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Up against the wall

Thursday, Jun 25, 2015

* Fran Spielman interviews a couple of Mayor Emanuel’s folks about the stalled 40-day CPS pension payment delay

Another Emanuel confidant argued that the House roll call was somewhat misleading and that victory is “not as far away as it may appear.” That’s because, when lawmakers know a bill is going down, they pull back.

That’s very true.

It’s also true that legislators historically don’t tend to do anything controversial until their backs are up against a wall. Next Tuesday’s session is June 30th - the very same day the city’s school system has to make that $634 million payment. It’ll be much easier to convince legislators to go along because the crisis will be fully upon them.

Plus, the City has several days to inform, cajole and threaten to burn down legislators’ houses.

* Now, check this out

If Emanuel is losing patience with anyone, it’s Rauner — not Madigan, a mayoral aide said.

“The mayor is the one who talks to everybody. He’s the one most impacted by this [stalemate]. He’s encouraged everybody to work with everybody. He’s frustrated with the governor’s approach. His [anti-Madigan] ads. His rhetoric,” one of the Emanuel aides said.

“Everyone knows you can’t squeeze Madigan. That’s not gonna happen. It’s naïve.”

Apparently, hizzoner got the Speaker’s message.

* Also, strangely enough, the Tribune editorial board has not yet issued any thundering denunciations of this proposal to kick the can down the road a few days. But, hey, the governor is on board. Instead, they’ll just taunt the unions…


The idea here is to buy a little time to find a negotiated solution over the summer. If that happens, a few days’ delay won’t make a whole lot of difference.

…Adding… Oops. I also meant to note here that the CPS board voted yesterday to approve a cash-flow loan of over a billion dollars

The borrowing — $200 million in short-term credit plus an additional $935 million — was arranged because the district is supposed to make a $634 million pension payment by June 30, but it says it cannot afford that payment as well as payroll. […]

The state kicks in just $62 million for Chicago’s retired teachers in fiscal year 2015, but $3.4 billion in fiscal year 2015 to the retirement system for teachers in every other district. If the state paid for CPS’ pensions as it does for every other district, Ruiz said, CPS could spend its $634 million pension payment in classrooms — or $1,600 more per student.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

34 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 9:56 am:

    Oh @FakeStatehouseChick

    (Aside; “fake” is the utter mocking of “fake” Twitter handles. The fake StatehouseChick reminds me that if @StatehouseChick was honest with herself, the one with years… years of experience, she would never tweet such things. It must be a parody, a fake)


  2. - LizPhairTax - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 9:59 am:

    Honest Question:

    When was the last time Kristen McQueary was in the Capitol?

    She’s as much Statehouse Chick as I am Wimbeldon Liz.


  3. - Pepe - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 10:05 am:

    Kristen, do your homework. CTU was neutral on the bill, and let the members know it.


  4. - walker - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 10:06 am:

    ==threaten to burn down legislator’s houses==

    You also don’t threaten Greg Harris, Mr. Mayor. He’s been through many wars, and won.

    When Rahm does some personal lobbying, it’s never called a “charm offensive.”


  5. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 10:10 am:

    Has ANY journalist asked Rahm from whom he would get the funds to pay off the bonds?

    I understand it’s the same person David Vitale said would pay for the $300 million CTU raises last time around, “Ida Know”.

    Ida sure is going to have some big tax bills coming due…and soon. I sure hope she doesn’t move out of town!


  6. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 10:11 am:

    Rauner and Madigan both should have worked their people harder. Sorry, but this is on both of them. And a mere 40 days is not kicking the can down the road. It’s the equivalent of me waiting an extra week to pay my utility bill.


  7. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 10:12 am:

    Another attempt to have the state tax payers pay, for a mismanaged Chicago Public School System!


  8. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 10:13 am:

    Perhaps her cousin, “Iveno Idea” will pay the bills. And to think that at one time I supported Democrats because I thought they were best at running local government in a responsible, professional manner….


  9. - Name/Nickname/Anon - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 10:13 am:

    Now I remember why I stopped following @statehouseshick


  10. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 10:13 am:

    Rough couple days to be a Tribbie edit writer.

    But you can’t moan too much about things not going your way when there never was a realistic game plan to begin with.


  11. - Excessively Rabid - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 10:17 am:

    == If the state paid for CPS’ pensions as it does for every other district==

    That’s a straw man, right?


  12. - Anonymiss - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 10:28 am:

    Good lord, Kristen and Lance sound more and more alike these days. (And did she look at the roll call, or was that just auto-tweet?…)


  13. - Cassandra - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 10:28 am:

    So, the hope is to have the state pick up the teachers’ pension payments? How much is that going to cost us taxpayers? I do enjoy watching Mayor Rahm on tv. Particularly, his taxpayer as ATM for government remark (he’s opposed, but..). I guess the idea here is that all Illinois taxpayers are going to be the ATM for the Chicago teachers’ pensions. You have to give him credit for effort.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 10:33 am:

    @FakeStatehouseChick - I’m not anti-Union. I’m just for whatever allows me to keep being a shill against the old me #WhateverGetsMyPaycheck


  15. - Mason born - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 10:35 am:

    Please forgive my ignorance but how did Chicago get a seperate city funded teacher pension in the first place? Tried the Google lots of folks complaining about it no clear answers.


