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To fair or not to fair?

Wednesday, Jul 29, 2015

* I did not know this statute existed

(20 ILCS 210/5) (from Ch. 127, par. 1705)

Sec. 5. The Department [of Agriculture] shall annually hold a State Fair at Springfield and DuQuoin to promote agriculture, the agriculture industry, and provide for exhibits and activities in the fields of industry, education, the arts and crafts, labor, entertainment and other areas of interest to the people of the State.

* I found that out by reading a new piece by Jamey Dunn

[Sen. John Sullivan] says entertainment acts have already received some payment from last year’s budget. If the fair were canceled, the state would lose some or all of that money. He points out the economic activity from the fairs brings in tax dollars at a time when the state budget and many local budgets are struggling. “There would be a definite negative impact on the state of Illinois for canceling acts and canceling the fair—number one. Number two, the economic impact that the fair has for the region is actually going to bring money into the state’s coffers,” Sullivan says. “So if you look at it from the local economy standpoint, the regional economy there in the Springfield area, it certainly has a very positive impact. So again, that actually helps some of our problems instead of doing a detriment to us.”

Retired University of Illinois political science professor Kent Redfield says that no matter what’s in state law about the fairs, without a budget Illinois can’t spend on them. That means no operating funds for costs like temporary workers, gas and water. But he notes Rauner has already found a way, through the courts, to keep paying state employees without funding. “If you don’t have a budget, then you ought to be out of business. But obviously there are certain areas where the governor’s office has decided to put extraordinary effort into trying to keep certain things going, and one of them appears to be the state fair.”

Redfield says some in the state might question why the fairs are moving ahead while other state services are on hold. “Lot’s of people depend on the state fair. It has a huge economic impact. There’s every reason in the world to try and make it go. But if I’m a social service provider who’s laying off people or going out of business, I’m probably questioning the state’s priorities in terms of what really is or isn’t the primary function of state government.”

Good points by Redfield.

Speaker Madigan, by the way, said yesterday that “Democrat Day” will take place during the fair this year. The governor’s people told Jamey that vendors could face delayed payments.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Austin Blvd - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:16 pm:

    Maybe the judges will throw out the constitution entirely. If a budget is not needed to pay employees, let’s just keep everything running.
    Why not?

  2. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:16 pm:

    When I worked in the budget shop, I knew that passage quite well. Had many a discussion about if the fair should/needs to go on. That statute generally cleared up any confusion decision makers had about it.

    I think that Illinois should and needs to have the fair. A large part of the State relies on agriculture, and it should be promoted and celebrated each year.

    And much of the expense is in the Fair Fund, not GRF. Dept of Ag had also gotten much better with off fair activities, and using that revenue to pay down may expenses.

  3. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:20 pm:

    And this kind of balanced take is why Prof Redfield ==matters==, as someone in another thread recently questioned.

  4. - Huh? - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:21 pm:

    No budget = no fair.

    Vendors are going to be paid late means the vendor gets interest on the payment of the over due bill.

    Common occurrence to lose down payments on canceled contracts.

    Take the lumps and blame Mr. Madigan for not passing the u-turn agenda.

  5. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:22 pm:

    @ Rich Miller,

    You should have known about the statute….I posted about it before (haha)

  6. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:24 pm:

    This year’s State Fair must happen! My preschooler must meet the Paw Patrol!

  7. - Anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:25 pm:

    I am not against the fair…or paying state employees…or anything else for that matter. However, it seems to me that, one piece at a time, they are going around the requirement of having a budget at all. At some point, you have to realize that, between *special* laws for paying legislators or holding the fair and the many court orders to pay this or pay that, they have basically went around the intent of the Constitutional requirement of having a budget before spending money. It seems to me that we could just go on like this indefinitely, spending money on whatever the administration or AG sees fit, and never enact a budget.

  8. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:26 pm:

    ===the Paw Patrol===

    Please tell me you are joking. The Paw Patrol will be at the Fair? God I hope my kids don’t find this out.

  9. - Huh - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:28 pm:

    Maybe a mini butter cow to keep expenses down?

  10. - Quid pro Quo - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:28 pm:

    State law requires a fair in DuQuoin? What makes DuQuoin so special?

  11. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:34 pm:

    47th - nope.

