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Dunkin: Waiting for Madigan to negotiate is “plantation mentality”

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016

* From the twitters…

- Posted by Rich Miller   121 Comments      

Question of the day

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016

* Yout thoughts on the SOTS?

- Posted by Rich Miller   266 Comments      

Mistakes happen

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016

* Oops

The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board is doing candidate endorsement interviews ahead of the March 15 primary elections. Reporters often attend to look for news. On Tuesday, the Democrats running for the nomination to try to succeed U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates were scheduled to appear.

Businessman Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg and Villa Park Village President Deb Bullwinkel took their seats at the table, but state Sen. Michael Noland of Elgin didn’t attend. His campaign said it thought the gathering was later in the day.

“A campaign staffer misplaced the time of the meeting on the senator’s calendar and that staffer takes full responsibility for his mistake,” Noland campaign manager Nick Daggers said in a statement.

- Posted by Rich Miller   31 Comments      

Hinz on taxation, revenues

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016

* Greg Hinz writes about a new report from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute on state taxation

The report’s top line is that if Illinois just adopted tax rates and schedules equivalent to those in neighboring states, its budget deficit would vanish. For instance, it says, adopting key components in the Wisconsin tax code would net Illinois an extra $8.3 billion a year, and following Indiana and Iowa’s lead would get Rauner et al. an extra $4.6 billion and $7.3 billion a year, respectively.

But I found other data more interesting.

For instance, the average Illinois household in 2013 (before the income tax rate dropped back) paid 9.14 percent of its income in state taxes, less than the 9.4 percent figure in Indiana or the 9.39 percent figure in Wisconsin. That’s good. But when you look at local taxes, which we also have to pay, it’s another story, with Illinois’ 7.21 percent well above that of 6.3 percent in Wisconsin and 4.7 percent in Indiana.

The full study is here.

* And there’s this

In Illinois, the lowest-earning 20 percent paid 13.2 percent of their income in total state and local taxes, but the top 1 percent paid just 4.6 percent. That’s a 9.6 percentage-point difference.

Put a different way, as a share of what’s coming in, poor people paid three times as much as the super-rich, because of Illinois’ high sales tax rate, nongraduated income tax and other factors.

Check out the chart here.

* Meanwhile

Moody’s Investors Service says the state’s backlog of unpaid bills and other obligations now is rising roughly $450 million a month, hitting $6.6 billion as of Dec. 31.

Projections from Rauner’s budget are that the total will hit $9 billion by the end of the fiscal year on June 30 and keep rising from there, assuming no budget deal is reached, Moody’s says—almost what it was after Quinn took over and pushed through a 66 percent income tax hike that gradually reduced the list of IOUs.

It gets worse. “If the state fails to address its structural imbalance for subsequent years, the payment backlog will swell to $25 billion, or 64 percent of expenditures, by the end of fiscal 2019.” […]

Such red ink “poses little immediate threat to timely payment” of interest and principal on $27 billion in outstanding state general obligation bonds, Moody’s says. But it is “a clear indicator of weak liquidity and governance.” […]

“Growth in the payment backlog is an alternative to politically difficult budget-balancing measures as well as to cash-flow borrowings that can temporarily alleviate liquidity pressures,” Moody’s concludes. And if the IOU total rises faster than now is expected, it “would indicate worsening liquidity that at some point will affect the ability to make monthly debt service fund deposits.”


- Posted by Rich Miller   56 Comments      

*** LIVE *** State of the State Address coverage

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016

* You can watch or listen to the speech online here and here. I’ll also be doing a preview starting at noon on Public TV with Jak Tichenor and Amanda Vinicky. Click here to watch it online. All four legislative leaders are also scheduled to appear on Jak’s show after the speech. You can also check out the various reaction pressers by clicking here.

And, of course, you can follow everything in real time right here with ScribbleLive

- Posted by Rich Miller   69 Comments      

Simple answers to simple questions

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016

* Tribune

Rauner said this week he is “not going to give in” on his agenda.

“Anyone who will work with us on those goals, I will be their best ally and their best friend,” he said. “Anyone who opposes us or blocks us, you know what, I will fight hard against.”

Emily Miller, director of policy and advocacy at Voices for Illinois Children, said Rauner needs to focus on getting a budget, not pushing a political agenda.

“How many people have to stand in front of a microphone and say that their lives are being ruined before the governor decides to make passing a budget his number one priority?” Miller said.

All of them. And even then, I don’t think it’d work.

