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Madigan: Quinn wanted another lump sum budget, borrowing plan not going well, no plans to pursue school consolidation bill

Wednesday, Mar 30, 2011

* Gov. Pat Quinn has complained repeatedly over the past several months about how the General Assembly punted by sending him lump sum budgets the past two years. But, today, House Speaker Michael Madigan told reporters that Quinn asked him to pass yet another lump sum budget this year. Watch

Sheesh.

* Madigan also said that Quinn’s borrowing plan is “not being real well received by the Legislature,” which is kinda obvious. And Madigan said that he has “no plans to pursue” some of Quinn’s other ideas like school consolidation.

* This story is more than a little behind the curve since the actual House resolution divvying up the cash to appropriations committees passed the chamber 117-0 way back on March 17th

Illinois House leaders are pushing forward with a budget plan that would ignore many of the governor’s spending proposals.

The top Democrat and top Republican in the House said Wednesday they have settled on the amount of money available for major categories of state government. Now, House committees will decide which services get a piece of that money and which don’t.

Education, for instance, would get about $6.8 billion — a cut of $200 million.

* The reason it’s “news” today is because Speaker Madigan and Leader Cross testified in committee about some approp bills. Watch

You can peruse the budgetary work sheet distributed to approp committee members by clicking here.

* I forgot to post Finke’s column yesterday. He has some interesting budget info from the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability

One of the center’s conclusions was that despite all of the complaints about the state spending too much, it would be a good deal more if spending had kept up with inflation and population growth over the last decade. If you take those factors into account, the analysis determined, spending is less now than it was in 2000. Not a little less, but nearly 16 percent less. Overall. Higher education, it said, is down 35 percent, and the often vilified outgo for health care is down 13.4 percent.

It’s hard to argue that state government is somehow immune from inflation. But it’s also going to be hard convincing taxpayers - whose own paychecks probably haven’t kept up with inflation - that the state needs to spend more. […]

The analysis determined that about $5.45 billion of [the governor’s proposed $8.75 billion borrowing plan] is for old bills. Another $1 billion is to pay for current bills. That’s a no-no, in the same sense you don’t mortgage your home to buy this month’s groceries. The groceries will soon be gone, but the debt will last for years.

The center also said repaying the money over 14 years, as Quinn wants, is too long and the whole thing is backloaded, which is not a good idea.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

27 Comments
  1. - Fed up - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 12:05 pm:

    Consolidating schools , eliminating township level goverment and combining some smaller county’s could save the state some money. But raising taxes is easier so that’s what we will stick with.


  2. - Leroy - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 12:22 pm:

    Quinn asked for the lump sum last year as well…


  3. - Just the Facts - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 12:28 pm:

    Consolidating schools is almost always a money loser. It is another great example of ready, fire, aim policy which is rampant in our government. Increased teacher salaries and transportation costs eat up administrative savings in short order.


  4. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 12:29 pm:

    No upcoming election, more revenues, the economy ticking up — I can see why a lump-sum budget would look better to any governor this time around, and why the GA would say no.

    Nice try, Pat. Maybe this one will work: Ask Madigan if he would like a Hurtz Donut, and a nice Hawaiian Punch.


  5. - Both Sides Now - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 12:31 pm:

    Whether Quinn asked for a lump sum budget last year is irrelevant. Madigan, Cullerton and their cronies had the opportunity and duty to put together a budget and pass it. They didn’t because OMG they might take some heat for their decisions. Instead, they threw the hot potato to Quinn. Now this year, they’re all coming back like knights on white horses to “save us” from Quinn and his “evil ideas”. Yeh, right, let’s see how it all ends up in May.


  6. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 12:50 pm:

    BSN….the lump sum budgets were an outgrowth of GOPers plan to derail the budget process and shut down the government. Having failed at that, the election rsults and the incredible defeat of NoTaxBill; the GOPers decided they needed a new plan. PQ will be part of the process.


  7. - Newsclown - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 12:51 pm:

    Quote: “let’s see how it all ends up in May.”

    Oh, an OPTIMIST, I see……
    I’ll take July 3rd for the office pool.


  8. - Bill - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 12:52 pm:

    Paying the past due bills with borrowing will save the state money in the long run because they will pay interest at around 4-5% instead of the 12% they supposdly will have to pay everyone they have stiffed for more than 60 days.
    If they had the grapes to make the draconian cuts necessary we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place. Even Brady agreed that borrowing would be needed this year and next. They can always call the bonds early if the situation improves.
    Their only alternative is to just not pay which doesn’t seem to bother madigan and his cronies that much.


