Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x2 *** Pritzker sidesteps tax hike question, says he’s still waiting on legislative leaders to suggest cuts
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*** UPDATED x2 *** Pritzker sidesteps tax hike question, says he’s still waiting on legislative leaders to suggest cuts

Tuesday, Dec 8, 2020

* Background is here if you need it. From the governor’s press conference yesterday

Q: Speaker Madigan was quoted over the weekend saying something about helping you get an income tax increase in light of the failure of the graduated tax proposal. What is he talking about?

A: Well, what I can say is that I’m focused on the cuts that need to be made in state government, making sure that we’re paring back as best we can, making efficiencies in state government, looking to Republican and Democratic leaders as I already have and asking them for their best ideas about what it is that we need to cut in state government. So that’s what I’ve been focused on. And I will say that I have not yet heard back from the leaders about what their best proposals are for what cuts need to be made. And so I’m awaiting their responses.

Thoughts?

*** UPDATE 1 *** Letter from Leader Durkin to Gov. Pritzker…

After the rejection of the progressive tax amendment by voters, the four legislative leaders and yourself spoke on November 12th to discuss the myriad of issues relating to the unbalanced budget passed by the General Assembly in May that you eventually signed into law.

For much of that call, you and I discussed options for reductions in spending. To further our discussion, I asked for a list of spending reductions your agencies proposed in response to your September 2019 order to reduce spending by 6.5 percent. As of today, I have not received that document, and I am now asking again for the list of spending reductions by agency.

Even though Veto Session was canceled against our wishes, I hope you will once again call us together to discuss your proposals for balancing the state’s budget as January fast approaches. Speaker Madigan has stated he will work with you on another tax increase, but I hope that you will respect the will of the voters and instead look to live within our means.

Background to info in that letter is here.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Senate President Don Harmon’s spokesman John Patterson…

Republicans made it clear deep budget cuts were a better alternative to a Fair Tax. The voters have spoken. We now look forward to our colleagues across the aisle offering up the Republican cuts for public review.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

90 Comments
  1. - Mr. Hand - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:40 am:

    I appreciate JB’s answer. I think he might be waiting for a while though.


  2. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:44 am:

    “looking to Republican and Democratic leaders as I already have and asking them for their best ideas about what it is that we need to cut”

    refreshing to see the governor looking at the expense side of the ledger.


  3. - SAP - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:45 am:

    Everybody want to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.


  4. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:45 am:

    Don’t hold your breath for any ideas from Durkin & McConchie.


  5. - 1st Ward - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:46 am:

    Although a hike is likely reality with or before the spring session, I wonder if Madigan said this tactically to undermine Pritzker and put him on defense since Pritzker blamed him for the Fair Tax failure. In addition, Madigan is right that it will be tough to get suburban reps to vote for revenue increases specifically tax hike given how their voters voted so a “strong” leader to whip the votes is needed. No downside for Madigan in stating what he said.


  6. - State Employee - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:47 am:

    Can the Governor tell us what specific agencies and programs will be at least on the first round of cuts (i.e., rest of FY21)? Or how the cuts will be administered across state government (e.g., layoffs and if so which agencies will get hit the hardest; closures; program or grant funding cuts, etc.). Rather than a “Christmas surprise” for state employees.


  7. - Manchester - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:48 am:

    I think this was the best response Governor Pritzker could have given under the circumstances.


  8. - Centennial - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:49 am:

    It’s now the Leaders job to propose cuts to state government? Thought it was the Administration’s. Doesn’t JB have to introduce a budget in couple months?


  9. - Union Dues - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:52 am:

    Why did he not take a similar stance before attempting to raise the taxes using the amendment? Or did I miss that?


  10. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:53 am:

    C’mon ILGOP, earn that government money. You voted to protect the richest at all costs. Show your ideas for cuts.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:53 am:

    === hike is likely reality with or before the spring session, I wonder if Madigan said this tactically to undermine Pritzker and put him on defense since Pritzker blamed him for the Fair Tax failure.===

    Explain.

    Madigan told the Black Caucus he (Madigan) would support the governor if asked.

    === Madigan is right that it will be tough to get suburban reps to vote for revenue increases specifically tax hike given how their voters voted so a “strong” leader to whip the votes is needed.===

    What does that mean?

    Thanks.

    To the post,

    The governor is treading way-way to lightly.

    The governor could’ve said all he said, no beef there.

    Add this;

    “It’s also known that downstate areas, they are revenue eaters, no doubt, prisons, universities, areas of natural resources, and cuts in those areas may be very deep, so I hope to see Republican cuts to save those areas, if Republicans want those saved”

    Why that passive voice, Governor? You can control this if you’d like, heck, “governors own”, amirite?


