* After convincing all the Democratic gubernatorial candidates to take a side on legalizing marijuana and regulating it like alcohol (all but Chris Kennedy and Bob Daiber were for it), I figured I’d try to get them to talk about a different topic. Here’s the e-mail I sent…
As you may know, Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno has criticized all of you for not supporting any cuts to state spending:
Can you name one state spending program that you/your candidate would cut or reduce if elected? Not a tax credit, etc. We’ll get to those eventually. An appropriated spending program. And about how much would that save?
* Ameya Pawar’s campaign was the first to respond, so we’ll start with him…
To answer your question - The $5 million annual subsidy to White Sox Stadium (through IFSA) is a good place to start. Background here.
Sometimes, I really hate Cub fans. /snark
* Chris Kennedy’s campaign was next…
Illinois can’t cut its way out of the budget crisis just as it can’t tax its way out of it. A single cut isn’t a solution but a political talking point. We need comprehensive reform in terms of spending, government operations and taxes to pass a budget that grows Illinois’ economy while embracing our shared values. For example, Illinois could merge the offices of comptroller and treasurer saving over $12 million. But any reform must be part of a comprehensive solution.
Bruce Rauner has been governor for two years and just this Spring neither he nor his Directors could detail a cut to the state budget they will make. Governor Rauner has failed to present a comprehensive approach to Illinois’ budget crisis instead holding the state hostage to pass his extreme, personal political agenda.
* Sen. Daniel Biss…
I was pretty confused by Leader Radogno’s letter. It’s as if she hasn’t been in Springfield the last 2 years or even the last 2 months. Leader Radogno should know better than anyone that the Governor is an absolutist who only cares about his own political career and his inner circle.
Leader Radogno said herself on the Senate Floor that we’re losing 11 million dollars every day we don’t have a state budget. She knows that despite the Governor’s campaign pledge to cut more, not a single agency head was able to tell us what they would cut when brought before Senate Committees. She also knows first hand that this Governor has no interest in governing.
Governor Rauner’s obsession with politics at the expense of governing has led him to make high-priced politically-motivated hires like Leslie Munger. We should begin by cutting her $138,000 salary.
We also should not be making hundreds of millions of dollars in interest payments on overdue bills. It is especially absurd that the state deliberately sets a high interest rate and then allows private lenders to use it to turn a profit. Of course, the best way to avoid all interest payments would be to finally enact a truly balanced budget and pay down our bill backlog.
Unfortunately, Governor Rauner has failed to meet his constitutional obligations and present a balanced budget 3 times. Instead, he’s cut the services Illinoisans rely on to the bone, all to prevent the wealthy from paying their fair share.
So let’s start here: cut the political nonsense and work to pass a budget to save the state 11 million dollars a day.
* Bob Daiber’s campaign…
“Let’s start the ‘cuts’ discussion by saying we need substantial reform to the structure of government in Illinois in terms of the way money is spent. We currently have so much waste and mismanagement that structural reforms are the only way to see substantial change.
“So our first elimination would be the abolishment of CMS. We stand in support of Representative Brandon Phelps HB 2889. The abolishment of CMS could see savings of over $1 Billion within the first year of implementation. In addition, the potential savings through streamlining procurement procedures for all agencies and redistribution of the current CMS appropriated funds could see the elimination of nearly $2 Billion dollars in waste.
“Despite the politics as usual campaign rhetoric of Senator Rodogno, we are also in favor of many other reforms in spending and waste. Maybe Senator Radogno should spend a little less time campaigning for Boss Rauner and spend a little more time getting a budget passed,” states the Daiber campaign.
* JB Pritzker’s campaign…
Governor Rauner has failed to introduce a balanced budget, consistently refusing to do his job and dragging our state down a path of financial ruin. Instead of focusing on his constitutionally mandated duty, he chose to campaign for re-election this week, putting politics ahead of governing.
Rauner’s failure to pass a budget has led to misplaced spending priorities. Unlike Rauner, JB will focus on smart, long-term investments that would save the state hundreds of millions of dollars in both the short and long term. For example:
* Illinois spends close to $35,000 per year for a senior citizen to live in a nursing home, while in-home care costs half that amount and allows our senior citizens the dignity of living at home. Yet, under Rauner, in home care services have been cut by 25 percent – and he wants to cut it more. As a result, the state fails to realize significant savings.
* Illinois spends $20,000 per family on emergency housing per year, while homeless prevention services for that same family cost little more than half that amount and keep families off the streets. Yet, under Rauner, those prevention services have been cut by 25 percent, once again demonstrating his misplaced spending priorities.
* Illinois spends $178,000 per year to house one child in a juvenile detention center, when it costs just $6,000 for community-based intervention programs that do not disrupt a child’s development and prevent recidivism. Yet, under Rauner, funding for those intervention programs was cut by a third, showing a lack of concern for children, their families, and our state budget.
Governor Rauner’s refusal to do his job has resulted in wasteful and inefficient spending that leaves working families and their children without access to the tools they need to reach the middle class. When JB announced his candidacy for governor last week, he made it clear that he will stand for progressive values that have been lost under Governor Rauner’s failed leadership. JB has taken on big challenges and gotten real results, and he will do the same as governor.
Ultimately, JB is committed to eliminating the one thing that has cost Illinois families the most: Bruce Rauner.
I’m expecting a late response from the Summers campaign. I’ll add it when it gets here, but I need to run some errands soon, so I wanted to get this post up.
* Rate their answers.