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Drilling down into Rauner’s list of “waste”

Monday, Jul 11, 2016

* My weekly syndicated newspaper column

Gov. Bruce Rauner has been touring Illinois to talk about his new “messaging.” He’s quite excited about his “messaging” plans, telling one reporter that if he could do anything differently about his tenure so far it would be to improve the way he gets his message out to voters. Yep. That’s really what he said.

One of the things that the governor was apparently counting on during his downstate tour is few, if any follow-up questions from reporters. For instance, after he completely dodged a question from a Peoria TV reporter about whether he deserves any blame for a year without a budget, the subject was changed and the governor was let off the hook.

Despite this, Rauner actually complained in Champaign last week about how “There’s no substance in the reporting,” before saying he was in the process of creating his own communication platforms to push his messaging directly to Illinoisans.

He’s not wrong about the lack of substance in the media’s coverage. A recent survey of social service providers by the highly respected United Way of Illinois was almost completely ignored by media outlets, despite an eye-grabbing finding that about a million Illinoisans had lost services during the impasse.

And the governor’s contention that he himself had cut $800 million in “wasteful spending” from the budget made it into print and on the air without a single question being asked about what those cuts were.

As it turns out, there are multiple problems with the governor’s list of cuts, which I asked to see (you can read the list below). Some of the saved money is due to action by his predecessor, a chunk of the cash is from special state funds with their own dedicated revenue sources, a bunch of the spending was put into the six-month stopgap budget that Rauner signed into law on June 30th and Rauner himself requested some of the “cut” items be appropriated in his own budget proposal last spring.

Let’s start at the very top of the governor’s list: “Medicaid Eligibility Redeterminations,” which he claims saved $53 million. OK, but that was initiated in 2012 with Medicaid reforms signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn. Rauner’s budget office says Quinn may have signed it, but he fully implemented it.

Rauner’s touted savings from cutting $21 million subsidies for disabled mass transit users is illusory because that money comes from the state’s Road Fund, which is funded with motor fuel taxes, license fees, etc. The same goes for his $4 million cut to Amtrak.

Several other programs on the governor’s list also get their money from Other State Funds (OSF), including tourism ($13 million claimed cut), recycling ($6 million), renewable and energy efficiency programs ($8 million), ICC vacancies and transfers ($6 million) and coal programs ($15 million).

The governor’s budget office claims that saving OSF money can help patch holes in the rest of the budget. But these funds (like the Road Fund, which was swept last year for a fortune) are set up and funded for particular purposes.

The governor claims in his list that he cut “Assorted DHS Programs not covered by Court Orders or Consent Decrees” for a total of $91 million. But several of those programs are funded in the stopgap budget that the governor signed into law on June 30th, including The Autism Program, ARC of Illinois, Teen Reach, homeless prevention, addiction prevention, the Emergency Food Program, funeral and burial expenses, immigrant integration services, welcoming centers, epilepsy services, etc.

Rauner also claims reductions to Criminal Justice Information Authority programs including CeaseFire, but that’s in the stopgap as well.

And despite claiming credit for making cuts, the governor actually requested spending for the programs in his own budget proposal from earlier this year, including paratransit and Amtrak. His budget also increased funding for tourism programs.

The governor also claimed $100 million in savings for not constructing the Illiana Expressway, which was in doubt anyway. And his touted $145 million cut to child care programs was reversed when Rauner cut a deal with the Democrats.

And then there’s the claimed savings of $4 million due to a delay in the opening of a veterans home in Chicago. But that delay actually ended up increasing the cost of the project and no money was appropriated by the Democratic-controlled General Assembly last fiscal year anyway, so it’s not really a Rauner savings.

Also, is a veterans home really “wasteful” spending? I doubt many politicians would make that claim. Much the same could be said of several other programs on the list.

How’s that for “substance,” governor?

In case you missed it last week, the list is here.

* Brian Brueggemann of the Belleville News Democrat asked Rauner about this very topic

Q. You’ve boasted that your administration has cut $800 million in “wasteful spending.” Those cuts include Medicaid, child care, State Police vehicles, coal programs and agriculture programs. Do you consider those wasteful?

A. Well, we’ve got even another $700 million that we can cut. We have got to make government balanced and working for the people again, and we’ve been spending beyond what we can afford for decades. It’s just not sustainable. No family in Illinois could keep spending what they don’t have, like Illinois’ government. Government’s got to work for the people. We have cut $800 million out of unnecessary spending.