  12. - Just Me 2 - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 10:56 am:

    That isn’t a denial.


  13. - Petey L. - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:01 am:

    It’s a good thing social security is increasing 1.3% this year so seniors can pay for the increased gas taxes and the $50 car sticker increases.


  14. - City Zen - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:04 am:

    Hello legislator, welcome to Tax Hike Phone, brought to you by Vote Yes for Fairness. If you know how much you’d like to hike the tax rate, press 1. Using your touch-tone keypad, please enter the first three numbers of the tax hike, using the star key as a decimal point. You selected, zero point seven five? If that is correct, press 1.

    Why don’t you tell me how much you’d like to hike taxes?


  15. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:08 am:

    It is obvious cuts would have been much less draconian if JB had followed the lead of other Governors from large blue states and made them in the Spring.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:09 am:

    - Petey L. -

    Concerned trolling is best on the Tweeter.

    To add to my comment above;

    Putting pressure on Raunerites in both chambers on cuts only is possible when those same Raunerites see their DNR facility on the block, or dorms shut down making EIU a commuter school, or WIU… or that prison consolidation, having members trying to save “theirs” versus their caucus mate.

    If there’s a passive voice to this subject, why would any Raunerite comment.

    Like…

    “Representative ‘X’, should DNR close facilities downstate?”

    “Senator ‘Y’, what’s the impact of the prison closing to the region?”

    Governors own, but retail politics is still in the districts. If can be both here… if you choose it.


  17. - downstate - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:10 am:

    close every downstate prison


  18. - SSL - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:11 am:

    Madigan is just jerking the Governor around as payback for the Governor’s recent comments aimed at Madigan. Madigan has been doing it to governors for years, or decades.

    It does seem that JB got the message from the voters though. Despite threatening the voters that everyone’s taxes were going up if the fair tax wasn’t approved, he now pivots. Can he really think he can cut his way out of this mess? Probably not, but he’s not about to deliver that message. That first year went so well, but it feels a lot different now.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:12 am:

    === close every downstate prison===

    No.

    How this works is make the Raunerites choose… which prison… where… what region.

    “We can consolidate”

    Or… Republicans can decide governors own only works when they still get to bring back home jobs and revenue.


  20. - 1st Ward - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:18 am:

    @OW: I don’t see the Gov wanting to publicly state his support for hiking taxes on everyone when he is running in a statewide election next cycle. The support for this measure is lower than the fair tax by the electorate.

    Madigan can trade keeping funding for x in support of a tax hike. Reps can say to their district we preserved funding for what their constituents think is important limiting damage. It can also be for committee posts as well or follow-on legislation that these reps can run on in their next cycle offsetting the damage. The Gov. will have to run on a tax hike. Most others won’t or will be able to point to what they preserved or got in return.

    I can’t see Madigan letting the Gov call him out so publicly and not doing anything in return - albeit more subtle as his style. A speaker who has been around for decades vs. a political newcomer who got burned in November. The only downside would be a republican Gov but a viable candidate has to throw their hat in the ring first win a primary and come back to the middle in a blue state. That’s a tall order.


  21. - Annoyed - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:23 am:

    Does JB have any advisors? SSL is spot on that JB has really tanked this year in running the state. And where are the $250k deputies? Whoever has IDVA should be on the hot seat as well.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:30 am:

    === I don’t see the Gov wanting to publicly state his support for hiking taxes on everyone when he is running in a statewide election next cycle. The support for this measure is lower than the fair tax by the electorate.===

    Depends what could be cut.

    Governor makes all the pain downstate, saves lots upstate and the collars, revenue is needed. It can’t be avoided. You’re arguing under a false premise. Revenue is needed.

    === Madigan can trade keeping funding for x in support of a tax hike. Reps can say to their district we preserved funding for what their constituents think is important limiting damage. It can also be for committee posts as well or follow-on legislation that these reps can run on in their next cycle offsetting the damage. The Gov. will have to run on a tax hike===

    No.

    Governors own also works on things saved and continued.

    If it didn’t, no governor would talk about programs and faculties… ever.

    Your faulty premise also relies on only bad is possible in governors own and only good for legislators.

    Close a prison, legislators feel that pain locally, governor could be celebrated for prison reform upstate.

    ===I can’t see Madigan letting the Gov call him out so publicly and not doing anything in return - albeit more subtle as his style===

    Yeah, here’s were I was most… uncertain, now I see.

