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Captains obvious

Friday, May 18, 2018

* House Republican Leader Jim Durkin on the budget negotiations

Durkin said last summer’s state income tax hike is making things easier. Democrats – joined by some Republicans – imposed the $5 billion tax increase over the governor’s veto in 2017, breaking a two-and-a-half-year budget impasse.

“I’m not going to be overly optimistic until I see more progress made, but the fact is we’re in a better place than we were last year and the year before,” Durkin said.

* And here’s Senate President John Cullerton

Cullerton said if talks do break down this year, as they did last summer, Democrats are prepared to go it alone.

“Then we’ll have to go ahead and pass our own budget with as much cooperation from Republicans as we can get,” he said.

It’s a lot easier this year because no tax increases are involved, but this governor has yet to prove that he can negotiate a real budget and the Democrats believe they may have enough Republican votes to override a potential Rauner veto.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Cailleach - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 12:14 pm:

    Negotiatin’ is not Rauner’s style, in good faith or otherwise.

  2. - slow down - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 12:15 pm:

    If Rauner couldn’t find a way to compromise on the budget in his first 3 years, it’s hard to believe he’ll do it in an election year.

  3. - Retired Educator - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 12:15 pm:

    Even his own party, and leaders know he is a lame duck. They will work with the Democrats to push through a budget. Rauner has made himself irrelevant.

  4. - Carhartt Union Negotiating Team - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 12:20 pm:

    I’m sure Durkin’s thank you note for the sorely needed revenue is in the mail. It’s probably just slow because it’s gotta go through all that government bureaucracy and anti-Illinois middle-class bid’ness red tape. Rauner still recommends spending every nickel of that tax increase on the “big, broken government” he despises, by the way.

  5. - Demoralized - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 12:37 pm:

    ==but the fact is we’re in a better place than we were last year and the year before==

    Doesn’t that run contrary to the Governor’s talking point of rolling back the “Madigan tax increase?” Stating as a “fact” that the budget is in a better place? Of course Durkin is right.

  6. - JS Mill - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 12:46 pm:

    =but the fact is we’re in a better place than we were last year and the year before=

    Face palm.

  7. - Groundhog Day - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 12:49 pm:

    I read the post title as Captain Oblivious.

  8. - Anoniphone - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 12:57 pm:

    Rauner seems alone. Lonely even.

    He has a vision. It’ll never come to fruition. He dreams of Madigan.

    Someone should buy Rauner a pop, tell him, look, this isn’t your bag. You’ve done some things but this isn’t one of them.

    Meantime, Rauner persists glumly. But it’s fragile. There’s no there anymore. At one there was. Now? It’s all Madigan.

  9. - Anoniphone - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 12:59 pm:

    ‘Once’ — not ‘one’.


  10. - Political Animal - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 1:04 pm:

    My turn to be Captain Obvious.

    The fact that more tax revenue makes it easier to negotiate a budget with tax and spend Democrats doesn’t mean the tax hike was a good idea. There’s no contradiction.

    Democrats refused to structurally address spending for 15 years. Now that they’re taking more money out of the economy, they have to cut even less to achieve balance.

    The question is will their union allies and trial lawyer donors allow them to make even the modest cuts required to balance this budget?

  11. - Concerned Dem - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 1:12 pm:

    I love the idea of the “tax and spend” trope as a pejorative. What’s the alternative, Bruce Rauner’s (and frankly the entire GOP going back to Reagan) of cut taxes and spend?

  12. - Demoralized - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 1:14 pm:

    ==doesn’t mean the tax hike was a good idea==

    $16B in unpaid bills when it passed. Don’t pretend that there was an alternative.

    ==Democrats refused to structurally address spending for 15 years==

    It’s been going on longer than that. And, the Governor doesn’t get off the hook either. After all, he’s the one that racked up the unprecedented bill backlog.

  13. - Demoralized - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 1:17 pm:

    ==tax and spend Democrats==

    Also, that’s nothing but partisan hack drivel. Go do some research on the history of state budgets and then come back and make that nonsense comment. Don’t pretend that it’s only the Democrats who like to spend. It isn’t. Dishonesty among some of you runs rampant.

  14. - Deadbeat Conservative (blocked?) - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 1:20 pm:

    “tax and spend”

    Where “spend” means pay your bills.

  15. - Pundent - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 1:25 pm:

    =The question is will their union allies and trial lawyer donors allow them to make even the modest cuts required to balance this budget?=

    Maybe that’s the second question. The first question would be to the governor and his agencies where they believe cuts can be made. After all that’s where the money is actually spent. But despite that question being asked we’re still waiting for an answer.

    To me it stands to reason that the governor and his agency heads should weigh in on budget cuts before the union allies and trial lawyers do. But I’m sure you can enlighten me on what I’m missing here.

    And by the way, Rauner isn’t obligated to spend any of that “Madigan Tax” he finds so distasteful. Once he’s fulfilled the consent decrees and other legal obligations of the state he doesn’t have to spend a penny that he doesn’t want to.

  16. - wordslinger - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 1:35 pm:

    –.. and the Democrats believe they may have enough Republican votes to override a potential Rauner veto.–

    I’m guessing that’s the way it will go. Rauner will play like he’s Mr. Fiscal Responsibility on the campaign trail.

    Of course, in reality, he’s spent all the tax increase revenue in this fiscal and wants a $1.1 billion supplemental on top of it.

  17. - Steve Rogers - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 1:35 pm:

    Political Animal: so you were happy with a $16 billion backlog, underfunded universities, and decimated social service agencies? Yay!

  18. - Moby - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 1:36 pm:

    == The question is will their union allies and trial lawyer donors allow them to make even the modest cuts required to balance this budget? ==

    Political Animal, we’re still waiting on Rauner and/or his department heads to lay out their proposed cuts. Maybe you can answer for them.

  19. - Deadbeat Conservative (pushin' it) - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 1:44 pm:

    =The question is will their union allies and trial lawyer donors allow them to make even the modest cuts required to balance this budget?=
    The question is; when will Durkin stop his Ruaneresque lying that none of the tax increase goes to pay down state debt and reduce state intererst costs? There, fixed it.

  20. - Rabid - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 2:00 pm:

    Durkin praises the madigan tax hike for putting us in a better place

  21. - SSL - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 2:01 pm:

    There’s no question the state is better off than a year ago. The taxpayers maybe not so much, but why quibble over the details.

    And with a top ten tax burden, you would think the future is bright for Illinois working residents, but no. Those taxpayers are going to be looking at even higher taxes in the next year or so. The pension ramp beckons, and with the despised Rauner out of the way and Madigan patsy JB in charge, get ready to bend over and take one for the team. Team Madigan that is. He will hang that tax increase around JB’s size 19 neck and stand back while JB takes the heat. It’s the Madigan way.

    What will all you guys talk about then.

  22. - The Dude Abides - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 2:06 pm:

    @Pundent, if you recall, when the Governor’s agency heads testified before Legislative committees not one of them identified any cuts that they could make in their respective agencies.
    Also when the Governor had an opportunity to use his amendatory veto authority to make budget cuts last Summer when he received the budget he refused to put that responsibility upon himself.

  23. - Moby - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 2:36 pm:

    SSL, so how would you fix Illinois…Constitutionally?

  24. - Pundent - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 2:43 pm:

    =What will all you guys talk about then.=

    Probably the same thing that we’re talking about now - math.

  25. - TominChicago - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 2:50 pm:

    Political Animal - Just to remind you, a couple of years ago, each director of Rauner’s agencies were asked by I believe the Senate Appropriations Committee what could be cut from their budgets. Everyone of them could not identify any appropriate cuts. Both sides spend.

  26. - SSL - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 2:57 pm:

    Moby, is it fixable? I don’t know that it is.

    Since you brought up the constitution, that’s certainly an option. Implement a progressive income tax, but don’t stop there. Change the constitution and take a run at eliminating tier 1 benefits, but only on a go forward basis. In other words, if you are a tier 1 employee, you keep all benefits earned as of a speficic date, but new rules go into place going forward. You can’t have people in the tier 1 plan for the next 30 years and expect to solve the problem.
    For those of you sharpening your spears, save your time. If you can amend state constitutions for tax increases, you can work to do it on pensions. Keep trying. Otherwise all those clamoring for gun control at the federal level may as well give up.

    The pain of fixing this state will need to be shared if it is ever going to happen. Otherwise, those that can leave will, and those are the very people we need to help fix it.

    I don’t expect anyone to agree with me. Guess I better start packing.

  27. - Sue - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 3:20 pm:

    Why doesn’t anyone remember that the tax rate subset was a Democratic decision taken to get the increase thru and on the promise that after 5 years Illinois would be fiscally stable. Rauner didn’t cut taxes the Democrats did though Rauner did signal he wanted the sunset to proceed

  28. - Sue - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 3:23 pm:

    SSL- don’t think the Supreme Court would allow you to convert current tier 1’s on a go forward basis. Absent a change in the Court, ic your are currently tied 1 you will retain that status and retire at the higher benefit level

  29. - Norseman - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 3:26 pm:

    Durkin would look good in the Captain Obvious costume. Maybe he can replace the actor and finally do something productive for a living.

  30. - Pundent - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 3:34 pm:

    =For those of you sharpening your spears, save your time. If you can amend state constitutions for tax increases, you can work to do it on pensions.=

    I think you’ve got the wrong constitution in mind. Try looking up Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution.

    It’s not that “we” don’t agree with you it’s that the law doesn’t.

  31. - RNUG - Friday, May 18, 18 @ 4:35 pm:

    == Change the constitution and take a run at eliminating tier 1 benefits, but only on a go forward basis. ==

    That is the already discredited Sidley-Austin theory. Won’t fly.

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