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Thoughts from the leaders on today’s big deadline

Sunday, May 31, 2015

* From the AP’s John O’Connor...

Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, is brainstorming on mutually acceptable ideas, spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon said, “but he disagrees with the idea that we need to stop budgeting and shut down the government while we negotiate with the governor.”

House Speaker Michael Madigan facilitated the day’s agenda from his office but did not hear from Rauner, spokesman Steve Brown said.

Rauner told reporters Friday he would not drag lawmakers back to Springfield for a special session after Sunday’s curtain, but would meet with legislators anywhere to keep the talks going.

House GOP Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs believes a breather would be beneficial, his spokeswoman said.

“The real negotiations, if they haven’t already begun behind the scenes, are going to happen over the next 45 days,” agreed Republican Rep. David Reis of Willow Hill.

Madigan heard from Rauner on Friday. In my opinion, it’s pretty much up to Madigan and Cullerton to tell Rauner now what they would be willing to do after Rauner pared his massive Turnaround Agenda down to just two items.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

25 Comments
  1. - DuPage - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 9:41 am:

    None of the turnaround items were acceptable, so if Rauner will drop the last two items, I am sure that would move the budget talks along. The turnaround items should stand or fall on their own, not be tied to the budget.


  2. - Bored Chairman - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 9:43 am:

    Yeah, sure DuPage.


  3. - Anonin' - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 9:45 am:

    Looks like the conclusion will be that BVR’s extreme anti-worker schemes all blew up. Even the DCEO overhaul fell apart right about the time the WI model collapsed in scandal and possible fed investigation — yikes and both state plans have the same author.


  4. - x ace - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 9:53 am:

    ” The Empty Vessel makes the Loudest Sound ”
    ( Shakespeare via Plato )


  5. - Oswego Willy - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 9:56 am:

    ===In my opinion, it’s pretty much up to Madigan and Cullerton to tell Rauner now what they would be willing to do after Rauner pared his massive Turnaround Agenda down to just two items.===

    For Rauner, that’s really backing down. Leaving it for Cullerton and Madigan is probably the best possible play to allow the Democratic (not ‘Democrat’, Democratic) leaders to take the heat away from Rauner until Rauner has to take ownership as Illinois’ governor.

    In that prism, it is the best Rauner’s Crew can leave it. Once the Democratic leaders make their moves, the reaction, and reactionary moves will be the Governor’s, so now’s the the time to game out the possibilities in this “pause”.

    It would’ve been easier to have tried to look for the easy victories and complete FY2015 and FY2016 and move on in June with real momentum gained by successes, but the True Beliefs just wouldn’t allow the search for those common ground victories.


  6. - DuPage - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 10:00 am:

    @Bored Chairman 9:43

    I was emphasizing the Dems are NOT going to pass any of the turnaround tied on to the budget. I don’t expect Rauner to give up yet, but his “no discussion of revenue until my turnaround agenda is passed” is not going to fly, nor should it.


  7. - Wordslinger - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 10:03 am:

    A workers comp deal is doable. Some kind of property tax bill is possible (but there goes the governor’s grab back of the local income tax distribution as a new revenue source).

    That leaves the heavy lift of $3 to $3.5 billion in new revenue that both the Rauner and the Dems budget proposals need to avoid taking the ax to K-12, which neither can live with.

    Strange, the arithmetic hasn’t changed since Jan. 1, no matter the Springfield Bad Opera or Tribbie edit board hysterics. Math is funny that way.

    The Supremes will wear the jacket on new revenue for the SB1 ruling.

    Now, I’m just curious on the timing and content of the Rauner media campaign. Since he’s held off pummeling the Dems up to now, I’m guessing he’ll wait until after the final deals are done.

    But that’s just a guess. I was very surprised he wasn’t on the air in support of his statewide dog-and-pony show. The Dems would not have had the money to answer. Really doesn’t make sense to me.


  8. - DuPage Dave - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 10:11 am:

    The workers comp issue should be on the table. Serious revisions were made 2 or 3 years ago, but there can always be refinements.

    The property tax freeze won’t work, especially if Rauner tries to sneak in limitations on bargaining rights for municipal workers or teachers.


  9. - Let'sMovetoTexas - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 10:22 am:

    These ‘turnaround’ items are relevant to the budget : they touch on how and how much we can realize in new tax revenues from more private sector job creation. I agree with Rauner that the state at present cannot be trusted with more tax dollars. I hope he stays strong - Madigan and Cullerton need to wake up and realize that the people elected a GOP Governor.


  10. - walker - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 10:24 am:

    Wordslinger is on it. The basic balanced budget numbers really haven’t changed in months, and they have driven the parties to nearly the same spot.

    The issues are and have been restructure items that have little or no impact on fiscal 2016, (or likely any budget before 2020 for some of them).

    It is smart for both parties to make the deal, since both can get something out of it.


  11. - Pelonski - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 10:28 am:

    Both a property tax freeze and worker’s comp reform are potentially doable since forms of them have made it through the Democratic legislature in the past.

    The effects of a property tax freeze can at least be partially offset by expanding the sales tax to cover services since that change would also lead to more local sales tax revenue.


