*** UPDATED x6 *** Face reality, please
Thursday, Apr 21, 2016
* The House Democrats have introduced their proposal to fund higher education and social services. Click here to read it.
The bill spends way more than the governor has proposed and it relies on lots of generic General Revenue Fund money, which means there is no way to pay for some of that spending.
There’s some speculation that this is a deliberate attempt by HDem leadership to derail everything by making the package too heavy. On the other hand, it could also just be a way to get to the governor to agree to more spending than he has so far. Whatever the case, the Senate can’t make any changes if this bill passes the House because it’s a Senate bill.
* However, I have been told by the governor’s office that there’s no way on Earth Rauner will sign an appropriations bill that doesn’t have a way to pay for it.
Rauner has outlined about a billion dollars in special state funds (subscribers know more), but the Democrats’ bill goes way beyond just tapping those funds. If the Democrats do this, then today’s work could very well be for naught. So, stop it already and make a darned deal.
*** UPDATE 1 *** I’m told the GRF money is “maintenance of effort” (explained here) to obtain federal matching funds. So, it is paid for, they say. Hopefully, this will all get worked out. Keep your fingers crossed and hope for calm.
*** UPDATE 2 *** From a senior administration official…
*** UPDATE 3 *** The Rauner administration continues to insist that there is way more GRF money in the bill than the maintenance of effort stuff. “They have too much in there,” one top guy said of the Democrats.
*** UPDATE 4 *** In caucus today, House Republican members were asked if they planned to vote for the Democratic approp bill. Nobody raised their hands.
*** UPDATE 5 *** Dems are indicating there could be another approp bill vote if this one goes down. That second bill, if it happens, would apparently spend less money.
*** UPDATE 6 *** Sounds like they will do a stand-alone higher ed approp bill. CSU will reportedly be full funded, schools with big trouble get 50 percent, everyone else around 30ish. Not sure if that’ll pass, though. And not sure if that’s 100 percent accurate, either. There is also word that everything could revert back to yesterday’s levels. Stay tuned.
From now on, all updates on this topic today will be on our live coverage post.
* There’s lots of behind the scenes stuff happening right now, so make sure to follow the live coverage post for updates.