  12. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:36 pm:

    Thanks TS. I guess I’ll see you there.

  13. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:37 pm:

    Oh I hope the butter cow is not effected! It’s a stupid thing really but I have to admit I enjoy seeing it every year.

  14. - Anon - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:37 pm:

    I’m a HUGE fan of the Fair, but this is ridiculous. Agreed with the post above. If we can keep operating without a budget, why do we need one? Maybe this is the point the Governor is trying to make? Hmmmmmm….

  15. - Beaner - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:41 pm:

    Wonder if the Governor has been meeting with lobbyists from the Illinois Farm Bureau? Of course we will never know, because that would violate the Governor’s thought processes.

  16. - Old Shepherd - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:42 pm:

    I know of at least one instance where state law says that the state “shall” do something, but it doesn’t happen because there aren’t sufficient funds appropriated to do it. The Probation and Probation Officers Act says that the state shall reimburse counties for 100% of probation officers’ salaries, but this never happens because the appropriation is never nearly enough. Counties wind up eating the difference. I am sure there are countless other examples.

    How can anyone say with a straight face that it is OK to have a state fair in either Springfield or DuQuoin when senior citizens and the disabled are losing their energy assistance and daycare centers are on the brink of closing because there is no state budget?

  17. - CreditWhereCreditIsDue - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:43 pm:

    ==Rauner has already found a way, through the courts, to keep paying state employees without funding.==

    The unions filed those law suits, the union argued those cases, the union won pay for all state workers. The governor made some speeches to give the impression he was “fightin’ for” state worker pay and to get people like Redfield to give him the credit.

    Lets give credit where credit is due, AFSCME.

  18. - Northern pike - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:47 pm:

    Thanks for the paw patrol info. My kid will love that!

  19. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:50 pm:

    It would seem that some laws HAVE to be followed and other laws are a mere suggestion.

    Funding pensions, meh.

    Making sure the state fair happens or (mainly in the past in light of yesterday’s House vote) legislative pay increases…….utterly critical.

    I am with Redfield on this one.

  20. - @MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:54 pm:

    Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
    Hover through the Fray and Sammy Hagar.

    The Weird Sisters were rather disappointed by the Grand Stand acts. Butter-cow calls. Anon!

    – MrJM

  21. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:55 pm:

    Whether I care or not depends on the weather. Nothing more miserable than hot humid day at the dusty fairgrounds.

  22. - Allen D - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:55 pm:

    I do not know about the rest of you, but I keep a pretty strict household financial budget, monthly ledger budget sheet and all with money in and out and it is updated weekly. We have weekly finances for essentials, food, gas, entertainment, repairs, and savings. If it fits in the weekly amount we can do it, if it doesn’t we wait until the next weeks “appropriations” come in on sunday and start over… this works very well for us, has allowed us to pay down debt twice as fast, and double what we put in savings… It really isn’t that hard to do, you just have to “WANT” to do it, you have to “WANT” to make things better… that is why we switched to weekly budgeted amount. This being said it can be extrapolated to a larger scale of oh say the STATE budget but only if the GA “WANTS” to make IL better.

  23. - The Unknown Poster - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:05 pm:

    @ Huh…..”Maybe a mini butter cow to keep expenses down?”

    What about a… I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter Cow?

  24. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:11 pm:

    @ Allen D

    Please take your tired, worn and completely irrelevant ‘home budget’ and pack it up. Your family budget has zero relevancy to the state. Zero.

    The sooner you figure that out, the sooner you can start to make a contribution there. Until then, forget it.

    Let me guess, you also think ‘across the board’ cuts are a good idea? How about ‘zero based budgets’?


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

    TS, from the link, it looks like only Marshall and Chase will be there. What am I supposed to tell my daughter?

    “I’m sorry sweetie, Sky had to stay home at the Lookout. She couldn’t come to Illinois to help the governor’s numbers with female voters.”

    Maybe Richard Goldberg should use some of his ample free time to get DNR to book gender balanced cartoon acts at the Fair. Better yet, maybe ck can step in. I wonder what size costume she wears…

  26. - Tasty Grouper - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:19 pm:

    Redfield has no idea what he’s talking about here. Most of the fair spending is from FY15. Since employees can be paid, then there is no reason to shut down the fair.

