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*** UPDATED x4 *** State ordered to make payments

Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015

* From the twitters…


*** UPDATE 1 *** The comptroller’s office says the above tweet is in error. There was no finding of contempt, just an order to make the payments. Consequently, the headline on this post has been changed.

*** UPDATE 2 *** From Tony…

Hey Rich,

Rich Carter called me about the tweet after seeing it posted on the blog. I told him what I’ll tell you, just so you have it, and then you can do with it as you want, although I’m sure you don’t want to be in the middle of all the back-and-forth.

Did the judge say the state was in contempt? Not outright. She said not following the court order, and even not telling her that the order wasn’t going to be followed ahead of time, would put them in contempt.

Brent Stratton agreed with the judge that they didn’t tell the court on Friday that the comptroller wouldn’t be making payments that day.

So maybe for the purposes of twitter, I could’ve added more nuance to that tweet. But the judge defined what being in contempt looks like, and the AG agreed their actions fit that description. I tried to clarify that in a second tweet.

That’s what I got for you.

Hope you’re doing well in your recovery.

-Tony

*** UPDATE 3 *** From the comptroller…

Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger released the following statement Wednesday in response to a Federal Court order involving the Ligas Consent Decree impacting services for people with developmental disabilities:

“I appreciate the Court’s recognition of the difficult challenge we face in making necessary payments in light of Illinois’ continued failure to pass a balanced budget.

“My priority remains to ensure that organizations serving our elderly, children and other most vulnerable residents take precedence when it comes to state payments. As a longtime volunteer and former Board member for an organization serving the intellectually and developmentally disabled, I know firsthand the hardship that is caused when payments don’t arrive as scheduled, and I will do everything in my power to lead the state in keeping its promises to those most in need.

“In the absence of a balanced budget for this fiscal year, my office will continue to work to meet the payment timelines set by the Courts despite the state’s limited resources.

“To be clear: taxpayers deserve better than government by Court Order. Ultimately, we can best serve Illinois families, businesses and organizations by passing a balanced budget that includes reforms that will allow us to become more competitive and grow our economy so we can put people back to work and fund critical services.”

*** UPDATE 4 *** Tribune

Coleman, who noted that she was not pleased to have been called back from vacation to hear the case, said the state risked being held in contempt of court and ordered that it provide an accounting of which bills have and have not been paid.

The judge also said she understood the comptroller’s predicament. Without a budget, state government has been spending at a rate billions of dollars beyond what it is set to take in, mostly because of a series of maneuvers by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrat-controlled legislature and a number of court orders requiring it to continue paying for services during the impasse.

William Choslovsky, a lawyer representing residents at Misericordia, was less forgiving. He suggested to Coleman that the Rauner administration and the comptroller’s office were willfully withholding the money.

For checks to go out, the Rauner-run Department of Human Services must first authorize the payments by sending a voucher to the comptroller, who then decides when to cut the check. But lawyers representing both the state and the comptroller could not provide answers as to which bills have and have not been paid.

[ *** End Of Updates *** ]

* Some background

Attorneys representing 10,000 Illinois residents with disabilities filed an emergency motion in federal court on Tuesday asking that the state be held “in civil contempt of court,” for failing to pay service providers’ bills. Some payments have been on hold since July 1.

“Many of these individuals cannot feed, clothe, or toilet themselves or administer critical medication needed on a daily basis,” plaintiffs’ attorneys, represented by Equip for Equality, wrote in the emergency motion.

Munger’s office says it couldn’t make payments on time because of a “severe cash shortage,” but Democrats don’t buy it.

“There’s cash coming in every day. There should be plenty of cash. They’ve been paying various vendors faster than they have for years,” Brown told the Sun-Times. “I’m afraid the comptroller’s office has been misleading the media and the courts.”

The motion is here.

The amount owed for July is about $120 million.

* More background from Ed McManus, with emphasis added…

Attorneys for Illinois residents with developmental disabilities filed an emergency motion in federal court today asking that state officials be ordered to show cause why they should not be held in contempt of court for violating last week’s court order to immediately resume making payments to provider agencies.

A hearing Is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman in Chicago.

