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Today’s quotables

Wednesday, Oct 28, 2015 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Governing Magazine looks at the impasse and has pulled out three very notable quotes from some folks

“We probably have a different approach,” says former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar, a Republican. “I was a creature of state government. I worked my way up the ranks. I was very concerned about a budget because you have to have that to manage state government. He comes from the private sector where some of these business issues are a high priority to him. He’s entitled to his approach. But if I were governor right now, my priority would be to get a budget. These other things he might have to put off and wait to do another day.”

These “other things” Edgar is referring to are business-friendly measures. This year’s stand-off has stretched on for months because Rauner wants the legislature to pass these measures before he will sign off on the budget, which almost certainly will include some sort of tax increase. His proposals include restrictions on workers’ compensation, curbs on civil lawsuits, a freeze on local property taxes and limits on collective bargaining for government employees. The governor also wants the legislature to send voters a constitutional amendment to impose legislative term limits and another ballot measure to leave redistricting to a citizen panel, rather than keeping it in the hands of lawmakers.

Many of the ideas come straight from the playbook of the business community, which Todd Maisch, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, says is no accident. “In my opinion,” Maisch says, “we consider Rauner part of the business community. There is very little daylight, if any, between the governor and us.” Maisch points out that no legislation the group has opposed has become law under Rauner. “The vast majority in the business community,” he says, “believe that, if there was a time for marked departure from the status quo, that time is now. Somebody from the outside is most likely to achieve that change.”

But Democrats have refused to budge. They see little reason to do so: Rauner’s proposals would hurt Democratic legislators and their key constituencies, especially organized labor. “It was almost as if he said, ‘Vote against your core principles, and for your reward, I’ll let you pass a tax increase,’” says Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat. “Democrats like to spend money, but we don’t like to raise taxes any more than Republicans do. So this was dramatically backwards. This idea of holding the budget hostage didn’t work.”


  1. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 1:09 pm:

    I don’t really understand what is so business-friendly about making sure your workers miserable.

  2. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 1:10 pm:

    President Cullerton’s statement is a bit strange.

  3. - burbanite - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 1:14 pm:

    IPI is going after Edgar now.

  4. - Norseman - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 1:15 pm:

    Team Sleep. Rich has pointed this out many times. It’s not like the Dem’s will look like heroes if they get a tax increase through. What they are trying to do is recognize what Rauner has as well, taxes have to be a part of the solution. Rauner just won’t admit that it’s his NEED too!

  5. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 1:21 pm:

    I’m with Gov. Edgar, all day…

    ===“We probably have a different approach,” says former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar, a Republican. “I was a creature of state government. I worked my way up the ranks.”===

    It’s critical to KNOW, what you are going to manage. Rauner, in business, was a liquifyer. He knows how to dismantle for profit.

    ===”I was very concerned about a budget because you have to have that to manage state government.===

    Governors own the government, and the agencies under their watch. Rauner refuses to understand fundamental governing. What’s most sad about this. Edgar is going so remedial, Rauner still doesn’t understand.

    Governors own. Good… and bad.

    ===”But if I were governor right now, my priority would be to get a budget. These other things he might have to put off and wait to do another day.”===

    Sometimes it comes dow to those who understand what they are in-trusted to manage, and others want to decimate everything to get one or three things.

    Sometimes, it’s just about the greater good.

  6. - OT - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 1:22 pm:

    Team Sleep, how is Cullerton statement strange? Because it’s honest? “Democrats like to spend money…”

  7. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 1:23 pm:

    OT - yes, that is part of it. The other part is what I delineated in my reply to Norseman.

  8. - Macbeth - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 1:25 pm:

    Cullerton’s statement is strange?

    What? It’s honest. What’s Rauner giving up? Vote on record for tax increase?

    How is that negotiation? It’s a profound blindness to the way a democracy works.

  9. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 1:28 pm:

    No progress on reforms or a budget, two things we desperately need. smh.

  10. - Dilemma - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 1:44 pm:

    @Formally Known As ==No progress on reforms or a budget, two things we desperately need.==

    I think it is becoming patently obvious we desperately need a budget. But has the governor made an argument for the other reforms? How can anyone say we “desperately need” those reforms when there has been no effort to describe in detail how those reforms are going to benefit the state in dollars, sense and jobs? I know it dogma for some, but where is the sales pitch? Where are the incontrovertible studies and research?

    If I was trying to sell you a vacuum cleaner, I would demonstrate how much better it is. The governor isn’t selling a vacuum, he’s selling proposals that reduce funding for local government, harm worker rights, reduce wages and shield companies from damages to the detriment of the people harmed. Sell me on why those things are good, and then let’s talk.