Two things I’m very proud of: We are now modernizing our IT system. We in Illinois, many of the departments don’t even have computers. We’re living in the stone age. I walked into one department in my first week — second week in office actually. Two-hundred people were in a room with paper applications on their desks, and no computers. I said, this doesn’t look efficient. I found out, we could spend half a million dollars on a computer system —half a million — and save $7 million per year. That’s going on all over the government. We are saving hundreds of millions of dollars by modernizing our IT. We’ve either got to move away from paper, or, in some departments we have computers but we’re running software from 1974. I mean, that was a great year, that’s when I got out of high school, but software changed a lot in the last 40-50 years. We can have productivity changes by modernizing.

And the other thing I’m very proud of…we have put in new labor contracts with 18 of the unions that work in state government. That’s transformative. We have the highest-paid state employes in America, which, you know, we can debate. I’m proud, we’ve got great workers, and I want them to be well-paid, but they want $3 billion more than what they’re receiving now, based on seniority. We said no, that’s not affordable, that’s not fair to our taxpayers. But we said we’ll pay bonuses, we will pay you more. We’ll leave salaries flat, but we’ll pay bonuses, but let’s do it based on productivity. Let’s have a bonus based on a percentage of what you save taxpayers. Save a taxpayer a dollar, we’ll give you 10 cents of that dollar. And you know what? A lot of employees have said, ‘Yeah, I know how to save money.’ That’s a win-win for the employees and the taxpayers. Eighteen unions have signed up for that deal. That’s transformative for Illinois, it’s saving us a lot of money. The bad news is, the largest union, so far, the leaders have said no to that. Their members, I think, they would ratify that new proposal if it could get to a vote. The leaders so far have said no. But we’ve got to stay strong. That’s going to help transform state government and save taxpayers a lot of money.

So, now it’s “unnecessary” spending. Some, I think, would disagree.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

79 Comments
  1. - bwana63 - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 9:33 am:

    Such utter baloney. Guy is shameless.


  2. - old pol - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 9:38 am:

    Don’t get hung up on labels. The only “necessary” spending is that which the political process approves via appropriation. The contest for scarce resources is the heart of democratic process. No spending is right or wrong, wasteful or necessary, just the winner.


  3. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 9:39 am:

    It’s bizarre for Rauner to complain about the lack of substantive reporting. Best thing he has going for him.

    Any deep-dig into numbers or facts reveals the vacuousness of his agenda and the severe damage being done to real people in its name.


  4. - Nick Name - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 9:45 am:

    He just can’t *not* lie about AFSCME and collective bargaining, can he.


  5. - Anon221 - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 9:45 am:

    Between now and the veto session, deep drilling needs to be done on all of these “savings and waste”, and sunlight shone on the major descrepanicies. Rauner is going to continue his smoke and mirrors roadshow, bazingaing through the colorful pool of plastic balls. FY 16 and 17 budgets have been a disaster. The ILGA, both parties, need to be prepared to take a strong stand on FY 18, or Rauner will just continue with his Crisis-Chaos model. Hopefully more and more media outlets will decide to ratchet up on substance and voters (public and GA) will “Vote Accordingly”. Thanks again Rich for pressing him on the $800 million.


  6. - AlfondoGonz - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 9:46 am:

    It saddens me to know that even if he read this, he either (1) would not care or (2) would lash out at you, Rich, accusing you of skewering him due to some concocted bias, without ever addressing the substance of the article.


  7. - Honeybear - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 9:50 am:

    Medicaid Eligibility Redeterminations- Okay this is total BS. The private company Maximus just simply cancelled cases with wild abandon. We, the DHS caseworkers spent literally years mopping up the blood from that debacle. AFSCME sued them and then they all had to become certified caseworkers. Only then did the mistakes stop. But reporting saving from this is a total illusion. If anything Medicaid spending has increased. We’re about to go through another rough patch of cancellations in September when the new IES system comes online. Central Cancellation out of Springfield will be the phrase that pays. These poor folks will then have to reapply here in the local office and lose medical and food stamps for weeks. It will be so ugly. But don’t think that savings from this are real.


  8. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 9:51 am:

    My first consulting assignment was preparing expert witness testimony for a financial analysis. There are people on the Governor’s staff who could make a case for some savings. The number would be smaller but defensible.

    Building credibility and trust is necessary if the parties are to reach agreements.


  9. - Norseman - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 9:51 am:

    Rauner quiz: Name 2 “departments” that don’t have computers?


  10. - MAD MAX - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 9:52 am:

    Rich,

    You just may make it to “corrupt” list!


  11. - How Ironic - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 9:53 am:

    Yes, what departments EXACTLY did he wander into that had ‘no’ computers? Oy.


  12. - theq - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 9:54 am:

    I feel it is pretty safe to say that if taken to a vote his proposal to AFSCME would NOT get through.


