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A look ahead

Monday, May 30, 2016

* Tribune

In the end, Senate Democrats may try to advance the short-term budget Cullerton backs, a salve to his members who feel too much of the budget is being dictated by Madigan. But the speaker already has deemed it to be a nonstarter in the House.

That leaves Madigan’s ultimate dare — the bet that despite their distaste, Senate Democrats will realize they are left with no other choice but to pass the House Democratic budget plan as the last viable option, even with the Rauner administration’s veto threat.

Rep. Elaine Nekritz of Evanston was one of a few House Democrats who voted against Madigan’s budget plan, saying she thought there was still time to develop a comprehensive balanced budget. But, she said, “If that bill came up May 31st, I might feel differently about it.”

That was written a couple of days ago, but I think it’s probably the best look forward out there.

* Meanwhile, the Illinois Policy Institute agrees with the governor’s vow to veto the entire Madigan budget if it reaches his desk

Not only does the bill present Rauner with a record deficit, Madigan’s budget only appropriates – or directly allocates – $14 billion of the total $40 billion it’s estimated to spend.

The remaining $26 billion, which includes items such as pension payments and debt service, will instead be on autopilot, determined by court orders, consent decrees and continuing appropriations. That’s how Illinois was able to function in fiscal year 2016 without a budget.

Rauner is unable to veto a large majority of that spending. In other words, much of the budget is untouchable.

Yep.

Plus, a line item veto would give too much opportunity for House and Senate Republicans to break ranks and vote to override line items that directly benefit their districts.

* And I’m sure we’ll be seeing more Rauner statements like this one pretty soon

[Gov. Rauner] also asked Democrats to break from longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan.

“The speaker is perfectly fine having deficit spending and borrowing. He’s perfectly fine crushing the economy, crushing our taxpayers. He’s been fine with it, and we need his members to say: ‘No, Mr. Speaker, no more,’” Rauner said.

…Adding… This is something I told subscribers about yesterday morning

There is another important deadline on Tuesday. That’s when lawmakers will find out whether local party organizations will field candidates to oppose them in the fall if no challenger filed for nomination in the March 15 primary election. Lawmakers may feel freed up to take controversial votes if they know they don’t have an opponent.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

13 Comments
  1. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 9:45 am:

    The governor is perfectly fine with deficit spending and borrowing. He is perfectly fine crushing the economy, crushing our tax payers. He’s been fine with it and we need his party to say, “no more, governor, no more.”

    When I put it in terms of the governor instead of Madigan, it is amazing how many examples come to mind vs Madigan. Weird huh? Maybe its because governor’s own.


  2. - Blue Bayou - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 9:51 am:

    Other than ideological “victory,” where are the explicit numbers about how the Guv’s TA will actually “turn around” the state?

    Turn it around for whom?

    Where is the math?


  3. - A worker - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 10:04 am:

    IPI won’t admit it because they exist to paint things to make the Democrats look bad, but the House-passed budget is constitutional because the appropriations do not exceed anticipated revenue. If the governor wants to deal with all the stuff on autopilot, he should come to the table prepared to discuss how much revenue he thinks the state needs to fund its obligations. He is, after all, the chief executive.


  4. - Anony - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 10:11 am:

    Good morning, Blue, happy Memorial Day. The math on the table in the bill that may or may not reach Rauner’s desk is a large minus. It is short of billions in revenue. Are we really to think that a governor who ran against said practices is going to sign an unconstitutional bill?


  5. - ash - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 10:17 am:

    anony — as soon as the governor failed to introduce a balanced budget of his own, any claims to the constitutional high ground went out the window. Read the Illinois Constitution — it is his job.


  6. - General Sternwood - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 10:33 am:

    “Plus, a line item veto would give too much opportunity for House and Senate Republicans to break ranks and vote to override line items that directly benefit their districts.”

    I think this presentation of the question clouds the fundamental issue: Rauner won’t use the line-item veto because he knows that the cuts he would need to impose to balance the budget without raising taxes (as he promised he could do) would be unacceptable to many Republican (as well as swing) voters. It is for this same reason that he has yet to actually propose a balanced budget. We constantly hear about Madigan’s budget being out of balance, but Madigan didn’t promise he could raise education spending without raising taxes. Rauner did, but, well into his second year, he has not had the political courage to tell us how.


  7. - wordslinger - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 10:34 am:

    Perhaps the governor would care to offer a budget alternative at this point.

    I’m quite certain that the state Constitution doesn’t require him to act as a passive bystander. Leadership and initiative are allowed.

    If nothing else, perhaps the governor could inform the public as to what his current pre-conditions are before engaging in the budget process.

    Quite a price has been paid for those mysterious, opaque “structural reforms.” After more than a year, some specifics are in order so we can at least know why all this damage was necessary, in his mind.


  8. - Anonymous - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 11:58 am:

    “Rep. Elaine Nekritz of Evanston…”

    Nope: http://repnekritz.org/district-map/

    C’mon. That’s not even hard to fact check.


  9. - DuPage Dave - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 12:55 pm:

    Thanks, Anon. Northbrook, Evanston, same difference, why bother checking??

    Great job, Tribbies.


  10. - Union Man - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 2:51 pm:

    5th largest economy in the nstion is HARDLY a crushed economy.
    The Governor is essentially a Lame Duck Governor. There is neither a moral or legal obligation for him to spend every dollar the ILGA appropriates.
    Rauner owns the mess.


  11. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 3:09 pm:

    Even when they had a full tax increase and a Dem governor, the GA failed to pass a balanced budget.

    They refuse to pass a balanced budget, refuse to pass even basic reforms, and refuse to offer much more than NO and the status quo.


  12. - Big Ern - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 5:12 pm:

    –I think this presentation of the question clouds the fundamental issue: Rauner won’t use the line-item veto because he knows that the cuts he would need to impose to balance the budget without raising taxes (as he promised he could do) would be unacceptable to many Republican (as well as swing) voters. It is for this same reason that he has yet to actually propose a balanced budget. We constantly hear about Madigan’s budget being out of balance, but Madigan didn’t promise he could raise education spending without raising taxes. Rauner did, but, well into his second year, he has not had the political courage to tell us how.–

    Well said, General. I wonder why nobody holds the Gov’s feet to the fire about *his* budgets being out of balance too.


  13. - anon - Monday, May 30, 16 @ 6:35 pm:

    It’s true the Democrats did not pass a balanced budget. It is also true the governor has not proposed a balanced budget in two years, despite his constitutional duty to do so.


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