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*** UPDATED x1 - Brown responds *** The devil is always in the details

Thursday, Oct 19, 2017

* After having praised the governor in an earlier post today about the proposed Discovery Partners Institute on the city’s near South Side, I should probably return to the usual problems he has, particularly with Speaker Madigan

Last week, Rauner said he planned to use proceeds from the sale of the Thompson Center to help finance the institute. Rauner has said unloading the 1.2 million-square-foot building would fetch $300 million, though the state would have to pay around $60 million off the top to buy out the leases of the current tenants.

Rauner also said that though he was seeking some public funding for the initial stages of the work, over time he expected the institute to be primarily funded through private dollars.

Steve Brown, spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan, said Tuesday that legislative leaders were in talks about the institute but denied there had been any such accord, “in part because there was sort of a lack of detail about exactly how the state funds might be utilized.” Brown also said the Thompson Center profits are incorporated into this year’s state budget, comprising a large chunk of new revenues.

“The money has been accounted for in the current state budget, and there is no agreement, verbal or otherwise, to support state funding for this institute,” Brown said.

That pool of money isn’t exactly earmarked for the state budget either. The bill allowing the sale of the Thompson Center has been hung up in political wrangling and has yet to be sent to the governor’s desk.

Oy.

* More

“There’s no way to say that from Madigan’s point of view whether we’re on board or not on board because we don’t know what we’re getting on board for,” Brown said of the potential for the state to have to pitch in for the center.

*** UPDATE ***  From Steve Brown in comments…

When called by the Tribune, I was told the governor said he had a verbal agreement from the legislative leaders to shift the proceeds from the JRTC sale to this project. I advised the reporter the JRTC funds were committed to the budget and there was no agreement by the Speaker in no small part because there were few details provided to the leaders.

Tribbies robbed readers of these facts.

Seems all hands need more details before there can be an agreement.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* And there’s this

State Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, said he had heard about the project last week and on Friday called Rauner, who told him that components of the project will help downstate cities such as Champaign-Urbana, Peoria and Rockford.

But he said he still hasn’t heard many details.

“I’m going to reserve judgment until I see what it is,” Rose said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

23 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    Downstaters complaining that Chicago might get something. News at 11.


  2. - Roman - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 10:31 am:

    I’m with Brown and Chapin on this. Sounds exciting, but the details are real squishy. I read several stories about this and still don’t really get it. Didn’t we set up UI Labs in Chicago just a couple of years ago to fuel tech start-ups and other business innovations? How’s this different?

    And is U of I’s Urbana campus setting up a satellite campus a couple of blocks away from the UIC campus?


  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 10:34 am:

    ===State Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, said he had heard about the project last week and on Friday called Rauner, who told him that components of the project will help downstate cities such as Champaign-Urbana, Peoria and Rockford.

    But he said he still hasn’t heard many details.

    “I’m going to reserve judgment until I see what it is,” Rose said.===

    How many times has Mr. Rose voted against funding UIUC and did Mr. Rose vote to override Governor Rauner’s veto that allowed funding for higher education?

    Yeah, I’m sure Mr. Rose will hold judgement until Gov. Rauner tells him exactly what he needs to say or, in the cases of funding state universities like UIUC, how to vote to cripple higher education.

    You reserve that right, Mr. Rose. You just keep that judgement in reserve.


  4. - Langhorne - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 10:36 am:

    The header is exactly correct. This group has never been great w details, building support, etc.

    Todays chuckle (happy to be proven wrong), is there a bill? A prospectus? Goals? An outline? A rough budget? Template used elsewhere?

    Agreed, this should play to rauners strengths. Trust, but verify.


  5. - wordslinger - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 10:37 am:

    We’re nowhere near “details” stage yet. This is an intriguing but very broad and hazy notion at this point.

    Rauner and BTIA(TM) will need to show some actual executive governing chops to matriculate the ball down the field. Repititive chanting of talking-points ain’t going to cut it.


  6. - Stones - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 10:42 am:

    While I don’t disagree with the concept of unloading the Thompson Center, has the cost of relocating the state agencies been factored into the equation?


  7. - Arsenal - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 10:43 am:

    It’s a notion, not a plan.


  8. - illini - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 10:45 am:

    @Willy - isn’t it great that Sen Rose has been so supporting of his Alma Mater all these years?


