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Where does Pritzker want to take Illinois?

Thursday, Jan 10, 2019

* Brian Mackey spent time on JB Pritzker’s campaign website and pulled out an extensive list of the candidates “priorities and principles.” Here is the economic stuff

* Raise the Illinois minimum wage to $15 an hour.
* Pass a big infrastructure spending bill — money used to build and repair highways, bridges, ports, public transpiration, and government buildings.
* Make high-speed internet access available everywhere in Illinois.
* Upgrading the locks and dams on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.
* Update lead pipes in water systems.
* Make “microloans” more widely available.
* Pass a Truth in Lending Act, aimed at protecting small business owners.
* Increase funding for Small Business Development Centers.
* Review the Enterprise Zone Program to make sure the state is stimulating growth in the most economically distressed communities.
* Promote wind and solar power while also supporting the Advanced Coal and Energy Research Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He’s also pledged to ”set Illinois on a path toward 100% clean, renewable energy.”
* Make more money available to farms for investment in technology.
* Force “net neutrality” on internet service providers that have state contracts.
* Pursue legislation that prevents employers from asking about salary history.
* Support construction of a third Chicago airport near Peotone, in the far south suburbs, on the condition it doesn’t take jobs away from O’Hare or Midway airports.

* “Economic inclusion”

* Increase the “aspirational goal” for the share of state contracts going to women- and minority-owners businesses to 30 percent.
* Create a cabinet-level position to make sure it that aspiration becomes a reality.
* Have a loan program that helps minority business owners compete for state contracts.
* Start minority- and women-owned business “accelerators” to provide mentoring, financing and other help.
* Fund pre-apprenticeship programs to help people from disadvantaged communities get jobs in the building trades, both union and non-union.
* Expand employment programs for disadvantaged youth.
* Help “unbanked” communities by encouraging financial institutions to provide services in libraries and other public spaces.
* Cap rates for check cashing.

* Higher education

* Create a single, shared application for every state university in Illinois.
* Increase financial aid for low-income college students, known as Monetary Award Program or MAP grants, by 50 percent.
* Create a state-run program to help people refinance student loan debt.
* Restore funding for state universities and community colleges to levels that predate Gov. Bruce Rauner’s tenure.
* Assign a task force to study how Illinois might “set a course toward” free college.
* Make it so 90 percent of Illinois households can access the AIM-HIGH merit-based financial program.
* Ensure university credit for Illinois community college courses.
* Expand technical education and apprenticeships.
* Start new statewide competitions for university students to foster entrepreneurship.
* Have state grants seed start-ups based at universities.

* He also found this….

Not favor increases in the gas tax, expanding the sales tax to cover services, or ending the tax exemption for so-called retirement income. (All three topics were presented at debates — those who supported the ideas were asked to raise their hands; Pritzker kept his down every time.)

Interesting.

Click here to read the rest. Lots more at that link.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

53 Comments »
  1. - anon2 - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 11:42 am:

    It’s not going to be easy to fund a big infrastructure plan without hiking the gas tax. Four years ago, candidate Rauner supported expanding the sales tax to certain services, yet JB felt he couldn’t take the same risk.


  2. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 11:53 am:

    He’ll sign a state budget and pay the state’s bills. That’s enough for me.


  3. - Illinois Resident - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 11:55 am:

    Cannabis legalization while maybe not framed as only economic, is a major economic change for our state. It could help fund infrastructure improvements among other things.


  4. - driveby - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 12:02 pm:

    Not a single mention of the ‘P’ word. That means no end to the crisis.


  5. - driveby - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 12:06 pm:

    Actually, the article does include pension reamortization (though that’s a nonsolution).


  6. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 12:11 pm:

    I hate to throw side eye so early but….
    Where is restaff state agencies?
    Where is restore the wages Illegally withheld (as affirmed by the courts) from state workers?
    Where is the recognition that all of these “wants” involve stateworkers bringing them into being?
    A car is more than the driver.
    All the systems of a vehicle have to work.
    Governor Pritzker we are coasting
    with very little actually working.
    The engine of state has to run.
    The vehicle of state has to have sufficient fuel.
    I honestly don’t know of any Agency where their state workers have even been talked too by Pritzker people.
    We cannot go from 5 miles an hour
    to over 100.
    I know this is aspirational.
    But folks, we got major time in the shop ahead of us.
    Rauner folks starting lining up the personnel issues the day after Thanksgiving.
    Stateworkers
    The very systems of vehicle of state
    need major attention.
    I get that the public wants to see where we’re headed. Cool beans.
    But state workers especially the exempts and non-union folks are freaking out.
    Crickets from Pritzker folks about their jobs.
    I get that you want big names, big people at the head. Get them more in pay.
    And how does that make the thousands of employees feel who haven’t heard anything about whether they will still have a job in February?
    Governor Pritzker I am so on your side.
    And because I am, I’m telling you the truth
    I’m being open and frank.
    Like a said several times before. Find your NCO’s, your Chiefs (Navy) and let them get to work for you. But you’ve got to let people know where they stand or
    It’s gonna be one short honeymoon.

