Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x5 - AFL-CIO, Harmon, Durkin, AFSCME, Leader McConchie respond *** Pritzker announces $711 million in cuts, calls it “first step”
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*** UPDATED x5 - AFL-CIO, Harmon, Durkin, AFSCME, Leader McConchie respond *** Pritzker announces $711 million in cuts, calls it “first step”

Tuesday, Dec 15, 2020

* Press release…

Gov. Pritzker Outlines Spending Reduction Plan For Fiscal Year 2021

Administration Will Negotiate With AFSCME Over Furlough Days and Personnel Cost Adjustments

Governor JB Pritzker announced today more than $700 million in spending reductions for fiscal year 2021. The plan is the result of a months-long and ongoing review of agency spending under the Executive branch. The plan includes a hiring freeze, grant reductions and operational savings.

As part of the administration’s ongoing attempt to identify budget efficiencies, Gov. Pritzker also announced the following measures:

    • Negotiations with AFSCME and other employee unions to identify $75 million in personnel cost adjustments, which could include furlough days.
    • Creation of a Department of Corrections facilities closure work group to identify additional savings due to the lower offender population.

“From the beginning of my term in office, I’ve worked hard to bring honest solutions to the table, doing the hard things that must be done to put our fiscal house in order - including bringing efficiencies to lower the cost of operating state government, working to reduce the budget pressure of pension liabilities, investing in the expansion of revenue producing industries, and attracting our most promising economic assets — our college bound seniors – to stay in Illinois rather than go to college elsewhere,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I promised to be a governor who balances the budget and begins paying down the bills that my predecessor left behind. I promised to invest in education, job training and job creation. Before COVID hit us, we did that. And despite all the current challenges, I am confident we will continue our ascent to economic strength and fiscal stability.

The Governor previously announced the sale of $2 billion in three-year notes to the Municipal Liquidity Facility to help Illinois bridge the gap due to dramatic revenue losses as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. That transaction will be finalized by the end of the calendar year. As every state in the nation faces budget shortfalls due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor will continue to urge Congress to pass direct funding for state and local governments who have coordinated the pandemic response.

* Click the pic for a larger image

Numbers are in millions.

More in a bit.

…Adding… From his media briefing today…

Today as a first step toward balancing the current year’s budget, I’m presenting over $700 million in initial cuts to our executive branch agencies. These are cuts that are under my control to make as governor without help from the General Assembly.

This gets us part of the way toward addressing the budget deficit. For additional and more permanent balancing of our budgets going forward, I will work with the legislature. But make no mistake, legislative action and engagement is required. While short term federal help may yet come, we need to take action to maintain fiscal stability over the long run, and address the problems that plagued Illinois pre-pandemic.

Please pardon all transcription errors.

* More from the governor…

Over the years, state government in Illinois has been notoriously hollowed out. For example, there are approximately 25% fewer state government employees today than there were two decades ago. Also state government spending on education is now among the lowest in the nation. And while there used to be 3000 the Illinois State Police troopers patrolling our 58,000 square miles of Illinois, there are now only 1900.

If anything, our schools and our public safety and health care deserve more investments, not less. So cutting our budget will be by its very nature painful.

The executive branch alone cannot legally address these multi-year deficits unilaterally. So I am continuing this conversation with leaders and members of the General Assembly on both sides of the aisle to identify their best ideas to make up the rest of the deficit and bring long-term stability and balance to our state’s fiscal foundation. I have an open door policy. I am more than happy to have a conversation with legislators interested in a substantive effort to get this done.

In the meantime, the cost saving measures I present to you today have already begun to be implemented. In addition, my staff is in conversations with AFSCME to discuss furlough days and personal cost adjustments personnel cost adjustments that will help us reduce spending by $75 million.

By definition, taking employees off the front lines will slow the delivery of services to our residents but this is the place we find ourselves today. It pains me to pursue these actions because these state employees are public servants who dedicate themselves to improving the lives of the people that we all serve. Often, these are the people who are most in need of help.

Many of these same employees, such as our corrections officers who put themselves in harm’s way every day before the pandemic now go to work with the additional danger of COVID-19 facing them. They have more than earned our appreciation and our admiration for their dedication and hard work. That’s one reason why these cuts are painful.

But like I said, opponents of the fairest long term solution have put us in this situation. And there’s only so much on the table to choose from when you have a government as hollowed out as ours is.

Approximately 10% of these reductions come from public safety agencies most significantly from the Department of Corrections. The number of people incarcerated in Illinois has decreased by more than 10,000 individuals since the beginning of 2019. This presents an opportunity for real savings this year and in future years. And it’s a critical opportunity to transform our prisons. I will be forming the Illinois Corrections Transformation Advisory Team to determine the best ways to move forward with these efficiencies. I’ve also previously announced a number of additional criminal justice reform priorities that will further reduce our prison populations as we seek to pursue greater fairness and equity for all Illinoisans as we often see when we move away from expensive ineffective and punitive models. This will likely also open the door for additional long term savings.

Early on in our battle against COVID-19 my administration implemented a freeze on non essential state government hiring and on travel. Those continued today and will continue indefinitely. I have also implemented a significant reduction in vehicle and equipment purchases. And I have asked all departments to maximize the use of technology to reduce in person gathering costs, even once travel is deemed safer.

We’re also making adjustments to our Community Care Program and the services that are provided to older Illinoisans, including delaying the planned rate increase initially set for January 1. I admit that this was a challenging decision because of how vital our community care workers are for our seniors. But this must be undertaken as a result of the deficit.

I’m also broadly freezing and reducing grant programs at a number of agencies, including the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. That includes freezing 2020 grants for local governments, parks and open land projects, implementing freezes or partial reductions on most grants at DCEO and pausing issuance of school maintenance grants dependent upon casino gaming revenues.

I want to be clear. Because tax fairness was taken off the table. There will be a real human impact here. And while we’ve scoured the budget for ways to cause the least pain, I’m sorry to say that we simply cannot prevent these losses from touching the real lives of our residents. We just can’t these cuts reflect the first phase of our path forward, doing what is within my powers unilaterally and without the legislature. This is going to be tough. And as my ongoing conversations with General Assembly leaders would indicate, there is a great deal of work the legislature must do when it convenes next month. […]

And while there is no easy path forward, I promise that we will get through this, working together as people of goodwill, with a laser-like focus on doing what’s best for the working families of Illinois. I look forward to hearing the Republican proposals for realistic cuts and balancing the budget.

…Adding… He was asked about further cuts…

As to more cuts, or you know anything else to do with our budget deficit, again, this is a first step. I’m waiting on the General Assembly’s engagement in this and not just awaiting, I’ve reached out to the General Assembly in particular to the Republicans because they have a special responsibility here, having worked so hard to defeat the Fair Tax to step up to the plate, tell us how they’re going to balance the budget given that we have a $3.9 billion deficit and and you know about half of that has come from structural challenges that the state has. So I hope they will step up to the plate because they defeated the best solution to the structural

* The governor also said he was hopeful that Congress would change course on funding for state and local governments when a new president is sworn in.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Press release…

Illinois Senate Republican Leader-Designate Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) released the following statement regarding Governor Pritzker’s recent comments on the state’s FY22 budget:

“The Governor can blame others all he wants for the state’s financial mess, but the fact of the matter is this is a bed of his own making. Voters fundamentally rejected his graduated tax proposal because of their lack of trust in state government, which stems from years of Springfield increasing taxes and ignoring the reforms that Republicans have put on the table time and time again. In fact, during the current budget cycle, instead of taking up spending reforms in anticipation of hard times to follow from COVID-19, Democrats and the Governor increased spending, relying on magic money from the federal government that never materialized. This is the kind of recklessness that voters know all too well and is the real reason they rejected Springfield digging deeper into people’s pockets.”

