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The local news memory hole

Friday, Jun 22, 2018

* The governor was at ISU yesterday

Gov. Bruce Rauner said Thursday it is time to invest more in maintaining and creating “world-class facilities” at the state’s universities.

His comments came at Illinois State University, where he met with school President Larry Dietz and other top administrators and toured three buildings scheduled to be torn down or extensively renovated as part of a fine arts complex included in the recently passed state budget.

Speaking to a group of faculty and students in the ISU Center for the Performing Arts, Rauner said, “I want significant new investment” in higher education facilities and “updating our technologies.”

* From his remarks

I’ve pledged, and I’m gonna work my tail off, sometime within the next six to nine months, I’m giving myself nine months, I want a massive new capital bill, new capital program for the state of Illinois. And I want significant new investments all in our education, higher education institutions. And I want world-class facilities, world-class support for our programs and capital bills will be very heavily focused. We’re gonna do a lot of transportation, roads, bridges, locks, dams, canals, railroads. But it’s gonna be very focused on higher education, world-class facilities, updating our technology so we can have the best education for our young people anywhere in America, anywhere in the world here in our institutions of higher education led by ISU. Go Redbirds!

Dude just finally learned how to crawl by signing his first budget after three and a half years and now he thinks he can leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Also… Canals? Wut?

* And he’s gonna pay for these new canals how, exactly? He’s been promising a massive capital plan since the 2014 campaign and never said how he’d pay for it. Reporters don’t even ask him about it any longer.

A massive capital plan costs money. Lots of money. And Illinois’ government doesn’t have that kind of money on hand, so it’ll have to be new money. Until the governor finally identifies a revenue source, you can completely dismiss this grandiose verbosity.

Also, the inclusion of obsolete 19th Century transportation technology in the governor’s list may be an accidental “tell” that there was no real thought put into this concept. He looks to me like he’s just pulling stuff out of thin (and very old) air and flinging it at the locals for applause lines and fluffy headlines.

Also too, nine months from yesterday is March 21, 2019. Just to be on the safe side, he might wanna give himself less than nine months to pass a capital bill. Maybe focus on the fall veto session, which begins November 13th.

* And speaking of no follow-ups from local reporters

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 1910 on Thursday, permitting the town of Normal to extend its uptown tax increment financing district for 12 more years.

A TIF district allows officials to divert increases in property tax revenue generated by improvements within the district from taxing bodies to a fund for development incentives and infrastructure improvements. The uptown TIF was set to expire in 2026 and couldn’t be extended without legislative approval.

“You have a great tax increment financing district here,” Rauner said. “We don’t want it to expire.”

* Last August, the governor amendatorially vetoed the education funding reform bill (SB1) to, among other things, take out this provision

Eliminates the PTELL and TIF equalized assessed value subsidies that allow districts to continue under-reporting property wealth.

And Rauner justified calling TIF districts “slush funds” this way

Rauner spokeswoman Laurel Patrick pretty much said the governor has made up his mind.

“While TIFs stimulate economic growth in some areas, they do so by depriving economic growth in other areas. They also put government in the position of choosing winners and losers,” she said in an email.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 10:00 am:

    – “You have a great tax increment financing district here,” Rauner said. “We don’t want it to expire.” –

    Rauner’s turnaround agenda really is on full display.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 10:06 am:

    Until this budget, Bruce Rauner flat out refused to fully fund higher education in Illinois.

    Let’s not forget… Mr. Barickman who touts on his twitter that he teaches at ISU… and refused to vote for ISU to be fully funded for 3 fiscal years.

    With friends like Gov. Rauner and Mr. Barickman… they’ll close state universities.

  3. - LXB - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 10:09 am:

    Big, beautiful canals.

  4. - Texas Red - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 10:11 am:

    Take a look at all the environmental and economic development along the canals in Chicago, tons of work along and adjacent to the North Branch Canal and the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. All part of the very important Chicago Area Waterway System.

  5. - City Zen - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 10:13 am:

    You’ll always know your neighbor and you’ll always know you pal, if you ever navigated on the Rauner Canal.

  6. - Concerned Dem - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 10:18 am:

    Bruce Rauner, A Governor for the 19th Century!

