Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x4 - Civic Committee: Work it out - Rauner: Madigan “intentionally misleading,” SDems “caved” to Madigan on grand bargain*** Madigan lays out progress to Civic Committee, asks for help dealing with Rauner
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*** UPDATED x4 - Civic Committee: Work it out - Rauner: Madigan “intentionally misleading,” SDems “caved” to Madigan on grand bargain*** Madigan lays out progress to Civic Committee, asks for help dealing with Rauner

Friday, May 26, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From Steve Brown…

The attached letter was sent by the Speaker after reviewing the recent report of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club. It is a recounting of the Speaker’s effort to address a variety of issues. I thought it might be of interest.

* The letter…

May 25, 2017
Chairman Frederick H. Waddell
Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago 21 South Clark Street, Ste. 4301
Chicago, IL 60603
Dear Chairman Waddell:

I appreciate your recent report and its detailed recommendations on the state budget. I agree that our state is a vibrant place with much to offer as a center for innovation and growth, but the budget crisis is holding us back. I have stated repeatedly that the budget is the most important issue facing our state, and I wanted to make sure you and your colleagues are aware of what steps House Democrats have already taken to put Illinois on more sound financial footing.

Between Fiscal Year 2012 and Fiscal Year 2014, Democrats made significant progress in paying down the state’s backlog of old bills. Under Democratic budgets, the state’s debt dropped from over $8 billion in 2013 to $4.5 billion in July 2015. In fact, as a candidate Rauner criticized Illinois’ bill backlog in May 2013. However, Governor Rauner’s impasse has completely reversed the progress we made; after nearly two years without a budget, the backlog of unpaid bills has now grown to over $14 billion.

In recent years, House Democrats have pushed for cost-saving reforms to state pensions and the Medicaid system. We have also taken steps toward greater pension parity for Chicago; during the 99th General Assembly, House Democrats advanced Senate Bill 2822, which provides state funding for Chicago teacher’s pensions. Unfortunately, Governor Rauner vetoed this legislation.

House Democrats also implemented significant reforms to the workers’ compensation system, and we are beginning to see the impact. Costs, injuries and claims have call dropped significantly since our law passed in 2011, and Illinois now has a lower frequency of medical payments per claim than Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin. While the governor has prioritized further changes to the system, we have engaged in this dialogue. We have offered additional reforms that will make sure employers see the benefit of reform. This month, we passed House Bill 2525, which codifies causation standards to make sure only legitimate workplace injuries are compensable, and requires workers’ compensation insurers to pass these savings on to employers.

We’ve passed significant reforms to the criminal justice system that will help reduce costs. Last year, the House passed bipartisan legislation that expands the Department of Corrections’ ability to offer early release to some non-violent offenders, and give judges more flexibility in sentencing for some non-violent crimes.

House Democrats have led efforts to empower taxpayers to consolidate local government. In the 99th General Assembly, we passed House Bill 229, which expands a pilot program that will empower taxpayers to consolidate duplicative or unnecessary taxing bodies.

We continue to work toward education funding reform. A House Democratic plan would help students across the state and put all Illinois schools on an equal footing. But the Republican proposal is not a fair proposal for all our students; it slashes funding for the Chicago Public Schools. I would be interested in knowing which proposal you and your colleagues would prefer.
While we continually strive to address Illinois’ challenges, there are some proposals that have failed to find consensus within the General Assembly. Reductions to the Local Government Distributive Fund is one suggestion in your plan that has already been met with concern by Democrats and Republicans, who fear the loss of revenue for local governments will only force higher property taxes and cuts to public safety, health and other community services.

I remain committed to working in good faith with the governor to pass a full, responsible budget, and address the other major issues facing the state. Last week, I assigned four members of the House Democratic leadership team to meet with Governor Rauner and discuss his off-budget agenda items. Unfortunately, to date, the Governor has chosen not to meet with these members.

I hope you will join me in urging the governor to take up House Democrats’ offer and help us end this budget crisis.

