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Pritzker points to pot as possible capital bill funding source

Monday, Apr 30, 2018

* JB Pritzker was in Decatur the other day

Pritzker said during and after the roundtable that he will make creating a capital bill a priority if elected in November.

How to pay for for those capital projects remains to be seen.

With President Donald Trump’s administration asking for an 80 percent match in local and state funds for infrastructure projects, Pritzker said state leaders will have to look at a number of revenue streams to pay for a capital bill, likely to cost more than $1 billion.

Options floated by Pritzker on Friday include paying with revenue from a graduated income tax he hopes to get approved once elected, revenue from legalizing and taxing marijuana and, when the state’s credit rating improves, borrowing.

Earlier this month, he seemed to say he’d use part of the pot of weed money to increase school funding, but that could’ve just been the way the reporter chose to write the report.

Either way, borrowing isn’t revenue. You have to find money to pay for that bonding.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

35 Comments
  1. - Saluki - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 10:00 am:

    I could have cheated, and I could have passed…


  2. - Anonymous - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 10:04 am:

    Pot for potholes. Intersting


  3. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 10:09 am:

    Pretty clear JB is a big government, tax and spend Democrat.

    Illinois Government spending will continue to rise if he is elected, there will be no spending cap.

    State spending has grown 25% faster than personal income per capita. How has that worked out for Illinois residents?

    JB does not even pretend to be fiscally responsible even now that the primary is over.


  4. - Big Joe - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 10:16 am:

    If the decision in New Jersey allowing sports gaming coming up in June, hopefully becomes a reality, that would be another source of revenue. Put sports betting at casinos and race tracks ASAP, along with slots and table games at tracks too. That revenue would be great for the Illinois economy and the racing industry.


  5. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 10:23 am:

    === Put sports betting at casinos and race tracks===

    Meh. Put them in taverns and truck stops. More people could bet on games that way, and middle class business owners would make the money instead of wealthy monopolists.


  6. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 10:24 am:

    –Pritzker said state leaders will have to look at a number of revenue streams to pay for a capital bill, likely to cost more than $1 billion.–

    I would hope any state capital program would be more than $1 billion. The 2009 program was $31 billion.

    You don’t get a lot statewide in capital construction for $1 billion. Heck, the proposed regular capital budget for FY19 is $4.6 billion from existing sources.

    I”m guessing the reporter here just doesn’t understand the numbers and scale very well.


  7. - McGuppin - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 10:24 am:

    For the life of me I cannot understand why Gov. Rauner wouldn’t try to steal some pot thunder from JB by embracing the MEDICAL cannabis industry (if he cannot get his mind around recreational). From what I see, it’s

    a. Very popular amongst the electorate
    b. An largely untapped revenue source for the State, and
    c. The right thing to do for patients who are suffering

    The Governor could expand the list of qualifying conditions and release the handful of remaining licenses — TODAY. Seems like smart politics and good government.


  8. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 10:25 am:

    ===For the life of me I cannot understand why Gov. Rauner wouldn’t try===

    What part of “he hates pot” do you fail to understand, particularly since your life depends on it?


  9. - Phenomynous - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 10:26 am:

    Word, that’s probably an annual billion dollar debt service payment.


  10. - Demoralized - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 10:33 am:

    ==JB does not even pretend to be fiscally responsible==

    Says the commenter who supports a Governor who ran up a $16B backlog of bills.

    If you’re going to talk about fiscal responsibility then you might want to be more honest and consistent in your commentary.


  11. - Demoralized - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 10:36 am:

    ==paying with revenue from a graduated income tax he hopes to get approved once elected==

    He might want to let everyone in on what his tax plan looks like and how much revenue he anticipates raising with it.


  12. - Jocko - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 10:38 am:

    ==Pretty clear JB is a big government, tax and spend Democrat.==

    As opposed to a Republican (in name only) who does nothing…and PLEDGES to continue to do nothing for a second term…while bills pile up.


  13. - McGuppin - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 10:44 am:

    ===What part of “he hates pot” do you fail to understand, particularly since your life depends on it?===

    That’s true that he seems to hate pot. At the same time, he did decide to go ahead and release the initial 40 or 50 dispensary licenses after beating Quinn. I might be wrong, but I think it was well within his power to effectively kill the industry before it got started by simply sitting on the licenses — yet he chose to allow it to move forward.

    I do get your point, Rich. He’s clearly not a fan of cannabis — for medical or recreational purposes.


  14. - Roman - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 10:51 am:

    Might be a good idea to dedicate any new revenue sources (weed, gaming expansion, etc.) to paying off pension debt. Should probably pay off the credit card bill before we start buying new stuff.


  15. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 10:54 am:

    ==Pretty clear JB is a big government, tax and spend Democrat.==

    Pretty clear Rauner is a big government, spend and spend Republican.


  16. - Arsenal - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 10:55 am:

    ==JB does not even pretend to be fiscally responsible even now that the primary is over.==

    How did Rauner pretending to be fiscally responsible work out for IL residents?


  17. - BlueDogDem - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 11:04 am:

    Pritzker. Rauner. Fiscal birds of a feather.


  18. - VanillaMan - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 11:32 am:

    Colorado showed that legalized pot didn’t end corner dealers - it did the opposite. How much in taxes have corner dealers paid?

    That’s right - none.

    Taxes are only collected at shops frequented by citizens from out of state, or can afford the higher pot prices and taxes.

    Colorado shows us that Boomers and tourists pay the taxes while everyone else still gets pot the old fashioned way - off grid - lower prices, and no taxes collected.

    As a matter of fact, legalized pot enriched the old pot dealers as much as the new ones.

    Until prices go down at the legal locations, there will be no taxes collected.


  19. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 11:32 am:

    ===didn’t end corner dealers - it did the opposite===

    Wrong.


  20. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 11:34 am:

    ===there will be no taxes collected===

    Goodness, but you’re just chock full of fake news on this topic.


  21. - VanillaMan - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 12:15 pm:

    Colorado schools see increased student pot use

    April sees 10 illegal marijuana grow busts in ElPaso

    Googled it.
    This weekend.


  22. - VanillaMan - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 12:20 pm:

    I witnessed these problems both in Colorado, and years ago in the Netherlands.

    If you view this issue as an adult user, then you see dollars.

    If you see this issue as a parent, non user or addition expert - you see real problems which need to be addressed.


  23. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 12:21 pm:

    Meh. The governor of that state says your old stats on kids was a temporary blip.

    But, hey, keep fighting to maintain the current mobbed up distribution system.


  24. - City Zen - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 12:39 pm:

    JB has cracked the code on how to spend the same dollar multiple times.


  25. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 1:07 pm:

    Pot revenue is very much needed in this state. Why let all of that money go to the black market?

    Teen pot use has gone down in Colorado since legalization, per a study.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/12/11/following-marijuana-legalization-teen-drug-use-is-down-in-colorado/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.5372bea4fe84

    We have to get out of Reefer Madness—just for freedom’s sake. Who has the right to stop responsible adults from consuming something less harmful than alcohol, legal opioids and cigarettes?


  26. - Demoralized - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 1:08 pm:

    ==Googled it.==

    Yep. That certainly makes everything you said absolutely true across the board.

    If you don’t want to smoke marijuana VMAn then don’t. As for your parent comment, how is this any different than alcohol or smoking or whatever else you as a parent don’t want your kids to do?

    You sure can be high and mighty sometimes.


  27. - Anon - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 1:14 pm:

    Any Pot revenue should go strictly to the increasing pension payments out of the general fund every year.

    Even if every other dollar was held static we need billions of new revenue just to come up with the portion of pension money the general fund will be responsible for.

    We don’t have that money, much less the money for new spending on top of that.


  28. - supplied_demand - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 2:56 pm:

    Lets look at the numbers. Marijuana legalization might bring in $600 million a year in revenue ($350 to $700 million are the ranges, Colorado made $200 million and their population is 5.6 million compared to Illinois’ 12.8 million). Higher number of tourists and central location would likely mean higher revenue per resident, but nobody knows.

    - Send $300 million to schools to cover new school spending bill. Add in some property tax relief.

    - Carve out $150 million (plus annual inflation adjustments), and you could bond that to $5-8 billion for a capital bill.

    - Another $50 million to public health agencies.

    - The final $100 million can go into the pensions (or you could bond that as well to make one very large pension payment of $2-4 billion).


  29. - Illinois Resident - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 3:37 pm:

    Vanillaman - It is 2018 now, no one believes your reefer madness propaganda. Illinois will legalize cannabis in the short term whether you like it or not. It’s called freedom.


  30. - Illinois Resident - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 3:41 pm:

    Vanillaman - I assume you never drink alcohol and are actively trying to repeal alcohol legalization. Just to be consistent and not hypocritical.


  31. - Ron - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 4:23 pm:

    Jb, there is no money to spend more. Every dime of legalized pot tax revenue should go to pay the pensions.

    More of the same taxing and spending..


  32. - Ron - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 4:25 pm:

    The state’s pension funds could really use an extra $500,000,000 annually.


  33. - Illinois Resident - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 6:35 pm:

    Ron, I am glad that we both agree cannabis should be legalized. I see no reason why some or all of that tax money cannot go toward infrastructure (at least in the short term).


  34. - Ron - Monday, Apr 30, 18 @ 10:03 pm:

    We haven’t had a balanced budget in decades as spending has skyrocketed as have taxes. We can’t spend on nice things, we have constitutionally protected benefits to pay.


  35. - Illinois Resident - Tuesday, May 1, 18 @ 8:34 am:

    Ron, Wisconsin has a much higher state income tax then Illinois. Property taxes will go down when we can incorporate a progressive state income tax.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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