Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** Another paper editorializes against the lockbox
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
*** UPDATED x1 *** Another paper editorializes against the lockbox

Monday, Oct 31, 2016

* The SJ-R editorializes against the proposed lockbox amendment

If this amendment passes, the road funds will go into a “lockbox” and will be untouchable, even in a dire emergency.

It’s like taking a family’s household budget and saying that an important priority — say, saving for your kids’ college funds — would be locked up. Sounds good, until a financial crisis happens and you have no money to put food on the table, right?

Other states that have passed similar measures have provisions to declare a fiscal emergency and access those funds. Illinois’ measure doesn’t. That’s why voters should see big red flags.

Past history shows that once Illinois’ constitution is amended, it’s a highly difficult process to get it changed back. Exhibit A, the state’s efforts to find a way to deal with its skyrocketing pension obligations.

Transportation is an important investment for the state to make. But so is education, both K-12 and higher education. So are social services. So are public safety issues. Will they get their own dedicated funds?

If it wasn’t for all the Republican votes on this thing and the governor’s total silence, I’d be easily convinced this was a clever ploy by Speaker Madigan to lock up state money so that Gov. Rauner can’t use it to fund another patchwork, stopgap budget.

But, the Republicans found themselves in boiling hot water with the road builders last year when the GA and Rauner swept the Road Fund to pass the FY 16 budget “fix.” So, they had some making up to do.

Same thing happened on the Democratic side with the trade unions.

However, I cannot imagine Madigan supporting this hastily crafted proposal (with a ton of unintended consequences) under any other governor.

*** UPDATE ***  The Center for Municipal Finance has a new and unfavorable analysis of the proposal

The proposed constitutional amendment, the Illinois Transportation Taxes and Fees Lockbox Amendment, is highly problematic for several reasons.

    • First, its wording is vague, and as a result its actual impact is unclear. The proposed amendment’s lack of clarity may result in more revenue streams, at both state and local levels of government, than intended being restricted to a limited number of transportation related expenses.

    • Second, the proposed amendment is likely to divert revenue away from other areas of state and local budgets. The Lockbox Amendment would not increase total revenue—rather, it would change how existing revenue is spent.

    • Third, because it is being proposed as a constitutional amendment and not a regular statute, any negative consequences would be extremely difficult to modify or reverse.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - HRC2016 - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:19 pm:

    Maybe this should have been done years ago with the pension money and we wouldn’t have this problem. No holidays, no ramps, tax for it and keep it in the fund.

  2. - HRC2016 - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:23 pm:

    Transportation is an important investment for the state to make. But so is education, both K-12 and higher education. So are social services. So are public safety issues. Will they get their own dedicated funds?

    Yes, they should.

  3. - Tin foil - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:25 pm:

    I plan on voting “no.”

    But if memory serves me correctly, most editorial boards have a history of criticizing the General Assembly when they sweep special funds. Here’s a measure to stop it from happening and they’re against that, too?

  4. - Ahoy! - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:27 pm:

    I think this was a terrible editorial by the SJ-R. I know it’s popular to compare the state budget to a family budget, but they are not that comparable, unless you want to use a comparison of a compulsive gambler who can not be trusted with the cash to pay the mortgage/rent, so you set up a special account so that person doesn’t loose their shelter.

    Also, what state emergency is going to happen that is not going to require infrastructure and transportation?

  5. - Not It - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:27 pm:

    Rich, I’m going to disagree with you a bit. I think the Speaker probably realizes that by cutting off this money for genreral state spending, he has put even more pressure on the GOP to accept their fate: they have to eventually help pass a tax increase.

  6. - DuPage - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:32 pm:

    It would be good if we did not need the lockbox, but otherwise it will be “swept” again and again.

  7. - Grandpa - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:34 pm:

    My money is on it passing bigtime, then let’s see what happens this spring with no budget.

  8. - Captain Illini - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:39 pm:

    It’s a terribly crafted bill with unintended consequences - only because of the lack of leadership in dealing with budget issues period. There is no doubt more “fixes” will be necessary if they construct this Pandora’s box and find not only can’t they open it, but there is no hinge.

    Vote NO, and demand accountability of our elected officials.

