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Budget stuff

Tuesday, Jan 27, 2015

* Gov. Bruce Rauner talked about the Democrats and the state budget, via the Illinois Radio Network

“It was nowhere near balanced. They just assumed that they were gonna win and hike taxes after the election, and so they not only didn’t appropriate enough money for many of the departments, but then they told some of the people in the departments , go ahead and ignore what we appropriated, go ahead and spend what you wanna spend, ‘cuz we’ll deal with it later, so they have not been honest about it and that’s a problem that I’ve gotta fix, and I will fix it, but it’s gonna be hard to do,” he said.

Rauner says long-term, he’ll propose an “overhaul” of the state’s tax code. He also says he’s “looking forward” to contract negotiations with AFSCME, after saying last week that state workers are overpaid.

* And on a related note, the state’s childcare program was deliberately underfunded last year and is basically out of money

State Senator Emil Jones is trying to shore up funding for child care programs in Illinois. He wants lawmakers to approve an extra 300-million dollars for the effort.

The money would help low-income working families pay for child care services. The program which usually offers support has run out of money, which means many daycare providers are turning kids away.

* Meanwhile, the mayor of DuQuoin believes that his town’s “state fair” will survive the budget axe

The results of November’s gubernatorial elections hadn’t been announced yet when the rumor mill started its inexorable grinding of fact to pulp. “I’m hearing that Governor Rauner is going to close the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds,” whispered one. “The state is closing the fairgrounds after the first of the year,” said another.

You want to know what I’ve heard? Nothing. Not a single confirmed, reliably-sourced utterance has come my way about the future of the fairgrounds. I’ve heard lots of unfounded pessimism, doubt, negativity, and worst-case scenarios, but nothing substantial until early last week.

That’s when I read in reliable print media that the new Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Philip Nelson, wants to modernize both the Illinois State Fairgrounds and the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds. He further wants to develop strategies for sustainability based on increasing year-round utilization of both fairgrounds. It’s out there in print. Google it, as I did.

That’s what he said. He didn’t parse words. He didn’t obfuscate or dart around the subject. Director Nelson’s comments, if taken as his intent, indicate a positive, constructive vision for our beloved Fairgrounds that bodes well for its future. It’s music to my ears!

Yeah, well, as much as I truly love the DuQuoin State Fair, I’m not sure it’s more important than things like childcare for the working poor. Then again, it’s undeniable that the region has already been hit hard by state facility closures. This one isn’t as important as losing, say, a prison, but shutting it down will have a negative economic impact.

* The Aurora Chamber lays out the problem for its members

The state is constrained as to what it can cut. Illinois cannot cut debt service or pension payments. After adjusting for matching revenue, it would take an estimated 20 percent in cuts to remaining spending — including education, Medicaid, public safety and transportation — to eliminate the deficit.

There’s only so much Medicaid spending that can be cut because of federal rules on “mandatory” services. But, yeah, 20 percent of GRF is about right, and that’s just for this fiscal year. And it doesn’t include things like the already existing childcare shortfall.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

107 Comments
  1. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 9:29 am:

    How hard has DuQuoin looked for private sponsorships?

    I thought this was impressive

    http://www.iowastatefair.org/upl/downloads/library/2014-sponsor-brochure.pdf


  2. - Soccermom - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 9:31 am:

    And yeah, I get that the DuQuoin fair is not the Iowa State Fair. But still…
    http://agr.state.il.us/dq/index.php?pg=142


  3. - state worker - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 9:32 am:

    Gov Quinn did propose a balanced budget and said we need to maintain the tax hike. Why is it okay to forget that?

    Meanwhile, back at the campaign office, Rauner never proposed anything.


  4. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 9:33 am:

    The Aurora Chamber must have a very short memory when it concludes the state can’t cut pension payments. That was the course of first resort for a very long time.


  5. - Hoping for Rational Thought - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 9:34 am:

    Don’t forget since Medicaid is paid for about half by the feds in most cases when you cuts $100 in Medicaid you lose $50 in federal revenues - so the state only benefits / gains $50 by cutting medicaid $100. Once adjusted for federal revenue loss Medicaid is still big but not as big as it looks when you just look at spending. Never forget you cut Medicaid you have to lower federal revenue on the other side of the equation or you have problems.


  6. - Miss Marie - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 9:37 am:

    Actually, the child care program wasn’t “deliberately” underfunded. Based off all the news reports, there were other factors. Some times unexpected things come up.


  7. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 9:37 am:

    ===Why is it okay to forget that? ===

    Because he signed this budget into law.


  8. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 9:38 am:

    Why make that silly statement about state workers being overpaid, especially with negotiations coming up. Overpaid in relation to what. Most workers think they are underpaid, no matter where they work. You can’t win that dispute, and it’s a distraction he doesn’t need. Harp on the state’s dire fiscal situation if you will. But ditch the red flag.


  9. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 9:38 am:

    ===Based off all the news reports, there were other factors. ===

    Yeah. Not enough money. It was underfunded.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 9:44 am:

    I think what amazes me about Rauner is the idea that he speaks so partisanly and cinfrontationally about Democrats and Unions or whomever he wants to demonize to whatever audience he is addressing…

    But, Rauner then will tout his working together attitude or it’s the bosses of the Unions, not the members, or whatever is contradictory to an earlier statement…

    And…both contradictory statements about ….anything…are indeed true.

    I am amazed by that.

    Cullerton and, very specifically, with MJM, they want honest partners. History has proven this from Edgar to Quinn.

    You keep bashing, at some point, which Rauner or statement rings…the “most” true(?)

    I will say this about the Unions;

    Good. Luck.

    Elections have consequences.


  11. - Hacksaw Jim - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 9:48 am:

    === Why make that silly statement about state workers being overpaid, especially with negotiations coming up. Overpaid in relation to what. ===

    He is setting the stage for what I expect to be his first proposal in the union negotiations: A pay cut with no raises.


  12. - Del Clinkton - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 9:48 am:

    Well Bruce did say he was going to expand education…

    …by cutting taxes.


  13. - Hacksaw Jim - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 9:49 am:

    === A pay cut with no raises ===

    And by this I mean an immediate pay cut with no raises for the term of the contract.


  14. - Pete - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 9:50 am:

    I don’t think Dems “just assumed” Quinn would win, as Rauner claims. They thought the Guv election would be a referendum on the temp tax hike — and if Quinn won, they would come back to town and balance the budget by extending it. But they also thought there was a decent chance Rauner would win — and if he did, the Repubs would have to be at the table and help clean the mess. That’s why rank and file in the GA pushed back when Quinn/Madigan/Cullerton came out for extending the tax this time last year. Why own the tax hike and/or budget cuts when you can share the misery?


