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Agreed. Now, where’s your plan?

Tuesday, Oct 27, 2015

* From an op-ed by Sen. Toi Hutchinson

As Senate Revenue Committee chairwoman, I stand ready to work with the governor and end this crisis. Yes, new revenue is needed. I know it. You know it. The governor knows it. So let’s have that discussion in a rational, balanced and adult manner because this current process is an abysmal failure.

Rather than prolong the pain in hopes of political gain, we need to seize this opportunity to fix our antiquated and broken revenue system, because without a modern tax and revenue system we will continue to careen from one crisis to the next.

I am willing to stand up and say: Stop it. Stop it right now.

I hope others will do the same.

I have no doubt that Sen. Hutchinson is sincere.

But as much as people complain about the governor not showing his cards, the Democrats are gonna have to stand up soon and show theirs on revenue. If we want to be responsible, we’re gonna need new revenues. It’s time everyone in both parties grew the heck up.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

47 Comments
  1. - Facts are Stubborn Things - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 9:07 am:

    Until the Gov. is willing to drop his turn around agenda items before he will discuss the budget the dems are not going to spend any political capital talking about tax specifics. Rauner could hold to his agenda and watch the dems talk taxes…now that would be a win for Rauner. It is the Gov. responsibility to be willing to negotiate a budget which MJM has consistently pointed out is the number one problem facing Illinois. The Dems including MJM have already said that it will take a balance of cuts and revenue, but you don’t talk tax specifics until you are actually negotiating on the budget.


  2. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 9:08 am:

    I agree.

    The platitudes are tiresome. Show some leadership. Make a suggestion.


  3. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 9:10 am:

    I like Senator Hutchison, but she and several others spent way too much time on the Senate floor this spring spouting talking points and platitudes. That goes for both sides.


  4. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 9:10 am:

    Agreed. The time for magic beans is done. Unfortunately, Rauner may now be focused on taxing raisins. /s

    It’s long past time to cut the deal. And the discussion should, in a rational state, include a short term hike, followed by a constitutional amendment vote on a progressive tax. My state senator was making that point this weekend.

    But this is a state where magic beans have been used to balance the budget for at least two administrations. And until Madigan and Rauner grow up or leave office, this won’t be a rational state.


  5. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 9:11 am:

    I believe that some democrats and some republicans (legislators that is) did take a walk on the ledge with those secret budget meeting groups. Showed courage. It would be nice to know what happened to that group?


  6. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 9:13 am:

    Attitudes and Behaviors. More behaviors please, only behaviors.


  7. - ottawa otter - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 9:17 am:

    Gov. Bruce Rauner maintains local governments should be allowed to opt out of collective bargaining on pay and benefits for its employees, and says he won’t agree to a budget deal unless the reform is agreed upon. This on Monday in Moline. So, what’s to meet about? What’s to negotiate? Besides, wasn’t he elected because he claimed no tax increase was necessary? Has he announced he lied? Is he asking for a tax hike?


  8. - Cassandra - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 9:20 am:

    What on earth is she talking about. Revising our “antiquated” tax system means moving to a more progressive system, not hitting up our economically pressed middle class for a big chunk of cash via the flat tax, while the rich sail on unscathed. What would the chairwoman’s “modern tax and revenue system” look like, exactly. Transferring even more cash out of the middle class? A tax cut for the rich, perhaps?

    Newspapers really shouldn’t publish this drivel.


  9. - Dilemma - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 9:26 am:

    The democrats could in a formal way identify their spending priorities and let the governor figure out what cuts he wants or what revenue he wants to balance the budget. Oh wait, they already did.


  10. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 9:33 am:

    360 - I’ll admit that I completely forgot about those. But yeah - I’m assuming some progress was made. It’s a shame those groups didn’t meet (or meet more often) during the summer months.


  11. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 9:39 am:

    I think there was a genuine effort there by those legislators. They ran into a road block. I won’t say who that road block was, but it rhymes with Clowner.


  12. - Gooner - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 9:42 am:

    Realistically, the Democrats have shown their hand.

