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I just don’t see this happening

Monday, Sep 28, 2015

* Carol Marin

It’s time for the governor to call a special session of the General Assembly and not let anyone go home until something gets done.

Do the people’s business.

Put everything up for a vote.

Win some. Lose some.

But pass a budget.

Don’t darken our door until you do.

The governor doesn’t want a vote on the state budget yet. He wants his Turnaround Agenda passed first. Then and only then will he talk about the budget.

* Senate President John Cullerton’s told his side of things to Amanda Vinicky yesterday. Cullerton said the budget could get done in a weekend, but also pointed out how he had passed a property tax freeze bill through the Senate which was then rejected by the governor because, Rauner said “it’s not enough because it doesn’t have enough of this anti-union stuff that I insist on.”

More from Cullerton

“I mean, it’s amazing. The whole concept that we have problems in the state because municipal employees are making too much money, it’s not true. OK? It’s just not causing the crisis that the governor would propose. And it’s just so ironic that a guy who’s so wealthy, to insist on having people who are just working class people make less money. It’s almost an obsession and I don’t know where it comes from, but it’s a problem.”

And if Rauner brings legislators to town by fiat, they’re gonna make that clear to reporters every single day.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I just don’t see any upside for the governor, particularly since his own pollster says he’s currently “winning.”

* Meanwhile

Some of Sauk Valley’s top education officials say unfunded mandates are a problem that needs fixed, but they fear the governor’s solution could be an even bigger problem.

Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to eliminate the more than 100 mandates as part of a larger proposal to freeze property taxes. In a letter to legislators, he said mandate relief could save districts statewide more than $200 million annually.

While Sauk Valley school officials would welcome relief from unfunded mandates, they say the property tax freeze would be an even bigger burden.

Officials also say it’s hard to put a price tag on the cost of the unfunded mandates, since they change each year.

“Rauner wants legislatures to freeze property taxes for 2 straight years,” said Tad Everett, superintendent of the Sterling Public School District. “That would be a killer for us financially. We would have no new revenue or increases in anything budgetary for 2 straight years.”

Your own thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

57 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:17 am:

    Also, having Rauner call Special Session that will be as fruitless as Quinn’s or Blagojevich’s defeats his own image.

    If I were Rauner, no way would I call a Special Session. Nope. Let things fester, it’s working for Rauner.


  2. - The Captain - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:20 am:

    The above is just the tip of the iceberg of what Democrats could be using to beat Rauner and his team on messaging. Instead they’re losing the messaging war, it’s baffling.


  3. - RNUG - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:23 am:

    Re-posting from the other thread because it is just as applicable here:

    When I predicted October for a budget deal, I was expecting the leaders to be at loggerheads.

    Now I’m thinking the only way this gets resolved is IF one side or the other wins an overwhelming victory in 2016. Until then … see you in court.


  4. - take that - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:23 am:

    If the Dems are losing the messaging war and I’m not sure they are, it is because the Illinois media has not been critical enough of the impasse and Rauner’s anti-union obsession. The upshot for the working poor and middle class will be bad regardless of the “victor” here.


  5. - RNUG - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:25 am:

    == Instead they’re losing the messaging war, it’s baffling. ==

    Same for the unions. They can’t even convince some of their own members that supporting Rauner is working against their own bets interests …


  6. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:26 am:

    It is working for Rauner right now, and I wouldn’t call special session. The problem Rauner has is that more services will shut down. Then I’d que that clip of Rauner saying he’d have to shut state government down. That clip will be plastered everywhere at some point in the future. Once public opinion shifts on Rauner, it won’t come back.


  7. - Augie - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:29 am:

    I’m not so sure he is actually “winning” hearing a lot of my Republican and Independent friends not speaking to good about this Governor. They actually voted for him.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:29 am:

    ===Then I’d que that clip of Rauner saying he’d have to shut state government down. That clip will be plastered everywhere at some point in the future.===

    Yeah, that sounds great, and would be effective, but Unions, social service providers and advocates, and Democrats just aren’t organized enough, together, as one, to make this case work.