With kindest personal regards, I remain

Sincerely yours,

MICHAEL J. MADIGAN
Speaker of the House

*** UPDATE 1 ***  I’m told on background by the Rauner folks that during his 40-minute meeting with the governor last month, Speaker Madigan came right out and asked Rauner to cancel their meeting with the Civic Committee, which was scheduled for the following week. Rauner refused to comply, and then Madigan canceled. The Raunerites believe that Madigan only sent this letter today because they “outed” his refusal to meet with the Civic Committee.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Steve Brown in comments…

Gotta love those “deep background” update.
Now just a couple of facts.
The Speaker met with the Civic Committee in mid April
The group offered to bring themselves into the budget impasse. A similar offer was made by the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.
Given on-going activities in Springfield it did not appear necessary to engage either offer.
Today’s attempted history rewrite is both false and another glimpse to thinking of the administration.

*** UPDATE 3 *** Gov. Rauner told reporters today that Madigan’s letter is “intentionally misleading.”

“He refused to meet with the Civic Committee and me,” Madigan said, claiming that since then Madigan has refused to meet with the governor. “The Speaker has shown no interest in compromise for two years, zero interest.”

Gov. Rauner also claimed that the Senate Democrats “caved in” to “the Speaker’s pressure” on the grand bargain. Rauner claimed yet again that Madigan sent interest groups to the Senate to kill the grand bargain.

“We need the members of the General Assembly in the Democratic caucus to not be afraid to stand up to Speaker Madigan,” Rauner told reporters. “Speaker Madigan does not want any changes whatsoever. Zero. He just wants Republicans to support a massive tax hike that just sticks it to taxpayers with no property tax relief.”

Click here for the raw audio.

*** UPDATE 4 *** From the Civic Committee…

Statement in Response to Speaker Madigan’s Letter

“The Civic Committee has provided a comprehensive Framework for our State’s governmental leaders to solve our budget crisis. It is now their responsibility to compromise and pass a comprehensive budget package which will move our State forward. The people of Illinois are depending on it.”

- Kelly Welsh – President, The Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago

       

41 Comments
  1. - Texas Red - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 9:03 am:

    “Between Fiscal Year 2012 and Fiscal Year 2014, Democrats made significant progress in paying down the state’s backlog of old bills”

    Yep, and they did that via the higher temporary income tax. MJM can’t even be subtle in this letter, Dem’s are the party of higher taxes.


  2. - wordslinger - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 9:07 am:

    It’s fine to lay it out in a letter to policy wonks, but you have to sell it to the public, too. It’s always been that way.

    That’s especially true now as the Rauner propagandists and wanna-be sophists dominate the discussion with their barrage of distractions and deceit as to their motivations and true objectives.


  3. - Red Rider - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 9:09 am:

    Pipe dream!


  4. - Montrose - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 9:19 am:

    “Yep, and they did that via the higher temporary income tax. MJM can’t even be subtle in this letter, Dem’s are the party of higher taxes.”

    As opposed to doing it with magic beans? Paying bills requires having money. Pretending we can fix our problems without more revenue doesn’t help anyone.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 9:21 am:

    ===“Between Fiscal Year 2012 and Fiscal Year 2014, Democrats made significant progress in paying down the state’s backlog of old bills”

    Yep, and they did that via the higher temporary income tax. MJM can’t even be subtle in this letter, Dem’s are the party of higher taxes===

    Lemme get this one straight…

    Your complaining… about appropriate amount of revenue… to cover expenses?

    Go back to bed. You’re not healthy.


  6. - Aldyth - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 9:24 am:

    “Dem’s are the party of higher taxes”

    Apparently, Texas Red, the Dem’s are the party of actually paying the bills and paying down debt.


  7. - Texas Red - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 9:33 am:

    =Apparently, Texas Red, the Dem’s are the party of actually paying the bills and paying down debt.

    MJM has one tool in his toolbox and he sure uses it.


  8. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    Refusing to even meet with the Civic committee? Speaks volumes about Democrats hostility to employers in this state. And they wonder why population is fleeing Chicago and Illinois.

    Maybe a personal appeal to the Civic Committee over the past two years would have been more effective than a letter sent the night before the homework is due.


  9. - wordslinger - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 9:37 am:

    Tex, in the English language, “chronic deadbeat” is the opposite of “responsible conservative.”

    You can look it up.