  15. - Motambe - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 9:51 am:

    Those who work in economic development in southern Illinois know that under the last three governors we have been told that prisons, recreation, and tourism is the state’s focus in southern Illinois, not industrial or manufacturing development. What has that meant?
    1. No more four lane highways or interstates in the region to move goods and products.
    2. Gov. Blagojevich did push the WSRC at Sparta and get it done. And yes, the jury is still out on the RTI for this project.
    3. But then he gutted the DNR budget and employee rolls, diminishing the tourism factor for the parks.
    4. Prison shutdowns and reductions in force had a negative effect on our local economies.

    Bottom-line, the state’s focus and commitment has been schizophrenic. So of course the DuQuoin mayor is excited to see a suggestion that planning and resources will be committed to sustaining a critical tourism attraction in his community. And as with everything else, state revenue restrictions will define how effective the new administration will be in meeting these challenges.


  16. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 9:52 am:

    He’s going to fix it? I’m sure he’ll take credit for whatever gets done, but fixed is not what the result will be.


  17. - SAP - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 9:54 am:

    ===Why is it okay to forget that?
    Because he signed this budget into law. === True, Quinn signed the budget, but if he vetoed it, we very likely would have gone into overtime session and could have easily wound up with an even worse budget. I think it is completely fair, however, to blame Quinn for spending to the full extent authorized by the budget he signed rather than ordering State agencies to limit spending and refusing to release funds in excess of what the State could afford.


  18. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 10:00 am:

    I’m sorry, but I really don’t think we should be keeping our prisons full in order to bolster fading rural economies.

    Mass incarceration (in the US, not just Illinois) is a very serious social problem of our time, which also disproportionately affects minority communities. It needs to get fixed, and soon, before more lives, many more, are ruined. One of the reasons it doesn’t get fixed is political pressure from those representing communities which live off the jails.


  19. - Soccertease - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 10:01 am:

    ==Cullerton and, very specifically, with MJM, they want honest partners.==

    That’s a good one OW.


  20. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 10:06 am:

    Congrats Rich for being one of only 3 Illinois reporters to make The Fix’s 2015 list of best state political reporters.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/01/27/the-fixs-2015-list-of-best-state-political-reporters/


  21. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 10:06 am:

    ===That’s a good one OW.===

    History?

    MJM refused to meet with Blago after the honesty was gone…

    MJM and Cullerton all but cut out Quinn and Quinn couldn’t even muster Floor Leaders that could work with MJM and Cullerton on his behalf.

    To put your Drive-By in the “silly” catagory, use the “search” key; Edgar himself has stated that the relationship with Madigan only worked when, you guessed it, trust was gained and earned.

    I dunno, seems like trust from the Executive to Legislative branches is…real…not a snarky punchline.


  22. - Ghost - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 10:07 am:

    We tend to view the world as having two solutions for money problems; drastic cuts and/or raise taxes.

    There is a third option, and Nelson hints at it. Use existing resources to increase revenue. For exmple reduce rates or peovide incentives to get year round rental use of fairgrounds. Add enforcment employees to ateas that generate more money per employee then what we spend. We have a lot of taxes fines etc on the books, but we keep cutting the people who enforce and turn those into revenue streams. We need to look at where we can make money with what we have.

    And for a real sacrilege…. Perhaps we need to stop renting buildings owned by cellini and other big donors and instead buy space where we need it. The state will be aroudb forever. We have paid 20 times over the cost of owning our own concordia court…. Not to mention all the other state rentals for warrhouses and offices. Build or use eminent domain. Use the rental fees to cover bonds for permanent state owned facilities and get out of renting.


  23. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 10:12 am:

    “He also says he’s “looking forward” to contract negotiations with AFSCME, after saying last week that state workers are overpaid.”

    I’m hoping Rauner eases back on some of his rhetoric and strives to negotiate in good faith. We know Illinois is beyond broke, and if taxpayers have to pony up, so do state workers.

    What I hope is that Rauner is not draconian, and I hope that he won’t resort to some type of campaign against state workers, to push a harsh agenda.


  24. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 10:14 am:

    ===Rauner says long-term, he’ll propose an “overhaul” of the state’s tax code===

    Methinks the Rauner definition of “long-term” will be pretty short-term relatively speaking, unless he uses the same smoke-and-mirrors that he’s accusing the dems of having used in the past.


  25. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 10:15 am:

    I dont believe prisons are economic development, and the DuQoin State Fair is a relatively small thing.

    But there should be a concerted effort to market Southern Illinois up north as a tourist destination. There’s a market for an earlier Spring, an extended Summer and a longer Fall.

    Michigan and Wisconsin beat our heads in year-round on outdoors recreation advertising in the Chicago market. They do it because it pays off in a real way.

    The typical Illinois “brand” spot — where you see a couple at the Lincoln Museum in the morning, shopping Michigan Avenue in the afternoon, and having a glass of wine on the porch of a Southern Illinois B&B at night, doesn’t move the needle for anybody. You have to market the regions and activities on their own.


  26. - qcexaminer - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 10:19 am:

    Rauner owes the unions nothing since they fought tooth and nail to defeat him.
    However, it will be refreshing to have—for once, a governor who is looking out for taxpayer interests rather than his own by buying union votes with Other People’s (a/k/a taxpayer) Money.


  27. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 10:29 am:

    Grandson, I’m afraid all your fears will come to fruition. He’s already attacking. He’s going to use the contract negotiations to request major givebacks and higher employee health costs. The unions will not be able to count on Madigan and Cullerton for help. Madigan is not a friend of AFSCME and Cullerton acquiesces to Madigan’s play.


  28. - AlabamaShake - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 10:31 am:

    **Actually, the child care program wasn’t “deliberately” underfunded. Based off all the news reports, there were other factors. Some times unexpected things come up.**

    The underfunding was absolutely deliberate and well known at the time. The problem was just made bigger by the fact that there were other unexpected factors that have made the already large underfunding that much larger.