Coleman last Tuesday ordered the state to make the payments by Friday, but only a few payments have been made. “It is inarguable that the situation is dire, as residents’ lives literally hang in the balance,” the attorneys said in their motion. It was filed by Barry Taylor and Laura Miller of Equip for Equality and Ben Wolf of the ACLU on behalf of the plaintiffs in the Ligas lawsuit and two attorneys for ICFDD residents, William Choslovsky and Scott Mendel. Named as defendants were Felicia Norwood, director of the Dept. of Healthcare and Family Services; James Dimas, secretary of the Dept. of Human Services; and Comptroller Leslie Munger.

Violation of order on expedited payments: Last week’s order required the state to make payments for FY16 services at a level no less than FY15 until a new state budget is adopted. The judge also ordered that “providers that were paid on an expedited basis during FY15 shall be paid on the same expedited basis for services rendered during FY16.” But the head of DHS’s expedited payment program said this morning in a letter to a provider that the expedited payment program was suspended.

A CILA provider in the south suburbs sent me the letter, and I have forwarded it to the lawyers. It appears to be in clear violation of Judge Coleman’s order. The letter, from Mary E. Collier, manager of the bureau of expenditure accounting in the DHS Office of Fiscal Services, says: “This letter is to inform you that the Illinois Office of the Comptroller is current in processing the FY15 vouchers for DHS. Therefore, the expedite program has been suspended. After the FY16 budget impasse has been resolved, the expedite program will be reevaluated for restarting expedited payments.”

NEEDED: ‘A DATE CERTAIN’ WHEN PAYMENTS WILL BE MADE . . .

In their emergency motion seeking immediate payment of all Medicaid bills, the attorneys said if the payments are not made, “numerous providers will immediately close their doors, and thousands of individuals with developmental disabilities will not receive services that are essential to their survival. . . . The state must account for its repeated and ongoing failure to comply with this court’s orders.” They asked that the three officials be directed to appear in court and provide an explanation for why they have failed to comply “and to provide a date certain in the immediate future when the state will comply before this court holds them in civil contempt of court.”

Despite the judge’s order on Aug. 18, the state did not make the required payments by Aug. 21, the motion said. “In fact, it is now Aug. 25, and all of the mandated payments still have not been paid.” (The Division of DD issued a statement yesterday saying that DHS had forwarded $120 million in vouchers to the comptroller last week and that the comptroller would begin paying a portion of them last night “and will continue working through the vouchers as funds are available. At this point, we cannot give you a specific time frame of how long it will take.”)

The attorneys said they contacted the lawyer representing the state in the Ligas case Friday and he acknowledged that the payments had not been paid. “He could not explain why, nor could he say when payments would be made.” They asked him to call them over the weekend or on Monday morning as he learned more information, but he did not. “Late Monday, counsel for the state finally called and advised that some of the payments for providers on the expedited payment program would begin that evening, but he could not say when all expedited payments would be made” or when payments to ICFDDs would be made.

The comptroller’s website showed that the comptroller paid bills totaling $243 million yesterday but did not pay the disability providers, and that the comptroller still had $70 million on hand at the end of the day.

Editorial comment: The state administration has really failed our disability community. Both the governor and the legislature share the blame for the budget mess, but while that stalemate drags on, it is inexcusable that Gov. Rauner and his staff are holding our providers–and the people they serve–hostage.

Judge Coleman first issued an order June 30 that all payments be made. But Secretary Dimas on July 23 notified providers that he was narrowly interpreting that order to apply only to the relatively few people actually receiving services through the Ligas consent decree. The plaintiffs’ attorneys challenged that in a motion for a new order Aug. 6, and the state’s lawyer told the judge that “the administration has changed its position” and that all Medicaid payments would be made. But “I can’t give you a specific date,” he said. A week later, he still couldn’t, and the judge finally ordered that it be done by Friday. But again, nothing on Friday.

Meanwhile, state employees are getting their paychecks on time, and the governor approved the appropriation to assure that all public schools will be paid.

DHS didn’t forward the July vouchers to the comptroller until last week?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

77 Comments
  1. - Stones - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 11:24 am:

    This might be the event necessary to break the budget stalemate?


  2. - Anonin' - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 11:26 am:

    Does TeamBungle need to rush in with their debit card or get cash at the currency exchange or just let wingman cool her heels in the pokey. Bad week for TB and its only Wednesday


  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    How delicious would it be if Rauner trotted out “ck” to tell us all;

    “Speaker Madigan and the Federal Judges he controls… ”

    What isn’t lost on me? That the dismantling of collective bargaining is far more important… then I guess ensuring that the Office of the Comptroller… is able to pay what is… demanded… from the Federal Bench.