  9. - RNUG - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:41 pm:

    It’s probably going to pass because the voters no longer trust the GA and Governor to do the right thing. It’s a outsider year and lots of voter backlash / kickback.

    If it does pass, sooner or later, you will see the voters clamoring for similar protection for schools, then possibly other categories. Voters don’t realize the end result will be a bunch of specialized income tax assignments and surcharges. But the upside is it will eventually back the politicians so far into a corner that they will be left with no other choice than raising taxes (not that we aren’t close to there now but some people are refusing to recognize it).

  10. - Team Sleep - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:49 pm:

    This will pass. Think about the turnout we might see. Given that - and given that people may not thoroughly read through the proposal during a trip to the polling place - this may easily clear 75%.

  11. - Just Observing - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:50 pm:

    Despite all the newspapers and good government groups advocating against the referendum, I voted yes. And I am one to despise “easy fixes” and gimmicks. But I also hate taxes and fees being passed under a certain premise (e.g. user fees on drivers to fund transportation expenses) and the money slowly but surely diverted elsewhere. Isn’t that what are income and sales taxes are for — general funding? And we are supposed to be concerned legislators will lose their flexibility in spending? Good.

  12. - phocion - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:52 pm:

    Last time I checked my property tax bill, I saw that schools already have a lockbox source of funding. On the state level, transportation is funded by user fees - schools are not. Don’t know how you’d lockbox education funding when there isn’t a user fee in place for it. To the post, SJ-R editorial misses the point, and buys into the same drivel other editorials have to say about this measure. No “emergency” has ever happened that created the need to steal from the road fund except for dishonest and lazy budgeting in Springfield. Give the Democrats and Republicans credit for allowing the people to actually have a voice here. There’s a lot of anger out there.

  13. - Rich Miller - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 1:54 pm:

    ===No “emergency” has ever happened that created the need to steal from the road fund===

    Um, did you miss last year?

  14. - phocion - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 2:00 pm:

    Rich, last year was an “emergency” that the politicians created (Hint: they passed a budget that included the income tax increase that went away halfway through the fiscal year. That aint an emergency, that’s budgetary malpractice). The anti-lockbox crowd is talking about some natural disaster, terrorist attack or the next Great Depression.

  15. - walker - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 2:05 pm:

    Argue for and against some lockbox type mechanism. Argue for road funding. Wave your arms in righteous anger.

    None of that comes close to justifying a Constitutional Amendment, that is a (usually) permanent change to the structure and function of government. Bad idea!

    This is the most disappointing thing I have seen Madigan do in over a decade. That both parties support it is no excuse. Madigan has often been a bulwark against such popular, but destructive nonsense in the past.

  16. - RNUG - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 2:06 pm:

    == Don’t know how you’d lockbox education funding when there isn’t a user fee in place for it. ==

    I envision something modifying the income tax to say that, for argument’s sake, 0.75% of the current 3.75% be locked up for school funding.

  17. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 2:08 pm:

    Anyone who early voted on the first day it was available voted on this more than a month ago.

    If newspaper editorial boards want to provide meaningful benefit to the public with their thoughts on stuff like this then they need to give opinions way earlier.

  18. - Team Sleep - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 2:36 pm:

    Friday - some of them have. The suburban newspapers started rolling out their endorsements in late September or early October. But you are correct that a lot of papers wait way too long.

  19. - Sir Reel - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 3:14 pm:

    Illinois seems to be in a state of perpetual “emergency.” It’ll pass, for better or worse.

  20. - Shemp - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 3:18 pm:

    The State audits local governments to make sure MFT funds don’t get spent anywhere else, emergency or not. What’s good for the goose….

    I get the “what ifs,” but the road funds aren’t the majority of the budget. The State can always choose to find more revenue unlike a family. And if you want to compare it to a family, maybe it should be more like the State is a child that has proven it can’t handle its allowance or a kid that can’t handle his/her first credit card.

    The opposition makes great arguments that in normal times I would buy, but I have become so disheartened and skeptical of our State that I will be voting in favor.

