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Budget stuff

Thursday, Feb 18, 2021

* You have to wade through a whole lot of heat to get to the light, but at least there is some in this Capitol News Illinois story, including

The budget calls for a full pension payment and increases funding for the Department of Children and Family Services by 7.9 percent. Pritzker also asked lawmakers to pass a standalone bill increasing spending for the Illinois Department of Employment Security by $60 million in federal funds for the current fiscal year and called for an added $73 million for the current fiscal year in federal funds. […]

Pritzker’s budget proposal also calls for an 8 percent reduction, or $638 million, in Medicaid expenses. That’s because the federal government has increased its share of Medicaid funding by 6.2 percentage points through the end of 2021 as part of its pandemic response plan.

Local governments also would see a cut in financial assistance they get from the state. The Local Government Distributive Fund, or LGDF, which gives local governments a share of the income tax revenue the state collects, would only be funded at 90 percent, but officials in the governor’s office said they expect that cut to be offset by gains the municipalities would realize through the closing of corporate tax loopholes.

Budget officials also claimed the budget shortfall for the current fiscal year has been addressed through the federal borrowing, $700 million in operational cuts and revenues performing better than projections. The state is now projecting a surplus of $77 million for the current fiscal year, along with the ability to prepay some of the Municipal Liquidity Facility borrowing from the previous fiscal year.

As subscribers know, local government actually comes out ahead in the budget plan. But that isn’t stopping mayors from claiming the sky is falling

City and county leaders in McLean County said Wednesday one of Gov. JB Pritzker’s budget proposals is a bad idea.

The governor has proposed taking 10% of the income tax money it currently shares with cities, towns, and counties through the Local Government Distributive Fund.

Normal Mayor Chris Koos said the proposal is ruinous.

“This will be crippling to municipalities across the state of Illinois if this is to go through. We’re already seeing a significant decrease in revenues because of COVID-19 and this is just another slap to cities,” said Koos.

I mean, even the Illinois Municipal League admits it

However, the Governor is also proposing that various tax loopholes for corporations be closed or modified. The Governor’s Office projects that these changes, if enacted as proposed, will provide local governments with an increase of $228 million statewide in LGDF disbursements.

That would more than offset the proposed $152 million reduction.

* Sun-Times

State Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, who is expected to announce a run for governor in 2022, said he sat for “30-plus minutes today and listened to a grown man whine, complain and blame absolutely everything — past and present — except himself and his own party, as to the woes and the demise of the state of Illinois.

“This budget remains at least $1.7 billion out of whack,” Bailey said. “And this budget has several provisions that he claimed as corporate loopholes that are nothing but tax increases on business and job killers for the state.”

The Senate Republicans are claiming the budget is $1.7 billion out of balance because politically difficult statutory changes will be required to capture that revenue (corporate loopholes and fund transfers). It’s a legit hit.

But, Senator, now you know how the rest of us feel about your antics.

Click here for a one-pager on the loophole closures. Click here for more on the proposed fund transfers.

* Sen. Terri Bryant in the Southern

“Just months ago, the voters of this state rejected the administration’s attempt to increase personal income taxes and now that tough decisions have to be made to compensate for the governor’s irresponsible spending, the governor is doubling down,” Bryant said in a statement provided to the newspaper.

“The budget put forth today is $1.7 billion out-of-balance, cuts funding to our Department of Corrections, redirects critical funding from Illinois’ infrastructure and eliminates hundreds of millions of dollars in business incentives.

“At a time when the hardworking families and the job creators of this state need responsible leadership the most, Gov. Pritzker is once again failing them,” Bryant said.

You can’t really say it’s $1.7 billion out of balance if you also claim it eliminates corporate loopholes because that’s where the money is coming from to fill the hole. Also, most of the IDOC decrease is due to phasing out Illinois Correctional Industries. They’re going with a more rehab-oriented system.


Rep. Amy Elik (R-Alton) says it fails to include a plan to pay off $5 billion in unpaid bills.

“And there is no realistic plan to pay of the $4.3-billion the state recently borrowed,” Elik says, as a Certified Public Accountant, she doesn’t believe it’s at all a balanced budget.

The state’s bill “backlog” is indeed about $5 billion. But when it gets to somewhere around $3 billion, the state can pay bills within 30 days. Paying off the complete backlog wouldn’t make much sense at a time like this. Then again, it always seems like we’re having those times.

And the state is budgeting for some debt repayment this and next fiscal year, although payments on some internal debt to special funds is being pushed off.

* The Politico story is kinda all over the place

Republicans immediately pounced, criticizing the plan for relying on unrestricted federal aid to help fund state health departments and pay off debt. Pritzker’s plan does not include any additional stimulus money from the Biden administration.

Pritzker’s budget will now be dissected by the Democratic-led General Assembly, where lawmakers will have their way with the numbers.

What really sticks in the craw of Republicans is Pritzker’s proposal to pull back on tax loopholes for businesses, which the governor’s offices says would create $1.5 billion in new revenue. They see it as Pritzker seeking vengeance on business groups who opposed the graduated income tax measure that failed in November.