    Collective bargaining is so awful… That one Constitutional Officer is preventing another Constitutional Officer from complying with a federal judge.

    That’s real. That is not interpretation. The budget and monetary movements of the state of Illinois are also being held hostage… for the dismantling of collective bargaining.


  4. - Concerned - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    Countdown to when we hear from ck! that this is just one more way the Democrats are “clawing” their way to a tax hike.

    You don’t need a superstar(TM) to solve this problem.


  5. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 11:30 am:

    That’s nice. So now which other court order, consent decree or federal mandate do they violate so they can pay this bill?

    ==DHS didn’t forward the July vouchers to the comptroller until last week?==

    Why would they have sent it before then if they weren’t under orders to pay it?


  6. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 11:31 am:

    Wingman = fall guy.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/plaxico-burress-cris-carter_55dc82dfe4b04ae4970471e8


  7. - RNUG - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 11:34 am:

    == So now which other court order, consent decree or federal mandate do they violate so they can pay this bill? ==

    == This might be the event necessary to break the budget stalemate? ==

    No, but it might be the final straw to force a tax increase in order to raise some cash.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 11:38 am:

    ===No, but it might be the final straw to force a tax increase in order to raise some cash.===

    Parameters?

    Sponsored by Radogno and Durkin, all 67 GOP GA “green”, and have the “Sponsors” speak to the need to raise revenues

    Franks will sit back and laugh as McSweeney and all 47 HGOP members are green, with their pledges of no raising of taxes take a back seat to… Bruce Rauner.

    Wow.


  9. - Roamin' Numeral - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 11:39 am:

    ==it might be the final straw to force a tax increase in order to raise some cash.==

    And the longer we wait to raise taxes, the higher the rate(s) must go.


  10. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 11:41 am:

    (UPDATE) Oh, so now it’s Tony Arnold’s fault.


  11. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 11:41 am:

    So the court didn’t find the Comptroller in contempt. Instead the case just pointed out how contemptible it is for DHS to sit on these vouchers for weeks to create a crisis that serves the unrelated political goals of the Governor.

    Big C or little c, contempt is the right word.


  12. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 11:41 am:

    The governor made a political choice to disengage from the budget and allow the judiciary to take over his executive responsibilities and functions.

    Somebody has to do it.


  13. - Austin Blvd - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 11:47 am:

    And the Rauner band played on…


  14. - Gruntled University Employee - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 11:51 am:

    Someone get Governor Nero a fiddle.


  15. - Austin Blvd - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 11:52 am:

    If the public, tha majority of which get their small dose of headlines from Illinois Policy Institue and Rauner rhetoric, truly ever begin to understand what this governor has done, the might ask:
    “How could such a smart guy be so dumb? I thought he paid big bucks to get the best people to surround him. How did they ever Bungle this?”


  16. - Mama - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 11:52 am:

    It is not just DHS. No state agency has been allowed to process or forward vouchers to the Comptroller’s office for the current fiscal year.


  17. - Mama - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 11:57 am:

    “Somebody has to do it.” Very true! However, Rauner’s people need to realize the taxpayers/voters elected Rauner to lead not the judges. Rauner can kiss his chances for re-election good-bye.


  18. - sickntired - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 11:58 am:

    This snowball is still rolling. The state doesn’t pay it’s bills on time. So, we are hit with penalties and fees. I found out this morning that we haven’t paid last fiscal year’s penalties and fees. So, those fees are adding up and we’re starting the same process this fiscal year. As stated, the longer this go, the bigger the tax hike will be.


  19. - Former Hoosier - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 12:00 pm:

    It has been shown that people in places of power frequently lack empathy for others and, this is a perfect example. The fact that citizens with the most profound disabilities will loose basic services is neither just nor reasonable. How do those responsible for this situation live with themselves? It is beyond belief that our most vulnerable citizens have been put in this situation. The Govs. mansion is quite large, perhaps citizens who loose their caretakers can move into the mansion and be cared for by the Gov., Comptroller and their crews. Maybe if they have to experience what it takes to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those in need it will give them a dose of reality. Lives are hanging in the balance.


  20. - Anonin' - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 12:09 pm:

    So now it is Speaker Madigan and Tony Arnold and other stooges he controls
    Glad we got that straight
    So need for bail for WingMan there was quite a debate in the TeamBungle Mancave over whether that would happen or if Wingeey would be left. No conclusion


  21. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 12:19 pm:

    Question;

    Is it more important to clarify what being in contempt actually means here, or following the court order to begin with, less the worry about what the definition of “contempt” is?