  7. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 10:21 am:

    He thinks we’re all stupid.

  8. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 10:36 am:

    I just had a farm loan reset from 3.3% to 5.5%. Still happy as I expect interest rates to soar.

    Illinois missed its chance to bond out debt and fund capital projects at historically low interest rates. What stupidity.

  9. - Gruntled University Employee - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 10:37 am:

    Sounds like the Governor has made his own “fact finding trip” to the dispensary.

  10. - DuPage Saint - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 10:40 am:

    Maybe the canals will have mule paths too a boost for the agricultural section

  11. - JoanP - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 10:40 am:

    =They also put government in the position of choosing winners and losers=

    I’m not a fan of TIFs, I think the concept is reasonable, but the execution (particularly in Chicago) is flawed.

    But let’s be real. Government is always in the position of choosing winners and losers. Funding is not infinite, and anytime you fund one thing, it means something else is losing out.

  12. - Montrose - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 10:41 am:

    I thank Rich and Governor Rauner for giving me a reason to share this classic SNL skit. Happy Friday.

  13. - Roman - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 10:44 am:

    Why stop with canals? Why not invest in our dirigible infrastructure now that the Hindenburg scare has faded?

  14. - Nitemayor - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 10:45 am:

    It seems the governor has stumbled across that great piece of legislation, championed by Mr. Lincoln himself, the Illinois Internal Improvement Act of 1837.

  15. - Steve Rogers - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 11:06 am:

    Yay Canals!

  16. - wordslinger - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 11:15 am:

    –..I’m gonna work my tail off, sometime within the next six to nine months,..–

    Whoa, easy big fella, don’t rush into anything, you might pull a hammy.

    LOL, I love it when he goes off script. The words and lies just spew randomly from the ol’ pie hole.

  17. - IllinoisBoi - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 11:27 am:

    == It seems the governor has stumbled across that great piece of legislation, championed by Mr. Lincoln himself, the Illinois Internal Improvement Act of 1837. ==

    True — and remember, that Act completely bankrupted Illinois.

  18. - VanillaMan - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 11:31 am:

    Rauner was referring to his personal need of having matching ear canals dung to his brain so that he could hear beyond the voices in his head.

  19. - VanillaMan - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 11:35 am:

    == I’m giving myself nine months,==

    You’re gone in seven months.

  20. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 11:48 am:

    No monorail? How are we supposed to get on the map like Brockway, Ogdenville, and by gum, North Haverbrook?

  21. - illini - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 11:50 am:

    Second attempt to post -

    I know this is an election year and that our desperate incumbent Governor is attempting to con the voters yet again to vote for him.

    Words mean absolutely nothing. Where has he been these past 3 years to make affirmative suggestions to address the importance of all of Higher Ed in Illinois? We all know the significant damage he has done to this vitally important to segment of our economy. I see no need to detail what we all know to be the facts.

    Yet suddenly “it is time to invest more in maintaining and creating “world-class facilities” at the state’s universities.”

    What a hypocrite. The damage has already been done and suddenly he wants us to truest him to magically fix the problem he created.

  22. - wordslinger - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    –No monorail?–

    More of a Shelbyville thing.

    Back when Conan ran the show.

  23. - Anonymous - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 1:02 pm:

    Loathe as I am to support anything the governor says, the joking about canals is misguided; do you think our massive grain and coal and bulk goods shipments all go out to their destinations only on railcars? Nope, river navigation is a vital part of the transportation infrastructure, and canals are part of that.

    A capital bill for infrastructure maintenance and upgrades is just the kind of stimulus the state needs, but is Rauner the guy that can put that package together and sell it? I doubt it.

  24. - Steve Rogers - Friday, Jun 22, 18 @ 2:11 pm:

    Anonymous at 1:02: Come on. No one is disparaging the river transportation systems we already have in this state. They’re an important part of the entire transportation network in Illinois. But honestly, do you expect the state government to build a canal from let’s say Beardstown to Terre Haute to link up the Illinois and Wabash Rivers??? Or from Dubuque to Rockford??? We have highways and rail lines already built to move products at way-cheaper rates than what it would cost to dig a big ole ditch hundreds of miles.

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