  12. - Macbeth - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 10:30 am:

    A shutdown backfires on Rauner in 2016. People don’t want a disfunctional government. We have one in Washington — we don’t need one here.

    A compromise gives Rauner the edge — including a union compromise — and then it’s smooth sailing until the elections. Seems that’s the long game — and a potential winning one. Winning the short game isn’t going to happen.


  13. - JS Mill - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 10:36 am:

    =A workers comp deal is doable. Some kind of property tax bill is possible (but there goes the governor’s grab back of the local income tax distribution as a new revenue source).

    That leaves the heavy lift of $3 to $3.5 billion in new revenue that both the Rauner and the Dems budget proposals need to avoid taking the ax to K-12, which neither can live with.”

    This is what scares me. After five years of reduced funding from the state, many districts downstate are hurting, have borrowed to make payroll even after serious cuts to their budgets and personnel. Of these last two items on Rauner’s agenda the tax freeze will hurt schools in all parts of the state. Couple that with the possibility of more cuts to k-12 and it will get ugly quickly. It would be one thing if schools had been spared from the financial issues in the past but this will be a kick in the teeth.

    Obviously Rauner said he wanted a property tax freeze even though it was not really the states role. But, given the states inability to fund education it is a kick in the teeth. It puts him in the position to say he increased state funding even if schools do not see an increase in funding. And that, folks, is business as usual in Springfield.


  14. - Anonymous on Sunday - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 10:37 am:

    /snark /bad humor. (Tried to edit so didn’t get deleted)

    BVR– My Agenda is for y’all to Turnaround so I can dominate you without looking in your eyes……If you don’t Turnaround now, I am going to…..

    We all need to watch out when someone says you need to Turnaround! Hahaha!

    Seriously, this so call Agenda is getting down to two ideas that have some real merit and a compromised solution could benefit many interests.


  15. - Norseman - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 10:45 am:

    === In my opinion, it’s pretty much up to Madigan and Cullerton to tell Rauner now what they would be willing to do after Rauner pared his massive Turnaround Agenda down to just two items. ===

    Understood, but I believe an entreaty from Madigan is unlikely given his pique over Rauner’s personal attacks. Buckle up for a rough ride.


  16. - Rich Miller - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 10:47 am:

    ===given his pique over Rauner’s personal attacks===

    Gonna get a whole lot worse in a few days. Better to swallow that pride now than wait for the real attack.


  17. - Mama - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 11:15 am:

    ++- Anonin’ - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 9:45 am:

    Looks like the conclusion will be that BVR’s extreme anti-worker schemes all blew up. Even the DCEO overhaul fell apart right about the time the WI model collapsed in scandal and possible fed investigation — yikes and both state plans have the same author. ++ Who is the author?


  18. - Austin Blvd - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 11:16 am:

    Which is the real Bruce Rauner?
    The one who has pledged to get to know members of the legislature and work closely with them?
    Or the one who will unleash a nuclear attack on the members?
    Which will get Bruce Rauner the most mileage and goodwill?
    Which is the real Cruce Rauner?
    Did he really think we wouldn’t find out?


  19. - Mama - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 11:20 am:

    Any property tax free will hurt public schools & local governments in IL. Why do they want to tie the hands of public schools, the local governments & the voters?


  20. - Mama - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 11:26 am:

    If Rauner shut down the State, but never got his way, how long would state government be shut down? Once the state offices are shut down, can the legislature override the it?


  21. - Quiet Sage - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 11:48 am:

    This is a mere lull in the governor’s offensive. Rauner has tactically backed off, not abandoned, his turnaround agenda. He is looking to use his huge financial resources to oust several Democratic legislators in 2016. He is also looking to a potential lockout or strike in the summer. An agreement now on the Turnaround agenda would be more in the nature of a temporary armistice rather than a treaty.


  22. - archimedes - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 12:03 pm:

    An easy compromise on the property tax freeze - change the Tax Cap so there is no loss if a taxing body were to freeze taxes (not increase by CPI) for one year. It takes away the fear that if I don’t use the full Tax Cap allowance I will lose that base for all the following years.

    This is a small change - and it puts the onus of deciding to freeze or not to freeze on the local government. No penalty in subsequent years if you do freeze for one (which there is now).

    Work Comp can be tweaked - but somehow there has to be an accountable link between the tweak and rates coming down.


  23. - SallyD - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 12:11 pm:

    Just two items is two to many.

    Property tax Ike income tax is the best way to tax the haves. Of course Rauner wants to tax the have nots which means service tax.

    The Dems should hold their ground and make Rauner feel the pressure.


  24. - nona - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 12:57 pm:

    Editors who argue for local control from Springfield imposition on other issues surely couldn’t support a property tax freeze, could they? There is some consistent principle in those newspaper boardrooms, isn’t there?


  25. - Lynn S, - Sunday, May 31, 15 @ 7:46 pm:

    @ nona 12:57

    I would not expect intellectual consistency from newspaper editorial boards. Rich has done a good job highlighting how inconsistent the Chicago Tribune is, and the downstate papers are just as bad, if not worse…


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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