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Poor winners

Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015

* From the Illinois Policy Institute regarding yesterday’s House vote to roll back scheduled legislative pay raises, among other things

“This bill is just another effort to meet the governor halfway,” Madigan said on the House floor.

But the move appears to be an empty play for political points in the wake of bad press and a frustrated public, as Madigan has been blocking Republican legislation to do the same for weeks.

House Bill 4225, filed in May by state Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, would have stopped lawmaker pay raises for the current fiscal year. The bill was deliberately stalled in the Madigan-controlled Rules Committee.

When state Rep. Ron Sandack, R-Downers Grove, requested multiple times that the bill be discharged from the committee so it may be heard, the Madigan-appointed chairperson ruled Sandack was out of order, dashing any hopes of a vote.

No doubt that this was a loss for Madigan. I have no idea why he thought it would OK to not block those pay raises. He said his approp bill didn’t fund them, but whatevs. Bad, bad move and it bit him hard.

* But, the above excerpt shows why the Illinois Policy Institute ain’t exactly a non-partisan outfit. I mean, even Gov. Rauner was gracious in victory yesterday

A Rauner spokesman said the governor praised “those who showed leadership” with the vote and urged Senate President John Cullerton to act on the bill.

“We encourage President Cullerton to swiftly move this legislation to the governor’s desk for his signature,” spokesman Lance Trover said in an emailed statement.

“Governor Rauner is ready to work with Speaker Madigan, (House Republican Leader Jim) Durkin and all members of the General Assembly to pass true structural reforms and a balanced budget.”

* But, wait… There’s more.

From the above-referenced Republican Rep. Mark Batinick’s bill synopsis

Amends the Compensation Review Act. Prohibits cost-of-living adjustments for or during the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015 for State government legislative and executive elected officers and appointees in positions for which the Compensation Review Board previously recommended or determined compensation. Effective immediately.

The bill passed yesterday does the exact same thing, as the Institute correctly notes.

What the Institute doesn’t mention, however, is that the legislation also freezes mileage and per diem reimbursement rates, which Madigan said doubled the savings of the original GOP legislation.

So, it was actually a pretty good win by the Republicans. They got what they wanted and more.

* Back to the Illinois Policy Institute’s rant

Illinoisans would be wise to keep in mind why Madigan’s bill is even necessary in the first place. It’s because of legislation pushed by Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton last year ensuring lawmaker salaries, operating expenses and pay increases would be allocated through a “continuing appropriation,” meaning they must be specifically prohibited for a given year for the payments to stop.

Nowhere do they mention that the GA passed that bill after Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed legislator salaries out of the budget, which a judge ruled unconstitutional.

They passed the legislation to protect the integrity of the General Assembly’s co-equal status in the face of a vindictive, publicity hound governor. That legislation was absolutely justified and was the right thing to do.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:20 pm:

    I still think IPI belongs on the banned list.

  2. - SAP - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:22 pm:

    I thought Rep. Batinick was pretty gracious when he said something to the effect that it did not matter whether the GA passed his bill or the Speaker’s bill as long as it got done. You can get a lot more accomplished if you don’t get hung up on who takes the credit (or blame).

  3. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:25 pm:

    In fairness, IPI and HGOPs like Ron Sandack don’t “win” very often. It’s hard to act like you’ve been there before when it’s your first trip to the end zone.

  4. - Not Rich - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:30 pm:

    “47th Ward” : SO TRUE.. my fave post of the session..

  5. - A Jack - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:37 pm:

    Why does Illinois seem to prefer vindictive, publicity hound governors?

  6. - salavador dali - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:38 pm:

    –They passed the legislation to protect the integrity of the General Assembly’s co-equal status in the face of a vindictive, publicity hound governor. That legislation was absolutely justified and was the right thing to do-

    It was probably a reasonable choice from the perspective of Madigan and the GA pols in a political nuclear meltdown with the governor….

    But was it the best choice for the state as a whole in the context of anticipated massive financial issues and the associated and expected privations of many of citizens?

  7. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:39 pm:

    Quinn’s Banana Republic stunt necessitated the fix.

  8. - Anon. - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:42 pm:

    ==They passed the legislation to protect the integrity of the General Assembly’s co-equal status in the face of a vindictive, publicity hound governor.==

    So it’s safe to repeal it now, right?