  13. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 9:54 am:

    The Teamsters and trades contracts are not the same as AFSCME’s, Rauner must want to get rid of senior employees and I have seen virtually no state employees who want to swallow Rauner’s contract terms.


  14. - Kevin Highland - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:01 am:

    Smoke & Mirrors…..Look at the cuts I’ve made….Ok now lets’ quietly fund them.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:01 am:

    - Doug Simpson -

    Yikes.

    To the Post,

    What’s been disappointing, maybe as much as a lack of drilling into what Rauner is doing by the media instead of the laziness of “Madigan and Rauner”, I strongly feel and believe Social Service Groups. Advocates, Clients, and Patrons, for months blaming “both sides”…

    Um, Social Service Groups… it’s not… “Both Sides”

    By deciding NOT to take, head on, your foe, but trying to manuver around, “it’s both sides”, you inadvertently given Rauner unlimited cover to decimate the Social Service net.

    Rauner pivots, “well, Madigan and his 30 years is ruining Illinois… ”

    By claiming both sides, the Rauner pivoting off his own damaging choices, it gets covered as “Rauner and Madigan are at it again, this time it’s… that’s hurt”

    No, that was a Rauner choice, but inadvertently, Rauner gets off the hook and gets to blame Madigan too.

    Don’t think I’m blaming all this on Social Services, the Democratic responses to Rauner… yikes.

    The end result is an unchecked Rauner shredding Social Services and Ron Sandack sleeping well… on Weekends.

    Pressure on Rauner? Nah. Not even close.

    When Rauner can blatantly misrepresent like this, that’s a huge messaging problem, and Rauner is beating y’all with an inferior and untruthful representation of his own choices.

    Do better. Please.


  16. - @MisterJayEm - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:05 am:

    We are now modernizing our IT system. We in Illinois, many of the departments don’t even have computers. We’re living in the stone age. I walked into one department in my first week — second week in office actually. Two-hundred people were in a room with paper applications on their desks, and no computers. I said, this doesn’t look efficient.

    Will any of Governor Rauner’s supporters step-up to defend this childish fairy tale?

    – MrJM


  17. - Jocko - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:10 am:

    Norseman nails it! I’ll bet the building they work in looks like a prison.

    BTW. I wonder if that $500K computer system is owned by the wheelchair-bound Barry Saacks?


  18. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:10 am:

    ==Rauner quiz: Name 2 “departments” that don’t have computers?===

    - Norseman - “+1″…

    I’d like to play “Agency or Not An Agency”… that might be a fun game for the Governor…


  19. - Macbeth - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:11 am:

    Rauner is simply not telling the truth.

    There are no agencies without computers. There are agencies that can’t afford brand new computer.

    But there are no — zero — agencies with no computers. That’s simply not the truth.


  20. - James Knell - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:15 am:

    Thanks for the additional analysis, Oswego Willy. I wish I knew what media outlets ignored the United Way of Illinois’ survey of social service providers. I’d also like to know what the picture looks like with the recently passed temporary budget or whatever it’s called.


  21. - steward - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:15 am:

    “Their members, I think, they would ratify that new proposal if it could get to a vote. The leaders so far have said no.”

    Our internal surveys have shown the exact opposite…

    I have yet to hear, at any location, of stewards being swamped by requests to ratify this contract…

    This sounds a lot like his “silent majority” of democrats that are just begging to him privately to support his turnaround agenda.


  22. - Honeybear - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:17 am:

    OW, what are your thoughts about countering the “both sides” narrative? It drives me up the wall as well. I get that some private social service agencies want to be non-partisan but it’s gone way beyond that. The Rauner perfidy has destroyed them and they can’t even recognize it.


  23. - Anon221 - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:19 am:

    Maybe today’s QOTD needs to be, “What NEW follow-up questions need to be pursued to a final answer by Rauner?” First up- NAME the department you referred to in Brueggemann’s interview. Any SuperStar out there reading this, feel free to chime right in!


  24. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:26 am:

    - Honeybear -

    It’s just a choice, and while it “frustrates” me, (and you too you say) these organizations, doing some much needed and many times unheralded work, they weigh, understandably, taking on the Administration now, if they can withstand being squeezed, in hopes of being chosen, and grateful, for “another chance to prove their worth (even Catholic Charities and LSSI with decades of proven worth).

    Rauner is 100% banking on thankful groups versus vengeful groups, and that gamble, daily, has been paying huge political dividends against Madigan, while gutting and shredding Social Service groups, purposely…. and barely a squeak that it isn’t “both sides”.

    It’s tough. I have such sympathy that the messaging choices could lead to greater problems, for as Rauner pretends he doesn’t realize, but everyone knows that follows all a governor can do, Rauner has a powerful office by which he (Rauner) can make things worse, or better… by a Governor’s choice…

    But… Rauner is a passenger, a witness, ignoring his constitutional powers except when to punish(?)

