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Illinois Policy Institute news service scores exclusive Rauner interview

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

* Watch it

He’s still insisting that negotiations with the Senate are the key to getting this thing wrapped up. The Senate doesn’t appear to be all that interested, however.

- Posted by Rich Miller   52 Comments      

Dispute erupts over how many people can attend a meeting

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

* Among other things, today’s letter from Gov. Rauner’s chief of staff Richard Goldberg to House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie was just debated on the House floor…

May 24, 2017

Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie
300 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706

Dear Leader Currie:

As you know, last week I privately offered to meet with you one-on-one in response to your public request for a meeting. At that time, you refused to meet with me in an initial one-on-one meeting.

I write today to renew my offer. If you are sincere about your willingness to support changes to our broken system – like real and lasting property tax relief – you should have no reason to refuse to meet.

In recent weeks, Governor Rauner and key Illinois business leaders invited Speaker Madigan to come to a meeting to discuss these issues. Unfortunately, the Speaker refused to meet. Now you claim publicly that you want to meet to discuss the budget and reforms, but privately refuse to meet with me one-on-one.

We have a few days left in the regular session. If you are sincere about reaching a balanced budget agreement, I look forward to meeting with you.

Very respectfully,

Richard A. Goldberg
Chief of Staff
Office of the Governor

* Madigan’s spokesman Steve Brown told me this afternoon that instead of meeting with Rauner and the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club, Madigan just decided to meet one-on-one with the governor last month. “There was really no purpose involving them,” Brown said of the Civic Committee. “We had their report,” which was recently released to the public.

During today’s floor debate, it was revealed that Leader Currie told Goldberg that while she wouldn’t meet with him alone, she offered instead to bring along the other negotiators appointed by Speaker Madigan earlier this month. Goldberg flatly refused her offer.

“I don’t know what they’re afraid of,” Brown said of the governor’s staff. “Why don’t they want to have a meeting?”

I was told earlier today that Goldberg wanted to gauge how sincere this effort was by first meeting one-on-one with Currie. And, indeed, bringing a bunch of people to a meeting is a classic way of slowing down a process - a tactic Madigan has used many times in the past.

But here we are, with a week to go before the scheduled adjournment, and they can’t even agree on a simple thing like a sit-down.

- Posted by Rich Miller   47 Comments      

ILGOP unleashes robocalls in wake of Senate tax hike vote

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

* Press release…

Last night, Democrats in Springfield abandoned compromise and rammed through a massive tax hike on a party-line vote. Their plan includes no real reform to grow jobs and no property tax relief for homeowners.

Today, the Illinois Republican Party is highlighting their disastrous decision with statewide and targeted robocalls.

Statewide robocalls highlight the Democrat’s tax-hike plan, and how Democratic candidates for Governor are falling in line behind the Madigan Tax Hike agenda.

* The statewide robocall

* Statewide script…

Last night, Illinois Democrats took the first step in enacting a major tax hike without reforms.

It’s part of a scheme pushed by House Speaker Mike Madigan and Democrat candidates for governor like Chris Kennedy and J.B. Pritzker.

They’ve said Illinois’ top priority should be raising taxes by billions without reforms.

And yesterday, Democrat state senators voted to increase the income tax by 32% on every Illinoisan.

They passed a new sales tax on everyday services like Netflix, dry cleaning and television.

And chose to let property taxes continue to skyrocket.

The Democrats’ Tax Hike agenda is wrong for Illinois.

Instead, it’s time to pass real reforms to create jobs and a real property tax freeze to give homeowners relief.

Paid for by the Illinois Republican Party.

* Back to the press release…

Additional robocalls will target Democratic House members in competitive districts. Democratic House members can stand up to Mike Madigan and kill this disastrous tax hike.

The following House districts will receive the call.

    HD 15 – John D’Amico
    HD 17 – Laura Fine
    HD 18 – Robyn Gabel
    HD 43 – Anna Moeller
    HD 44 – Fred Crespo
    HD46 – Deb Conroy
    HD 55 – Marty Moylan
    HD 56 – Michelle Mussman
    HD 57 – Elaine Nekritz
    HD 59 – Carol Sente
    HD 62 – Sam Yingling
    HD 72 – Mike Halpin
    HD 84 – Stephanie Kifowit
    HD 98 – Natalie Manley
    HD 96 – Sue Scherer
    HD 111 – Dan Besier
    HD 112 – Katie Stuart
    HD 116 – Jerry Costello
    HD 118 – Brandon Phelps

* Sample of the targeted robocalls

* Targeted script…

Hi, this is Caroline with an urgent tax hike alert.