  21. - From the 'Dale to HP - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 3:25 pm:

    My guess is if it passes, it will lead to most communities/towns/cities/villages/etc to raise property taxes to cover the loss in revenue.

  22. - RetiredIDOT - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 4:26 pm:

    I had planned to vote for the amendment until I was told that this amendment actually will make it easier for transfers and sweeps. IDOT has taken a “Neutral” position on this. I’m voting NO

  23. - Anonymous - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 4:32 pm:

    “• Third, because it is being proposed as a constitutional amendment and not a regular statute, any negative consequences would be extremely difficult to modify or reverse”

    This is the Big Red Flag that tells me NOT to support this amendment.

  24. - Mama - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 4:37 pm:

    - Anonymous - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 4:32 pm: -

    That was me. For some reason my pen name keeps disappearing.

  25. - Cassandra - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 4:58 pm:

    Yes, agree with RNUG. The perception that Illinois’ political class (both parties, I would emphasize) is completely inept, or worse, leads to these kinds of maneuvers to reduce elected officials’ discretion. Helps a lot of contractors too, and I’m sure they are big political contributors. .

    Unfortunately, this proposal, if it passes, will make it even more likely that the state’s politicians will either have to make unwanted cuts or raise taxes even more than already seems likely.

  26. - Anonymous - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 5:13 pm:

    The proposed lockbox amendment is what it will take to make sure that transportation funds are spent for transportation.
    I agree with @1:41pm that the voters no longer trust the GA and Governor to do the right thing.

  27. - Road Kill - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 5:16 pm:

    Motor Fuel Taxes are “Trust Taxes” you trust the retailers who collect them to pay them to the state.You also trust that the state will spend the money on its trusted intended purpose, building and repairing Illinois’Transportation System that is not happening.Billions of motor fuel taxes dollars are being spent on non-transportation projects.We cannot trust the General Assembly so we need to control them, and the only way to do that is to pass this amendment.Thank you for reading.

  28. - Not It - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 5:44 pm:

    To those arguing we don’t lock box education funding, I would point out to you the majority of our state’s education funding is raised through property taxes that go directly to schools, /9 we sort of do lock box those dollars as schools can’t just divert it to another non-education expense.

  29. - Arock - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 7:14 pm:

    In a perfect world this would be great, but Illinois is far from it. This designed to pay back contractors and unions for their political support.

  30. - Just Me - Monday, Oct 31, 16 @ 7:20 pm:

    If this passes, then I predict that 10 years from now Illinois will be a national leader for infrastructure and this amendment will be explained as the reason why, and as a state we’ll sort of be proud of finally being the first in the nation for something instead of last.

  31. - Late to the Party - Tuesday, Nov 1, 16 @ 9:45 am:

    The constitution should be used for specific purposes. Road fund money should be singled out in this amendment. Perhaps I could support this if the amendment was more broad (or general) such as saying no funds at all can be swept from their intended purpose.

    We should not use the constitution when a law would suffice.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Early voting roundup
* Still more shenanigans!
* Sunday campaign money roundup
* Even more shenanigans!
* More shenanigans!
* Saturday campaign money report
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Shenanigans!
* Tribune drops bombshell on Biss running mate
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Rauner: "Madigan has rigged the Democratic primary for Pritzker"
* New Ives radio ad claims Democrats are trying to help Rauner, while Brady does Rauner robocall
* *** UPDATED x1 - DGA responds *** Elections board says DGA should file disclosure for Ives ad
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: Jones; IEA/IFT; Reis; Mitchell; Edgar
* ISRA, Drury both try to claim Raoul inserted "poison pill" into gun bill
* Pro-life group launches GOTV effort for Lipinski
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Rauner opens new online track against Ives
* Erika Harold still can't remember comments, but says "I was wrong"
* Rauner calls Madigan "a unified force of bad, of evil"
* Sen. Duckworth gets involved in another state central committee race
* *** UPDATED x2 *** Has Pritzker gone to ground?
* Illinois House Bill HB 4900 Wastes Government Resources
* McCann, barred from SGOP caucus meeting, claims Rauner threatened to "destroy you and your family"
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Caption contest!
* Obama mailer kerfuffle in Lipinski district
* Rauner attended Quincy campaign event after Quincy veterans' home presser
* After spending millions in Dem primary, Rauner accuses "Washington liberals" of "hijacking" the GOP primary
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...








