* The headline on Kristen McQueary’s column pretty much sums it up…
Budget plan is clever, but D.O.A.
Tactically, this would normally be a decent move. Raise taxes for schools. That’s how income taxes were raised here in 1987, all the money went to schools and local governments.
Politically, however, this is dead.
* Why won’t this go anywhere? It was pretty obvious yesterday…
House Speaker Michael Madigan, who has repeatedly condemned Republicans for refusing to put votes behind an income-tax hike, praised Quinn’s courage in pushing the new plan. But the speaker actually made a compelling case against it during a televised interview after the governor’s speech.
“Let’s be straightforward about this. The people of Illinois, they don’t want tax increases. They’re hurting. The American economy is in bad shape. People are out of work. They don’t want to hear about tax increases,” Madigan said.
“You should admire the governor for standing up in these times and say, ‘Look if we wish to maintain the fiscal integrity of this state, then we ought to do this tax increase.’ That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen,” Madigan said.
“This is a fellow who likes to hold people hostage,” Cross said of Quinn. “I suggest that at end of the day, this (education cuts) will not happen. This is a scare tactic. Scaring people is not leadership.”
Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno dismissed the proposed budget as “a tactical document.”
“We’re not going to be bullied into it,” she said.
. Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said he supports the latest plan, but it is up to the House to take the lead, since the House never acted on last year’s proposal
President John Cullerton, for example, panned a plan to cut $300 million in state aid to cities.
“That’s going to be difficult to pass that bill,” said Cullerton, D-Chicago.
This, however, is more likely…
Given the lack of support for a tax hike, one scenario circulating in the Capitol has Democrats approving a bare-bones budget that carries the state through the November elections, after which they would push through a tax hike to help pull the state out of its fiscal quagmire.
“It’s entirely possible,” Cross said.
* Meanwhile, the Tribune editorial board was predictably enraged, screaming that its pension fund slashes should’ve been implemented in order to save $2 billion, even though they won’t. And just saying something ought to be done doesn’t mean it can be done. I’d like to visit Pluto, but I ain’t gonna get there. Also, proposing cuts of $6 billion when we appear to have a structural hole far larger than that isn’t going to solve the problem in two years, no matter how you do the math.
And Ralph Martire makes a good point that the Tribune should at least listen to…
Illinois ranks — when you look at us compared to other states, and you look at our spending as a percentage of our state GDP, which is the only rational comparison state-to-state — we rank 45th in spending with the 5th biggest populations, and we ranked 42nd in tax burden. We’re low-tax, low-spending, we have a giant, giant deficit.
* The Sun-Times was upset that the governor’s tax hike wasn’t large enough, even though the governor’s tax hike isn’t going anywhere.
* I hesitate to delve too deeply into this budget plan, because the whole thing will need to be reworked. But here’s one of the more interesting proposals that may survive…
llinois Governor Pat Quinn wants the state’s youth prisons to be controlled by another department.
Four years ago, the Department of Juvenile Justice was part of the Department of Corrections. It was separated after some lawmakers and advocates argued youth prisons should not be controlled by the same office as the adult prisons.
Now Quinn wants to fold it into another large agency, the Department of Children and Family Services, to save money, the administration says, and get kids more access to a full range of services.
As Chicago Public Radio has amply reported, the state’s juvenile justice system is a complete mess. Some of the prisons are in outrageously poor conditions. Maybe DCFS can straighten it out, maybe not, but they’re gonna try…
Cook County Public Guardian Robert Harris, whose office represents kids in juvenile court, said it often seemed unfair that children involved in the child protection side of juvenile court have access to services absent on the juvenile justice side.
“They are often confronted with the same issues — neglect, abuse, no family or parents involved in drugs,” Harris said. “It makes sense.”
* Gov seeks 33% tax hike for education, billions in spending cuts
* Quinn seeks income tax increase for schools
* Pat Quinn proposes tax hike for schools
* Quinn’s budget offers stark choice: raise taxes or cut school spending
* Quinn Releases Budget; Says 1% Tax Hike Would Stop Schools Cuts
* Quinn calls for raising Illinois income tax to 4 percent during budget address
* How education might suffer if income tax increase fails
* Quinn’s budget seeks $2.2 bil. spending cuts
* Child care, AIDS prevention hit
* State Police would lose 500, Operation CeaseFire its funding
* PTSD counseling efforts, military families affected
* Educators, employees, others react to Quinn proposals
* Pols responses to Quinn’s budget
* Radogno Says Quinn is Playing Political Games with Budget