SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Quoting myself

Wednesday, Dec 19, 2012

* Matt Dietrich was at my City Club speech and filed this report

“It’s very possible that nothing is gonna get done [on pension reform in the lame duck session],” Miller told members of the City Club of Chicago.

But isn’t this THE big issue right now? And isn’t the lame duck session THE perfect time to take on this kind of controversial issue? This year, 35 lame duck lawmakers leave office on Jan. 9. They can make unpopular votes without worry of voter backlash. That’s how Gov. Pat Quinn passed his income tax increase two years ago.

Yes and no, Miller said. There’s still no consensus among majority Democrats on pension reform in the General Assembly. By comparison, raising the income tax in January 2011 was easy, Miller said.

“Raising taxes was a Democratic issue,” Miller explained. “It’s hard to keep Democrats from voting for a tax increase.” […]

Miller also offered a history lesson to those who believe the super majorities the Democrats will have beginning Jan. 9 will allow the party to pass legislation at will then freely override any opposition from the governor. Because of House Speaker Mike Madigan’s longevity and reputation for tight control of his members, there’s been speculation that the House, especially, will benefit from its veto-proof majority.

Not so, said Miller.

“He’s often said that other than the two years he spent in the minority under (House Speaker) Lee Daniels, the worst two years in his career was when he had a super majority in ’91 and ’92,” Miller said. “Because leading a chamber is like herding cats. And leading a chamber with a super majority is like herding insane cats.”

When a party’s votes are plentiful, Miller explained, members don’t want to vote on bills that might stir trouble for them in the next election.

“People don’t want to do anything, man,” Miller said. “It’s like, ‘We’ve got all these members. Why do I have to vote on this stupid bill? Why don’t you get the guys who are going to lose next year to vote on this stupid bill?’”

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


33 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 11:16 am:

    A thin veto-proof majority also can give members — especially those looking to move on — a lot of leverage with a governor.

    And despite what you might read or hear in other quarters, governor is still the most powerful position in Illinois.


  2. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 11:17 am:

    === And leading a chamber with a super majority is like herding insane cats ===

    That’s got to be up there with Trotter’s “(running) from you” for quote of the year.

    That said, legislators sure are putting in the time and effort to make progress on driver’s licenses for unauthorized immigrants, gay marriage, medical marijuana, gambling and (now) concealed carry and gun laws.

    Be kind of sad (pathetic? outrageous?) if all those come to pass with nothing on pensions. It’s not going to get easier on January 9th.


  3. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 11:23 am:

    The best line of your’s yesterday was about your alternate career plan if the Fax didn’t work out. I’m still chuckling about that.


  4. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 11:32 am:

    “governor is still the most powerful position”

    I’d add “usually”, given the power assumed by the GA to force the Gov. to break negotiated contracts for pay.

    The other advantage for a thin majority, is that it lessens the argument used by the opposing caucus when avoiding any tough issue: “they should do it without any help from us; they got the votes”.


  5. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 11:33 am:

    47th, it has the additional benefit of being true.


  6. - Jaded - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 11:34 am:

    =This year, 35 lame duck lawmakers leave office on Jan. 9. They can make unpopular votes without worry of voter backlash.=

    What makes anyone believe that lame-duck legislators want to vote to reduce or limit pensions for teachers, university employees, and state employees and then go back to their districts to live with, teachers, university employees and state employees.

    Or how about a cost shift that makes local school districts raise property taxes that will affect EVERONE back home. If I was a lame duck, I’d be saying, “have fun with this issue next year, I’m outta here!”


  7. - Prentiss - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 11:34 am:

    Sheesh….you have a veto proof supermajority, you got to draw the electoral districts, you got one of your own in the White House, interest rates for borrowing are at an all time low, there is an insatiable demand for Illinois bonds….

    What exactly ELSE do you need to governor Illinois properly???


  8. - Jaded - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 11:35 am:

    …and I’ve actually spoken with some lame ducks that are saying that very thing.