    Repairing the damage to state agencies and state workers, and communicating with them as partners, not internal problems or enemies.
    Must
    Be on your priority list
    (And I get that this wasn’t a Pritzker produced list. Nevertheless….)


  7. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 12:13 pm:

    Lot’s of contradictions throughout, maybe most notably supporting a clean coal research facility and moving to 100% renewables. It’ll be interesting how he works through the contradictions and makes actual policy.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 12:14 pm:

    Very ambitious, the debt, be it pensions and budgetary, will dictate where all this falls and how to pay for this… as the progressive income tax is the an “option” until 2021, so Revenue will be the question.

    If you ask me about the programs, smart structure tondome might mive me closer to agreement, but like any, and I do mean any, single line idea, the details to making the politics and policy mesh will be the trick this novice to governing will have to navigate.


  9. - Brendan - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 12:15 pm:

    Well looks like with the bills currently heading to rules committee, he’s going to get his wish.


  10. - Occam - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 12:16 pm:

    “Add progressively to the flat tax (while waiting for the progressive tax) by increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit and raising the overall tax rate.”

    I wonder what the new tax rate needs to be bumped up to pay for all the items on the list?

    It has got to be high enough to generate enough revenue to pay for the new spending and the new debt service on the POB Bonds, while simultaneously hurting enough middle class taxpayers so they’ll be fooled into voting for a constitutional change to allow graduated tax rates thinking that will result in their tax rate being lowered.


  11. - PublicServant - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 12:19 pm:

    Has JB named any Legislative liasons yet? He’s going to need good ones.


  12. - Simple Simon - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 12:19 pm:

    Driveby…your dismissal of reamortization as a “nonsolution” ignores that the only alternative is to pay the ramp. The courts say so. So which do you want? The fever dream of stealing from pensioners is not going to happen (a real nonsolution), so a realist will be looking for ways to make the pension payments without confiscatory tax rates or draconian cuts to services. This is especially important if the spending list above is to be implemented in any meaningful way.


  13. - Just saying - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 12:20 pm:

    People keep saying pensions are the biggest state problem, ok so why not tackle the biggest problem first?


  14. - Norseman - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 12:24 pm:

    He has an extremely ambitious agenda. As many have pointed out much of those that cost money will have to wait.

    Big priorities now should be:

    1) Passing a budget that includes a down payment on repairing the Rauner damage.

    2) Passing non-money initiatives.

    3) Working on an infrastructure bill.

    4) Lay the groundwork for the Progressive Income Tax amendment. Develop draft enabling legislation.


  15. - PublicServant - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 12:28 pm:

    ===People keep saying pensions are the biggest state problem, ok so why not tackle the biggest problem first?===

    The order in which things are tackled is big. You need to take baby steps to engender cooperation, before tackling the State’s DEBT problem. The pensions aren’t a problem…just saying.


  16. - Ebenezer - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 12:31 pm:

    Just Saying ===People keep saying pensions are the biggest state problem, ok so why not tackle the biggest problem first?===

    Because it means raising taxes and using the proceeds to pay down the pension debt.

    The first part is visible and unpopular, the second part sounds like an actuarial science lecture. Not sure how you bridge the gap between fiscally essential and politically impossible.


  17. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 12:42 pm:

    I think all of this is contingent on functioning agencies and state workers.

    Repairing the Agencies and Workforce
    Should be high on the list.
    You can legislate all you want.
    Somebody and some agency
    Has to make it actually happen.
    DCEO doesn’t even have some of the departments that used to do the functions needed to engage this agenda anymore. No staff, no function


  18. - Just A Dude - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 12:44 pm:

    Simple Simon at 12:19. Good rebuttal to driveby’s earlier comment. Reamortization is a big part of the solution and advocated by Ralph Martire. I expect JB’s pension agenda will mirror a lot of Ralph’s thinking. I would not be surprised to see another “treaked” version of the consideration bill for tier 1 workers. Tweaked in an effort to make it less likely to be challanged.


