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Cullerton explains why Dems got more member projects than the GOP

Monday, Jun 24, 2019

* Politico

Although the [$45 billion infrastructure] measure drew bipartisan support, details of the plan have Democrats getting bigger slices of capital pie. Democratic senators will see about $6 million in funding for projects in their districts, while Senate Republicans will see about $3 million. Each House Democrat will get about $3 million for district projects; and House Republicans, $1.5 million.

Lawmakers voted to double the state’s 19-cent-per-gallon gas tax to fund roads and mass transit improvements. And they approved Senate President John Cullerton’s proposal to raise the cigarette tax by $1 per pack on the current $1.98 state tax to help fund public building construction.

The disbursement to members was initially planned for $3 million for each lawmaker’s district. But Cullerton told Playbook those numbers were adjusted, given the size of the capital bill — thanks in part to his cigarette tax that was three times more than the 32-cent increase Pritzker proposed.

Simply, the cigarette tax was Cullerton’s baby and he wanted Democrats to benefit from it.

Except a bunch of Republicans also voted for that tax hike.

In past capital bills, every member in each chamber received the same amount of money, regardless of party. But, I suppose with super-majorities in both chambers and the governor, the Democrats could force the Republicans to take whatever they could get. Choosing to die on Pork Chop Hill probably wouldn’t be a good look, which is why we probably haven’t seen much coverage of this topic.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

49 Comments
  1. - Amalia - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 11:44 am:

    is there a pie slice show by district?


  2. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 11:45 am:

    Democrats have an interesting definition of bipartisanship.

    Taxation without representation does not end well for either side.


  3. - JB13 - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 11:48 am:

    So if Republicans want potholes filled in their district, they need to be willing to pay double in taxes, and then only get half the potholes filled? Seems reasonable.


  4. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    Democrats have the vote so they control. I think that they should have given more to the Republicans that supported them but is there call.
    what goes around comes around, but probably for the Republicans in this state not for a generation or so, if they are lucky.


  5. - Just Observing - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 11:54 am:

    Wow, this is appalling (and I say this living in a heavy D district). If you are gonna allocate the dollars per legislative district (which is arguably a bad approach to begin with), it must be equally distributed regardless of the legislators party or vote.


  6. - Froganon - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 11:56 am:

    What are the dollars per capita? Democratic legislative districts usually have significantly higher populations. Prioritize Projects which build/improve regional transportation goals.


  7. - Fax Machine - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 12:03 pm:

    @Froganon - the Districts are supposed to all have roughly the same population (at least as of the 2010 census). Because Dem districts are more urban and GOP districts are more rural on average, the Republican districts are geographically bigger, which means they might have to stretch their lower allotment over a much larger area


  8. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 12:07 pm:

    ==Democrats have an interesting definition of bipartisanship.==

    There was a lot of bipartisanship this session. If you are going to continuously regurgitate your usual talking points then at least find a topic where it might be at least tangentially true. Because it isn’t in this case.

    ==Taxation without representation==

    And you believe that’s the case why?


  9. - Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 12:12 pm:

    Past actions and traditions mean nothing to the current super-dupers running the show these days. As many around here in the past were also fond of saying about the previous Governor, the current Governor should use his amendatory veto powers to rectify this situation. I won’t hold my breath on that one.

    Otherwise, in the future, the Democrats shouldn’t bother to try to get bipartisan support for difficult bills. Let their vulnerable members stick their necks out, just like members of the GOP caucuses did did on that bill. Either way, the Democrats will bellyache over the lack of support, and not be appreciative when they get support. Where is the win-win for the GOP under those circumstances?


  10. - Oldtimer - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 12:19 pm:

    In Illinois First, each caucus received the same amount for member initiatives but individual members received vastly different amounts. One safe member bracketed by three targets received about 1/10 of their totals and was quite bitter about it.


  11. - Grand Avenue - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 12:20 pm:

    At what price per pack does the revenue start dropping from the Cigarette tax? I.e. when do cigarettes get so expensive that people quit en masse?