  27. - ananamas - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:20 pm:

    Can the corporate sponsors pony up more $$ to help defray costs?

  28. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:24 pm:

    @ Tasty Grouper,

    You are correct. It’s not as though the fair is ‘thrown together’ from the moment the July budget hits until August. The expense for this summer’s fair has already occurred. Acts were booked, vendors paid etc.

    Also, I believe as of a couple of years ago premiums (awards) for contests were vastly reduced or cut out completely.

    And 4 years ago, a major horse race in DeQuoin was eliminated saving about $500,000 in purse money. These races were primarily won by horses outside of IL, so the money was just a total out-migration.

    Stopping the fair now will do nothing to ’save’ money (it’s already been spent) and will only further harm the image of Illinois.

  29. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:24 pm:

    47th - sorry, but I can’t help you there. However, it would be hilarious if Cap Fax commenters have an impromptu “reunion” at Paw Patrol’s appearance.

    I can also now say that I’ve had a conversation about Paw Patrol on a site about serious political and electoral issues. I’m not sure how I feel about this.

  30. - Are you kidding me? - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 3:47 pm:

    Everyone who knows me knows that I love the Illinois State Fair and have only missed it one time in the last 50+ years. That being said, I cannot believe the Fair will go on because of the reasons stated by Senator Sullivan. Do you not think the social service programs that are currently on hold have a positive impact on the state? Social service programs save lives and save the state millions of dollars. We are preparing to lay off our entire workforce because of the budget gridlock but the Fair goes on?? You don’t think the layoffs will have an impact on the state? Has anyone really looked at the list of services that are closing down? People are going to DIE because some of these programs are closing. Prioritizing the Fair over social service programs is a new all time low for Illinois. Disgusting and very very sad…

  31. - SAP - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 4:06 pm:

    ==Maybe the judges will throw out the constitution entirely. If a budget is not needed to pay employees, let’s just keep everything running. Why not? == Apparently every annual appropriation is now a continuing appropriation. Unless it’s not.

  32. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 7:28 pm:

    == However, it seems to me that, one piece at a time, they are going around the requirement of having a budget at all. At some point, you have to realize that, between *special* laws for paying legislators or holding the fair and the many court orders to pay this or pay that, they have basically went around the intent of the Constitutional requirement of having a budget before spending money. ==

    If you take Federal money, you have to comply with Federal rules … or you eventually end up with Federal court orders / consent decrees that you have to follow the Federal rules. Don’t like it, don’t take the Federal money.

  33. - Former Hoosier - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 8:43 pm:

    Regardless of the fact that much (most) of the money has already been paid for the fair, it really does seem like our priorities are misplaced when not for profits are limiting services and laying off staff- yet the fair proceeds. Yes, I know that stopping the fair won’t mean the human service agencies get paid but, perceptions are important. Right now the perception is- no budget, no problem. The show must go on regardless of what the state constitution says.

  34. - Lynn S, - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 2:42 am:

    @ - Quid pro Quo - Wednesday, Jul 29, 15 @ 2:28 pm:

    State law requires a fair in DuQuoin? What makes DuQuoin so special?===============

    It’s about the distance from downstate to Springfield, especially 75-100 years ago when there weren’t as many paved roads or motorized vehicles. DuQuoin is SIGNIFICANTLY closer to Metropolis or Cairo than Springfield is. DuQuoin is also a smaller fair than Springfield is.

  35. - Hummm..... - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 8:54 am:

    The Obama democrat regime went years without a budget in Washington. Democrats applauded. Now Illinois goes down the sane road and democrats are suddenly apoplectic and pointing to the constitution? Hummmm….

  36. - Jeanette Malafa - Thursday, Jul 30, 15 @ 11:02 am:

    ok…I’ll take the other side for purposes of debate. The State Fair is just not about vendors…its about agriculture, and 4-H projects that have been worked on all year, knowledge learned by adults too during judging and through an exchange of ideas, etc., etc., etc. Its not a carnival people, its a State Fair. Its bringing to Springfield the best of the best. Lets let our children work on entomolgy projects or crop science, or food preservation and the like… and then, when they should be celebrated for a year of hard work, we say “Sorry, adults cant get along, so your project will not be judged and your year of hard word means nothing. If a scholarship depended on this, oops!”

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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