No doubt there’s at least some vengeance here, but you gotta get the money from somewhere.

And it seems like everything sticks in their craw these days.

* The Tribune skipped past most of the budget and went right to politics

From the story

“None of these items are loopholes. They are incentives to grow jobs and educate children,” Durkin said.

“Loopholes, on the other hand, are what tycoons use to avoid paying taxes in Illinois, like parking money in the Cayman Islands or using questionable property tax exemptions,” he said, making note of personal tax practices for which the billionaire governor previously has been criticized.

While Pritzker seems eager to blame Republicans for the failure of the graduated income tax proposal, Durkin said, it was rejected by a “tri-partisan effort” of Republicans, Democrats and independents.

“It’s time for the General Assembly to bring the governor back to reality,” he said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - walker - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 12:01 pm:

    When you go to the”tycoons” and “Cayman Islands” message, it means you’re out of any real points.

  2. - Southern Skeptic - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 12:14 pm:

    GOP is so clearly fumbling around looking for a message. They expected a different set of revenue increases and the gov didn’t play their game. Now they’re stuck with screaming about the budget being out of balance and pretending they weren’t around and supporting Rauner from 2015-2019.

  3. - Essential State Employee - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 12:17 pm:

    From the looks of his headline, Bruce Rushton doesn’t have kind words for the upcoming $170K State Capitol renovations that will be starting this summer. Legislators and staff will be moving into the Stratton, and forcing out the CMS staff already working there:

  4. - Southern Skeptic - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 12:18 pm:

    BTW, that Trib headline is bizarre. I heard the speech and didn’t hear the slightest bit of defensiveness on the pandemic. On the contrary - I heard a governor on the offensive against the GOP ostriches who preferred to pretend the pandemic was a hoax. His pandemic response is a huge strength.

  5. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 12:24 pm:

    I have never seen a good time for doing Statehouse work.

    In good budget years, people scream the funds should be used to expand human services or increase spending in other areas. In tough budget years, people scream “how could you do this right now”.

    Doesn’t matter how the repairs are being paid for or how urgent the repairs are or how much money the repairs will save the State. People will complain.

  6. - Dan Johnson - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 12:24 pm:

    Does that mean “paying off the backlog” = $3B not 0? In a cash flow / accounting sense, not a political messaging sense. So if we pay our vendors in 30 days, does having $3B as a backlog basically mean we’re good or is that a not-ideal-but-reasonable-since-COVID amount of backlog?

  7. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 12:30 pm:

    If Bailey was hearing what he says, he must have been listening to himself.

  8. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 12:31 pm:

    ===basically mean we’re good ===


  9. - Juvenal - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 12:44 pm:

    Democrats and Republicans should say No to the budget increase for DCFS without greater transparency and accountability.

    The acting director is a joke. The acting inspector general is a joke. They are in violation of their own LGTBQA policies. They have promised transparency on contracts and still not delivered. child deaths are still at record levels. They’ve forced out their inspector general and a whistleblower who was overseeing child abuse investigations.

    The General Assembly hit the pause button on DCFS oversight during the pandemic. It’s time to get back to work.

  10. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 12:46 pm:

    ===Bruce Rushton doesn’t have kind words===

    Everybody hates stuff like that until the building starts to crumble. lol

  11. - Simple Simon - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 12:55 pm:

    ===listened to a grown man whine, complain and blame===

    …about masks?

    And once again, with feeling: they don’t like the cuts and they don’t like the spending. How irrelevant.

  12. - DuPage - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 1:08 pm:

    Speaking of loopholes, I read lots of big companies make billions and pay little or no federal income tax. Someone said the Illinois income tax is based on the federally taxable income. Do these companies also not pay Illinois income tax?

  13. - Roman - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 1:09 pm:

    == Senate Republicans are claiming the budget is $1.7 billion out of balance because politically difficult statutory changes will be required ==

    Didn’t Bruce Rauner account for something like a $3 billion shortfall by writing “working on a grand bargain” directly into one of his budgets?

  14. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 1:31 pm:

    A Republican bringing up the bill backlog is merely a reminder of their failed leader who grew the backlog by 8 billion.

  15. - Frank talks - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 2:05 pm:

    Who’s Amy Elik?

  16. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 3:53 pm:

    “The budget calls for a full pension payment”

    This is good. Any positive reaction from the usual pension debt scolds?

  17. - Highland IL - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 5:52 pm:

    ===Who’s Amy Elik?===
    Another downstate GOP State Representative who will take a state paycheck but not bring anything to the table. Plus she has the added Madison County GOP schtick of hiding behind the three letters, “CPA”.

  18. - Essential State Employee - Thursday, Feb 18, 21 @ 6:02 pm:

    =Another downstate GOP State Representative who will take a state paycheck but not bring anything to the table. Plus she has the added Madison County GOP schtick of hiding behind the three letters, “CPA”.=

    And probably most likely to be remapped with Bourne or Davidsmeyer in less than two years.

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