  29. - northernwatersports - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 10:36 am:

    SAP @ 9:54am
    =Because he signed this budget into law. === True, Quinn signed the budget, but if he vetoed it, we very likely would have gone into overtime session and could have easily wound up with an even worse budget.=
    This was discussed ad nauseum while the budget was on Quinn’s desk. IMO, he made the wrong calculated decision, and then, not wanting to see people start suffering, authorized all the funds to be used.
    What he should have done is consider how he was treated by MJM and the rest of the legislature, and forced them to go into overtime. MJM would have needed to force his members to wear the jacket, but Quinn might have received at least one endorsement from the media for his courage and honesty about funding the government people wanted, instead of what the Tribies and their ilk kept demanding.
    Ultimately, he paid the ultimate price, and now everyone is pointing fingers and damning the results. The voting and non-voting public are about to find out how painful their action/in-action can be.


  30. - Motambe - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 10:37 am:

    Wordslinger and Cassandra - agree that prisons are not a preferred economic development strategy. Have not seen any mayors or county commissioners voice the goal “we are going to get the next prison!” We would all prefer clean industries with long-term jobs. But one of the first questions location experts ask is, “how far is your community from the nearest four lane highway?” So we have infrastructure issues. Then you can add tax structure and worker’s compensation costs which make it more difficult to recruit new industrial expansion from out-of-state. Difficult, but not impossible. Some towns are getting it done, but state support has been inconsistent.


  31. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 10:38 am:

    I’m really unhappy over the immaturity our new governor has been displaying.

    Governor Rauner, you are the governor now. You do no one any good by crafting reasons the state budget is bad. You are spinning conspiratorial stories which are a disservice to the very people you need to work with. Claims that your future budget partners deliberately screwed our state will not make them feel obliged to help.

    You didn’t get elected because the situation we face was rosy. Quite the contrary. You spent millions few have to point our dreary circumstances out to every soul with a television, radio or newspaper subscription, (so I was told). You look just plain silly now, whining about the very thing you told us awaited us all if we didn’t elect you.

    OK - move on, sir.

    Please study how Dick Durbin communicates. You don’t point your fingers in anger, but in a state of sorrow. You tell us that the situation you face now is terrible, but those in power until January tried to do their best. You don’t tell us that they deliberately screwed us or you. You won’t win anyone over saying these things!

    You are like a new janitor who spent millions to tell us that you know how to clean up the dirt, then get the job and then complain about how dirty we are!

    We need you to succeed. So first, stop whining. We all know you face a bad situation. That is why you won!


  32. - ZC - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 10:43 am:

    I think one of the most important things to be watching, is whether Rauner decides to get on board with Pension Reform 2.0 / the “New Cullerton Plan,” as floated last summer in the Trib:

    >> [Cullerton’s] idea is to present [state workers] with a stark choice as their contracts come due for renewal: Workers could agree to a scaling back of the COLA they’ve been promised in retirement or forgo any pay raises while they’re still working. “The state constitution,” said Cullerton, “does not guarantee pay raises.” (full link below)

    All the tough talk Rauner’s been floating about AFSCME’s next contract would be compatible with this. And it immediately forges a link between the Gub and the Senate Democrats and blurs the lines that Rauner alone is out to kill the unions. And it may be the last remaining “solution” to somewhat reduce the pension burdens that can pass court muster. And Cullerton might enjoy having his own proposal center stage instead of everyone watching Madigan.

    But probably Rauner just has me Rorschaching him, as he still does everyone outside his inner circle, as OW has noted above. So we’ll just have to wait and see what his move is.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-john-cullerton-pension-reform-illinois-perspec–20140725-story.html


  33. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 10:44 am:

    To set the record straight, plans to modernize the State Fairgrounds were in the works prior to Gov. Bruce’s election,…I think that the length of time it took to follow protocol on fracking rules was a Godsend for Southern Illinois tourism prospects…the perfect storm of low oil prices and the slow wheels of Government regulation…

    unfortunately, my Union friends in state government are in for alot of pain this year… they are such an easy target for the Baron and his minions…


  34. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 10:52 am:

    You guys portending doom for state employees care to comment on how much money this confrontation will save? I’m thinking not that much.

    So then what Bruce?


  35. - Soccertease - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 10:57 am:

    OW, you’re trust is another persons fear. To MJM trust translates to “going along with what I want”. For example, when Madigan introduces or supports legislation that he know won’t go anywhere just to gain leverage somewhere else, is that trust?


  36. - Juvenal - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:01 am:

    ZC:

    Rauner has already told us over and over what he intends to do.

    He will push for all existing hires and new hires to be in a defined contribution plan instead of a defined benefit plan.


  37. - Capitol Fax Follower - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:03 am:

    ZC at 10:43am: unfortuantely, when you click the link that you provided in your response, all that you get is this error message: SORRY I can’t seem to find the page you wanted.

    I’m sorry we had to meet under these circumstances, but allow me to introduce myself. I’m Colonel Tribune, the Web ambassador for chicagotribune.com. Perhaps I can help you find what you wanted when you hit this error page?

    Try our search or our topics pages. You also may want to take a look at our archives. If that doesn’t work, please feel free to read through our FAQ or send us a question or comment. Meantime, I hope I run into you surfing the Web. You can find me on Twitter and Facebook.

    Have a good day!


  38. - archimedes - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:06 am:

    Having to cut state department budgets by 20% isn’t surprising when the Income Tax Rate is cut 25% (5% to 3.75%). And plan on another 20% cut (or more) for FY2015-16 since this year the tax rate was cut for only 1/2 of the fiscal year.

    The GRF budget (about $38 billion) has only about $20 billion in service budgets - the rest is pension, payments, debt service on bonds, and transfers. The income tax reduction took away $6 billion (for a whole fiscal year) - or about 30% of that $20 billion service budget.

    The credible approach will be to make some significant cuts (austere, but not draconian) to these expenditures and fill in the gap (after the cuts) with the needed revenue - either income taxes or “new.” That’s for FY16.

    Rauner needs to bring a balanced structure to State finances over his four years. He is long past due to change from campaign rhetoric to leader/statesman.


  39. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:06 am:

    ===To MJM trust translates to “going along with what I want”. For example, when Madigan introduces or supports legislation that he know won’t go anywhere just to gain leverage somewhere else, is that trust?===

    I don’t think Jim Edgar approached it the way you describe. I know Jim Edgar never approached it as you describe.

    MJM isn’t all-powerful. Those who give up their partnership status, be it by incompetence or bold face lying face a different MJM than the partner Edgar had.

    I must’ve missed Jim Edgar doing what Madigan wanted and only that…

    Being a mushroom versus being another 1/3 to Cullerton and MJM’s 1/3 in governing is so very different.

    Look up Edgar’s quotes, then look up MJM’s quotes on Edgar;

    Trust.


