* This is why it’s so difficult to believe Gov. Pat Quinn whenever he threatens a budget cut. He always finds a way to back down…
Gov. Quinn met with Mayor Daley on Tuesday and came out determined to avoid State Police cutbacks so draconian they would require Chicago Police to assume primary responsibility for patrolling 53 miles of Chicago area expressways. […]
On Tuesday, Quinn emerged from an hour-long meeting in the mayor’s office predicting that the crisis would be resolved to the mayor’s satisfaction.
“It’s premature to have any alarm,” the governor said. “The state budget is in process. Once we get to the final days, I think we’ll have everybody singing out of the same hymn book, pretty happy. We’ll have a good conclusion for both the city and the state.”
Everybody will be happy? Is that money just gonna drop down from Heaven or something?
People really don’t seem to get it. There is no money and there won’t be for a very long time. Quinn’s tax hike proposal barely even makes a dent in the deficit. His proposed cuts also barely make a dent, yet everyone is screaming bloody murder about them. Daley wants Quinn to make cuts before the state raises taxes, yet hizzoner throws a gigantic hissy fit when a few cuts are eventually revealed.
Quinn, Daley and everyone else are simply living in a fantasy world, including the Republicans.
* And then there’s this…
Area municipalities shouldn’t fear losing their local portion of the state’s income tax revenue, according to a top state official.
Senate President John Cullerton knocked Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposal to cut the share of income tax municipalities typically receive to 7 percent from the 10 percent.
“I told the governor I didn’t think it was a good idea to not give money to local governments. If we’re going to have to beg, borrow and steal, we can borrow another $300 million instead of not giving it to local government,” Cullerton told the Journal Star editorial board on Tuesday.
“I suggest in this year’s budget, we not underfund local government distributions.”
I get that the state shouldn’t be pushing its budget problems down the food chain, but if there are no other solutions, then that’s one of the few options it has.
* This is almost comical in its duplicity…
State Rep. Keith Farnham faced the music for the state’s budget disaster Tuesday night during a town-hall meeting, vowing to fight future attempts to cut pensions of current teachers and pushing for the state to contract its spending instead of relying on tax increases to make ends meet.
Read that again and tell me it’s intellectually honest.
* And the newspapers aren’t being much of a help, either. Balance that budget, state and locals, but don’t eat into our gravy train…
At a time when public officials should be championing greater openness in government, a bill is pending in Springfield that would do away with requirements that Illinois fire protection districts print public notices in general circulation newspapers.
Instead, appropriation and penalty ordinances could be posted on a Web site.
The state ought to just open a website for all public notices in Illinois and charge everyone a fraction of what newspapers do. But that would eat too much into their cash flow, so it’ll never happen.
* Meanwhile, the state’s credit with vendors is so bad it can’t even buy bullets…
The Illinois Department of Corrections was forced to make an emergency purchase of ammunition last month because of the state’s inability to pay its bills.
The purchase happened after one of the state’s ammunition vendors, Shore Galleries Inc., refused to ship bullets unless the company was paid up front. The state owes the Lincolnwood firm $6,000.
The department was able to quickly find a new vendor in Indiana and ordered 761,000 rounds for nearly $200,000.
Great. We stiffed an Illinois vendor so much that we have to go out of state to find a willing sucker. Indiana gets the business, Illinois gets the shaft. Wonderful news.
* Progress Illinois has a hugely long list of layoffs and budget cut announcements at local schools just in the past few days. Here is a very tiny taste…
- Peoria School District 150 laid off 290 employees and may terminate another 200-400 staff members before the fall. (Illinois Statehouse News, April 6) […]
- Sixty-one first-year teachers are scheduled to receive dismissal notices from the Oswego school district. (ABC 7, April 1)
- Triad schools pink slipped 34 non-tenured teachers, five part-time certified staff members, and two part-time support staff. (Belleville News-Democrat, April 1)
- Central Illinois districts are bleeding teachers and programs. To date, Danville cut 85 employees, the Urbana School District laid off 139 teachers and support staff in February, and the Champaign school board approved $2.3 million in cuts for next year, reducing or eliminating summer enrichment programs, new textbooks, special education programs, and more. (Champaign News-Gazzette, March 31).
* Illinois Offers Help for Trapped Miners
* Mautino: Illinois educators can expect state budget woes to continue
* County eyes state budget woes
* Danville displays lower, balanced budget: The city council unanimously approved a resolution urging Gov. Pat Quinn to reconsider the income tax funding cut to municipalities and appealing to the General Assembly to not support it. The city could lose about $850,000, which could account for 20-25 employee cuts.
* Lawmakers review session, look to second half
* Rep. Watson speaks at town hall meeting