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Rauner “should have the sense of duty to govern”

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2016

* From John Bouman, President of the Shriver Center and head of the Responsible Budget Coalition, with emphasis added

Like most hostage-takers, Governor Rauner knew that if his demands were not met, at some point the hostages would have to begin to die, literally or figuratively. And, sure enough, the dying is underway.

For months now, thousands of service-providers have been making layoffs and reducing services because of the state not paying them for services rendered. Last week the situation went to another level. Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) announced late last week that, due solely to the state’s failure to pay over $6 million for services LSSI has rendered since last July, it is laying off 750 workers—43% of its workforce—and shutting down vital services for almost 5,000 people. The termination of these services—including residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation, mental health counseling, and help for homebound senior citizens—is not a consequence of a budget cut or a policy change; it is simply caused by the state’s failure to pay for services already rendered—one side keeping a contract, the other welching.

LSSI, by all accounts, is an exemplary, responsible, low-overhead, values-driven provider of essential services to people deeply in need. LSSI partners with the state to implement state policies. But LSSI’s “partner” turned it into a hostage and let LSSI and the people it serves be casualties of the hostage stand-off. […]

In our form of government, the executive branch, led by the Governor, has the duty to “execute” state laws and policies—to govern. The Governor has decided instead that those laws and policies and the people they are meant to serve should be hostages.

Governor Rauner has every right to pursue a policy agenda, which he can do without abdicating his constitutional duty to govern. He can push his agenda through the legislative process. If he is forced to compromise because of political realities, then he can work to win more elections for people who agree with him. Through it all, however, he should have the sense of duty to govern. It is time to end the hostage stand-off and return to responsible governance.

The Responsible Budget Coalition has been pretty diplomatic before now. And Bouman is not known for being a hothead - just the opposite. Apparently, the gloves are now off.

As Wordslinger has mentioned in comments a lot lately, what if Gov. Pat Quinn had refused to sign a budget until the minimum wage (his main campaign promise) was increased or a millionaire’s surtax was passed? The howls from the Tribune and others would’ve certainly been deafening, even if he’d stood firm and refused to sign a budget until issues the newspaper (and now Rauner) supports, like term limits and redistricting reform.

I have said for years that we need to be more pro-business in this state, but we don’t have to do this by thrashing labor unions. He needs to find another way.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

51 Comments
  1. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 12:01 pm:

    Great work Mr. Bouman. It’s past time to take off the gloves.

    Strong words, reinforced in different public settings, are needed to attempt to blast through the haze created by Gov. Rauner’s control of the message spread by the Tribune and many other media outlets.


  2. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 12:03 pm:

    Maybe the House and Senate Republicans could stop saying Illinois is a bad place, that might help bring some new businesses to come here.


  3. - Handle Bar Mustache - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 12:05 pm:

    Good on Bouman. It is time for the gloves to come off. Too much at stake.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 12:09 pm:

    ===As Wordslinger has mentioned in comments a lot lately, what if Gov. Pat Quinn had refused to sign a budget until the minimum wage (his main campaign promise) was increased or a millionaire’s surtax was passed? The howls from the Tribune and others would’ve certainly been deafening, even if he’d stood firm and refused to sign a budget until issues the newspaper (and now Rauner) supports, like term limits and redistricting reform.===

    As - Wordslinger - points out, governors abd their choices, they own.

    To the Post,

    That’s all this really is;

    Enough is enough, Governor. You can’t get your agenda passed, you can’t get unions destroyed, but you are, governor, holding hostages, by your choice.

    Whoever told Rauner that governors don’t own or that Speaker Madigan will wear the jacket was practicing hre grievous malpractice.

    Governors can’t tell people to hang in there, then ignore that they as governor are causing those to hang in there their peril.

    You can’t as a governor think you are incapable of doing your own constitutional job because you can’t see your co-equal partner as… equal.

    You can’t as a governor ignore the balances of divided government and play victim to what working in divided government means.

    Rauner will damage the premise of an ILGOP far sooner than creating his own New Order in Illinois.

    “Why?”

    Because governors own, and Pat Quinn would’ve owned what - Wordslinger - cites, and history has already decided who will own this mess; governors own.

    It’s just a shame that so many people will be hurt and so many great institutions are being destroyed.


  5. - Federalist - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 12:09 pm:

    I will say it again and again. Increase the income tax another 1.25% for the next three years and use it to pay past bills and get the budget somewhat under control. The other 3.75% would be used for ongoing operations.

    This budget is a mess and the entire state looks like a fool.