  40. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:06 am:

    “for once, a governor who is looking out for taxpayer interests rather than his own by buying union votes”

    Union members are taxpayers.

    For that matter, so is the Governor.


  41. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:08 am:

    CFF, a simple “Your link is broken” would’ve sufficed. lol


  42. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:09 am:

    PublicServant, the amount is not the key point to the Gov. It’s just one small piece of the puzzle. His narrative is that the employees make too much - unless you’re doing his bidding - because of the big bad unions and need to be brought back into line.


  43. - sparky791 - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:16 am:

    Juvenal
    -He will push for all existing hires and new hires to be in a defined contribution plan instead of a defined benefit plan.-

    He is going to find out pretty soon that for existing employees he is out of luck getting rid of defined benefit plan.

    Then what?


  44. - Louis G Atsaves - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:20 am:

    === Why make that silly statement about state workers being overpaid, especially with negotiations coming up. Overpaid in relation to what. ===

    Sounds like he is staking out a negotiation position with the unions. Of course, we are talking about those same unions that spent small fortunes trying to tar and feather him during the election, and even propping up a minority party to take away votes from him.

    Should make for some interesting times the next few months.

    The narrative that Rauner needs to atone for his campaign rhetoric towards others while no one atones for their anti-Rauner rhetoric is baffling. That sword does cut both ways.


  45. - Mouthy - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:21 am:

    I’ve negotiated state contracts before with democrats and republicans. The republicans were naturally a tougher slog but they did negotiate and we always ended up with a contract. I’ts gonna be interesting to see what Gov Rauner wants to do. negotiate or blow the whole thing up and impose his will. One thing for sure IMO, regardless of the road taken the rank and file ain’t gonna smile..


  46. - ZC - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:24 am:

    OK, attempt #2 … sorry about that.

    Here I will link to the Capitol Fax coverage of Cullerton’s proposal, which links to the Tribune’s

    Note also Rich Miller’s perhaps-prescient comment on the link below, “Whether the state could get the union to agree to such a change without a strike is another story.” AFSCME immediately attacked Cullerton’s idea as “extortion.”

    https://capitolfax.com/2014/07/25/cullerton-mulls-a-solution-while-the-savants-incite-panic/


  47. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:24 am:

    ===The narrative that Rauner needs to atone for his campaign rhetoric towards others while no one atones for their anti-Rauner rhetoric is baffling. That sword does cut both ways.===

    Rauner the victim again?

    Where is Rauner getting attacked from since the inaugural?

    The Press that didn’t give him a pass in the election, but the editorial boards that did, and now woke up?

    Staking out that Rauner is a victim?

    Rauner won…it was in all the papers.


  48. - Soccertease - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:24 am:

    Don’t disagree with you OW that Rauner is burning his bridges by blasting state employees/unions before going into negotiations. I’m just questioning the trustworthiness of MJM/Cullerton.


  49. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:27 am:

    Fixing up the fairgrounds sounds good and they certainly need it but does it make sense to spend millions on facilities that are fully utilized 10 days a year when other State facilities are falling apart?

    I doubt any amount of marketing can turn them into year round facilities.

    If economic development is the rationale then I bet there’s better ways to invest State funds.


  50. - Opportunity Knocks - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:28 am:

    If Rauner could privatize state fairs we would all be better off. Some of the best fairs–arguably the very best fairs–in the nation are put on by 501(c)3’s. No reason it can’t happen here. No more OT gravy train for ISP, no more parades put on by politicians for politicians with staff dragged out to march in election years, no more crappy, money-losing grandstand shows. Admission prices might go up a bit, but that’s, well, fair. Why should people who don’t care about fairs and don’t go to fairs have to pay to put on fairs? It is the quintessential example of non-essential government spending. And the irony is, the fair, at least in Springfield, would likely be much better if it was put on by private enterprise. When you have to compete for entertainment dollars to exist, the entertainment tends to be much better.


  51. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    === He will push for all existing hires and new hires to be in a defined contribution plan instead of a defined benefit plan. ===

    If he can get the legislature to pass it, he can do it for new hires. Can’t force the change for existing workers.


  52. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:32 am:

    - Soccertease -,

    With respect, please don’t take my word for it, honest.

    Take Jim Edgar’s word. He explains it better since he lived it.

    Believing a myth while ignoring Edgar and MJM’s own pointed direct quotes to the trust is being true to understanding how “We” governing works.


  53. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:34 am:

    “Believing a myth while ignoring Edgar and MJM’s own pointed direct quotes to the trust ‘isn’t’ being true to understanding how “We” governing works.”

    Apologies.


  54. - Mouthy - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:40 am:

    Worse case: Gov enters negotiations and proposes pay cuts. ASCME says no way. Gov give union proper notice that in 30 days he would no longer operate and recognize the prior, expired contract. Union doesn’t budge. 30 days are up and Gov imposes across the board pay and benefit cuts. Union votes to strike. Gov vows to fire. Union strikes. Gov starts to fire. And so it goes.

    As far as I know this could happen. My question would be is the Governor tough enough to go down that road.


  55. - Dan Bureaucrat - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:45 am:

    @Motambe–

    I recall Governor Quinn closing 4 prisons and in response to a year of extreme blowback, had to remind AFSCME that prisons are not a jobs program.

    Motambe–”Those who work in economic development in southern Illinois know that under the last three governors we have been told that prisons, recreation, and tourism is the state’s focus in southern Illinois”


  56. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:45 am:

    ZC, any union or employee giving Cullerton’s plan any serious consideration in this climate needs to be examined for their sanity. Who would want to negotiate away their pension benefits in exchange for some future pay increase. MC’s haven’t seen an increase in 8 years. Do you think they will see any increases in the next 4? Union employees will be lucky to come out with a contract that only has a freeze for a few years in exchange for fewer layoffs or lower increases in health care costs.

    Cullerton’s plan is a pig in a poke. All this will mean if it passes and gets signed is low acceptance and additional litigation.


  57. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:46 am:

    IMO the Cullerton proposal is in a gray area constitutionally. There have been a number of decisions about limiting the factors that apply to the pension, most going against the government entity (when a detrimental effect could be clearly shown) although they have won a few. None of what I remember about the cases were exactly like Cullerton’s proposal; my feeling is completely capping the pensionable salary would be a diminishment but I’m only about 60/40 on that. If it does pass we will get to see another court case play out, only this time it will be the employees suing.