  12. - Sue - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 12:20 pm:

    Demoralized- anyone who believes it is ok to punish taxpayers who happen to reside in a Republican represented district doesn’t deserve to be an American- I guess that includes you


  13. - Another reason - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 12:38 pm:

    Another reason to give equitable payouts to the Republicans is that it help tie them to the tax increases, and you make mention of it at every ribbon-cutting. “This project wouldn’t be possible without the support of (insert republican member here)’s cooperation on raising the revenue to pay for it. We made it happen together, and we’re enjoying the results and benefits, together!”

    You do that, and it helps inoculate the dem side from the opposition campaign attacks about taxation.

    Sometimes good campaign strategy and good government can be served at the same time.


  14. - Rendezvous - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 12:44 pm:

    This is unacceptable. I live in a Republican House and Senate district. I pay my share of 4.95% income tax. I also commute thousands of miles every year with work and will be paying a significant amount more for the gas tax hike. Why should I be punished because of the district I live in! This is simply unacceptable and the media needs to make the public aware.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 12:47 pm:

    ===Why should I be punished because of the district I live in===

    Out of curiosity…

    Did your legislators vote for the infrastructure… were you in favor of that passage.

    Just as a side bar. I’ll explain after, lol


  16. - 17% Solution - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 1:08 pm:

    It seems though, that areas where Democrats are more likely to live would have more roads and public transportation in the first place. And people downstate do get more money back from state income tax than the metro area and collars. Maybe an attempt to even things up a bit?


  17. - Shemp - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 1:12 pm:

    Thank you for your great benevolence in giving those in a GOP district some scraps your highness! If you choose to live in areas with GOP representation, you should be lucky to get anything for your taxes, right Senator?


  18. - JS Mill - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 1:16 pm:

    @Sue- your (and other Raunerite commenter) criticisms fall well short on credibility given your support for a certain former governor who gleefully inflicted pain and suffering on people because they were state workers, in a union, or need social welfare services.

    Had you or Louis Atsaves ever shown as much disgust of Rauner’s actions instead of supporting them, you might matter. But you don’t.


  19. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 1:18 pm:

    ==doesn’t deserve to be an American==

    Oh grow up. What an absurd thing to say. Where did I even say that? Crawl back under your rock.


  20. - A Jack - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 1:21 pm:

    The separatists did say they would rather have dirt roads than abide by Chicago priorities…..


  21. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 1:23 pm:

    ===Past actions and traditions mean nothing to the current super-dupers running the show these days.===

    Governor Rauner went a whole General Assembly without a budget … but you got yours, didn’t you - Louis G. Atsaves -

    Please stop.

    Your patron refused to pay bills, forced social service closures, attempted to close state universities by starving them… and *you* are worried about “traditions”?

    While you cashed checks, traditionally the social services were paid, they didn’t have to sue to get paid… unless there wasn’t a budget.

    ===As many around here in the past were also fond of saying about the previous Governor, the current Governor should use his amendatory veto powers to rectify this situation. I won’t hold my breath on that one.===

    Why?

    Tradition?

    No, you break it, then you get to “feel” it.

    Me? I’m disappointed that the traditional way of funding is being dismissed, but the Eastern Bloc types, the Raunerites, the ignorant phonies that litter the GOP GA… maybe those districts where their Raunerite in the GA kept voting against… higher education, social services, a functioning budget… maybe this is a wake up call… while folks cashed checks under Rauner.

    Right? Exactly right.


  22. - Pundent - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 1:28 pm:

    =anyone who believes it is ok to punish taxpayers who happen to reside in a Republican represented district doesn’t deserve to be an American=

    Kind of like cheering for a President who passed a tax law change that systematically punished people in blue states. Or supporting a governor who had no qualms in denying the most needy critical services and ran up an unheard of debt while he waged war on labor.


  23. - DuPage Bard - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 1:28 pm:

    Are projects per legislative different? Last week we talked about McCombie getting like $40 million for roadwork and WIU?
    How did she get that if she was only allowed $1.5 million?


  24. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 1:31 pm:

    ===McCombie getting like $40 million for roadwork===

    It was $300 million and that’s separate from the relatively small member initiatives pot of money.