    I wish I knew how they’d go about it, I can only watch.

    Hope that clears that up.


  25. - Illinois Bob - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:28 am:

    Once again, Rauner disappoints in messaging.

    He’s never really established the extra costs in prevailing wage that are required by state law, and the way they hurt local schools and municipalities. Paying $47 per hour for an employee while working on public projects to someone doing the same job on a commercial project the week before for $25 per hour people can understand and oppose.

    Calling for reform of a collective bargaining system which can pay one teacher $120,000 per 177 work days for doing the same job with the same course and student load for $70,000, and perhaps doing a more effective job of it, is something the public can understand and oppose.

    Cutting the life of a road renovation from 7 every seven years from a 10 year design basis for a 10% initial cost savings is bad policy and waste, but I understand from folks in CDB and IDOT that it happens more often than not. that’s big deal.

    Lot’s of things he could have messaged on instead of hurting those on social services, but he didn’t.

    Sad. Just Sad.


  26. - How Ironic - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:28 am:

    I wonder if Rauner watched an episode of Mad Men, and thought that in fact at that very moment, he was touring a state office? Seems about the only way that 200 state workers in an office have ‘no computers’.

    Now he’s not even trying to tell the truth. He’s literally just lying to us.


  27. - Norseman - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:28 am:

    Excellent comment Willy, excellent.


  28. - Anonymous - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:29 am:

    As the saying goes, if he opens his mouth he’s lying.

    I’m particularly concerned with his continued raiding of Special Funds. If he’s not going to use them for the heir intended purpose, repeal them.

    Raiding them constitutes unfair taxation.


  29. - @MisterJayEm - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:31 am:

    Honeybear,

    Just let them know that Rauner’s abuse of social service agencies was always the plan. And they don’t have to take your word for it, Rauner said it himself, explicitly, long before he was elected: “In Illinois there’s been a long-time history of what I would call social service, social justice, a bigger role for government in the safety net than in many other states. I think we can drive a wedge issue in the Democratic Party on that topic“. (emphasis added) http://wglt.org/post/illinois-issues-social-cost-rauner-v-labor#stream/0

    They can judge Rauner based on his actions or they can judge him based on his words — either way, the verdict is the same and blindingly obvious.

    – MrJM

    (If someone wishes to make the “both sides blah blah blah” argument, please direct us to a statement from the majority leaders in the Illinois House and/or Senate that shows such intent.)


  30. - Illinois Bob - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:33 am:

    Technology has been a real wage driver through dramatically increased productivity, but Illinois, particularly in education, hasn’t been able to come close to matching private productivity gains.

    Technology should’ve been able to enable instructors to teach more students for lower cost, but it never happened. Too often computers are just used as search engines instead of staff productivity tools.

    Given the “services” nature of government, one would think productivity should’ve been driving salary and benefit increases rather than collective bargaining.

    Doesn’t seem like that’s happening…


  31. - Norseman - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:38 am:

    Maybe we can help Rauner. Rich has a lot of state employees reading his blog. Any of you work for departments without computers? Any of you work for small commissions that don’t have computers?


  32. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:44 am:

    ===Calling for reform of a collective bargaining system which can pay one teacher $120,000 per 177 work days for doing the same job with the same course and student load for $70,000, and perhaps doing a more effective job of it, is something the public can understand and oppose.===

    Keep in mind ” - Illinois Bob - “…

    This argument is what exposed you as - Zonker -.

    My point? You make the same argument for anything and everything, that’s what exposes more than a new name.

    I’m not feeding you…

    …my point is to have you recognize your “issues”


  33. - Chungas revenge - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:45 am:

    Maybe the room full of employees with no computers he saw were inmates at a prison he was visiting. Based on his record I can see how he could confuse them with state employees.


  34. - Demoralized - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:45 am:

    The Governor sure has an odd definition of “waste” and “unnecessary” spending. Of course I’ve come to the conclusion that if something doesn’t benefit business he has no use for it. He ran for Governor for one purpose and one purpose only - to use state government to help out his business friends. That’s fine. But he could at least pretend to care about the other functions of government.

    After 18 months the man still is incompetent at governing.


  35. - Demoralized - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:48 am:

    OW:

    You need to bite your tongue every time Bob comments. As I’ve said recently, let him be. Let him go on his ridiculous rants and maybe if people stop feeding the beast he’ll quietly go away.


  36. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:51 am:

    - Demoralized -

    I’m done now, bud. I’ll heed your advice.

    I was just waiting, however, for this argument to come up, and I knew it would, and pointing out that, now that it’s done… I’m done too.