    If I was being hung out to dry… like the Office of the Comptroller is…


  22. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 12:19 pm:

    Rauner is unwilling to let an arbitrator assist in union negotiations but is content to let the courts establish the state’s budget?


  23. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 12:23 pm:

    Governor Rauner does not care who gets harmed with his Turnaround Agenda. All these court orders saving this or that group is just something he and his staffers laugh at.

    I am of the opinion that Rauner wants to crush as many lives as possible and doesn’t care whose goes under. If someone gets saved - fine. If someone gets crushed - even better. That’s a few bucks shaved off.


  24. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 12:28 pm:

    === DHS didn’t forward the July vouchers to the comptroller until last week? ===

    Governing Illinois is a lot harder than it looks from Winnetka and Lincolnshire.


  25. - Your mind - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 12:31 pm:

    Time to see what branch of the government is wearing the big boy pants in Illinois.

    The end is nigh!


  26. - Norseman - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 12:39 pm:

    I’m going to whine like the Rauner press office. Shucks, Michelle beat me to the wingman bit.


  27. - cdog - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 12:41 pm:

    Darwinian Capitalism?

    Every able-bodied person for themselves, no redistribution of taxes talk ever to be spoken.

    Not able-bodied? Sorry. This greedy, can’t-pay-more-taxes-because-I-need-a-life-style Raunerbot administration is disturbing at a very basic level.


  28. - Mama - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 12:55 pm:

    Lets see if I understand this. The governor’s office orders DHS to sit on the vouchers like a bunch of chickens, but DHS is accused of contempt by the federal judge?


  29. - zonz - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 12:56 pm:

    I’ve read (from Rich) that Gov Bungle “wins” when the $ flows and the pain of impasse is minimized and thus Gov Bungle escapes wearing the jacket for painful consequences.

    I’ve read (from ck/TeamBungle) that the evil Dems controlled by MJM are gasp bit-by-bit getting $ flowing

    I’ve read (from Comptroller Munger, wingman of Gov. Bungle) that the Gov’s pre-inauguration request for allowing the higher tax rate to go un-renewed beginning 1-1-15 has placed IL in a cash flow bind.
    where is reality?


  30. - zonz - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 1:00 pm:

    Very possible the Judge was inviting
    the filing of a motion for the State to be held in contempt.


  31. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 1:03 pm:

    ==DHS didn’t forward the July vouchers to the comptroller until last week?==

    Superstar management!


  32. - Tim Snopes - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 1:16 pm:

    Now add to this list of bills the payments due to state fair entertainers and contractors.
    Get in line.


  33. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 1:22 pm:

    The comp’s office is picking pepper out of fly stuff.

    This is getting real bad folks, like historic bad, and it’s s political choice of the chief executive.

    It’s going to get worse every day until the governor steps up and takes a personal interest in FY16.

    Anyone keeping a running count on how many social services workers have been layed off and gone on unemployment, and what programs have been shut down?


  34. - Anon - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 1:27 pm:

    ===DHS didn’t forward the July vouchers to the comptroller until last week?===

    I have friends who have submitted their travel vouchers for state business for the month of July to their supervisors. Rather than follow the standard process of moving it up the line, those vouchers are being held at the level of their immediate supervisor for later submission.

    I think the implication of this is that even though the travel is occurring in Fiscal Year 2016 in order to carryout the business of the State, because the voucher has simply been submitted and not forwarded up the line there has been no inappropriate spending of funds. From what I understand, this process will also prevent interest from being paid on the sums if the delay in repayment stretches to the point where that is required.

    DHS may be attempting a similar work around by simply not processing the vouchers and thereby not being able to be accused of violating any law regarding appropriation of funds.


  35. - Flynn's mom - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 1:34 pm:

    I wonder if BVR and his superstars understand the order this time.