Repeat, this is an urgent tax hike alert.

Last night, with little debate, Senate Democrats in Springfield passed one of the largest tax hikes in state history.

Their plan will raise the income tax on every Illinoisan by 32%.

They passed huge taxes on everyday services like Netflix, dry cleaning and television.

And they chose to let property taxes continue to skyrocket.

Now the bill goes to Mike Madigan’s House for a vote.

You can help stop the tax hikes.

State representative Brandon Phelps, your representative in Springfield, can vote against the tax hike.

Call Rep. Phelps. Tell him to vote against the Madigan Tax Hike before it’s too late.

And tell Rep. Phelps it’s time to pass real reforms to create jobs and a real property tax freeze to give homeowners relief.

Paid for by the Illinois Republican Party

- Posted by Rich Miller   47 Comments      

It’s just a bill

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

* Cullerton’s spin via Whet Moser

It’s simultaneously a reconciliation, tangling up the layers of policies that have emerged over the past couple years, and an ultimatum, tying it off—whether it works as politics inside the statehouse or outside it.

“We passed Bruce Rauner’s budget today and the income tax that he asked for,” Cullerton said. “How’s that for an answer? Is that a good answer?”


While Illinois’ historic 22-month budget impasse has again dominated the legislative session in Springfield, state lawmakers have also grappled with how to respond to Chicago’s gun violence.

One high-profile bill aimed at stemming the violence would impose longer prison sentences for repeat gun offenders. Under the proposal, people caught with an illegal gun a second time would face a maximum 14-year sentence. Judges could issue shorter punishments if they explain their reasons. Currently, the maximum sentence is seven years.

The bill has already passed the Senate, and needs approval in the House and from Gov. Bruce Rauner, who said he’ll sign it in its current form. The idea is nothing new in Springfield, but this time the opposition is coming from Chicago Democrats, not downstate Republicans or the National Rifle Association.

Here’s how politics are playing into the debate

* Press release

[Yesterday] the Illinois Senate voted 34-24-1 in favor of passing SB 1719. The legislation places a privilege tax on Hedge Fund and Private Equity Managers like Bruce Rauner and Ken Griffin who exploit a federal tax loophole to get a lower tax rate than that paid by many working Americans.

Amisha Patel, Executive Director of Grassroots Collaborative, explained, “This is great news for Illinois residents that have been languishing under an extended budget impasse. Illinois needs new revenue. SB 1719 generates significant revenue – raising it from those who have profited for years off of a rigged tax system, instead of asking for more sacrifices from our most vulnerable residents.”

“This is an important step in creating the kind of state we want to live in,” stated Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), lead sponsor of SB 1719. “We have a small group of very wealthy individuals using an archaic loophole to avoid paying their share, at the expense of other taxpayers and vital social services. Illinois now has an opportunity to right this wrong, to move towards greater fairness, and raise $1.7 billion in new annual revenue that our state desperately needs.”

* From one of Dan Proft’s papers

Despite his loudly voiced objections, Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) must now count on colleagues in the House to stop a bill that will set up a “Small Donor” matching program for candidates running for some offices in Illinois.

Senate Bill 1424, reintroduced to the Senate by Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), would allow candidates for governor, attorney general, comptroller, treasurer, secretary of state, state senator and state representative to opt into the program.

Only donations of $500 or less would be allowed under the program, with contributions of $25 to $150 being matched at a 6 to 1 ratio.

Biss has argued that the program levels the playing field by giving small donors more power in elections, but Righter called it another money grab that will hurt taxpayers already financially strapped.

“Despite the amendment that has been filed, the message back home and the question that you all will be answering if you vote for this would be, ‘Wait a minute, senator, you voted to spend my hard-earned tax dollars, including the tax increase, on the campaigns that we’ve been seeing for the last few years?’” Righter said.

- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      

Question of the day

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

* From a loyal reader…


I am attaching some artwork that I had a friend of mine in Carbondale, Brad Moore, illustrate for me. It’s a “Budget Man” on the side of a milk carton, like the old missing person photos. My plan is to put this on a T Shirt and sell them online and take the profits (about $10 per shirt) and give that money to some social service providers in Illinois that are being starved by the lack of a budget. I was thinking starting small and just publicizing it here in Southern Illinois and giving the money to the Women’s Center in Carbondale. […]

Will Stephens

WXAN General Manager
Mayor of Murphysboro

* This would go on the front of the t-shirt…

But Will is wondering if he should put a message on the back, perhaps to motivate people to act. I suggested we consult the hive mind. So…

* The Question: What slogan or message should be on the back of this t-shirt?