    Humbly,

    OW


  37. - Anon10:51 - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:51 am:

    Rauner might regret releasing that “wasteful” spending cut list. It could be used against GOP legislative candidates this fall the same way the Senate Dems used the “Reality Check” budget cut proposals in 2012. It’s not hard to visualize mail and cable ads referring to the veterans home cut.


  38. - @MisterJayEm - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 10:58 am:

    “Technology should’ve been able to enable instructors to teach more students for lower cost, but it never happened.”

    Technology should’ve been able to enable coaches to train more athletes for lower cost, but it never happened.

    Technology should’ve been able to enable doctors to treat more patients for lower cost, but it never happened.

    Technology should’ve been able to enable judges to adjudicate more cases for lower cost, but it never happened.

    A fundamental misunderstanding of, and contempt for, the education of children can allow one to believe that it should scale like the manufacture of widgets.

    – MrJM


  39. - Mike Cirrincione - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 11:05 am:

    Agree with you about Doug Simpson, OW.

    I dont think the real Doug Simpson acted like that around Marcia Brady! ;-)


  40. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 11:06 am:

    If this lack of technology is so glaring, why did it take 18 months to address it?


  41. - How Ironic - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 11:14 am:

    Madigan and the stateworkers w/out computers that he controls…by sending telegrams?


  42. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 11:14 am:

    - Mike Cirrincione -

    “Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!”

    To the Post,

    The rally in Springfield, just weeks ago, highlighted significant budgetary issues that impacted Social Services, and also highlighted Rauner choices effecting those who need those social services too.

    My spoken worry then continues to be my worry today. Rallies are important. It’s always the days, weeks, and months following that will show how building on that unity is going, and that includes a unified message making clear all that has transpired, and all that has been lost for good.

    It’s July, but organization, in “people power” and messaging should be melding now awaiting a rollout to “Vote Accordingly”

    I hope. I just hope.


  43. - Steve Rogers - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 11:21 am:

    Another big savings was the switch from red Swingline staplers to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline because it didn’t bind up as much. Oh, and moving unnecessary personnel to the basement in storage B also got rid of tons of waste.


  44. - Dave Mjonviac - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 11:27 am:

    Psssst….dont tell anyone. I still have my IBM Selectric 3. And please dont take my staple remover.


  45. - Honeybear - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 11:28 am:

    Let me speak to what is called “waste” by Rauner.

    To Rauner grandma’s one meal a day from Meals on Wheels,

    is a waste.

    To Rauner, a poor person with health problems getting their Medicaid and thus their medicine,

    is a waste.

    To Rauner, an addicted person trying to get clean,

    is a waste.

    To Rauner, a homeless person trying to find shelter,

    is a waste.

    To Rauner, a small business trying to get help from DCEO,

    is a waste.

    To Rauner, promoting our state through tourism,

    is a waste.

    To Rauner, paying our bills to those who have contracted with the state,

    is a waste.

    I guess conservatives agree with this. They haven’t said a word and have continued to support him.


  46. - AC - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 11:43 am:

    Not only is his statement regarding computers ridiculous, it’s also not an example of cost savings in the short run. Investment in IT can create efficiency in the long run, but it costs more initially. Current low staffing levels often mentioned by Honeybear and others mean this goal would require hiring staff, or as Rauner might prefer paying costly consultants. Any realistic ROI from improving efficiency by investing in IT would be measured in years.


  47. - Anon - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 11:49 am:

    Sounds like he took a wrong turn on a tour and went into a broom closet and saw a computerless department.


  48. - steward - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 11:49 am:

    “Two-hundred people were in a room with paper applications on their desks, and no computers. I said, this doesn’t look efficient.”

    What he didn’t mention was that this was at his newly created Department of Innovation and Technology… /s


  49. - 100 miles west - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 11:49 am:

    I would have some respect for the Governor if he was just honest about his plan. If he said, “I think we should consolidate all social services into contracts with half a dozen, for-profit, corporations, I can understand that, it is honest, and can be debated. It can be defeated. This slow death spiral allows him to be dishonest but still get what he wants.


  50. - Pawn - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 11:49 am:

    OW — Isn’t the lawsuit by the human service providers an example of sticking their necks out and holding the administration accountable in a tangible, meaningful way?


  51. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 12:03 pm:

    ===Isn’t the lawsuit by the human service providers an example of sticking their necks out and holding the administration accountable in a tangible, meaningful way?===

    It is, but let’s look at the lawsuit as it is.

    The lawsuit addresses at the purposeful broken promise of the Rauner Administration and its quite important that all the groups hold the governor and his agencies accountable, financially, to what each agreement was, and how best, financially, as best it can be, make the groups whole.

    It’s really important.

    It’s also calling out choices.