*** UPDATE 2 *** Press release…

Statement of Roberta Lynch, Executive Director, AFSCME Council 31

Since the earliest days of this pandemic, tens of thousands of Illinois state employees have been on the front lines, putting their own health and safety at risk to maintain vital services on which so many depend.

Undoubtedly our state faces a severe fiscal crisis and action is urgently needed. However, it is grossly unjust to suggest that frontline state employees who have already sacrificed so much in our current public health crisis should bear an outsized share of the burden of fixing the state’s fiscal crisis as well. Moreover, it is counterproductive in the extreme to target these employees at a time when the need for state services and the demands on state government are greater than ever.

State public health and emergency management employees have worked tirelessly to guide us through the challenges the coronavirus daily presents. Child protection workers have continued to go into homes to safeguard at-risk children. Correctional and state police employees have maintained security in our prisons and safety in our communities. Caregivers are on the job round-the-clock to bathe, feed and assist individuals with the most severe developmental disabilities. Nurse aides have remained in service to our aged and ailing veterans despite massive COVID outbreaks in the state’s veterans’ homes. Human service, environmental protection, transportation employees—and many more—are all on the job to keep Illinois working.

Thousands of these frontline state employees have contracted COVID, hundreds have had to be hospitalized, many are suffering prolonged aftereffects, and, yes, some have died.

The severe budget hole has been made much more severe by the billionaire-funded campaign that defeated the Fair Tax constitutional amendment. Had that amendment been enacted, the state would be on a reasonable path to solid fiscal ground. Instead, rather than asking everyone to pay their fair share, state employees—hard-working middle-income taxpaying Illinoisans—are now being asked to shoulder a bigger share of the budget burden. That is simply not acceptable.

AFSCME is firmly opposed to any demands that unfairly target state employees. We are, however, fully committed to revenue measures needed to keep Illinois working. We supported Governor Pritzker’s Fair Tax initiative. And we are now helping to lead the fight in Washington DC for an urgently needed COVID stimulus bill that is being blocked by Mitch McConnell and the Senate Republicans. We have long called for closing corporate tax loopholes in our own state and have recommendations for how to move forward on that front. And our members are prepared, as always, to help in identifying greater efficiencies in state government operations. Ultimately, however, legislative action is needed. It is urgent that the Illinois General Assembly come into session immediately after the holidays to address the state’s fiscal crisis in a fair and equitable manner.

*** UPDATE 3 *** Press release…

Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) issued the following statement in response to Governor Pritzker’s remarks on his self-inflicted budgetary disaster:

“Governor Pritzker, President Harmon and Mike Madigan were repeatedly warned about the dire shortfalls in the fantasy budget that relied upon the passage of the graduated tax and a ‘fingers crossed’ hope for a federal bailout. Instead of living within our means, they attempted to trick voters into raising taxes, and were sorely rejected by Democrat, Republican and Independent voters across the state. We hope the Governor uses his authority to call the General Assembly into session so that we can look to move Illinois forward by fixing the problems the Democrats have created.”

*** UPDATE 4 *** Press release…

Good afternoon Mr. Miller. Here’s a statement on behalf of Senate President Don Harmon. You can attribute it to me (John Patterson, spokesman):

“The voters sent the message that they expect tough decisions to be made. The Senate President will review the governor’s actions as we prepare to head into another legislative session and another tough budget year. We look forward to our colleagues across the aisle offering up the Republican cuts for public review.

Hopefully Washington soon will come to its senses and realize that states and cities across this country have been wiped out financially by this virus.”

*** UPDATE 5 *** Press release…

The Illinois AFL-CIO, representing tens of thousands of Illinois state employees and their families, today issued the following statement in response to Gov. Pritzker’s proposed $700 million in state budget cuts:

“We join AFSCME in opposing state budget cuts that place the burden on the backs of public employees who are on the frontlines of our collective fight against COVID-19.

We were strong supporters of the Fair Tax initiative as a way to provide needed revenue to support the vital state services and programs we all depend on, and that have proven even more important during the pandemic. Our state has suffered for too long with revenue shortfalls, and these now are producing very real and painful choices that will devastate the very hard-working, middle-income families we all depend on.

We stand ready to work with our union partners and our leaders in Springfield on solutions that spare this pain for working families and address the state’s revenue shortfall responsibly and fairly.”

Tim Drea, President, Illinois AFL-CIO
Pat Devaney, Secretary-Treasurer, Illinois AFL-CIO

- Posted by Rich Miller        

154 Comments
  1. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 2:59 pm:

    - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 2:57 pm:

    This is not about past due bills, keep up.


  2. - What Do We Do Next - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:00 pm:

    Washington is broke. Fifty times over.


  3. - California Guy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:00 pm:

    Yeah more of this is going to have to happen. Across the board cuts are the only option.


  4. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:01 pm:

    The state grants given to local police departments to do the job they are supposed to be doing anyway would be a great grant program to eliminate.


  5. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:07 pm:

    ===Washington is broke===

    Oh, please.


  6. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:09 pm:

    Tough but necessary, with much more needed on the chopping block of an already hollowed out government.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:13 pm:

    ===Creation of a Department of Corrections facilities closure work group to identify additional savings due to the lower offender population.===

    We closing’ a prison?

    I think those downstate members should be silent.


  8. - 1st Ward - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:17 pm:

    Sell Guaranteed Rate already. Recent filings on ILSFA bonds show taxpayers are on the hook for the debt service given hotel tax revenues plummeted. Reserves are expected to dry up by FY 2022 unless there is a turnaround (unlikely).


  9. - essentially working - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:19 pm:

    “I look forward to hearing the Republican proposals for realistic cuts and balancing the budget.” - Why would Republicans offer anything? I think it has been made abundantly clear that Republican views don’t really matter in IL right now; often they are ridiculed. Is what it is, but the time for plausibly blaming others is rapidly coming to an end. This is JB’s show, like it or not.


  10. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:21 pm:

    =I think those downstate members should be silent.=

    OW, with respect, shouldn’t they be the first to volunteer for cuts? With all of their freedoms and anti-tax, anti-government yammering (even though they are heavily dependent on government spending) they should step up and lead on this.


  11. - Nagidam - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:21 pm:

    We certainly can pick apart the cuts to fit our wants and needs. I applaud the Governor for stepping up. The one cut that is certainly counter productive is in Government Services Agencies, Operational Reductions. It looks like this will cover the Illinois Gaming Board. The IGB already can’t handle the gaming expansion issue. Gaming expansion is critical for the last capital program. Getting the casinos up an running means revenue to the state. Short sighted.


  12. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:23 pm:

    ==Why would Republicans offer anything? ==

    And you wonder why the Republicans continue to be the minority party. This is always the refrain we hear.

    The Republicans have been clamoring for cuts. They need to be part of the process of making suggestions on where to cut. Otherwise they should save the taxpayers some money and stay home for good. Why pay them any per diem when session starts if they aren’t going to participate.


  13. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:23 pm:

    Leader Durkin, where’s your publicly available list of cuts?


