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From the twitters

Monday, Apr 11, 2016

* The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform hosted a bi-partisan panel discussion today to talk about the budget…


As noted several times before, as long as anti-union proposals are being demanded in exchange for a tax hike, the Democrats aren’t gonna budge, no matter who the Speaker is.

And even if Rauner isn’t publicly willing to compromise, I see no huge harm in meeting with the man.

Also, more competition in legislative districts will probably lead to more people refusing to tackle tough problems. Not that anybody is doing it now, but I’m just sayin…

* Meanwhile…


* Along those lines, a lobbyist for local governments and a lobbyist for social workers showed a bit more willingness to accept reality in a Twitter exchange over the weekend…



It’s nothing gigantic, but at least they came to some form of an agreement, which is more than we can say for some folks around here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

22 Comments
  1. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 12:26 pm:

    Rauner’s people always want to talk about the 12 years before they came to office but never the fifteen months since they have. It’s kind of relevant.


  2. - Anonymous - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 12:29 pm:

    It’s sad that the egos of 2 people affect millions!!!


  3. - Huh? - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 12:30 pm:

    When I read articles written by politicians that think that worker pay is too high, I am struck by the thought that they do not think that the work that public employees do is important.


  4. - Ghost - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 12:34 pm:

    aworkers conp, property and school funding are good meat issues for the gov and gop. getting rid of collective bargaining and cutting min wage for trades not so much. if they dumped the anti union revenge and focused on work comp, property tax and education…. heck toss in lawsuit reform… they could get somewhere.


  5. - 47th Ward - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 12:36 pm:

    In my spare time I’m going to find a graph showing Illinois tax receipts from 2002-present. I think it would show that Illinois lost an incredible amount of revenue during the global financial collapse of 2008 and that episode was a major factor in creating the state’s on-going operating deficit. Quinn and the Democrats voted to hike the income tax because Quinn and the Democrats didn’t want to cut billions from education, human services, etc., and they wanted to keep making the pension payments.

    I think the graph would show the next largest drop in revenue beginning in January of 2015, when the 5% income tax rate was allowed to drop to 3.75%.

    Do we need some pro-business reform? Absolutely, within reason, but the simple point the data support is that Illinois has a revenue problem. The current mounting backlog of unpaid bills is due chiefly to the lack of sufficient revenue.

    So common sense would dictate that Illinois first address its revenue problem and budget accordingly. Then and only then can it begin to debate what practical steps can be taken to make Illinois a more attractive place for businesses to operate and thrive.

    That’s the reality. It’s time both sides acknowledged these simple facts.


  6. - Huh? - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 12:41 pm:

    when I read the above comment from anon, I am think of a little boys tee shirt I just saw. I am going to paraphrase the saying from the shirt as follows:
    1.4% knows a lot,
    but the Speaker knows best.


  7. - help - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 12:44 pm:

    I have an honest question that I’m just curious about. How many billion in extra debt would you put on Blago or Quinn during their administrations? I know the pension holiday cost us a lot.
    Did we ever run anything close to $6 billion in one year? Maybe we did, I just honestly don’t know the numbers.


  8. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 12:59 pm:

    I agree that there’s no harm in meeting. In fact, I wish Rauner would meet with AFSCME over the contract impasse, if he is now so unhappy about the budget impasse. Isn’t it time to solve impasses and not let widespread destruction and chaos occur?


  9. - Mama - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 1:01 pm:

    Rauner needs to publically acknowledge IL has no choice they have to raise taxes. If Rauner does that, I think Madigan will agree to meet with him.


  10. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 1:12 pm:

    –As noted several times before, as long as anti-union proposals are being demanded in exchange for a tax hike, the Democrats aren’t gonna budge, no matter who the Speaker is.–

    Nothing is stopping the governor from proposing a budget based on existing revenues. In fact, that is his Constitutionally mandated duty.

    The governor vetoed all FY16 appropriations except K-12 because he said it would create a $4 billion deficit that included funding for higher ed and social services.

    Instead, his actions created a $6.2 billion deficit, at last estimate by the comptroller’s office, while cutting billions from higher ed and social services.

    The governor’s actions make no fiscal sense, on his own alleged deficit-hawk terms.

