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Here we go…

Friday, Jun 30, 2017

* Tina Sfondeles leads our coverage

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan plans to call a Democratic spending plan for a vote on Friday, amid a midnight fiscal budget deadline and the very real threat of credit agencies dropping the state to “junk” status. […]

Leaders met again on Thursday to iron out their differences, including on workers’ compensation and pension reform. While Madigan said he’d call the Democratic spending plan on the floor, Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang, D-Skokie, said House Democrats have a backup plan, placing provisions within the spending plan into “smaller subsets” in case the overall spending bill fails.

“We took the higher education portion, the K-12 and the transportation provisions into separate bills. They’re ready to go. They look exactly the way they look in the main bill. And we may or may not call them. We’ll just see how the votes goes when we vote on the entire spending plan,” Lang said.

State Rep. Greg Harris, Madigan’s appointed budget negotiator, filed an amendment on Thursday to the Senate’s revenue bill. While the income tax rate hike remains at 4.95 percent, streaming and satellite fees have been removed.

“We have closed corporate tax loopholes. We have increased the earned income tax credit for working families to keep more in their pockets. We’ve also restored the research and development and manufacturers’ tax credit to attract more businesses and bring jobs,” Harris said.

* Tribune

*Where they’re at on tax increases: There’s general agreement to hike the state income tax from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent but disagreement on whether to make the start date Saturday or retroactive to Jan. 1, which would take a bigger bite out of your paycheck. There’s also disagreement about whether to make the tax hike permanent. And there’s disagreement about whether to expand the service tax or close corporate tax loopholes.

*What else is up in the air: The tax hikes almost certainly won’t pass without resolution of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s economic items. Differences remain on a property tax freeze. A four-year freeze is agreed to, but House Speaker Michael Madigan wants exemptions for Chicago Public Schools, Chicago City Hall, troubled school districts and pension costs. Rauner is opposed. Another sticking point is workers’ compensation reform. Rauner wants to further cut fees that doctors, hospitals and pharmacies receive for treating injured workers. Madigan said if those fees were cut, they wouldn’t be cut as deep as the low amounts set by Medicaid rules. Madigan also wants to regulate workers’ comp rates set by insurance companies.

*The potential ramifications if nothing gets done: A Wall Street downgrade to “junk” credit status, no Mega Millions or Powerball lottery games, uncertainty for some school openings in the fall, the future of what remains of a frayed social service safety net and the prospect of road construction project shutdowns. In addition, a federal judge’s ruling is expected on a lawsuit that seeks to require the state to start paying hundreds of millions of dollars more each month to Medicaid providers. All of that led Democratic Comptroller Susana Mendoza to say that the consequences to the state of failing to reach a budget agreement by midnight Friday go from currently “horrific” to “catastrophic.”

*The backup plan: If those measures fail to gain enough support, state Rep. Greg Harris said Democrats would consider a series of bills to appropriate funds in key areas such as social services and education. But those efforts would not come with the needed dollars to actually pay for the programs, meaning they are likely designed to provide political cover to allow Democrats to say they voted in favor of projects important to their districts.

* The House Democratic perspective from Rep. Kathleen Willis’ Facebook page

Today I plan to vote on a full budget. It is a spending plan that is lower than the governor’s proposed plan and lower than what we are spending now under court orders. It is funded by a combination of cuts, closing corporate loop holes and returning the income tax to 4.95 percent.

* The anti-tax House Republican perspective from Rep. John Cabello’s Facebook page

The note on the left a unknown person put on my car at the hotel I am staying at. The note on the right I put on my car in response.

* The notes…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Can - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:06 am:

    ==anti-tax House Republican perspective==

    Rich, with respect, I think you meant “Magic Bean and Pixie Dust House Republican perspective.”

  2. - J IL - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:06 am:

    IS Cabello serious with this response? He is basically saying that under no circumstances will he vote for anything that gets proposed at this point. Must be nice to be legislative spectator…

  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:08 am:

    Dear Mr. John Cabello,

    You failed math. I’m embarrass for you. You are not understanding anything within the framework of budgets, or ANY of the budgets that are up for consideration.

    They all.. they all require additional revenue.

    Next time, instead of your ridiculously math challenged respose, make this your note…

    “I want social services to evaporate, state universities to close, I want the state to implode. I won’t vote to fund the state Illinois”

    I know it’s more writing, but since you’re so terrible at math, I thought you’d be better with honesty in words.

    Your Pal,

    Oswego Willy

  4. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:08 am:

    Does this guy genuinely believe that going a few years without a budget, losing lottery revenue, paying more to borrow, etc etc etc are better than a tax increase?!?! What planet does he live on?!?!

  5. - UIC Guy - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:10 am:

    “It is a spending plan that is lower than the governor’s proposed plan and lower than what we are spending now under court orders.”
    How can a spending plan that spends less than the courts have ordered be legal? —I mean this as a real question, not as snark, so if you have an answer, I’d appreciate it.

  6. - Archiesmom - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:10 am:

    What color is the sky in your world, John?

  7. - Workin' - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:11 am:

    They should really run a spending bill at the no-tax level to call out this hypocrisy

  8. - OurMagician - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:12 am:

    The easiest thing for a politician to do is to vote no on any tax hike. Gee, way to step out there Rep. Cabello, that will look great on a flyer! The word of the day is “cooperation”, how about trying that John?

  9. - Colin O'Scopey - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:12 am:

    Let’s assume he means no NEW taxes. At the rate Illinois is going now, there is no way they can pass a budget without fresh revenue (i.e. new taxes). This is either gross naivete or gross incompetence. Sadly, I hope it’s the former.

  10. - The Other Anonymous - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:13 am:

    Leaving anonymous notes on legislators cars is creepy.

  11. - Mike Royko - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:14 am:

    Assuming worst case scenario is averted, things are still very bad. The best option for many Illinois families is to move to a different state, especially if they are in need of any services.

  12. - The Other Anonymous - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:15 am:

    Doing it at their hotel is called being a stalker.

  13. - Runbikeswim - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:15 am:

    He is being honest with the silliness, at least. However, we NEED more revenue. Period. Even if we have a spending problem, the bills need to be paid and paid NOW. I would like to know what cuts his caucus is proposing specifically to pass a “balanced budget” since we haven’t had one proposed since the Governor took the oath.

  14. - Can - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:15 am:

    @UIC Guy,

    Those court orders are there to enable spending while there is no appropriation. If an approp is in place, the applicable court orders go away.

  15. - TKMH - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:17 am:

    Can we all just take a moment to note that he put a note on his own car? Why? That doesn’t make sense.

    Then again, believing you can fix the crisis without a tax hike was a dead giveaway he’s not particularly rational in the first place.

  16. - Flippy - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:21 am:

    Mr. Cabello actually believes this can all be done without raising any taxes? That we can just cut our way out of this? Even after all the Governor’s agency heads, when given an opportunity to find cuts, identified none?

    Mr. Cabello, delete your account and resign.

  17. - Anon - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:22 am:

    Maybe this guy’s district doesn’t need roads and schools?

    …Or 911 service, for that matter.

  18. - Anonymoose - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:25 am:

    The fact that Rep. Cabello was one of Trump’s first supporters in this state tells you all you need to know.

  19. - striketoo - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:26 am:

    Well, it looks like taxing retirement income is off the table. I will still be paying about $300 per year on my greater than $100k income. Thanks legislators, but do you really think this is fair?

  20. - Anon221 - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:26 am:

    Archiesmom- “What color is the sky in your world, John?”

    Raunerite Greenback

  21. - UIC Guy - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    @Can: thanks. Still not sure I really understand….

  22. - RNUG - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:36 am:

    == “We took the higher education portion, the K-12 and the transportation provisions into separate bills. They’re ready to go.==

    Be a mistake to separate K-12; that seems to be the ONLY thing Rauner cares about passing.

  23. - IllinoisResident - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:38 am:

    Illinois is the most taxed state in the entire union, which means we even beat out D.C. and CA.

    We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. Cut taxes, cut spending, and cut regulations. Otherwise we will continue to bleed people, businesses, and wealth to neighboring states.

  24. - Oldengrey - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:39 am:

    What striketoo said…

    Ms. Grey and myself are not wealthy, but we are certainly comfortable. I cringe every time I see families with two minimum wage workers trying to raise kids. They’re much less comfortable than we are and they’re paying state taxes, while we pay zero.

    I can possibly understand the state exempting a portion of retirement income, but a total free ride is just flat out unfair.

  25. - RNUG - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:40 am:

    == While the income tax rate hike remains at 4.95 percent, streaming and satellite fees have been removed.

    “We have closed corporate tax loopholes. We have increased the earned income tax credit for working families to keep more in their pockets. We’ve also restored the research and development and manufacturers’ tax credit to attract more businesses and bring jobs,” Harris said. ==

    Last I heard, the 4.95% was predicated on both those service taxes and being retroactive. It needed to be 5.25% without the service taxes. And it needed to be higher if not retroactive. Those are not my numbers; they were BoB numbers.

    Wonder if they’ve had time to run these numbers and come up with how short it is?

  26. - A guy - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:40 am:

    I wonder (aloud) if Rep. Cabello knew who left the note on his car and chose to respond this way knowing his penpal would check for a response.

    Otherwise…it is creepy and stalking. If he had an idea it was a colleague on the other side who was staying at the same hotel, it makes it a lot less “ew”.

  27. - Try-4-Truth - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:47 am:

    ====- IllinoisResident - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:38 am:

    Illinois is the most taxed state in the entire union, which means we even beat out D.C. and CA.

    We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. Cut taxes, cut spending, and cut regulations. Otherwise we will continue to bleed people, businesses, and wealth to neighboring states.=====

    This is not even remotely true. Please don’t engage in falsehoods. It does not move the conversation forward.

  28. - Arsenal - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:47 am:

    In addition to Cabello’s “no taxes!” stance being mathematically unworkable, this windshield note method of communication is juvenile and passive-aggressive.

  29. - In 630 - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:49 am:

    This kind of anonymous note on a car is creepy as hell.

    But not raising revenue is also incomprehensible. Anyone who thinks can be done on spending cuts along is lying to themselves and everyone else.

  30. - doggonit - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    If they hand Rauner another k 12 funding bill without a budget, I’ll throw up. The Democrats have no spines or no sense if they do that.

  31. - Robert the Bruce - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:55 am:

    ==Illinois is the most taxed state in the entire union, which means we even beat out D.C. and CA.==
    D.C. isn’t a state. And yet somehow that’s not the largest mistake in your sentence.

  32. - Skeptic - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:59 am:

    “Mr. Cabello actually believes this can all be done without raising any taxes?” Rauner said so on the campaign trail before he was elected, therefore it must be true! (Yeah, snark.)

  33. - walker - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:59 am:

    More than likely, the vast majority of the Rep’s constituents, who care enough to comment, would tell him “no new taxes.” Perhaps he’s simply reminding us of that reality.

    This is why we have representative democracy: to elect people who can rise above the oversimple, comforting, unworkable slogans.

  34. - Rockford Rino - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 10:00 am:

    Looks like the same hand writing. Just another self promoting, grandstanding attempt to move away from issues and paint himself as better than he actually is. The budget and State Government is a mess. We need term limits to clean House(Senate & Executive branches) Sad a big talker with minimal to no action.

  35. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 10:01 am:

    Cabello reminds me of why Pat Quinn thought it was a good idea to downsize the House.

  36. - Stand Tall - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 10:04 am:

    Oldengray - nothing is keeping you from sending extra money to any taxing body you want to give it too. Give what you think you owe in taxes to a food bank.

