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Gloomy headlines as June 30th deadline approaches

Thursday, Jun 29, 2017

* The Tribune’s headline today is: “Rauner, Madigan talk ‘compromise’ while doing little of it”

During a special session that’s costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars a day without any results, both Democrats and Republicans are talking up the idea of compromise without publicly doing much to reach one. […]

Compromise, then, is proving to be in the eye of the beholder at the Capitol, a rhetorical tool to help sell the idea that the other side is to blame if no budget deal is reached by a Friday deadline.

Despite the fallout that will accompany such a failure, there’s little to indicate a resolution will be reached by then. Rauner sent the loudest signal Wednesday when he said if lawmakers fail to send “a balanced budget package to my desk by Friday, we will have no choice but to keep them in session until they get the job done.”

* AP: “Budget hopes dim as Illinois House property tax freeze fails”

A property tax freeze critical to ending Illinois’ historic budget jam failed in the House Wednesday and the Republican governor who is demanding the freeze threatened to keep lawmakers in session over the July 4 holiday unless there is an agreement on a spending plan by the end of Friday. […]

But on a 59-46 vote, far short of the three-fifths majority necessary for the measure to take immediate effect, lawmakers’ efforts to avoid the ignominy of starting a third consecutive July 1 without a budget outline were thrown into doubt. Republicans oppose the Democrats’ freeze because it makes significant exceptions for Chicago, its school system and 17 other financially-strapped school districts, and for cities struggling to pay long-term debt and make contributions to police and fire pension accounts. […]

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs branded Democratic moves on Wednesday as “political theater.” While the four leaders of the House and Senate met for a second straight day in Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan’s third-floor Capitol office, none emerged to speak to a media throng outside.

But that could signal progress and an unwillingness to publicly criticize one another. Rep. Tom Demmer, a Dixon Republican tasked with pension-fix negotiations, said the House votes on the tangential issues were “premature” and negotiations continue.

John O’Connor is a longtime Statehouse reporter and he picked up on the same thing I did yesterday afternoon. When the leaders meet and then don’t talk to reporters, that’s usually a good sign. But that’s one of the only good signs we had yesterday.

* Sun-Times: “As negotiations drag on, Rauner and Madigan go their own ways”

Meanwhile, legislative leaders planned to meet again on Thursday morning.

As long as they’re talking, there’s some hope. But talks can also be used as a cover to mask a refusal to actually close a deal. Appear as if you’re making progress, then claim the other side was being unreasonable or hasty or whatever. We saw this happen a bunch in the Senate this year.

* SJ-R: “Rauner threatens to keep lawmakers in Springfield if no budget by Friday”

Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, said there was no point in postponing a vote.

“We are at 90 to 95 percent of what the governor asked,” she said. “The idea that we should wait, wait, wait doesn’t make much sense.”

Republicans aired similar complaints about the other bills, that they were the product of Democrats alone and not negotiations between the two parties. They complained the measures were watered down and that negotiations should continue on stronger legislation.

However, Democrats said the time had come to vote with just a couple of days left before the start of a new fiscal year.

So far, it’s almost an exact replay of the Senate at the end of May.

* WTTW: “Rauner Threatens to Prolong Special Session If There’s No Budget by Friday”

Republican state Rep. Steven Andersson urged lawmakers to pump the brakes on voting for bills currently being negotiated by leadership on both sides of the aisle.

“I’m certainly going to urge every member of my caucus not to vote for these bills,” Andersson said. “Not necessarily because they’re all that bad. Some of them might be there; some of them might be close.

“But if we vote ‘yes’ now, that ends that negotiation. Those negotiations are over because we already agree with you and we’re not quite there yet.”

Both sides are gonna play this game as long as they think they can. The only question is when does it end?

* CBS 2: “Gov. Rauner Threatens To Keep Lawmakers In Springfield, Indefinitely”

“I don’t know that I’m optimistic. I’m hopeful,” state Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, tells CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

12 Comments
  1. - illinoised - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 9:30 am:

    I have finally figured out Rauner’s rationale for his actions since being elected: He wants EVERYONE in Illinois to wear an $18 watch and drive a beater van! It was right in front of our eyes and we couldn’t see it. Now that I am closer to that status, I get it!


  2. - anonymous retiree - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 9:32 am:

    If your going to exempt Chicago from the property tax freeze then exempt Chicago from the income tax hike.


  3. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    “Both sides are gonna play this game as long as they think they can. The only question is when does it end?”

    The preferred research indicates that our universe will diminish to a state of no thermodynamic free energy — unable sustain processes that increase entropy — in about 10^100 years, so I wouldn’t expect this impasse last much longer than that.

    – MrJM


  4. - Thoughts Matter - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:09 am:

    It will end when the Republican legislators understand and accept they aren’t going to get certain bills or budget numbers passed because the majority votes aren’t there- and they stop listening to their Benefactor and agree to a budget and a veto override of same. As to what crisis is going to get them to accept that…. no idea.


  5. - Free Set of Steak Knives - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:35 am:

    === John O’Connor is a longtime Statehouse reporter and he picked up on the same thing I did yesterday afternoon. When the leaders meet and then don’t talk to reporters, that’s usually a good sign. ===

    As a public service, perhaps you and the other reporters could stop asking for and publishing quotes from lawmakers, the governor, and their spokespersons.

    When folks are negotiating through the press, it is never good.


  6. - JRB - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:44 am:

    Since it appears that facts are irrelevant to “Thoughts Matter “here are some factual reminders. Until the end of the regular legislative session the Democrats did not require one Republican vote to pass a balanced budget but they failed to do so. It must be because of that nasty Republican Governor right. Oh that can’t be true because there was no balanced budget with Democrat governors either. The problem is simple you cannot fix the problem until you are willing to cut spending. In the world of Democrats that idea is sacrilege.


  7. - RNUG - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 10:51 am:

    == The problem is simple you cannot fix the problem until you are willing to cut spending. In the world of Democrats that idea is sacrilege. ==

    If that is true, then why does the proposed D budget have $1B more in cuts than the R budget?


  8. - Thoughts Matter - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:01 am:

    JRB

    If they had passed a budget the Governor would have vetoed it just like he did oreviously.

    The override votes require republicans because Madigan does not have a super majority.

    As to taxes, where else are we going to get the money to pay $14B in past due bills?


  9. - Arsenal - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    ==Until the end of the regular legislative session the Democrats did not require one Republican vote to pass a balanced budget==

    Yes they did, they required exactly one- Rauner’s. I suppose the argument is they should’ve passed something that they knew Rauner would veto (As they did before), but that’s not a solution, that’s just brinksmanship.

    =Oh that can’t be true because there was no balanced budget with Democrat governors either.==

    But Rauner can’t get ANY budget. Not at all the same thing.


  10. - JRB - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:20 am:

    Rainer didn’t create $250 billion in unfounded pension liability. He inherited that mess . Another fact for those immune to them Madiigan did not propose a budget but only a spending plan. How does that solve the pending budget crisis?


  11. - Annonin' - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 11:33 am:

    Compromise when applies to GOPies means they offer inflexible ideas agreed to only 1%ers.
    Ds offer compromise which INCLUDES ideas offered by the GOPies…..pretty simple
    Next time class we’ll review “movin’ the goal posts”


  12. - DoYourJob - Thursday, Jun 29, 17 @ 3:42 pm:

    There are no good faith negotiations.


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