    They submitted a budget that was not balanced. The rest needs to be made up for with new revenue.

    In contrast, the GOP (and they all get the blame) has yet to show anything. If they’ve got a budget that does not need more revenue, submit it.


  13. - Muscular - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 9:44 am:

    Agreed as well, but Illinois has a spending problem that she and her fellow Democrats refuse to acknowledge.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 9:45 am:

    I think if I were the Legislative Dems, I’d do the following;

    Today, craft a FY2016 skeletal budget, meaning the monetary framework first of all the required budgetary spending. Show how much of the actual budget that neither the legislature or any governor would have control of in the process.

    Then frame what is left, pointing out the real shortfalls both… both… both the Democratic budget Rauner vetoed and the Rauner budget, less his phony savings that the ILSC took away.

    Making the case, on the Democratic side as to what “minimum funding” would have to look like, and then making the open and shut case that revenues will be required for FY2016, then the Legislative Democrats have my attention.

    But, the real key is, the educating on Rauner’s own budget that required a revenue increase, and that revenue increase wasn’t optional for Gov. Rauner.

    Exposing both budgets, wow, that would be a starting point.


  15. - History Prof - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 9:46 am:

    Rich, Facts are Stubborn things at 9:07 has it right. The headline is not “Agreed, now where is your plan?” While not negotiating with herself, which you would rightly attack her for as politically incompetent, doesn’t Sen. Hutchinson offer a glimpse in suggesting a “modern tax and revenue system?”

    Since your in the capitol for us, let us ask you, what does she mean by that? Does it suggest a constitutional amendment for a progressive income tax or something else? Can we ask you to run that down for us if you don’t already have a pretty fair idea?


  16. - Spiritualized - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 9:57 am:

    In Vermont, all contracts agreed to by school boards and teachers unions have to be approved by the citizens of the town in an up-or-down vote. If a contract doesn’t get at least 50 percent support, the two sides need to negotiate again. It usually takes 3-4 times to get a contract passed. Isn’t that a way Rauner could limit the influence of unions locally and limit the growth of property taxes without advancing some of the controversial aspects of his Turnaround agenda?


  17. - Mama - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 10:09 am:

    ==- Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 9:45 am: I think if I were the Legislative Dems, I’d do the following;==
    OW, you listed a good starting point. Hope they listen to you.


  18. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 10:12 am:

    Does Vermont also require any business tax incentives to be approved by the citizens of the town?


  19. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 10:21 am:

    - Mama -, thanks.

    It’s risky, and it must be framed, this skeletal framed budget “proposal” must be seen as an agreed starting point, meaning all parties required revenue in their budgets.

    If done poorly in presentation, the Legislative Democrats will come off as “the taxing Democrats of the General Assembly… “.

    The skill that both Legislative Dem Press Shops have are good enough to TRY to pull this off as both parties requiring revenues and “here is the skeleton”, but it’s risky, no doubt.


  20. - Anonin' - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 10:23 am:

    Capt Fax keeps forgettin’ Ds unlikely to talk taxes until there is a verifiable way to know how the money is bein’ spent …no more Good Friday Massacres


  21. - RNUG - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 10:23 am:

    The political reality is the Democrats are going to demand every GOP member vote for the tax increase. The D’s want that vote to be bipartisan as political cover.

    Ranuer wants all the GOP members to be on record as voting against the tax increase. It’s part of his plan to keep and expand GOP seats in the GA.

    Until this impossible impasse gets resolved by both sides moving their position some, nothing will happen on the budget without a court order.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 10:25 am:

    ===The political reality is the Democrats are going to demand every GOP member vote for the tax increase. The D’s want that vote to be bipartisan as political cover.===

    Agree, 100%.

    The “structured roll callS” will include 67 GOP GA “green lights”, thus the “structure” part.

    Thanks for that add, - RNUG -


  23. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 10:29 am:

    ==Agreed as well, but Illinois has a spending problem that she and her fellow Democrats refuse to acknowledge.==

    Illinois also has a revenue problem. Only the completely daft think otherwise. And I hate to tell you but the Democrats have acknowledged there have to be cuts. Problem is that neither they nor the Republicans are willing to say what should be cut.