  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:24 pm:

    === shouldn’t they be the first to volunteer for cuts?===

    “Rep. X and Sen. Y advocate to close prison, hurt region, to own the governor”

    Sumptin’ like that?

    Can’t wait for dorms closing at a university or two after cutting state funding to universities.

    I’m hoping the Raunerites applaud these closures… in their districts too.


  15. - Moe Berg - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:25 pm:

    From that Rep. Chris Miller (R-Oakland) op-ed linked to earlier today: “We have done nothing to reform or reduce state spending.”

    Hazarding a guess that the new Illinois Corrections Transformation Advisory Team just might see fit to “reform or reduce” Robinson Correctional Center in Rep. Miller’s district.

    If so, wouldn’t blame them for taking the representative at his word.


  16. - Facts Matter - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:25 pm:

    So the deficit is $3.9 billion because the budget increased spending over FY2020 and banked on adoption of the Fair Tax amendment, and hoped for federal assistance that hasn’t been received.

    The Governor announced plans to borrow $2 billion from the Fed, which the Comptroller has said she will use to pay bills subject to federal match which will generate another billion. The Governor has announced cuts of $700 million. It appears that there is a couple of hundred million left to find for the current fiscal year.

    Next fiscal year will be challenging - there won’t be the ability to borrow from the Fed and the state has to begin paying back this year’s borrowing - I recall that the Fed borrowing program currently has a 3 year payback. But by July 2021, the economy should be opening up again because of the effects of the vaccines in reducing the pandemic.

    While things are grim, it doesn’t appear the sky is falling - yet.


  17. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:26 pm:

    === This is JB’s show, like it or not.===

    Meh.

    Close a prison, watch the Raunerites come up with a cut or three.

    :)


  18. - Don't Bloc Me In - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:26 pm:

    ==Republican views don’t really matter in IL right now; often they are ridiculed==

    Well, e w, then they should stop offering up ridiculous views.


  19. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:27 pm:

    Ugh, this what I was afraid of. When would furloughs come into effect do you think?


  20. - Frank talks - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:29 pm:

    Washington prints its own money. They’re not broke. They’ve increased the debt by $3 trillion under Trump. Granted now that Biden’s President this will be an issue to the Freedom Caucus and they’ll say Biden did it.

    Looks like some pain coming to downstate.

    Which GOP member wants to close their prison or consolidate with another? Major cost savings to shut down a whole prison. Save some real dollars there.
    Which University is not needed and costs too much for the economic benefit they’re really producing for the State? SIU, WIU, EIU, NIU? Remove one and put the money to the rest of the Universities take out of their annual allotment. Save some real money there.
    Do cost benefit survey of traffic counts for roads. Money for low used roads in Southern Illinois vs super highways with millions of cars per year. Those downstate roads need to move to the back, no revenue benefit to the state 50- 100 cars a day.


  21. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:31 pm:

    “We closing’ a prison?

    I think those downstate members should be silent.”

    I can’t wait for the Republican downstate members on the facilities closure committee to volunteer their district’s prisons for closure. They’re finally getting the cuts they’ve been calling for!


  22. - Rabbit - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:31 pm:

    Again.
    This is the guy that doubled the pension spiking cap as he danced into office with the first budget.

    When the salaries weren’t competitive, he created an outside funding entity to throw money at his cabinet/management.

    He blames Republicans for the failure of the fair tax, but more Democrats were in the voting booths voting for Joe Biden.

    The governor can’t change the truth from: The Illinois Democrats Failed to The Illinois Republicans Succeeded.

    Everyone knows Illinois Republicans never win.

    What next?

    Is he going to convince us that Lucy is gonna let Charlie Brown kick the Football?


  23. - A Jack - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:31 pm:

    AFSCME should require a review of contractors before agreeing to any furloughs. There are a significant number of contractors taking union jobs.


  24. - Lt Guv - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:32 pm:

    McConchie can go do various unspeakable things to himself. Help or go home.


  25. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:33 pm:

    As of right now, Pritzker’s suggestions of cost savings on the labor front are pretty mild…but Roberta Lynch’s statement reads like he’s about to lay off half of state government. It’s going to be a hard road ahead.


  26. - TheUpperRoom - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:34 pm:

    Ugh. They whined when Pritzker tried to pass the fair tax amendment, and now they’re whining about cuts.

    McConchie is right now that IL residents rejected the fair tax, but it’s clear many didn’t understand its purpose. Even here, McConchie is classifying it as a tax increase, and that is not what it was. The republican/billionaire branding of the amendment as a plain tax increase on the working class was effective.

    Ironically, by voting against what they perceived a “tax increase”, they probably helped insure one will end up happening sooner that it otherwise would have.


  27. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:34 pm:

    Shorter McConchie:

    “I’m not responsible for the cuts I called for”


  28. - Mr. Hand - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:35 pm:

    The super minority Republicans speak up they are told to sit down they are the super minority.

    When the graduate income proposal fails by overwhelming margins that included democrats voting for the proposal, then it is the super minority republicans to come up with solutions?

    Pritzker’s budget can be passed with the supermajority. He doesn’t need any republican approval. As it is noted on here, make them Repubs pay down state.


  29. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:35 pm:

    “Republicans because they have a special responsibility here, having worked so hard to defeat the Fair Tax to step up to the plate, tell us how they’re going to balance the budget given that we have a $3.9 billion deficit”

    Republicans need to stop shirking and get to work on budget proposals. But then again, super-minority status gives the excuse to continue avoiding hard work.

    The people in state government who voted against the graduated income tax and now face cuts, they will certainly understand and accept the sacrifice.


  30. - My idea - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:38 pm:

    Budget cuts are obvious.

    Not that this idea would create that much money, but what doesn’t DCEO create an online marketplace, kind of like Amazon or an online farmers market. Illinois businesses would register and and the website could feature x number of businesses each day. This would help small businesses, even Ag based Illinois products, while creating a small revenue source (sales tax). This is a time when we need to think outside the box when it comes to budget ideas and cuts.


  31. - Friendly Bob Adams - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:38 pm:

    Furloughs are the best way to trim staff costs while keeping jobs and benefits in place. AFSCME will be opposed, as they were under Quinn. This situation is a lot more dire in comparison.


  32. - City Zen - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:39 pm:

    ==This is the guy that doubled the pension spiking cap as he danced into office with the first budget.==

    Yep. Also increased Tier 2 pension benefits for police.


  33. - Cool Papa Bell - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:39 pm:

    Furloughs should have started six months ago. One week of unpaid time would have gone a long way in showing the general public that state government is ready to adjust with the economic times that we all live in.


  34. - Alice - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:39 pm:

    Furloughs will probably be in range of 12-24 days I imagine. But the pandemic should be a wake up call and realize the days for large office space is over. Let workers work from home when it’s acceptable. Some of those leases are ridiculous.


  35. - Jibba - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:46 pm:

    ===Why would Republicans offer anything?===

    Maybe to show that they have real ideas? But obviously they might gain political advantage, so they will be silent other than complaining about the adverse effects of the cuts and how they could have done better.


  36. - BeenThereDoneThat - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:50 pm:

    Pritzker and the Dems own this. Let them cut, raise taxes or borrow.


  37. - MrX - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:52 pm:

    The IDOC employees from the southern half of the state that I know were almost all vocal opponents of the fair tax.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:54 pm:

    === Pritzker and the Dems own this. Let them cut, raise taxes or borrow.===

    Meh.

