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HGOPs launch robocalls targeting 7 House Dems

Thursday, May 26, 2016

* With just five days left in the scheduled spring session, the House Republicans are blasting out robocalls this evening targeting 7 House Democratic incumbents, including Reps. Michelle Mussman, Sam Yingling, Andrew Skoog, Kate Cloonen, Dan Beiser, John Bradley and Brandon Phelps. I’m told they’re contacting 12-20,000 households in each district. The ads feature sound bites of House Speaker Michael Madigan talking about raising taxes and refusing to work with Gov. Rauner.

* Press release…

Last night and this afternoon, House Democrats decided to put their allegiance to Mike Madigan over the financial health of Illinois, voting twice for a disastrous budget that would create a $7 billion deficit and necessitate a $1,000 tax hike on Illinois families. This is a clear signal that they would rather jump off the fiscal cliff than stand up to Mike Madigan.

* The calls are all basically the same, so here’s the one against Rep. Skoog

* Script…

Yesterday, State Rep Andrew Skoog voted for Speaker Mike Madigan’s job-crushing, $1,000 tax hike on Illinois families.

That’s right, Skoog sided with Madigan to increase Illinois’ debt by $7 billion and force record high income tax rates.

It’s been the Madigan-Skoog plan all along.

Last year, Madigan said taking the income tax back up 5% was

MADIGAN: “a good place to begin, good place to begin would be the level we were at before the income tax expired”

Then this month, Madigan said his only goal for the session was to say no to job-creating economic reforms alongside a balanced budget.

He told ABC News:

MADIGAN: “My further goal is not to agree with the governor.”

The Madigan-Skoog plan is clear: record high taxes and no job-creating economic reforms.”

Paid for by the House Republican Organization.


- Posted by Rich Miller   61 Comments      

Fantasy sports bill stalls in committee

Thursday, May 26, 2016

* Crain’s has an update on the fantasy sports betting legalization bill

The House Criminal Judiciary Committee today discussed the bill without voting on it. But the hearing brought to light significant wariness among lawmakers over the allegations of illegal lobbying.

Rep. Rita Mayfield (R-Waukegan), who was originally a co-sponsor of Rep. Zalewski’s bill, elaborated on yesterday’s Capitol Fax report that she was shown an email sent by a DraftKings lobbyist to a superior allegedly stating that they could get votes supporting the bill in exchange for charitable contributions.

“We have a former governor in jail for doing that,” Mayfield said during today’s hearing, calling the email “unethical and, in my opinion, illegal.”

“I am no longer comfortable voting on this bill. I have several members that are uncomfortable voting on this bill simply because of the implications of illegality,” she said.

DraftKings has denied any implication of impropriety by its lobbyists.

The bill wasn’t called for a vote today, but it could resurface in a few days.

Subscribers, of course, know more.

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      

Exelon, How Dumb Do You Think We Are?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

    [The following is a paid advertisement.]

    Last year, Exelon claimed they needed a $300 million bailout spread across six plants.  This year, their new bailout plan calls for…wait for it…$250 million for only two plants (Crain’s: Ratepayers could be on hook for $250 Million for Exelon’s nukes).

    Wait. What?

    As Crain’s said this morning: “That’s total revenue of $250 million, not far from the $290 million last year’s bill would have generated for all of Exelon’s nukes.”

     Last year they said Clinton and Quad Cities’ share of the bailout (about $70 million), would keep those plants running for at least five years. Now, instead of $70 million, those two plants need $250 million. Are you kidding me?

     So let’s review.  In just three weeks, Exelon is caught deceiving lawmakers - pleading poverty as they bragged to Wall Street.  Then they’re caught again –  zeroing out RPS funding even as they claimed to be fixing RPS funding.  And now, their ask for just these two plants has more than quadrupled.

    But wait, there’s more.  This bill guarantees that ratepayers will pay Exelon – a company that made more than $2 billion last year - huge profits (estimated at $110 million by Crain’s). 

    The company defended this by saying “Exelon is a business, and like any business, it must sufficiently cover its costs and provide a return on capital investment that fully reflects business risks,”



     BEST Coalition is a 501C4 nonprofit group of dozens of business, consumer and government groups, as well as large and small businesses.  Visit

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Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Important update on fantasy sports bill

Thursday, May 26, 2016

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Question of the day

Thursday, May 26, 2016

* Caption?…

- Posted by Rich Miller   59 Comments      

DCCC targeting Dold about Trump

Thursday, May 26, 2016

* New York Times

Senate Democratic candidates began tying their Republican rivals to the policies of Donald J. Trump in March, when they began their “Party of Trump” campaign. Now, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is joining in on the action.

As part of a “five-figure” digital purchase, the group is releasing a targeted ad campaign on 15 House races, tying Republican House leadership to the policy proposals of Mr. Trump.

The ad features mainly the Republican leadership, but the D.C.C.C. isn’t targeting any of the bold-Republican names like Speaker Paul D. Ryan with their digital buy. Rather, they have identified what they claim to be 15 important congressional districts where Mr. Trump is viewed particularly negatively, and targeting female independent and female Republican voters in those districts.

* Rep. Bob Dold is being targeted

…Adding… Transcript…

VO: Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress… are built from the same reckless policies.
Chris Matthews: Do you believe in punishment for abortion?
Donald Trump: There has to be some form of punishment…
Luke Russert: Republicans muscled broadened abortion restrictions through the House yesterday.
Donald Trump: We’re not going to fund, as long as you have the abortion going on at Planned Parenthood.

Paul Ryan: I don’t think Planned Parenthood should get a red cent from the taxpayer.

Donald Trump: When Mexico sends its people … they’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists.
Steve King: For everyone who’s a valedictorian there’s another hundred out there - they weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’ve been hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.
Donald Trump: Donald J Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.
Peter King: Unfortunately we have too many Mosques in this country … we should be looking at them more carefully, we should be finding out how we can infiltrate.
Donald Trump: I am just, Jake, I’m for traditional marriage.
MSNBC: The Republican-led House … voted to ban same-sex marriages …
VO: Donald Trump and House Republicans … Built from the same reckless policies.

* But

Rep. Bob Dold, an Illinois lawmaker in a competitive reelection battle, was one of the first GOP lawmakers to say he wouldn’t support Trump, way back in the summer when Trump questioned John McCain’s status as a war hero.

When a Politico reporter asked him about it in March, as Trump closed in on the nomination, Dold said: “Honestly, I’m focused on one race. I’m focused on one race alone.”

As an update, Dold’s office pointed out that he has been quoted at least nine time since then — and before — he is no fan of Donald Trump and will not be supporting him. Here’s his interview May 16 with WGN Radio: “I’ve been clear about my stance on that, and it’s a personal thing. “When it comes to that, for me whether it be his comments about women, his comments about Muslims, his comments about Latinos, but for me the kicker was his comments about veterans…and so for me, that was obviously one step too far.”


- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      

Illinios Mayors Call On “Best” Coalition To Stop Fighting Illinois Communities

Thursday, May 26, 2016

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

The BEST Coalition has been in Springfield for nearly two years, spreading misinformation and hiding their own self-interests, in an attempt to stop legislation that would preserve and create thousands of jobs and prevent the economic destruction of communities across Illinois. Their ongoing efforts raise a number of questions that warrant answers. Why does the BEST Coalition want our communities to lose so many jobs, the state to lose billions of dollars in economic activity, and our air to be dirtier? Who is funding the BEST Coalition and how much do they stand to gain by killing legislation that is so important to our State and its communities?

The bipartisan effort to enact comprehensive energy legislation in the form of the Next Generation Energy Plan is not about Exelon, it is about securing Illinois’ economy and clean energy future. The livelihoods, the social programs, and the overall well-being of communities where nuclear power plants have been a good neighbor, are secured for the future by this legislation and its Zero Emission Standard.


Jim Homa, Village President of Braceville
Chris Millard, Mayor of Byron
Missey Moorman Schumacher, Mayor of Channahon
Roger Cyrulik, Mayor of Clinton
Dean Moyer, Mayor of Cordova
Mike Jenkins, Mayor of Farmer City
James Trager, Mayor of Marseilles
Pat Brennan, Mayor of Minooka
Dick Kopczick, Mayor of Morris
David Spicer, Mayor of Seneca
Jim Lansford, Mayor of Streator
Marty Orr, Mayor of Wilmington

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This just in… House to take a revote on approp bill

Thursday, May 26, 2016

* Rep. Lou Lang just announced that the House will take a new vote on the appropriations bill that they passed last night.

Lang said the reason was that the Republicans had legitimately asked for a verification of the roll call and it was improperly ignored.

Watch the roll call, but Rep. Kate Cloonen usually votes “Present” on any bill containing capital programs because she owns a construction company. She voted “Yes” last night.

* 1:39 pm - Rep. Cloonen stayed “Yes,” so she’ll be consistent. There are 60 “Yes” votes on the board right now and a verification has begun.