    In the overall scheme of things, I have to wonder if it is really worth wasting the time trying that approach since it would presumably only apply to the still working Tier 1 group.


  58. - The Dude Abides - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:54 am:

    I may be wrong but I thought that if the Union and the Governor fail to reach an agreement before the existing contract expires, the terms of the former contract continue to be enforced until a new contract is agreed upon.
    I can see the potential of more lawsuits over the next four years.


  59. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:55 am:

    === is the Governor tough enough to go down that road ===

    Good question. From his business track record, it appears he could be characterized as pretty tough. But in those cases, it looks like it was remote / non-confrontational with the actual people being affected.

    Have to wonder how firm he will when it gets ugly and personal with unions demonstrating on his door step? Few people stand up well to that kind of pressure … but he might be one that does.


  60. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:58 am:

    “The narrative that Rauner needs to atone for his campaign rhetoric towards others while no one atones for their anti-Rauner rhetoric is baffling. That sword does cut both ways.”

    It was Rauner who started attacking unions first. Not many people heard of Rauner before he came onto the political scene. He entered Illinois politics in the attack mode, attacking public union leaders. I am willing to let bygones be bygones, to a point. If Rauner takes the rigid stances he at times said he would, then I guess I’ll react accordingly.


  61. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 11:59 am:

    ===But in those cases, it looks like it was remote===

    Which is why Boeing moved its HQ to Chicago.

    It’s one thing to close a factory by remote control. It’s on a whole other level to shut down a prison, or whatever.


  62. - TiredofIT - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 12:01 pm:

    Does anyone really thing Gov. Rauner is dumb enough to actually try and cut state worker pay - he is a business man who understands the economy impact something like this could have. No raises, additional costs for medical and pension would essentially result in the same savings but not have as big of an initial impact on the overall economy. Doom and gloom is all some people ever want to talk about but lets get realistic.


  63. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 12:04 pm:

    ===Does anyone really thing Gov. Rauner is dumb enough to actually try and cut state worker pay…===

    Try? Sounds like many things are on his table to discuss.

    We will all know soon enough. There won’t be across the board raises…


  64. - Mouthy - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 12:17 pm:

    ===I may be wrong but I thought that if the Union and the Governor fail to reach an agreement before the existing contract expires, the terms of the former contract continue to be enforced until a new contract is agreed upon.===

    If the existing contract expires then the conditions of that contract continue until a new contract is signed except either party can give notice (I think it’s 30 days) that they will no longer honer the conditions of the prior contract. Then it’s open season.

    ===Does anyone really thing Gov. Rauner is dumb enough to actually try and cut state worker pay===

    I do. Maybe the tables’ being set now. Remember the Gov’s $20 million dollar fund. I can see a campaign against the (not my words) greedy and overpaid state worker and how much the state budget is suffering because of it and how he’ll be able to cut taxes, not raise them, and stimulate growth in the economy. This is uncharted territory.


  65. - Hit or Miss - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 12:28 pm:

    ===Does anyone really thing Gov. Rauner is dumb enough to actually try and cut state worker pay===

    During the early part of the recent campaign Rauner talked about the “corrupt bosses” on a number of occasions. In addition he stated repeatedly that Illinois needs to cut its taxes. Because of this, I think that it is possible that a pay cut might be put on the table as a first bargaining position in future contract negations. With that said, I would say that a pay cut for state workers is not a realistic outcome for the next round of labor contract negations. At most it might be seen as an attempt to keep a promise made during the election campaign and win approval with some sections of his political base.


  66. - Keyser Soze - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 12:36 pm:

    It is unlikely that the Governor will propose salary cuts for existing workers. More likely is an adjusted pay schedule for incoming workers.


  67. - Juvenal - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 12:40 pm:

    Sparky, ZC, RNUG and Mouthy:

    You assume that Rauner either wants or has to have a tangible “solution” to the pension problem.

    Every governor before him got away with kicking the can down the road, except for Quinn, and where did tackling the issue head-on get Quinn?

    As for hardball contract approach, Mouthy, I wouldn’t be surprised if the AFSCME contract includes language automatically extending the existing contract until a new one is adopted. In either case, as Rahm learned, you provoke a strike at your own peril.

    There is a reason AFSCME has not faced a statewide strike since the early 1980’s. An AFSCME strike would bring Illinois to an economic standstill.


  68. - Hacksaw Jim - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 12:43 pm:

    === Does anyone really thing Gov. Rauner is dumb enough to actually try and cut state worker pay ===

    Thats a loaded question, but I do think that Rauner will try to cut state worker pay. He has made it known that state employees and their pensions are enemy number #1 for the Rauner Republicans. For now, it seems clear that you can’t cut employee pensions, so the next logical step would be to go after their salaries.

    I know a number of State employees that voted for Rauner, acknowleding that they were voting against their own interests. It seems as if they underestimated just how much their vote went against their own interests.


  69. - truthteller - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 12:43 pm:

    Rauner’s rhetoric around employee wages isn’t about balancing the budget, it’s about busting unions. With Thompson, Edgar, Blagojevich and Quinn there were years with no or very little in the way of pay increases in some years. With Quinn, after deferring pay increases previously negotiated with Blago in return for a no layoff agreement similar to those negotiated in other states, the last round of bargaining produced pay increases averaging just 1.33% a year (4% over 3 years). Who thinks that’s a giveaway when you factor in that employees gave back 1% of their salary in increased health care premiums?
    Busting the unions didn’t solve Wisconsin’s budget woes and it won’t solve Illinois’ either, but it does advance the corporate political agenda which was and Rauner’s political raison d’etre


  70. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 12:44 pm:

    === Does anyone really thing Gov. Rauner is dumb enough===

    You may think that makes him dumb. Others may think it’s a smart move.


  71. - ZC - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 12:49 pm:

    Juvenal,

    Fair point, my personal guess is Gov Rauner would love to kick the can down the road in terms of putting off future pension problems.

    Can he, is the question, without triggering a serious market counterreaction.

    If governors could just forever kick the can, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation.


  72. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 12:50 pm:

    “I doubt any amount of marketing can turn them into year round facilities.”

    They already are year-round facilities. The permanent buildings at the fairgrounds host all kinds of events — flea markets, wedding receptions, horse shows, dog/cat shows, midget car races, etc. — throughout the year. The camping areas at the fairgrounds are open from April 1 to Oct. 31. Upgrading the fairgrounds would be a boost to all kinds of events, not just the Fair itself.


  73. - Loop lLady - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 12:50 pm:

    What truth teller said….


