days either locally or nationally.

    I suspect you can’t argue with that one either! ;-)

  36. - Chicago Cynic - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 11:00 pm:

    Yes truthteller, we should all thank Ralph for finally getting his wish and jacking our taxes. He’s been pushing this for more than a decade. Thanks a lot Ralph.

  37. - steve schnorf - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 11:00 pm:

    TT, I only didn’t mention Ralph because he doesn’t have to run for re-election.

  38. - Madison County Watcher - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 11:05 pm:

    The state still has 2b in cuts to make, maybe those cuts should come in districts where people voted against this bill!

    Here’s a better idea…let’s not raises taxes on the people in the districts where the legislators voted no.

  39. - anon - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 11:06 pm:

    wait, are house d’s really proposing pension restructuring and fund sweeps? what a bunch of hypocrites. they criticized blago for this and threw him out of office. at least they passed recall. now maybe we can get arnold from different strokes to be our gov

  40. - Quinn T. Sential - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 11:08 pm:

    Instead fighting these Blagoesque fund sweeps; they should just eliminate the fees that roll nto themthat have allowed the “surplus” that has built up within them.

  41. - Quinn T. Sential - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 11:15 pm:

    LOL; Agent 99 ust warned abou CHAOS prevailing on Sunday.

    Where’s Maxwell Smart when we need him?

  42. - this old hack - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 11:17 pm:

    Madison County: why stop there? Lets withdraw ALL state services (especially for road construction–we know how much you all love your road dollars down there). You pay no taxes, you get no services. Pretty soon, the roads are falling apart, the schools are crumbling and the crooks are running wild.

    You people really amaze me. You think that money simply grows on trees and services pay for themselves. That doesn’t happen in the private sector, and it doesn’t happen in the public sector either. There is no free lunch. Duh. Think the private sector can run government services better than the government? Come to Chicago, where I live, and see how that has worked with the parking meters.

    Try this on for size. i thought it was obvious, but maybe not: government exists for a reason. Government services are provided because they are demanded by a segment of the population. Government doesn’t just run in and start programs that aren’t needed. You wanted roads? The government built them (with state and federal dollars). Jails to lock up the criminals? Government built them. And guess what? It costs money to run them.

    hate to rain on your “give me everything but don’t make me pay for it” parade, but that is what it is.

  43. - wordslinger - Saturday, May 30, 09 @ 11:30 pm:

    North, with the blessings of geography,I don’t think we’re hurting for transportation business. Manufacturing, of course, has been on the decline across the country for about 30 years, but there’s still a pretty diverse base here.

    As far as Texas and Nevada go, I hope they like Fresca, because they’ve about exhausted their fresh water.

    From World Business Chicago:
    Intermodal Container Handler
    • World’s #5 intermodal container handler (after Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Shenzhen)
    • #1 in Western Hemisphere
    • Chicago handles 13.98 million twenty-food equivalent units (TEUs) or intermodal freight
    • More than LA/Long Beach (LA & Long Beach combined = 13,101,285)
    • 4 times as much as NY/NJ

  44. - Bookworm - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 2:24 am:

    Word, I must say I have grown to appreciate your perspective on all the things our state has to offer.

    I never knew that Chicago was the #1 intermodal container handler in the ENTIRE Western Hemisphere. You’ve mentioned other interesting facts about the Chicago economy and how big it really is, which I had no idea about.

    I also remember catching the Illinois segement of the History Channel’s series on “The States” a couple of years ago, which said that we are actually the state MOST representative of America at large in terms of population, rural/urban and industrial/service/agricultural mix, and economic base.

    Too often I come away from reading blog posts convinced that we live in a hopelessly corrupt hellhole with no economic future. Of course there is a lot that can be improved but it helps to remember the economic advantages we DO have which aren’t going to be erased by budget cuts, a (reasonable) tax hike, or both.

  45. - Steve - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 3:00 am:

    Right in the middle of a bad recession, raising taxes on sorts of new things. A lot of these yes votes came from powerful districts where the voters aren’t net taxpayers. Here’s a quote from a recent AP story:

    Out of the nation’s 100 fastest-growing counties, the majority were in Texas (19), Georgia (14), North Carolina (11) or Utah (nine), according to U.S. Census figures last year. Raleigh-Cary, N.C., and Austin-Round Rock, Texas, were the nation’s fastest-growing metro areas, registering growth rates of 4.3 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively. Both high-tech centers, the two metros are also sites of major college campuses that helped cushion them.

    You can’t say that about Illinois counties by and large.

  46. - Bookworm - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 3:46 am:

    I thought Kendall County and possibly Will County were among the fastest-growing counties nationally too?

    Also, Steve, you might be missing one of the major points of the article you quote, which is that the rapid growth experienced in many parts of the Sunbelt for the past 30 years or so proved to be unsustainable for various reasons.