- Posted by Rich Miller   58 Comments      

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Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016

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SOTS preview

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016

* Rather than go through all the stories, here’s the complete State of the State backgrounder from Team Rauner…

The governor will make clear that he is not only taking action to turn around our economy and restore trust in government, but he is committed to transforming state government so that it is more effective and efficient, delivering better outcomes and better value for every Illinoisan.

In addition to highlighting the need for job-creating economic reforms, property tax relief, term limits and redistricting reform, the governor will address a government transformation effort that includes:

    · Pension Reform

    · Education Reform

    · Procurement Reform

    · Improvements to the Way Illinois Delivers Health and Human Services

    · Criminal Justice Reform

    · The Information Technology Revolution

    · A New Economic Development Initiative

Speech Excerpts

Pension Reform

“As a first step toward bipartisan compromise, President Cullerton and I have agreed to support his pension proposal that will save $1 billion per year.”

Education Reform

“The key to rising family incomes, more high paying jobs, and a higher quality of life for everyone in Illinois is to have a high quality, fully-integrated education system from cradle to career, from early education, to K-12 public schools, to outstanding community colleges and universities, all the way to coordinated job training and technical training later in life. To drive that result, we are committed to eliminating wasteful bureaucracy, putting more money into our classrooms, and holding our schools truly accountable for results.”

Economic Development Initiative

“Our Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is hampered by red-tape and a slow bureaucracy that make business development and job recruitment more difficult…Last year, we introduced legislation to create a P3, but it stalled in the legislature. This year, we will move forward with a revised version that will laser focus on sales, marketing and customer service to increase our competitiveness for job creation and investment.”

Procurement Reform

“To save taxpayers money, we must also change the way we buy goods and services… The law more than tripled the time it takes to complete an RFP process, taking the process from 2-3 months to 9-12. The solution is comprehensive procurement reform… that maintains necessary ethics and transparency safeguards, streamlines bureaucracy, offers greater flexibility to agencies and follows best practices from other states. Done properly, we believe this can save taxpayers more than $500 million per year.”

Health and Human Services Transformation

“Historically, the state has spent most of its resources—tens of billions of dollars—on a broken patchwork of reactive, expensive, and ineffective interventions…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.”

Criminal Justice Reform

“Last year we created a bipartisan commission…to propose reforms to our criminal justice system…The Commission earlier this month recommended 14 reforms that can help us achieve our goal of SAFELY reducing the State’s prison population by 25 percent by 2025…These and other reforms will lead to fewer victims of crimes, a pathway back for ex-offenders, and safer communities for all.”

IT Revolution

“Illinois state government needs a digital revolution, and this week I created a secretary-level position to see this mission through. The Department of Innovation and Technology will allow us to consolidate, modernize and streamline our IT systems to better serve taxpayers and businesses, while fostering innovation among employees.”

* Some framing from Korecki

Rauner’s office last night leaked some portions of the governor’s talking points and it already had members of his own party worried. It seemed to still lack a convincing argument of why holding on to his turnaround agenda is worth taking the public through a seven-month, painful odyssey that’s allowed human services to suffer and has had higher ed institutions warning of permanent damage. To make matters worse, on the eve of Rauner’s address, Moody’s came out with a stern warning that the state faces a downgrade if the pile of unpaid bills keep growing.

Rauner is expected to clarify his bungled rollout of his backing Senate President John Cullerton’s pension legislation. According to the Sun-Times’ Tina Sfondeles, his prepared remarks will say: “As a first step toward bipartisan compromise, President Cullerton and I have agreed to support his pension proposal that will save $1 billion per year.” […]

How will Dems react as Rauner delivers his remarks? Despite their negative feelings about the governor, Dems have been told to keep it respectful. No booing or jeering.

- Posted by Rich Miller   73 Comments      

Easier said than done

Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016

* Riopell

[Gov. Bruce Rauner is] set to give a speech that could unveil a new economic development initiative and try to find some common ground with Democrats on public pension cuts, school funding and government efficiencies, including changing how the state pays for human services that have suffered during the stalemate.

“Historically, the state has spent most of its resources — tens of billions of dollars — on a broken patchwork of reactive, expensive, and ineffective interventions,” Rauner is set to say, according to prepared remarks.

When the governor rages against the state’s bureaucracy, he’s also talking about the huge network of social service providers. So, let’s see the plan because lots of those grants were created by legislation that usually had significant bipartisan support.

- Posted by Rich Miller   44 Comments      

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Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016

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Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016

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