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Question of the day

Thursday, Oct 29, 2015

* I caught a cold this week. I’m miserable and I got nothing for you. I mean nothing. So, I’m declaring an open thread and going to bed as soon as my Crain’s column is approved.

- Posted by Rich Miller   105 Comments      


Chamber urges Rauner to “hang in there”

Thursday, Oct 29, 2015

* Illinois Chamber President Todd Maisch writing in Crain’s

The real question is whether the status quo in Illinois is acceptable. To a large majority of our members—the people whom Illinoisans expect to create jobs and prosperity—the answer is an emphatic “No!”

The chamber recognizes that the current budget stalemate is causing real pain across our state. I’ve spoken with many businesses that are waiting on the state to pay them millions of dollars for goods and services already provided. Local governments are awaiting vital infrastructure funding; university students wonder if tuition grants are coming.

Four months is a long time to go without a budget. But it pales in comparison to a 12-year wait for state government to return to fiscal sanity, basic competency and a partnership with business that allows both to prosper. Those things are more than important. They are vital. They are also hard and worth the wait.

Hang in there, Governor.

- Posted by Rich Miller   152 Comments      


No daylight

Thursday, Oct 29, 2015

* Rep. Don Moffitt (R-Gilson) has been endorsed by unions pretty much every election cycle. He recently announced his retirement, but don’t expect a break with Gov. Bruce Rauner any time soon if this quote is any indication of where he stands

Rep. Don Moffitt, R-Galesburg, who was at the bakery, said that he didn’t think the impasse would end before January and that what’s happening now shouldn’t be a surprise.

“He was elected by the people with pretty strong support. He ran on an agenda of shaking Springfield up,” said Moffitt, who plans to retire at the end of his term. “We shouldn’t be surprised at anything that’s happened so far. Gov. Rauner is keeping his commitment, he’s keeping his promise. And he is shaking things up.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   70 Comments      


Despite unpaid bills, Fairfield mayor vows to stick with Rauner

Thursday, Oct 29, 2015

* Keep in mind when reading this that payroll is about 25 percent or so of construction costs. But some of the smaller projects that these tiny towns do (Fairfield’s population is 5,421) have higher payroll costs.

From the Illinois Policy Institute’s news service

The mayor of a southern Illinois community says taxpayers could save upwards to 30 percent on construction projects if his village was able to put out projects to be competitively bid. Fairfield Mayor Chuck Griswold says he’s done a lot of things to double reserves for the village, but more could be done like saving on publicly funded construction projects by circumventing the state mandated prevailing wage laws. Leading Democrats in the General Assembly, like Speaker Michael Madigan, say they are unwilling to allow giving the option of opting out of prevailing wage to local communities like Fairfield. Griswold says Madigan is out of touch.

“He doesn’t understand. We’re not even on his radar, candidly, down here in southern Illinois and I think the only time we got on the radar was when we wanted fracking rules put in place.”

However, Griswold doesn’t think certain collective bargaining issues are onerous for his village at the moment. Governor Bruce Rauner has been pushing for a property tax freeze coupled with giving local communities the option to opt out of prevailing wage and collective bargaining issues, something leading Democrats contend will lower the standard of living for working class families.

Meanwhile Griswold says the state owes Fairfield upwards to $30,000 in unpaid bills for several different facilities being used by state departments. Griswold says he supports what the Governor is doing and will keep accepting IOUs in the meantime.