    Farther down in the article, another pundit points out that infrastructure, education, and the quality of public services are also factors individuals and companies consider when relocating, not just tax rates alone.

    My point is that a balance needs to be struck. A long-term solution to our budget problems cannot rely exclusively on budget cutting to the point of gutting infrastructure, education, and other public services, nor on taxing our way out of the hole with no thought given to whether certain programs are truly necessary. While low taxes do encourage economic growth, they are not the only factor to be considered.

  47. - cassandra - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 3:55 am:

    First let me say, in anticipation of comments, that I am not blogging at 5 am. Where I am it is late morning.

    Why such a low corporate increase in the Senate bill. It could be much higher in tandem with a personal income tax increase. As I predicted, the corporate interests and the wealthy may well be among the winners here. I guess those corporate campaign contributions paid off.

  48. - Emily Booth - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 7:03 am:

    From what I read at the Trib last night, what the Senate passed is temporary until after the fall elections. Still $2B in cuts.

    The electorate is going to expect a sharper, cleaner government in exchange for higher taxes. If I were Springfield, I would start issuing press releases re: fraud, overpayments and collections.

    The taxpayers will want to see that their $$ is resulting in some cost-savings.

  49. - dave - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 7:22 am:

    From what I read at the Trib last night, what the Senate passed is temporary until after the fall elections. Still $2B in cuts.

    There is nothing in HB174 that makes this bill temporary.

  50. - Bill - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 8:42 am:

    Thank you. We won’t forget it!

  51. - wordslinger - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 8:44 am:

    Bookworm, Illinois is an incredibly wealthy state blessed with natural and geographical advantages. Like you said, it’s economy virtually mirrors that of the U.S.

    I think a lot of the economic anxiety here stems from a couple of decades-long factors that have nothing to do with state government: The rise of cheap-labor manufacturing overseas and the shift of agriculture from a labor to a capital-intensive enterprise. Fewer good jobs in both sectors as a result.

    Steve makes a great point about Austin and Raleigh. Our universities, but both public and private, need more resources and need to be a bigger focus of any state economic development efforts.

    Case in point:

    Marc Andreasen, Eric Bina and the whiz kids at the National Center for Supercomputing Application in Champaign basically invented the Internet (sorry, Al). That’s a public/private partnership that includes the university, the state and business.

    When the commercial application of the WWW became apparent, four of those kids started a company in an apartment in Bucktown called Neoglyphics that ended up designing websites for scores of Fortune 500 companies.

    It grew to have two floors of an old cash register factory in the neighborhood and employed about 300 whiz kids before they were swallowed up a bigger company (I did some marketing work for them back before they were soldl).

    Some of those U of I “kids” then went on to found Orbitz.

    Legislators and state government overall need to see our universities as more than places to score football tickets or get some precinct captains’s kid with a low SAT enrolled.

  52. - Double - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 9:48 am:

    While a tax increase may be inevitable I am not willing to send any more money to Springfield because they have not shown the ability to be responsible with the money they already have taken. Secondly, why does every other taxing body have to abide by the open meetings act except our state government…perhaps if they can’t impose ethics reform on themselves is it possible for us to pass some constitutional amendments to force them to follow the rules that the rest of us follow?

    As long as a deficit exists I believe every last penny of their political campaign money should be confiscated and applied to pay down the deficit they created…then lets see if they can find a way to trim the budget!

  53. - Quinn T. Sential - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 10:11 am:

    I finally went to sleep last night, just completely dis-illusioned with what has become of the government and leadership of both parties in my beloved home state. I awoke ever fustrated by the fact that I continue to stay here due increasngly more to circumstances because “I have to”, rather than from a quickly diminishing devotion that “I want to”, which used to spring from a great sense of optimism for the future and the opportunities that it would create for both myself and my family here.

    {Illinois is an incredibly wealthy state blessed with natural and geographical advantages. Like you said, it’s economy virtually mirrors that of the U.S.}

    But plagued by a dysfunctional government steeped in “tax and spend” ideology enabled by both major political parties, coupled with a corrupt political culture from Waukegan to Cairo, and many points in between.

    I am sure that Boeing is re-evaluating how it missed some of these finer points in their re-location analysis every day. When companies like Caterpillar and ADM, along with United, State Farm, Allstate, and many others start to weigh the costs and benefits of being here and begin to realize how the scale is tilting in a new direction, their collective leadership could easily begin to count their blessings as they pack up and leave.

    The FASB pension reporting requirements forced corpratios to recognize and deal with a significant problem because institutional and individual shareholders could quickly do the math (and would/did). They knew this would be reflected in their market cap and valuation based on several different metrics. The government leadrship has counted on the indifference of a carefully cultivated apathetic electorate to ignore the same actuarial information that a loser scrutiny of the GASB pension liability requirements has offered to them.