  25. - Rendezvous - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 1:36 pm:

    -Oswego-

    One voted for and one voted against (both revenue and spending). To my point though, it shouldn’t matter. My taxes are still being paid. As a society, we charge more taxes to some than others, and we give more benefits to some people than others. Downstate even enjoys more direct benefit from state spending than the collars. No matter where you fall with your own beliefs regarding the fairness of these issues—we surely can agree that in this case, this isn’t right. It is corrupt at its core. This distribution benefits certain districts more than others—not based on need, geography or economic impact—but solely on political party.


  26. - The Dude Abides - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 1:36 pm:

    The GOP members who voted against the capital bill should get nothing for their District. Those members that let others do the heavy lifting then hold out their hands once the bill passes sicken me. When their constituents get angry because there are no new projects for their District they can then explain to them the reason why. I think the GOP members who voted for the bill should be treated as equals.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 1:50 pm:

    ===To my point though, it shouldn’t matter.===

    Why, exactly? After Rauner, taking sides now means something.

    A whole GA, Raunerites held Illinois hostage.

    “I’m frustrated too but taking steps to reform Illinois is more important than a short term budget stalemate”.

    Nope. Sorry. I have the receipts.

    ===No matter where you fall with your own beliefs regarding the fairness of these issues—we surely can agree that in this case, this isn’t right.===

    … until the Raunerites held Dunkin in NYC to hurt social services… purposely… you’d be right.

    Now? Not so much.

    Maybe the likes of Misters Barickman and Demmer, Ms. McConchie will realize… voting against your district to help Illinois implode… it caught up with your Raunerite Caucus.

    Me personally, upset and angered the tradition is broken. Sincerely.

    As a citizen of the state, enough is enough. There are consequences to being the Raunerite fools.


  28. - Pundent - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 2:01 pm:

    =It is corrupt at its core.=

    I’m not sure what makes this “corrupt.” A number of these districts are represented by individuals who continue to spread the myth that we can cut our way out of this. They get elected based on their obstructionist rhetoric and by spreading that myth that all of our problems are the result of fraud, waste, and abuse. They refuse to participate in the governing process and have no problem in pandering to an uninformed electorate.

    Denying them the services that they continually rally against hardly seems “corrupt.” Maybe ironic is the word you’re looking for?


  29. - Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 2:49 pm:

    @Oswego Willy, you remain an alleged authority of everything, and an expert at nothing. Only a true fool attacks my wife, and not me directly. She got paid to work a job. She worked that job and ran her agency dealing with money and personnel shortages, and in spite of that cut down the backlog of cases and professionalized the place. She worked that job 24/7 over 4 years. She worked a total of 31 years in that state agency, transitioning from a 5 day 9 to 5 position.

    The members of other 49 state agencies took notice and elected her vice-president of their national organization.

    If you did your homework on my wife, you would be deeply ashamed of that gratuitous attack.

    So go do your homework. And then post an intelligent response. If you can.


  30. - My New Handle - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 2:56 pm:

    What goes around, comes around. Seems like minorities usually get shorted. Should be pleasing to Dems and Indies in those districts. Blame the Repub for voting her/his district, or blame the Dems taking some poles from their big tent? Were I an Indie especially, seeing “largesse” from the Dems would certainly inform some of voting inclinations tilting toward Dem. Such petty distribution of funds seems like it would create more us vs. them rather than the state belongs to all of us.


  31. - Soft R - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 3:01 pm:

    Profts hand picked Mayor of Orland Park is blaming election results for being shut out of the pork. The Mayor Keith Pekau is constantly criticizing Madigan, Cullerton, Hastings and Pritzker for doing everything wrong. Now the guy blames Rauner for winning Orland Park cost his village money.
    Maybe Proft should explain to the guy how playing nice in the sand box can be helpful at times.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 3:12 pm:

    Oh - Louis G Atsaves -…

    Your family benefited with Rauner’s election.

    Others got laid off due to social services being either reduced or closed. Ms. Rauner’s Ounce of Prevention even sued Bruce’s Administration, with other social services.

    You should take pride, your family did well.


  33. - Law Man - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 3:15 pm:

    Doesn’t this prove that the Republicans were foolish for voting for the tax increases?