Chapa LaVia, Thapedi, Monique Davis are all absent from the roll call. That explains the drop from 63 to 60. Thapedi was here, but he said his button didn’t work.

* 1:41 pm - The verification request has been withdrawn. It passed.

* 1:45 pm - GOP Rep. Cabello apologized for the behavior of some members in the chamber after the debate last night. He said no one should “feel threatened” in the chamber.

Rep. Mike Zalewski added that two members of his party’s staff were “accosted” last night after the debate ended. “They didn’t deserve to be treated that way,” he said. “Staff should never, ever, ever be touched or screamed at.”

It really did go over the top last night. Click here to see part of it. Click here to see more of it.

…Adding… Related and worth a read…

* Why these Illinois House Democrats voted against Madigan’s budget bill

…Adding More… One of the many nearly identical press releases sent this afternoon by the ILGOP…

Last night, Rep. Michelle Mussman voted for Mike Madigan’s reckless, $7 billion out-of-balance budget. Today, Mussman doubled down by voting for a second time to force a $1,000 tax hike on all Illinois families.

“Not once, but twice did Michelle Mussman show she supports Mike Madigan’s plan to force a massive, $1,000 tax hike on Illinois families. The people of Illinois want state government to live within its means - not have a $7 billion budget hole and unaccountable spending. Until Rep. Mussman works across the aisle to pass a balanced budget with reforms, we know her loyalties lie with Madigan and not the people of Illinois.” – Illinois Republican Party Spokesman Aaron DeGroot

- Posted by Rich Miller   45 Comments      

Veto threat “not in question”

Thursday, May 26, 2016

* From the twitters…

You can watch the whole event by clicking here.

* But don’t kid yourself. He was apparently just trying to avoid overly incendiary rhetoric. From an administration official…

There’s a veto threat on the bill. That is not in question. The governor wants to focus on balanced budget and reform.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      

The future of the “non-budget” talks

Thursday, May 26, 2016

* Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) talked to Bernie

Raoul said he led the effort to reform workers’ compensation law in 2011, and is again working on that issue, which has “been made a critical piece in this overall discussion.”

“I’ve chosen to try to work with the current governor,” Raoul said. “We are not aligned in our philosophy, but I think it’s irresponsible for me to do anything but to focus on trying to solve this crisis because the people of Illinois are hurting.”

There’s a real split between the Senate Democrats and the House Democratic leadership over these economic issues. It’s happened before, of course. But the stakes are far higher these days.

* And for all you lockstep people out there who’d like to burn Raoul at the stake simply because he’s trying to find a way to (Gasp!) compromise, he also said this

Raoul also said that while all should work to make Illinois more business-friendly, “I don’t think we should hold the budget process hostage” toward that end.

- Posted by Rich Miller   33 Comments      

Did the HDems walk into their own trap?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

* From a top GOP source…

We’ve seen recent polls of 24 legislative districts where competitive elections are taking place this fall.

“Reducing state government spending” was cited as the top concern for voters in 23 of the 24 districts. “Creating jobs” was cited as either the top concern or second highest concern for voters in 20 of the 24 districts.

So the biggest unbalanced budget in history with no reforms to create jobs would be a disaster for Democrats in the fall.

That’s quite a convergence.

* And this quote by Sen. Steans will likely prove useful

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin countered, complaining that the 500-page document was unveiled just two hours before lawmakers were asked to vote on it. “Oh for crying out loud, this is absolutely the biggest joke that I have witnessed in my 18 years in Springfield,” said Durkin, of Western Springs. “We don’t know what’s in it; all we know is it’s a lot of spending.”

That didn’t stop the House from approving the spending plan on a largely 63-53 partisan vote. It now heads to the Senate, where Democrats could order changes over the next six days.

“I am not a fan of the budget. I think it’s a fantasy budget but the reality is that it really hurt people,” said Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago. “There’s not the revenue to support it, and it delays us to getting to a real solution.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   103 Comments      

Rivers Casino Needs to Drop its Unsavory Political Tactics Against Fantasy Sports

Thursday, May 26, 2016

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

Illinoisans who enjoy fantasy sports deserve to know what’s transpiring behind the scenes in Springfield, and where the single largest threat to the passage of fantasy sports regulation is coming from: it’s Rivers Casino in Des Plaines.

Rivers says it’s all about protecting their turf, but there is no evidence that players spend less time or money at casinos because they participate in fantasy sports contests. The Rivers political strategy is to attach internet gambling to a fantasy sports bill. They have not been successful, so they are working back-room politics to kill the fantasy sports bill, unless they get what they want.