    Once a prison closes, those towns don’t recover.


  39. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:55 pm:

    Leader-Designate Dan McConchie - Would you please provide a link to those cuts you mentioned?


  40. - no_antonio - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:56 pm:

    These cuts should have been in place when he decided to balance the budget on the house of cards that was the fair tax amendment. In my opinion I was surprised that the fair tax amendment was not defeated more handily. At what point has the Illinois state government spent additional tax money wisely?


  41. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:56 pm:

    What exactly is a “Personnel Cost adjustment”?


  42. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:56 pm:

    Lots and lots and lots of downstate pain.

    Prisons first, then dorms to universities, then DNR.

    I dunno, maybe wanting a voice in helping might stave some… but… make it about “Democrat things”

    Once things close… that’s it.


  43. - Chambanalyst - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:57 pm:

    No, Pritzker and the Dems don’t “own this”… no singular party got us into this situation - years of decisions led us up to this point. It’s going to take all of us to get our way out of it.


  44. - CEA - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 3:59 pm:

    >>Let them cut, raise taxes or borrow.

    Doing all three would be a good start.


  45. - Whatever - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:02 pm:

    McConchie -”ignoring the reforms that Republicans have put on the table time and time again.”

    Were those Rauner’s detailed proposals, which somehow nobody ever saw? Or “x% across the board” proposals? Superminority or not, if you have a good idea for savings, identify it, argue for it, and if it is really that good, beat your opponent in the next election over the head with it.


  46. - flavius217 - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:02 pm:

    Remember that scene in Goodfellas when Henry was describing what coming under Mob protection entails? That should be the unions’ position.


  47. - walker - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:03 pm:

    Hopefully, the really smart leaders like McConchie, will work responsibility and creatively when push comes to shove, regardless of their public positioning right now.


  48. - no_antonio - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:04 pm:

    No, Pritzker and the Dems don’t “own this” they do not solely own the long term problems but balancing the budget in hopes that the fair tax amendment would pass he does own.


  49. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:04 pm:

    State employees and unions have less incentive than ever to accept cuts. They supported a real solution that would have eased or avoided cuts and reduced taxes for the vast majority. Elections having consequences swings both ways, and those who refused to cut their own taxes may very well wind up paying more.


  50. - DoinStuff - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:06 pm:

    Great timing to make an announcement like this right before the holidays.


  51. - SSL - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:06 pm:

    Hopefully the Republicans will come up with some good ideas to help the process. It is their responsibility to do so. JB is starting to sound like a petulant child in these releases. He got burned badly on his $50 million dollar investment in the fair tax, but those weren’t all Republicans that voted no. He is starting to look like other leaders he has criticized for poor behavior. You win some and you lose some. Work together for the good of the state. It is only going to get tougher and he needs to be better.


  52. - Perrid - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:08 pm:

    To Durkin and McConchie - I don’t care. Wag your finger as much as you want, and then DO. SOMETHING. If you genuises are so sure you have the answer, you can fix everything, the put something forward for the love of God. Pritzker’s giving you at least some of your cuts, to the tune of about 1.8% of the state’s budget (I think it was about $39 billion?). That’s not nothing, maybe try, for once in your lives, not to slap the hand being extended to you. Just ridiculous.


  53. - From DaZoo - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:09 pm:

    ===What exactly is a “Personnel Cost adjustment”?===

    Depends on what they can get the various unions to agree to. Furloughs, pay reductions, cancelled hirings/promotions, and reduced head-counts are possibilities that come to mind.


  54. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:10 pm:

    ==Washington is broke==

    And yet they found $740 Billion for Defense.


  55. - What Do We Do Next - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:11 pm:

    === AFSCME should require a review of contractors before agreeing to any furloughs. There are a significant number of contractors taking union jobs. ===

    Aren’t contractors a more-efficient use of taxpaper dollars? Unions have worked hard to overprice themselves. Time for a correction.


  56. - From DaZoo - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:13 pm:

    The only problem with furloughs it has to be done the right way. Last time they had furloughs those that worked in operational roles ending up earning more money because they got overtime pay to cover for each others’ furlough days.


  57. - Jocko - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:13 pm:

    Oops. Anon @4:10 was me.


  58. - radio flyer - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:16 pm:

    The Governor always “owns” the problem. No matter what.

    Was true for Rauner. Will be all the more true for JB.

    His budget mess. His tax hike. His defeat.


  59. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:22 pm:

    Downstate is a tax eater.

    We need to get Downstate to “dollar for dollar”

    Close a prison.

    Close DNR facilitIES… (plural)

    Close dorms by cutting higher education… that’ll show those towns.

    Oh. That’s the point, Governors own. They always do.

    Might as well make downstate feel that pain.

    That’s the same downstate with “Pritzker $&@#” signs… now with a downstate prison closing… or two


  60. - Cardinal Fan - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:25 pm:

    Wow OW . . . and you wonder why the downstate folks have that mindset? Comments like yours. The votes are mostly cast “upstate”, Pritzker’s progressive income tax was voted down by all parties, all over the state, yet “Might as well make downstate feel that pain.” is your answer for the state to come together to get through this?


  61. - Earnest - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:26 pm:

    >Aren’t contractors a more-efficient use of taxpaper dollars? Unions have worked hard to overprice themselves. Time for a correction.

    You’d rather throw money at large, out-of-state corporations which make a nice profit off of our tax dollars rather than pay cost-effective Tier II Illinoisans who live in your community paying property, sales and income taxes? Not me.


  62. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:32 pm:

    === and you wonder why the downstate folks have that mindset? Comments like yours. The votes are mostly cast “upstate”,===

    “But, but, but… 90+ counties didn’t elect Pritzker”

    Amirite?

    I can show ya the quotes… alphabetical or chronological…

    === Might as well make downstate feel that pain.” is your answer for the state to come together to get through this?===

    Downstate is a tax eater… that’s a fact.

    I can show you the numbers, maybe after the “90+ counties didn’t elect Pritzker” stuff.

    Or… or…

    Republicans can decide instead of saying ridiculous things… try to save downstate by working with the governor…

    … like I keep suggesting… but so many want this to be a Democrat thing.

    Saving the state means Republicans emerge from Raunerite thinking.

    Or we can close multiple prisons, DNR facilities, close dorms, dining halls…

    Downstate is where the pain is a’comin’

    “Pritzker $&@#%”… did I get that right?

    Governors own, y’all aren’t with him. Might as well make those feel it first, and deep.

    You catching on yet…


  63. - Citizen Kane - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:34 pm:

    They could start with underperforming universities like Chicago State…


  64. - Jerry T - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:34 pm:

    I will take furlough days but not a pay freeze or cuts or extra cost to medical care which is the same as a pay cut without complaining. If there are pay cuts or freezes or increases in medical care, I then will complain. Furloughs are a win-win because the State pays less and the employee gets something in return.


  65. - Homebody - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:36 pm:

    AFSCME is responsible to their members and not the public as a whole, and as such I expected them to fight tooth and nail against anything that costs their members money.

    The Republican politician stance is purely projection though. They want to accuse the Governor of playing a blame game while in response to his proposal of cuts (which in theory is what they wanted) all they do is blame.

    Pritzker was pretty clear, if there was no fed bailout and no raised revenue, cuts were coming. Let’s see if the the GA can actually do THEIR jobs now.