    Where I see this, maybe different, I dunno, is beyond the financial aspect of contracts, already agreed to, made whole.

    The impact of the damage, and not one group knows this better than me, and in actuality, they could teach me much more, and the dismantling of the social services net won’t be figured in any courtroom, but a verdict needs to be rendered by the public, and educating the public to the significant losses that the United Way masterfully made with the one million Illinoisan effected… today.

    Taking the administration to court, honestly, took courage, and I’m not reducing that significance by making a case that the legal system response to Rauner’s own choices isn’t enough or consequential. The messaging thereafter, and the continual “both sides” message as these groups in court sue the administration… that’s Rauner winning the messaging, and allowing a mixed message to be pivoted against.

    It’s up to the groups to take stock and see the lawsuit and messaging as a package, not prongs(?)

    With respect,

    OW


  52. - CCP Hostage - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 12:04 pm:

    OW, in addition to being held hostage we are being threatened with further cuts to our programs when we speak out. We also operate by favor. The comptroller does us a favor by paying some of our bills. We know whom is at fault. But we are walking a tightrope


  53. - illinois bob - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 12:42 pm:

    @MisterJayEm

    =A fundamental misunderstanding of, and contempt for, the education of children can allow one to believe that it should scale like the manufacture of widgets.=

    Sounds like that’s an indication of your contempt for them, JM.

    You obviously know nothing about using technology for self pacing and student success, using it to allow for productive academic use of summers, and you’ve never seen the way that on line learning is often far superior to individual instruction. It’s also closest to giving those in the public school “assembly line”, so badly failed by that system, the opportunity to use the best aspects of the most successful school model..HOME SCHOOLING.

    You’d understand this if cared more about the kids than feeding a fat educational bureaucracy.


  54. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 12:52 pm:

    ===…in addition to being held hostage we are being threatened with further cuts to our programs when we speak out. We also operate by favor. The comptroller does us a favor by paying some of our bills. We know whom is at fault. But we are walking a tightrope===

    I’m taking nothing away from the dilemma. If anything, the crux of my frustration is this dilemma. What I’ve tried to do, me, is to look at the “given”, and also looking at the existing reality.

    “Example?”

    While walking the tightrope, instead of 4 Wheels for Meals vehicles becomes 1 Wheels for Meals vehicle… Instead of 10 programs, you have 2 programs… the squeezing doesn’t stop, even if the walking continues.

    I look at McCann and the Ads, and all that race had to say about turning on Rauner. What I learned was “voting accordingly” when it matters is the end game Rauner can’t control, even if Rauner steers money and messaging.

    It’s the building around what all hostages know and peaking to say what needs to be said.

    I know also this messaging “problem” is probably a most difficult situation. It is going to be up to those who can write, speak, convey, and most of all express… the pain of the Rauner choices and what more Raunerites in the General Assembly mean to social services… I’m not in those discussions, that’s something for those having those discussions to consider…

    … because right now, walking that tightrope, as you get closer to the end, you may find Rauner cutting the tightrope and seeing who is going to fall.

    I wish you well.


  55. - Annonin' - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 1:01 pm:

    He told one TV reporter in Peoria all this was cuttin’ waste…so knockin’ single mom/college student off day care was “cuttin’ waste” Wow that will be tough all the GOPies to defend expecially usin’ his cash.


  56. - Thoughts Matter - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 1:06 pm:

    1. Any ‘room’ big enough to hold 200 desks is a building. Second, who has 200 people in the same room anywhere other than an auditorium? What was the function of this department? Opening and sorting mail?

    2. All that needs to be known about this is in the first sentence. ‘Gov. Bruce Rauner has been touring Illinois…..’ Can someone direct him to his office, desk, computer and staff? His assigned duties of governing await.


  57. - @MisterJayEm - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 1:07 pm:

    “You obviously know nothing about using technology for self pacing and student success, using it to allow for productive academic use of summers, and you’ve never seen the way that on line learning is often far superior to individual instruction. It’s also closest to giving those in the public school “assembly line”, so badly failed by that system, the opportunity to use the best aspects of the most successful school model..HOME SCHOOLING.”

    More fantastic declarations backed up by… nothing.

    Wild, unsubstantiated proclamations might be fun, but your claims might get more traction if they were supported by something more than your caps lock key.

    (I’ll let someone else explain the logical shortcomings in an assertion that home schooling proves that instructors should be able to teach more students for lower cost.)

    – MrJM


  58. - State IT - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 1:36 pm:

    “in some departments we have computers but we’re running software from 1974. I mean, that was a great year, that’s when I got out of high school, but software changed a lot in the last 40-50 years. ”
    He’s talking about the mainframe. This comparison he likes to use is false. That’s like saying Windows has been around since the 80s therefor we are running on 30+ year old technology. Never mind that they both have revisions and updates done to them.