  36. - Anonin' - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 1:35 pm:

    That was sweet that Tony wished Capt Fax a quick recovery.
    So now we know WingMan is not goin’ to jail; just ignorin’ a federal judge.
    Team Bungle can stand down Wingeey ain’t goin’ to the slammer….yet


  37. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 1:39 pm:

    ==So now we know WingMan is not goin’ to jail; just ignorin’ a federal judge.==

    Oh for pete’s sake. Enough with this garbage. There isn’t enough cash on hand to pay everyone at once. It doesn’t take a math genius to figure that out. The state is operating right now under various court orders, consent decrees and federal mandates. Which one do you choose to fund at any given time? Was this whole ordeal preventable? Of course it was. But don’t turn that into some goofy diatribe.


  38. - Flynn's mom - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 1:45 pm:

    Demoralized, BVR and his crew desreve all of what people are sayin’, they brought this on themselves. Now they have a bigger mess to clean up as they lose more and more sympathy and support everyday. They are making Madigan and the entire universe that he controls look like benevolent leaders.


  39. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 1:49 pm:

    ==BVR and his crew desreve all of what people are sayin’==

    Perhaps. But that comment was directed at the Comptroller. I’m fairly certain none of this was her fault.


  40. - Flynn's mom - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 1:51 pm:

    To paraphrase Pinky and the Brain…What are we going to do tonight, BVR? Same thing we do every night, Superstars…TRY AND TAKE OVER THE WORLD!


  41. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 1:52 pm:

    ===I’m fairly certain none of this was her fault.===

    This.

    If anything, the Office of the Comptroller, the Constitutional Office as an entity, no matter the office holder in person, is being hung out by the Rauner Administration by its own very deliberate actions.


  42. - Flynn's mom - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 1:55 pm:

    Demoralized, she is merely a puppet for Rauner. She says what he tells her to say.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 1:59 pm:

    To X3 Update

    ===“To be clear: taxpayers deserve better than government by Court Order. Ultimately, we can best serve Illinois families, businesses and organizations by passing a balanced budget that includes reforms that will allow us to become more competitive and grow our economy so we can put people back to work and fund critical services.”===

    “C+”.

    I understand the politics at play. I really do, and I also understand the “necessity” of that last part, however, look at that paragraph WITHOUT the rhetoric…

    “To be clear: taxpayers deserve better than government by Court Order. Ultimately, we can best serve Illinois families, businesses and organizations by passing a balanced budget”

    That is 1,000 times more powerful, and still doesn’t lay the blame at the Governor’s feet.

    Again, “I get it”, but why do I have to get it when less is more here, and saying more to boot?


  44. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 2:01 pm:

    ==Demoralized, she is merely a puppet for Rauner. She says what he tells her to say.==

    Then you haven’t been paying attention. I haven’t seen her do anything that would indicate any such thing. Remember the fair share fiasco? She told the Governor to go pound sand. So you are full of it with that comment.


  45. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 2:12 pm:

    “balanced budget that includes reforms that will allow us to become more competitive and grow our economy”
    What reforms are those again?


  46. - annonymous on Wednesday - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 2:13 pm:

    @Demoralized.

    Munger is being verbally whipped, in Gov’s office, weekly. Tyrannically, violently, etc….


  47. - Capitol View - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 2:18 pm:

    what’s holding back the request for court intervention on services to seniors?


  48. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 2:20 pm:

    Two questions:

    1. What is the normal turnaround time for DHS to send the vouchers to the Comptroller’s office?

    2. What is the normal timeframe during which a childcare vendor (either at-home or a brick & mortar place) can expect to be paid?

    Since we are entering into uncharted waters, those two questions rumbled around my noggin when I read the updates, releases and comments.

    Thanks everyone.


  49. - Flynn's Mom - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 2:34 pm:

    Demoralized,I’m guessing that her comments today regarding “reforms that will allow us to become more competitive….” do not indicate the puppet master pulling the strings??


  50. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 2:42 pm:

    Flynn - I’ve been a “card carrying” member of the ILGOP for years. Guess what?! People from Senator Peter Fitzgerald all the way down to county board members in southeastern Illinois have been using that phrasology for years. It’s nothing new. And with Comptroller Munger being both a GOP officeholder and a former corporate executive, her choice of words to end the press release aren’t really a shocker.


  51. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 2:46 pm:

    ==do not indicate the puppet master pulling the strings??==

    I look at her actions. If she’s having her strings pulled then the person pulling them is doing a crappy job. It’s asinine to say that she is doing what the Governor tells her to do.


  52. - Louis G. Atsaves - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 2:47 pm:

    “===“There’s cash coming in every day. There should be plenty of cash. They’ve been paying various vendors faster than they have for years,” Brown told the Sun-Times. “I’m afraid the comptroller’s office has been misleading the media and the courts.===”

    vs.