* Illinois Gov. scouting buildings to replace Vet.....
* Candidates for Illinois governor spend $65.7 mi.....
* Sen. Ira Silverstein Lied About My Endorsement:.....
* Pritzker, Kennedy, Biss make final pitches ahea.....
* ELECTIONS Illinois Governor candidate Tio Hardi.....
* Illinois governor candidates making their final.....
* Millions of dollars' worth of TV ads later, gov.....
* Millions of dollars' worth of TV ads later, gov.....
* Millions of dollars' worth of TV ads later, gov.....

* Security of state voter rolls a concern as primaries begin
* Judge sides with inmate on prosthetic leg, toilet access
* Illinois primary puts focus on security of state voter rolls
* City of Chicago increasing security at Millennium Park
* Effort underway in Kane County to save 1854 schoolhouse
* Holcomb signs bill to replenish eroded NW Indiana beaches
* EXCHANGE: Historian doesn't want hero's story lost
* EXCHANGE: Losing a limb has not handicapped Pekin bowler
* Illinois governor race more fierce, costly as primary nears
* Judge gives FBI more time in alleged serial killer case

* Candidates for Illinois governor spend $65.7 million on TV ads –– just for the primaries
* Security of state voter rolls a concern as primaries begin
* As primaries loom, downstate Democrats look for a way back
* Pritzker defends putting $69.5 million of his fortune into campaign
* Illinois governor race more fierce, costly as primary nears
* Madigan backs Dem central committee incumbent in 13th
* Trump factor looms large in Illinois governor primary campaigns
* Ray LaHood brokers deal for O'Hare expansion
* McCann says Rauner threatened to 'destroy' him in 2015 over vote
* Rauner looking into state buying vacant nursing home in Quincy

* Crain's tells the stories of women in business
* Like our roundup? Share it around.
* Amazon search team in Chicago next week
* Amazon HQ2 search team visiting Chicago March 21-22
* Pension mess? You'd hardly know it from 2018's gubernatorial candidates.

* Horoscope for March 19, 2018
* Man shot after 5 armed people approached him on Near North Side
* SWAT team arrests person in West Lawn
* Alex DeBrincat’s third hat trick not enough as Blackhawks squander lead
* Pritzker, Kennedy, Biss make final pitches ahead of Election Day
* More than 400 Loyola fans welcome dancing Ramblers home before Sweet 16 trip
* Death penalty for drug traffickers part of Trump opioid plan
* Police: Man, 49, shot and killed near Green Line stop in Austin
* Trump a power player in Illinois 2018 primary
* White Sox hotshot Michael Kopech serves up a granny in bad-to-worse appearance

* Some officials wanted Florida school shooting suspect forcibly committed in 2016
* At least 2 injured after another explosion reported in Austin, officials say
* Jimmy Butler targeting return to Timberwolves before end of season
* Man, 49, killed in West Side shooting
* Alex DeBrincat’s third hat trick not enough for Blackhawks
* 'The Chi' recap Episode 10: Wrapping up story arcs and hinting at new ones
* 'The Chi' Season 1 post-mortem: Lena Waithe talks about what worked and what didn't
* Longtime pastor removed from St. John Cantius Catholic Parish amid investigation
* Man arrested after Southwest Side SWAT incident
* Loyola toast of the town — and campus — ahead of Sweet 16 game against Nevada

» A Feisty Debate, Offshore Accounts — And Some Side-Eye
» WBEZ’s Chicago and Illinois News Roundup: March 16, 2018
» The Week in Review: Pritzker Slammed Over Offshore Holdings
» Web Extra, The Week in Review: American Airlines Changes Stance
» How Parking Ticket Debt Punishes Black Drivers In Chicago; The Best Illinois Movies
» State Week: Rauner's Gun Veto; Dem's Mean Debate
» #642 Songs About the Music Industry & Antibalas
» March 15, 2018 - Full Show
» Illinois Has Issues: Gov Candidates Talk Marijuana
» Rauner: Replace Legionnaires’-Stricken VA Home With New ‘Ultra-Modern’ Facility