  66. - illinifan - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:36 pm:

    AFSCME needs to step up as well and unfortunately it will include employee cuts/benefits as well. Yes they worked hard and are essential but a lot of positive PR would happen if they partner in the process vs. being like the Republicans and just offer nothing.


  67. - Nagidam - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:36 pm:

    With what the state is facing a 10% cut to all state funds and a 1 point increase in the state income tax does not get the state whole. That is the extent of the problem. Pension reform is basically off the table per the supreme court and no way the Unions voluntarily concede benefits. So, welcome incoming freshman and senators. Maybe you guys might meet in February.


  68. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:36 pm:

    === They could start with underperforming universities like Chicago State…===

    Why?

    You close SIUC, given the state dollars, that’s a better use of the cut, plus, retool Chicago State, ‘cause Governors own… make it a higher education success story as you close dorms at EIU too.

    “Democrat choices”… amirite?


  69. - Private Sector - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:39 pm:

    Jerry T,
    Would you mind sharing what the public sector medical benefit is? ie. contribution amount, deductible?

    Thank you. I pay approximately $15k out of pocket, through my employer, for my and my partner’s coverage which includes a $2,500 deductible, and low or zero drug cots.


  70. - Cube Dweller No More - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:42 pm:

    * employee gets something in return *

    You do realize a furlough means not getting paid right? Its not a paid vacation.


  71. - Jerry T - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:45 pm:

    The cost depends on the insurance that you have and under the contract the cost is going up in each of the next two years. To be more comprehensive, you can go to the CMS website where everything is listed for the general public to see.


  72. - illini - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:46 pm:

    @Willy -

    == Might as well make downstate feel that pain.

    That’s the same downstate with “Pritzker $&@#” signs… now with a downstate prison closing… or two ==

    As a lifelong resident of Southern Illinois and as a Democrat whose vote is becoming increasingly marginalized by the Red Tide I could not agree more. The mindset of a majority of voters is closed to understanding the consequences of their votes and the ineffective members they send to the GA. Unfortunately these same individuals need to feel the pain and realize the folly of their ways and will continue to blame She-Caw-Go, Mike Madigan, Democrats and Pritzker for their bad choices.


  73. - Nagidam - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:47 pm:

    OW,

    I realize its fun to call out the Republicans on cuts. I certainly think they should be at the table. There is not enough facilities in Republican districts to close down that would make a dent in the deficit. SIU receives $93 million in GRF for operations. Put another way that closes 2% of this years deficit.


  74. - Private Sector - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:50 pm:

    Jerry T,
    Thanks. I wasn’t aware of the site. As I mentioned, I pay approximately $15k per year for my partner and I.
    If I were an Illinois Employee, the same plan would cost me $4,560/year…..a $10k savings.


  75. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:54 pm:

    === SIU receives $93 million in GRF for operations===

    - Nagidam -

    I did all the schools for - City Zen - like 2 weeks ago, I remember these numbers.

    “Every cut counts” is how I’m approaching this with the “Democrat party” nonsense.

    Plus, closing dorms, as an example, that’d be more about pain to towns, as commuter school operations would cripple places like Carbondale and Charleston.

    Close a DNR facility, a prison, a downstate university… might as well measure it out.

    I know you “get it” - Nagidam -… be well.

    - illini -

    I feel for ya, in so far as the folks not grasping “one Illinois” and all everyone brings, and we need each other.

    It’s a fact, downstate is a tax eater, so… you be well too, stay safe.


  76. - TWC - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:55 pm:

    It’s a good start, but that’s all it is, a start. What else do you have for us JB?


  77. - Angela - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:57 pm:

    Why isn’t a reduction in MCO insurance profits on the Gov’s list?


  78. - Redbird Pundit - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 5:02 pm:

    Oswego Willy loves downstate Illinois as much as someone in Effingham County loves Cook County……


  79. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 5:04 pm:

    === Oswego Willy loves downstate Illinois===

    If you ever read my thoughts on downstate, higher education… or had a clue about what this is about…

    … but it seems that you don’t.


  80. - Citizen Kane - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 5:04 pm:

    OW === Why?===

    Because Chicago State continues to disappoint and underperform year after year. Close it down.


  81. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 5:07 pm:

    === Because Chicago State continues to disappoint and underperform year after year. Close it down.===

    But the governor owns his choices.

    That’s how it works.


  82. - JB13 - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 5:08 pm:

    Sorry many of you public sector workers will now lose your jobs or lose pay.

    Would it make you feel any better if I tell you “Don’t blame us, the virus did it?”

    No, it does not.


  83. - The Dude Abides - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 5:09 pm:

    Still not a word from Republicans on what they would like to cut. Just finger pointing which won’t fix anything. That’s why they are the minority party.


  84. - Yiddishcowboy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 5:10 pm:

    @Private Sector: So when the hiring freeze has thawed out, apply for a state job/get hired to save the 10K in healthcare benefits. But you might also make less salary-wise with the state. Or was your point to really complain about the benefits state employees get? If I’m wrong, so be it.


  85. - Our Joe - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 5:12 pm:

    I’m with TWC. Nice start but nothing too unexpected or out of the box here. Good to see dipping a toe in the water on prison closure. Now do the same with a university and a couple of parks. It’s time. Politics is the appropriate and judicious use of power, but you do have to use it at some point. Downstate R’s need to understand the consequences of their choice.


  86. - SAP - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 5:18 pm:

    Maybe they can sell the Thompson Center.


  87. - Unconventionalwisdom - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 5:19 pm:

    Again, Republicans need to be specific as to what needs to be cut if they want to be taken seriously in this process. If they don’t care, then they should say nothing and let that be their record.

    The biggest impact on the state budget over the last 50 years, and it continues to accelerate, is the Medicaid budget and now ACA as well.

    The Governors should take the lead in making this program a federal budget issue and get it off the backs of the states. Only a very few people predicted the explosion in costs and how it would impact state budgets.

    We have a new elected President. Use that as an opportunity to promote this important agenda.


  88. - 1st Ward - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 5:23 pm:

    The Gov needs should be worried about the Speaker and these statements from Labor. Nothing can be enacted if the Speaker schism isn’t settled and you can’t blame the GOP for that. Although Labor will not go to the GOP they can sit out the election circa Quinn v. Rauner. The Gov. appears to be in a few quagmires currently. Labor’s continue backing of Madigan and now the Gov. wanting Labor to negotiate cuts (furloughs potentially) yikes. Good luck.


  89. - Joe Bidenopolous - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 5:25 pm:

    ==Why would Republicans offer anything? ==

    I could give a thoughtful answer here, like pointing out that they are, in fact, legislators, and that as public servants, they are sworn to be good public stewards. But they’ve rejected that premise, so I will too.

    Instead, I’d say the reason that they may want to suggest cuts is that if they don’t, the cuts are likely coming to their own backyards early and often.

    But, y’know, something something own the libs ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


  90. - Not a Superstar - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 5:27 pm:

    @JB13, take the mindless trolling to Facebook. The federal government’s failure to fund restaurants and other employers (including state and local government) affected by diminished revenues stands as a signal failure. No one should be yucking it up.


  91. - ITEngineer - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 5:28 pm:

    @ Private Sector, Sorry to hear your own career decisions lead you to accept that type of compensation. I’m willing to bet it’s because your not providing a unique set of skills to employers that put yourself in a strong bargaining position which isn’t the fault of others who didn’t. I was earning 40% more prior to joining SOI and my Health Benefits cost a moderate more for similar coverage because I bargained hard and had multiple desirable skills large national companies needed. Industry research helps.


