* Gov. Bruce Rauner barnstormed Illinois for days after delivering his State of the State address. That hasn’t happened since the budget address. He just hasn’t been out there stumping and he’s not making himself available to the media.
He’s changing that up a bit today with a safe audience speech, a public appearance and a cabinet meeting. But there will be no talking to reporters. Here’s today’s official schedule…
Daily Public Schedule: Wednesday, February 25, 2015
What: Governor Addresses Illinois Farm Bureau
Where: Crowne Plaza Springfield
3000 S. Dirksen Pkwy., Springfield
Date: Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Note: No additional media availability.
What: Governor Attends IDOT’s Today’s Challenge Tomorrow’s Reward Conference
Where: President Abraham Lincoln Springfield DoubleTree Hotel
701 E. Adams St., Springfield
Date: Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Time: 12:00 p.m.
Note: No additional media availability.
What: Governor Holds Cabinet Meeting
Where: State Capitol, Room 212
Date: Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Time: Requested Media Arrival – 12:45 p.m.
Meeting Begins - 1:00 p.m.
Note: Only Governor Rauner’s remarks will be open to the media. No additional media availability.
* The governor is beginning to push back against critics today, however, by showcasing some horribly ill-informed or deliberately misinforming (cough*Tribune*cough) editorials…
Governor Rauner’s Budget Proposal: What They’re Saying
One week ago, Governor Rauner delivered his budget address as part of his Turnaround Plan for Illinois. Below see what some of Illinois’ leading voices have had to say:
* A budget is not “honest” or “courageous” or “fiscally responsible” if a huge portion of its immediate savings is based on constitutionally dubious “reforms.”
I’m also not sure how much “waste and inefficiencies” he’s really targeted with that budget. For example, he complained bitterly about the state’s airplane fleet during the campaign and many of those above editorial boards praised him for it. But except for zeroing out his own office, Rauner is maintaining funding for the shuttle service to and from Chicago.
* And what’s with the complete and deliberate refusal by these editorial boards to even discuss one or two of his human service cuts? Here’s an informative piece about the impact on the social service not-for-profit sector by the Donor’s Forum…
What is at stake is a valuable contributor to our state’s socio-economic engine. Consider these facts:
The philanthropic and nonprofit sector in Illinois employs half a million people. (Approximately 523,000 according to recent census data, available at BuildingStrongerIL.com) About 1 in 10 people with jobs in Illinois work for a nonprofit organization. Whether education, healthcare, arts and culture, the environment, human services, or research, our workforce contributes daily to this state’s competitive edge.
The nonprofit workforce in Illinois generates nearly $20 billion in payroll. Contrary to popular belief, working in a nonprofit does not mean that one is working for “good feelings.” Our $19 billion payroll represents our sector’s spending power within communities. And the taxes we pay on that payroll amounts to $1.5 billion.
Our philanthropic institutions invested $2.8 billion in grantmaking to communities in Illinois. This grantmaking compliments the $29 – $35 billion investments government makes in arts and culture, education, health and healthcare, and public safety. It cannot replace government cuts. It cannot achieve the scale government can. It is a vital resource that works in tandem with government funding.
When for-profit employers consider relocation, they take into account quality of life, education for their children, and opportunities to thrive. These qualities are enabled by the work our philanthropic and social impact community perform together – with government as a partner. When a state deliberately sets out to dismantle the social good, that state’s competitiveness and attraction plummets.
“Once again, what’s your plan? If you think the state needs more revenue, dig into your wallet and dig deep, but leave mine alone.”
See you in Church. I often think back to Jesus’ words “Tell the poor and disenfranchised to get a job, and not bother their wealthy brothers. For those on ventilators will learn to breath on their own, once the yolk of assistance is ripped away”.
That Tribune editorial is another abdication of responsibility: “we’re not going to think about the dirty details, we just love the window dressing.” As for Rauner, is he ever going to get real? Playing a fiscal crusader on TV is not the same as balancing a budget.
