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More lip service

Tuesday, Jul 28, 2015

* June 11, 2015 AARP Illinois press release…

“Governor Rauner’s directive to suspend the expenditure of state funds under the Supplemental Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is dangerous and prohibited under Illinois law – the Governor does not have the authority to take this measure, and it endangers the lives of vulnerable Illinoisans, including individuals over age 65, people with disabilities or who have chronic medical conditions, and children under the age of five.

LIHEAP funds help individuals survive extreme summer and winter temperatures–they prevent deaths and excessive emergency room hospitalizations and other public health costs often associated with heat-related illnesses. The Governor’s action will not save the state any money and could, in fact, significantly increase preventable public health costs.

Over 171,000 Illinois households rely on LIHEAP to provide them with adequate levels of heating and cooling. On average, there are over 600 heat-related deaths each year in the United States, with the highest percentage of deaths occurring among those older than 65 years. Cook County saw 18 deaths as recently as 2012.

Illinois’ Emergency Assistance Act requires the moneys from this fund to pay for electric or gas services on behalf of consumers (i.e. low-income individuals over age 65, people with disabilities and children under age 5) eligible for this program. The Act does not allow for any other use of the funds - which are collected by electric and gas public utilities from their ratepayers or through allowable donations outlined in the Act.

Before endangering the lives and well-being of our most vulnerable citizens during the extremes of Illinois’ summer and winter weather we strongly advise the Governor to reconsider the moral and legal ramifications of his decision.”

* July 25, 2015

Another $75 million was borrowed from the Supplemental Low Income Energy Assistance Fund. The fund uses money from a state surcharge on utility bills to supplement federal funding that provides help to low-income families in paying their utility bills.

Rauner previously announced the supplemental LIHEAP program was being suspended July 1 because no balanced budget had been passed by the General Assembly. He said it was one of a series of steps he had to take to manage state finances in the absence of a budget.

However, if the budget is resolved, the fact the money was borrowed means less will be available for assistance if and when aid is resumed, said Dalitso Sulamoyo, of the Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies.

* Governor Rauner on WDWS Radio this morning

“It’s great to join your listeners, and before we start I hope we can talk about it, it’s going to be blistering hot. It’s supposed to be 92 here in Springfield today. And remind all your listeners to work to stay cool. Help your neighbors, look out for folks, we’ve got to help people stay cool on these hot days.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

43 Comments
  1. - kimaye - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:16 pm:

    Unreal. Nice move, Governor. Keep up the great work. snark


  2. - Mama - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:17 pm:

    How can this guy keep a straight face?


  3. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:18 pm:

    Is it lip service to care about something but also recognize you cannot afford it right now?

    No snark intended.


  4. - Slide - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:19 pm:

    Someone needs to file an injunction; the courts may be this state’s last hope.


  5. - Old Shepherd - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:20 pm:

    I mentioned this on an earlier post, but it’s worth mentioning here, too. People’s lives are put at risk because of the budget stalemate, but our state fairs will go on. Bread and circuses.


  6. - Stones - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:21 pm:

    “Let them eat ice” (Snark intended)


  7. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:21 pm:

    ===but also recognize you cannot afford it right now? ====

    LOL

    There’s tons of consumer fee money just sitting in a bank account.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:22 pm:

    Rauner is so comically unaware of who he is, and what he does and worse, that his actual persona is a caricature of what Rauner thinks a “good guy” says and does.


  9. - The Dude Abides - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:23 pm:

    It’s total BS that the Governor is so detached from this. To the previous post suggesting that we can’t afford it, we can afford it. If the Governor hadn’t asked that the state income tax be allowed to lapse to 3.75% from 5%, which was still lower than our neighboring states, there would be enough money to help these poor people.


  10. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:23 pm:

    Shamelessness is a political superpower.

    – MrJM


  11. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:24 pm:

    “I, um, think, that, um, Governor Rauner is, um, a good man and, um, a decent man, and um, not a, um, cartoon caricature that, um, you may see in, um, a-nother, um, Spring-field” - Mayor Quimby


  12. - 19th ward guy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:25 pm:

    Ask the speaker if he has any more money hidden with the Sec of State for projects in his district. That should always be the first place to start.


  13. - Tha missin g - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:29 pm:

    I’m embarrassed for people who can still stick up for this guy.


  14. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:33 pm:

    The top dogs involved in this war (Madigan, Cullerton, the Governor) aren’t hurting for money. They “feel our pain” but have little grasp of the reality of the situation for those that are actually feeling the pain. This is just an example of that disconnect.


  15. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:35 pm:

    ==There’s tons of consumer fee money just sitting in a bank account.==

    In this case, then, that would mean it is affordable. No reason at all to cut this funding then if it does not detract from something else.


  16. - RD55 - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:36 pm:

    FKA. This isn’t tax $s. “The fund uses money from a state surcharge on utility bills to supplement federal funding that provides help to low-income families in paying their utility bills.”

    The funds are collected specifically for heating/cooling assistance. So apparently their are funds for keeping people cool, but the gov spending them elsewhere. Way to go gov! Slow cookin those in need. Part of his plan to decrease the excess population?


  17. - John A Logan - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:38 pm:

    Let them eat cake.


  18. - Joe M - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:39 pm:

    Somewhere there is probably a photo op of the Governor sitting and smiling with LIHEAP constituents in their cool homes - just before he shut off the funds.


  19. - Keyser Soze - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:39 pm:

    How much money are we talking about?


  20. - walker - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:40 pm:

    This guy is looking more like a career politician every day. This isn’t the learning curve we’d hoped for.


  21. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:40 pm:

    =The top dogs involved in this war (Madigan, Cullerton, the Governor) aren’t hurting for money. They “feel our pain” but have little grasp of the reality of the situation for those that are actually feeling the pain. This is just an example of that disconnect. =

    Great post, X2 please.