    Rauner bet on that. Rauner is right.


  9. - PublicServant - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:32 am:

    Not all “solutions” are created equal. Some actually make the purported problems they seek to correct even worse.


  10. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:33 am:

    The governor is promoting a solution to a nonexistent problem? I’m shocked.


  11. - A guy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:33 am:

    Nobody is winning here. It’s politics and policy by default. It’s who’s losing more and quicker, not who’s winning.


  12. - illinoised - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:33 am:

    Nothing will happen until the money runs out to pay those who have filed suit to be paid. Maybe all of those entities need to do what museum and shooting center are ostensibly supposed to do: show up but not be open to the public.


  13. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:35 am:

    Madigan, Cullerton, and the unions don’t have to “win” a poll. They just have to bring down the Governor’s numbers to the point where anyone who takes money from him will have Rauner stench on them.


  14. - The Captain - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:35 am:

    If the Dems are losing the messaging war and I’m not sure they are, it is because the Illinois media has not been critical enough of the impasse and Rauner’s anti-union obsession. The upshot for the working poor and middle class will be bad regardless of the “victor” here.

    If you’re waiting for the media to come save you you’re losing.


  15. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:41 am:

    Rauner has no incentive to settle anything until he gets what he is demanding. Is he being hurt by anything here? He doesn’t have to be re-elected, can’t be recalled, isn’t losing any money personally, so what’s in it for him? There is a very deep disturbing obsession to hurt people who work as servants to the citizens of this state. I’d like to know where that comes from. No good deed goes unpunished is his motto, I guess.


  16. - Wordslinger - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:44 am:

    How can you possibly cover politics for a living and not understand that the the “budget impasse” is fiction?

    The governor has set pre-conditions before he will address the budget. He’s said that, publicly, many times.

    Why is that difficult for some to understand.


  17. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:45 am:

    8/10 of one percent is all the Tax Cap will allow as an increase in property taxes next year.

    http://www.revenue.state.il.us/LocalGovernment/PropertyTax/CPIhistory.pdf

    How can that be a “killer?”

    For this year (affecting taxes inn 2017) the CPI seems to be up 5/10 of one percent.

    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cpi.pdf

    How is that a “killer?”


  18. - Scamp640 - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:46 am:

    Clearly, the governor loathes unions. He despises them so much that it does not matter how much collateral damage he causes. His single minded, laser-like focus on crushing unions seems Ahab-like in its unwavering intensity. This obsession did not work well for the captain. I wonder how it will work out in the end for the Governor?


  19. - 47th Ward - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:49 am:

    It’s almost October. When will Governor Rauner lay out exactly what he wants included in the Turnaround Agenda, with specifics. Maybe he could, you know, lobby the General Assembly and rally public support for it too.

    Perhaps he could tell us how much local governments will save by eliminating prevailing wage; how many businesses will be created by making it harder for injured workers to collect a fair settlement; how local schools will thrive with property tax caps; and why state employees should work for less, and without union representation. For fun, he could tell us how many businesses will move to Illinois if we do all of this, then also have term limits and a fair map.

    I mean, he believes these ideas are the key to turning Illinois around, right? Then why does he find it so difficult to talk about them?

    Leaders lead. Rauner needs to man-up and own his agenda, then sell it. Wasn’t he supposed to be a world-class salesman? Where did that guy go?


  20. - Nick Name - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:51 am:

    Anybody who talks about a property tax freeze just reveals that he hasn’t the faintest idea what he’s talking about or how property taxes work. He or she has no idea all the things that factor in to how the money is raised or how it’s spent; no concept of the various things that factor into the tax rate: a taxing district’s EAV and a taxing body’s annual levy; the negative impacts of TIF districts and other tax incentives for businesses; and so on and so on and so on.

    Also, when school officials say that a property tax freeze “would be a killer for us financially,” they aren’t just using scare tactics. It would be a killer. And the first things to be cut would be teacher positions. And then education programs that aren’t mandated by state law.