    I firmly believe that Madigan and Cullerton should put such a proposal forward and call out Rauner to reject it. If Rauner does reject such a proposal he will lose all credibility in the state except for the Civic Committee and IPI types.

    (One might notice that the I proposed the 1.25% increase for three years. That is the length of Rauners first term and entirely uner his watch to see that the money was used to pay vback bills. How cold he object to that?)

    Madigan has been in the GA for 45 years and Cullerton for 25 years. They are not exactly great actors in this farce either.


  6. - ChicagoVinny - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 12:11 pm:

    Is someone keeping track of the “Rauner layoffs”? 750 people losing their job is not good for this state. How many others have lost their jobs due to Rauner’s hostage taking?


  7. - Tyrone - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 12:13 pm:

    Rich, I think we are all learning about what was really meant by “business friendly.”


  8. - Abe the Babe - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 12:14 pm:

    He just doesnt understand the job. And if he doesnt understand the job he cannot understand the consequences of not doing his job. If he cant understand the consequences then he has no incentive to be practical. IF he has no incentive to be practical then you get what we have now: Chaos caused by the man at the top.

    Its sickening.


  9. - Boss Tweed - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 12:15 pm:

    “(his main campaign promise)”

    And, if anything, dismantling collective bargaining is a BROKEN campaign promise.


  10. - Chicago Guy - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 12:16 pm:

    I agree with Bouman but wish he would have used a better term than “welching.” I always try to avoid negative words based on ethnic stereotypes.


  11. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 12:20 pm:

    It’s bizarre to me how so many can so blithely accept the hostage-taking as a legitimate exercise of power.

    It’s not. These are outrageous gangster tactics, willfully tuning up certain members of society in hopes of extorting political prizes you can’t achieve through normal democratic processes.

    How in the world did this kind of sabotage become acceptable to many?

    If it is acceptable to you, I guess you wouldn’t mind getting tossed out of work, or missing some meals, in order to further the governor’s agenda.

    Because that’s happening to many, right now.


  12. - Illinoisvoter - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 12:27 pm:

    The largest private employer in the city of Chicago is the University of Chicago. Do we
    need to set our goal as employment and development
    within the state not just new business startups?
    Just spent a month with someone at the stroke
    ICU at Central DuPage and watched bed after bed
    filled with patients helicoptered in from Iowa
    and Wisconsin. Those caregivers are jobs just
    as bank as anything in manufacturing.


  13. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 12:27 pm:

    Vinny:

    Illinois ended 2015 with fewer jobs than it started with, a state agency reported Friday, signaling the state’s employment landscape is sluggish amid a broad national recovery.

    Illinois’ December unemployment rate stood at 5.9 percent, up slightly from 5.7 percent in November but down from 6.2 percent in December 2014, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security. The U.S. unemployment rate in December was 5 percent.

    Illinois ended the year with 3,000 fewer nonfarm jobs than when it started, the first time there has been a decline since 2009, Jeff Mays, director of IDES, said in a news release. Meanwhile, he said, the nation gained 2.6 million jobs over the year.

    This was obviously before the cuts at LSSI and CPS (and others)


  14. - princess buttercup - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 12:29 pm:

    It should be Illinois law that if you take hostages you must be able to provide for them at 125% of the federal poverty level for ten years hence or consent decree, whichever comes first, or you cant keep them after August 1st of last year (snark)


  15. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 12:39 pm:

    More like this, please.

    He’s killing people.

    The question at this point is how many deaths entered his ROI calculation.

    I think he should specify the number.

    “Dear Gov. Rauner: How many people is too many people to die because you don’t believe in business as usual?”

    Maybe Prolife Paprocki can help him draft his response.


  16. - Dr X - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 12:42 pm:

    You just wait, the compassionate conservatives are coming. They will pick up the slack, fund these services and save us.


  17. - Politix - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 12:46 pm:

    Another day, another outraged person. Rauner isn’t compelled by letters like this. Ugh.


  18. - IllinoisBoi - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 12:46 pm:

    I hear that Bouman used to work for Speaker Madigan.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 12:47 pm:

    ===You just wait===

    We’ve been waitin’, thanks. Months.

    ===…the compassionate conservatives are coming.===

    I don’t see that. At all. It’s all up to Rauner.

    ===They will pick up the slack===

    No, they haven’t so far. Not even close.

    ===…fund these services and save us.===

    Tell that to the 750 laid off by LSSI, that has already happened.