  34. - Louis G. Atsaves - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 3:18 pm:

    @Oswego Willy, your lack of character speaks volumes. Have a nice day anyway.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 3:21 pm:

    Be well, - Louis G Atsaves -

    :)


  36. - Liandro - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 3:31 pm:

    It’s so easy to forget that the budget monies belong to the citizens. Distorting that budget for partisan or political purposes is a corruption. Happens all the time, sure…but when you get this blatant about it, expect blow back. Even in Illinois people prefer not to have it thrown in their face.

    Rural districts already assume the bosses give them less, so it’s not like it will catch most of these distracts by surprise. It does make it harder to tell them their complaints are crazy, though. I’m not sure having the over-all budget geographical stats ready will help in the face of such blatant slights.

    The worst part of this for me, though, is that apparently this is a new precedent. Would like to see us pushing the other way–towards less abuse of the budget for political purposes.


  37. - Nonbeliever - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 3:54 pm:

    The Democrats proved what they are. Remember people live all over the state and roads connect.

    Obviously Culleton et al could care less.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 4:21 pm:

    ===Remember people live all over the state and roads connect.

    Obviously Culleton et al could care less.===

    … and yet, it’s the Eastern Bloc that wants to be a 51st State.

    Which is it? We all one state or is She-Caw-Go need to be its own state?


  39. - Shemp - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 4:41 pm:

    So reading some of you… because Rauner bad, it’s good to disproportionately allocate new taxes for capital projects in your area based solely on the party of who represents you, not necessarily how they voted or you yourself voted. Because after all Rauner bad. Got it. And yet people wonder.


  40. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 4:49 pm:

    ===because Rauner bad, it’s good to disproportionately allocate new taxes for capital projects in your area based solely on the party of who represents you, not necessarily how they voted or you yourself voted. Because after all Rauner bad. Got it. And yet people wonder.===

    Hmm.

    “I’m frustrated too but taking steps to reform Illinois is more important than a short term budget stalemate”

    “… and scene.”

    Raunerites know… this should be acceptable, lol


  41. - Looking down the Road - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 4:55 pm:

    To the victors to the spoils. Don’t like it - move.


  42. - Sue - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 4:58 pm:

    Wonder if any one who is in favor of this chicanery would feel differently if Madigan/Cullerton discriminated with their spending based on race. In actuality doing on the basis of D’s and R’s is no different. How did Pritzker ever go along with this blatant discrimination.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 5:05 pm:

    - Sue -

    I think the only districts that can beef are those Raunerite folks that decided to be Green… but the House AND Senate member.

    You decide to be Red, one or both GA Members… welp… then “I’m frustrated too”… lol


  44. - SSL - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 5:15 pm:

    I don’t have a problem with this. You can’t complain about government inefficiency and increased taxes and then expect to get the same share as those that put through the tax increases and are responsible for government bloat.

    Elections have consequences.


  45. - Nonbeliever - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 5:18 pm:

    @OswegoWilly,

    Oh please, another spacious statement by you. As of this time we live in one state and are all paying into that.

    If we were separate states then there would be an entirely different political structure.

    THINK, if you can, before you fire off another inane missive.


  46. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 5:22 pm:

    ===Oh please, another spacious statement by you. As of this time we live in one state and are all paying into that.===

    Then why this push to be two states?

    That’s not happening?

    The Eastern Bloc folks have had town halls revolving around it.

    Keep up. It’s not me saying it, it’s actual House members promoting it.


  47. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 24, 19 @ 5:23 pm:

    ===THINK, if you can, before you fire off another inane missive.===

    Tell that to the Eastern Bloc House members.

    The more they talk, makes you wonder if they think we’re one state at all…

    LOL


  48. - Arock - Tuesday, Jun 25, 19 @ 8:35 am:

    Government is supposed to be an impartial establishment and serve the people equally. It shouldn’t matter how your representative votes on an issue if a bill becomes law it should be the same law for all. It shouldn’t be “pay backs are hell” and being childish.


  49. - CARI BAPTISTA - Wednesday, Jun 26, 19 @ 7:16 am:

    The Democratic districts with their extra cash, will spend it on something no one needs or wants, like a dog park or a fountain. So we will all get to pay more tax AND still have pot holes


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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