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.
I asked for a response from the Senate President’s office.
* From John Patterson, spokesman for Illinois Senate President John Cullerton…
“I don’t know if the governor realizes it yet, but the Senate balanced and approved the budget he proposed. He has an odd way of saying ‘thank you.’”
*** UPDATE *** Press release…
Senator Don Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat and president pro tempore of the Illinois Senate, issued the following statement about the Senate’s votes Friday to significantly reform Illinois’ workers’ compensation system:
“Senate Democrats sent a strong message today that, while we are open to working our partners in the business community to reform the state’s workers’ compensation system, we are not willing to do so entirely on the backs of Illinois workers. We were able to identify sensible reforms on both sides of the equation – the employer side and the employee side – that will help to bring costs down without inflicting additional and unnecessary financial harm on injured workers.
“Workers’ compensation reform is one of Governor Rauner’s demands to sign our balanced budget. We have delivered on that demand and many others. It’s time for him to deliver on ours – that he signs our budget so we can move the state forward.”
Rep. Enyart responds by hiding behind the telephone – sticking taxpayers with the bill
Mike Bost, candidate for the 12th Congressional District, announced that he would take a leadership role on behalf of the constituents of the 12th district by holding a town hall forum on the VA on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1601 W. White Street in Marion from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm. The decision to hold the forum comes as Congressman Bill Enyart has routinely ignored his constituents by denying them the opportunity to voice their opinion on the national VA debate.
“With the VA dominating the agenda in Washington and across the country right now, constituents should have the opportunity to have their voices heard,” said Mike Bost. “I am hosting this forum because I’d like to explain my thoughts on the matter but more important hear the public’s. To me, hearing from local voices matter and is a key requirement of a responsive congressman.”
Congressman Bill Enyart has yet to hold a single town hall forum after a year and half in office. After learning of Bost’s town hall forum, his congressional office quickly announced a teletown hall on the same night – calling it a “unique event.” Teletown halls allow Congressman Enyart’s staff to handpick the questions he’s asked while forcing the taxpayers to pay for it in response to a political campaign. Congressman Enyart claims to be a leader for the area but he seems to be following one instead.
“Congressman Enyart and I have a different view of representation. I provide open forums to take questions while he hides behind a telephone in a scripted setting while billing the taxpayers for it,” added Bost. “With Congress not in recess this week, the only thing stopping Congressman Enyart from holding a public town hall forum is his willingness to do so. Constituents deserve better from their representative.” [Emphasis added.]
Nowadays, Bost opts to use telephone town halls to communicate with constituents, along with speaking to constituents in person in small, private meetings, which sometimes are open to the media. […]
“Every one of them that calls our office that says we want this type of town hall, the problem is they are now organized at a national level to cause chaos,” Bost said in a recent interview with the BND. […]
Bost also has chosen to hold telephone town halls, where he takes questions for about an hour after calling constituents who have signed up to participate.
His office says about 85,000 people are called for each telephone town hall.
Responding to nearly two years without a state budget, The Baby Fold will discontinue residential treatment center services, the Normal-based human services agency announced Thursday.
The program, which was reduced from serving 28 children to 14 children in 2015, will cease operations June 30.
Including all its programs, Baby Fold serves more than 1,000 vulnerable children and families.
“We will be working diligently to arrange new placements for the children over the next 30 to 60 days so they can be well-settled prior to the next school year,” Baby Fold President and CEO Dianne Schultz said in a prepared statement.
“I am saddened by the circumstances surrounding the state budget impasse that have made this decision necessary,” Schultz said. […]
The residential treatment center is for children who have been removed from their homes because of trauma, abuse or neglect and have significant mental health issues. The program in Normal is believed to be the only one of its kind in Central Illinois.
…Adding… Andrea Durbin at the Illinois Collaboration on Youth sent me the link to the above story and has given me permission to post her e-mail…
As with much of the recently-announced Lutheran Child and Family Services closures, this is not only due to lack of payment but also due to insufficient payment. Our elected officials need to have the political courage to face reality and address the continual erosion of the human services safety net with a real budget.
I know you know this, but I can’t help saying it again. It is unconscionable that abused and neglected children may go without effective treatment so we can have a political fight.
“The program in Normal is believed to be the only one of its kind in Central Illinois.”
Today, the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois announced their endorsement of JB Pritzker for Governor at a press conference in Peoria. The endorsement comes after careful consideration of every candidate in the race and their commitment to fighting for Illinois working families.
The Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois represents 15,000 fire fighters and 221 local chapters across the state. They are Illinois’ first responders, keeping our state safe from harm.
“I am so proud to receive the endorsement of the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois and their 15,000 hard working members across our state,” said JB Pritzker. “Our fire fighters put their lives on the line every day to keep our families and our state safe, but they have been let down by their governor. Bruce Rauner has failed to pass a budget for 695 days and his special interest agenda is a direct attack against working families. Our fire fighters deserve a governor who stands with them and I will always work to protect the right to organize, fight for safe working conditions, and ensure our children have access to high quality education. It is an honor to have our state’s heroes standing with me in this campaign and I will always stand with them as governor.”
