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Question of the day

Thursday, Jan 28, 2016

* Mark Brown cites his agreement with parts of yesterday’s State of the State Address

“Jobs and people have been leaving our state.”

There’s no sense arguing with the facts, although we might interpret them differently. Keeping and attracting jobs underlies most of Illinois’ problems.

“To bring good jobs to Illinois, we have to make Illinois a place where it is good to do business.”

True. To which I would add, it also helps to create a perception that this is a good place to do business, which hasn’t been Rauner’s approach.

I even agree with the governor that we should make a priority of doing something about fixing our workers compensation system to reduce costs to employers, although not in the manner Rauner insists.

Employers continue to cite workers comp costs as a major impediment to doing business here, despite changes to the law in 2011 that brought improvements. This requires a balancing act with the rights of workers, but if the jobs are leaving, something is out of balance.

The full address is here.

* The Question: Which part(s) of the address did you agree with? Explain, please, and no snark. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:40 pm:

    Illinois is a wonderful place. Our people, our work ethic, our sense of community, our dedication to helping each other, our commitment to giving back, are absolutely extraordinary. It’s what makes our state a great place to live.

    We have the hardest working people in America; we have the best strategic location of any state. The most fertile fields and best agriculture. We are the transportation hub of America. We have the commercial capital of the Midwest – the heart of America – in Chicago.

    – MrJM

  2. - Keyrock - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:41 pm:

    “Illinois can’t wait any longer.”

  3. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:41 pm:

    ===To achieve a grand compromise, we must cast partisanship and ideology aside.===

  4. - Anon221 - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:49 pm:

    “Jobs and people have been leaving our state.”-

    Yes, they are, and he has helped this along this year. People who have been let go from the social services fields are not going to just magically find another job.

    Many news reports have been using the 3000 number as the total of lost jobs this past year. We know at least 750 from LSSI, 30-40 from WIU, etc., etc..

    Let’s say they averaged 1200 hours per year (PT and FT staffers), and they make, on average $12.00 per hour gross. Do the math- $54,000,000 in lost wages that would be re-circulated in in State and Local economies.

    Today in the SB 2043 saga, Nuding wanted the GA to prove where the monies would come from to pay for the legislation. Well, why not the same here? If you know your policies are going to create unemployment, what are you doing to transition these workers? Are they supposed to just sit on the sidelines waiting for the in-migration of businesses to come to Illinois and “pick their teams”?

  5. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:49 pm:

    “Explain, please, and no snark.”

    It’s all true. I only wish that the governor of our state wasn’t so invested in his campaign narrative in which Illinois is a nightmarish wasteland for businesses and families, and where Chicago is some kind of parasitic burden on the rest of the state.

    It’s nice to hear the governor of Illinois say something nice about our state. It’s a shame it happens so rarely.

    – MrJM

  6. - Ottawa - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:51 pm:

    ===Most of our state employees are terrific, hardworking public servants. They deserve to be well paid, and receive higher compensation in the future.===

    He should have stopped there.

  7. - The Captain - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:54 pm:

    Very pleased to see that the Governor and at least 3 of the four tops all agree that the education funding formula should be reworked. Putting together a new formula that can pass both chambers is going to be very, very difficult not only for partisan reasons but also for geographic reasons that transcend partisanship but I think the effort is worthwhile and despite an ugly current political environment I’m going to be hopeful that they can find an agreement that is at least a step in a more equitable direction.

  8. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:54 pm:

    I’ve already had to delete three comments. Don’t make me ban you. Stick to the topic or don’t bother posting.

  9. - Name Withheld - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:57 pm:

    Beyond the rah-rah lines (Illinois is a great place teachers are great, we have hard working workers):

    1) Redistricting reform: Done right, that eliminates the need for term limits because you have competitive districts.

    2) Prison reform: Reducing the prison population and changing how we sentence criminals can do wonders for both the budget and poverty.

    Let me go over the speech again, because there were a few more areas.

  10. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:58 pm:

    Most of our state employees are terrific, hardworking public servants. They deserve to be well paid, and receive higher compensation in the future.

    Like a literate being, Rauner is aware of our many problems. Yet, like a quack doctor, his prescriptions not only do not address the problems, they make them worse by denying Illinois the chance to use a real remedy.

