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Thursday, Apr 30, 2015

* Nothing from the governor’s office yet. But they can take this one off the board

[Westville] Village trustees reversed their support of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed Turnaround Agenda on Tuesday night by rescinding a resolution approved at their April 14 meeting.

Just two weeks ago, the Westville village council passed a resolution supporting the governor’s proposal, which calls for changes in the state’s prevailing wage act as well as creating certain right-to-work free enterprise zones and granting local governments more authority when negotiating with government employee unions.

Mayor Mike Weese said after doing more research on the governor’s proposal and after taking several calls from residents, he just felt that there were parts of the Turnaround Agenda that he could not support.

* Meanwhile…


* Perhaps a Connecticut harbinger of Illinois things to come?

A law firm representing ex-Gov. John G. Rowland agreed to a legal stipulation which acknowledged that the “driving force” behind Rowland’s layoff of 2,500 state workers in 2003 was his “animus” toward unionized employees, state Attorney George Jepsen said Wednesday.

Jepsen said that the “highly particularized stipulation of facts” didn’t use the word “animus,” but its overall effect helped to persuade the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in mid-2013 to uphold a state employee union coalition’s claim in a lawsuit that Rowland and his budget chief, Marc Ryan, acted illegally by targeting union members for layoffs while sparing nonunion employees.

The damaging stipulation was a major factor cited by Jepsen at a press conference Wednesday in explaining why his office negotiated a settlement that’s expected to cost taxpayers at least $100 million to end a 12-year-old lawsuit filed over the layoffs by the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC).

The settlement – which would mostly be awarded to employees in the form of extra vacation and personal leave time – is preferable to the risk of the state’s being slapped with paying damages of $300 million or more, Jepsen said.

At a briefing for reporters in his office at 55 Elm St., Jepsen also said that the stipulation of facts by Rowland’s defense counsel included an admission that the layoffs didn’t save the state any money because unions had already offered contract concessions of greater value.

* Related…

* Anti-union measure fails in Mt. Vernon

* Kane County board’s draft resolution calling for reform draws critics

* Charter school teachers fight to unionize, and to win over Rahm

* Feud threatens UNO schools

- Posted by Rich Miller        

46 Comments
  1. - Juvenal - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:30 am:

    Wow.

    === the stipulation of facts by Rowland’s defense counsel included an admission that the layoffs didn’t save the state any money because unions had already offered contract concessions of greater value. ===

    I think someone should offer up some legislation making the governor and his campaign fund personally liable for the state’s legal costs should he act against the advice of the Attorney General.


  2. - Juvenal - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:31 am:

    The taxpayers should not be on the hook for one man’s crusade. If he is so sure he is right, he should eagerly sign the measure and put his money where his mouth is. Not our money.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:32 am:

    “Good morning ck-

    Your tote board is ‘heavy’ by one.

    Best,
    ow”

    What a waste of time, resources, political capital, and having members of the Governor’s Office think they matter. If you’re working on this project that’s non-binding, and has zero effect on policy or governing, this has to be utterly deflating.

    To Commissioner Fritchey,

    Nice suit.


  4. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:36 am:

    Thanks John!
    I am conservative and I support unions.


  5. - Just a thought - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:39 am:

    Why is everyone so afraid to give the power back to local governments??? They’ve been complaining for years that the state has taken too much from them, and when they have the ability to take it back, they complain even more. This state needs to be turned around. Everyone shared in making it the laughing stock that it is, everyone now needs to take a deep breathe and make it the great state it can be once again. It will take a lot of pain to make it a reality, but it certainly can be.


  6. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:40 am:

    Glad to see charter teachers organizing. I don’t have a problem with charters as long as they’re not driving down teacher wages and enriching backers.

    The unions would do well to focus on organizing them rather than trying to kill them. That would put folks like Rauner and Rahm in a trick bag.


