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The new Richard Goldberg

Friday, Apr 28, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* This was one of the more pointed exchanges during a Senate appropriations committee hearing yesterday featuring Gov. Rauner’s chief of staff Richard Goldberg

“There were times that we believed, many times, in the Democratic caucus that we were going out on the floor to vote on the grand bargain and we were then informed that because the governor’s office was not supportive — didn’t think there was a deal good enough for him, goodness knows — that they weren’t going to be able to vote on it,” state Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, said.

“The Republican votes were coming off. That happened to us several times. The goalpost had continued to have been moved. So you can’t sit there and say that Democrats were not willing to vote on it. In the Senate, the Democrats and Republicans had been working very closely together, very collegially, and I’ve been very appreciative of that fact. And when things broke down it was because there was an intervention by the governor’s office. That’s not where we’re going with this. And that’s not where I want to go with this. ”

Goldberg said the governor is trying to be flexible.

“The goal posts haven’t moved. They’ve widened perhaps to make it easier to get an agreement. If they’re moving, they’re moving closer to you over the last two years,” Goldberg said. “I don’t know what else the governor can really do to make himself more clear to you that he is trying to achieve a truly balanced budget with changes to the system.”

“He can suggest that they vote on the grand bargain bills or else actually file an amendment,” Steans interjected, adding it’s not productive to lay blame on the General Assembly.

* Goldberg mostly held his tongue

During the hearing, Goldberg pressed back on Senate Democrats’ repeated accusations that the Rauner administration has refused to outline specific budget cuts following a series of previous hearings where agency directors couldn’t, or didn’t, name any. Goldberg said it’s as if senators were operating “in a vacuum” or “alternative universe,” given that Rauner had in prior years proposed cuts to everything from higher education to programs that support autistic kids to child care support for low-income working parents.

“The governor is clear,” that he wants a balanced budget paired with structural changes such as term limits, a property tax freeze and overhaul of the workers’ compensation system that he believes will lead to a “booming economy,” Goldberg said.

“Now we’re here several weeks away from the end of session for FY18’s budget and I want to come back to what I want to say: We need to work together and get this done,” Goldberg said.


  1. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:03 am:

    Goldberg is still, hands down, my favorite.

    The manner he goes about his business equally has its desired effect in the politics, and in humoring me well outside the effects his comments and Rauner’s governing do.

    I like “Z”, seriously, but Goldberg is my favorite, no snark.

  2. - Honeybear - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:04 am:

    VIVAT Prince of Perfidy!

  3. - nailed it - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:13 am:

    Goldberg nailed it in committee hearing yesterday and the Democrats are lucky the whole state wasn’t forced to watch. It was the best day of testimony for the Rauner administration since Tim Nuding and Jason Barclay took on a Committee of the Whole.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    ===Goldberg nailed it in committee hearing yesterday and the Democrats are lucky the whole state wasn’t forced to watch.===

    How so? Please cite an example of Goldberg nailing it that will show… whatever it is you think… is damaging.

  5. - Henry Francis - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:24 am:

    Nailed it, huh?

  6. - Rod - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:33 am:

    Sen Steans has never enunciated what level of taxation she believes is necessary to support the many policies that the Steans family foundation has lent lobbying support for. They range from education funding reform to increased funding for human services, I agree with many of her priorities. But I don’t agree with hiding the ball in relation to the revenue needed to pay for these things. In a way it’s the mirror image of how the Governor is operating.

  7. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:36 am:

    ===But I don’t agree with hiding the ball in relation to the revenue needed to pay for these things. In a way it’s the mirror image of how the Governor is operating.===

    How so, be specific. Not agreeing or even disagreeing, flesh it out for me.

    Thank you.

  8. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    ===But I don’t agree with hiding the ball in relation to the revenue needed to pay for these things.===

    Oh, please. Go read SB 9.

  9. - Signal and Noise - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 11:01 am:

    Credibility matters. Goldberg spent all of his by behaving like an obnoxious frat boy for two years. One sober day does not a recovery make.

  10. - The Dude Abides - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 11:03 am:

    When will the term limits legislation that the Governor is insisting on go in effect? I thought at one time they were talking about 2026 but I could be wrong about that.

  11. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 11:03 am:

    === One sober day===


    I watched him testify to a House approp committee a few weeks ago and it was so boring I almost left.

  12. - Daniel Plainview - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 11:10 am:

    Maybe dreamboat Goldberg can explain, if the governor so clearly wants a balanced budget, what is stopping him from proposing one? Do the Dems control GOMB’s calculators?

  13. - JS Mill - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 11:16 am:

    =structural changes such as term limits, a property tax freeze and overhaul of the workers’ compensation system =

    What is this “structure” he is referring to?

    Property tax is not part of the state government structure, it is local.

    If they want to lower property tax, they may want to address the failure of the state to fund their mandates like primary, secondary, AND post secondary.

  14. - Rod - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 12:00 pm:

    Rich SB 9 under amendment 3 sets a total state spending limit of $37.9 billion ((35 ILCS 5/201.7 b) for FY 18, if the spending goes over this amount then the tax rate in the bill drops. Just spending not related to pensions was $28.2 billion back in FY2015. State pension contributions were $6.9 billion in FY2017. The total backlog of unpaid bills was $10.9 billion alone at the end of December 2016, so the ball is hidden in this very bill because the bill payment loan in SB 4 is totally outside on the consideration of the bill for expenditure purposes, only the loan debt for FY 18 is even taken into consideration. The spending limit is probably unrealistic just for FY 18.

    Willy Sen Steans has supported an education funding reform program that requires billions on new dollars to go to education over a ten year period, the ball is hidden just on the taxation obligation that would be on going for that bill.

  15. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 12:09 pm:

    ===…has supported an education funding reform program that requires billions on new dollars to go to education over a ten year period, the ball is hidden just on the taxation obligation that would be on going for that bill.===

    Without a budget, or Leslie Munger’s long term budgeting, Rauner can’t argue there is… or isn’t… the funding available.

    It’s not hidden, it’s joust not fully realized due to the budget(s) and projections from those budgets(?)

  16. - Rod - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 2:16 pm:

    Well Willy that is one way to look at it. Another way would be to explain to the public there is no free lunch when it comes to education funding reform and attempting to reach education equity in Illinois.

  17. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 3:00 pm:

    ===…that is one way to look at it.===

    Given that budgetary confusion is abound, I look at things with an eye towards…

    “You can’t pay for that, even though I can’t point to a budget that says that”

    Budgets solve a great many things, including tackling education inequity.

    With respect.

  18. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Apr 28, 17 @ 3:56 pm:

    “The new Rich Goldberg”

    Marriage has a way of housebreaking us all.

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