  24. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 10:29 am:

    ===…until there is a verifiable way to know how the money is bein’ spent …no more Good Friday Massacres===

    Lots of goodwill lost there with anyone watching how that went down.

    Rauner will need to agree, and make quite sure, the spending occurs as prescribed.

    Big trust, or MOUs?


  25. - RNUG - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 10:33 am:

    MOUs aren’t going to do it by themselves. The GA leaders will insist the tax increase be signed FIRST before the budget bills are even sent to the Gov.


  26. - Facts are Stubborn Things - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 10:33 am:

    @ RNUG - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 10:23 am:

    =The political reality is the Democrats are going to demand every GOP member vote for the tax increase. The D’s want that vote to be bipartisan as political cover.=

    Agree in principle, however, I suspect the Dems won’t require all GOP members to vote for a tax increase, but many of the GOP members must be on board so that it is a bi-partisan vote.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 10:40 am:

    ===I suspect the Dems won’t require all GOP members to vote for a tax increase, but many of the GOP members must be on board so that it is a bi-partisan vote.===

    Nope.

    It would be utter malpractice NOT to require all 67. See FY2015. Rauner can get them all, and WILL be required to get them all.

    ===The GA leaders will insist the tax increase be signed FIRST before the budget bills are even sent to the Gov.===

    I can see the structured roll callS and packages being done in a very specific order, but to make any budget work, legislstively, and legally, the tax increase will need to be signed first anyway I’m guessing(?)


  28. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 10:41 am:

    1. Facts has it right (in my opinion). I’m of the belief that maybe the Dems will push for half of the House and Senate GOP members to be “yes” votes on a tax increase. The hardliners in the GOP caucuses won’t budge, and neither Speaker Madigan nor President Cullerton will want politically vulnerable incumbents going on record as supporting an increase.

    2. Willy - while I agree that’s a good idea, what if it backfires? What if the public sees it and likes it - and begins demanding that even a shell/skeleton budget be passed? It’s possible.


  29. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 10:49 am:

    And, to back up my “logic” or lack thereof, that is one reason why a tax increase would happen after January 1st. Just my take.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 10:49 am:

    - Team Sleep -,

    It’s very risky. My framework only works if the premise promotes cooperation and the Governor finally engaging in the process, without the Democrats having to craft, again, another budget.

    ===… Dems will push for half of the House and Senate GOP members to be “yes” votes on a tax increase.===

    No. Way.

    All 67.

    See FY2015 Fix and the subsequent Good Friday Massacre cuts.

    Madigan will deliver 13, Cullerton will deliver 10, Rauber will agree to fund the budget as passed, with NO vetoes at all, and signed by Rauner, including that Rauner Tax Increase.

    That’s how this ends. How we get there is what’s confusin’


  31. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 10:55 am:

    “done with many contracts and grants”


  32. - Handle Bar Mustache - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 10:57 am:

    –as much as people complain about the governor not showing his cards, the Democrats are gonna have to stand up soon and show theirs on revenue.–

    You mean like Quinn did?


  33. - Apocalypse Now - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 11:12 am:

    =It’s risky, and it must be framed, this skeletal framed budget “proposal” must be seen as an agreed starting point, meaning all parties required revenue in their budgets.

    If done poorly in presentation, the Legislative Democrats will come off as “the taxing Democrats of the General Assembly… “.

    The skill that both Legislative Dem Press Shops have are good enough to TRY to pull this off as both parties requiring revenues and “here is the skeleton”, but it’s risky, no doubt.=
    OW you sure do a good job of promoting your party, the Dems.


  34. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 11:17 am:

    - AN -,

    Do you have anything of substance to add. Seriously.

    I stand with Edgar and Thompson. Read all I’ve posted, abd see how it mirrors their thoughts, especially Edgar’s.

    The Post, that Rich put up asks about the “plan”, and giving a scenerio, that’s part of participating.