My career and my colleagues’ careers rely on the fantasy sports industry. We need legal clarity and certainty to grow and expand our business – that’s exactly what this bill offers. It reflects thoughtful and appropriate regulation, and the level of consumer protections are among the safest in the country. Rivers Casino needs to drop its unsavory political tactics and allow the bill to have a clean vote.

(Read the entire commentary in Reboot Illinois)

Jay Correia
CEO, DreamCo Design
Author of book Daily Fantasy Sports

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Education advocates to descend on Springfield

Thursday, May 26, 2016

* AP

The head of Chicago Public Schools say the district has “reached the point of no return” and faces severe cuts without “equal” funding from the state.

Schools CEO Forrest Claypool said Wednesday that with only one week left in the state’s Legislature’s session, the district must “make a statement the governor cannot ignore.”

Claypool on Thursday will lead a rally in Springfield seeking more state funds for Chicago’s schools. The district faces a $1 billion deficit next school year.

* The Tribsters ask a good question

To what end? The only legislation the district has endorsed is a complex but Senate-approved overhaul of the state’s school funding formula that would provide CPS with hundreds of millions of yet-to-be-budgeted dollars.

But there’s also a budget proposal from House Speaker Michael Madigan that would cut CPS some extra dough as the system threatens massive budget cuts for next school year. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool issued non-committal statements about it on Wednesday night. […]

“With one voice, these districts across the state will express the outrage that we feel toward a funding system that so blatantly discriminates against poor and minority children throughout the state of Illinois,” Claypool said.

* Claypool’s statement last night…

“On behalf of the administrators, teachers, parents and students of Chicago Public Schools, we stand strongly behind the efforts of the Illinois General Assembly — particularly the Chicago delegation — to bring additional resources to public schools. We applaud them for being champions of public education by taking these important steps to move toward greater stability for CPS and working to ensure a brighter future for our children.”

Emanuel called the vote “an important first step.” Subscribers know more about the Chicago angle.

* CPS needs some state help. No doubt. But they also need to put more of their own revenue skin in the game

Even Raise Your Hand, a parent group frequently among CPS’ critics, said members were flooding the offices of the governor and other lawmakers with phone calls, member Joy Clendenning said.

“We need you to join with us in demanding that our public servants serve the public. Of course, Gov. Rauner, of course, our legislators in Springfield, but even though the mayor appointed you, you’re here to serve the children of Chicago, and we need you to talk to the mayor,” about local solutions,” she said. “We believe it will be even more convincing for Springfield if we show what we’re doing up here in Chicago as well.”

Critics say Springfield can’t fix the entire problem. Even if all current school funding bills were to pass, they wouldn’t plug CPS’ entire projected budget shortfall.

The Board of Education also has a responsibility to advocate for more money for CPS by raiding the city’s tax-increment financing accounts, and to spend what they have more wisely, said Sabah Hussain, a student at Lane Tech High School, which that could lose more than $8 million from its operating budget.

* Press release…

Over 2,000 school superintendents, education advocates, parents, students, and legislators will rally in the rotunda of the Illinois State Capitol on Thursday, May 26 to urge Illinois’ Governor and House lawmakers to pass statewide education funding reform this legislative session. They will advocate for a comprehensive fix for Illinois’ broken public school funding system, which has penalized students for decades by shortchanging cash-strapped districts throughout in rural, urban, suburban, and downstate areas and cheating them of the high quality education they deserve.

Many attendees and participants are members of Funding Illinois’ Future, a broad coalition of more than 230 members that include school superintendents, principals, faith leaders, parents, teachers, education reform groups, and others from throughout Illinois. They have worked together for the past three years advocating a fix to the state’s education funding system like Senate Bill 231 so that dollars are distributed more fairly to districts with the greatest needs and lack local resources to properly invest in their schools. (

WHO: Speakers include –

    ∙ Pastor T. Ray McJunkins, Union Baptist Church, Springfield
    ∙ Kris Reichmann, Illinois for Educational Equity (ILEE)
    ∙ Dr. David Lett, Superintendent, Pana School District
    ∙ Dr. Gregg Fuerstenau, Superintendent, Taylorville School District
    ∙ State Senator Andy Manar
    ∙ State Representative Avery Bourne
    ∙ Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat, Superintendent, Peoria Public Schools
    ∙ State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth
    ∙ Caroline Crozier, LULAC of Illinois
    ∙ Forrest Claypool, CEO, Chicago Public Schools
    ∙ Jennifer Garrison, Superintendent, Sandoval School District
    ∙ Kristin Humphries, Superintendent, East Moline School District

* Also, too, people who write any education-related advocacy materials should meticulously check for typos before hitting “send.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      

Fantasy Sports Is Internet Gaming

Thursday, May 26, 2016

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

The daily fantasy sports gambling industry is pressuring officials to pass a bailout that actually costs taxpayers. According to COGFA these Internet gaming giants would each pay just $900,000 in state taxes, but they could afford $500 million in television ads last year.