    He’s a smart guy, he knows what he’s doing, I can only conclude that “squeeze the beast” was the policy objective plan all along.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 1:18 pm:

    I try to begin with looking at these discussions from the McKinney Crain’s piece, and the pensions, and what all those decisions did to the budget, including responsibility.

    Removing those decades of institutional knowledge, the past 14+ months belong to the Rauner Administration, documented by the Office of the Comptroller, and Rauner withholding the budget, even if I’m frustrated… but… short term budget stalemate is less important than Rauner’s Agenda being passed…

    … Per Ron Sandack.

    It was a choice these 14+ months. A choice.

    The past? Frame it for me with McKinney, you have my attention.


  12. - Union Leader - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 1:19 pm:

    Wouldn’t expect anything less from the Rockford and Peoria Mayor’s.


  13. - walker - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 2:05 pm:

    Careful what you wish for Tom.


  14. - AC - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 2:15 pm:

    ==We can both agree it wasn’t good. Can we both agree it has gotten worse under Rauner?==

    Illinois past and present in a nutshell.


  15. - Moe Berg - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 2:16 pm:

    Wordslinger has been beating the “squeeze the beast” theory for some time. I think he’s right. I understand the psychological resistance of those with any normal sense of morality to accept it and who prefer to see silver linings in the storm clouds.


  16. - David Starrett - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 2:16 pm:

    The partisan political blame-game has got to stop. It is not helping anyone, including those playing it. The truth is that State employee pensions have not been faithfully funded since the 1950s and that is a major reason that the 1970 constitution guaranteed them.

    The outlines of a deal have been clear for months. Rauner needs to abandon demands treating labor like a loss center. He needs to recognize that becoming Governor is not at all like acquiring a failing for-profit corporation.

    Democrats need to recognize that Rauner needs a pathway to declare some kind of victory in exchange for any sort of revenue increase. That could include worker’s comp., “venue shopping” in liability claims, and (maybe) some very limited relaxation of local prevailing wage requirements for those in the Redeploy Illinois program or others in union-associated training. What it cannot include is a denuding of State employees’ collective bargaining rights. That will just never happen, and it shouldn’t.


  17. - Austin Blvd - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 2:20 pm:

    Rockford mayor twisting in the wind after being a solid Quinn backer.
    And IL Municipal League’s Joe McCoy? A fine guy touting the republican executive director’s talking points.
    The munis really don’t have much to gripe about — unless Rauner wants to cut their revenues like he has previously proposed.


  18. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 2:36 pm:

    ===the “squeeze the beast” theory===

    It’s not a theory, it’s a direct quote from the Senate GOP Leader.


  19. - David Starrett - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 2:41 pm:

    I had a similar discussion with a high-level Senate GOP staffer. The theory seems to be that only the biggest, strongest and most efficient will survive. The problem is that this is a really rather Hobbesian way to wring-out waste. Even the staffer agreed that periodic audits would be better.


  20. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 3:07 pm:

    –Wordslinger has been beating the “squeeze the beast” theory for some time.–

    Phrasing!

    Believe me, Moe, “squeeze the beast” for the “necessary shakeout” were not my choice of phrases.

    Sen. Radogno shared that with Bernie.

    And all fun aside, those phrases make the most sense of what’s been going on.


  21. - David Starrett - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 3:20 pm:

    If closing the former Board of Governors universities (all of which have unionized faculty) starting with Chicago State, is a “necessary shakeout,” the political consequences will fall on Republicans more than Democrats.


  22. - Juvenal - Monday, Apr 11, 16 @ 4:02 pm:

    Rich -

    McCoy was wrong, and so was Hillman.

    Until 2008, Illinois’ backlog was under $2 billion.

    It didn’t shoot up to over $5 billion until 2009, when the recession hit.

    It peaked at $6.8 billion, in 2012.

    And “shared governance” has nothing to do with it. Its simple arithmetic. The tax hike is gone, and we aren’t skipping pension payments any more.

    Have a look:

    http://www.rebootillinois.com/2015/09/16/editors-picks/mattdietrich/looking-at-a-decade-of-illinois-unpaid-bill-backlog-peaks-and-valleys-but-mostly-peaks/45809/


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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