  19. - SSL - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 12:44 pm:

    It’s a big menu. We’ll have to wait and see how big his appetite is.


  20. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 12:46 pm:

    Also if those illegally withheld Step increases don’t come back inside a month……
    You’ll lose
    a massive and I mean massive
    number of state employees

    State Government
    will totally
    collapse

    Government isn’t just the politicians
    It’s staff
    It’s workers
    Making it happen every day.

    Every Illinois Government worker is wincing about this Federal Shutdown.

    We Know, what declining function
    Looks like
    feels like


  21. - Steve - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 12:57 pm:

    One wonders if all this can pass and actually bring in more revenue as we inch closer to a national recession.


  22. - njt - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 1:01 pm:

    ===One wonders if all this can pass and actually bring in more revenue as we inch closer to a national recession.===

    Would love to see the data showing we are nearing a national recession.

    To the post, nice to see a prioritization on internet access. Let’s see how the ISPs react.


  23. - Political Animal - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 1:12 pm:

    ==Also if those illegally withheld Step increases don’t come back inside a month==

    If he gives in on the step increases, he can give up on fixing that budget or working in a bipartisan fashion.

    It is ASBURD that anyone thinks AFSCME deserves automatic raises, especially when there wasn’t a new contract.


  24. - California Guy - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 1:13 pm:

    Ideas will likely do little to get the economy outside of Chicago going. No marijuana legalization. New airport seems like a good idea though. Hopefully that brings more competition to flights coming in and out of Ohare/Midway - and the fees they charge carriers.


  25. - striketoo - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 1:24 pm:

    Not one airline supports a third airport. If built it will be a huge white elephant.


  26. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 1:37 pm:

    So political animal you don’t believe in the rule of law? Just like Rauner only follow the laws you want? Deny the courts including the Illinois Supreme court?
    Rauner Illegally withheld those increases.
    Over 17,000 dollars in wage theft for me alone.
    That was contractual
    When I became employed
    That was the contract
    It’s not about deserving
    It’s about obeying the law and the courts.


  27. - Rauner Was Right - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 1:45 pm:

    @Simple Simon

    Reamortization is a nonsolution because it doesn’t solve the heart of the problem. Pension debt is huge, and you’re right, we legally need to honor existing pension obligations. But finding ways to pay for the existing obligations is only part of the solution. A true solution solves the pension problem moving forward. That is…stop adding more to the existing obligations. Every day, every new state employee increases our future obligations.


  28. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 1:55 pm:

    ==If he gives in on the step increases==

    The Step increases referred to are steps that are legally owed. That’s already been adjudicated. Future Steps are obviously part of negotiations on future contracts but you have to pay what was illegally withheld.

    ==when there wasn’t a new contract==

    No, but a contract was still in effect. You have to abide by those terms.


  29. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 1:57 pm:

    ===Not one airline supports a third airport. If built it will be a huge white elephant.===

    They should be asking UPS, FedEx and Amazon, not United, American and Southwest.


  30. - OldIllini - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 2:02 pm:

    ==Every day, every new state employee increases our future obligations.==

    Have you heard about Tier 2?


  31. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 2:12 pm:

    ==Every day, every new state employee increases our future obligations.==

    Can we add a quiz to the CF and commenters have to pass it before they can post?


  32. - Penny - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 2:23 pm:

    He wants to impose “net neutrality” on all providers with state contracts? The FCC classified internet access as an interstate service so states would not regulate it and muck it up. We are doing fine w/o net neutrality.

    And he wants to destroy the coal industry? Create even greater rural poverty in southern IL?


  33. - Deadbeat Conservative - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 2:26 pm:

    ==Every day, every new state employee increases our future obligations.==

    That seems counter to what is known about the Tier II pension scheme.
    New employees pay in more and get back alot less.


  34. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 2:30 pm:

    ==And he wants to destroy the coal industry? Create even greater rural poverty in southern IL?==
    Maybe he thinks that the IL coal industry is located below the Museum of Science and Industry. He visited it once as a kid…


  35. - Permanent Moderation - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 2:31 pm:

    =* Make high-speed internet access available everywhere in Illinois.=

    It will be interesting to see what progress is made on this. It’s been an elusive goal given the various vintages of “high speed”.
    Easy if you use the phony rate of 10Mbps used by the USDA and FCC.
    Tougher if you use legitimate number like 50Mbps that’s required for most uses nowadays.


