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House Dems still can’t find enough support for their own budget

Monday, May 29, 2017

* NBC 5

State legislators are meeting this holiday weekend in Springfield as they try to come to an agreement on a new budget, but one of the Democrats’ key initiatives is reportedly in big trouble.

According to NBC 5, , Democrats held a caucus on Sunday night in Springfield, and only 46 representatives are planning to vote for a tax hike that the Senate passed last week. In order to pass the legislation out of the House, 60 votes would be needed, leaving Democrats well short of that mark.

* Tribune

Rank-and-file members were divided: some were reluctant to vote to raise taxes knowing Rauner is likely to veto the plan and try to score political points ahead of his 2018 re-election bid, while others wanted to vote for a budget plan given they expect to be attacked either way.

“We could potentially do the right thing, have the governor veto it, potentially try to push it past him, and have him still come out and say, ‘Well, I still didn’t want this. I get all the benefits of having a budget, but none of the political pain,’” said Rep. Christian Mitchell, D-Chicago. “I think there’s real reluctance to do that.”

Mitchell said House Democrats also were spooked by what they saw happen in the Senate, where Democrats decided to go on their own following months of negotiations with Republicans.

“So mimicking that experience in the House, I don’t think appeals to a lot of people,” Mitchell said.

* Sun-Times

House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang, D-Skokie, on Sunday night said Democrats are discussing the Senate bills, but he noted there’s discussion of “some new items and different ways of looking at things.”

“I think it’s premature. Some might say well, ‘We’re three days away from May 31, how can it be premature?’ ” Lang said. “I think we know that in the life of the General Assembly, three days is a lifetime.”

Um, it’s only a “lifetime” if everyone is pulling in the same direction.

* SJ-R

In a hearing on higher education spending, Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, R-Leland Grove, expressed frustration with another hearing that covered the same ground.

“I respectfully request that instead of asking the universities to continue to come in and tell us how bad things have been operating without a budget, I think it’s time for our committee to come up with a bipartisan solution,” she said. “With all due respect, it’s our turn.”

Rep. Greg Harris has said he invited the House Republicans to participate in drafting a budget. They declined.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - winners and losers - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 9:45 am:

    Why vote for a Grand Bargain that reduces funding for local schools as the property tax freeze costs schools MORE than any increase now being considered in State funds, increases income taxes by 32%, applies sales tax to many more purchases, etc.

    Democrats will pay the price for increasing taxes, when the tax increase is not enough to solve the problem.

    If you are going to pay the price, at least increase taxes enough to make a real difference.

    As it stands now, Rauner wins.

    His Commission on “Evidence Based” school funding would be enacted into law in SB 1 or HB 2808.

    And his nemesis, teacher unions, would lose as local schools lose funding.

  2. - Keyrock - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 9:47 am:

    For some reason, I’m reminded of the story of Abraham bargaining with G-d about saving the City of Sodom.

    Are there 50 righteous Republican legislators in Springfield? 45? 10? Or must the State be destroyed?

    (Not to suggest that Madigan or Cullerton or other Democrats are necessarily righteous, but how much destruction must be suffered?)

  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 9:53 am:

    The 46 House Dems would be more powerful to a budgetary solution if 14 GOP members were voting for the responsibility that is passing a budget… if a threat of veto was not hanging over process

    In many way I feel that 46 Dem votes is probably as honest if a whip number than just thinking its a failure or even a breaking of Dem ranks. As much as Rauner likes to claim Madigan has this iron grip, this whip count poll illustrates more of an honesty to governing and the raw politics being played out here too.

    In a normal climate, a GOP opportunity to pass a budget where 46 Dems would be tied too to a tax hike, giving cover to 14 GOP members and a governor might be a great “starting point” for a structured roll call to get a budget across the finish line. It would be like 5-8 SGOP also saying they’d go with 14 HGOP members, allowing a chance for budgetary agreements.

    The heavy lift is the fears of a veto, and bad votes with Dems going alone, all the while the governing could be second to the necessary need of the simplistic step of a budget.

    I’m just puzzled at the end game here.

  4. - zatoichi - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 10:07 am:

    Rauner may score political points.
    Dems are spooked,
    SWJ says “It’s our turn”,
    Harris: “Wanna come out and play”, Reps: “No”.

    It is far more important to jockey for position than take responsibility. Doing nothing regardless of the explanation it still doing nothing. Then again, it has only been two years. Why not go for the budget threepeat? But if no agreement can be made, do not weasel out and pass partial (like K-12?) appropriations just so voters do not get mad and ask you tough questions.

    Just do the job.

  5. - Ginhouse Tommy - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 10:27 am:

    Do your job, its our turn … all that sounds good and I think some politicians want to save face but like OW said there is always the threat of a veto hanging over the entire process once it reaches Rauner’s desk and he will blame ILDems for that. Just more of the same. Really a crying shame.

  6. - Fax Machine - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    I guess Rauner’s robocalls are working - any word if the Dem holdouts are by and large the same as the robocall targets from last week?

  7. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 10:57 am:

    ===I guess Rauner’s robocalls are working===


    It’s not the robocalls are working or not working…

    It’s “Why be put in a position to try to save the state with needed revenue when the governor will veto that budget anyway?”

    It speaks far more to Rauner’s position than robocalls.

  8. - Jibba - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 5:06 pm:

    OW…”Why be put in a position to save the state with needed revenue when the Gov will only veto anyway”

    This is exactly why the Dems cannot win and therefore should do nothing unilaterally. The solution is the same as for every year in the past: gov shutdown on July 1 to force the GOP legislators to feel heat from their constituents and come to the table for realsies. Dems can’t win this game and therefore should not play (their last chance to avert this was 1/15). They should also not let any heat off using stop gaps. End this nonsense in July. Should have been done 2 years ago.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 5:12 pm:

    - Jibba -

    I think where the Dems and HDems have consistently failed in the budgetary messaging is finding that sweet spot to focus on that the games aren’t going to be engaged, yet the Dems are engaged in process.

    Raunerites shift blame, 24/7/365, putting cobstant heat on the Dens, winning daily.

    Dems now can’t afford to seem like they are disengaged in process, even more than Raunerites own that messaging now.

    With respect.

  10. - Jibba - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 6:14 pm:

    OW…I agree completely that we are mostly battling in the court of public opinion now, and the Dems are getting creamed daily and cannot afford to be disengaged. There are lots of things they can do before the end of session (and after), such as publicizing a $32B budget and how bad it would be, publicly calling for a balanced budget from Rauner, etc. But they should not pass a big tax increase by themselves, which will only get vetoed. Congressional GOPers need to participate and vote for the impending tax increases, and the only way to make that happen is a July 1 shutdown, which will get the public more involved.

    Sadly, you and I both know that much of the public would cheer a $32B budget, despite the pain, until they wait 5 hours for their driver’s license, or more foster kids die (or maybe even then). Dems can’t do this alone and survive as a majority.

  11. - Casual observer - Monday, May 29, 17 @ 7:25 pm:

    Everyone will pay for this. Everyone. Spend all you want on political ads. When the state disintegrates, all will pay.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 7:12 am:

    - Jibba -

    Remember, they are not congressmen, they are our state representatives.

    Two more days…

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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