    Your personal drive-bys are tiring.

    Stop trolling.


  35. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 11:31 am:

    Oh for pete’s sake Apocalypse Now. This is a grown up comment board. Go away already.


  36. - Empty Suit - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 11:55 am:

    Comptroller says $8.5 billion in bills owed by year’s end.
    Receipts and revenues $6 billion apart. That’s gonna be one heck of a tax increase.


  37. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 12:07 pm:

    ==The political reality is the Democrats are going to demand every GOP member vote for the tax increase. The D’s want that vote to be bipartisan as political cover.==
    Agree that it needs to be a bipartisan vote. But requiring literally all R’s to vote for a tax increase seems unrealistic. After all, in 2011, not all D’s voted for the tax hike.

    I suppose the argument would be that the GOP didn’t help Quinn with any votes on the 2011 tax hike, but Democrats are willing to supply some votes for a budget?

    Not sure that will fly. Another guess would be both parties supply same yes/no percentage split.


  38. - Arizona Bob - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 12:14 pm:

    @Empty Suit

    It can’t be done. The only possible compromise would be to cut the operating budget to the bone (INCLUDING K-12 education and deferrable capital work) passing a specific purpose, temporary income tax increase (including retirement income to help pay for pensions, maybe starting after $40K but at a lower rate if constitutional) to fund the pension backlog and pushing some of this years pension payments to next year when the tax is bringing in revenues, come up with a phased plan for cost shifting pensions for new pension payments to schools and municipalities, and come to “freeze” agreements with state and local employees due to freezing state payouts.

    That’s what responsible adults would do. Too bad there aren’t any in Springfield or Chicago…


  39. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 12:16 pm:

    - Robert the Bruce -,

    Respectfully, the “FY2015 Fix” proved two things; Rauner owns the GOP GA, and the Speaker and President have zero problem making Rauner roll out every GOP member “green” for tough votes Rauner needs.

    It will be 67. How Rauner delivers the owned chits, that’s Rauner’s problem.


  40. - Keyser Soze - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 1:16 pm:

    Spirit: Interesting concept from Vermont. The District 186 school board in Springfield negotiates teacher contracts in closed door meetings (i.e., in secret) and then reveals them on the same night that the board votes on the agreements. Naturally, the contracts sail through the process. The media spend little time with contract details if only because they generally represent a done deal. And besides, by then it’s old news.


  41. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 2:49 pm:

    Just raising revenues will not fly. Even conservative dems like myself demand it .we cannot keep repeating history.


  42. - Archiesmom - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 3:13 pm:

    I, like 360, and probably like Rich, know that the “secret” bipartisan revenue group met a number of times in the last six months. I also have heard that there has been a lot of outside pressure on some members of that group, and that is has been next to impossible to get agreement on (or names attached to) any public statement. I wish that the group would at least put forth some of their findings or suggestions to kickstart this process.


  43. - Mama - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 4:20 pm:

    ==- Archiesmom - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 3:13 pm: ==
    Archiesmon, Rauner will never allow that to happen so its dead.


  44. - Archiesmom - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 4:30 pm:

    I agree with Mama. If wishes were horses… I’m sort of amazed there have been no leaks. They have labored to keep discussions secret, and have succeeded.


  45. - IL17Progressive - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 4:34 pm:

    Everyone has grown up .. except Gov. Brucie. Only Gov Brucie has to have his before anyone else gets anything - sounds like simple bait and switch sales ! Huckster like Gov Bruce is skill and deceitful actions.


  46. - Politix - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 4:36 pm:

    Borrrringgg. I suppose if you’re getting heat from your constituents you gotta show them your doing something, however minimal.


  47. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 27, 15 @ 5:47 pm:

    A good start would just be a sober to-date snapshot on what’s being paid, what is not, and the projected date GRF will no longer be able to pay FY16 obligations with FY16 revenue.

    Schnorf, I believe had the short at about $10 billion the other day, just for FY16.

    What the projected payoff, again, on that Turnaround Agenda?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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