    There are no heroes in this “battle”, I am rooting for Illinois though.


  22. - Hawkeye in Illinois - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:41 pm:

    Sweat in’ the oldies for the Turnaround Agenda—they will still be able to go to “cooling centers” in state buildings staffed by the National Guard.


  23. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:41 pm:

    Thanks @Rich & @RD55


  24. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:41 pm:

    Hi Rich,

    Gov Rauner has implemented a new program titled ’sweating with the fogies’. It’s all about cleansing out impurities through living in a sweatbox. Any old person who does not enjoy sitting in a sweltering apartment is encouraged to call MJM’s office and DEMAND movement on the Runaground ™ agenda.

    Until all of Rauners demands are met, a few of the hostages may be shot. Again.

    Best,
    ck!


  25. - Former Hoosier - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:46 pm:

    If the AARP is correct and LIHEAP funds may not be used for anything other than gas and electric service and the Gov’s. actions are prohibited, who is the appropriate person/body to challenge what the Gov. has done?


  26. - vole - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:46 pm:

    OK. When do the Feds step in? Likely other funds were swept or frozen that the Federal govt. has some say about.


  27. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:47 pm:

    Hawkeye in Illinois - Not only will they be able to go to state buildings staffed by the National Guard, but they can fill in for AFSCME workers while they are there! Winning!


  28. - The Dude Abides - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:48 pm:

    @RD55 thanks for explaining where the fund money comes from. It shouldn’t be legal for the governor to use that money for other purposes.


  29. - AJ_yooper - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:49 pm:

    =Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:22 pm:

    Rauner is so comically unaware of who he is, and what he does and worse, that his actual persona is a caricature of what Rauner thinks a “good guy” says and does.=

    OW, you really nailed it!

    Sounds like AARP needs a lawyer on this.


  30. - northsider - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:49 pm:

    Amoral. Just amoral.


  31. - A Jack - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 2:58 pm:

    Why isn’t AARP suing on behalf of its members?


  32. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:05 pm:

    In solidarity, the governor should cut out his A/C.


  33. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:35 pm:

    It’s interesting the governor’s office hasn’t responded with the usual: “We’re looking forward to providing relief to those suffering from our budget, um, mismanagement just as soon as the U-Turnaround Agenda is accepted. In the meantime, take a cool shower.”


  34. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 3:38 pm:

    Hi Rich!

    Also, Gov Rauner has asked that you again remind CapFax readers that with the new Happy Hour Specials(TM) those really hot old folks can get an extra beer to cool down.

    Best
    ck!


  35. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:13 pm:

    There’s obviously a disconnect for the Gov from the policies they decide on in their create the pain secret meetings and the words spouting out of his mouth as he shoots the breeze (which is all the relief LIHEAP participants get) with the media and public.


  36. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:31 pm:

    Just in case you are someone who has never had to deal with Heat Stroke, here’s your sign:

    From WebMD page 4 on Heat Stroke http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/heat-stroke-symptoms-and-treatment :

    “If you live in an apartment or house without fans or air conditioning, try to spend at least two hours each day — preferably during the hottest part of the day — in an air-conditioned environment. At home, draw your curtains, shades, or blinds during the hottest part of the day, and open windows at night on two sides of your building to create cross-ventilation.

    If you’re a senior who either can’t afford to buy or run an air conditioner, check with your local Area Agency on Aging for programs that can assist you. One such program is the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).”

    ******
    Maybe this is how the Gov wants to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of 1995:

    http://www.chicagonow.com/chicago-weather-watch/2015/07/heat-wave-1995/


  37. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:40 pm:

    Rauner went on to say his next stop was the state museum, to visit with the school kids.

    Can he really be that unaware? He cant connect action A, to result B? None of the superstars can prep him? If so, as my dad used to say, “he has the memory of a mirror.”


  38. - Mama - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:58 pm:

    Thanks Anon221 for the link on heat strokes.


  39. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 4:59 pm:

    You are welcome Mama:)


  40. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 5:09 pm:

    Website for State Illinois Cooling Centers (searchable)http://www.illinois.gov/KeepCool/SitePages/CoolingCenters.aspx :

    As part of his Keep Cool Illinois campaign, the Governor has made over 120 state facilities available as cooling centers. The cooling centers will provide Illinoisans a place to stay cool and comfortable during hot summer days. Tollway Oasis locations are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Department of Human Services cooling centers are open during normal business hours from 8:30AM - 5:00PM, Monday through Friday. For more information about DHS Cooling Centers, please call the Illinois Department of Human Services hotline at (800) 843-6154 during normal business hours.

    ****
    Also check with local authorities as the website above only lists state offices.


  41. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 5:11 pm:

    In the future some form of the name “Rauner” will become the more popular name for what we now call a hypocrite.


  42. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 5:31 pm:

    Either it’s a cynical bit for the media, or the governor is truly disengaged and ignorant.

    Maybe both.

    Geez, is this guy ever going to get around to doing the job like a grown up? He ain’t a kid. What does he get out of the Frat
    Boy games?

    It’s a real important job, on a day-to-day basis, for both a strategic thinker and a hands-on manager. The biggest job in the state.

    It ain’t a dilettante’s hobby.

    For crying out loud, I think we boated another Blago and Walker narcicisst.


  43. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Jul 28, 15 @ 7:16 pm:

    ==It’s a real important job, on a day-to-day basis, for both a strategic thinker and a hands-on manager.==

    Agree, but Rauner’s neither. He’s a CEO who delegates these duties to subordinates, while he shows little interest in what they’re doing or the consequences of their actions. He’s completely clueless when it comes to actual governing, just shows up for photo ops at signings and events.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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