Taxpayers may actually have to subsidize regulating online sports wagering. The Illinois Gaming Board doesn’t know how much it will cost to oversee this new form of online gaming.

The state is facing an unprecedented budget crisis, but two out-of-state companies, which the Attorney General said broke law, want you to give them valuable Internet gaming licenses.

Everyone but paid fantasy sports operators agree, it’s gambling:

Proponents are telling elected officials a fantasy, but the budget crisis is real. Don’t make it worse and pass a fantasy sports bailout that actually costs the state money.

Click here to read the COGFA revenue estimate.

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Today’s quotable: “In the meantime, people are dying”

Thursday, May 26, 2016

* Mark Brown

“Both sides think the other is going to blink first, and in the meantime, people are dying,” said Emily Miller, policy director at Voices for Illinois Children.

Dying may strike you as hyperbole, unless you are suicidal and seek help, only to find a six-month waiting list for treatment — just one of the many service gaps created by the state’s inability to agree on a budget.

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      

A ploy to derail the “non-budget” talks?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

* AP

After meeting Rauner in his office Wednesday, House Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan said he would proceed with his own plan. Madigan said the governor’s suggestion to have groups of lawmakers negotiate a [non-budget] agreement is going nowhere.

“My advice to the governor today is that he and his agents are not being persuasive in the working groups,” Madigan said.

The groups have been discussing possible changes to collective bargaining policies and how injured workers are compensated by employers, among other things. Rauner has said those changes are needed to improve Illinois’ economy and that he would support a tax increase to close a $5 billion deficit if he gets some of his demands. […]

Democrats have repeatedly said that Rauner’s proposals on unions and workers’ compensation would be devastating to the middle class and have shown little interest in debating those issues at the state Capitol.

They’re not debating them openly, but they have been working with the Republicans behind closed doors. So, the GOP understandably sees yesterday’s budget vote as an attempt to knock the negotiations off the rails.

* More

A group of Republican legislators who are members of the working groups decried the Madigan budget plan, and his comments about the groups.

“In each and every instance we have had meaningful, substantive discussions, professional, collegiate, and progress has been made,” Sandack said. “It is not a show trial. It is not something that’s a façade.”

Sandack said the longtime speaker is “categorically misinformed” about the progress the working groups have made.

“In each instance, they have been productive and in each instance they have been persuasive,” Sandack said, calling Madigan’s budget a “very coordinated effort to derail the bipartisan rank and file process.”

Some of y’all are not fans of the man and may not want to hear it, but Sandack is right about steady progress at the working group level. Period.

* Leader Currie made the end game pretty clear last night

“I don’t think we can afford to count on compromise. It didn’t work in the current fiscal year, and there’s no guarantee that it will in the next,” said Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago. “And for us to turn our backs on our responsibilities and fail to leave an insurance policy in place in the event there is no further compromise would be a significant disservice to the people of the state of Illinois, particularly to those who are vulnerable, who are fragile, who have no place but to us to turn.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   25 Comments      

Illinois Credit Unions: Standing with you in times of need

Thursday, May 26, 2016

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

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Credit Unions are member based, not-for-profit financial organizations that believe in the philosophy of “People Helping People”. For more information on the credit union difference, go to

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Budget roundup

Thursday, May 26, 2016

* We’re gonna skip over some of the stuff we discussed yesterday. Let’s start with Finke

Illinois House Democrats Wednesday night rammed through a spending plan for the next state fiscal year, even though there’s no agreement on any of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s “turnaround agenda.”

The House voted 63-53 to send the spending plan to the Senate, which is also controlled by the Democrats. Rauner’s office said the budget in Senate Bill 2048 is $7 billion out of balance, and that the Republican governor will veto it if it gets to his desk.

“This is a very sad and dark day in Illinois democracy,” said House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs.