  10. - tobor - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 9:43 am:

    I seems that the exodus from Illinois has increased bigly since Rauner took office.


  11. - VanillaMan - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 9:45 am:

    Republican are going to have to realize that their governor has failed as a governor. A bad governor doesn’t lead any state to a better future, regardless of intentions and promises. Rauner has been awful and has done an awful job.

    Madigan has also failed. There’s a reason Quinn got fired. The old way of governing didn’t keep up under his and those last two icky Democratic governors.

    But you know what?

    They kept the lights on and the state open. Rauner couldn’t do that.

    We need to pay our bills and restore our credit. Rauner couldn’t do that.

    Republicans have to stop believing in any reform under Rauner. He failed, not because his reforms were horrible ideas, but because Rauner never earned the office he bought by establishing any governing credentials or leadership abilities.

    As hard as it is for Republicans and reformers toadmit, Rauner has been so awful, he made broken government look good.


  12. - Anonymous - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 9:48 am:

    Aldyth, let us correct you—the dems are the party that forced the taxpayers to pay the bills and pay the debt. There, now it is accurate.


  13. - anon2 - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    I think Madigan would accept the Civic Committee’s budget, but Rauner won’t without his TA. The Civic Committee advocates higher taxes; does that make them Democrats?


  14. - Pundent - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    =As hard as it is for Republicans and reformers toadmit, Rauner has been so awful, he made broken government look good.=

    Exactly. And this has to be part of the Dem candidates message. Obviously things were bad before Rauner arrived on the scene. Own it, acknowledge it. And then drive home the point that Rauner made things worse. Purposely, deliberately.


  15. - Steve Brown - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 9:53 am:

    Gotta love those “deep background” update.
    Now just a couple of facts.
    The Speaker met with the Civic Committee in mid April
    The group offered to bring themselves into the budget impasse. A similar offer was made by the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.
    Given on-going activities in Springfield it did not appear necessary to engage either offer.
    Today’s attempted history rewrite is both false and another glimpse to thinking of the administration.
    Thanx for checking in advance.


  16. - Barrington - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    Sounds like Rauner is whining instead of winning. Show some leadership instead of whining Madigan wants to cancel.


  17. - cover - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 9:59 am:

    = Aldyth, let us correct you—the dems are the party that forced the taxpayers to pay the bills and pay the debt. There, now it is accurate. =

    Huh? Of course taxpayers pay the bills, who else would?


  18. - Arsenal - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 10:03 am:

    ==Yep, and they did that via the higher temporary income tax. MJM can’t even be subtle in this letter, Dem’s are the party of higher taxes.==

    Absolutely, and what’s the lowered tax rate gotten us? More bills, a budget crisis, and people still fleeing the state.


  19. - GOP Extremist - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 10:06 am:

    Leaving all special interest groups out of budget negotiations is probably a good idea.


  20. - Texas Red - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    ==Arsenal=

    “Absolutely, and what’s the lowered tax rate gotten us? More bills, a budget crisis, and people still fleeing the state.”

    To solve this crisis it might be prudent to seek the root cause of the disease and not just treat the symptoms… But of course for MJM there is always that Dem voter base to protect.


  21. - Anotherretiree - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    ==Dem’s are the party of higher taxes.==
    And what do the “Cons” propose to pay down the debt ?


  22. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    ===Leaving all special interest groups out of budget negotiations is probably a good idea.===

    Normally I would agree but the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club is one group that could potentially have Rauner’s ear and maybe some influence. Rev. Jackson, not so much.


  23. - cdog - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 10:31 am:

    blah, blah, blah. Between Madigan and Rauner, I just can’t decide who’s more full of it.

    What kind of apple does Madigan want for stuff that the 99th passed but is just a pile of electrons, or dust, somewhere in Springfield because it never was fully enacted? Those comments are ridiculous and useless. Ya, ya, pat on the back, yawn.

    Also, Madigan wants to poll his audience as to which education plan is better. That is silly too. If a district loses under a formula, there must be a reason–too few students, too many employees, etc. What about “bipartisan” is so hard to understand?

    The only reasonable thing going on in this letter is the HB2525 dealing with codification of work comp causation and ensuring employers see savings, not insurance cos.

