* GOP Rep. Don Moffitt is a moderate Republican who was thought to be maybe leaning towards voting for the pension borrowing plan. My intern Barton Lorimor caught up with Moffitt after the House GOP caucus meeting a while ago and Moffitt said he’s sticking with his fellow HGOPs against the borrowing plan. Watch…
House GOP Leader Tom Cross affirmed that his caucus is united on the pension bond plan…
op executives with the International Home + Housewares Show fired off an email to Gov. Pat Quinn today, saying they could not recommend Chicago as the show’s venue for 2012 and beyond when their board meets later this week unless the governor signs the McCormick Place overhaul legislation.
“The lack of signature to this bill will ultimately send us and other vitally important trade show business elsewhere,” the email stated. It was signed by Phil Brandl, president of the International Housewares Association, and Mia Rampersad, the group’s vice president/trade shows. The association’s show has been a cornerstone of the city’s convention business since 1939.
If the bill is not signed, “the letter is pretty specific as to what will happen,” Mr. Brandl said. If Mr. Quinn signs it, renewing in Chicago “will be a much simpler process.”
The show is prepared to renew for “three to five years” in Chicago if the legislation is signed, Mr. Brandl said. The show attracted nearly 60,000 participants in March and injected an estimated $82 million into Chicago’s economy, he said.
* Quinn’s office has issued a press release announcing the governor’s support of university borrowing…
Governor Pat Quinn today spoke with University of Illinois President Stanley O. Ikenberry and Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard regarding a legislative initiative to allow state universities to borrow money to cover expenses during the current economic crisis.
“After careful consideration, I believe it is in the best interest of Illinois taxpayers to include state university borrowing in the comprehensive borrowing bill now before the Illinois General Assembly.
The university presidents and I agree that this is a more fiscally-responsible way of addressing the state universities’ financial issues while also protecting the interests of Illinois taxpayers. A comprehensive plan will result in a stronger response from the bond market, more manageable and competitive interest rates on state bonds and ultimately lower costs to taxpayers.
Proceeds from a comprehensive borrowing plan will be used to pay for vital state services, including university expenses.”
ontinuing to deflect notions that President Barack Obama isn’t backing him, Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias announced today two White House officials will be coming to Illinois next month to campaign for him.
Secretary of Education and former Chicago schools chief Arne Duncan will join Giannoulias on the campaign trail on June 17, followed two days later by Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina, the campaign said. Duncan and Giannoulias have been friends for years and both were among a group with then state-senator Obama that regularly played basketball together.
* UPDATE 1 - 2:39 pm - The House Executive Committee voted on several budget-cutting ideas this afternoon. An amendment pushed by Rep. Elaine Nekritz to lower state employee mileage reimbursement failed, 4-0 with seven abstentions. Another amendment making state retirees pay more for their health insurance premiums failed. But a proposal to suspend per diem payments to legislators for one year was approved.
* UPDATE 3 - 2:39 pm - All amendments proposed by the coalition of Democrats pushing for cuts were either killed by the House Appropriations General Services Committee this afternoon or were withdrawn. One such proposal would’ve cut statewide officers’ budgets by 5 percent.
And here’s a press release from the Responsible Budget Coalition…
“Lawmakers have returned to Springfield to work towards a spending plan for the coming fiscal year, but appear no closer to approving a real, responsible budget with adequate new revenue to meet the state’s obligations and prevent devastating cuts to vital services and jobs.
“Instead, too many legislators are proposing to repeat and compound past mistakes by slashing education, health care, human services and jobs, and failing to pay the state’s bills.
“For example, under Senate Bill 3660, legislators—for the second straight year—would abandon their constitutional responsibility to set appropriations for essential public services. Instead, they would cede to the governor vast powers to reduce or eliminate such services. This is not part of a responsible, comprehensive solution that sets Illinois on a path to adequately fund vital programs, pay our bills, and avoid repetition of the problems that have landed us in a $13 billion revenue hole. The Responsible Budget Coalition demands a comprehensive solution to the problem.