  92. - Joe Bidenopolous - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 5:29 pm:

    ===I realize its fun to call out the Republicans on cuts. I certainly think they should be at the table. There is not enough facilities… Put another way that closes 2% of this years deficit.===

    Valid point. But laying down a marker in a member’s home district might be a good way to get that member’s attention, no?


  93. - Alice - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 5:33 pm:

    Does anyone see similarities between Trump not accepting election results and unions statement not accepting the fair tax defeat? The ppl have spoken via vote. Accept the results and regroup AFSCME.


  94. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 5:39 pm:

    === Oswego Willy loves downstate Illinois===

    I do.

    === - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 5, 20 @ 12:01 pm

    Enough “fun”

    To the post,

    Governors own. They always do. The governor gambled on the Fair Tax. He had $50+ million and nothing an open field to make a case. He lost. Lost soundly and convincingly.

    When you lose an election, elections have consequences. The governor will now need to go to the same Dem legislators he cajoled to vote for the opportunity to get the Fair Tax on the ballot.., to make big cuts, and likely raise some tax monies too.

    I’ve always felt, said so too, the loss is the loss, it’s the after and ramifications where the real pain was, not the sting of losing. Welp, that’s where we’re at. The consequences.

    My mocking of the “anger”, well, that’s also “simple solutions are usually neither”. We need higher ed. We need Illinois strong “top to bottom”, east to west, but that only works… with everyone deciding Illinois deserves better, we need to find the way.

    Those on either side who think a partisan political holdout or punishment take is smart and winning, real dollars, real programs, real people are going to see these cuts and it’s not numbers on a sheet of paper.

    Pointed and precise cuts, real cuts, deep but directed cuts to help the state but hurt the least, yeah, everyone needs to get on board to discuss this, or be willing to sit out saving what you can because increasing revenues “is against my core”. Thing about that core is… core services to those most needy and most fragile in Illinois don’t have that luxury.

    This is a time, only adults please, let’s really talk about doing good for Illinois. Programs will get cut, revenue will need to rise. If you can’t get on board with both, you can’t be an adult to this discussion, as things worth saving still cost, and the minimum services to function as a first world functioning society need revenues.

    I don’t envy the governor. I’ve been harshly and incredibly hard on him and his crew, not because of the love of the political banter, because even in May… in May… the gamble set this situation up if they lost, and this is the pain of losing, not the silly pain of a political win or loss.

    I know this governor has a good heart. His predecessor’s ways and these two years already show the differences, miles apart. Here’s where that good heart, a calm want to compromise, and all sides working.. and still… governors own.

    I don’t envy the governor. My hope is all won’t look to only say they don’t envy him, but ask how we all can help.===

    So… you *now* catching my drift?


  95. - City Zen - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 5:46 pm:

    ==You close SIUC==

    Please, not the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. Where are we gonna get Fair Tax poll results that are 20 points off?


  96. - Jake - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 5:47 pm:

    Close a prison, with covid they’ve let all the prisoners out anyway.


  97. - Jerry T - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 5:58 pm:

    Cube Dweller No More - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:42 pm:

    I am a highly educated individual who has been around. Yes, I know what a furlough is and took them 10 years ago. We do get something in return, Time. I did say that the State saves money, obviously if you would have read closer then you would have realized that I know what I am talking about. There is no other way for The State to save money then by not paying for the day or days off.


  98. - Essential State Employee - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 6:01 pm:

    ==Downstate R’s need to understand the consequences of their choice.==

    Could the cuts not only hammer Eastern Bloc/Downstate R district facilities and state employees, but also districts that are represented by House Democrats still on record as supporting the Speaker?

    Especially concerned about downtown Springfield and Capitol Complex state facilities, offices and employees. All in Rep. Sue Scherer’s 96th–and Scherer has not joined the “19.”


  99. - Nagidam - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 6:01 pm:

    Lynch and Drea the union heads along with the Governor need to move on from the Fair Tax. They failed. Blaming Republicans for the failure does nothing. Spilled milk and all. Now call the Republicans out to serve up solutions certainly is a must. The unions can start helping The future Speaker and President Harmon rally support for a point and a half income tax hike if they don’t want any cuts to union wages, benefits, or jobs.


  100. - Jerry T - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 6:04 pm:

    - Private Sector - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 4:50 pm:

    I pay a lot more then that and I am single so I am not sure what you looked at. By the way, I used to be in the Private sector and State insurance is equivalent to what It is where I came from even as both went up. State Medical insurance is good but so is insurance in many private sector equivalent positions


  101. - zatoichi - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 6:06 pm:

    The ‘burn downstate’ argument for voting down the tax sure takes a different bend when you look at the county results. Seems the only counties that voted for the tax was Cook at 37.7% opposed. All other counties over 50% opposed including McHenry 63%, Lake 56%, Kane 56.5%, Kendall 61%, Will 60%, Dupage 57%. Statewide was 53%. So if ‘downstate’ is going to be targeted, then downstate seems to be every county in the state except Cook. That is a lot of Dem and Rep based facilities to close.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/ct-illinois-tax-rate-amendment-election-results-20201103-kcjm3pgd6nhb5i5w7o5ucttdqy-htmlstory.html


  102. - Essential State Employee - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 6:11 pm:

    I will not be surprised if due to these cut announcements, the Governor has opened himself up to a Labor/Madigan-backed primary opponent for March 2022.


  103. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 6:13 pm:

    === The ‘burn downstate’ argument for voting down the tax sure takes a different bend when you look at the county results. Seems the only counties that voted for the tax was…===

    Again… for the 63rd time…

    It’s about the 177. It’s *about* the 177

    Downstate is a tax eater.

    You have downstate Raunerites who have decided that “Pritzker $&@#%” and working against anything to solve the state problems.

    As legislators, the downstate Raunerites don’t wanna help?

    Fine.

    Then the tax eating downstate deserves the pain.

    That’s the premise, that’s the retort. That’s also where monies are arguably being eaten at a greater rate then taken in.

    Counties don’t vote, land doesn’t vote, people vote, legislators are going to vote on things that might be cuts… that’s the governing going on.


  104. - Oakland - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 6:13 pm:

    Why not just take the budget deficit and divide that by 118. For example for each $1B in deficit it would be $8.4M per legislative district. Everyone shares equally in the pain.


  105. - Nagidam - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 6:24 pm:

    ===I will not be surprised if due to these cut announcements, the Governor has opened himself up to a Labor/Madigan-backed primary opponent for March 2022.===

    In the year of COVID where many private sector jobs have been lost, the governor has failed miserably with IDES and the unemployment benefit issue, the unions are going to run a candidate for governor so they don’t lose any jobs. With the support of a Speaker that one, may not be the Speaker and two, has been named in federal corruption indictments?

    I don’t know where to begin.


  106. - Economist from Hyde Park - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 6:33 pm:

    Public finance is about taxes and spending. The voters turned down the progress income amendment. In the state of Illinois, higher education spending isn’t even 5% of the budget. Cut if you must, but Illinois’ financial mess is due to public pensions . Where can Illinois cut. Well, some of the education money given to Chicago just doesn’t add up. In 1968 there where 588,000 students in the CPS system. In 2020, there are only 341,000 students. Isn’t just not viable to have a local public school system with 19 high schools serving less than 250 students. The money the state of Illinois gives to CPS can no longer be justified.