    That is on third reading in the Senate, today.

    That one, if passed, puts Rauner in the box.


  24. - Rich Miller - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 10:32 am:

    ===it might be prudent to seek the root cause of the disease===

    A far too narrow tax base and a far too broad spending base for the revenues being brought in, which led to skipping and skimping on pension payments.

    Both of those things - revenue and spending - have to be fixed.


  25. - JS Mill - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 10:37 am:

    =Rauner couldn’t do that.=

    Sometimes there is a difference between “couldn’t”and “wouldn’t”. One is simply a refusal and the other is more about ability.

    I sincerely don’t know which it is for Rauner at this point.

    Very good post.

    =the dems are the party that forced the taxpayers to pay the bills and pay the debt.=

    That comment is so laughably childish and ignorant I can hardly contain myself.

    Civics lesson #1: Taxes are comprised of money, paid to the government to cover the expenses of governing as well as governmental services.

    Civics Lesson #2: Taxes are paid by “tax payers” comprised of people with taxable income, as well as taxes on goods, services, and transactions. Businesses also pay taxes.

    Let me know if any of the words were too big. I’ll break it down even more for you.


  26. - Anonymous - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 10:37 am:

    Cover, you must of glossed over the word “forced.”

    How about being prudent spenders with said tax money, how about making the pension payments when they should. My point, don’t give politicians one iota of credit for paying the debt and pensions when you squeeze $30 billion from the taxpayers.

    Understand now?


  27. - A Jack - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    You can make the case that Madigan is much more in tune with the Civic Committee than Rauner ever has been.

    For example, Madigan bucked against unions big time with his pension reform bill. This is likely in large part due to the urging of the Civic Committee. While that effort failed on constitutional grounds, pushing that bill didn’t win Madigan any friends from the unions whose members still sometimes grump about that bill here.

    The Chicago Commercial Club has the CEO’s of some of the largest employers of the state as members. They used to have a listing of members, but I haven’t been able to find it recently. Rauner, on the other hand, made millions buying companies, splitting them up and firing the employees.


  28. - VanillaMan - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    =Rauner couldn’t do that.=

    In the past, “wouldn’t” is how I’d have written it. I chose couldn’t because it doesn’t matter. Even if we knew his excuse for not doing something important, fact is, it needed to have been done, wasn’t done, and as governor, he’s responsible.

    What he’s failed to do is a fact now - he failed for whatever political fingerpointing excuse he gave us. He failed. He makes no attempt to change that fact. Rauner gave up. We have to stop debating it.

    Rauner and his term is ending. HE BE GONE. I’m addressing him in past tense starting today.

    When a liar discovers that their audience has moved on - they try other things. Right now, anything different from Rauner would be welcomed.

    ILGOP wants us to see their governor as a viable leader. Rauner couldn’t be one.

    It’s time to write him off. We gave him too many excuses because Madigan/Quinn couldn’t keep us belidving in their fixes.

    Rauner made broken government look good - what a sad legacy.


  29. - Grandson of Man - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 11:19 am:

    I wish Madigan and Democrats would talk up these accomplishments more, instead of letting Rauner and his ILGOP run the media and PR table. How about some more press releases and comments? How about getting a modern press shop that is proactive and always trying to shape the narrative–being quick to make statements and rebuttals?


  30. - JS Mill - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 11:22 am:

    =Understand now?=

    I guess there have never been any Republicans in Illinois government?

    I will have to give the ILGOP and let them know that.

    Understand now?


  31. - Aldyth - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 11:36 am:

    “Aldyth, let us correct you—the dems are the party that forced the taxpayers to pay the bills and pay the debt. There, now it is accurate.”

    Anonymous, please give us your source for who else has ever paid the bills and the debt in Illinois. You imply that it has worked in some other way than using tax dollars for the purpose?


  32. - RNUG - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    == How about being prudent spenders with said tax money, how about making the pension payments when they should. My point, don’t give politicians one iota of credit for paying the debt and pensions when you squeeze $30 billion from the taxpayers. ==

    Currently, without a budget and the lower tax rate, the State is on track to spend something like $8B more than it is taking in from taxes. This is fairly clear proof the state has more obligations than money.