I think I could be a lot more comfortable with this budget if it were paid with structural revenue reform. Yes, such reform probably needs a Constitutional Amendment, but if he were to say, “This budget is all I can give you without a Constitutional change to revenue,” I could accept that. Maybe.
We’re going to keep seeing stories like this and threads like this as the “forensic” search for savings, waste, duplicity, and worthwhile investments are defined.
I’m not sure there’s any way to avoid it. Defining “need” is always going to be a bugaboo. It’s an ugly process- and sometimes can be as disingenuous as the process that put hid wasteful measures in places where true need exists. This isn’t fun.
Every time during the campaign Rauner couldn’t articulate a plan, we had a bevvy of political reasons he couldn’t.
His first budget presentation during the campaign included real-live, CHICKENS. Had it not been for that bizarre moment, the vast emptiness of what he was presenting would have gotten a lot more focus. His PR stunt helped blunt his vague budget blather.
Now this. He puts out a budget no one expects would work, let alone pass legislatively. He is behaving like one of my kids deliberately screwing up a chore, just to avoid doing it. Rauner seems more comfortable being called an idiot for a bad budget, than dealing with the reality of creating a realistic budget.
I, like a whole lot of other people who want to see a successful governor during these times, are left flabbergasted at Rauner’s amateur hour administration. He hired name-brand “experts”, so what is he doing now? Waiting for them to pull those rabbits out of those empty coffer hats?
Is Bruce Rauner just wasting everyone’s time? He really doesn’t know what to do with our current situation, and doesn’t know how to even start moving us into a direction he wants our state to move towards?
Stump speaking got him elected. But, we don’t need to hear more of them after the inauguration - especially just weeks after. The clock is ticking and this new governor keeps hitting the snooze button instead of getting out of bed.
Its like we are all just standing and looking disbelieving at this new governor and can’t believe he hasn’t shown us anything to prove he can do this job.
- Give Me A Break - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:17 am:
From the looks of how they are dealing with the media at today’s events, how long is it until they starting bringing him in the basement door on the south end of the Statehouse and sprinting up to the Second Floor?
Maybe his detail guys could call some of Rod’s old detail for tips on doing that.
Guy, tell us more about this ongoing forensic search.
Sounds like that could mean something,
- AnonymousOne - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 11:34 am:
Lots of signs of trouble while he was running….the Secret Solution to be revealed once elected. But really, who would expect that a big numbers guy would actually have any feelings about the welfare of people? Numbers are black and white, people not so. He seems to me to show symptoms of a common disorder where he can only focus on one thing and not see the big picture. Voters wanted someone who knew about money (how to count his own).
BVR has been usin’ the south door since day one.
Can we start askin’ the Tribbies to give us their list of programs to repeal. As we have been watchin’ over the decades there are lots of program enacted ’cause the Tribbies or some other bunch of newsies report on some wrong.
Media react ain’t cheap.
I still find it odd that people are surprised by Rauner’s conduct. He hasn’t built enterprises up. He has betted on their success, and/or asset stripped them, and he clearly believes he knows better. The archetypal consultant, if you will, but certainly not a chief executive.
How long before Illinois businesses kick in enough GDP to balance the lost GDP from Rauner’s austerity plan? Not counting the negatives and externalities caused by the budget cuts that will also add to GDP in a bad way. As a prior vendor to the state of Illinois, I paid state and local taxes and supported many local retail and service businesses in the area — the multiplier effect. Rauner may not recognize it as such but state spending is a big chunk of the Illinois economy. Diminishing the quality of living that the state supports among its less advantaged certainly isn’t going to attract businesses or keep people from moving to other states. It is hard to see where the long term gain starts kicking in. Where is the balance?
The Donors Forum piece brings up a good point. Government contracts with a lot of nonprofits to provide services, which is smart because (in my experience) nonprofits are more efficient, accountable, creative and flexible than government.
It also reminds me that too often I speak with folks on the right who believe that charitable giving can and/or should take the place of government spending (i.e. ‘my taxes’). While debates about where government funds should go (and how much) are good, any thought that charitable giving - by individuals, foundations or corporations - can replace even a fraction of government funding for nonprofits is completely absurd.
Looks like he wants to make this a “right-to-breathe” state too.
- PublicServant - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 12:35 pm:
===It is hard to see where the long term gain starts kicking in. Where is the balance?===
As people lose their jobs and have less to spend, businesses will begin to gain confidence as the state shows them that it can live within its means. They will begin to increase production to produce more widgits that people won’t be able to buy due to those program cutbacks and fewer jobs all around. Supply-side economics at work. Just like Santa, the supply-sider’s confidence fairy really does exist. You just wait and see…yup.
The Donors Forum piece brings out the most essential piece. These cuts will hurt the private and non profit sector in a much larger way than it will ever hurt state employees because the fact is a majority of direct service work has been in the private sector for over 20 years. If you pulled all the 990’s of the non profits in this state, you would see that they are funded through a majority government contracts not private donations.
So the $27 million cut to substance abuse will affect every private agency that has a DASA/AOD contract. There are no state run substance abuse treatment facilities.
The cut of 18-21 year olds from state wardship will decimate the private agencies who provide foster care/child welfare services - they service close to 90% of those cases and are the sole providers of many of the programs that may have to shut down.
The same goes for mental health services which stands to take a very large hit on two fronts- mental health service cuts and Medicaid cuts. That population is served in the private sector. The state has been evaluating every contract with every provider and determining if they want to continue to fund your agency. That is what happened two weeks ago at my agency- they pulled no punches when they met with us.
Guy, I know Rich knows the budget, I thought you were saying that the Rauner peeps were striving to learn it.
- Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 1:10 pm:
Rauner’s folks are doing a “forensic audit” of the budget and all of state government and finances. Right? And, they just started in January because they had no way of accessing any budget info until they took office. Right? They’ll have a balanced budget with lower taxes and more spending on education by May. Right?
One thing that seems obvious is that their primary goals budget goals are: 1)Save money by destroying Unions. 2)Increase revenue by keeping taxes low. 3)Cut state funding of “taker” programs such as health care assistance for the poor and transition service for wards of the state.
Please don’t refer to “forensic” audits, budget examinations, or the like, unless you fully understand what a forensic examination means. Ask bill holland for a tutorial. It involves rigorous, very expensive, methods.
I suspect Rauner’s number one goal — more than anything else — is to destroy the union. In fact, I believe that’s why he ran for governor. It has nothing to do with helping people or being “compassionate” or making the state a “better place to live.”
The goal is to destroy unions — period. That’s it. Once he does that, he’ll lose interest and move on — probably in the same trajectory as Walker.
When our host ended his commentary with /Rant….. I took it as face value.
When the first child is ripped off of a ventilator, you’ll know they’ve gotten to the “need” column. Seriously, I do not believe that any child will be pulled from a ventilator, or any of the other truly doomsday scenarios that have been the response to any effort to cut costs.
I do think there will be some undue pain caused in a number of circumstances that will have to be dealt with very quickly. Every measure being discussed has turned into a human tragedy. That really does cheapen the message for when that really happens.
I argue with my share of editorials regularly, but to read here sometimes you would just have to conclude; they’re all wrong, all the time…and especially if they miraculously agree with one another. It’s not a good mindset.
- Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 2:03 pm:
The editorial boards who support Rauner’s flawed austerity budget ideas will keep trying to justify them, no matter how weak the defense. They will just keep uttering talking points.
Again, I am encouraged at this point by the opposition to Rauner’s plans and attacks on unions. Illinois is not Wisconsin and Indiana. We have enough people in this state who care enough about the poor and sick to stand up and oppose austerity plans that seek to fix very old and complex problems solely on the backs of our poorest residents, and our workers.
“Couldn’t agree more. The definition of compassion is demanding that everyone else divvy up the bill.”
I’m sure you’re familiar with Matthew 22: 17-22?
17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax[a] to Caesar or not?”
18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” 22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.
If the State has determined that it’s the right thing to do, and help the downtrodden and forgotten with their health, heat or food assistance, it’s pretty clear we as a society should pay the tax bill.