  7. - Anonymous - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:40 am:

    That UNO story deserves attention. It’s an example of how the charter school movement in this state is largely a scam to get money to politically favored contractors and groups.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:42 am:

    ===This state needs to be turned around. Everyone shared in making it the laughing stock that it is, everyone now needs to take a deep breathe and make it the great state it can be once again.===

    lol, you do realize these Tournaround Agenda Resolutions are non-binding, and further, Rauner can’t even get a non-binding referendum on what he stands for passed is embarrassing?

    Dope.


  9. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:46 am:

    The Westville Village move is significant.
    It shows that the Governor’s campaign is not only failing, it is unsupportable, even by his allies.

    Governor Rauner’s political method is being shown its limits. As he fails across the state, his administration will be seen as a flash in the pan by adversaries, as well.

    Rauner needed to have be bipartisan, not buy-partisan. He needed to have made nice. He needed to have done as governor, what he did as a gubernatorial candidate. He needed to have established himself as a credible governor.

    He is in a deep hole of his own digging. The longer he continues being seen as Captain Ahab seeking Moby Dick, the less credible he seems as governor.

    Remember Governor Schwarzenegger? Remember how he tried to use his Hollywood celebrity and political mandate to force California into voting on his anti-union measures? He lost everything by showing that he had no political legs on those issues.

    Had Rauner kept his cards close to his chest, and played nicely with everyone, he would have been a lot stronger politically than he is today.

    That is how he got elected.


  10. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 9:59 am:

    -Just a thought -
    I empathize with your sentiments, but you need to understand that in government, subtracting is harder to do than adding. Rauner might know how to count, but he doesn’t understand how to subtract.

    What you are advocating, and I support, is not what Rauner is doing. He might be saying those words, but his actions are damaging The Cause.

    Illinois is not Texas. It will never be. While the economic winds which blessed Illinois over the past 200 years has shifted, you can’t chase those winds. We have to be Illinois. It isn’t a bad gig. While we have to change, we need to change in a way that compliments Illinois.

    In another generation, the Boomers will be mostly dead and the problems we have too many of, will be lessened. The massive costs that we face will lessen as well as our smaller government, due to technology, will catch up with our pension costs. The pension burdens Rauner is claiming will destroy us will disappear about the same time as he does, if he has a normal life cycle.

    Don’t wreck what has made Illinois one of the top US states over the past 100 years because of the generational shift between the Boomers and the smaller generations being forced to pay their retirement and pension burdens. These people worked for what they are getting. You don’t break contract laws or write unconstitutional amendments we will be stuck with after they are all gone.

    Don’t wreck Illinois. Respect it.


  11. - Downstate - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:00 am:

    One side argues that RTW will enhance economic opportunity, job growth and wage. While the other side says it will do nearly the opposite.

    What’s the downside in allowing counties or municipalities the opportunity to test this?

    At least we’ve have concrete evidence of the impact.

    At this point it doesn’t look Illinois’ economic development formula of high deficits and high workers comp rates is a plan that’s working.


  12. - Just a thought - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:06 am:

    Oh, Oswego Willie….sometimes the voice of people in non-binding resolutions is indicative of a future vote at the polls. Don’t underestimate the power of resolutions and the will of the people.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:09 am:

    ===sometimes the voice of people in non-binding resolutions is indicative of a future vote at the polls. Don’t underestimate the power of resolutions and the will of the people.===

    Yikes.

    A governor losing town after town, county after county makes any governor look weak.

    Never have a vote on a proposal unless the outcome you wavt will be achieved.

    These resolutions are telling me Rauner isn’t very smart on moving the ball forward.

    If you think this is helping Rauner, you know less than I even thought you did, lol.


  14. - How Ironic - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:21 am:

    @- Just a thought - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:06 am:

    So essentially you’re saying that every time Raunerhood loses a local, non-binding resolution it’s an ‘up day’? How very Blagovich of you.