  9. - Secretariat - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 11:41 am:

    Dysfunctional!! Becoming a Hoosier is looking more attractive! Indiana actually has a Governor and Legislature that can pass major initiatives! Ahh, but we Illini do have SQUEZZY THE PYHTON!!


  10. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 11:48 am:

    It comes down to the old political dilemma: Do I do what’s best for the state in the long term, or do I do what’s good for me and my most involved constituents?

    It seems some “lame ducks” are more able to focus on the first option; they should have been doing that all along. It’s why we have a republican form of democracy.


  11. - M Smith - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 11:49 am:

    I really would like to see someone come up with a plan. Current workers & retirees say its the lawmaker’s problem since they did their part but don’t offer any suggestions/concessions they would make. Those of us under 50 need to think about what happens if we continue with this debt. Just to annoy everyone, you can look at IDOT’s website & see that secretaries now start at over $50k per year. Not suggesting sec’s don’t work hard but geesh - that’s more than positions requiring degrees.


  12. - Jimmy - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:05 pm:

    The plan will emerge when Moody’s and Fitch downgrade Illinois’ credit rating several notches on January 9th or 10th.


  13. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:23 pm:

    Jimmy, if wordslinger hasn’t posted a response to your credit rating screed he will shortly.

    Word?


  14. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:29 pm:

    This is perfect. Folks saying that with a super majority you can really get things done and others saying it ain’t that easy. Group dynamics theory at work. Certain subsets exist in every group of people. The niches will be filled. You will have gate-keepers, moderators, go along folk and naysayers no matter how homogeneous the group appears to be.

    Herding insane cats is a good way to put it.

    Rule of 85 may be safe for now. And all the rest.
    I focus more and more on my plans for retirement as I get closer. Looking for more certainty has been worrying. I don’t mind having to pay some more for healtcare and for my pension but that changes as I get closer. Hard to be/pretend to be altruistic after a point.


  15. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:34 pm:

    Re-Booters needed you to explain that to them? I thought they were hired because of their vast knowledge of state government. They shouldn’t need to quote others on session politics 101.


  16. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:35 pm:

    Gee, DD, what am I supposed to say? Prunella? Not to parse words, but what is that supposed to communicate, anyway?

    I wouldn’t call what Jimmy wrote a “screed,” either, which has a precise definition. More a statement of possibility.

    But then, I try to be clear in both my thinking and writing.


  17. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:42 pm:

    Oh, word, if someone posts something about credit ratings and bonds and all that, you are all over it like flies on crap. Or maybe you don’t want to remember your frequent postings on the subject.

    Screed was a bit over the top, tho, I admit. Just wanted to use the word.


  18. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:43 pm:

    - Gee, DD, what am I supposed to say? Prunella? Not to parse words -

    I just about lost a mouthfull of my afternoon coffee.


  19. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:46 pm:

    - Oh, word, if someone posts something about credit ratings and bonds and all that -

    What word typically argues is that the rating agency boards are idiotic in questioning the state’s debt, and that a lot of organizations would have a big incentive to change their rules regarding investment ratings if the state falls below investment grade.

    I don’t think he’s ever questioned that the potential downgrade is a real problem.

    But then again, would hate to parse.


  20. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:46 pm:

    Oh, Prunella.

    What an ultra-maroon.

    Doesn’t anybody watch old Bugs Bunny cartoons anymore?


  21. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:48 pm:

    DD, I do post a lot on bonds and the credit rating agencies when I have something to say about it. Don’t see anything to comment about on Jimmy’s post.

    But your anticipation is duly noted.


  22. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:51 pm:

    If I remember correctly, word would comment that folks would not stop buying the bonds even if the ratings were to drop as the return on investment is secure. In that event, the state would have no problem securing the funds thru the sale which makes the ratings drops essentially meaningless. How that could at some point be determined to be a problem didn’t seem to enter the discussion.

    But then, I wouldn’t want to step on the comedy parade.