If you truly feel that the extra 1.75% tax is going to cause the collapse of your personal finances, then you have greater problems.
The truly cruel, and indiscriminate cuts being suggested, no demanded by Rauner and crew are inexcusable in our State. We can’t balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, crippled and hungry.
I wonder what the backroom threat is to big media. “Ten things and you get a golden parachute because one of my holding companies makes me technically your boss.”
@how ironic– BOOM! Excellently crafted and spot on my friend.
- crazybleedingheart - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 2:42 pm:
==His first budget presentation during the campaign included real-live, CHICKENS. Had it not been for that bizarre moment, the vast emptiness of what he was presenting would have gotten a lot more focus.==
And it is just killing me that this bizarre media moment is being responded to with total crickets now.
His budget cut a lot of things but it did not cut the chicken plane.
I don’t want it to cut the chicken plane.
BUT THE MAN HELD A CHICKEN PLANE PRESS CONFERENCE, PEOPLE, AND THEN HE CUT KIDS ON VENTS INSTEAD
I’m not so sure. According to their report over 61% of payroll taxes are paid by something called ‘Health’ which includes non profit hospitals like Carle in Urbana. The concept of “nonprofit” is simply a state organizational law concept. Carle makes a handsome profit, about $188 million I think, but because they don’t pay it to stockholders as dividends they can call themselves a non profit. Instead they put up more physical plant. (As folks in Urbana know, this physical plant pays no real estate taxes.) According to The Donor’s Forum the average non profit organization has assets of $9,197,720. Carle’s assets are $2,500,472,000. I don’t know how many other hospitals in the group operate like Carle but I don’t see how the cuts being discussed will have a serious impact on Carle. With less Medicare and Medicaid revenue they will simply build fewer new buildings.
=if you truly feel that the extra 1.75% tax is going to cause the collapse of your personal finances, then you have greater problems=
So true. The people who are desperate to keep that 1.75% away are people who could afford to be taxed another 10.75% and not feel anything different in their budget. These are the people who are behind our governor. You really have to wonder about the morality of that, don’t you? But then again, those who have that kind of money didn’t get it by being kind and charitable. That’s for the little people.
- steve schnorf - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 3:54 pm:
I think the Gov has a plan, and we saw the first phase of it last week. I personally think it was a well done first step. He showed us how much government our current revenues will support and he was even a little bit generous.
Its pretty easy for us to debate what should be cut, but very hard for us to argue the math, that our current state income will support more total spending than he proposes.
That’s phase two of his plan, and its working. I don’t here anyone anywhere arguing that we can spend more total dollars, based on our current state revenues, than he proposes. I only hear people saying, “hey, this would be a truly terrible cut, and it is immoral, or it would cost us more in the long run.”
Now, do you have a hint what the next couple of phases will be?
Reality is going to hit Rauner here pretty quickly. He says he works for the people? Prove it. He does not tell the legislators what to do, which he can’t seem to understand. Let him get it out of his system he is an example of what you call crony-capitalism.
- steve schnorf - Wednesday, Feb 25, 15 @ 7:14 pm:
Word, do you think it needed to be even worse that it is to make the point?
Ironic, so you propose spending about $6 billion more than we take in next year?
If Rauner cut another $2 billion, instead of booking pension savings, he would have received zero credit from his detractors for funding the pensions and the screamers would be screaming even louder about what a horrible person he is.
I think this budget makes the point. Cullerton is already calling for Rauner to call for the tax increase. Another $2 billion in cuts would have only added to the hysteria.
The breathless outrage being exhibited here is misplaced. Let’s see where this ends up.
Word: my fear is that in Rauner’s mind the real negotiations about the budget will be about everything but the pension payment. Pension saves, Steve’s logic might hold.
Pension payment is likely already set at $2.2B less than the ramp would demand, and Rauner will go to all sorts of legal mats on just that issue. He’ll short it and make a name for himself fighting the ensuing battles. I don’t see what else he can do without booking a significant tax increase.