  59. - Team Warwick - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 1:36 pm:

    Two things: and i hope hes reading this.
    Force Causes Resistance. Its human physics. So, impatient with insufficient change he wants to force change -inertia results. Think about it for awhile. His own worst enemy is his impatience.
    Its not the messaging. In signals communications training you must have a sender and a recipient. There is a sender, but there is no willing recipient for that particular message. So to “learn” from the non-experience this past eighteen months were, he needs to redefine his goal as influencing change (instead of being its founder and author) and looking for message that clicks with his recipients he wishes to influence. But he has to stop the polarization talk strategy. That is not working. So yes it will be quite a swim back to shore from that riptide he rode out on.


  60. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 2:02 pm:

    – We in Illinois, many of the departments don’t even have computers. We’re living in the stone age. I walked into one department in my first week — second week in office actually. Two-hundred people were in a room with paper applications on their desks, and no computers.–

    Does Rauner really believe these whoppers that he tells on a routine basis? Which would be worse, that he does or he doesn’t?

    Like the “dozens of corporations across the nation” he’s lined up to move to Illinois if his agenda is passed?

    They’re just weird.

    How can the reporter not call b-s on something so ridiculous, immediately? What’s the point of hearing anything more when you let an outrageous fish-story like that dangle? There’s no credibility to the story-teller.


  61. - Big Joe - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 2:06 pm:

    Illinois Bob,

    From what you say about computers in education, you obviously no NOTHING about teaching. Just GO AWAY for Pete’s sake!!


  62. - steve schnorf - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 2:13 pm:

    I think that perhaps a part of all this disagreement about “waste” was foreseen in the Grace Commission report. It was full of instances of calling “waste” spending on governmental policy decisions with which it disagreed. Such spending is not waste. It may be unnecessary, even silly, in the eyes of people opposing governmental spending on such activities. At the same time it may be vital spending in the eyes of people who view a certain program or another as an absolutely essential part of government’s responsibility.

    There is an additional element to be considered also. A program, in some people’s eyes, may be neither unnecessary nor wasteful. It might even be desirable or even good. But is it affordable? If we’re not doing it, or not doing enough of it, how do we start doing it or do more of it without allocating money to it? Absolutely and undeniably, as a State we have no more money to do things with. We are playing a less than zero sum game. Any savings realized from eliminating or downsizing a program shouldn’t be allocated to doing more of something else, it should be held back to try to bring revenue and spending into balance (stop digging) and then to paying off old debt.


  63. - Earnest - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 2:14 pm:

    >Will any of Governor Rauner’s supporters step-up to defend this childish fairy tale?

    Someone would have to challenge Rauner on his statement first and get that challenged picked up in the media. I don’t see it happening.


  64. - Illinois Bob - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 2:18 pm:

    @Big Joe

    Sure. That’s why my evaluation for college teaching consistently ranked me in the upper quartile of all instructors nationally and my HS evaluations rated me consistently over 85% in peer, administration and student evaluations.

    Go back to digging your ditches, Big Joe, and stay away from tests of cerebral fitness.


  65. - Illinois Bob - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 2:23 pm:

    @MRJayEm

    =(I’ll let someone else explain the logical shortcomings in an assertion that home schooling proves that instructors should be able to teach more students for lower cost.)=

    I never made that assertion. I made the point that one of the most important and productive aspects of home schooling is self pacing, which computer based instruction provides.

    As far as Home schooling providing the best outcomes for students, even better than private and charter schools, learn how Google works. I’m not going to spend a lot of time spoon feeding you because of your computer literacy issues.


  66. - illini - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 2:27 pm:

    Don’t Feed The Trolls!


  67. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 2:51 pm:

    Thoughts, I haven’t been to the Chicago office since Rauner’s been in, but I’m pretty sure that the Governor’s “personal” office in Springfield has never contained a computer.

    Rauner says he doesn’t use e-mail, Quinn was big on 3×5 note cards, and recall Blago struggling to find the power switch on the laptop during his short tenure on “Celebrity Apprentice.”


  68. - DuPage Dave - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 3:10 pm:

    Someone please look up the Governor’s schedule for his second week in office and offer up some possibilities for the state agency he visited with 200 people in a room and zero computers.


  69. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 3:29 pm:

    The discussion on technology and education seems to have people talking past each other. There are subjects and students where technology can really improve education.

    There are other subjects and students where direct contact with a human teacher is essential. I don’t see technology molding character in the same way as a caring teacher.

    We know that different people have different learning styles. We know that children mature at different rates and that some concepts cannot be understood before a certain level of maturity is reached.