    This ain’t about signaling Madigan but all about Pritzker and Madigan letting Raunerites know… they go it alone… the pain will be double to those least helpful.

    === The only downside would be a republican Gov but a viable candidate has to throw their hat in the ring first win a primary and come back to the middle in a blue state. That’s a tall order.===

    Bruce Rauner.

    Anything else?


  23. - Perrid - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:33 am:

    “Everybody want to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”

    I laughed at that, it’s pretty good. Most of our leaders know that cuts will be painful to a lot of people. Yeah, voters voted not to allow the state to tax rich people more, because people hate taxes, but once the state starts cutting things that they take for granted, they’ll be up in arms about it.

    The state is going to raise more revenue, and is going to make cuts. It’s just a game of musical chairs and/or hot potatoe to figure out who is getting taxed more and who is getting paid less.


  24. - Back and Forth - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:42 am:

    Unless a Governor is willing to publicly open the state’s books and cede some discretionary authority from agencies, what’s the point in anyone suggesting a cut? Not saying that others shouldn’t suggest cuts or that the Governor is wrong in asking for suggestions but this annual back and forth gets tiresome. Unfortunately, it’s not likely to end anytime soon.


  25. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:48 am:

    === Unless a Governor is willing to publicly open the state’s books and cede some discretionary authority from agencies, what’s the point in anyone suggesting a cut?===

    (Sigh)

    The legislators vote on the budget. There’s no need to open what’s already seen and voted on.

    The reason legislators should get involved is saving… where certain areas get over $2 for every $1 they send to Springfield.

    ===… but this annual back and forth gets tiresome.===

    You want runner stamps? It’s not that you don’t like how the sausage is made… you don’t think the process in making it is worth it?

    Tell that to programs, facilities, regions saved by this “tiresome” process

    Campaigns are hard, governing is difficult… simple solutions are neither.


  26. - City Zen - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:49 am:

    ==Close a prison==

    cc: AFSCME Locals 3549, 3654, 3649, 3585, 3567, 3663, 2052, 2335, 2758, 1274, 494, 46, 632, 203, 943, 472, 501, 415


  27. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:50 am:

    === For much of that call, you and I discussed options for reductions in spending. To further our discussion, I asked for a list of spending reductions your agencies proposed in response to your September 2019 order to reduce spending by 6.5 percent. As of today, I have not received that document, and I am now asking again for the list of spending reductions by agency.===

    Yeah… Durkin calling the bluff.

    There is a response;

    === “It’s also known that downstate areas, they are revenue eaters, no doubt, prisons, universities, areas of natural resources, and cuts in those areas may be very deep, so I hope to see Republican cuts to save those areas, if Republicans want those saved”===

    Governors control process only if they force legislators to bargain in good faith… with harsh reality facing them.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:53 am:

    ===AFSCME Locals===

    “Call your legislator to save the prisons”

    See, Raunerites downstate don’t like labor…

    Close a prison, welp, bet some folks decide negotiating works, even on revenue.


  29. - State Employee - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:54 am:

    In addition to Eastern Bloc and Raunerite districts, in this environment could the Governor also put pressure on remaining Madigan allies in the House by proposing big cuts to state facilities in their districts too? For example, the Capitol Complex and state offices in downtown Springfield. All part of Rep. Scherer’s 96th–and so far Scherer hasn’t called for the Speaker to step down yet.


  30. - Nagidam - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:56 am:

    The Governor rightfully so has asked for cuts to the budget before talks about revenue. This is a great exercise for all legislators to see how much they need to cut without a tax increase. Of the cuff it could be 25% of non discretionary spending. That just won’t happen. When legislators get the numbers they will come around. Will the GOP? Doubtful, but they will have areas cut as well.


  31. - Nagidam - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:59 am:

    oops…meant discretionary spending.


  32. - 1st Ward - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 11:59 am:

    “Revenue is needed”

    Yes but it doesn’t have to come from an income tax hike. Expanding the sales tax is probably easier politically and would help localities as well in their future budgets along with closing loopholes. Helping localities helps the state if/when they further decrease ILGDF funding.

    “Your faulty premise also relies on only bad is possible in governors own and only good for legislators”

    All politics are local and most reps will have a significant money advantage thanks to DPI. This also assumes the rep has a challenger. JB doesn’t want to own a tax hike on everyone. Madigan deferred to JB and JB punted but we know this is likely coming. Whoever owns gets the blame. I don’t think it will be Madigan or the next Speaker.


  33. - Mr. Hand - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:03 pm:

    Pritzker has a divided state and even though some validity might exist in the make the downstate Repubs pay. The fact of the matter is that very few counties supported the Fair Tax measure including in the suburbs.