* Candidates for Illinois governor spend $65.7 million on TV ads –– just for the primaries
* George Will: Freedom of speech includes the right to remain silent
* Security of state voter rolls a concern as primaries begin
* As primaries loom, downstate Democrats look for a way back
* Pritzker defends putting $69.5 million of his fortune into campaign
* Statehouse Insider: Sadly, the primary campaign is coming to an end
* Bernard Schoenburg: My predictions for Tuesday's primary election
* Our View: A recap of The State Journal-Register’s endorsements
* Bernard Schoenburg: Guessing who will be celebrating Tuesday night
* Madeleine Doubek: Time to end gerrymandering in Illinois

* Peoria County marriages, divorces: March 18, 2018
* Police: Facebook posts about Northwoods Mall abduction attempts are false
* The St. Patrick’s Celebration Parade brings hundreds to Walnut Street in Murphysboro
* New Moweaqua police chief: It's time to open a fresh chapter
* Belleville West celebrates state championship win
* Collecting Easter eggs in the water
* ELECTION 2018: Meet the Macon County sheriff candidates
* Minister's dream of creating safe space for women becomes reality
* Tazewell, Woodford marriages, divorces: March 18, 2018
* Random Acts of Kindness: Dead battery, then a good Samaritan

* DeBrincat's big night not enough to lift Chicago Blackhawks
* Shields' poor outing vs. A's 'not a concern'
* Today in History
* China names former missile force commander defense minister
* A frustrated Trump lashes out at special counsel Mueller

* What to Expect When Congress Talks ICOs To...
* 7 Democrats talk strategy for winning Tues...
* 14th District Dems voice opinions on immig...
* Minor says he could drop out of race befor...
* US government denies Afghanistan War veter...
* US government denies Afghanistan War veter...
* Members of Congress rally for Palestinian ...
* Nancy Pelosi backs Dan Lipinski for re-ele...
* With Centrist Democrats' Success, Party's ...
* Illinois Congressman proposes tax increase...

* Republicans warn Trump: Leave Mueller alone...
* A frustrated Trump lashes out at special c......
* Hillary Clinton is 'wrong' about Trump vot......
* President Trump lashes out at special coun......
* Rep. Trey Gowdy: Mueller probe should not ......

* Zinke defends use of Japanese word: How co......
* Congolese mother and child finally reunite......
* Schatz to convene field hearing on false m......
* Congolese mother arrives in Chicago, still......
* Duckworth on Zinke's improper use of Japan......

* '63 Boycott
* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook Pt. 1: MAGA, Mendacity & Moby Mike
* State of the Legal Industry: A Leading Innovator Concludes that Inefficiency Persists Despite Hype about Change
* AI + Student Evaluations = the Future?
* Coursera teams with 5 universities to expand its full masters and bachelors degree programs
* Google’s DeepMind AI is being taught to understand the thought-process behind the decisions of others just like a human
* Washington State Passes Law Protecting Net Neutrality
* One UMass affordability option is to offer more online courses
* Can online learning level the AP playing field for rural kids?
* The Soul Of America's Media

* February Flooding Information
* IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather
* Governor issues state disaster proclamation for flooding in Iroquois, Kankakee, Vermilion Counties
* Winter Storm Warnings for Areas Along and North of I-80
* IEMA Encourages People to Prepare for Earthquakes

* Dual-SIM Samsung Galaxy Note8 drops to $700 in US
* Huawei Australia appoints new CTO
* Australian government seeks copyright fair use feedback
* Apple testing its own MicroLED device screens: Report
* ​South Korea to fund 10Gb internet push
* Oculus Go VR headset to launch at Facebook's F8 in May: Report
* Victoria adopts Australia Post digital proof-of-age card

* Sox outclassed, 14-0, in howlingly bad effort at A’s
* Kopech working on changeup, composure
* Fulmer's rotation spot in jeopardy
* Spring Stats Glance
* White Sox announce James Shields as Opening Day starter, because of...
* Cool with No. 2? Avi paces Sox 5-2 win
* Lefty Ross making case for bullpen spot

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller