* Rep. Jeanne Ives in The Federalist…
Last April, Rauner publicly promised he would veto a bill that would force taxpayers to pay for abortions through all nine months of pregnancy. He lied. He signed the bill with a shrug of his shoulders, stating “I have always been pro-choice and I always will be.” […]
The cost of this law could approach $20 million. In a state with presumptive eligibility for pregnant women to receive Medicaid, there is also a real possibility that Illinois taxpayers will pay for abortions of women from surrounding states who falsely claim to be residents. The state has had enormous problems in the past with high numbers of ineligible folks on Medicaid.
In all this drama, the families of Illinois are forgotten and left to pick up the tab. Already on the hook for the highest property taxes in the nation, many families face unemployment as businesses bleed into more friendly states. Other families are trying to keep their heads above water, having seen needed social services reduced or eliminated over the past three years. So, as pundits and pols rant and rave in the papers and on social media, too many families quietly pack up and leave. Even those who are doing well look at state politics and wonder why they would entrust their family’s future to these “leaders.”
Here is what Illinois families should know: While the concentrated power in Springfield seems daunting, the people have the collective numbers, resources, and values to end Illinois’ rigged political culture. Illinoisans deserve bold leaders, and in 2018, they can pick those leaders willing to fight for them to own a home in a safe community, to have access to quality schools, to be able to count on basic services when they are in need, and to have the opportunity to build their lives and pursue happiness.
* As we’ve discussed before, here’s the fiscal impact note for HB40…
The estimated annual cost for abortion services resulting from House Bill 40 is approximately $1.8 million, which would be 100% GRF funded. There may be other budgetary impacts that are not quantifiable.
So, what are those “other budgetary impacts”?
* Here’s the original fiscal impact note that was filed on an identical bill in 2015…
The cost for the Department of Healthcare and Family Services would be $1.3 million.
But then a month later, DHFS filed a corrected note…
There would be zero cost to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services; Offset savings were overlooked in the first note filed.
“Offset savings” appears to be a bureaucratic way of saying if there’s no birth, there are no further costs.
…Adding… HB40 opponents say Cook County currently pays for 5-6,000 abortions a year at the hospital. The state will now pick up that tab.
Some supporters of HB40 fear the harsh conservative backlash — a steady drumbeat of disapproval against Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signature on the bill expanding public funding of abortion in Illinois — has eclipsed any talk of what they view as a victory for low-income women.
“I feel like the conversation around this is all focused on politics instead of on the women,” Lori Chaiten, ACLU’s Director of the Reproductive Rights Project told POLITICO. “This was a huge step forward for women and communities in Illinois. It is getting drowned out by the negative statements and the politics in this state.”
Opponents will quickly point out that it wasn’t just Rauner’s signature that was the problem — it was that he had promised abortion opponents in his party that he would veto the bill. Rauner said he came to the decision after meeting with groups of women across the state who told him they didn’t have access to abortion because of finances.
“Unfortunately, I do believe we’ve become incredibly polarized, not just in Illinois but across the country,” Chaiten said. “I do think it’s really important to stop for a minute. I think this is what the governor did. He stopped and listened to the experiences of the women of this state and to women who needed access to health care. It was a brave and bold move on his part.”
Bruce Rauner said his signing of a controversial abortion bill was consistent with his pro-choice principles and that he had never presented himself as anything but pro-choice.
We looked through numerous campaign appearance videos, ads and news stories and found no evidence that Rauner ever tried to hide or downplay his pro-choice beliefs. In fact, his campaign touted the Rauners’ support of abortion rights groups to rebut the charge that he was not pro-choice.
Rauner sought anti-abortion voters by assuring them that, as governor, he had no social agenda and that “the right for a woman to choose is the national law and… that ain’t gonna change in Illinois.” Politically, it proved to be a smart strategy that helped gain him election in 2014. By 2017, however, it became impossible to continue finessing the issue.
In picking a side, Rauner declared that he has been consistent in declaring his pro-choice beliefs. We rate that statement True.
* Kadner: Too busy spurning Rauner, GOP fails to make Dems pay for taxes: If Republicans have a difficult time uniting behind Rauner, I can’t see how they will run effective campaigns for countywide office or ever mount a serious challenge to Michael Madigan’s control of the Illinois House.
* Anti-abortion groups dump Rauner for 2018: Meanwhile, Rep. Jeanne Ives, a DuPage County Republican, told me in a phone interview that she’s “much closer” to deciding whether to run after getting expressions of support from “all over the state.”
* Rauner losing his groove
* Kass: Rep. Jeanne Ives attacks Rauner’s weak right flank
* HB 40: Saving Abortion Access in Illinois
* Editorial: Rauner’s unforced error
* Knox County Right to Life leaders say Rauner’s re-election chances are now dim: “We’re going to lose the election. I don’t think Rauner can win, and I think if Rauner wins – what have we won? We’ve basically got a Democrat in Republican clothing.” He added, “So I don’t see the Republican party or Pro-Lifers losing by running another candidate.”