  34. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:09 pm:

    === The fact of the matter is that very few counties supported the Fair Tax measure including in the suburbs.===

    (Sigh)

    Again… legislators vote on budgets, not counties.

    ===JB doesn’t want to own a tax hike on everyone.===

    The revenue is the issue, getting 60 and 30 is the issue… how revenue and cuts get the Governor his 60 and 30 and a budget is the politics to process… and not forcing Raunerites to be Republicans enjoined to process will dictate options.


  35. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:11 pm:

    ==I hope that you will respect the will of the voters==

    I didn’t think that was a thing this year. /s


  36. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:13 pm:

    “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours”


  37. - Mr. Hand - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:19 pm:

    ==Again… legislators vote on budgets, not counties==

    Correct, punish those downstate for not achieving a failed amendment proposal (which was poorly executed). That will help the political divide in the state. As suggested, make deep, painful cuts to downstate and make the voter feel it. Some republican legislators might lose their position, but there is a chance that Pritzker will too. As these cuts that are said won’t just affect Republicans. Pritzker owns right? Especially if he is vindictive.


  38. - One Opinion - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:26 pm:

    It’s a weird look to me for the Governor to say, essentially, that the other side should now take the lead in light of the voters having rejected his preferred path. JB is the Governor, and thus responsible to lead - and not pass off that responsibility to the minority party. Clearly this is a lose-lose situation, in that any cost-cutting or revenue-enhancing proposal is bound to be at least somewhat unpopular. It’s almost like JB is looking to get out of the kitchen because he can’t stand the heat. Not a good look. Imagine if a President, frustrated that he couldn’t get an important policy through (especially if the voters themselves somehow rejected the President’s approach), told the voters that it’s now up to the minority leader of the other party to step up with solutions. Weak.


  39. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:27 pm:

    === Correct, punish those downstate for not achieving a failed amendment proposal (which was poorly executed). That will help the political divide in the state===

    Or… Republicans can emerge downstate and vote to help ALL of Illinois.

    You understand that, right?

    === that Pritzker will too===

    Meh.

    If the Durbin maps hold true… prolly not.

    Again, voters, not counties vote.

    Save upstate, Cook, Collars… almost decimate downstate, with severe cuts… or…

    === Pritzker owns right? Especially if he is vindictive.===

    Save upstate, the Governor will own that too.

    The calculus of voters to the proportion of monies to a region.. make downstate square… $1 for $1… amirite?


  40. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:27 pm:

    The ILGOP and Durkin only want to cut social programs.

    The definitely do not want to cut corporate welfare. Demmer and Chesney along with other ILGOPers are looking for bailouts for local communities and Excelon to prevent them from closing Byron and Dresden plants.


  41. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:32 pm:

    A flat tax hike could have been avoided. But because many voters rejected giving themselves a tax cut or paying the same rate, and chose instead to protect the wealthiest, a flat tax hike is kind of asking for it.

    Democrats should not and likely will not agree to brutal cuts, so voters can’t honestly expect those to happen. Also, there are probably many voters who rejected the tax amendment but also reject brutal cuts.


  42. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:32 pm:

    The Dems supported the tax increase, the Republicans staked their opposition on cuts.

    ==Unless a Governor is willing to publicly open the state’s books and cede some discretionary authority from agencies, what’s the point in anyone suggesting a cut?==

    Do you understand how the state budget works? The budget is a set of bills written and passed by the legislature (GA). The Comptroller and Auditor General provide the GA with reports on how the money is actually spent and the GA members can ask for more. If the Republicans want to, they can write a set of budget bills laying out their vision of a balanced budget. I have yet to see such a bill.

    (I would also note that when Rauner was Governor, he refused to lay out cuts that would balance the budget.)

    Bottom line is that the Republicans like to talk cuts, but they refuse to suggest anything of substance. Pritzker and Harmon are right to ask for the Republican cut budget; it would be nice to see the media begin to make those questions a focus whenever Durkin or other Republicans pop out of their holes.


  43. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:33 pm:

    === and not pass off that responsibility to the minority party.===

    Ok.

    Then the minority party and their constituencies should feet be most pain.

    I hear ya, “supermajority”, “Governors own”… heck ya… totally.

    Then don’t beef when 60/30 hammer downstate so hard whole areas are pummeled… but upstate and Pritzker allies feel much less.

    Don’t complain, don’t beef, don’t whine.