  107. - Gary Hart - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 6:40 pm:

    If this pandemic has taught us anything, we can do more with less. I think it’s time to have a serious conversation about the Secretary of State’s Office. How many jobs can be eliminated from that office? Why can’t more things be automated. For years everyone’s nephew found a job in that office. It’s time to start eliminating those positions as soon as possible.


  108. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 6:43 pm:

    === In the state of Illinois, higher education spending isn’t even 5% of the budget.===

    The simplest thing to see where and how to cut, as has been brought up by - RNUG - among others is look at the Rauner “no budget” years, a whole GA in fact, and what was salvaged by court order and what exactly is viable to cut.

    Starving higher education was only saved by votes, so cutting there is an easy find, as an example.

    To the pensions… “pesky constitution”, ILSC, the Edgar Ramp, “what’s owed is owed”


  109. - Blake - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 6:51 pm:

    To Oakland’s point, I know that state spending is not equally split all over the state, but wonder what the breakdown is. The large majority of state spending is not personnel, so state workers would be a portion of why a disproportionate share goes to Springfield & the prison towns, but how much more than an even spread around the state?


  110. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 6:54 pm:

    - Blake -

    Downstate, by far, is the biggest tax eater to the spending.

    https://capitolfax.com/2018/08/10/study-all-of-downstate-receives-more-from-the-state-than-it-pays-in/


  111. - Essential State Employee - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 6:55 pm:

    ==I think it’s time to have a serious conversation about the Secretary of State’s Office.==

    Unless the Governor wants to pull a Blago (or to some extent, Quinn), unless I’m wrong the cuts Pritzker announced today are for executive code agencies under his/CMS jurisdiction.

    Constitutional officers’ cuts might be one of those points that will need to be negotiated with the GA (for the rest of this year) or held off until FY22 (when the constitutionals will be likely be asked to submit a budget that cuts at least 10-15% of their FY21 budgets).


  112. - Essential State Employee - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 7:05 pm:

    ==Constitutional officers’ cuts might be one of those points that will need to be negotiated with the GA (for the rest of this year) or held off until FY22 (when the constitutionals will be likely be asked to submit a budget that cuts at least 10-15% of their FY21 budgets).==

    But to add to my previous point @6:55, the constitutionals can choose to make their own cuts to their own budgets (to specific programs and office costs) whenever warranted during the fiscal year without a request from the Governor and/or GA.


  113. - Frank talks - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 7:34 pm:

    LOL lots of downstaters starting to chime in.
    Chicago and the collars provide the majority of revenue for the state, but you all know that.
    To equate the needs of downstate or why Chicago should be cut because you want to keep jobs is laughable.
    For the unions to say they supported the Fair Tax and yet downstate, where lots of state spending occurs, with lots of union members, to get beaten so badly means the union membership doesn’t care about state spending and need a lesson as well.


  114. - Southern Dude - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 7:36 pm:

    Crisis creates opportunity. Just like Quinn, AFSCME backed candidate threatens prison closures. Prison closures were on the agenda from the beginning.
    I feel bad for the frontline nonsecurity staff the requested to work from home during the pandemic, but were denied with zero Union support. They were essential with no regard for their health but will be the first to go in a prison closure.


  115. - Frank talks - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 7:48 pm:

    Also if Durkin and McConchie would like to advocate for downstate as opposed to the cuts that will come to their own districts good luck.

    Should be fun to have someone run against them based on how they cut money from children’s programs and schools, thereby raising property taxes in their districts, to help keep roads being done downstate. Or to keep open colleges downstate that are more expensive to go to than a lot of out of state schools.


  116. - The Dude - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 8:11 pm:

    There are tons of state employees that have had it made this whole pandemic and barely had to do much if anything.

    While others have never been busier as they actually have jobs that impact the pandemic or are directly working with it.. Any cuts or losses should NOT come from those.

    JB just make sure common sense is applied.


  117. - Nieva - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 8:19 pm:

    If I remember right J.B. negotiated large pay raises with the major unions last year. Now he is going to lay these folks off? Well, it will be easier to make payroll if you cut the workforce by 25 percent. And by the way union dues are directly tied to wages. Higher pay means higher dues.


  118. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 8:27 pm:

    State facilities are located downstate because it is cheaper to operate downstate. Cheaper land. Better workers for a given salary. (At least that was my experience with Chicago and Springfield workers )

    What functions do we no longer want the state to do? It is that easy and that hard.


  119. - Responsa - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 8:41 pm:

    ==I will not be surprised if due to these cut announcements, the Governor has opened himself up to a Labor/Madigan-backed primary opponent for March 2022.==

    Maybe. Maybe not. But isn’t the whole point of a “primary” to check with voters to see if the course within a party is on target or trending toward change?


  120. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 8:51 pm:

    Most State employees are working from home and have been since the pandemic started. Tired of hearing about their vacations since March.


  121. - Southern Dude - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 9:07 pm:

    Nieva - I will be surprised if AFSCME gets their July raises. AFSCME will likely trade them to prevent closures. If it is a Quinn repeat, they will give up the raise and prison will still be closed.


  122. - Southern Dude - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 9:13 pm:

    Dude - common sense would be nice, but that isn’t the way AFSCME works. Everything is seniority and bargaining units. The 20 year vet that hasn’t got out of his chair in 5 years will keep their job while the 10 year employee working their tail off gets laid off.


  123. - Alice - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 9:18 pm:

    Don’t complain about workers working from home because this will be a sticking point soon. Working from home saves the State a lot of money. Eliminating some of these leases would save millions per yr in rent- supplies- overhead. It’s possible that WFH becomes norm for many state workers.


  124. - BCOSEC - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 9:20 pm:

    A way to possibly save the prisons and pay for them would be to turn them into drug rehab facilities. Might be some Federal grants available under the Biden Admin.


  125. - bogey golfer - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 9:29 pm:

    “Governors own.” Saw that comment by one poster more than one time.

    So…own up Governor. The electorate voted back “The Fair Tax.” His proposal cut. OK, is that what we want? If not, GOP then what?

    Sausage making at its finest.


  126. - Thinking - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 9:30 pm:

    One of the bid costs to the state are leases to house state employees. Hoping that regardless of when we all get vaccinated and it is safe to congregate, JB will consider continuing work from home and have CMS terminate leases/consolidate office space to that which is truly needed.


  127. - Southern Dude - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 9:32 pm:

    Alice - I agree. Lots of savings to be had there. The only thing standing in the way is JB and AFSCME.


  128. - McGruff - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 9:48 pm:

    So. Is the Governor going to finally take a hard look at the MCO’s feeding off our bankrupt state? Is everything on the table except the for -profit insurance companies making record profits during the pandemic? The Koehler/ Crespo bill will claw back billions from these carriers which make a fortune doing business in our state yet offer no financial relief as we swirl down the drawn. Auto insurers and even Cable companies have offered refunds throughout the country. Yet , these billionaire carpet bagging insurers only dump coal in the state Christmas stocking.


  129. - allknowingmasterofraccoodom - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 9:54 pm:

    This gamble was just that - a gamble. And with public money. Why did we go out and borrow 50 billion for infrastructure when the graduated tax was not a sure thing? Not saying we don’t need help with our roads, buildings, bridges but this is the problem springfield has had for decades - they spend money they don’t even have yet. Want to make hard decisions? Why don’t they tie the next bond issue to a tax increase to use completely to pay down our debt, such as the pension debt. Those are hard decisions. All this stuff is just the old pea under the cup game.