    “But can’t they just cut sports?”

    No. Not only would it fail in PR terms, but it would save almost no money. To take one example, in the Springfield school district, the entire athletic program is less than 1 percent of the district’s budget. And some low-cost sports, like basketball, actually generate revenue.

    “Well people will just have to put up with no football program.”

    Try telling that to a kid from a poor background who is counting on an athletic scholarship to be able to go to college.

    Calling for a property tax freeze is nice red meat for the true believers, but it would do far more harm than good.


  21. - otherwise - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 10:59 am:

    Rauner is an equity guy and he is following that playbook. There are going to be a lot of very angry people as soon as they wake up and see how much Rauner is costing them. I can’t see this ending well, as Rauner will be given credit for the huge tax increase coming as well as the disruptions and disintegration of the state.


  22. - Mama - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:03 am:

    This will not work at this time because Madigan does not have the needed 71 votes during the veto session.


  23. - Krisis Kommunications - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:06 am:

    From today’s Chicago City Council budget hearing: “If Supreme Court strikes down city’s current city worker pension fund law, “we’re going to need a Plan B,” Holt says.”

    https://twitter.com/ReporterHal


  24. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:06 am:

    ===This will not work at this time because Madigan does not have the needed 71 votes during the veto session.===

    It’s not a “Veto Session” it’s Continual Session.

    Rauner wants and demands his Turnaround Agenda;

    “This will not work at this time because Rauner does not have the needed 71 votes this session to pass his Agenda.”


  25. - Mama - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:07 am:

    “I just don’t see any upside for the governor, particularly since his own pollster says he’s currently “winning.”
    Besides defeating the union bill, what other legislative battle has Rauner won?


  26. - Jocko - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:08 am:

    ==Instead they’re losing the messaging war…==

    It’s like the proverbial ant and grasshopper. One is more fun to “hang out” with, while the other is addressing matters of substance. The challenge for both is that winter is coming.


  27. - Union Man - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:09 am:

    I don’t get why Rauner’s opponents don’t counterpunch. It’s easy to say directly: “We will not discuss any reform agenda until the Gov submits and signs a balanced budget, anything else is irresponsible.”
    OR “Rauner is more interested in proving a point than governing.”


  28. - Educated in the Suburbs - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:11 am:

    “Some of Sauk Valley’s top education officials say unfunded mandates are a problem that needs fixed”

    I absolutely love this regionalism — needs fixed — but was surprised to see it make it past an editor! Gave me a smile in an otherwise depressing article.


  29. - Krisis Kommunications - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:14 am:

    EITS - Funny - How about “Some People Disagree with Things in Illinois?”


  30. - Wensicia - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:19 am:

    Rauner is running a campaign, not the state. His goals won’t be served if a budget is passed anytime soon.


  31. - The Middle - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:30 am:

    The idea of a “mushroom” insurrection is an attractive one. But Marin’s column is based on a faulty premise that Madigan is holding back rank-and-file members who are anxious to compromise with Rauner. No Democrat in Springfield wants to vote in favor of rolling back collective bargaining rates, (just as no Republican member wants to be on a structured roll call to raise taxes.) Madigan and his members are essentially on the same page right now. He not forcing anyone to take a position they don’t want to take.


  32. - Norseman - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:35 am:

    Instead of proposing silly ideas like special session, Carol Marin needs to be highlighting the issues involved in the impasse and asking if it’s worth the pain caused to those affected.


  33. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:41 am:

    ===Might Madigan be collecting evidence for impeachment? In which house would such a trisl occur?===

    There will be no impeachment because there are no impeachable offenses.

    None.


  34. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:42 am:

    Anonymous - @ 11:41 am is me.

    Goofy phone.


  35. - Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:47 am:

    I was out gathering petition signatures this weekend. Of those folks who talked about Rauner, all but four gave him high marks for “trying to fix the State” in spite of Democratic opposition.