    Rauner isn’t governing, yet believes we ought to give him the power to change governing. He interprets his failure as our fault. He sees bipartisanship and compromise as a hindrance, so he blames others by claiming that he could fix our problems if only he was given the powers he demands. Yet, he hasn’t shown anyone that he has even tried to address our problems using the powers given to him by our state constitution.

    How many times have we seen someone in a job over their heads, and claim that their poor performance isn’t their fault, but the fault of the job? That is Bruce Rauner, the governor who wants us to believe that he cannot govern because no one wants him to govern.

    There is no reason Rauner cannot inch our state government forward, regardless of politics. There is no excuse why Rauner hasn’t tried doing what every Illinois governor has done for the past 200 years. That is, other than the fact that he doesn’t know what he is doing at all.

  11. - Dome Gnome - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:59 pm:

    I find myself agreeing with the governor’s IT reform initiative. I’m not sure how or if it will materialize, but I agree that it’s necessary to try.

  12. - justacitizen - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 1:59 pm:

    Agreed with almost everything he said. Did anyone notice the snub of the new auditor genera Mautino? Pretty sure he was there.

  13. - Locked Up - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:02 pm:

    The stuff on criminal justice reform, chiefly reducing prison population, was promising, and it was good that he mentioned Rodger Heaton by name. Heaton has the smarts and the street cred to get things done. It was one of the few topics where there wasn’t a “but…” involved.

  14. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:02 pm:

    “To achieve a grand compromise, we must cast partisanship and ideology aside.”

    Here’s hoping he meant it.

  15. - There is power in a union... - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:04 pm:

    “Most of our state employees are terrific, hardworking public servants. They deserve to be well paid, and receive higher compensation in the future.”

    Too bad his actions say otherwise…

  16. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:06 pm:

    -Unfortunately, Illinois’ economy has been split in two, one part with modest growth, the other in decline. There are areas within 90 minutes of O’Hare Airport that compete with other expensive mega-cities around the world. Thanks to access to global transportation infrastructure, first class universities, and world class cultural amenities, white-collar communities in the Chicago area have mostly been able to overcome the financial mismanagement that is now strangling Chicago and Cook County.

    But it’s difficult in the rest of the state: Harvey, Blue Island, Kankakee, Rockford, East Moline, Peoria, Decatur, Danville, Mt. Vernon, and Marion. Those communities have to compete with other states like Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Tennessee, Texas and South Carolina. And too often, we’ve been losing.-

    I agree with the income inequality analysis and that we aren’t competing with other states. What I found really interesting though was why wasn’t the Metro East mentioned and Missouri one of the states that we compete with? Seems rather an intentional omission. I wonder why.

  17. - dazedandconfused - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:12 pm:

    My wife owns a company that was paying $4.50 per $100 of payroll for work comp 8 years ago. She is now paying $6.25 per $100 of payroll. This with zero claims in the last couple of years. I never was much good at math but how is the claim that it is being reduced in Illinois hold water. And dont get me started on Illinois Unemployment Insurance premiums which went up 300% in the last two years.

  18. - RNUG - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:13 pm:

    I agreed with a lot of what he said, especially the positive parts. He stated (mostly) lofty goals. If he can achieve some of them, that would be good for the state.

    But I have 2 main problems with the speech.

    1) I’m not sure the Governor and I are using the same dictionary or thesaurus.

    2) I don’t think I agree with his means to achieve those ends.

    This was the vision speech. We need to hear the budget speech to see if the numbers match the vision.

  19. - crazybleedingheart - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:14 pm:

    ==paying $4.50 per $100 of payroll for work comp 8 years ago. She is now paying $6.25 per $100 of payroll. ==

    Because, as Rauner also correctly noted in his speech, wages have not gone up, though other things have.

  20. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:20 pm:

    === And dont get me started on Illinois Unemployment Insurance premiums which went up 300% in the last two years.===

    And you set up auto pay so the flippin’ government can take it right out of your bank account, then they don’t take it out, then they fine you for being late. Your issues are well founded. I’m livin’ it too.

  21. - Name Withheld - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:20 pm:

    dazedandconfused - $1.75/$100 over 8 years is about 22 cents/$100 a year increase, which on the face of it doesn’t seem like a lot. Have you checked with the insurance company to inquire about the basis for the increase?