* UPDATE 4 - 3:52 pm - After refusing to vote for the pension bond bill a couple of weeks ago, some House Republicans are now complaining that the Democrats are loading up the borrowing bill with amendments designed to entice them to vote for the bill - like specific borrowing proposals that have already been introduced by House Republicans.
So, the House Democrats have now moved to table all the amendments except one. That one would authorize an additional $1.5 billion in borrowing authority for school construction. It passed with 78 votes, including numerous Republicans. [That one was withdrawn as well.]
Welcome to silly season.
* UPDATE 5 - 4:47 pm - The pension borrowing bill fell just one vote short, 70-46-1. Democratic Reps. Jack Franks and David Miller (the Democratic nominee for comptroller) voted “No.” GOP Rep. Beth Coulson voted “Present.”
Republican “Yes” votes were Black, Pritchard. GOP Rep. Jerry Mitchell has an excused absence. Republican Reps. Raymond Poe and Rich Brauer, who have a whole lot of AFSCME members in their districts, voted “No.” The roll call will eventually be posted here.
* Speaker Madigan is on the floor now talking with Rep. Miller. We hope to have his explanation for his “No” vote and Rep. Coulson’s explanation for her “Present” vote soon.
* UPDATE 6 - 5:01 pm - Rep. David Miller has just moved to reconsider the vote.
The Republicans have asked for an immediate caucus. They’ve asked for an hour.
Not exactly the most courageous vote I’ve ever seen in the Illinois General Assembly.
Coulson said she wants to get the budget out of the way before considering the borrowing bill, but she also said she wants to “look at the municipality [pension] reforms” before she’s be ready to vote for the borrowing bill. Doesn’t sound like she’ll be a “Yes,” but that still doesn’t explain her “Present” vote.
House Republican leader Tom Cross was berating Democrats for being irresponsible with state finances when Gov. Pat Quinn suddenly sprinted into the House, stomped down the center aisle and stood, hands on hips, glaring at Cross.
So the GOP party of no is voting against a borrowing program leaving us with just non payment; which will cost the state 30 Billion! 30 Billion for political games! Every Dem running for election needs to start camapining on the GOP’s decision to play politics to the tune of almost triple the current deficit.
Don’t know why, but that cracked me up. It is wide, I’ll give you that.
- Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 2:11 pm:
That’s it Ghost. Blame the GOP for the mess caused by the Democrats.
Perhaps if the Democrats truly consulted with the GOP and actively sought their input instead of shutting them out, then trying to dangle a sugar cube in front of them, we wouldn’t be watching this train wreck continue down the tracks?
Yes it is all about politics now. And the ones controlling the steering wheel of government are to blame.
It sounds like Quinn is going to veto the legislation allowing the universities to borrow.
The state will borrow to make the pension payment and to pay for some operations (at least, higher education). This is an attempt to get some Republican votes. With even greater borrowing, will they cave?
NRA and now Housewares — if those two biggies go it’s katy-bar-the-door at Mac Place. The last of the longtime, big shows will follow suit.
That’s real money, folks — hotel rooms, meals, shopping, taxis, etc. The taxes generated from those shows are spread out all over the state.
I thought Quinn had enough on his plate without screwing around with this bipartisan no-brainer. He will surprise you, though, won’t he?
In the interest of transparency, I disclose that the more money at Mac Place, the better for my business. If you want a good laugh, I’ll show you my tax returns, but only during intermissions at the Blackhawks game Saturday night. You supply the tickets.
Louis if a no vote keeps a bill from passing then that no vote is steering the state. I teach my kids that just because johnnie did something wrong does not make it ok for them as well.
The GOP is resposible for every no vote they cast, and it is the GOP which are propelling the State to 30 billion in debt of hurt feelings. You have convinced me though that we need all Dems if we want to fix the problem, we definetly are not going to get any help from GOP elected officials. Apparently they feel they were elected to do nothing, so why keep them around?
So much of addressing our state’s dicey fiscal situation requires long term pain, compromise and years of healing. But the McCormick Place overhaul legislation is something tangible and visible which Quinn can do RIGHT NOW to make a real difference for the region’s economy. Quit playing politics, Pat. Sign the damn bill!!