“We’ll allow them to not pay their utilities, we’ll keep their utilities on. We won’t shut off the state garage. I think we have an IDNR office here and a Conservation office and we’re not going to shut off their utilities. We’re going to support Governor Rauner by hanging in there with him.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   38 Comments      


More unsolicited impasse advice

Thursday, Oct 29, 2015

* From the Wikiepedia entry for “Getting Past NO”

Getting Past NO (ISBN 978-0-553-37131-4), first published in September 1991 is a reference book on collaborative negotiation in difficult situations. As a negotiating style, it is neither aggressively competitive nor accommodating and cooperative, but both aggressively cooperative. […]

“Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across”

    Classic obstacles to an agreement: not their idea, unmet interests, fear of losing face, too much too fast

    Involve the other side: ask for and build on their ideas, ask for a constructive criticism, offer them a choice

    Satisfy unmet interests: don’t dismiss them as irrational, don’t overlook basic human needs, don’t assume a fixed pie

    Help them save face, help write their victory speech

    Go slow to go fast, don’t rush to the line

Ury claimed that a good negotiation is achieved by 2 negotiators meeting their needs- never one more skilled that overpowers the deal. Because if done so the deal itself is weakened as the loser might not recognize his involvement and his interests in the deal.

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      


Personalities are only part of it

Thursday, Oct 29, 2015

* Quite a lot of political reporters, columnists, editorial writers and other pundits in this state have described the current stalemate as a duel between two stubborn people. But there’s far more going on here than just what Gov. Rauner and Speaker Madigan are demanding.

Phil Kadner

I think many Illinois residents are enjoying the power struggle between the Republican governor and longtime Democratic power broker Madigan.

[Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno] reinforced my experience during a telephone conversation Wednesday, telling me that she’s been knocking on doors during her re-election campaign, and people keep telling her “not to give in” and “hang in there.”

I’ve talked to several Democratic legislators who’ve said the same, exact thing as Radogno. Either they’re all hearing only what they want to hear, or their respective allies are completely on board for this war.

This is about much more than just two men. Madigan was absolutely right when he called this an “epic” battle.

…Adding… Most legislators are circulating nominating petitions these days, and MrJM explains what’s happening in comments…

For more than a decade, both parties collect signatures using lists that include only the loyalist members of their parties.

Democrats passing petitions are talking to people who voted in the last three (or more) Democratic primaries. Republicans are doing the inverse.

You couldn’t design a better echo chamber.

- Posted by Rich Miller   49 Comments      


Report: A quarter of all title loans wind up in default

Thursday, Oct 29, 2015

* From the Heartland Alliance…

Many Illinois families are financially fragile. Unfortunately, the increase in auto title lending in our state is only exacerbating the problem. IABG, in partnership with Woodstock Institute, recently released “No Right Turn: Illinois’ Auto Title Loan Industry and its Impact on Consumers.” The report finds that increasing numbers of Illinois consumers are turning to title loans in an attempt to make ends meet, and ending up in a long-term cycle of debt due to triple-digit interest rates and long loan terms. Not only are we seeing an increase in the number of title loans, but we are also seeing an increase in length of the loan and the amount of fees. The report found that the average length of a title loan is now over 18 months with consumers spending a total of $25.5 million a month to title lenders.

* The full report is here

Title loans in Illinois are exceptionally harmful because of their combined high interest rate and long loan terms. While traditional and installment payday loans have high APRs (up to 400 percent), those loans have maximum term lengths of 120 and 180 days, respectively, enabling borrowers to pay back loans in installments, but ensuring that borrowers are not paying high rates for excessive periods of time. Small consumer installment loans have longer terms (over 180 days), but are capped at 99 percent APR. Under current Illinois law, title loans have no APR cap and no maximum term, so borrowers can be trapped into paying high rates for years at a time. […]

As the default rate data show, over a quarter of all Illinois title loan borrowers were unable to make payments and defaulted. This means that one in every four title loan borrowers in Illinois lost the means for commuting to work, going to the doctor, or transporting kids.

* One of their charts…

Oy.

* Some of their proposals

The Illinois legislature strengthen the Consumer Installment Loan Act to require stronger ability-to-repay standards, maximum loan terms, and a rate cap of 36 percent APR.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) publicly release loan-level data from the state database to allow for a more detailed analysis and monitoring of small-dollar lending in Illinois.