  22. - Beaner - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:20 pm:

    I agreed with the idea to try to provide additional new dollars to poor school districts. Not every city has a $400 million a year Casino like Des Plaines to kick into local government. Currently, and this has been the case during my lifetime, depending upon the school you attend, you may take three or four fewer math classes when you enroll into an Engineering program. We could easily come up with $500 or $600 million by adjusting or Gaming Tax Rate and finally delivering on the old false promise that Gaming was about funding Education. It was not. The profits were privatized to the insider licensees. This would help out local property taxpayers more than the Local Government Mandated Tax Freeze.

  23. - not so simple - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:20 pm:

    “Thanks to access to global transportation infrastructure, first class universities, and world class cultural amenities, white-collar communities in the Chicago area have mostly been able to overcome the financial mismanagement that is now strangling Chicago and Cook County.”
    The first part is right, but he doesn’t follow through on the analysis. Many of our world class cultural amenities, museums and the Art Institute for example, are directly subsidized by taxpayers. Our first class universities in the Chicago area are all tax exempt, and other taxpayers foot the bill (ask Evanston). Our global transportation infrastructure is owned and operated mostly by government and supported by taxpayers. Could we be more prudent investors? Surely, but the infrastructure and institutions taxpayers support is what attracts business and families to the area.

  24. - princess buttercup - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:22 pm:

    “We have the ability to lead the nation in growth and opportunity.” I agree with that part. But we cant even attract flies if we dont have our”stuff” together. Step one is get a budget worked out and start. So what’s the exit plan from the “stuck” morass thats what i want to know. You cant do everything in giant steps. Thats a fail. So then you do little steps because success is cumulative. Why do we have to giant changes all at once? That part i dont agree with.

  25. - Handle Bar Mustache - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:22 pm:

    “Our transformation puts a strong new focus on prevention and public health; pays for value and outcomes rather than volume and services; makes evidence-based and data driven decisions; and moves individuals from institutions to community care, to keep them more closely connected with their families and communities.”

    Yes - let’s close more warehouses for the disabled.

  26. - Ahoy! - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:27 pm:

    The jobs sections (which was most of the speech) in particular the recognition of the differences between the Chicago area and the rest of the Illinois economy. This is something that I don’t think Madigan & Cullerton fully understand.

  27. - Wensicia - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:28 pm:

    “Mutual respect” Let’s hope this leads in the way forward.

    I also agree with MrJM, both first and second posts.

  28. - phocion - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:31 pm:

    Procurement reform. There is a quiet bipartisan consensus that the legislature went overboard with onerous, expensive, and often nonsensical procurement rules post-Blagojevich. Credit the Governor for calling it out and looking to fix a problem that Springfield created.

  29. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:46 pm:

    I liked that he focused on reforms that down the road will produce positive results in job creation, services and education. He used the word “balanced” a number of times instead of decimate. I liked the visionary approach.

    Then I walked into the rotunda and was confronted by protesters demanding money now.

    Maybe the “balance” for growing this State would combine some of the “now” with some of the ” Long term” future but rigid ideologies from various sides seems to prevent any compromise.

    I thought it was a great speech in laying out proposed long term solutions (Property tax reforms/ Workers’ Compensation reforms in Massachucets) to ending gerrymandering by quoting President Obama.

    My thoughts.

  30. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 2:56 pm:

    It’s easy to agree with the platitudes. It was nice to hear the governor say good things about the state, rather than the usual “Death Spiral” stuff.

    I wish that did it for me. But as with all politicians, pay attention to what they do, not what they say.

  31. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 3:02 pm:

    I agree with investing in education. Simply funding the full appropriation, without prorations, would be a significant increase and make many districts whole. That could be done as the current formula is adjusted to reflect desired outcomes and needs.

    I agree that worker’s comp is too high.

    It would also be nice if the ILGA stopped the avalanche of mandates.

  32. - Skeptic - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 3:07 pm:

    I can agree that Work Comp reform is a good thing, and if it were anyone but Rauner saying it, I’d agree redistricting is a good idea too.

    But this one made me pause:
    “Instead of letting Indiana and Texas take our workers, let’s go compete and take their jobs!”

    Seems to me what we should be doing is creating new jobs and not taking someone else’s.