There is a bit of irony that the GA spent years fighting with Blago, claiming he exceeded his authority in regards to not following the BIMP verbatim; and now the GA wants to hand the Gov a pile of cash an he power to do what he wants with it.
Rep. Moffitt is blowing it.
Bill Black said in the Tribune yesterday that borrowing is inevitable.
Other moderate ‘Pubs need to see the light.
Shame on Don Moffitt. He’s not the courageous moderate I once thought he was.
Last week VanillaMan wrote a worthwhile missive re the GOP “no” stuff. I suggest you read it. Basically, if you deny folk a seat at the table don’t blame them for the dirty dishes.
- Springfield Sceptic - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 3:04 pm:
If you want to diminish politics in state government, when you walk in the polling booth vote for anyone EXCEPT the incumbant. We have nothing to loose. It would be hard for things to be worse than this bunch.
PQ worrying about a possible lawsuit if he signs the overhaul legislation reveals him to be a weak man who fears loss of control. Not something one would put on his resume. Time to go, sir.
- Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 3:11 pm:
- should have had them at the table at the get go. -
I’ve never heard so much whining about anything as I have from Republicans on the national and state level about being invited to the table. These people are lawmakers for crying out loud, they have access to a huge public forum. Show us the ideas, quit whining about being in the minority and voting no on everything. If you really had the answers the Democrats couldn’t shut you out.
=If you really had the answers the Democrats couldn’t shut you out=
Recent memory must have failed you, sir. At the state and federal level, the dems have successfully denied access by the GOP to their legislative actions. Nationalized health care is but one example. I know, I’m sure you will deny they had no access but the folk out there in public opinion poll land don’t agree with you.
If the dems have such a compelling story here, why don’t THEY go to that huge public forum you are talking about. Then the people will contact their GOP legislators and pressure them to sign off. Why wait for the GOP to take all the glory.
- Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 3:27 pm:
- Nationalized health care is but one example. -
Since that doesn’t exist in the USA, I’m going to have to say that isn’t a valid example. The Dems are making their story public. You see, they have to, because they’re the ones making these decisions. The Pubs are sitting on the sidelines crying, but not making their case public. I mean, whine about redistricting all you want, isn’t it pretty pathetic that when the Dems are supposedly running the state into the ground, the Pubs still can’t take back the majority?
- What Were They Thinking? - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 3:35 pm:
Word is the opposition to the pension borrowing plan is being driven by AFSCME, which somehow still hopes that driving the state toward a cliff will end in a better Plan B.
Apparently, they haven’t seen the actual Plan B, which ain’t HB 174, but just skipping the pension payments for six months.
This “place at the table” issue by the GOP is just a cover for not proposing anything and justifying their “no” vote. What table are they looking for–they have their elected offices, their committee positions, their floor positions, and certainly their massive voices in the media that is radically biased in their favor. What more of a table do they want???
It constantly baffles me that the Repubs have not proposed real budget bills, both on the approp and the revenue side. Certainly the Dems control the process but they are not exactly clambering over a pile of Republican budget legislation to do it. Any minority has the right and the obligation to make its needs and wants known. At least with some forward action it can point to a charge that was turned back rather than one that never took place because it saw defeat as inevitable.
But shame on the Dems for caving to what most knew was a disaster-in-the-making over the past eight years. They allowed programs to be created and funded that cost money than they knew was available, kept “member initiatives” intact, and generally disregarded the responsibility of majority rule.
Denying the validity of an arguement based on semantics only supports my position. Let’s wait and see if the dems bringing their story to a sympathetic press will have an impact where it counts - the ballot box. So far, it looks like the voters don’t agree with you. My reps, here and in DC are not getting pressured by their constituents to vote for higher taxes or shortsighted borrowing plans. I try to picture going to a lending institution and asking them to lend me money so I can fund a 401k. It isn’t hard to imagine them laughing.
Seriously, the attempts to place the blame for this mess entirely on the GOP is simply mind boggling. The kitty has left the building.
Then again everything is going to rock when Jim Messina comes to campaign with Alexi, his work with Buffalo Springfield, and Poco as well as what he did with Kenny Loggins should appeal to voters…
oh wait the White House Asst. Chief of Staff who has no ties to Chicago or Illinois….
Yeah that’s the ticket, I suspect it’s like when you ask for a member of the royal family to show up and dedicate your bridge and you get Prince Edward.
- Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 4:00 pm:
- Denying the validity of an arguement based on semantics only supports my position. -
I didn’t do that, Congress didn’t pass nationalized healthcare, its a fact.
And I’m not blaming republicans, I’m saying they aren’t proposing any solutions. Thats definitely their right, especially in an election year when they don’t want to be associated with unpopular cuts and potential higher taxes. Its also my right to call them what they are, do nothing crybabies.
How in the world can any responsible person support more borrowing??? My recollection is that Illinois was for all practical purposes broke for many years before the current “economic crisis”. Any financial advisor will tell you that if you are chronic about living above your means and cannot pay your bills, the last thing you want to do is incur more bad debt! I am glad the GOP at least understands that much, though I am not so sure they understand much of anything else.
The Alexi bailout tour begins. How many DC insiders does it take to prop up a 31 year old failed banker?
- Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 4:05 pm:
- How in the world can any responsible person support more borrowing? -
Well, its pretty easy when the only other option is skipping. Skipping costs much, much more than borrowing in the long term, so borrowing is the more “fiscally conservative” option. Any financial advisor would tell you if you have 2 options, and you want the one that saves you the most money, you should probably pick the one that saves you the most money. Apparently the GOP doesn’t even understand that.
So let me get this straight, Republican’s are not even allowed in the budget meetings. However it is their fault for not proposing an alternative budget?
In other words, propose a budget that will never be negotiated or discussed. Commit the man hours to a project that will never see the light of day.
Work on legislation that might actually be considered by the legislative body.
By the same token the Detroit Red Wings should send the starting lines to Coach Quenneville for the Stanley Cup Finals. That way if things go badly for the Blackhawks at least the Red Wings can talk about how they new the right answer…freaking ridiculous!
Boy, the partisanship is widespread here today. I just can’t bring myself to seeing this as a D/R problem. The Ds aren’t willing to enact any real solutions at this point, and we pretty much know why (whether we like it or not) and the Rs aren’t willing to propose any, and anyone with any sense pretty much knows why too. I don’t see how that makes one of them good and the other evil, no matter which side you are on.
I hate to say it, but it may take a real crisis to precipitate any action by anyone. Do the Rs create such a crisis by refusing to support borrowing? Not really I think, unless the GA is too forgetful to amend the continuing approp language for 2011, or the Gov decides to precipitate a crisis by holding such a bill for a while and then vetoing it, allowing the cash transfers to go ahead.
The budget actions being contemplated this week at the Capitol are virtually all bad ones, but the reason for that is primarily, I believe, because no one of substance has been willing to nail up on the Cathedral door a list of good choices that they commit to support. That doesn’t seem a partisan, but rather a virtually universal, failing.
Why should we trust the dems with more borrowing? While I agree that the current situation will be made worse by skipping the payment into the pension, it is hard to imagine a GOP rep coming up with a good explanation to a constituent as to why the credit card was left in the hands of the wastrels. Maybe the dems could come out to the GOP town hall meetings and explain. Once they get the voters on their side we can swipe that card and borrow away. Nothing preventing the dems from going to the public and bypassing the crybabies.
- Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 4:13 pm:
dupage dan - Just so we’re clear, I understand thats what you think, but you’re not understanding me. If the GOP presented real ideas instead of refusing to negotiate, Democrats would not be able to shut them out. This is true at state and national levels, and the GOP has behaved the same on both. If the GOP was out publicly proposing budget solutions that made sense, and the Democrats still weren’t using them, then I would agree with you. They’re not, they’re just whining.
- Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 4:15 pm:
- Nothing preventing the dems from going to the public and bypassing the crybabies. -
They are, you see. Its called an election, and it takes place this year.
As to my 4:09 post, I need to give credit to the Ds who have been recently working on proposed cuts, though quite inadequate ones, and to PQ for openly stating his support for an income increase for more than a year, though he hasn’t appeared to come up with any ideas on how to achieve it. And, credit to President Cullerton and his caucus for passing 174, though seemingly unable or unwilling to leverage that into similar action by the House.
Your is a moderating voice in this wilderness. I fear the wolves are howling too loud, tho. Since I am not in a leadership position I have no irons in the fire. For most of us here all we have left is our keyboards and this great blog. There is little leadership in state gov’t for all the reasons you posted. More’s the pity.
What comes first, the budget or the election? Do your dems fake another 6 month budget and hope no one notices? As you say, the election cometh. Since, as you know, I am not a betting man, I wouldn’t make book on either side winning big. But it will be ugly.
Well, there is always the possibility of a federal bailout of state pension systems which are in really poor shape, not just Illinois, although we are the worst, I believe. Our fearless pols on both sides are probably hoping
for some cataclysm requiring a bailout that would take the responsibility away, far away from them.
Just because it hasn’t happened, doesn’t mean it can’t. No, impossible? Not fair to the better-managed states? Can you say AIG? General Motors? Greece?
===Just so we’re clear - the GOP was denied access to “the table” during the debate over what is frequently referred to as Obamacare. That is a fact.===
Dan, enough of the revisionist history. It was only last year, we haven’t forgotten the debate yet. Where were you when Obama hosted the health care meeting at Blair House?
Throughout the debate, the GOP opposed single payer. The GOP opposed a public option. The GOP supported tax credits for small business. The GOP supported a crack down on fraud. The GOP supported a ban on abortion coverage. ALL of these things are included in the final version.
If the Democrats truly denied the GOP a seat at the table, we’d have a single payer system that required abortion coverage. That’s not what happened.
The GOP didn’t vote for it, not one single vote, for basically a GOP authored plan, and then has the gall to say “we weren’t included.” Hogwash.
47, in fairness what the Rs are being asked to participate in is terrible public policy. If I blame them, it isn’t for failing to support what this budget is going to end up being, but for failing to offer a better alternative, but I clearly understand and appreciate why they are failing to do so.
It is horrible public policy, and the gutless wonders in Springfield are more concerned about saving their seats than they are in saving this state. There are not enough votes to raise taxes, there are not enough votes to make major cuts, and there are not enough votes to borrow massive amounts of money.
Hopefully in November, there will be enough votes to change the names on many of the offices down there, in both parties. The status quo ain’t working.
But I really would like the GOP to offer some kind of alternative, even if it amounts to putting the Tribune editorials into bill form and then getting a vote on it.
Although I am a state employee I shudder at the thought of a federal bailout of states and their pension nightmares. When does the insanity end? Who foots that bill? What next on the long line of bailouts? Is Illinois too big to fail? Oy.
It is your beliefs that are breathtaking. This topic is completely off subject here and I hope Rich shuts it down soon. But, as long as you all are still talking about it, I have to say that the suggestion that the Repubs were not allowed to be involved in the healthcare deliberations and debate is ludicrous. There were negotiations with Repubs during the committee hearings. The Repubs all eventually left the negotiating table b/c they weren’t getting everything they asked for. And, it’s hard to negotiate with somebody who, as a principle, didn’t favor the “healthcare reform” in general. They were in favor of some smaller scale items but weren’t on board for big healthcare changes. The Dems, being in control, had every right to move on if the Repubs weren’t going to negotiate in good faith. If they voted no on the principle of the “healthcare reform” that is fine. But to continuously suggest that they voted no b/c they didn’t get to participate is simply false and you know it.
“It is horrible public policy, and the gutless wonders in Springfield are more concerned about saving their seats than they are in saving this state. There are not enough votes to raise taxes, there are not enough votes to make major cuts, and there are not enough votes to borrow massive amounts of money.”
