Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Not a great batting average for Dem budget reformers
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Not a great batting average for Dem budget reformers

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

* So, how did the group of ten House Democrats who pushed for extensive budget cuts do yesterday? It was, at best, a mixed bag.

The House did pass a $200 million Medicaid cut pushed by the group, which House Majority Leader Barb Currie referred to as “the only real savings” the House approved yesterday.

But a proposal to make state retirees pay health insurance premiums failed. A measure to cut the budgets of constitutional officers fell short. The $400 million in education cuts (K-12 and higher ed) were overwhelmingly rejected in committee. Reducing state mileage reimbursements to 39 cents per mile from 50 cents failed. Eliminating state paid stipends for some local elected officials died.

There were a few other successes

A proposal, however, by Elgin state Rep. Keith Farnham advanced to the full House that would limit the travel allowance for lawmakers to 39 cents for the next year. It also would reduce lawmakers’ travel allowance for housing and meals - currently $139 a day - to $111. […]

Meanwhile, a proposal that could potentially save $300 million by canceling and rebidding state contracts for a total of more than $1.2 billion also cleared the committee.

“There’s a pattern of renewing contracts just year after year,” Jakobsson said. “We just renew them and don’t ask questions.”

Rep. Elaine Nekritz was one of the chief motivators behind the move to cut the budget. She tried to put the best face on the defeats to my intern Barton Lorimor. Have a look

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 10:26 am:

    Good try - keep going!
    We are not to judge successes based on the results from one day. It took decades to get into this hole, and it may take decades to get out of it. Keep going!

  2. - Ghost - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 10:31 am:

    There is no reason the budgets of the other constitutional officers could not be trimmed back or paired. Perhaps Quinn will AV these down at least 5%

  3. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 10:37 am:

    It’s good to see others throw out proposals with real numbers behind them. The minority party should do so as well. How else do you differentiate yourself?

  4. - Fed up - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 10:37 am:

    Maybe we could get Blago/Quinn to layoff the flying on the taxpayer funded state plane. How many millions of taxpayer money because of Quinns sense of entitlement to free air travel. What a huge waste of tax money for these pols to fly on the taxpayer dime. Getting to and from your place of employment is your responsibility. Do we pay for the janitor to get a ride to work everyday.

  5. - mr anonymous - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 10:38 am:

    While I didn’t agree at all with some of the individual cuts that Rep. Nekritz and her cohorts were proposing, I very much appreciated the fact that several rank-and-file legislators were trying to take a pro-active, leadership role in moving budget negotiations along - rather than simply sit back and take it from the folks on high.

    We need more of that kind of spirit among lawmakers. Much like we used to see back in Ye Olden Days, pre-Cutback Amendment, when legislators would more routinely form independent blocs to influence policy.

  6. - Robert - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 10:42 am:

    in committee, did republicans generally vote with this group of 10 democrats who were proposing some specific cuts?

  7. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 10:43 am:

    Only a tiny handful, Robert, if at all. Some proposals didn’t even receive a “do pass” motion.

  8. - Ghost - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 10:46 am:

    Fed Up good point, we should run the state more like a large corpoation…and in a large corporation the head of the company never has a private jet if the janitor is walking to work. The most efficient way to operate the State is to have the govenor spend as much time out of his office traveling instead of getting work done.

    Good plan. After we pay the mileage reimbursement, that even the janitor gets for travel, we save maybe 80 dollars per trip over the cots of the plan. But instead of taking 40 min travel time, it take 4 hrs. meanwhile we pay quinn his salry for those 4 hrs of tavel which is more then the 80 dollars savings by a lot, but are not etting work from him.

  9. - dupage dan - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 10:48 am:

    I know how the dems can differentiate themselves. Cut spending. Solve the state financial crisis. Then take all the credit. How sweet that would be, eh?

  10. - wizard - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 10:57 am:

    cut housing and meal allowance to $98/day. that’s what state workers get while travelling to do their jobs. makes them back away from the bar a little sooner.

  11. - wizard - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 11:00 am:

    makes the lawmakers back away from the bar a little sooner.

  12. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 11:03 am:

    I see no reason at all for per diems…don’t these people earn a full time salary for a part time gig? It is simply a perk we cannot afford!

  13. - The KQ - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 12:52 pm:

    “There’s a pattern of renewing contracts just year after year,” Jakobsson said. “We just renew them and don’t ask questions.”

    I take issue with this statement. While I know there are some contracts that do get renewed without much assessment (the recent lease contracts for example) I know the CMS procurement office has a system for contract renewals that compares Illinois pricing with contracts in other States. This research is done prior to a renewal being executed. There have been many cases where it was discovered that the same product being provided by the same vendor in a nearby State was being bought for a cheaper price.

  14. - David Ormsby - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 2:09 pm:

    Obsessed with venting on nickels and dimes.

  15. - jake - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 3:07 pm:

    The few specific successes are all to the good, although they were only a small start to climbing out of the hole. More important was the precedent of a group of grass-roots legislators taking this type of initiative, and the Speaker actually encouraging them, after they voted against the budget that he wanted passed in the first place. This was a test of the Speaker’s leadership. If he had reacted as Cross did on the pension issue, the outcome would not have been good. Perhaps the most important specific result was that if this group had not done what it did, the pension bonds would not have passed. It was the example and influence of this group taking this initiative that brought Biggins and Black to the point where they would break ranks with the Republican leadership on the pension bond issue.

  16. - fed up - Wednesday, May 26, 10 @ 6:57 pm:

    Ghost you idiot the janitor does not get milage to go to from work. The gov. choses like his buddy Blago to soak the taxpayers of Ill with his travel expenses. Face it Quinn lied (as he often does) when he said he would live in the Gov mansion. Quinn cant even tell the truth about where he lives.

  17. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 27, 10 @ 11:09 am:

    Hard to believe over 90% of state workers don’t pay a dime for health care…no wonder we’re broke.

    Whose been in power long enough to have supported such reckless and unsustainable spending?

    While it should have been addressed years ago, was this just early notice to retirees that health care charges are coming after the election?

  18. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 27, 10 @ 11:16 am:

    BTW, why do we still need regional superintendents when modern technology eliminates the need and cost for middle men to relay info between the state and local schools?

    What exactly do they do to improve education? Lobby the state for more taxes using our taxes?

    If we need backups for local superintendents, why not create a reserve superintendent list that only gets paid when they actually work at a school?

    As reservists (instead of employees) they’d have more time and credibility when lobbying the state…not to mention save a few million.

  19. - Anonymous - Thursday, May 27, 10 @ 11:18 am:

    Why does our state want to remain addicted to foreign oil by subsidizing it with our taxes?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* *** UPDATED x5 - Groups are still opposed *** Kaegi says deal reached on property tax assessment reform bill
* Reader comments closed until Sunday afternoon
* Illinois separatist interviewed on Fox News show
* House's newest freshman ponders tax vote
* Gatehouse cuts jobs to the marrow while spending $100 million on stock
* Leader Brady upbeat on budget talks
* Capital bill roundup
* Cannabis roundup
* House Revenue Committee approves Senate income tax rate bill
* The Credit Union Difference
* Congratulations, Rhiannon!
* Read the Lightfoot tea leaves
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* *** UPDATED x1 - Pulled *** Rate the new FanDuel/DraftKings TV ad
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...










Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller