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Here we go again?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

* AP

Illinois Senate Democrats have scheduled votes for measures in the so-called “grand bargain” budget compromise.

Assistant Majority Leader Donne Trotter of Chicago says the Senate will call each piece of legislation in the plan for votes on Wednesday. He says time is running out to agree to the state’s first budget in two years. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn May 31. […]

Trotter says the Senate needs to know where the votes are for agreeing to a budget. So each bill will stand alone. Even bills that have passed were recalled Tuesday to be voted on again as stand-alone measures.

Patty Schuh, a spokeswoman for Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont, says Radogno remains hopeful negotiations can continue.

* Sen. Bill Brady in the Sun-Times

“We’re more focused on where we can prioritize spending but reduce systemic growth and spending so it is a balanced plan. We’ve already said that we’d be willing to consider an [income tax] increase of 1.2 percent. That would be temporary along with a property tax freeze,” Brady said. “Probably the biggest stumbling block is we need [a] real property tax freeze, real relief.”

“I hope they don’t blow this all up prematurely,” Brady said of Senate Democrats. “We’re still hopeful.” […]

On Tuesday, the Senate moved several “grand bargain” bills into position to see movement on the Senate floor on Wednesday. Those measures include local government consolidation, procurement reform, the second half of a spending plan for the fiscal year 2017 and gaming.

Cullerton spokesman John Patterson warned of the ticking clock, and said the Senate president believes it’s time to act on reforms and a balanced budget.

* Tribune

As the end-of-session jockeying to avoid blame and assign it elsewhere begins, there may be another round of voting on portions of the plan as soon as Wednesday.

Democrats took procedural holds off several bills in the “grand bargain” package that already have passed, with the plan to remove provisions that linked the bills so that if one failed, they all failed. Democrats now say time is running out and they are eager to try to get Republicans to weigh in one way or the other.

“There are some people who’ve indicated that they don’t want to vote for bills that are all tied together, some people who would be willing to vote for a revenue package and then some people who aren’t willing to, under any circumstances, vote for a revenue package but may like some of the other reform ideas that have been negotiated in the bipartisan fashion,” said Democratic Sen. Toi Hutchinson of Olympia Fields, a key budget negotiator. “Maybe that might help to get to passage of the individual pieces.”

Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, said it would be “a huge mistake” for Democrats to press ahead while details continue to be worked out.

* From the Senate Democrats…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - RNUG - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 9:33 am:

    Time for the IGOP to decide what is more important, this State or Rauner’s money.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 9:41 am:

    1) I want a deal
    2) I want a budget
    3) I want shared blame & congrats for all
    4) I want a functioning state government

    Do the doable

    Unless there are significant, real, measurable, issues that prevent 30 votes…

    … and those refusing to vote for a deal aren’t doing so solely at the call of the Governor, even if listening to Rauner means hurting their own districts…

    … then find the doable.

    Send it to Madigan, put the spotlight on the HDems and Madigan.

    That’s the ONLY path that will get this budgetary issue to move; passing the doable to the House to force this issue.

    The rest?

    The rest IS the Raunerism, the Raunerism destroying Illinois.

    Do. The. Doable.

    Enough is enough.

  3. - Joe M - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 9:47 am:

    Property tax freeze = squeeze the beast, just like Rauner has done to social services and higher ed.

    I really think that Rauner’s end game here is to starve local government, school districts, and higher ed, to force workers in those fields to take lower wages and to weaken unions.

    If Brady really wants property tax relief, he should be pushing for the State having the primary responsibility to fund education as the Illinois Constitution calls for.

  4. - Ron - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    Joe M. sounds like a good plan.

  5. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 9:55 am:

    Agree w RNUG, but the fact it’s taken this long to even have the question taken seriously by IGOP is sickening. So NOW it’s, “Man oh man, this is really getting bad!” For those who are only now itching their conscience, why now? Seems to me it was pretty serious several billion$ ago…..and growing daily.

  6. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 9:57 am:

    I agree. Do the doable, don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good and any other cliche that may be tired but could not be more apporopriate. It’s time to leave extreme ideology to the dorm room kids (h/t wordslinger) and have pragmatic adults begin ending this nightmare.

  7. - illinoised - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 9:57 am:

    Joe correct about Rauner’s end game.

  8. - Norseman - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 9:58 am:

    RNUG, I thought the Senate GOP was going to choose State, but the Rauner siren won out.

  9. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:14 am:

    Do the doable should be word with sides should stick to

    temporary property tax freeze and temporary income tax freeze

    or permanent property tax freeze and permanent income tax increase

    Not sure all Democrats realize compromise is a two way street.

    Since many have not had to compromise with Republicans since 2001

  10. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    Charlie Brown is ready to kick the football.

  11. - Boat captain - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    It is hard to watch or read the republican’s press conference or read their tweets when you realize they are lying when they have been saying we’re close since February.

  12. - Thoughts Matter - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:27 am:

    RNUG -

    They chose back when they kept voting present. They chose when they accepted campaign contributions from Rainer one March when the session runs from Jan thru May.

    They need to have a change of heart,

  13. - RNUG - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:34 am:

    == They need to have a change of heart ==

    And until they do, nothing will change.

  14. - RNUG - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:40 am:

    Here’s an idea that is way out of the box. JB should set up a $100M fund (with more pledged if needed) for all existing Republican Senators and Representatives … but pledge to only give it to Republicans who are primaried by Rauner.

    Weird suggestion, but it might neutralize Rauner’s money and show that JB is willing to work with both parties to fix Illinois.

  15. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:44 am:

    ===Since many have not had to compromise with Republicans===

    It’s not the Democrats refusing to close a deal, it’s Rauner. Rauner needs 30. Rauner is more than happy, according to him to have no deal, if he “feels” it’s a bad deal.

    That’s code for “I’ll blow it up, I’ve blown it up before”

    Keep up.

  16. - downstate commissioner - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:48 am:

    How, in good conscience, can anybody vote for a property tax freeze without a replacement funding process in place to fund the local services?

    Many, if not most, local governments do not get any money from income taxes. Our funding comes from property taxes. While I understand that property taxes are unpopular, they still remain a fair way to fund services at the local level.

    I understand Rauner’s support for freezing the property tax: he doesn’t care, and he believes (probably correctly) that voters think it is a good thing. But Representatives and Senators are supposed to be smarter than that.

  17. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 10:51 am:

    ===Many, if not most, local governments do not get any money from income taxes===


    Locals get revenue sharing from the income tax. They also get a piece of the sales tax.

    And if the sales tax is expanded to some services, they’ll get a chunk of that new cash.

  18. - Ginhouse Tommy - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    If Rauner wants to blame Madigan just let them pass the Grand Bargain, give it to the House and let MJM sweat it out. All eyes will be on him at that point. At that point he has no where to hide. If Joe M is correct about Rauner’s end game it would be a disaster for the state.

  19. - Robert Lincoln - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    I have not been able to understand why Rauner and others support a bill with a property tax freeze. I guess maybe it is my lack of understanding of where that tax money goes versus a state tax increase. State tax increase goes to general fund but only local governments benefit from property taxes? Does any amount of our property taxes go to the state?
    Assuming the state gets nothing, Joe M.’s theory makes some sense. But aren’t the overwhelming majority of local governments Republican? How does starving them help the party?
    Other than populist grandstanding, I don’t see the benefit to Republicans from a property tax freeze.

  20. - Blue dog dem - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:07 am:

    All entities throughout the state need to share in the pain. Cairo included.

  21. - don the legend - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    OW is absolutely correct.
    —It’s not the Democrats refusing to close a deal, it’s Rauner. Rauner needs 30. Rauner is more than happy, according to him to have no deal, if he “feels” it’s a bad deal—

    Rauner can’t blame democrats through the next election if there is a deal. Therefore Rauner will not allow a deal to happen.

  22. - Winnin' - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:45 am:

    Rauner to Republican Senators:
    Let’s get ready to C R U M B L E…

  23. - Skirmisherjiij - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    Brother, am I sick of these people! We have outrageous property taxes because the State passes off its obligations to local governments. Since the State has passed the buck, it is none of its damn business how local governments meet their obligations. Local officials stand for elections like everyone else. So enough of this phony property tax freeze nonsense. And Mr. Brady, it’s time to do it or get off the pot. Let’s see some movement, especially from you and your master.ç

  24. - -Ginhouse Tommy - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 12:17 pm:

    Those who have given in to Rauner and taken money from him may need it because of voter backlash in the next election. If you’re tied to Rauner and his money it could be costly in the next election.

  25. - Pundent - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 12:37 pm:

    =Does any amount of our property taxes go to the state?=

    No. The local taxing bodies that comprise your property tax bill are schools, counties, townships, municipalities, libraries, etc.

    One of the reason that we should a higher property tax burden is due to our low state income tax rate which pushes a larger portion of the funding to the local level.

    Now if it was being proposed that we’d increase state income taxes and the corresponding local distributions as a way of reducing (or holding flat) property taxes this proposal would have a lot of merit. Absent that this is simply a new twist on “starve the beast”. Even worse it takes our current state funding crisis and exacerbates it by making it a local crisis as well.

  26. - blue dog dem - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 12:39 pm:

    We have outrageous property tax bills because taxing entities throughout the state have over promised and overspent.

  27. - Ron - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 12:41 pm:

    What’s worse is local school districts can increase the state’s teacher pension liabilities at will. Time to force school districts to pay the full compensation of their workers.

    And allow municipal bankruptcy.

  28. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 12:49 pm:

    Are the Senate GOP members playing along with Rauner, or getting played by Rauner?

    Like the House GOP, they’ve been complicit up to now with their unanimous support of squeeze the beast. But they sure are talking a lot like they’re working it in good faith.

    It’s hard to tell from a distance.

  29. - Honeybear - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:10 pm:

    Word- my source says sgop still fully complicit with Rauner just playing a better game of doing their best to look like good faith. It’s high stakes perfidy.

  30. - The Real Just Me - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 1:45 pm:

    Can I ask a serious question? Aren’t the individual pieces less likely to pass with non-partisan roll calls if they are individual pieces, de-linked from the Grand Bargain and from a budget deal? Aren’t they then “just a bill” that have to stand or fall on their individual merits? For example, why would any Democrat vote for a de-linked workers’ comp reform bill that hurts workers and is opposed by labor and trial lawyers and why would any Republican vote for that same WC reform bill that is opposed by the business groups as not being enough? Can somebody explain the political thinking here? Wasn’t it the idea that linking every thing together would entice Senators, maybe in different combinations depending on the bill, to vote for things they would otherwise oppose?

  31. - RNUG - Wednesday, May 17, 17 @ 4:32 pm:

    == Aren’t the individual pieces less likely to pass with non-partisan roll calls if they are individual pieces, ==

    True. If we had a Governor who wanted to achieve a budget, he would be out there working a deal where there would be a structured roll call with each side promising a specific number of votes on each item. And the majority of votes for a particular item would be from the party that needed that item.

    Since Rauner isn’t doing that, you have to assume Rauner is either incompetent or he is doing exactly what he wants to, which appears to be “starve the beast”.

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