  15. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:33 am:

    Where there are shouts in the night,
    The enemy is frightened;
    Where there are disturbances in the ranks,
    The enemy commander is not respected;
    Where their flags and pennants are shifted about,
    The enemy is in disorder;
    Where his officers are easily angered,
    The enemy is exhausted.

    Meting out too many rewards
    Means the enemy is in trouble,
    And meting out too many punishments
    Means he is in dire straits.

    When the enemy’s emissary comes with conciliatory words
    He wants to end hostilities.

    -Sun-tzu


  16. - Mama - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:45 am:

    ++Why is everyone so afraid to give the power back to local governments??? ++
    Why? Because Rauner’s game plan is not about giving more power to local governments, his game is about breaking all unions.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:47 am:

    So, - YDD -, who is the enemy in your comment?


  18. - Arsenal - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:53 am:

    “What’s the downside in allowing counties or municipalities the opportunity to test this?”

    People’s wages drop or they flat out lose their jobs.

    “At least we’ve have concrete evidence of the impact.”

    We have that already, half the nation is RTWFL.

    “At this point it doesn’t look Illinois’ economic development formula of high deficits and high workers comp rates is a plan that’s working.”

    And regardless of what it “looks like”, RTWFL will do nothing about high deficits or high workers comp rates. If you want to attack those, attack those.


  19. - A guy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:55 am:

    This daily thread is like the sound of a lawn mower starting early every morning. Perhaps a necessary task, but the noise is unpleasant.


  20. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:58 am:

    – Perhaps a Connecticut harbinger of Illinois things to come?–

    I assume you’re talking about layoffs, lol.

    That Gov. Rowland is an overachiever by Illinois standards. Convicted of felonies and sentenced to prison on two separate occasions for unrelated offenses.

    In between his stretches, he was a “conservative” radio yakker.


  21. - Downstate - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 11:08 am:

    Arsenal,

    —-“What’s the downside in allowing counties or municipalities the opportunity to test this?”

    ——”People’s wages drop or they flat out lose their jobs.”

    But if elected county officials see it otherwise, why can’t they test the impact?

    —“At this point it doesn’t look Illinois’ economic development formula of high deficits and high workers comp rates is a plan that’s working.”

    —-And regardless of what it “looks like”, RTWFL will do nothing about high deficits or high workers comp rates. If you want to attack those, attack those.

    That was intended as snark. But those items certainly work against this state when it comes to recruiting jobs and businesses


  22. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 11:13 am:

    OW:

    “Enemy” is of course a figure-of-speech in this context, but Sun-tzu can nevertheless be enlightening.

    George Box is best known for his “all models are wrong” quote, but this one speaks to you I am sure:

    “For the theory-practice iteration to work, the scientist must be, as it were, mentally ambidextrous; fascinated equally on the one hand by possible meanings, theories, and tentative models to be induced from data and the practical reality of the real world, and on the other with the factual implications deducible from tentative theories, models and hypotheses.”


  23. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 11:19 am:

    @downstate: even if you buy into the dubious economic arguments for RTW, the “downside” to allowing counties and municipalities the chance to execute local RTW is that local govt is not authorized to make collective bargaining law under federal and state constitutions, laws, regulations, or court precedents. It’s like a local govt trying to establish their own u.s. citizenship requirements or something. Or worse, introduces the concept of local nullification into the political bloodstream.


  24. - From the Stateline - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 11:22 am:

    Downstate,

    Elected officials may “see it otherwise,” but there is academic research (from our own U of I, no less), which seriously undermines such beliefs. One of the key findings is that, while there is some evidence that RTW can cause a slight bump in employment growth (1.4%), that effect is gone within a couple of years. There is also evidence suggesting that RTW can cause up a 1.2% *decrease* in employment growth. While some officials may want to try it out, the evidence suggests there is a good chance that it will hurt the local economy, and that even the desired effects will be minimal and short-lived.

    The study can be found here: https://ler.illinois.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/RTW_policy-brief_spreads05.pdf


  25. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 11:26 am:

    - YDD -, both do, your last cite hits home very much.


  26. - Downstate - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 11:32 am:

    From the Stateline,
    With all due respect, studies exist that show exactly the opposite, as well.
    Why do you think states like Michigan recently enacted the change? Surely they saw all the studies. The anti-RTW work studies could not have been that compelling that they would have enacted it based on that one study.

    Our counties can be incredible testing grounds for new ideas. I’m not saying the entire state has adopt the policy, but why not let an individual county try it out?

    I’ve been witness to an innovative education program that would have taken decades to get through state agencies and legislative approval, if we wanted to adopt state wide. Instead it was created and adopted on a local level, and is now being duplicated across schools in several states.

    That idea of individual counties serving as a “testing-ground” can make this a dynamic state for innovation and opportunities.


  27. - From the Stateline - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 11:37 am:

    Downstate,

    Can you provide any links for those studies? Because if you’re referring to publications from the Heritage Foundation and the Mackinac Center, they do not compare in terms of academic rigor.


  28. - Juvenal - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 11:42 am:

    Downstate:

    I agree, we need to test the economic theory that paying people less is good for the economy.

    Please go see your boss, demand a pay cut, and report back to us in a year.


  29. - Juvenal - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 11:55 am:

    From Governor Rauner yesterday:

    “The health and safety of our employees should always be a priority,” said Governor Rauner. “But we also need to create a business climate where companies like Essentra can compete and flourish.

    Um, from Essentra:

    “With like-for-like revenue ahead 9% and adjusted EPS growth of 19%, not only did
    we exceed our Vision 2015 objectives in 2014
    , but also over the three-year period since the
    strategy was implemented…. Essentra is well-positioned to continue its track record of balanced, profitable growth in 2015 under its Drive for 2020 strategy…”

    Sounds like companies “like” Essentra are competing and thriving just fine in this business climate.


  30. - Norseman - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 12:16 pm:

    It looks like the press of other issues is beginning to suck the wind out of the Rauner Resolution sails. Schrimpf, time to close up the Rauner Resolution War Room and reassign the superstaff.


  31. - GA Watcher - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 12:27 pm:

    Anybody know what the Illinois Municipal League Board did this morning with the turnaround resolution?


  32. - Arsenal - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 1:12 pm:

    “But if elected county officials see it otherwise, why can’t they test the impact?”

    Because you shouldn’t risk other people’s livelihoods on an experiment. And because our rights, mercifully, aren’t subject to a vote.

    “But those items certainly work against this state when it comes to recruiting jobs and businesses”

    And again, RTWFL will do nothing to address those issues.


  33. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 1:13 pm:

    ==- Downstate - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 11:32 am:==

    How would having county-by-county employment laws make this “a dynamic state for innovation and opportunities”? Radically different rules between such localized geographic places raises the cost of doing business.


  34. - Arsenal - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 1:13 pm:

    “Why do you think states like Michigan recently enacted the change?”

    Because for the people who want RTWFL, depressing wages is a feature, not a bug.


  35. - Arsenal - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 1:16 pm:

    “Radically different rules between such localized geographic places raises the cost of doing business.”

    Yes, and labor chaos has never really been a big seller for businesses.


  36. - Downstate - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 1:47 pm:

    A good friend has a successful commercial development firm that has built and leased factory space across the Midwest, East, South and Southeastern United States. They are deeply involved in marketing to manufacturers and those looking to build new facilities or add space.

    Much of their work of late has been in RTW states. Interestingly, as those new factories are built, wages in the entire region go up, because employers are competing for the same employee pool.

    Those expansions are having an immediate and lasting impact on the communities.


  37. - Anonin' - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 2:11 pm:

    IML board voted 22-14 to TABLE a watered down version of the Road to Scabistan resolution AFTER BVR speech…quite thumpin’


  38. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 2:33 pm:

    “Hey Rich-

    The watered down resolution got a whole 14 votes from IML to not table a vote. We don’t know if it passed or not.

    Best,
    ck”

    I missed the emails, so I madd up one to cheer myself up…


  39. - From the Stateline - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 2:58 pm:

    Downstate,

    Due respect, but personal anecdotes are not convincing. Again, provide some evidence to back up your assertions. If wages are going up in those areas, then the state Dept. of Labor or equivalent agency will be able to substantiate (or not) your argument.


  40. - BlameBruceRauner - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 3:12 pm:

    Saddling the taxpayers with YOUR PERSONEL pursuits is not good governing. I think it should be punishable, by making BRUCE cover all lawsuits on his own dime, might stop him from causing so much ruckus


  41. - Skeptic - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 4:02 pm:

    “because employers are competing for the same employee pool.” And that’s exclusively because of RTW? Uh…..huh…..

    You do realize that people that live in “Right to Work” states also refer to it as “Right to be Fired For No Apparent Reason” too?


  42. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 4:10 pm:

    Downstate, is that your fastball? Might want to keep it off of Broadway.

    A good friend of mine thinks right to work is an obvious Dixie union busting tactic designed to lower the income of all blue collar workers everywhere.

    And my good parents worked way too hard to leave it better than they found it for everyone and they didn’t raise no fool.

    So bring Rauner’s First Amendment argument nonsense, and your laissez-faire “economics” b-s and we Illinois Yankees will meet you misanthropic reactionaries in the public square, just like it’s supposed to work, kapeesh?


  43. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 5:23 pm:

    Brad Cole really delivered the goods for Rauner on that IML vote.

    This drumming-up-the-grassroots dog-and-pony-show is going great!

    What the heck? Whose idea was it to put the “kick me” sign on the boss?

    Mr. Schrimpf, I await your calm and well-reasoned brilliance.


  44. - truthurts - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:24 pm:

    *first post* This man is on a crusade. I have been following the posts closely the last few weeks as I am an unappreciated AFSCME scoundrel. Governor “Ruiner” (nice) fails to recognize that by reducing what were once decent wages via his right to work(for less) agenda that local governments will see reduced sales tax income because we(union personnel) held many of them above sea level the last several years. I contend that union pay scales kept Decatur and Peoria alive for the last ten years. (What was he thinking preaching his crap there?) Only GOD (caps) knows what would happen to Springfield if minimum wage jobs fueled the economy. My guess is Norb Andy’s would start accepting LINK. (I bet they know a guy) Shared sacrifice: I’ve heard speak of it and read some about it but not in any case have I heard of wealthy farmers’ sacrifice. Insurance companies? They sure get a turnaround. How about Bankers? But in any case, there will be plenty of housing available in Indiana, as they will gladly come here for a pay raise.


  45. - Property of IDOC - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:26 pm:

    V.man @9:59. You should put that on billboard outside the Governor’s mansion! perfectly stated. Thank You


  46. - Property of IDOC - Thursday, Apr 30, 15 @ 10:55 pm:

    V.man @9:59. You should put that on billboard outside the Governor’s mansion! perfectly stated. Thank You
    Juvenal @ 9:30 agreed!
    BlameBruceRauner @ 3:12 although his pockets are deep, it might just stop him from bankrupting the State.Forcing him to pay for this RTW proposition, and the lawsuits which will certainly follow, sounds like great start…although a straight jacket and enforced psychotropics would be a more likely solution.


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* HomePod unceremoniously delayed until early 2018

* Sporcle Saturday: Top player performances
* LIVE: MLB Awards unveiled on Network
* White Sox face roster call on Clarkin, 6 more
* Thyago Vieira brings missing heat to White Sox bullpen battle
* MLB Awards grand finale (7 CT, MLB Network)
* White Sox trade for hard-throwing Vieira
* White Sox acquire prospect Vieira from M's


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