“JB Pritzker has the competence and the compassion to be the governor Illinois working families need and we are so proud to endorse his campaign,” said Pat Devaney, President of the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois. “JB is committed to lifting up Illinois working families and making sure our economy works for everyone. He has a record of creating opportunity and fighting for quality education for all Illinoisans. This is a stark contrast to the willful neglect of Bruce Rauner, who has failed to pass a budget and shows contempt for Illinois working families. Illinois needs a governor who is ready to fix Rauner’s mess and we are proud to support JB Pritzker to lead our state.”
Governor Rauner and Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau joined homeowners Ken and Andi Borucke to urge the General Assembly to pass true, lasting property tax relief.
“Illinois home and business owners pay the highest property taxes in the nation. The median average for property taxes in Illinois is $3,995 compared to $1,085 average property taxes in Indiana,” said Governor Rauner. “We can’t just keep sticking it to the taxpayers without any real property tax relief.”
Under the governor’s proposal, property taxes would remain frozen unless voters chose to raise them through a referendum.
“In Orland Park, we remain committed to keeping your taxes as low as possible while still maintaining the quality of services you expect and deserve,” said Mayor Keith Pekau. “I am glad the Governor is pushing for property tax relief to help our residents.”
This week, Governor Rauner announced that any budget agreement that increases revenue must include real and lasting property tax relief. In making the announcement, he stressed that Illinois needs to make changes in order to grow the economy, create jobs and get state finances back on track.
“We love Illinois, but one thing we’ve never loved is our property taxes,” said homeowner Andi Borucke. “The current system doesn’t work and hurts working families like ours that have done everything right. We deserve to have more a voice in our property tax system. We keep paying more and more money, but see little value in return.”
Today Governor Rauner continues his campaign “negotiation” tour with a stop in Orland Park, 181 miles away from the State Capitol and a possible budget solution.
While Rauner postures in front of cameras, Illinois state institutions continue to suffer the disastrous effects of Bruce Rauner’s failed leadership. The “Women’s Center” in Carbondale, open for 45 years, announced staff cuts and said it could shut down programs in September. And Northeastern Illinois University announced it would be continuing its furlough program and faced serious program cuts.
The fact is simple – Governor Rauner is failing his responsibilities as Governor. From the Sun-Times Editorial:
“Rauner is running political ads, the goofy ones with the duct tape, laying the groundwork for his re-election next year. But he is not governing. As we said in a previous editorial, the first and most basic job of a CEO — and a governor is a CEO — is to produce a budget. The buck stops there.”
It’s time for Governor Rauner to go back to Springfield and finally pass a budget.
“Governor Rauner is marching Illinois towards an unprecedented third year without a budget,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “And instead of exhibiting real leadership and working out a deal, Rauner is pulling stunts as far away from Springfield as possible. Illinois needs a Governor who’s going to deliver a budget, not one who’s going to chase cameras across the state.”
…Adding… From comments…
Uh, someone tell DGA the House just went home and session tomorrow is cancelled.
From 2010 to 2014, Chicago and 73 of the suburbs saw their populations increase.
But the trend reversed from 2014 to 2016. In that time, Chicago and 61 suburbs saw their populations shrink.
So far, the numbers are small. In 2015, the 91 communities lost 0.1 percent of their collective population, or nearly 3,700 residents. Last year, they lost an estimated 0.2 percent, which represents nearly 10,000 residents. […]
Decreases were sharpest in the Cook County suburbs closest to the Chicago. Towns including Rosemont, Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village, Mount Prospect and even Hoffman Estates experienced declines of a full percent or more during the past two years.
Yesterday, the governor’s office blamed Mayor Rahm Emanuel for Chicago’s population loss. You gotta wonder whether he feels the same about Mayor Stephens, et al. So, I asked. Awaiting a reply.
* This Tribune piece is very well-written, well-researched and timely. So you should definitely go read the whole thing…
Democrats and some Republicans are pushing ahead with an attempt to overhaul the way state government doles out tax dollars to elementary and high schools, setting up a potential showdown with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner over funding for Chicago Public Schools.
Few issues have kicked around the Capitol for as long as the education funding formula — a controversial system that’s proven resistant to major change thanks to a combination of political and financial factors.
Rauner hasn’t offered his own bill, deferring to the education task force that was supposed to produce legislation but instead came up with a broad framework for fixing the formula. His education secretary, Beth Purvis, says the governor has been “pretty clear about what he would like to see in these bills” and noted that it’s not up to the governor to write legislation.
Historically, though, Rauner has not been shy about introducing legislation when he has an idea that he’d like to see enacted by lawmakers. That Rauner’s left the process up to the General Assembly has some critics questioning how badly he wants to see the formula changed.
Historically, Rauner has avoided drafting his own legislation like the Plague. He steers clear of ownership on controversial stuff. It’s why he has never introduced a balanced budget or unveiled his own detailed criminal justice reform bills. And it’s why legislators are constantly wondering if he’s truly serious about moving forward with things, like education funding reform.