    === Imagine if a President, frustrated that he couldn’t get an important policy through (especially if the voters themselves somehow rejected the President’s approach), told the voters that it’s now up to the minority leader of the other party to step up with solutions. Weak.===

    (Sigh)

    Explain “divided government” and the Truman victory of 1948.


  44. - Perry - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:33 pm:

    what lol. why is the senator asking for the extreme minority party to offer up cuts. you won the seats. you call the shots.

    Republican input was never welcomed, this one is on you guys.


  45. - Leigh John-Ella - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:37 pm:

    Perry, are you forgetting a little thing called the “Grand Bargain” that Republican Leader Radogno led to help try to break the budget impasse.


  46. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:37 pm:

    === why is the senator asking for the extreme minority party to offer up cuts. you won the seats. you call the shots.===

    You want the super minority so useless they can’t protect anything?

    Whew. That’s… an odd take

    === Republican input was never welcomed, this one is on you guys.===

    Ok… DNR facilities… closed… one prison… closed… dorms at EIU, WIU… closed…

    Wonder how those Raunerites will feel when 60 and 30 are green decimating their regions…

    Good times.


  47. - Hahaha - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:39 pm:

    These games being played inside the bubble and here on Capfax between JB and the leaders are irrelevant to the general public. At the end of the day, the Governor failed miserably to explain and gain support for his “Fair Tax”. The people of IL shot it down. He alone - the Governor - will now have to come up with politically unpopular solutions to the budget shortfall. No amount of handing it off to Durkin via press release or statement at a presser will make that go away. Governors own.


  48. - midway gardens - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:39 pm:

    Maybe waiting to see what happens in GA’s Senate races. Still a hope for a Federal windfall if the GOP loses the Senate.


  49. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:40 pm:

    ===Still a hope===

    Hope is not a plan. And pinning one’s hopes on Georgia, of all states, is probably not a good idea.


  50. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:43 pm:

    === The people of IL shot it down. He alone - the Governor - will now have to come up with politically unpopular solutions to the budget shortfall.===

    Ok… DNR facilities… closed… one prison… closed… dorms at EIU, WIU… closed…

    That work for you? How about those downstate Raunerites.

    Maybe force it so 1 or 2 IDOT facilities close… just force it to get 60 and 30

    The sheer ignorance to process and damage to regions to “own the libs”…

    The Governor owns, they always do… so make him take it out on y’all… “ok”


  51. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:46 pm:

    ==why is the senator asking for the extreme minority party to offer up cuts==

    Because they claim to have the answers.
    Because they want to show they can lead the state.
    Because they told us that more revenue was not needed.

    By your logic, the Republicans won the argument on the revenue issue, so they should take the lead on fixing the budget.

    We already have some guidance on this. If we follow the logic of the Eastern Block, we could reserve downstate revenue for downstate and Chicago area revenue for the Chicago area. Right?


  52. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:48 pm:

    ===Because… Because… Because===

    Because they’re punting. It’s not like they’d listen to the minority party anyway. They just want political advantage.

    That being said, it would be nice if the party which claims to be for limited government would finally show its cards.


  53. - Hahaha - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:50 pm:

    OW - Yes, that totally makes sense. Even though Cook and Champaign counties are the only two counties to majority support the Fair Tax, the Governor will make it a point to close facilities in only “Raunerite” districts. That’s totally feasible and not transparently vengeful and he totally won’t be excoriated for it in the press.

    I know you don’t understand politics (given that you said the Madigan message was not useful anymore), but that is some next level galaxy brain stuff from you.

    This is JB’s problem now. Period. I know you wish that weren’t so but it is.


  54. - Telly - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:53 pm:

    That’s the right spin from Patterson. I’d go one step further: if we really want a flat tax, we can flatten even more by eliminating corporate tax credits.


  55. - DuPage - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:57 pm:

    Cut the emission test program out of the budget.


  56. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:57 pm:

    ==it would be nice if the party which claims to be for limited government would finally show its cards.==

    I would go farther than that. If they want to lead, they should show some leadership. If they claim cutting can balance the budget, share those cuts with the rest of us. Show some bold leadership that goes beyond eating in a crowded restaurant without a mask.

    Complaining about Madigan and masks will only take them so far.


  57. - Scott Cross for President - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:58 pm:

    Good statement by Harmon and Dems need to lock in and hammer home this plain message.


  58. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 12:58 pm:

    === I know you don’t understand politics (given that you said the Madigan message was not useful anymore), but that is some next level galaxy brain stuff from you.===

    LOL…

    In the end, the HDems lost 1 seat, the judicial seat was lost, then a Dem was appointed… and it will be redrawn.. and I gave the Fair Tax a 1 in 3 in passing… making it about me isn’t an argument.