  33. - BaronvonHammer - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 3:10 pm:

    It is difficult to seperate the SOTS from the new reality. The criminal justice reforms sound somewhat promising. The IT initiative sounds good but will state agencies actually gain anything . There were many good ideas that have to be tempered against reality.

  34. - Natalie - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 3:17 pm:

    Acknowledging dysfunction of the Procurement Code.

  35. - OKAY - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 3:21 pm:

    To Governor Rauner: Re: Worker’s Comp. Reform - Roll back reimbursement to healthcare providers to around 10% above what Medicare allows and roll back compensation for injuries to the loss percentages I place prior to 2011. You also need to investigate and ENFORCE price gouging by the insurance companies. Tinker with the traveling employee rules a little bit and your done. DO NOT attempt to get a causation standard because this will significantly increase litigation and associated costs. If you want causation than get rid of workers compensation all together and let employees sue employers for negligence with no cap on awards like it used to be hundreds of years ago and businesses will suffer dearly. That is exactly what workers’ compensation was designed to prevent. No causation in exchange for quick resolutions and comparably modest costs amounting to somewhere in the neighborhood between 5 and 15 % of payroll depending on the occupation and hazards therin. Easy to fix if they really wanted to fix it.

  36. - Anon - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 3:42 pm:

    I have found that with Governor Rauner I don’t often disagree with his goals — I disagree with how he thinks we could or should get there.

    So there are several parts of his speech that are somewhat like Barnum statements that I think just about everyone would agree with.

    But, in terms of actual policies that I think he and I would agree on the best method for? Criminal justice reform and improving worker’s compensation reform.

    I also like the idea of making our State’s IT a priority. Good golly. It’s terrible.

  37. - Han's Solo Cup - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 3:50 pm:

    Here’s the thing that frustrates me: Rauner has some good ideas. He also has some terrible ideas. He isn’t experienced or wise enough to see his way to accomplishing the good ideas at the expense of the bad ideas, probably because he doesn’t think they are bad ideas. He blew it with the unions. He had them. Had them right in his hands. They were sour on the Dems after Quinn, Madigan and Cullerton pushed through the pension changes that were ultimately shot down. They were looking for someone to trust. 40% voted for him. All he had to do was keep the 5% tax, and give them reasonable contracts. They would have turned to him and the GOP in droves. The union dollars would have been flowing to him and his candidates instead of the Dems. All he had to be was reasonable and he would have them in his camp. Their warchest coupled with his would have put the Dems in serious jeopardy in the fall. He had it right in his hands, and he blew it.

  38. - Cook County Commoner - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 4:04 pm:

    I agreed with the comments on high residential property taxes. For me, this particular category is insidious. Essentially, we are renting the right to own our own homes from the government. I understand the need to fund local services and schools. Just find a more progressive way of doing it instead of a regressive property tax, especially the Rube Goldberg nightmare in cook County.

  39. - sal-says - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 4:17 pm:

    == I also like the idea of making our State’s IT a priority. Good golly. It’s terrible. ==

    Yes, a mess. As it’s been in spots for 2 or 3 decades. But what I suspect is that the SuperStarts will find out that it will cost a lot more than they want to spend on it, just like others before them have found. And why it is like it is.

  40. - burbanite - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 5:38 pm:

    Excellent points Han’s SC.

    To the property taxes, 23 years of payments and I will have paid the state the equivalent of what I paid for my home. I would love to see a progressive tax structure, but the discussion isn’t happening. It is my understanding the Constitution would have to be changed. No discussions on that… and my biggest disappointment in the speech was the absence of discussion on the lack of a budget.

  41. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 6:58 pm:

    – I liked the visionary approach.

    Then I walked into the rotunda and was confronted by protesters demanding money now.–

    Some people are like that when it comes to getting paid under terms of their contracts with the state for services already rendered.

    They lack vision. And payment for fulfilling their contracts.

  42. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Jan 28, 16 @ 8:55 pm:

    Work comp reform .work comp reform. Work comp reform. Work comp reform. Work comp reform…………………

  43. - Honeybear - Friday, Jan 29, 16 @ 6:56 am:

    I totally agree with Han’s Solos Cup. The union can be and is naturally complacent. Rauner should have lulled them into their sleep then attacked after Friedricks.

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