  36. - Duopoly - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 2:34 pm:

    =We are doing fine w/o net neutrality.=

    How can you even know?
    and
    Depends on who “we” are…


  37. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 2:39 pm:

    Rauner was Right,
    You obviously have no idea how state and local government works. But since you don’t know let me just say that we went into Rauners reign of terror (even Republicans clapped when he was frog marched out) with the smallest state workforce per capita. Post Rauner I think we are probably down a third from that.
    Cupcake…..if we get smaller we’ll lose a lot more function than people realize. Right now, the loss of function is still hidden. The coming months will reveal the horrific degree. Get back to me about not wanting someone to protect our children, or safely handle violent criminals, or audit EDGE grants. You want the services but like Trump want to stiff the service provider.
    Stay classy cupcake


  38. - Not a Billionaire - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 3:55 pm:

    The biggest money is for the tax swap and the pension leveling plan. And whatever the capital bill would cover. So about the ten billion previously estimated.Will have to wait till lost 2020.


  39. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 3:59 pm:

    Agree completely with Just saying. Pensions are basically the number issue out states fiscal crisis. How is that not even mentioned? Between Edgar’s short sighted ramp and a State Constitution that was terribly written, maybe Pritzker has given up?


  40. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 4:04 pm:

    A new airport will never happen. The state has a shrinking population, no airline is going step up for some boon doogle like that.


  41. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 4:06 pm:

    The market is destroying the coal I dustry. No need for government assistance.


  42. - Norseman - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 4:47 pm:

    === People keep saying pensions are the biggest state problem, ok so why not tackle the biggest problem first? ===

    People say a lot of things. That doesn’t make it so.

    Tier 2 was the first legal response. It addresses normal costs, but the debt is a large problem. We’ve gone 8 years with this “biggest” problem “unsolved.” Going 8 years without a “solution” seems to belie the argument that it’s our “biggest” problem.

    Our biggest problem is passing a budget that continues to fund government services and take additional steps to repair the damage wrought by the Rauner impasse.


  43. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 5:03 pm:

    Looking at that Edgar ramp, tells me something else.


  44. - Illdoc - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 6:44 pm:

    As has been discussed, Tier 2 was the solution. Tier 1 cannot be altered…


  45. - Gutreaction - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 7:10 pm:

    Good lord we are talking about the Peotone airport again???


  46. - M - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 8:01 pm:

    Existing pension obligations will be paid after pot is legalized in IL.


  47. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 8:37 pm:

    Tier 1 is a small part of the solution onl y. The best solution is changing the state Constitution so this can never happen again.

    The problem is we have some of the highest taxes in the country right now and it is still not enough to pay for the pensions. And now we have a mass Exodus of people occurring.The coming recession will be a very big problem.


  48. - Benniefly2 - Thursday, Jan 10, 19 @ 9:54 pm:

    I think Six Degrees of Separation was on the right track above. Airlines wouldn’t go to a third airport in Peotone. UPS, however… Rockford should be the most concerned about the construction of an airport in Peotone.


  49. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 7:47 am:

    I am hoping to see Pritzker and AFSCME have an early and public “kumbaya” moment, where they publicly “hug it out” and declare a re-set of the Management/Union relationship. Pritzger’s gesture will be to unblock the measures Rauner took to rip off the union workers on their back pay.

    From there going forward, a speedy negotiation to a practical new contract is in order. I look for it to be more or less the same contract as before, with austerity a far as increases, in exchange for no more attacks on the medical and other benefits.

    With the angst over the contract settled, and a return to a feeling of security and support, the state workforce will be in a better mood to support and advance the new governor’s agenda and policy moves.


  50. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 8:30 am:

    Healthcare costs need to be passed on to workers. The state can’t afford much of anything with the looming pension payments.


  51. - Jerry - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 9:05 am:

    I’m reminded of the old adage: How do you eat an entire elephant? Answer, one bite at a time.


  52. - RNUG - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 9:19 am:

    == And how does that make the thousands of employees feel who haven’t heard anything about whether they will still have a job in February? ==

    -Honeybear-, got to take a bit of exception to the above statement. Most of the upper middle management (SPSA titles) at the State hold 4 year term appointment (aka Vinson Bill) positions; those tend to be staggered out across a Governor’s term in office. So it is not necessarily an immediate concern.

    But I do agree it is a future concern because you do lose your job is not reappointed in a timely manner.


  53. - RNUG - Friday, Jan 11, 19 @ 9:24 am:

    == A true solution solves the pension problem moving forward. That is…stop adding more to the existing obligations. Every day, every new state employee increases our future obligations. ==

    Tier 2 in 2011 did reform the system and stop accruing debt for the new employees.


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