    Southeastern Lake County in a heavily Democratic region for those wondering where I was. Rep. Scott Drury land.

    Time for everyone to put their big boy pants on and resolve the budget and turn around issues.


  36. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:49 am:

    ===”…We would have no new revenue or increases in anything budgetary for 2 straight years.”===

    There will probably be an increase in something, expenses. That is because almost every school district in Illinois signs long term contracts with the teachers and other workers that call for pay increases.

    Take as an example the case of Prospect Heights School District 23. Over the weekend a tentative agreement on a new four-year collective bargaining agreement was reached to end a strike. The terms of the agreement have not been announced but the teachers originally asked for a 4% per year wage increase and the district offered 3% per year.

    One needs to ask how can any school district expect to fund any pay increases, the districts largest expense, knowing that Rauner is fighting hard for a two year property tax, the districts major source of income, freeze. Is it fiscally responsible to make a binding commitment to spend money that the school district reasonably knows that it may never have?


  37. - Wordslinger - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:50 am:

    47, I’m sure that data-driven fiscal and economic analysis on the governor’s political agenda will be forthcoming any day now.

    They be must be anxious to share with the people all the robust projections of ROI for their chosen strategy of fiscal calamity.

    I wonder if it will have the depth of the “comprehensive and detailed” budget plan released during the campaign that featured the three chickens?

    Or the insight of the “survey of Illinois’ international trading partners” that concluded that “parking” and “tolls” were major impediments to doing business in the state?

    Superstar stuff.


  38. - Robert the Bruce - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:52 am:

    ==The governor has set pre-conditions before he will address the budget. He’s said that, publicly, many times.

    Why is that difficult for some to understand.==

    Good question. Seems like a simple concept to me.


  39. - Sir Reel - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 11:57 am:

    I think the Governor won’t agree to a budget until his run a ground agenda is passed.


  40. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:03 pm:

    Another useless “lock them in a room” suggestion.

    Can anyone identify leverage that Madigan, Cullerton, Rauner, Durkin , or Radogno have that can move others to act? If not, are we in sitzkreig till the Comptroller runs through the cash?


  41. - 47th Ward - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:04 pm:

    ===Superstar stuff.===

    1. Rauner firmly believes his reforms are necessary and must be passed.

    2. He won’t even sit down to discuss the budget until his reforms are enacted into law.

    3. He doesn’t want to spell out exactly what those specific reforms are.

    4. The second quarter of FY16 begins on Thursday, and still no budget agreement in sight.

    5. Somehow this is the fault of Mike Madigan and the politicians he controls?


  42. - Ghost - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:09 pm:

    What if “unfunded” mandates have other higher costs if they are not present? Also, some of these mandates are requirements to provide certain minimal levels of operation for schools. The schools are funded, they just dont like having unifomr guidelines applied to them…. I am mot sure uniform operational instructions on education are a dark unfunded mandate…. Suppose a mandate directs thats math has to be taught…. Is this an unfinded mandate because a school doesnt want to teach math…. Or is it more a standard for operating.

    Not sure i accept that all these unfunded mnadates are the evil the phrase is attemtping to invoke…. Like implying that local spending “pork” is bad, or that having a constitutional office help you hire people is improper


  43. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:28 pm:

    ===Time for everyone to put their big boy pants on and resolve the budget and turn around issues.===

    Gov. Rauner has TWO choices in deciding to put on those pants - Louis G Atsaves -:

    Submit a balanced budget, without a need for revenue, to leverage an actual budget submission that both sides can agree to pass.

    Admit he as governor is inept and just can’t submit a budget, and allow the Democrats to dictate the the governor his priorities, funding levels, commitments, and cuts and eliminations in dollars and cents.

    Or, if you feel a governor must hold collective bargaining and prevailing wage over the health of the state, then that’s on you, and the governor I guess…


  44. - Mouthy - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:42 pm:

    When a kidnapper demands a ransom before he will release the victim he is extorting money from the payer for the desired results of a released victim.
    I’d say the state budget was being held for ransom until the governor is paid the anti union ransom he demands. Looks like just another form of extortion to me..