    Under Quinn, a budget, and higher taxes the State was paying the bills, and the scheduled pension fund payments, and actually paying down the bill backlog. Yes, the pension funds payments were not at actuarial levels, but they were what the revised Edgar Ramp called for. In other words, under Quinn the state was slowly bailing out the boat.

    Since the court ordered payments and what little other programs that received an appropriation are drastically more than State revenues, the boat is now underwater. Where is the State to get the money to pay the bills if they don’t “force” (to use your word) higher taxes? There is no waste that can be cut; Rauner’s own directors couldn’t name a penny.

    So what’s your solution?


  33. - Anonymous - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 12:45 pm:

    RNUG, candidly I have no solutions, because I think the ship has sailed. Somewhere, some time the state income tax will increase to 5-6%, permanently. What is the overall obligation right now, $120-130 Billion?

    Illinois is not coming back, especially as more and more people leave the state and fewer business expand in this state or relocate to Illinois. What happens when major businesses move more of their operations to TN, Texas, Florida, etc?

    There will be more people dependent of aid and fewer people to provide the aid. What will be the pension outlay of one person retiring at 60, making $75K a year, with a 3% COLA, at age 90? One person?

    All of this cannot be sustained and it is a charade to think otherwise.


  34. - Oswego Willy - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 1:16 pm:

    To Updatex3 and Rauner thinking Madigan is more powerful than any governor, and that Rauner’s passiveness is the norm…

    GHR?

    ===“The governor is the top guy. He is the leader. House Speaker Mike Madigan is not. The governor has to make things happen. If he doesn’t get everything he wants, he’s got to figure out how much he can get. To get something done. He’s got to take the wheel. He’s got to have a plan. It’s like everything in life.”===

    Gov. Edgar?

    ===”He (Rauner) comes from a different background than I do. But I just think it’s very important for a governor, you’ve got to have a good budget and you need it in place,” Edgar told reporters. “You can try to compromise on some issues — and I think there are certain things (Democrats in the Legislature) might give him — but some of the things he’s asking for, they’re not going to give him. They’re just not going to give him.”===

    Not ONE thing Rauner said sounds like a governor that knows how to govern…


  35. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 1:19 pm:

    To update 3:

    Many of Rauner’s retorts are truly bizarre. They’re like that game I used to play as a kid when someone would insult me and I’d respond with “I know you are but what am I?”


  36. - Grandson of Man - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 2:49 pm:

    Quinn was far more fiscally responsible than Rauner, as bad as he was in other ways. The state was paying its bills. Social services–our very moral foundation–how we treat the most vulnerable–were being funded and operating. The same can be said for Madigan, during the Quinn administration.

    The state needed to substantially improve than from where Quinn/Madigan left it, but instead it’s much worse. In Rauner’s term, the state is much worse.

    From the political angle, it’s so much fodder to use against Rauner. Democrats need to step up their game by having press shops that are quick to attack and rebut.


  37. - DeseDemDose - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 3:11 pm:

    Rauner can’t govern, but he can personally write big enough checks to personally own the Illinois Republican party lock stock and barrel.That is why doesn’t care or have to govern.


  38. - Anonymous - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 3:12 pm:

    Grandson, where should be the state income %?


  39. - Grandson of Man - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 3:47 pm:

    “Grandson, where should be the state income %?”

    Currently we should be looking at right around 5%, with spending reductions. I would go for a higher rate, but our overall taxes are high. I have no problem with modest concessions and pro-business reforms, to help bring down costs for taxpayers and businesses.

    I believe in the long run we have to make our income tax progressive and change the tax burden. I think people like Rauner and Griffin should pay a much higher state income tax, around 8-9%, like some of our neighbors. That is a key reform,


  40. - Anonymous - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 4:14 pm:

    Yet, our neighbors don’t pay our real estate taxes, sales taxes and gasoline taxes. And, you don’t think those higher taxes will have an adverse impact on the economy and the number of residents?


  41. - Ma - Friday, May 26, 17 @ 4:30 pm:

    Illinois needs to make our income tax progressive and change the tax burden. There is no other way around it.


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