  9. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 12:56 pm:

    Bill,

    If we borrow, can we at least agree to borrow only the sum needed to pay off past bills, and not current (and future?) operating expenses, as Our Boy Pat® proposes?


  10. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 1:18 pm:

    ===I’ll take July 3rd for the office pool. ===

    I wouldn’t.


  11. - Bill - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 1:22 pm:

    Ok Cinci.
    I’m good with that. You can handle the cuts however. I don’t have the stomach for it.


  12. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 1:26 pm:

    @Cinci:

    I’m not sure what you are reading but there is no proposal to pay current operating expenses from what I have seen. The money would all go to pay bills that are owed. Maybe just acknowledging the facts once in a while and moving beyond talking points would be good.


  13. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 1:28 pm:

    BTW, I consider “current” bills to still be bills that are owed.


  14. - Bill - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 1:31 pm:

    Demo,
    See the post above. $5.75 + $1 does not = $8.75


  15. - Pat Robertson - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 1:34 pm:

    Demoralized — see Finke’s column at the top of this thread. That’s hardly the first unchallenged mention on this blog of the planned use of over a billion of the borrowing to pay current expenses.


  16. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 1:36 pm:

    ===$5.75 + $1 does not = $8.75 ===

    There’s about a billion in state employee health insurance and about another billion in corporate tax refunds, I believe.


  17. - Belle - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 1:44 pm:

    We can begin by making some cuts in the Congressional perks–very easy.
    No cars
    Cut salaries
    Cut benefits
    Enact furlough days
    Use your own cell phone, etc


  18. - cassandra - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 1:53 pm:

    So, about $1 billion to pay operating expenses?
    I thought even Quinn or his budget people had acknowledged that some portion of the proposed borrowing would go for current (fy 12? fy11?) operating expenses. In any case, there has been journalistic confusion in the reporting of how the $8.75 would be allocated.


  19. - Fed up - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 1:55 pm:

    Rich,

    Are you taking the over or the under on the July 3 prediction?


  20. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 1:56 pm:

    - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 1:36 pm:

    ===$5.75 + $1 does not = $8.75 ===

    “There’s about a billion in state employee health insurance and about another billion in corporate tax refunds, I believe.”

    You’ll get the idea:

    http://www.dirksencenter.org/print_emd_billionhere.htm


  21. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 1:57 pm:

    May 31


  22. - BCross - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 2:31 pm:

    ==Consolidating schools , eliminating township level goverment and combining some smaller county’s could save the state some money. But raising taxes is easier so that’s what we will stick with. ==

    Dear Fed Up. I would be happy to schedule the venues if you would like to go on a speaking tour of the State to promote this agenda. I think you would quickly figure out why few legislators take up the cause.


  23. - Anon - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 2:36 pm:

    Vacation time payouts.


  24. - Dirty Red - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 5:02 pm:

    QUINN TRULY IS THE REFORMER!

    He came up with an idea so bad that he got Speaker Madigan and Leader Cross to work together on the budget.

    Wow.


  25. - mokenavince - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 5:27 pm:

    At last keep the budget away from Quinn. Madigan and Cross understand it better than Quinn. All the Gov. wants to do is tax and spend and borrow.


  26. - piling on - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 6:32 pm:

    Belle, Congressional perks would be for members of Congress. That’s in Washington DC. The Legislature, known in Illinois as the General Assembly meets in Springfield. That’s what this discussion is about. Welcome to Illinois. Better study up for that constitution test.

    And while you’re studying up, check out the Emergency Budget Act of the past two years, that’d be the plan that includes lawmaker furlough. Not sure if you realize it, but furloughs are actually pay cuts. I somehow doubt Senator X one day tells his constituents, “I know you elected me, but today I’m on furlough. No people’s business today.”

    What the furloughs did was reduce their pay by roughly 5 percent. Pay cut.

    Amazing all the stuff that happens when you don’t pay attention to anything.


  27. - piling on - Wednesday, Mar 30, 11 @ 6:34 pm:

    Dirty Red,
    The last governor to get Madigan and Cross (and Watson) to work together was Rod Blagojevich. Hopefully this isn’t shades of ‘07 else we’re in for one long summer, and fall and four years.


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