  130. - allknowingmasterofraccoodom - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 9:55 pm:

    And another thing - the graduated income tax was going to bring in significantly more revenue. That is a tax increase. Period.


  131. - Blake - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 10:00 pm:

    Oswego Willy 6:54pm, that wasn’t the question. The question was on the spending side, how big of a difference is their in state spending between state house districts, not comparing revenues to spending per district.


  132. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 10:05 pm:

    === The question was on the spending side, how big of a difference is their in state spending between state house districts, not comparing revenues to spending per district.===

    No.

    What’s going to matter is 177 and how they vote to cut.

    As an example, the governor looking to close a prison or two.

    That’s a signal to downstate. To legislators. To the GOP.

    That’s what’s at play. The idea that downstate is a tax eater helps in that process.


  133. - Ares - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 11:58 pm:

    How much is being given away in EDGE grants, State incentives, and local-government incentives? How much are each of the Tech Giants plus the “tech disrupters” (ride-share, house-share, electric-car) receiving in EDGE grants and other incentives? How much is Sears still receiving? Why?


  134. - Jerry T - Wednesday, Dec 16, 20 @ 12:33 am:

    McGruff - Tuesday, Dec 15, 20 @ 9:48 pm:

    What Cable companies offer refunds? Not Comcast, they raised rates again and blamed taxes like always.


  135. - Anon - Wednesday, Dec 16, 20 @ 5:19 am:

    “Some of those leases are ridiculous.”

    Might be nice to press the govenor as to why CMS is moving the IL Dept. Of Labor at a much higher cost than what it was paying.

    Tax payer waste is taxpayer waste. Theres rumor he is moving for his own reasons and nobody wants to move.


  136. - Gravy Bond - Wednesday, Dec 16, 20 @ 7:37 am:

    Can we as a group formally request that Oswego be banned from commenting one day a year. Just so we can all take a break from the scare quotes and histrionic carrying on. I’d give $250 to Lutheran social services just to not see his incessant clamoring for 1 day.


  137. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Dec 16, 20 @ 7:59 am:

    Gravy Bond why don’t you just give to Lutheran social services because it’s the right thing to do? OW is a force of nature. As constant as the tides. Maybe work towards understanding why he gets under your skin. Maybe he’s right? I always go to him when I don’t understand something. I invite you to use his words as the resource they are. Sure counter him with good logic if you can. But he’s not wrong. And shutting him up obviously won’t get him out of your head.


  138. - Essential State Employee - Wednesday, Dec 16, 20 @ 8:12 am:

    ==Most State employees are working from home and have been since the pandemic started.==

    All Secretary of State employees have been back at work in the office since June 1st. After the end of the spring stay-at-home order. Despite the drivers facilities being closed to the public since mid-November due to increased COVID cases and new mitigations.


  139. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Dec 16, 20 @ 8:20 am:

    “tax eating downstate deserves the pain”

    One would think Republican districts who fear and detest “socialism” would welcome cuts.


  140. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Dec 16, 20 @ 8:23 am:

    =Can we as a group formally request=

    Speak for yourself, I didn’t see anyone elect you spokesperson for the blog.

    SO, to summarize- the governor announces his opening round of budget cuts and the ILGOP does what? Attacks him. He suggested a progressive income tax and the ILGOP does what? Attacks him.

    This is why the ILGOP is irrelevant. They are a one trick pony, with no solutions.

    People ask why should they get involved and offer solutions?

    That is what their constituents elected them to do, it is their job. If they don’t want to do it they should resign.


  141. - Jibba - Wednesday, Dec 16, 20 @ 8:41 am:

    Tired of getting an education? Maybe Facebook is for you.


  142. - Essential State Employee - Wednesday, Dec 16, 20 @ 8:45 am:

    ==Might be nice to press the govenor as to why CMS is moving the IL Dept. Of Labor at a much higher cost than what it was paying.

    Tax payer waste is taxpayer waste. Theres rumor he is moving for his own reasons and nobody wants to move.==

    Do you know where the Labor office in question is located, and where it’s moving to? Is it in Springfield, Chicago, or elsewhere?


  143. - Really - Wednesday, Dec 16, 20 @ 8:47 am:

    JS Mill,

    I will hop on the Oswego Willy needs a day off bandwagon. Anytime something is posted from a different point of view there is OW to belittle the point, state his point of view and why it is so superior to everyone else’s. I thought this was a place where people could comment and provide opinions, not just wait for the self appointed to diss anything he disagreed with. I don’t agree with many of the posts on this blog but I do enjoy reading it and trying to understand other’s points of view. And they are entitled to their beliefs whether I agree with them or not. Wish OW felt the same way.


  144. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Dec 16, 20 @ 8:59 am:

    Really,

    So there are two of you. Everyone needs a friend. But not really a bandwagon is it. More of a two person carriage.


  145. - City Zen - Wednesday, Dec 16, 20 @ 9:03 am:

    ==“tax eating downstate deserves the pain”==

    I’m surrounded by tax eaters in suburban Cook County. Don’t forget them.


  146. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 16, 20 @ 9:09 am:

    === I’m surrounded by tax eaters in suburban Cook County. Don’t forget them.===

    As you already know… over and over… it’s about the 177 and the tax eating map.

    - JS Mill -

    Let it go. And thanks.


  147. - SadKasperisgone - Wednesday, Dec 16, 20 @ 11:01 am:

    Does this hiring freeze apply to all state agencies?


  148. - Mason born - Wednesday, Dec 16, 20 @ 11:35 am:

    Really,

    I’m curious are you required to read every commentator? If you think Willy’s musings annoy you there’s this technique called scrolling that skips right over it. it’s amazing.


  149. - Mason born - Wednesday, Dec 16, 20 @ 11:42 am:

    To the post, it was inappropriate in my mind for the governor to budget with the assumption that the Fair Tax was a lock. Kind of like Griswold in Christmas vacation spending on a bonus check he hadn’t received.

    That said closing and consolidating prisons because they aren’t full is a Very, Very good thing. we have some really old facilities whose maintenance costs are considerably higher then newer facilities (Statesville, Menard, etc). Good time to mothball them, and offer transfers and early retirement to those employees. It really isn’t much different then a factory relocation, you move with it or find a new job.


  150. - Thomas Paine - Wednesday, Dec 16, 20 @ 11:48 am:

    $250 seems kinda cheap.

    I will stay away for a day if someone wants to pledge $1000.


  151. - Veil of Ignorance - Wednesday, Dec 16, 20 @ 12:53 pm:

    If there’s a silver lining in the current situation, perhaps it’s more members will scrutinize the cost-effectiveness of an incarceration and policing-heavy strategy towards public safety vs other policy investment options with better/more promising results.


  152. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Dec 16, 20 @ 2:46 pm:

    (Tips cap, humbly, to - Honeybear -)


  153. - Under dog - Wednesday, Dec 16, 20 @ 10:06 pm:

    I think management should should be cut with their head count and salaries first. Stop paying for building leases and let us continue to work from home. We have dedicated ourselves to keeping this state and the public running


  154. - Bruce - Thursday, Dec 17, 20 @ 11:52 am:

    Lets be honest, trust in government is at all-time low. Money flow to perceived bottom-less pits of perceived mismanaged cities and states exacerbates the defeatism.


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