  45. - Union Man - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:51 pm:

    Is it the Governor’s prerogative to not submit balanced budgets in Illinois?


  46. - JS Mill - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 12:53 pm:

    =One needs to ask how can any school district expect to fund any pay increases, the districts largest expense, knowing that Rauner is fighting hard for a two year property tax, the districts major source of income, freeze. Is it fiscally responsible to make a binding commitment to spend money that the school district reasonably knows that it may never have?=

    This demonstrates how little people know about the diversity in school funding in Illinois. If you go to the districts website and check their financials you would understand their plans better.

    Some district are highly reliant on state aide (poor districts)yet generate enough funding to have large annual surpluses. While some districts are mostly reliant on local property values (Wealthy) are struggling to survive. The poor versus wealthy labels often do not accurately represent the financial health of districts. The district in question is already under PTELL so the freeze will have little impact on them since their increases have been very small and their district sees little new construction. The story is different from district to district and often inconsistent with labels. What might hurt one district financially can help their neighbor. Not a very good way to support public education.


  47. - Demoralized - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 1:35 pm:

    ==, he said mandate relief could save districts statewide more than $200 million annually.==

    I find that hard to believe unless every single school district all of a sudden decides to stop anything that they are required to do that the state doesn’t pay for. That would be completely irresponsible, most districts know that, so that number is greatly inflated.


  48. - walker - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 2:04 pm:

    Three thoughts on “unfunded mandates”

    Thee are literally over a hundred of them. Some sound good in concept but are too trivial to be anything but ignored by the local districts.

    Those that are responded to don’t cost anywhere near what people claim, because they are folded into other activities and programs. Therefore the saves are not as large as people would like.

    Many of the “unfunded mandates” are what the districts would choose to do regardless of the state. Thus they don’t want to cut them, or cut any tax revenues.


  49. - 100 Miles West - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 3:24 pm:

    There are only two mandates that make any real difference to the bottom line. Mandatory five-day-per-week physical education, and driver education. These are the two that let you cut staff positions. The others are not going to amount to much.


  50. - Jack Stephens - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 3:45 pm:

    Can the State of Illinois afford individual $672,000.00 unfunded mandates for individuals in the top 1%?


  51. - JS Mill - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 4:05 pm:

    @100 miles- School Nurse requirement and Special ed rules also cost money. Just sayin…


  52. - Demoralized - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 4:16 pm:

    ==School Nurse requirement and Special ed rules also cost money==

    Neither of which you would get rid of I’m assuming. So I think all of this talk about huge savings is a bit premature.


  53. - 100 Miles West - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 4:19 pm:

    @JS Mill, The school nurse is a tough sell to get rid of, but parochial schools run without them. The special ed mandates are driven by the feds.


  54. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 5:29 pm:

    JSMill—-are federal dollars used in Special Ed?


  55. - JS Mill - Monday, Sep 28, 15 @ 6:15 pm:

    =So I think all of this talk about huge savings is a bit premature.=

    No question, schools won’t get rid of nurses, definitely not advocating that. But, certified SCHOOL nurses are more expensive and harder to find than an RN.

    Illinois special ed staffing requirements EXCEED the federal rules. Illinois is special and unique. Most people do not know our requirements exceed federal regs.


  56. - IL17Progressive - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 9:44 am:

    All this blather about unfunded mandates, yet I only read about a handful at most.

    Where’s this list of 100s? I’ve yet to find one. Make sure the list 100s which means like 300 or 400 - the common GOP phrase is a plural form.

    Any one have a link to ‘certified’ list, i.e., not one put out by GOP propagandists ?


  57. - Gmac - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 9:51 am:

    I am always blown away by people who claim that they need this and need that. We ALL need to learn to live om less and without. Why you ask? because that is where this country is heading. Seeing that does not take much foresight or intelligence. School teachers and state employees have the most to give up, so they will fight the most to keep it. Duh!


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
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