Financial Institutions create and market affordable small-dollar loans with ability-to-repay standards as alternatives to high-cost, predatory products.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      


Credit Unions – Helping to Grow Safer and Stronger Communities

Thursday, Oct 29, 2015

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

Credit unions are committed to several cooperative principles, including “Concern for Community.” While focusing on member needs, cooperatives such as credit unions work for the sustainable development of their communities, including people of modest means.

As an example, 1st MidAmerica Credit Union in Bethalto provides crucial fundraising for a host of agencies and organizations in Metro East and surrounding areas. Over the past seven years in fact, the credit union has raised more than $128,000 for these vital, local sources of support for residents.

Specifically for the past three years, 1st MidAmerica has dedicated fundraising efforts to the Madison County Child Advocacy Center (CAC). This professional and child-friendly organization assists in the investigation of allegations of child abuse, provides access to services and treatment for victims and their families, and raises awareness within the community. As a result of sponsoring its annual charity golf outing this fall, 1st MidAmerica raised more than $30,000 to benefit CAC. This was a record high fundraising total for the tournament and an increase of more than $3,000 over the previous year’s event.

Honored to partner, pleased to support. Credit unions help grow safer and stronger communities. And that’s why they are A Smarter Choice.

- Posted by Advertising Department   Comments Off      


Activist calls out Illinois media, says governor “absurd and dishonest”

Thursday, Oct 29, 2015

* From earlier this week

Gov. Rauner said he doesn’t expect any resolution to the budget impasse until January and doesn’t expect any agreement will come out of a planned meeting with Democratic leaders in the legislature next month. He accused Democrats of attempting to increase pressure on him by allowing the budget impasse to continue.

“They want the pressure of no scholarships for kids, they want the pressure of no childcare as a way to push the process, that’s the only explanation I can give,” Gov. Rauner said.

* From Emily Miller at Voices for Illinois Children…

There is exactly one man ultimately responsible for the destruction of the child care system in Illinois, and that man is Governor Rauner.

When it comes to the lack of appropriation authority across other budget line items ranging from higher education to local governments, no one has clean hands.

But for the Governor to suggest that anyone else is responsible for the pain working families are feeling as the direct result of his decision to cut child care is absurd and dishonest.

His decision to eliminate safe, affordable childcare as an option for many low and middle-income working families predates the budget impasse. I hope the timeline of his opposition to this vital program is pointed out to him by a reporter sometime soon.

- Posted by Rich Miller   58 Comments      


Yep, it’s about the budget

Thursday, Oct 29, 2015

* From the Illinois Radio Network….

The same groups which called for a public meeting to settle the budget impasse are now calling for the negotiations to a have a “bipartisan agenda.”

Gov. Bruce Rauner responded to the initial meeting request by saying his office would “circulate the agenda” to it. Sarah Brune, deputy director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, doesn’t think Rauner or the other leaders should be deciding on their own what issues will be on the table.

“A meeting where any of the stakeholders are the only one setting the agenda, that is not the kind of meeting that we’re looking to have,” Brune said. “We think that the most productive meeting is going to be one everyone who is attending has the chance to put input into that.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   42 Comments      


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Thursday, Oct 29, 2015

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« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Open thread 2
* Open thread
* DHS slammed after care disrupted for "thousands" of mentally ill
* Mendoza wants emergency Deloitte contract review
* The plot thickens on Rauner's AV
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Important update and a supplement to today’s edition
* Frerichs: Don't use new federal rules on 529 programs for state taxes
* "Watchdog" flatly denies getting money from Illinois Policy Institute, but group funded 98 percent of budget
* Governor promised "superstar" appointee a year ago, hasn't delivered
* Chicago survives the first cut in Amazon HQ2 sweepstakes
* Rauner to air entire Blagojevich/Pritzker audio this weekend
* Adlai III endorses Biss
* Yesterday's stories

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» Rauner Spokesman: 'Governor Believes David Duke Is A Racist'
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