* The Sun-Times has a bit on why the Republicans were so upset about the procedure

After the vote — in which seven Democrats targeted in November elections voted no — many House Republicans began yelling for a vote verification. Rep. Ron Sandack, R-Downers Grove, got in a shouting match with Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, shouting “This is b——-.”

Many Republicans were also upset that the debate was cut short.

Most of the “No” votes are not targets. But, yeah, the Republicans definitely had a right to be upset with the way this was jammed through. Our good friends at have provided us a video clip of the end of the debate and the aftermath. Click here to watch it.

* Mark Brown

Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan took his latest turn Wednesday at adding to state government dysfunction by ramming through a budget plan that has one major problem — it proposes to spend at least $7 billion more than the state expects to take in this year. […]

If there is a method to Madigan’s madness, it is not always evident to us mere mortals.

Was he trying to tell us that this is the size of a budget that House Democrats would find acceptable and that now it’s a matter of agreeing on how to raise the revenue to pay for it?

Or was this just another big F you to Rauner and the ever-evolving legislative demands that the governor has laid out as pre-conditions to a budget deal?

Well, it was definitely the latter, with maybe a little bit of the former.

With his ploy, Madigan erased all doubt that he is prepared to push beyond the May 31 scheduled adjournment of the Legislature, and possibly all the way past the November elections, without a state budget for the second straight year.

And maybe well beyond that mark, too.

* AP

The Democrats’ budget proposal would fund everything except what’s already covered under court orders. The state would be spending $13.5 billion from its general fund, which is comprised of taxes. With federal funds and other money included, the total budget would be $47.5 billion.

A huge chunk of the funding would go to public schools, which would receive a total of $11.2 billion. Rauner has repeatedly said school funding should be a top priority to ensure schools open in the fall, and what Democrats are proposing one-ups his suggested funding increase of $55 million.

Democrats want to add $700 million, targeting most of the money for poorer districts.

The governor’s office blasted the Democrats’ overall budget idea, saying an analysis shows their plan is $7 billion out of balance. A full veto would throw schools into chaos this summer and force some to use reserves to open.

* Politico

Where to begin. Let’s start with what happened Wednesday morning: “Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner told Dan Proft and Amy Jacobson on AM 560 ‘The Answer’, in an exclusive interview for Upstream Ideas, he is optimistic Democrats will band together to get a state budget passed by the end of the legislative session on May 31 because unlike House Speaker Michael Madigan, they are privately ‘sick of the status quo’ and are gathering up the courage to ‘do the right thing.’”

SURPRISE! House Democrats banded together and they passed a budget before May 31, all right. They rammed through a Dem-only $39 billion spending plan about three hours after the 500-page bill was introduced in committee. […]

NOT VETO-PROOF — This plan would still have to get through the Illinois Senate, which holds a true Democratic supermajority. If it does, the House roll call of 63-53 almost assures it could not mount a successful override, which would need 71.

* Team Tribune

But if history is any guide, something close to what the powerful speaker put forward will end up being sent to the governor. And so began in earnest the long-awaited endgame of the legislative session that’s supposed to conclude Tuesday.

All of it made for a weird day under the Capital dome, where Radogno labeled Madigan a “Cheshire cat,” Illinois first lady Diana Rauner’s nonprofit group joined a lawsuit against her husband’s administration, and lawmakers sporting seersucker suits spent the evening hours debating the wisdom of regulating yoga schools. […]

“I don’t think we can afford to count on compromise. It didn’t work in the current fiscal year, and there’s no guarantee that it will in the next,” said Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago. “And for us to turn our backs on our responsibilities and fail to leave an insurance policy in place in the event there is no further compromise would be a significant disservice to the people of the state of Illinois, particularly to those who are vulnerable, who are fragile, who have no place but to us to turn.”

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin countered, complaining that the 500-page document was unveiled just two hours before lawmakers were asked to vote on it. “Oh for crying out loud, this is absolutely the biggest joke that I have witnessed in my 18 years in Springfield,” said Durkin, of Western Springs. “We don’t know what’s in it; all we know is it’s a lot of spending.”

We’re still waiting to hear from Senate President Cullerton, by the way.

- Posted by Rich Miller   50 Comments      

Session open thread

Thursday, May 26, 2016

* It’ll take some time to compile and process all the stories, so in the meantime what are your initial thoughts on yesterday’s weirdness?

- Posted by Rich Miller   83 Comments      

*** LIVE *** Session Coverage

Thursday, May 26, 2016

* Today’s live coverage post is sponsored by URENCO USA. Watch all the fun (or tragedy) with ScribbleLive

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

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* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
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