    “===The judge also said she understood the comptroller’s predicament. Without a budget, state government has been spending at a rate billions of dollars beyond what it is set to take in, mostly because of a series of maneuvers by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrat-controlled legislature and a number of court orders requiring it to continue paying for services during the impasse.===”

    Who is living in that alternate universe? Mr. “Plenty of Cash” perhaps?


  53. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 2:51 pm:

    The poor will continue to be pounded until Rauner gets to pound his preferred victim, middle class workers. And yet, we get no figures associated with his proposals to make Illinois “more competitive and grow our economy.” Want to explain how those vague results will be obtained, and provide some revenue estimates to go with your meaningless phraseology governor?


  54. - Flynn's Mom - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 2:51 pm:

    Demoralized, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.


  55. - Clueless - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 3:07 pm:

    what is “ck” ?


  56. - A guy - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 3:08 pm:

    Flynn’s mom. I think we’ll all just agree that you’re wrong. It’s a more correct position.


  57. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 3:14 pm:

    - A Guy -,

    ===…that includes reforms that will allow us to become more competitive and grow our economy so we can put people back to work and fund critical services.”===

    That’s Rauner language, not Munger jargon.

    Munger is choosing to be a wingman and supporting the Turnaround Agenda.


  58. - Flynn's Mom - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 3:18 pm:

    A Guy, what OW said.


  59. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 3:41 pm:

    OW:

    She may support it but her actions haven’t indicated to me that she’s a “puppet” of the Governor. That was my point. I’m sure she supportive in the political sense. She doesn’t seem to be too concerned, however, of ticking off the Governor when her job requires it.


  60. - Muscular - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 3:55 pm:

    Let’s be clear, Coleman is a big government liberal, being appointed by Obama. Arguably she has exceeded her authority to order payments beyond the consent decree. Rauner went along with paying all providers, even though he did not have to, but this graciousness is not being appreciated here. The individuals being represented in this action are the Democratic Party’s core constituency and the attorneys representing them are Democrats. If Mike Madigan wanted a tax increase to pay for these services, he could pass one.


  61. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 4:01 pm:

    - Demoralized -

    With respect, my point are the choices are in lock-step in the political, not a puppet, but the verbiage and posturing indicate a deference a “wingman” more than independent, including today’s release. That close is Rauner language, by choice.

    - Muscular -

    Let’s be clear,

    Gracious or not, Rauner caves. It has nothing to do with his heart or good conscious. The heat would’ve been great choosing anything less than he did.


  62. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 4:07 pm:

    Further, - Demoralized -

    Rauner put the Office of the Comptroller in a horrible spot, no matter the person holing the office.

    That’s the shame of this, given where Munger has also put herself on the political landscape.

    With respect as always.


  63. - @MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 4:20 pm:

    “Coleman is a big government liberal, being appointed by Obama.”

    THIS CONSPIRACY GOES ALL THE WAY TO THE T0P!!1!

    – MrJM


  64. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 4:22 pm:

    Demo, not sure where you’re coming from here bud, but Munger, called herself his wingman, and she’s definitely mouthing the exact phraseology of the governor here.


  65. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 4:42 pm:

    ==Demo, not sure where you’re coming from here bud==

    Ugh. I thought I explained it. It doesn’t surprise me that she would mimic the things the Governor says. My argument was that she isn’t a puppet in the sense that he controls her. There is far too much evidence to the contrary. There’s a difference between being controlled by somebody (which is what I was arguing against) and supporting somebody’s viewpoint.


  66. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 4:44 pm:

    ==Rauner put the Office of the Comptroller in a horrible spot==

    He apparently likes to do that since this isn’t the first time. Come knock on my door asking me to be Comptroller? Don’t expect an answer.


  67. - CrookCounty60827 - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 5:07 pm:

    It’s been 3 months (90 calendar days), and I’m still waiting for reimbursement as a “vendor”; I doubt DHS even PROCESSED my paperwork yet (they are way understaffed for their workload), far less got it to the Comptroller’s Office yet.


  68. - Austin Blvd - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 5:58 pm:

    Newspaper editorial boards across the state tomorrow:
    “Governor Rauner, do something. Lead, follow or get out of the way”

    Or Not.

    The fact Munger did not call out “Madigan and the legislators he controls” speaks volumes.