  23. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:56 pm:

    DD, your recollections on what I’ve said in the past and am likely to say in the future would be a fascinating topic for your own blog. Once you have it all figured out, let me know, and I’ll be there.

    Until then, I think I’ll just let folks focus on the actual thread posted by the host.


  24. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 1:07 pm:

    I am looking forward to reading what others write as well. Too bad there was a misunderstanding as to what I was trying to do.

    I will say again it is amusing that the GA and the Gov would find it difficult to get anything done even with their supermajority. Perhaps we can blame it on the GOP?


  25. - titan - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 1:14 pm:

    @ M Smith “Current workers & retirees say its the lawmaker’s problem since they did their part but don’t offer any suggestions/concessions they would make.”

    My teacher friends say they’ll take a cut in the pensions they’ve earned - the same cuts that are imposed upon the state’s bondholders (and every other state expenditure). In some ways, they have a point.


  26. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 1:17 pm:

    Prentiss @ 11:34 am:

    – What exactly ELSE do you need to governor Illinois properly??? –

    Common sense and integrity, both of which seem to be soley lacking


  27. - M Smith - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 2:22 pm:

    Well said titan. It seems most of the people I see commenting are not willing to take any concessions. Other than those in the very low income brackets, there will have to be reductions. I only wish I could receive what my ss & pension statements say I will but that’s 15 years away so just not realistic.


  28. - regular democrat - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 2:49 pm:

    City Club now that’s big time good for you


  29. - Anon. - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 2:53 pm:

    ==My teacher friends say they’ll take a cut in the pensions they’ve earned - the same cuts that are imposed upon the state’s bondholders (and every other state expenditure). In some ways, they have a point.==

    Since the pension obligations are a contractual debt of the State, the same as its obligations to pay vendors and bondholders, they have an excellent point, morally and legally.


  30. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 2:54 pm:

    Michelle F: Love your comment. Short and sweet.

    Re-booters already starting to sound more like the Illinois Policy Institute, than anything truly non-partisan. I do hope for better from them, but beginning to lose faith.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 3:40 pm:

    How cool is that? The next thing you know, Rich Miller is going to need a Press Flack!

    I do love the question about how you got started and your “Plan B”. There is a joke somewhere, but you and 47 or right on it; its funny on its own merits, and even funnier because its true.

    Good stuff ….


  32. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 9:39 pm:

    @dupage dan -

    It’s not easy to “solve” the pension problem for a number of very simple reasons. Let me give you a few:

    1. There are 457 separate public pension systems in Illinois, with a combined membership of over 1 million (active and annuitants). That means roughly 1 in 9 adults.

    2. The only “fair” solution requires a time machine, which we lack.

    3. The options we have left are worse and worser, and its tough to build consensus around “worse”.

    4. It’s also hard to build alliances around a plan that hinges on breaking promises, and the only options we have left really involve broken promises to someone.

    At the same time, the longer we wait, the fewer options we have left, and pretty soon that will be “worser.” Before long, the only choice will be:
    1) eliminating publicly funded health benefits entirely for state retirees;
    2) privatizing every single state job unless otherwise prohibited by statute (state troopers are probably safe, but not many others);
    3) eliminating every single non-core state program, and a few core ones too;
    4) ending state subsidies of teacher’s pensions completely;
    5) balancing the remaining pension deficit on the backs of new hires.

    Pretty crappy, eh?


  33. - RNUG - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 11:15 pm:

    YDD,

    Your #1 is irrelevant. I’m not saying some of the other systems which, for the large part, reside under IMRF aren’t seeing a strain, but in terms of the State level discussion, only 5 systems need to be fixed: TRS, SURS, SERS, GARS & JRS. That’s the $95B or so hole. And yes, membership is huge.

    And as far as #2, the fairest solution is to tax everyone who benefited from the low tax rates over the past 40 some years, which is both current taxpayers and retirees. And the way to do so is through the state income tax. If you want to continue the current retirement income exemption to some extent, make it a new “surcharge tax” of 1% or 2% specifically for the pensions and based on income; a tax that everyone has to pay without exception. That way all the people, including retirees, who have benefited end up paying something.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* Can't anybody play this game?
* Radogno: Pass the grand bargain by the end of this month or forget it
* Question of the day
* CMS warns comptroller over draining special funds
* *** UPDATED x3 *** ISBE to vote on settling Urban League school funding lawsuit
* *** UPDATED x1 - FY18 bills filed *** Get out your checkbook, Mr. Mayor
* Midway contract criticized
* Bob Michel passes away
* Another day, another Rauner campaign ad
* Clearing up a little confusion
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Madigan orders committee to take up Thompson Center sale issue
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


* Bustos will remain in Congress after considerin.....
* Evanston stands to lose funds under proposed st.....
* Proposed bill would use money from emergency ca.....
* Illinois schools adapting to new 'asthma emerge.....


* Groups, individuals helping white extremists shed hate
* EXCHANGE: Cervical cancer survivor pushing for screening
* Illinois State University seeks public input on its future
* Thousands of demonstrators across US say 'Not My President'
* UIS provides shuttle between campus, downtown Springfield
* Deadline looms for Dakota Access pipeline protest camp
* Illinois schools adapting to new 'asthma emergency' law
* No charges against student who distributed racist pamphlets
* United aircraft blows tires before takeoff from O'Hare
* Hundreds protest Trump at Chicago 'Not My President' rally

* AFSCME strike authorization vote outcome to be revealed this week
* Cheri Bustos won't run for Illinois governor
* Illinois bill would rein in pro athletes' worker comp claims
* GOP criticizes Illinois comptroller for buying used $32K SUV
* Effort to privatize economic development questioned
* State budget impasse still hurting schools
* DHS moving into former Barney's Furniture store
* Madigan says House will consider sale of Thompson Center
* Bustos, other Dems demand Rauner pay domestic violence money
* State budget gap could be more than $7 billion

* Kraft Heinz withdraws $143 billion Unilever bid
* Like our roundup? Share it around.
* The 50 priciest​ home sales of 2016 are here
* Rauner finally weighs in on budget to Capitol laughter and groans
* Springfield's incapacity a threat to all small businesses, including mine


* Police investigate break-in at Portage Park car dealership
* Apartment fire leaves Westmont building uninhabitable
* No injuries reported in fire that destroyed 2 Naperville homes
* No injuries reported after barricade situation in Austin
* Man shot in vestibule of Gresham building
* Dear Abby: He keeps insulting wife about her past
* Georgia Nicols horoscopes for Feb. 21, 2017
* 17-year-old boy shot in Hermosa
* Man critical after Rosemoor shooting
* Police: Man shot dead in Altgeld Gardens


* Petcoke piles gone, but another dangerous pollutant discovered in the air
* Woodlawn sees another chance at revival in Obama library
* Sanctuary movement: Houses of worship consider offering refuge to immigrants
* Morning Spin: Does Illinois' official seal get the state's birthday wrong?
* 1 killed, 8 wounded in shooting attacks in Chicago
* Man threatening suicide in South Austin prompts SWAT response
* Police standoff ends on Far South Side
* Obama library: Latest stories, photos, commentary
* Boys basketball bits: No easy choice for No. 1
* Trump taps Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as national security adviser


» Hundreds Protest Trump At Chicago 'Not My President' Rally
» Report: Chicago's African-American Men More Likely To Be Unemployed, Undereducated
» Citizenship Ceremony Held For 25 People At City Hall
» With Eye On Farmers Markets, Lawmakers Target Regulations
» Chicago Aldermen Consider Crackdown On Street Performers
» Gary’s Disappearing Public Schools
» Why Was Rauner Budget Proposal Greeted With Confusion?
» Syrian Family Reunites Three Weeks After Travel Ban
» Man Charged In Shooting Death Of Chicago Toddler
» State Week: 'Balanced' Is In The Eye Of The Beholder