  74. - Secret Square - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 12:51 pm:

    I’m referring to the Springfield fairgrounds; I don’t know what the DuQuoin facilities are like.


  75. - Newsclown - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 12:56 pm:

    There is sense in keeping both Fairgrounds well-maintained. They both host events thru the entire year, not just the 10-day fair span. From horse shows to car shows to concerts, they provide a venue for convention business and other large gatherings. They can potentially be an effective economic engine. But they can’t attract business if they’re left in disrepair, and neglect converts them into a deeper and deeper expense, rather than a revenue-generator. I’m surprised the iconic timing tower at DuQuoin’s famous track hasn’t collapsed yet, from all the rust holes in it’s understructure. Springfield’s not doing much better, with holes in the grandstand roof. Cutting back on infrastructure investment in bad times is a false economy. Just when you need that infrastructure the most, you’ve put it out of reach. Any homeowner will tell you the same.


  76. - Federalist - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 1:02 pm:

    From reading the MSM as well as posts on this site it appears that Rauner, Madigan, Cullerton and most of the GA believe the state’s financial problems are due to those incompetent ,lazy state employees. Although Rauner alone has mentioned Medicaid.

    The vendetta against state employees might make them feel good and paly well with certain segments of the public but it is not going to solve the financial crisis that has been building for 40 years.

    All public employees would be wise to request a pay increase based upon the SS CPI, stick to their guns but ask for no more. And this would apply to health costs as well. Again, tie it to salary increases.

    This type of reasonable approach would really tick off Rauner, Madigan et. al.


  77. - Mouthy - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 1:04 pm:

    ===As for hardball contract approach, Mouthy, I wouldn’t be surprised if the AFSCME contract includes language automatically extending the existing contract until a new one is adopted.===

    When a contract is kaput it’s Kaput. I also believe that the 30 day notice provision is part of the statutes. Denote the word “believe”. I think the truthteller is on to something when he talks of the corporate political agenda in some parts of the republican party. The reasoning is that if you can’t do away with the Democrats you can certainly go after union money and manpower.


  78. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 1:04 pm:

    Switching new hires to deferred comp might not be an impediment to hiring, since new hires tend to be younger and probably believe defined benefit pensions have left the building of modern life. A lot would depend on the match, though. And the match would have a big impact on savings.


  79. - Johnnie F. - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 1:05 pm:

    Gotta go with truthteller’s logic on Rauner and unions. It’s a 1 percenter agenda. With all the state employee bashing that has occured over the past few administrations and in the media, the public has found their demon. After war with AFSCME, the question will be who or what is next?


  80. - Federalist - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 1:19 pm:

    I agree that the state employee bashing is part of a larger corporate agenda to take on not only union public employees but to destroy all unions as best as they can. That is one of the reasons that many Republican elites support amnesty and de facto open borders. Of course, they won’t openly say it but the more cheap labor the better.

    But the Democrats and the liberal establishment is not going to truly back the employees. either. They want a bigger slice of the state budget to redistribute to whomever they want to and that includes more expansive welfare programs for the ever number of increasing poor (voters).

    This is going to be brutal.

    P.S. The most recent data I have is for FY13 but in that year $895.5 million was spent on child day care. Of course, this is state and federal funding but it is still taxpayer dollars. And whenever I read articles about this issue this dollar amount never seems to be mentioned.


  81. - ZC - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 1:21 pm:

    For the record I do want to note, a significant part of my preferred solution for this present situation would be to institute a progressive income tax, which would warm Ralph Martire’s heart, reflect what’s been going on with income distribution these past 20-something years and would lessen the squeeze on both hard-working long-time public employees and future generations of Illinoisans.

    But that’s not constitutional either. Thank you, IL Constitution ….


  82. - illilnifan - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 1:29 pm:

    Rauner has to be careful on changing pension plans for state employees or new hires. If the benefit winds up being less than the Social Security benefit many employees would be required to pay into Social Security (80% of state pensioners do not pay into SS last I saw). That cost to the state cannot be deferred like state pension payments were, so that is real money out of the state budget.


  83. - DuPage - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 1:34 pm:

    @Johnnie F. =After war with AFSCME, the question will be who or what is next?=

    The teachers would be next, the IFT and the IEA. While the state does not directly negotiate local contracts, Rauner seeks to do things to weaken the unions. Two items are elimination of “fair share” and outlaw teacher strikes.


  84. - Del Clinkton - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 1:43 pm:

    @federalist:

    The corporate agenda is to take on the Teachers Unions.

    Republican Governors, take Scott up north, have not had the testicular virility to take on the Police and Firefighters.

    I’ll bet Bruce is just as effeminate as his “man-crush Scott” is on this matter.

    Oh, I dont like the redistribution of wealth upward in the form of Welfare for the Wealthy. If you make more money, you pay more in taxes.


  85. - Del Clinkton - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 1:47 pm:

    The rise (and fall) of the middle class is directly related to the rise and fall of union membership.

    How come the Chamber of Commerce has the Freedom of Association to form a Union to negotiate expanded an Welfare state that benefits their interests.

    But workers cannot do the same for salary? Benefits?


  86. - truthteller - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 1:50 pm:

    Rauner says he likes correctional officers and police. If he’s true to his word he would not attempt to cut salaries of these two groups whose wages are on the high end of state salaries. It is not about saving money


  87. - Rod - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 2:11 pm:

    Joseph B. Henning is president and CEO of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce’s op-ed assumes deficit elimination in his 20% cut to GRF excluding mandated expenditures. That’s not a realistic assumption, while our Constitution assumes a balanced budget, that provision has effectively been ignored by both Democrats and Republicans for a good while in our state. A balanced budget is what the General Assembly and the Governor agree to call a balanced budget.

    So something less that the 20% cut to GRF is totally possible, how much less would be the subject of negotiations between the Governor, MJM, and Cullerton.

    As to this statement by the Governor on the radio: “It was nowhere near balanced. They just assumed that they were gonna win and hike taxes after the election, and so they not only didn’t appropriate enough money for many of the departments, but then they told some of the people in the departments , go ahead and ignore what we appropriated, go ahead and spend what you wanna spend, ‘cuz we’ll deal with it later…” It is only in part true from what I know of discussions with the Democrats that chaired some appropriation committees last year.