  69. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 7:07 pm:

    I’m pretty sure she’s counting on his support in 2016, and I’m even more sure that he’s made it clear that his support is absolutely contingent on picking up the phone when he calls, and doing exactly what he “asks” her to do. He’s given her a little breathing room to establish her bona rides, but now it’s hive mind time. You’re dreaming if you think otherwise.


  70. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 7:08 pm:

    Fides


  71. - Wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 7:15 pm:

    Kurt Erickson reports superstar Donna Arduin departs on Friday after banking $165K for whipping the budget into shape.

    LOL, I don’t blame her for anything, She’s a con artist who took the grift that presented itself. . The buck stops with the governor (somebody tell him that).

    Tne governor was willing to pay big taxpayer money for a sycophant to hold his hand while he orchestrated the most FUBAR fiscal crisis in memory.

    Good work, if you can get it.

    Arduin will return to tne comedy team of Arduin, Laffer and Moore, AKA Dewey, Cheathem and Howe.

    Tim Nuding, how’s the blood pressure these days?


  72. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 7:23 pm:

    When Conptroller Munger handled her business with “Fair Share” it was good to see the job was growing on her and the details and the duties were critical in her thinking.

    What has evolved, more and more, including the response that she supports the Turnaround Agenda and is willing to encompass Rauner verbiage and governing thoughts while making statements regarding her constitutional role as the state comptroller.

    Today’s, added sentence, unneeded in the statement unless to reinforce the bond with the governor puts into play my biggest fear for her;

    Does 2016 become a statewide referendum on Rauner via Munger? Will Labor and Democrats choose the Comptroller race as a dry run to take out Rauner, trying out messaging and rallying points to engage Democrats? Why help set the table for the Democrats needlessly, and oh so early?

    I have Munger an easy 9/4 favorite versus “the field” right now. Munger will have at her disposal the skeletal JBT Crew and an 8-figure budget to make her case. It will be the most fascinating/fun/challenging/rewarding race of all in 2016, bar none.

    These releases ARE campaign decisions. They are. I’d stay at arms’ length but not from hands clasp length from Rauner. Why help in the tying to Rauner at times when it’s not needed?


  73. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 7:35 pm:

    I think the answer to your questions, Willy, is yes, and Rauner thinks money trumps all. He bought the governorship, comptroller has gotta be peanuts, money wise.


  74. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 7:53 pm:

    - PublicServant -,

    Agreed. Frankly, the Democrats and the Labor Movement has yet to show any reason for Rauner to fear them at the ballot box.

    Yet.


  75. - James - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 8:23 pm:

    I love the way Judge Coleman is handling this:

    I’m not at all happy about having to come back here in the middle of my vacation to help a bunch of grownups govern the State.

    (But Madigan……)

    Mr. Goldberg, I’m watching you. Wipe that smirk off your face.

    (What do you expect from a corrupt judge appointed for life by a bunch of Democrats?)

    Innocent lives are at stake.

    So, Ms. Munger, I want to see all the other payments that have gone out the door in the last 6 weeks, while these providers have been unpaid. I want that information on my desk first thing in the morning, or else I want Governor Rauner to appear in person in this courtroom at 10AM tomorrow.

    (But Judge, the Governor’s on vacation….)


  76. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 10:23 pm:

    @Anon
    Travel vouchers are being held at the agency level and not being submitted to the comptroller right now because there is no budget. They are kept in FIFO orders.

    The majority of travel is suspended unless there are certain approvals which have to be justified in writing and signed by many individuals within an agency. Supervisors rarely hang on to an employee’s travel voucher, they want them sent to where they are processed, that is, where they affix the agency head’s signature on the voucher before it is submitted to the comptrollers office. The supervisor many times keeps a copy, the employee is supposed to keep a copy, and who prepared the voucher keeps a copy under lock and key, many watching it like a hawk.

    As someone who processed travel vouchers at the initial stage, the same day I received them was the same day they went out.

    Travel voucher dates are logged in the system when they are submitted, signed for, and are assigned a unique travel voucher number for tracking purposes with different approval levels.

    How fast they are paid out, depends on where the funding source is.

    What your describing…(is almost like from another planet) I am going to bed.


  77. - Norseman - Wednesday, Aug 26, 15 @ 10:25 pm:

    === far too much ===

    I’m not seeing it. She started out well with the fair share issue, but what have you seen beyond that.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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