  9. - zatoichi - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 10:46 am:

    I just noticed on a map that Rockford is as down state as Oblong is. Maybe I should adjust my glasses.

    Details? You will be told the details when you need to know them. Until then, just trust me.


  10. - Anon221 - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    Will this idea still be as attractive to investors if Amazon doesn’t come to Chicago?
    From the News-Gazette article today:

    Funding for the institute will come largely from private sources, including philanthropic foundations and industry, “but we’re anticipating state and city support as well,” he (Killeen) said.

    “The university is not taking money from its budget to build this thing,” said Ed Seidel, UI vice president for economic development and innovation.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 10:51 am:

    - illini -

    I’ll go only as far as to say that when Rauner co-opted the Raunerite Caucuses, some like Mr. Rose took it upon themselves these 2 1/2 years to just plum forget they have state universities and the phony concern for them these 2 1/2 years runs counter to vote after vote to financially cripple higher education.

    But I take solace, Mr. Rose will reserve his judgement until the Rauner talking pints can get to Mahomet and Mr. Rose can articulate them as they should be.

    If members want to be judged by their actions and voting records, especially “since Rauner” to opine on subjects like Higher Ed, that’s fine with me.

    Right now - illini -, it’s difficult to square the withholding judgement. When you vote Red to fund higher education already, why does it matter how Champaign and that campus will be effected?


  12. - Anon221 - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    Rose wants to appear to be nibbling at the ties that bind him as a Raunerite. Good Luck with that. Voting records are permanent. We won’t forget those Red Rauner Buck votes anytime soon.


  13. - Steve Brown - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 10:57 am:

    This seems like a great time to add a little context.

    When called by the Tribune, I was told the governor said he had a verbal agreement from the legislative leaders to shift the proceeds from the JRTC sale to this project. I advised the reporter the JRTC funds were committed to the budget and there was no agreement by the Speaker in no small part because there were few details provided to the leaders.

    Tribbies robbed readers of these facts.

    Seems all hands need more details before there can be an agreement.


  14. - Lurkin' MBA - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    God forbid we take the JRTC proceeds and pay down the existing debt?


  15. - DuPage Saint - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 11:23 am:

    For Pete’s sake, who needs details. haven’t we all learned to take the governor at his word? This will be a huuuge plus.


  16. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 11:43 am:

    Steve Brown lives in an alternate universe most of the time


  17. - Farm boy - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 11:45 am:

    ““in part because there was sort of a lack of detail about exactly how the state funds might be utilized.” Why do flaks talk like this? He would do well to look up the difference between “use” and “utilize.”
    https://grammarpartyblog.com/2012/01/17/use-versus-utilize/


  18. - Anonymous - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 12:02 pm:

    Only in Illinois where we still have unbelievable debt would we use a minor windfall from the sale of the Thompson Center to create another ill concieved and unproved government initiative. Pay off the debt and get this great State moving forward again.


  19. - Steve Brown - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 12:11 pm:

    Mr/m FarmBoy — thanks for the update. Seems like either works here, but I got to learn a little about witch’s brew. Hopefully you can use what benefit you get from the clicks.


  20. - Langhorne - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 1:37 pm:

    I said they aren’t good w details, not that I expect all details to be nailed down this early.

    Even though it will evolve, they should be able to state goals, purpose, participants, ballpark budget. NOT press releases, or sound bites. Direction and degree.


  21. - Sugar Corn - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 2:18 pm:

    The price tage is $1.2 billion. Roughly half of what Rauner blocked from the U of I in 2 short fiscal years.

    He’s really trying to make up to them.

    Wonder what he has in store for SIU.


  22. - Sugar Corn - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 2:18 pm:

    double, not half. sorry


  23. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Oct 19, 17 @ 2:22 pm:

    I understand the problems with the Governor, but this is the kind if initiative Illinois needs.

    It will produce practical uses for the technology the three universities are developing all of the time and make it more likely those turn into businesses that develop and grow in Illinois.

    Instead of throwing money at car plants, build something that actually results in economic development leading to new high quality manufacturing, biomedical research and development, and computer technology development.

    This is modeled on similar institutions around the Bay Area, Boston, and New York that attracts venture capital to the research our universities invest in.


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