  37. - dray - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    Creepy? Stalking? Really?
    Most likely Cabello has a Legislator’s plate identifying him as a member of the General Assembly. The person who left the note more than likely has no idea who the legislator is, just saw the plate and left the note.
    No big deal. LOL at him leaving his note as a response.

  38. - Daniel Plainview - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    Has anyone let Cabello know that his party now has the Gov’s office so now they’re expected to deal with reality?

  39. - Scott - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    Did I miss the part about spending cuts? Where are the spending cuts?

  40. - Leatherneck - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    Anyone know what time the Medicaid payment ruling might be announced?

  41. - Scott - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 10:16 am:

    Did I miss the part about spending cuts? Where are the spending cuts?

    Wait until the last minute and give the Governor a tax hike. Take it or leave it?

  42. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    Cabello, McSweeney and all the “no tax increase ever” IPI crowd flunked arithmetic. It’s just that simple.

  43. - drv - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    READ MY LIPS NO NEW TAXES: Spending is the issue. Control Spending.

  44. - A guy - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 10:24 am:

    ==- Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 10:01 am:

    Cabello reminds me of why Pat Quinn thought it was a good idea to downsize the House.==

    I guess everyone is capable of 1 good idea. Too bad his was decades ago.

  45. - Mouthy - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 10:39 am:

    Passing a K thru 12 bill without a budget is just what Rauner wants to keep the heat off of him. The only way to get a budget is to deprive him of that victory..

  46. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 10:42 am:

    “A four-year freeze is agreed to”

    Remember way back around a week ago when a two-year freeze was not enough for Rauner? Now the four-year freeze is still not enough for the governor because of exemptions for certain school districts and Chicago.

    Enough concessions have been made on nonbudget items.

  47. - Pelonski - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 10:59 am:

    If the house Democrats run a separate K-12 budget bill, it will be a clear sign that they are more interested in the politics than the solution.

  48. - Pelonski - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    I agree with dray. This is likely more of a case of a citizen voicing their displeasure when they came across the legislator plate. It sounds more like an expression of freedom of speech. Creepy would be if they left a bullet with the note.

  49. - John - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 11:03 am:

    It’s amazing how easy it is for Democrat law makers to spend other people’s money.

    For those who think they aren’t being taxed enough, there is a remedy. Send Springfield more of your money. You don’t need a tax increase to do it. You just need to put your money where your mouth is.

    Happy Independence Day to all, and God bless America.

  50. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 11:07 am:

    Revenue is a required element of every single proposed budget up to now.

    Ignoring math isn’t… rational.

  51. - John - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 11:25 am:


    Refusing to force people to pay for bad government isn’t ignoring math. It’s demanding better government.

    It’s easy to demand more government and refuse to pay for it unless other everyone is forced to pay for it. How much will the people who want more government send to Springfield above and beyond what they are required to?

    How much have they sent already? If the answer is greater than zero, well I would be shocked.

    And that’s what every elected official should be doing.

  52. - Montrose - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 11:32 am:

    To my surprise, Cabello just voted for the appropriations amendment. Apparently he thinks that spending can happen with no new taxes.

  53. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 11:36 am:

    Anonymous @ 10:42 am was me, sorry.

    “Refusing to force people to pay for bad government isn’t ignoring math. It’s demanding better government.”

    Not having a full budget with adequate revenue is far worse government. Plus, let’s dispose of the silliness that we can begin rectifying the state with Kansas-style economics, where tax cuts did nothing to bolster the economy enough to make up for lost revenue and big cuts.

  54. - 39th Ward - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 11:48 am:

    What exactly are these “corporate loopholes” that so many people like to toss around? Truth is that the two biggest “loopholes” (by far) are the individual deductions for mortgage interest and charitable contributions.

  55. - RNUG - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 12:08 pm:

    All of you complaining about the D budget, you DO realize the R budget proposes spending $1B MORE than the D one?

  56. - Pat - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 12:13 pm:

    The amendment just passed in the House, Cabello voted yes.
    The proposed budget relies on more than $2 billion in spending cuts and a likely increase in the income tax to raise $5 billion.

  57. - Tray - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 12:25 pm:

    SHOUT OUT to whoever left that note! Not creepy at all, and clearly got his attention. Is this the poor man’s version of tweeting back and forth? Is this guy just a mini-Trump with dial up internet?

  58. - Jayne OB - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 12:33 pm:

    Not creepy. He identified his car as govt official. Citizens have been patient. We are demanding that you do your job.

  59. - A guy - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 12:46 pm:

    Tray and Jayne, it is creepy…unless he knows them. No license plate designation offers license to violate someone else’s property. That’s the weakest of weak sauce.

    Let’s see if (potentially) Creepy dude places a thank you note on his windshield next.

    Don’t excuse misfit behavior!

  60. - MRS.G - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 12:46 pm:

    The answer is not to tax the hell out of people that are already over taxed!!! This is not a black and white situation and most people jump on the all or nothing bandwagon. A budget purposed on the monies all ready on hand and where we can look to cut spending. So sick of the “were gonna die, I just know it” mentality. I think John is on the right track and we need to give him the chance to work his magic without digging deeper in to the pockets of the tax payers.

  61. - George - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 1:15 pm:

    Super creepy. There are lots of way to contact an elected official. Leaving an anonymous note on their car in the parking lot of their hotel is the creepiest. It’s stalkerish, cowardly and caries the implied threat of “I know where you sleep”.

    You may love the message but the delivery is hard to defend.

  62. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 1:21 pm:

    == So sick of the “were gonna die, I just know it” mentality.==

    It’s not a mentality. It’s a fact. Ask all of the social services agencies that have closed and the hundreds if not thousands of people that have lost services.

    You can’t fix a problem of the size we have now without additional revenues. Period. Nobody likes it. But some of us understand reality. You apparently don’t.

  63. - Biscuit Head - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 1:42 pm:

    Thank you John Cabello for publicly self-identifying as mathematically illiterate. I’ll remember that. - A Voter

  64. - NoMorePieceMealBudgets - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 4:43 pm:

    - RNUG - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 9:36 am: =
    RNUG, I’m with you. Separating K-12 from the rest of the budget is a huge mistake. Have they learned nothing from the past 2 non-budget years?

  65. - Iwaf - Friday, Jun 30, 17 @ 10:58 pm:

    The person who wrote this note is far from creepy and stalker. Some of you have watched too much Lifetime TV. Leaving a note on a windshield of a car that is not threatening, just stating a request is fine. Chill peeps!

  66. - David Dale Johnson - Saturday, Jul 1, 17 @ 12:33 am:

    Not a single effort to remedy the structural deficiencies that have cause Illinois to become the most financially unstable State in the history of the United States…actually teetering on the brink of bankruptcy… But to read these liberals comments one would think the only solution is to raise taxes…again. Nevermind that Illinois taxpayers are already the highest taxed citizens in the USA…and the least educated…and the most likely to be the victims of crime…

  67. - Tray - Saturday, Jul 1, 17 @ 7:09 am:

    If you honestly think this is “poor behavior” then please enlighten me on your thoughts of the congressmen you continue to elect? Or our President’s behavior? He wrote back! Are you scolding him?

  68. - Oswego Willy - Saturday, Jul 1, 17 @ 8:13 am:

    ===Nevermind that Illinois taxpayers are already the highest taxed citizens in the USA===

    Not true.

    ===…and the least educated…===

    Not true.

    ===and the most likely to be the victims of crime…===

    Not true.

    If all those WERE true, then you should be upset with Rauner for being a governor with all those problems AND no budget, lol

    ===But to read these liberals comments one would think the only solution is to raise taxes…===

    Every proposed budgetary solution, Rauner’s included, requires more revenue. They require revenue, not option.

    Your “liberal” take seems comical, but if it felt good saying…

    Happy Saturday!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* A farewell, to one of my favorite White Sox fans

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