    === Governor will make it a point to close facilities in only “Raunerite” districts. That’s totally feasible and not transparently vengeful and he totally won’t be excoriated for it in the press.===

    “Downstate Illinois are tax eaters, as an example for every dollar sent, downstate gets two dollars in return. If the Republicans are about governing within spending, then a dollar sent for a dollar back is equitable.

    You also seem to miss this, which shows you lack;

    Republicans can decide governors own only works when they still get to bring back home jobs and revenue.

    You are missing my mocking of this whole dance… Rich boils it down;

    ===They just want political advantage.===

    That’s all we’re talking about, including me.

    It’s playing “we have leverage”… well, the Fair Tax Flop, that was a colossal blunder that was predicated on sitting silent and letting the other side own the messaging, the playing field to that messaging, and being frivolous with both time and money.

    Again, Governors own.


  59. - Bob_Loblaw - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 1:03 pm:

    ==the people have spoken==

    Yep, they want cuts and no taxes on the rich that don’t also include the poor and middle class. Why not concentrate those cuts in the places that spoke the loudest?


  60. - Lurker - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 1:03 pm:

    Oddly I am reminded of my friend Mark J saying he is going to the Supreme Court because he wants to save the state money by being able to negotiate his own salary where he thinks he should be making more money.


  61. - Responsa - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 1:08 pm:

    Regardless of the combination of reasons, blame, ineptitude or finger pointing the fact remains that the governor’s Fair Tax proposal was substantially shot down by voters last month. Done. These were Democratic party and Republican party voters coming together. These were city, suburb and rural Illinoisans coming together. The governor must not continue to publicly put the onus on the other party to fix things when he obviously could not persuade even enough voters in his own party to get it passed. The response from Harmon’s office likewise is not helpful to getting the problem solved. The voters’ message clearly has not been received or at least processed in Springfield.


  62. - BigLou - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 1:10 pm:

    Does Harmon realize that a lot of Dems voted against the Fair Tax. Maybe he should read that as both parties need to find places to cut.


  63. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 1:11 pm:

    ==*** UPDATE 1 *** Letter from Leader Durkin to Gov. Pritzker…==

    Durkin’s reply:

    Cuts? We ain’t got no cuts. We don’t need no cuts. I don’t have to show you any stinking cuts.


  64. - RNUG - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 1:13 pm:

    == could be 25% of non discretionary spending. That just won’t happen. ==

    Yep, the math isn’t there.

    Let’s take a look at that. Under Rainer, 90% of the spending was court ordered. At best, the other 10% (about 50 Agencies) is discretionary.

    So … 10% of a $37B budget is $3.7B. For the math challenged, let’s round that to $4B. 25% of $4B is $1B in savings.

    By comparison, JB asked for 6.25% across the board. That would save $2.3B ina full year, half in a half year.

    The State is outrunning revenue by $5B or more. So you save $1B, the State is still short $4B. You just can’t cut your way out of this.

    The Fair Tax, or a hike in the income tax to 6%, is estimated to bring in around $3B in a full tax year. Still not enough to balance spending and revenue.

    So it will be a number of taxes and fees that get raised.


  65. - thisjustinagain - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 1:17 pm:

    Illinois is LONG past the point that budget cuts will even come close to cutting the budget. A tax hike of some kind is inevitable. The Parties are demanding each other (or the Gov.) make the first move on suggesting cuts, while running away from any kind of increase. JB simply lobbed the ball back over the net with his response, as Doomsday Budgets have already been projected by his administration.


  66. - Thomas Paine - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 1:29 pm:

    The message to me was quite brilliant: none of the lawmakers that are pushing for Madigan to step down can lead a charge for a tax increase.


  67. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 1:40 pm:

    This is the crux of the fight;

    === Yep, the math isn’t there.

    Let’s take a look at that. Under (Rauner), 90% of the spending was court ordered. At best, the other 10% (about 50 Agencies) is discretionary.===

    That’s the real, thanks to Rauner, and we all learned… what can, what can’t, what is, and what isn’t… when the budget exists, what is required was found thru the courts, as Rauner forced “no funding”.

    These points… exactly.

    === So … 10% of a $37B budget is $3.7B. For the math challenged, let’s round that to $4B. 25% of $4B is $1B in savings.===

    And…

    === The Fair Tax, or a hike in the income tax to 6%, is estimated to bring in around $3B in a full tax year. Still not enough to balance spending and revenue.

