Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration said Monday it’s preparing to make loans to communities and state vendors after legislation to send communities a long-delayed share of gasoline and gambling tax money stalled. […]
Republicans in recent weeks agreed to a Democratic plan to approve legislation to free up money for local communities, lottery winners and others after Rauner said he’d be OK with the move.
The governor suggested additions to the proposals that Democrats didn’t add, and a lieutenant of Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan put a hold on the legislation from state Rep. Marty Moylan, a Des Plaines Democrat, blocking it from moving forward even though the House voted to approve. And the Senate has no plans to reconvene in Springfield to consider it soon if Democrats allowed it to advance.
Moylan called the loan idea “completely ridiculous.”
“We’ll continue to push this bill,” he said.
Um, Marty? You do realize, right, that the Speaker put a brick on your bill? Yes, that very same bill you say you’ll “continue to push”? You already passed the thing.
Rikeesha Phelon, spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said the Senate has not been given any indication when the House bill might be sent to the Senate for its action. If the bill does get sent to the Senate, she said, the chamber will schedule additional days in order to deal with it. As of now, the Senate is not scheduled to return to Springfield until January.
If there was no brick, the Senate would’ve very likely come back to town next week.
In a letter sent to state lawmakers Monday, a Rauner administration official accused House Democrats of holding hostage a bill that would provide funds to local governments.
This from the same administration which slashed child care funding for months in a failed bid to pry loose a Turnaround Agenda deal.
Yet, now they’re all verklempt about local governments and lottery winners.
* And speaking of the lottery, let’s go back to unclear on the concept…
In a move so emblematic of this state’s government it makes my eye twitch, the Illinois Lottery bought newspaper ads to thank its players and apologize for its inability to pay its big prizes until the budget crisis is resolved in Springfield.
On behalf of the newspaper industry, let me say thank you to lottery officials.
On behalf of people who live and work in Illinois, however, let me say I can’t say what I want to say because there may be young children around who should learn this sort of language from their own irate parents.
Deep breath. Exhale.
Spending money to say you’re sorry you don’t have access to your prize money? The optics are not good.
The Illinois Lottery is lucky no one has tried to break its thumbs.