    There were some who said a supplemental appropriation would be required because Governor Quinn would not agree to a sufficient appropriation increase in an election year. I don’t know of any Democrat chairs of the appropriations committees who assumed last summer Quinn was a lock for reelection. Clearly they all hoped Quinn would win and the entire tax issue could be addressed. I would suggest if a reporter called Michelle Saddler today and asked her if she was ever instructed by Quinn’s OMB “go ahead and ignore what we appropriated, go ahead and spend what you wanna spend” she would deny that. The discussions on the projected shortfall between agency heads and OMB were far more ambiguous than that from what I have heard.


  88. - Federalist - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 2:28 pm:

    @Del Clinkton,

    The corporate agenda is to take on the Teachers Unions
    Republican Governors, take Scott up north, have not had the testicular virility to take on the Police and Firefighters.”

    Yep, I thought had made that pretty clear but it is all unions and not just teacher unions. As to Walker I have made you point many times before.

    And quite honesty I am getting tired of massive redistribution at all levels. But I have made that point before also.


  89. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 2:42 pm:

    - illilnifan - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 1:29 pm:

    You make a valid point but you need to distinguish between the 5 groups.

    The vast majority of “actual” state employees, those under SERS, are “coordinated” and pay into both SS and SERS. Some positions under SERS are not “coordinated”.

    Under SURS, it’s one of those “it depends on the position”; some generally fall under SERS type rules and others generaly fall under TRS type rules.

    Members of TRS, GARS and JRS do not pay in to SS.

    When you include TRS and SURS, then you end up with a majority of “state” employees not currently paying into SS.

    Employees under GARS, JRS and TRS generally do not pay into SS.


  90. - facts are stubborn things - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 2:52 pm:

    I am going to continue to hammer on this point….current employees pensions are not going to be allowed to be diminished head on, however, there are indirect ways to effect ones pension. If you get a pay freeze for the next 4 years and your pension is based on the last or highest 4 years you are going to see a lower pension then if you received raises etc. Perhaps an agreement to increase pension contributions in exchange for job security etc. Retired, game over leave um alone. Still working, pensions protected but there are many moving parts that can be effected and negotiated that may reduce the states pension obligations.


  91. - Federalist - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 2:56 pm:

    @RNUG,

    Do you know what percentage of SERS employees pay into SS? You make it sound as if most of them are under both. That surprised me.

    Any data on this would be appreciated.


  92. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 3:14 pm:

    ===Any data on this would be appreciated.===

    Dude, again? Why are you asking other people to do your homework for you? Look it up yourself, then maybe you can add something interesting to these conversations.


  93. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 3:16 pm:

    - Federalist -

    Almost everyone now under SERS is “coordinated”; they currently pay 4%. Some of the “Life Safety” positions are “uncoordinated” and currently pay 8%. I don’t remember the exact date, but somewhere between 1970 and 1972, “all” current SERS employees were offered the option of continuing under the original state plan or converting to the “coordinated” state / SS plan. New hires from, I think 1972, had no choice; they were “coordinated”. There are darn few of the original “state only” still working; most left in the 2002 ERI.


  94. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 3:17 pm:

    What 47th said. Learn to use teh Google.


  95. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 3:21 pm:

    47th Ward -

    LOL. I gave the general answer. Don’t have time to look up the exact numbers right now …


  96. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 3:50 pm:

    Secret Square, yes the Springfield State Fairgrounds host other events throughout the year but none of these events fill the fairgrounds. They use a building, the track, some barns, etc. but not the entire fairgrounds. It’s a big place and most of it needs major work. Upgrading the fairgrounds will cost millions. Is it worth it for some more wedding receptions?


  97. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 3:50 pm:

    RNUG, I’ve been away from the game a bit, but I can’t think of an SURS-covered position that would be “SERS-like”, meaning coordinated with/covered by SS. Even the portable/SMP SURS options are not SS covered iirc.

    To put a fine point on your SERS comment above, the old “Life Safety” group there is now the “Alternative Formula” open group and includes basically every sworn State LEO, much of DoC, and IDOT Highway Maintainters.

    Finally, there are several hundred State employees in TRS, including some (but not all) employees of ISBE, employees of TRS, and teachers employed by DoC and DHS. Non-coordinated. #PensionTrivia


  98. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 4:08 pm:

    == AA ==

    I’m pretty sure one of the blog readers here that I semi-regularly communicate with retired under SURS told me some of their positions are SS coordinated and they were in such a position. I know they qualified for the “20 yr” health insurance because health insurance is the issue we discuss the most.

    But I agree, when you talk about the state’s pension plans, you have to generalize or qualify the heck out of it because it seems there is always an exception. I have a state pension systems “rules” spreadsheet so I can try to keep it all straight and be able to generalize when comparing the systems … and it has more footnotes about the exemptions than it does actual data!

    Plus I gave a short answer (for me) because I’m deep into sorting an estate’s tax records. Have to take a break every so often to keep my sanity!


  99. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 4:24 pm:

    @Sir Reel

    “Fixing up the fairgrounds sounds good and they certainly need it but does it make sense to spend millions on facilities that are fully utilized 10 days a year when other State facilities are falling apart?”

    Secret Square, yes the Springfield State Fairgrounds host other events throughout the year but none of these events fill the fairgrounds. “They use a building, the track, some barns, etc. but not the entire fairgrounds. It’s a big place and most of it needs major work. Upgrading the fairgrounds will cost millions. Is it worth it for some more wedding receptions?”

    Yes, it is. And if they were cleaned up and modernized, it has the potential to pull in a number of other high-profile events and activities.

    Right not it’s not bringing in it’s full potential because it’s seen as run down and not in good shape.


  100. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 4:29 pm:

    Soccermom brings up a good point on corporate sponsorship for the state fairs that has been burning me for a long time.

    Where’s the hustle?

    The three biggest sponsors of the state fair in Springfield are Budweiser (I’ve heard of them), County Market (grocery store, right?) and the Illinois Lottery (what a get!).

    No soft drink. No fast food. No drugstore. No big box. No bank. And on and on and on.

    Seriously, I’ll donate my copy of the annual Crains List and maybe someone at the fair can borrow the Dept. of Ag phone and pen and start shaking the tree.

    C’mon. No Abbvie? No McDonalds? No Walgreens? No ITW? No Deere? No Corn Products? No JJ? No WGN? No Tribbies? No Mondelez?

    For crying out loud, no CME or Sears after all the state welfare they’ve received?

    Check out the sponsorships in Iowa and Wisconsin. It’s a badge of shame for the bigs in those states not to be a sponsor. Everyone’s in, one way or the other.