  9. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:46 pm:

    SAP - yep, and that’s one main reason why I really wish that Governor Rauner had put 5-10 votes on SB 316 when it was up for a vote two weeks ago. Missed opportunities like that will become more and more rare.

  10. - Lincoln Lad - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:47 pm:

    Don’t understand why the Dems didn’t move their bill sooner. I understand that the GOP acted faster, won the issue early, but moving the dem bill after the raises were effective was a major fumble. This was a no-brainer, and turns the issue into a Rauner win.

  11. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:48 pm:

    ==A Rauner spokesman said the governor praised “those who showed leadership”==

    But they just couldn’t bring themselves to say, “Speaker Madigan showed leadership.”

  12. - x ace - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 12:50 pm:

    Founding Fathers wise in creating three branches of government for checks and balances. Two do wrong, for wrong reasons , and the Judicial Branch is still there throw the check and say ” Gotta Follow The Constitution “.

  13. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:02 pm:

    ===But they just couldn’t bring themselves to say, “Speaker Madigan ===

    Yes, they did.

  14. - Strangerthings - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:05 pm:

    It doesn’t matter because whether they did or did not pass it. The Republicans can at least claim to have acted on the issue with real zealous so the wouldn’t catch as much heat if the bill fell through in the end.

  15. - Albany Park Patriot - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:12 pm:

    IF they are concerned about taxes, they should talk about whey they have tax-exempt status when they look to coordinate directly with the Bruce Rauner political shop.

  16. - sideline watcher - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:14 pm:

    I don’t see this as a win for Republicans at all. Still no budget. You can’t keep harping on pay raises when there are no pay raises. And you can’t keep harping on the selfishness of legislators who vote to cut their own pay and when they cut the raise and freeze per diems and mileage on top of it. Plus, the Republicans have racked up quite a few awesome no and present votes on property tax freezes, education funding, protecting the safety net,etc., that they will twist themselves in knots to try to explain in a presidential election year with a stronger Democratic leaning electorate. So Republicans just “lost” their only resonating issue with a bill that goes further than what they even proposed. Oh and still no budget. Still haven’t decimated the unions, still haven’t gotten causation, So what did Rauner and the politicians he controls win? Oh. And still no budget.

  17. - All the answers - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:24 pm:

    If Gov. Rauner is against legislative pay raises, I wonder if he is now for a cut in executive and administrative pay? From what I can see Rauner is paying his crew top dollar.

  18. - ugh - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:29 pm:

    I am starting to think we may have to debate the meaning of the same or identical.

    The House GOP files a bill to freeze COLAs, but not per diems or mileage reimbursement. The House dems file a bill to freeze COLA, per diems and mileage. The GOP claims the bills are the same.

    The House dems vote a bunch of times on property tax freeze language identical to what Rauner put out and Radogno and Durkin filed. The GOP claims the bill is not the same, even though the property tax language is word for word.

  19. - mcb - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:31 pm:

    -That legislation was absolutely justified and was the right thing to do.-

    So the court ruling wasn’t enough? Seems like pretty clear precedent to me. So no, the continuing approp. wasn’t justified or the right thing to do.

  20. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:46 pm:

    You can tell who the Madigan-bots are by the commenters who were obediently trying to pretend this was another masterful Madigan move yesterday. No need to name them, they revealed themselves for all to see.

  21. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:51 pm:

    Why would they specifically say Speaker Madigan showed leadership as some here ask? The only leadership he showed was leading the retreat after his mistake became undeniable.

  22. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:10 pm:

    ==- Rich Miller - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:02 pm:==

    That’s taking my comment out of context. They couldn’t say Madigan showed leadership, only “all those members.” Did they literally use the words “Speaker Madigan” in the press release, yes.

    ==- Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 1:51 pm:==

    Basic negotiating 101.

  23. - Disappointed - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:25 pm:

    M. Madigan proposs, then L. Madigan will point out the unconstitutionality of reducing pay during a legislator’s term. Then M. Madigan will say gosh, …gheee wizz…we really tried to give up our pay raise, but we can’t.

    Can you say phony balony democrat kabuki theater?

  24. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:28 pm:

    ==M. Madigan proposs, then L. Madigan will point out the unconstitutionality of reducing pay during a legislator’s term==

    Use the tinfoil for something besides a hat will you.

  25. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 5:24 pm:

    tbh, Cullerton did have a point about the Constitutionality of this yesterday.

    That may be a problem.

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