    While “Joe Six-Pack’s” (with apologies to Ohio’s famous Plumber), retirement benefits were adjusted; at least for new employees going forward, to reflect these realities. The same can not be said for government workers.

    If the stake-holders (tax-payers) read the Annual Report ( State Budget) with the same scrutiny that they did their Prospectus’ and quarterly SEC filings and subsequent 401K statements and saw the kind of structual deficit and grosss mis-management, misfeasance,malfeasance, and breach of fiduciary duty that has been consistently inflicted upon them by “management” in government here, why would anyone chose to invest here?

    The future out-migration of population; especially the young, newly educated, and employable will soon have Illinois looking much more like Pennsylvania than any of the growth states, that will be receiving our best an brightest going forward.

    Those of you that are parents; who grew up here, and value all that Ilinois was, and could be, are going to be woefully disappointed when you are faced with the painful reality that your kids; and grandkids, are not only not coming back here because there is nothing come home to, but at the same time they are sticking those of you that chose to; or had to stay, with the tab for the cost of the nept and corrupt government which you have sheepishly and collectively enabled.

    The editorial pundits keep bleeding (red) ink through their old media print publications in the hopes of awakening a sleeping electorate with a clarion call to action. What they fail to recognize or acknowledge is that they are first speaking to an ever shrinking audience that no longer embraces their format. In addition, of the few remaining hold-outs might be nclined to read and understand the bigger picture through their medium, are simply no longer here to read it, or are far too busy plotting their move out of here to take the time to do so.

    Irrespective of their personal ideology, Illinois has been hamstrung by an electorate hopelessly blinded by “party loyalty” in the mistaken belief that the entrenched leaders of either of the two major parties, and the people they nominate, slate, and subsequently limit our choices to elect, are actually representative of our own core values and beliefs.

    What llinois desperately needs instead is first and foremost an independently elected Governor, beholden to neither group of myopic apparatchiks, that is inspiring enough to get the regular consistent elecorate to disconnect the auto-party voting mechanism and take the risk of installing them. At the same time such an independent leader would have to be able to motivate enough new voters to come back to the process that have heretofore just given up hope and surrendered themselves as perpetual victims of the “government they deserve” They have to realize that by no longer voting in such large numbers, that they have let a vocal minority of people, led by a simple majority of that minority, to hijack the process of ruling over them.

    Innovation and technology have provided the alternative remedy to this problem for both employers and employees alike, and those people have been, and will continue to instead vote with their feet by leaving Illinois; for good.

    It’s time now for QTS to climb down off of my soap box and go to church, where I will pray for us all, the atheists and agnostics included.

    I may tune in later; if I think that a healthy (and yet sill no doubt over-sized) brunch has sufficiently steeled my stomach for from I am afraid that I will be subjected to seeing here as the budget deadline rapidly approaches and then quickly disappers in the rear view mirror of what we will eventually wake up to and be forced to look forward at (instead of to) tomorrow.

  54. - Legaleagle - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 10:30 am:

    North Shore Dems had to vote NO. This tax increase is wholly unnecessary and is irresponsible. State government does not deserve more of our money to squander. And they are still expanding programs.

  55. - Been There - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 10:35 am:

    I thought the Senate Dems all agreed in caucus to not be the first chamber to vote for a tax hike. I believe some of the dem “no” votes reflect this. They have been hung out to dry by Madigan too many times over the past few years.

  56. - Pot calling kettle - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 10:38 am:

    The deficit demands a tax increase. Whether or not past spending was responsible, it was made on our behalf and we kept most of those irresponsible spenders in office.

    While I agree that the state needs to straighten its fiscal house, there has been a lot of trimming and refining over the years. I would love to know where the “straighten up first” commenters would cut. I know places that have been cut too far; most especially the DNR field operations and IDOC CO staff. But, aside from the campaign workers parked at various state agencies (actually not that much $$ in the grand scheme of things), it is not clear to me where significant savings are to be had. (And don’t suggest the pension plans, because the state contribution is only a shade over what the employer SocSec contribution would be and they never make it anyway.)

  57. - wordslinger - Sunday, May 31, 09 @ 7:01 pm:

    –I am sure that Boeing is re-evaluating how it missed some of these finer points in their re-location analysis every day. When companies like Caterpillar and ADM, along with United, State Farm, Allstate, and many others start to weigh the costs and benefits of being here and begin to realize how the scale is tilting in a new direction, their collective leadership could easily begin to count their blessings as they pack up and leave.–

    That’s a true straw man. There’s no evidence that any of this is happening. Is ADM going to move to Nevada?

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* Tie-breaker rules adopted, allowing approval of 75 new cannabis dispensary licenses
* Deep in the weeds with Tom DeVore
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today's edition
* MLB open thread
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Illinois AKA sorority sisters respond to Kamala Harris' choice as Biden's running mate
* Yesterday's stories

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