Ending what the campaign considers to be an introductory phase, Democratic governor candidate Chris Kennedy is set to speak Tuesday to offer his vision for the state.
The early afternoon speech Tuesday at the Harold Washington Cultural Center will take place the day after the 100th birthday of Kennedy’s uncle, the late President John F. Kennedy.
Campaign aides said Kennedy will talk about how the state “needs a complete break from the status quo” and will try to distinguish his candidacy, announced in February, from his Democratic rivals, namely J.B. Pritzker. […]
Kennedy also is expected to call for property tax and education funding changes. He has been hitting his rival, Pritzker, over a controversial tax assessment reduction for a mansion he purchased next to his own Gold Coast mansion. He also has been seeking to tie the issue of the state’s property tax system to the unfairness of education funding.
* Meanwhile, Kennedy’s campaign manager Brendan O’Sullivan sent out a fundraising e-mail this morning with the headline “Rauner doesn’t want a budget”…
Last week, Illinois Senate Democrats called for a vote on a budget deal. Then, that same day, Governor Bruce Rauner’s billionaire pal Ken Griffin put $20 million into Rauner’s campaign coffers.
Why the same-day timing?
As Politico reported yesterday, “if Republicans weren’t already clear on the message to stay in line during those votes, that probably did it.”
Rauner doesn’t want a budget. And Griffin’s money showed up just in time to serve as a threat to Illinois Republicans not to vote against his interests.
Let’s show Bruce Rauner and Ken Griffin that we won’t let their money bully or intimidate us. Please contribute now to invest in electing new leadership in Illinois.
As we approach the two year mark without a budget, Rauner is reportedly spending his time trying to recruit candidates to run against Comptroller Susana Mendoza and Attorney General Lisa Madigan in 2018.
He’s also trying to silence members of his own party through financial bullying and economic intimidation. And he’s doing it to try to tear down the very programs, institutions and policies that we, as Democrats, have dedicated our lives to building up.
Rauner threw a million people out of state programs in the first 18 months, and he has not asked any of his fellow billionaires to make a single sacrifice.
Some Democrats believe that best way to combat Rauner’s campaign war chest is with another billionaire who self-funds his campaign. But we should not elect a candidate to represent our party who does not need our money, our ideas or our support.
Instead, the path to fixing our state lies in building a movement of thousands of Illinois residents committed to restoring the American Dream.
O’Sullivan, by the way, used to run Senate President John Cullerton’s campaigns. I’ve been told, however, that Cullerton is not taking sides in the governor’s race. One of his own members, Daniel Biss, is also in the contest.
Pritzker Campaign Introduces Tick Tock The Budget Clock
Tick Tock Will Join Bruce Rauner For Breakfast Today At A Private Golf Course, Rich Harvest Farms, Then Later At An Orland Park Press Conference
Chicago, IL – Today, on day 695 without a budget, the Pritzker for Governor campaign is introducing Tick Tock the Budget Clock. Tick Tock joins Crisis Creatin’ Rauner, a multimedia campaign designed to highlight the budget crisis of Bruce Rauner’s own making and the families, schools, and social service agencies that continue to pay the price.
As the hours and days tick up, Tick Tock’s presence will serve as a constant reminder of the damage Rauner’s crisis is creating in Illinois. The fact is, it is past time that Illinois families receive a budget from their failed governor and Tick Tock won’t let Rauner forget it.
“Time is running out for Bruce Rauner to take responsibility for the crisis he has created and even though he runs away from reporters, Bruce Rauner won’t be able to hide from Tick Tock the Budget Clock,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “As the clock counts up, this historic budget crisis of Rauner’s own creatin’ is doing irrevocable damage to our state. Rauner deserves a constant reminder of how his failed leadership has hurt working families across Illinois – and Tick Tock will remind him of the alarming mess he has created every step of the way.”
It’s an anti-Bruce Rauner move right out of the Rauner playbook. Rauner’s campaign team, some of whom worked for former Sen. Mark Kirk, love these characters. During Kirk’s 2010 campaign, they sicced a shark to follow around his opponent, then-state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, to remind him of a loan to the mob-associated Michael “Jaws” Giorango. In 2014, the Rauner campaign came up with “Quinnochio” to badger then-Gov. Pat Quinn outside of events. That character was dressed up as Pinnocchio. If you’ve forgotten, here’s Quinnochio on youtube. They also slapped a mask on another staffer who dressed in an orange jumpsuit to represent imprisoned ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich. […]
We’re confident the Rauner camp will come up with a rebuttal caricature in short order. But, gee, we can’t imagine what this race will look like when we’re actually within the same calendar year of an election.
…Adding… The Pritzker campaign seemed quite pleased this morning at all the attention their new mascot got from the TV types (those teevee people love them some visuals, no matter how silly they might be). But the Republicans sent me their own Tick pic…
True, but so was Quinnochio and they did it anyway. This stuff works.
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
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.”
“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