* Their View: Editorial: Remembering Bob Michel
* Kathleen Parker: Meet Rick. Meet the football. Hike!
* AFSCME strike authorization vote outcome to be revealed this week
* Cheri Bustos won't run for Illinois governor
* Illinois bill would rein in pro athletes' worker comp claims
* Their View: Why aren't Illinoisans blocking traffic in front of their Capitol?
* GOP criticizes Illinois comptroller for buying used $32K SUV
* Bernard Schoenburg: Dems eye Rodney Davis, who expects the challenge
* Effort to privatize economic development questioned
* Bernard Schoenburg: Dems eye Davis, who expects the challenge


* Grandview man dies in weekend motorcycle crash near Muscatine
* Rick's Six: Great weather, 3rd trial for Liggins, and Bustos not a candidate
* Commentary: The world is laughing at America
* Take center stage in Oscar Wilde classic
* Motorcyclist killed in accident was family man preparing to retire
* Restaurant owner’s newest now abierto (open)
* ‘Scandal’ a stretch, but SUV purchase doesn’t really say ‘priority’
* Commentary: The horror of waiting for the ICE agents to come knocking
* Gas prices fall, but still top last year
* Photo: Winging it


* Coyotes score 3 in 1st period, hold on to beat Ducks
* Dawn Patrol: Opponents of homeless plan speak out
* Constable: Mattresses rarely made presidents' day
* 'Ghost Adventures' host recalls suburban paranormal experiences
* Construction on Glen Ellyn police station ahead of schedule

* US Representative Randy Hultgren visits ne...
* Hultgren guides STEM scholars through pres...
* Hultgren criticizes immigration ban, Roska...
* Group upset with Trump wants Town Hall mee...
* Hultgren updates work on heroin, opioid ab...
* McHenry County Progressives meeting featur...
* US Rep. Randy Hultgren talks veterans' iss...
* US Rep. Randy Hultgren reflects on busines...
* Some Republican Congressmen Reject Trump's...
* GOP congressman appears to distance himsel...

* Durbin breaks silence on Trump's travel ba......

* Dem Sen Duckworth: 'This Is Not the Presid......

* Trayvon Martin’s parents on their book Rest in Power, Brown Girls premiere, and more things to do in Chicago this week
* Hundreds gather for ‘Not My President’ rally outside Trump Tower, and other Chicago news
* My Chocolate Soul Finds Its Home On Broadway
* Construction Updates On Maryville (Now "811 Uptown") Online
* SportsMonday: Now It's Northwestern's Turn
* Cheerleading's Peculiar Path To Olympic Sport
* Ill. '18 gubernatorial dreamer pool starting to winnow itself down to size
* Bit Bash's Filthy Pixels, Taco Fest 2017, and more things to do in Chicago this week
* Chicagoetry: Lope
* The Weekend In Chicago Rock


* Governor Takes Bill Action
* 2017 Budget Address
* Rauner, Lawmakers Move to Protect Taxpayers from Inmate Legal Bills
* Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Announcednew pilot program titled Tiny Boots
* Governor Rauner Attends Illinois National Guard Deployment Ceremony

  
* Overcast 3 Update Brings Redesigned UI to Podcast Player App
* Meitu’s new phone includes a dual pixel front camera and AI-powered beautification
* Tag Heuer Connected Modular smartwatch with Android Wear 2.0 could land in March after all
* Xiaomi will release even more mid-rangers and high-enders this year, Pinecone SoC coming this month
* Amazon Fire TV Stick With Built-In Alexa Coming to the U.K.
* New 2GB Verizon prepaid plan takes place of deprecated 3GB plan
* LG G6 yet again teased with waterproof design, fingerprint scanner, and yes, full-metal body

* This is not a typo: Soto throws to Soto during BP
* Garcia driven to reclaim outfield spot
* Garcia driven to reclaim outfield spot
* Bourjos enticed to White Sox by weather, opportunity
* Bourjos enticed to White Sox by opportunity, locale
* Renteria expects bright future for White Sox
* Top pick Burdi White Sox closer of future?


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
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

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




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