  16. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 10:36 am:

    ===how did Chicago get a seperate city funded teacher pension in the first place? ===

    The city started its own fund a long time ago. The state then started one for the rest of the state, iirc.


  17. - Mason born - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 10:39 am:

    Thanks Rich appreciate it.


  18. - Taxpaying parent - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 10:42 am:

    == If the state paid for CPS’ pensions as it does for every other district==

    That’s a straw man, right?

    Nope. Its very real. If every other school district in the state had to pay its teachers pensions, they’d be in the same soup as Chicago. Only Chicago has to take dollars out of the classroom to pay pensions.

    And don’t say Chicago gets more money in other ways. If the formula applied equally and the pensions were handled equally, Chicago would come out way ahead of where they are now. The pension obligation means choosing between kids in the classroom and retired teachers, and it ain’t pretty. The state needs to do the right thing and bring parity to the funding of education.


  19. - anon. - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 10:50 am:

    The state aid formula gives CPS much more than the rest of the districts. The other districts get less but the state funds the downstate teachers retirement.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 10:51 am:

    @StatehouseChick: Who voted to allow #CPS to delay pension payment? Pay attn, #AFSCME @IEA @CTU

    The Owl Sandack would be pleased.

    “Who…Who”


  21. - dawn - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 10:52 am:

    I had to read @statehousechick tweets a couple times. She’s so off base it was incomprehensible.


  22. - Robert the Bruce - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 10:53 am:

    ==The state aid formula gives CPS much more than the rest of the districts. The other districts get less but the state funds the downstate teachers retirement.==
    I wonder if this (no $ for pensions but more $ from formula) is a net gain or loss for Chicago?


  23. - Weltschmerz - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:00 am:

    “It’s also true that legislators historically don’t tend to do anything controversial until their backs are up against a wall.” Rich Miller

    Rich - Please insert this in the comments section of everything you post from now on and save me the trouble and aggravation. Thanks.


  24. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:05 am:

    “Who” was it in comments insisting the vote failure was Rauner’s fault instead of Madigan’s?


  25. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:27 am:

    Don’t try to triangulate the Speaker.

    Rahm was 18 votes short, 16 GOP votes, and Rahm didn’t work the Democratic Caucus and go through the Speaker’s Office.

    Rauner put 16 votes on a bill, then disowned it (shocker) after making a deal with the Mayor.

    “Who” is the Mayor must upset with? Who? Who? lol


  26. - ISP Retired - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:43 am:

    Rich , Isn’t the way it is in Chicago because of a deal long ago that gave control of Chicago Schools to the mayor and he/she then selects his own school board.


  27. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 11:53 am:

    After “well over two dozen Democrats voted no or didn’t show up to vote at all”, “much of Springfield concluded that the Speaker didn’t want the bill to pass” writes Greg Hinz. Greg and much of Springfield view this as the Speaker’s work. If he wants to stop legislation, he can stop it.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:08 pm:

    Who has Rahm the most upset?

    “Who?”


  29. - Harry - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:41 pm:

    I keep seeing people say that Chicago gets all sorts of special goodies from ISBE that more than make up for its $600M+ pension cost, but I have never seen anyone produce the details.

    Yes, there are some elements of the overall State K-12 funding where CPS gets a straight 20% of the approp, but CPS is about 18% of the State’s K-12 enrollment and has demographics that would entitle it to additional funds under some of those formulae, anyway. The State does little or nothing for CTA’s provision of reduced fares for many CPS students who, in the rest of the State, would be on school-funded (and reimbursed by State Aid) yellow buses.

    Long ago there was an understanding, don’t know if it was ever codified, that the State would give CPS an annual amount approx. equal to 20% of what it contributed to TRS. That was the source of the annual $65M approp that reimbursed retiree health, and goes back to a time when the entire State TRS contribution was about $350M. The State (and CPS) now pay far more in pension contributions, and the $65M is sometimes not appropriated or is reduced.

    Can anyone produce the actual numbers and formulae that show CPS regularly gets more than $600M in benefits from other sources, to compensate for the pension funding inequity which is obvious? Unfortunately, Bill Luking is no longer around to ask.


  30. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 1:05 pm:

    Lynn’s source explains that on this specific legislation, Rahm’s team acknowledges they need to do better communicating with the ga. More generally, Rahm is also unhappy with the gov’s approach to pressuring da Speaker. Those are two different points.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 1:34 pm:

    ===Rahm is also unhappy with the gov’s approach to pressuring da Speaker. Those are two different points.===

    Nope.

    Rahm, end-running the Speaker needed Rauner. Rauber then claims it ain’t his bill.

    You put a think on “who” Rahm is most upset with.


  32. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 2:01 pm:

    ==legislators historically don’t tend to do anything controversial until their backs are up against a wall==

    Not the government we need, but the government we deserve?


  33. - Strikedos - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 3:33 pm:

    Another step down the road to De.. (oops) southeast Michigan. Oh, that’s right, it can’t happen because property values are rising.


  34. - Mama - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 5:12 pm:

    - Harry - Thursday, Jun 25, 15 @ 12:41 pm:

    Harry, call ISBE. They can answer your question.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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