    Good teachers and programs use this knowledge. But not all teachers are good. And good teachers may not be good at everything or with everyone.

    I do have trouble understanding why a system that spends $12,500 per student has trouble educating the normal student. $250,000 to teach 20 students for 177 contact days should be very doable.


  70. - Demoralized - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 4:00 pm:

    ==That’s why my evaluation for college teaching consistently ranked me in the upper quartile of all instructors nationally and my HS evaluations rated me consistently over 85% in peer, administration and student evaluations.==

    I’m about to break my newly imposed rule on feeding your nonsense but I will just this one time.

    Once again you’ve got to make sure everyone knows you’re the smartest guy in the room. Good for you. Tell us all why we should care?

    You want to know why nobody listens to you Bob? You’re arrogant. When people are arrogant like you I automatically dismiss anything they have to say. Why? Because those sorts of people don’t have the common sense to realize that the worst way they can make a point is to portray themselves as a know-it-all, which you do frequently.

    This sort of behavior is a flaw I see in many arguments some Republicans make. They make arguments in an arrogant fashion and then stomp their feet when nobody will believe the “truth.” Why is that? Arrogance Bob. Their arguments are dismissed because they lack any sort of common sense to realize that telling everyone how smart they are is the absolute worst way to get anyone to listen to them.

    Think about that as you sit around scratching your head trying to figure out why nobody here gives a flying leap what you think. I think most of your ideas are nonsense. Maybe some aren’t. I don’t know. And I’ll never know because I don’t have the inclination to listen to arrogant people like you.

    You’d get further with your arguments if you stowed your arrogance for 5 minutes.


  71. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 4:03 pm:

    MisterJayEm, your comments on technology and doctors and coaches at 10:58 set up some straw men. Technology does help doctors treat patients at lower cost. We can get to outcomes and survival rates of the 1950’s or 1980’s at much lower cost. A nurse practitioner today can heal patients myM.D. grandfather could not help. The cost explosion comes from treating patients who could not be helped.

    If you have watched game films you would know that technology does improve the technical aspects of coaching.

    We keep moving the goal and are surprised when costs increase.


  72. - Fairness and Fairness Only - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 4:18 pm:

    The Governor must have access to one heck of an IT department. Half a million usually doesn’t go too far if you’re talking about a new system or a solution for a manual process involving 200 people.


  73. - Joe M - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 4:20 pm:

    ==as a State we have no more money to do things with. We are playing a less than zero sum game.==

    Steve, if we continue in keeping the 2nd lowest state income tax rate out of the 40+ states that have an income tax, then yes, that is true. And remember, we also created this financial crisis by not extending the 5% income tax rate.

    On the other hand, if we decide that programs like higher education are worthwhile, then maybe we should be figuring out how to come up with the revenue to fund them.


  74. - steve schnorf - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 4:29 pm:

    Joe, aye, and that’s the rub.


  75. - Chicago 20 - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 4:31 pm:

    Rauner cut Tourism waste by $13 million.

    When Bruce Rauner was the Chairman of Choose Chicago he couldn’t spend enough money on tourism.
    According to Bruce Rauner then it was an investment.
    “A dollar more spent by the city on marketing today generates two dollars back in city tax revenues
    within nine months,” Mr. Rauner said in an interview. “Not many investments double in nine months.”

    For some reason these tax revenues are only counted as Choose Chicago spends $35.2 million a year of our tax dollars and ignored when tax revenues remained flat.

    No one ever dares to follow up on these magical “double tax revenues in 9 months” claims.

    So please tell us Bruce, is the $35.2 million a year also a waste or will your $13 million tourism waste cut actually cost the State $26 million of tax revenues by April 2017?


  76. - pundent - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 4:50 pm:

    =Someone please look up the Governor’s schedule for his second week in office and offer up some possibilities for the state agency he visited with 200 people in a room and zero computers.=

    These were not what you would call scheduled, calendared visits mind you. But I have on good authority that they did occur right after the tour of crumbling prison schools.


  77. - @MisterJayEm - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 5:59 pm:

    Last Bull Moose,

    You omitted the crucial word “more” in order to make your argument hold some water. But other than that…

    – MrJM


  78. - Jibba - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 9:19 pm:

    Thanks Bob. I now have “One Night in Bangkok” stuck in my head!


  79. - Last Bull Moose - Monday, Jul 11, 16 @ 9:29 pm:

    MisterJayEm.

    Fair point. I focused on better results for the same costs.

    Coaches probably cannot coach more athletes, because much of what they do is not affected by technology.

    Doctors do see more patients with video chat and email. So there technology has a direct effect. Of course it does take more time to treat patients than to tell them to go home and prepare to die.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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