  11. - Dilemma - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 1:44 pm:

    Sorry, I meant cents (obviously)

  12. - Vole - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 2:00 pm:

    In a state so heavily dependent on commodity prices that are cyclical and at a bottom right now, it is really a stretch for Rauner and the business community to declare that so much is riding on their business agenda for state government. Their outsider obstinance is only making a bad economic situation worse. They simply have not proven their points.

  13. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 2:20 pm:

    I find Todd Maisch’s quote very interesting. I forget, what has Rauner done in nine months to help the small businesses Todd represents?

  14. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 2:22 pm:

    Should have added, that Rauner/Maisch lowering wages for state workers in Jacksonville and Springfield is going to do wonders for local businesses.

  15. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 2:32 pm:

    looks like todd maisch got the “status quo” message control memo

  16. - Jack Stephens - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 2:33 pm:


    You don’t understand. If you make less money Bruce will unleash a hurricane of business activity that will make Katrina look like a sun shower in July in Chicago!

    Snark intentional.

  17. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 2:42 pm:

    Thank you Jack for clarification. I will stay in the status quo sunshine!

  18. - Keyser Soze - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 2:47 pm:

    Traditional government craves a budget to take care of all that is on the platter. A pragmatic (non-governmental) businessman cares not for all that is on the platter, only that which is absolutely essential. That is why Illinois is meeting payroll (absolutley essential)but not funding the State Museum (not so essential), and other things thought to be in that category. And, not mentioned in this discussion is that all tax revenue withheld from non-appropriated expenditures is money in the bank drawing interest (in a manner of speaking).

  19. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 3:14 pm:

    @Dilemma - ==If I was trying to sell you a vacuum cleaner, I would demonstrate how much better it is.==

    That is a weakness in Rauner’s approach so far, imho. When you have a good vacuum cleaner, show how it is better.

    It seems, however, this has all become part of the waiting game both Rauner and Madigan are playing. I suspect we will see a more aggressive sales demonstration from Rauner after the Chicago and Cook County tax increases take effect, and a more aggressive sales demonstration from Madigan when he feels budget pressure is peaking. Unless one flinches first, or they both flinch together, the budget and any reforms are in a holding pattern.

  20. - JoanP - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 3:15 pm:

    @ Dilemma :

    “benefit the state in dollars, sense and jobs? . . . Sorry, I meant cents (obviously)”

    Oh, I don’t know. The state could benefit from some sense these days!

  21. - Ghost - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 3:16 pm:

    so rauner is pushing the special interests of the chamber and is going to shut down govt to support that special interest…. but wants term limits to get rid of special interests controlling government….

  22. - sal-says - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 3:44 pm:

    == Where are the incontrovertible studies and research? ==

    Uhhh, maybe because they can’t; there are none?

  23. - Political Animal - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 3:54 pm:

    Dilemma, he’s done that.

    1) Property taxes are a leading cause of businesses and tax payers leaving the state. This reduces job growth, wealth creation/GDP, and tax receipts. Freezing property taxes would reduce pressure on businesses and leave more money in the economy by taking less from the citizens.

    2) PW Changes and/or Collective Bargaining changes are how you pay for #1. You cannot freeze revenue without giving locals more control of spending. Other options of course would be to increase state support for schools (which Rauner has done, even if it’s not enough) and to give locals more options for consolidation (which Rauner has a commission working on.) Consolidation and school funding could and should be a bigger part of the push from him though.

    3) Lawsuit reform and worker’s comp reform are obvious. Illinois has among the highest costs for businesses on these two issues (worst or 2nd worst on lawsuits, 7th on Workers Comp). These are often cited by businesses as what makes the Illinois climate unfriendly to business. There is a need to bring businesses to Illinois because they bring jobs and taxes, both of which relieve the budget pressure and make people’s lives better.

  24. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 4:29 pm:

    Political Animal:

    I think the Democrats have at least signaled some sort of willingness to discuss property taxes, workers comp and even tort reform. Why not work on the things that have a chance of being done. Why not drop the collective bargaining and prevailing wage stuff, which clearly cannot?

  25. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 4:38 pm:

    Property tax relief for Prevailing Wage is DOA.

    Not happening. No.

    Be rational. Thank you.

  26. - Ultragreen - Wednesday, Oct 28, 15 @ 6:12 pm:

    Political Animal: “Property taxes are a leading cause of businesses and tax payers leaving the state….”

    Property taxes are highly variable across the state of Illinois. Where property taxes are highest (NE Illinois), is where most of the population and business growth have been occurring. Where property taxes are lowest (downstate rural Illinois), both population and business is shrinking because there is nothing to invest in down there. Therefore, you hypothesis is not supported by the evidence.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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