There are precious few heroes in this drama. Only various levels of irresponsibility. The fact that the Neckritz plan couldn’t even muster enough votes on any cuts, even to lower mileage reimbursement? WAKE UP PEOPLE. ROME IS BURNING AND YOU ARE ALL NERO, FIDDLING WHILE YOU WATCH.
This is pathetic. But what should we expect in a state that took five tries to means test an idiotic program like free rides for seniors.
- CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, May 25, 10 @ 5:19 pm:
RxRon (aka Jack&Coke) was the only member to fail to stand when the Governor was introduced What a hack
and so it goes… Chubs Mahoney, I had to laugh at your comment re. disappointment in Moffitt. If you had all your hopes & dreams pinned on him to save the day, I just don’t know what to say. I mean, really?
I think the “seat at the table” argument is valid in this context (and Mr. Schnorf, please correct me if I’m wrong): In the years when the Republicans controlled the Governor’s office, the Senate or both ALL four caucuses were equally at the negotiation table. Even if the House Republicans were told NO on a specific budget issue — at least they were told NO “at the table.” Now, with all control being held by the Dems, they’ve cut the Republicans out entirely and closed the door on them — barring any entry. If the Repubs are not involved “at the table” to discuss what issues have been vetted and which items have been rejected, but are then asked to support the final “deal” without any advanced discussion — I think they have an legitimate use of the “not at the table” argument.
So what number of tragedies, deaths, and incidents is it going to take before some actual action happens? Seniors without food, disabled with no support system, residential homes closing, elementary classes at 40+, winter with no road salt, retail decline from low sales, local hospital closings from poor payment, more early release from prisons? What event(s) will it take to pull the “We got to do something” button. Easy to say no. Easy to look at this problem as simply a number balancing equation. Easy to get stuck on McPier sidetracks. Not so easy for the hundreds of thousands of people who are directly effected by the issues everyday and who will lose without a decent budget. Tough choices need to be made but most pols seem to be more concerned about their elected positions. I agree with Steve. Who is stepping up to the cathedral door and taking the heat? The people in the GA wanted the jobs they got. Time to do it.
So if the GOP is the party of no the the dems are the party of 6 years of complete control that drove the state to insolvency. No to more borrowing no to more waste. No to more of quinns broken promises. The dems are in complete control and broke the state and like a 2 yo baby are now looking for someone else to blame. Borrowing makes the debt bigger and the pain longer.
Uh, why would seniors be going without food? Or anybody, for that matter.
As a result of the economic crisis, food stamp allotments have been increased. This is a federal program so the states only have to pay for administrative expenses. Many major grocery stores take them.There may be problems resulting from Democrats’ 8 year mismanagement of the state’s monies, but nobody needs to go “without food” because of it. The application process is quite simple. Seniors can do it online, from home.
unclesam, Governor Ryan refused consistently to meet with the majority leaders without the minority leaders present. Once at a breakfast at the mansion he walked out (calmly, not stormed) because he had understood the minority leaders were going to be there and they hadn’t been invited. Left me and Newtson to have breakfast with Pate and the Speaker.
However, those were different days, because control of the GA and the Gov’s office was split between the 2 parties, not like now..
Zatoichi, seniors without food school classrooms 40+,hospitals closing etc etc how nice of you to point out what 6 years of complete dem control have brought to Ill. Maybe you should send a thank you card to Quinn, madigan?cullerton
Really, Mr. Black? Joint mess? you mean joint with D senate and D house? Don’t get the wrong idea, you can solve it R&D, just don’t blame it on the ‘cycle of violance’ or some other pablum. The D’s bought this problem.
As a total aside, will someone please remind the Governor how his predecessor got in trouble? If he trades an amendatory veto of the McCormick reform for union money, well…well then he commits a felony. Lisa Madigan could be governor a lot faster than most people expected.
Yes, those were different days — which helps illustrate the point of validity to the HGOP argument. With two-party control, everyone was forced to work together and everyone was able to come to terms. With one-party control, a decision was made to no longer include the minority party “at the table,” but still expected everyone to come to terms.