    Then, check out the Civvie lineup and count on one hand how many of those allegedly bedrock corporate citizens cant find their wallets for the state fair in this giant of an agricultural state, for an even that highlights our bread and butter and brings the folks from all corners together.

    The Iowa sponsorship pitch link that Sooccermom posted is revealing,It’s professional. They sell it. They hustle.

    Check out what were doing.Good luck finding it.


  101. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 4:34 pm:

    The Springfield State Fairgrounds would be used more than it is but they’ve priced themselves out of the market for some orgnaizations.


  102. - Union boss - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 5:00 pm:

    Its time to cut the big union salaries. Afscme and ISEA.


  103. - Mama - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 7:02 pm:

    The State Fairgrounds in Springfield is used every week. It’s calendar is already full with year - around events. To the governor’s office check things out before making a public statements. Its not that hard.


  104. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jan 27, 15 @ 7:28 pm:

    True that, RNUG. I’m a member of one of the smallest “exception groups” (not by choice) you’ll ever find. Statute changes caused most, as you would expect.

    Good luck with the estate. Been there, too.


  105. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 28, 15 @ 12:34 am:

    == AA ==

    Thanks. The paperwork is pretty clean, just tedious.


  106. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 28, 15 @ 1:00 am:

    - Federalist -

    Couldn’t sleep, so I decided to look up the exact numbers …

    From the SERS FY2014 Annual Report page 62, second table, there are 2,657 out of 62,844 Active Members (currently working / contributing). So about 4% of the SERS covered workers do not pay in to Social Security.

    And if you want to see the specific job titles that do not pay into SS (or may, depending on the agency they work for), see pages 68 under #5, continued on page 69.

    If you want the whole thing, Google it or go to the SRS/SERS web site.


  107. - Late to the Party - Wednesday, Jan 28, 15 @ 8:23 am:

    == “[the state budget] It was nowhere near balanced.” ==

    Of course it isn’t balanced. It hasn’t been for years and years.

    But the Illinois Constitution *requires* that they state budget be balanced. Oh, that’s right. Shenanigans. I am fed up with it all.

    Why can’t the people we hire to represent us do the right things? What if your car mechanic said he fixed the problem, but didn’t say he used duct tape. I guess we would continue to take the car to him. That’s what we do with our elected (hired) staff.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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» Fake Weed: The Danger And The Appeal
» Aug. 15, 2018 - Full Show
» ‘South Side’ Workplace Sitcom Shows Breadth Of Blackness


* Counterpoint: It's another Trump idea that belongs on a Hollywood launch pad
* Point: Space Force, done right, will move US ahead
* Eugene Robinson: All hail the queen
* Our View: An unfortunate political encounter
* Davis staffer arrested after altercation at Londrigan fundraiser
* Illinois Democrats say downstate counties can go their way
* Rauner appoints GOP official Shaw to retirement board
* Illinois Democrats talk of importance of fall elections
* AP fact check: No Pritzker plan to increase taxes 26 percent
* Rauner: 2018 election is 'one of most important' in Illinois history


* Art Tate given reprimand for violating ethics code
* Pantagraph publisher to lead Berkshire Hathaway media group
* Driver says no Stag was in his truck after fatal wrong-way crash; wants evidence tossed
* LISTEN: Bradley University spokesperson Renee Charles
* Update: Police allow students to leave after lockdown at United Township High School
* Hoopeston Area OKs tentative budget
* Man released from jail after five months as prosecutors drop child sex assault charge
* Today's chat: College hockey in C-U
* Are you on the list? Macon County circuit clerk might have your money
* More rain ahead; cooler, less humid days to follow


* Why the rabbit population is peaking
* Wasps are beautiful but deadly in the bug world
* Three cars stolen from Lake Zurich subdivisions since July
* Illinois oil refinery to upgrade in pollution settlement
* What we're watching today: Ariana Grande's amazing voice in Carpool Karaoke

* Davis staffer arrested after altercation a...
* Shelbyville manufacturer's expansion r...
* America's Largest Veterans Group Rains...
* Brevities for August 19, 2018
* Thousands of Medicaid enrollees could lose...
* House Republicans in Tough Races Play Up E...
* Pakistan Independence Day Celebrated In Ch...
* Speaker's super PAC drops huge dollars...
* Chicagoland celebrates India's 72nd In...
* Heavy Storms Don't Stop Niles National...

* Norris Perne & French Llp Has Lowered ......
* Pritzker calls for infrastructure bill in ......
* Rauner is running away from his record – a......
* Pritzker promises to help improve Decatur,......
* Pritzker Determined To Bring Blue Wave To ......

* Durbin, Duckworth support Trump's Cent......
* Sen. Tammy Duckworth On How Her Dau......
* John Milhiser nominated to be US attorney...
* Trump administration taps Sangamon state&#......
* Trump taps Sangamon County's Milhiser ......

* The [Friday] Papers
* Four Centuries Of Trying To Prove God's Existence
* Decalogue Society and Arab American Bar Association announce 2018 Building Bridges Awards
* Sen. Righter calls for power to subpoena Chicago Public School officials over sexual abuse accusations
* Thorner: Again, Liberals lose gun and economy debates
* Lawyers Assistance Program Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony set for November 1
* The bright side of the trade war with China?
* Evangelist Alveda King: Oh, Omarosa
* New law bans state tax dollars being used to silence sexual harassment victims
* Back-to-school celebration Parkway Garden Christian Church tomorrow!


* Bicentennial announces plans for Aug. 26th Constitution Day
* Gov. Rauner proclaims Traffic Fatality Awareness Day, urges public's help in making Illinois roads safer
* Illinois Payrolls Up for Sixth Straight Month
* 2017 Wayne County Final Multiplier Announced
* Governor announces $1 million Rauner family contribution to begin restoration of Coliseum; takes action on package of agriculture legislation

  
* Finally! High-end wireless headphones for under $80
* Librarian blew $89k in city money on free mobile game
* Science confirms that women’s pockets suck for smartphones
* This browser extension makes it harder for Facebook advertisers to target you
* Get cookin’ with this Pokemon Quest recipe guide! A full list of recipes!
* Watch the first trailer for Star Wars Resistance
* HTC U12 Plus in Flame Red coming to US and Canada

* White Sox reinstate Leury Garcia from DL
* Hawk: I Did It My Way
* Goodbye, Hawk
* Kopech fans nine, walks none for Knights
* White Sox Minor League Update: August 16, 2018
* Every 30-30 season, ranked by club
* Kopech fans nine, walks none for Knights


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