    So it will be a number of taxes and fees that get raised.===

    So the politics of punting, “forcing”, leveraging, even owning… the problem the Pritzker Administration faces is by losing the Fair Tax, the leverage to new money and to cuts turned into heavy weights saddling the governor to his options… and what he and his administration must make, and take.

    The politics even I’m mocking, or passing… it’s the political advantage that won’t dictate the math, but the political advantage after these tough decisions are made.


  68. - Funtimes - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 1:48 pm:

    I will vote for which ever party is willing to do what is necessary to get the state on the right fiscal path. That means spending cuts AND tax increases. If JB doesn’t have what it takes to do both, then he won’t get my vote.


  69. - Just the Facts - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 1:54 pm:

    During the spring session in the midst of the shutdowns caused by the pandemic, without input from the Republican side of the aisle, the General Assembly passed a budget that increased year-over-year spending by more than a billion.

    There was a revenue vs. expenditures mismatch of $6.2 billion in the budget that was balanced by anticipating around $1.2 billion from the graduated income tax and $5 billion from either federal assistance or borrowing from the federal reserve.

    At that time, Leader Durkin pointed out the folly in adopting such a budget. He was ignored.

    The graduated income tax amendment didn’t pass. Federal assistance hasn’t been forthcoming. The Democratic majorities in both chambers and the Governor got us into this mess, by ducking the hard choices in May. They own this. Durkin and McConchie should point out that the ball is in the Democrats’ court.

    In November, the Governor announced that the deficit for the current fiscal year is $3.9 billion. It was “only” $3.9 billion because revenues for the current fiscal year were running about $2.1 billion ahead of projections. The Governor announced plans to borrow $2 billion. The Comptroller announced that she will pay bills eligible for federal matching funds with the money so that the $2 billion pays $3 billion in bills. That leaves about $900 million. If you save a billion per RNUG’s analysis you can limp through this year. (BTW the General Funds budget is more like $43 billion.)


  70. - Nick - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 2:07 pm:

    I suppose this strategy should have been expected

    Of course it might ultimately be fruitless. Pritzker is still in charge, Dems still have super majorities, etc. But might as well try to pin any blame for the cuts on Republicans and say it’s entirely their idea.


  71. - 1st Ward - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 2:10 pm:

    “revenues for the current fiscal year were running about $2.1 billion ahead of projections”

    The reason is key and that’s the deferral of income tax deadline from April to July kicking into this year. Two years of income tax deadlines in a fiscal year isn’t happening again. The extra $2.1Bn needs to be made up in 2022’s budget.


  72. - What Do We Do Next - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 2:13 pm:

    CAUSE: years and years and years of fiscal mismanagement by IL government

    EFFECT: a really crappy 2021 ahead


  73. - Accountable - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 2:30 pm:

    Tired of hearing close operations downstate. Couple years back Pat Quinn spent $90 million in Chicago on Neighborhood Recovery Initiative to lower shootings. Auditor General couldn’t find any good to the program. Maybe Illinois tries to spend money in ways that help.


  74. - zatoichi - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 2:34 pm:

    Durkin: Show me your proposal because I do not want any ideas tied to me that will cause me problems. This entire process is a repeat of Quinn’s Dooms Day budgets from 10 years ago. You can follow OW’s idea of crush downstate for voting against the tax increase. Those ‘downstate’ votes seemed to have come from every part of the state except around Chicago. As RNUG points out, crushing downstate will not result in enough savings because of court orders. The result - deep cuts everywhere including Chicago. So who will show the leadership to solve the problem and stop the finger pointing? Governors may own but so does every person elected to a Sen and Rep position.


  75. - Unconventionalwisdom - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 2:43 pm:

    Time for Republicans to submit a budget- with details.


  76. - midway gardens - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 2:50 pm:

    == Hope is not a plan
    No it’s not. But the MO of this state is to hesitate, to defer, to borrow. Other States made cuts. The IL budget deficit this year was filled not by making any tough choices but borrowing more money (from the Fed). I don’t think it’s a good approach, but that may be what the Gov is waiting for. Once that is foreclosed (and agree likely to be), some action will be taken.


  77. - Just the Facts - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 2:51 pm:

    1st Ward - actually the shifting of income tax receipts from one fiscal year to another isn’t the reason. Revenues are running ahead of projections.

    Take a look at the most recent report from COGFA: https://cgfa.ilga.gov/Upload/1120revenue.pdf

    “As shown, taking into account the aforementioned
    actual revenue performance through October, while
    still retaining a decidedly conservative view over the remainder of the fiscal year, the Commission’s
    updated outlook of “base” FY 2021 general funds
    revenues represents an increase of $2.308 billion
    over the enacted budget.”