    For many, it’s too late. “Saving?”. No. Surviving with what’s left is the new Status Quo


  20. - Archiesmom - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 12:51 pm:

    The last two paragraphs of Bouman’s letter sums it up for me. Bottom line seems to be that (as many here have noted) Rauner shows little interest in governing - he views Illinois as a business, not a collection of constituencies, each playing a critical role in the state’s success. We cannot succeed unless the people of this state are the priority, not profits. Rauner is still a believer in the trickle-down theory of economics, which has been proven to work so darned well in governing. I am a believer in trickle-up economics. Growth comes from the bottom up, and is achieved through war horses like education, where the growth is realized over time, not through strokes of a pen that gut programs and put people out of work or without social services for the immediate impact of a few dollars saved. I will not be able to watch his State of the State address; I won’t be able to avoid damage to my TV or laptop by the third lie.


  21. - Mama - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 1:01 pm:

    Rich, thrashing labor unions appears to be Rauner’s pro-business agenda.


  22. - Beaner - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 1:01 pm:

    The Governor’s plan seems simple and straight forward enough. He hopes to spend money he does not have and double the GO Bonded debt, a la Reagan.
    And, he has “no social agenda.” Government should just exist to hand over hundreds of millions of pension dollars to corrupt hedge fund managers; other than that, what could government possibly good fer?


  23. - Jack Stephens - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 1:05 pm:

    I’m business friendly. Business demands an educated workforce to staff their companies. Business demands good transportation. Business demands the basics to keep the shop open (safe water, etc). Business demands a social safety net.

    Taxes pay for these.

    Its Business Friendly!


  24. - Mama - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 1:06 pm:

    How many people in IL are currently out of a job due to Gov Rauner refusal to pass and sign a budget for FY16?


  25. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 1:14 pm:

    Great ending paragraph by Mr. Bouman–especially the part about winning future elections to push though policies rather than hostage-taking and damaging obstinance when the policies won’t pass.


  26. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 1:16 pm:

    ==Through it all, however, he should have the sense of duty to govern.==

    It’s pretty obvious he doesn’t believe he has to govern. Fail.

    ==It is time to end the hostage stand-off and return to responsible governance.==

    He was never responsible in the first place, why should anyone expect he’ll grow a conscience now and get to work. Fail.

    I just wonder how much worse things have to get for the most helpless, the neediest, and those in need of a small boost to succeed and be independent? I can’t visualize an end to the hostilities.


  27. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 1:17 pm:

    ===I hear that Bouman used to work for Speaker Madigan.===

    We’ve all worked for Madigan. The Cosa Nostra’s everywhere, man. Bruce is just blowing the lid off.


  28. - Jack Stephens - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 1:20 pm:

    We’ve all worked for Bruce before too! Didnt he make his money investing the Pension funds? I’m just blowing the lid off.


  29. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 1:29 pm:

    ===We’ve all worked for Bruce before too! Didnt he make his money investing the Pension funds? I’m just blowing the lid off.===

    Yeah. But wasn’t that in Pennsylvania? I mean, isn’t that where Steelers’ fans invest???


  30. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 1:37 pm:

    Politix — the point isn’t directly to convince Rauner. The point is to raise the level of public attention, one way or another, so that pressure builds on members of the General Assembly to put an end to this hostage standoff — either with or without Rauner’s assistance.


  31. - Peoria Guy - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 1:39 pm:

    So should Madigan


  32. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 1:52 pm:

    Wordslinger is wrong to pick minimum wage. What if Pat Quinn had held out on the budget for political reform? The same reform he claimed to have fought for all his life? The same reform that had a glimmer of a chance of passing in light of Blago’s impeachment?

    He may not have won re-election but he’d be respected today, not ridiculed and held in contempt.


  33. - All the king's men - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 1:54 pm:

    Still can’t help but remember that the last time they increased the tax to fix issues they didn’t use they revenue from the increase to fix anything, instead they increase spending. Here’s a thought service the debt. When you have no debt all that revenue that was being eaten up by debt can be used to pay workers salaries, to increase Social service programs and all the other stuff.


  34. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 1:54 pm:

    And I don’t think the Tribune would have howled at all - they would have pressured Madigan and the Dems to vote for the reform package.


  35. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 2:06 pm:

    ===Still can’t help but remember that the last time they increased the tax to fix issues they didn’t use they revenue from the increase to fix anything, instead they increase spending. Here’s a thought service the debt. When you have no debt all that revenue that was being eaten up by debt can be used to pay workers salaries, to increase Social service programs and all the other stuff.===

    Typical left-wing Pat Quinn loving hogwash. Just keep spending, everything’ll be fine.