  78. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 3:32 pm:

    ==Leader Durkin pointed out the folly in adopting such a budget. He was ignored.==

    Of course he was ignored. He offered no alternative. It’s easy to complain; it’s hard to develop a workable solution.


  79. - Really - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 3:39 pm:

    The Governor is waiting for suggestions from the Legislature on cuts. That’s funny. The same people that have been spending more than they brought in for at least 20 years. They aren’t about to help you JB. Put on your big boy pants (should be plenty of those) and start reducing spending. That is what the people of Illinois that are public employees just told you to do in November. Time for someone to listen to them.


  80. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 3:50 pm:

    === start reducing spending.===

    You’re adorable.

    There is still a need for revenue. You’re gonna pay.

    Your snide remark is you to a T as well, thanks for reminding who you are. It helps.


  81. - Charlie Says - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 5:29 pm:

    what a fearless leader I`m ready to make cuts and hard decisions but i need cover of others to spread the blame what a useless fat tub of sh-t


  82. - Mal - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 5:40 pm:

    I would say that Madigan needs to go. He did stand against Rauner and I appreciate him for it but now he just set the Dems up for losses in the next election by suggesting a income tax hike. This will be used by Republicans to hang it over Pritzker and Dems. Why would Madigan openly suggest a tax hike and not even try to wait until after the next election? He is only making it harder on Dems by giving the Republicans more attack ammo.


  83. - Jed - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 6:07 pm:

    Consolidate all school district employees under a common self insured heath plan with centralized administration. Possibly combined into existing state employees plans. Districts currently negotiate their own plans leaving hundreds of millions on the table. Cut each district’s state funding by their FY19 or 20 insurance expense and they can decide if they want to join. Unions can still negotiate the percentage the district pays. Should be able to reduce an FTE from an administrative perspective in many districts as well. There’s no excuse for this to continue to be negotiated and administered district by district. Other HR and finance functions should be centralized where possible as well. It’s easy to claim we’ve cut to the bone but this sacred cow is a good measure that we aren’t there yet.


  84. - 4 percent - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 6:13 pm:

    Democrats have owned the Governor’s office for decades and they are still blaming the Republicans. The voters - Democrat and Republican - shot down the tax proposal.

    Patterson can try and deflect all he wants.


  85. - Really - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 6:33 pm:

    Oswego Willy

    I did catch a typo in my reply. The voters that were NOT public employees instructed our legislators that a tax hike was not what the majority of them wanted. By over 500,000 votes. Sounds like the will of the people to me. Do something else first. Then ask for more money from the taxpayers. I still struggle with so many on this blog that really didn’t get the message the voters sent.


  86. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 6:39 pm:

    === The voters that were NOT public employees instructed our legislators that a tax hike was not what the majority of them wanted.===

    I figured, lol, I had hoped you’d let your silliness be, but nope, lol, ya had to make it about state employees.

    Is it more pathetic you doubled down?

    === more money from the taxpayers.===

    We are all tax payers, taxes will be going up, lol, yours too.

    === I still struggle with so many on this blog that really didn’t get the message the voters sent.===

    Maybe it’s because your pathetic message boils down to pensions, state employees, and “voting against myself was my goal, I win”

    Facebook is good for owning yourself, or complaining.


  87. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 6:41 pm:

    === Democrats have owned the Governor’s office for decades===

    That’s not true at all.

    Between Thompson, Edgar, and Ryan… that’s 26 years… then there were the 4 Rauner years… 2, a whole General Assembly… no budget, Rauner only signing one budget in 4 years.

    Think that was good?


  88. - RNUG - Tuesday, Dec 8, 20 @ 6:57 pm:

    == Why would Madigan openly suggest a tax hike and not even try to wait until after the next election? ==

    Most of the time, Madigan is fiscal conservative. And he knows politics.

    State Representatives are elected every 2 years. His power base is the House, not the Governor. Normally he can work with Governors from both parties; Rauner was an exception of sorts.

    The best time to propose / hike a tax is immediately after an election … in other words, now … so the voters have almost 2 years to forget. MJM knows exactly what he is doing.


  89. - VerySmallRocks - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 11:23 am:

    It will be near impossible to get anything constructive out of Illinois Republicans, who are mostly Trump cowards and accomplices.


  90. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 11:52 am:

    Sense COVID many if not all businesses in Illinois have made cuts. They have been forced to layoff works but not in our state government. Someone needs to find out how many people have been hired in state agencies over the past 2 years. Cuts there are no cuts they keep spending and keep increasing payroll and pension benefits that we can’t afford. WHY???


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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