  36. - All the king's men - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 2:10 pm:

    Actually Ducky, my comments point to sound fiscal principles. For instance if you pay off your house you don’t make principle and interest payments to a bank anymore so now you have money to pay off other debts faster or to improve your standard of living. That’s just good financially responsible common sense


  37. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 2:16 pm:

    –s Wordslinger has mentioned in comments a lot lately, what if Gov. Pat Quinn had refused to sign a budget until the minimum wage (his main campaign promise) was increased or a millionaire’s surtax was passed?–

    It’s not just about signing a budget, it’s about the Democrats getting Republican votes for a tax increase. The Democrats can pass a tax increase and a budget and then over-ride the Governor’s veto. They don’t want to do that, they want Republican’s to share the blame. Likewise, the Republican’s don’t want to own $4 billion worth of cuts, thus some compromises need to be made by each to get 60, 30 and 1.


  38. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 2:24 pm:

    @All the King’s Men

    Yeah. And how is that different from exactly what was happening in state government from 2011-2014? My sources tell me that bills, some extremely large bills, were being paid by the state in less than a month. The backlog was on its way to being paid off. Maintenance isn’t sexy, thus the Rauner victory.


  39. - Boss Tweed - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 2:34 pm:

    “The Democrats can pass a tax increase and a budget and then over-ride the Governor’s veto.”

    They probably can’t.


  40. - lake county democrat - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 2:49 pm:

    We don’t know if the Democrats can or can’t pass a budget on their own. We do know that at least publicly they refuse to try. They came 1 vote from passing an utter sham budget by a vetoproof margin meant as a stop-gap: Jack Franks wouldn’t go along. But as far as I know nobody has pressed him on whether he would refuse to vote for any Dem-negotiated-amonst-themseleves budget, no matter how responsible.”


  41. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 2:52 pm:

    Tweed - but according to the Illinois Constitution, overriding an appropriation veto only requires a simple majority. That should be easy (especially in the Senate, which has a heavy tilt).

    Pat Quinn would have never held out for his reforms on a budget. The man supported expanding programs and never vetoed an approp bill during his six years. He supported the extra spending. And before anyone jumps down my throat for what I just typed, that is not an indictment on Governor Quinn. That was who he was and what he supported. It would have been tough for him to veto or hold out on projects and funding his supported (and proposed).


  42. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 3:27 pm:

    “sham budget”

    And that’s what they call “a tell”…

    – MrJM


  43. - sal-says - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 3:28 pm:

    = Rauner “should have the sense of duty to govern” ==

    Bet raunner and his SuperStarts will have a few guffaws over that line.


  44. - Boss Tweed - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 3:30 pm:

    “but according to the Illinois Constitution, overriding an appropriation veto only requires a simple majority”

    Isn’t that just for line-item vetoes, not when the entire aprop. bill has been knocked down?


  45. - Dr Kilovolt - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 3:36 pm:

    In what way is reneging on contracts and not paying bills “pro-business”?


  46. - All the king's men - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 3:39 pm:

    @Ducky LaMoore
    No. Not really it wasn’t, because estimates on spending for the state compared to tax revenue show that in 2014 we took in an estimated 38 billion and we spent nearly 70 billion. Now even if some of that was servicing the debt your still creating debt to replace what you paid off then your not making progress. Your spinning your wheels at best.


  47. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 3:44 pm:

    Tweed - good catch, and you are correct. My bad.


  48. - Mama - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:35 pm:

    “The point is to raise the level of public attention, one way or another, so that pressure builds on members of the General Assembly to put an end to this hostage standoff — either with or without Rauner’s assistance.”
    Keyrock, I agree with you.


  49. - Bemused - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 4:38 pm:

    This little piece from Cheech & Chong keeps popping into my head.
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4_aJ6h7V5Q


  50. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 5:51 pm:

    ===tax revenue show that in 2014 we took in an estimated 38 billion and we spent nearly 70 billion.===

    So the state had a $32 billion deficit? That explains why the fy12 backlog of bills was 8.8 billion and fy14 was 6.0 billion. I don’t know where you get your numbers, man. But that is wrong wrong wrong.


  51. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jan 26, 16 @ 6:36 pm:

    “Meanwhile, he said, the nation gained 2.6 million jobs over the year.”

    I read an article earlier today that caused such a shocking reaction in me that it took all day to recover. I still don’t know if I can write about it, but I’ll try.

    Tex-(slightly swooning)…Texas…(taking deep breaths)……Texas lost thousands of manufacturing jobs in the last year, as opposed to the rest of the country–42,000 jobs.

    How can that be? Texas is supposed to be the job creation capital of the universe. It’s supposed to be where job creators unleash their magic in a land of low taxes, regulations and unions.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/manufacturing-employment-in-texas-2016-1


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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