- Posted by Rich Miller   52 Comments      

It’s not 4.95 percent, it’s 5.81 percent for the rest of this year

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Under the Senate plan, which passed Tuesday on a partisan vote of 32-26, the [income] tax rate would nearly return to what it was: Illinois residents are looking at paying a rate of 4.95 percent on their income taxes. Corporations would see their taxes rise, too, with the rate edging from 5.25 percent to 7 percent.

Both hikes would be retroactive, going back to January.

* Illinois Policy Institute

Because the income tax hike is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2017, personal income taxpayers will pay an effective tax rate of 5.81 percent on their earnings for the remainder of the year.

The reason it’s backdated is because the grand bargain was originally designed in January to fix the hole in Fiscal Year 2017, the current fiscal year. So the plan all along has been to make it retroactive to January 1st.

That would’ve been no problem if the grand bargain had passed in January or February, but Gov. Rauner demanded the Senate fix the Fiscal Year 2018 hole as well and then punted the problem to the chamber during his February budget address. And when Rauner derailed the package on March 1st it took almost two more months to patch something together, and by then it was a partisan plan.

So, more delays will mean an even higher effective tax rate for the rest of this calendar year unless they simply write off FY 17 like they already have with FY 16.

- Posted by Rich Miller   24 Comments      

Far more heat than light

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

* Apparently, this situation calls for a futile gesture on somebody’s part. In this case, a front-page editorial

A year ago we declared “Enough.” The day after, the governor and lawmakers passed a six-month stopgap spending plan that did not provide lasting stability. That’s not good enough.

It’s time to demand that Governor Rauner and our lawmakers do what is right. It’s time for the budget to come first. To not do so will cement their legacy with one word that encapsulates the sorry condition of our state.


* Except here’s how the SJ-R described the Senate’s fairly reasonable balanced budget proposal

Every sign of progress has been marred by partisan politics. A budget was approved Tuesday by the Senate — with no Republican support. Even if the House concurs, Rauner likely will veto a measure only supported by Democrats. A bipartisan compromise is needed for Illinois to persevere.

A bipartisan compromise is required, but sometimes you gotta force the issue. So instead of saying the Senate’s bills should be put on Rauner’s desk and he should sign them, or at the very least the Senate’s proposal should be used as a template for a final deal, they punted.

* From the Sun-Times editorial

That Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Illinois House and Senate would allow Illinois to stumble through yet a third year without a budget, as bills and debt pile up and businesses and residents leave, is beyond irresponsible.

And spare us the lecture about the need for structural reform first. If Illinois keeps going like this, there won’t be much to structure or reform.

* But

Meanwhile, Rauner and the Legislature — most specifically House Speaker Mike Madigan — have shown zero political courage. At least Senate President John Cullerton has stuck his neck out, pushing a spending plan through the Senate on Tuesday, without a single Republican vote, that includes tax increases and spending cuts.

Rauner is running political ads, the goofy ones with the duct tape, laying the groundwork for his re-election next year. But he is not governing. As we said in a previous editorial, the first and most basic job of a CEO — and a governor is a CEO — is to produce a budget. The buck stops there.

And Madigan? Mike is being Mike, as inscrutable as ever. Nobody’s can be sure if he has any interest in passing a state budget at this point, or if he’s biding time until he can run Rauner out of Springfield.

And yet no endorsement of the Senate’s plan.

The budget can’t be balanced without actual legislation. The Senate Democrats are the only people in the Statehouse who have passed just such a package of bills. If you really want to drive the argument, then endorse a specific proposal. Maybe even back the plan devised by the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago. Or the Illinois Policy Institute’s plan. Or Sen. McCarter’s plan. Something. Anything. Just pick a freaking lane, already.

Encouraging people to angrily vent over the phone without any direction is irresponsible and plays right into the hands of both Rauner and Madigan.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      

Caption contest!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

* A camouflage hat at a Boston concert?…

- Posted by Rich Miller   76 Comments      

*** UPDATED x1 *** “Eyes are back on to the Senate”?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

* AP

The Illinois General Assembly is back to work after the Senate approved a major spending package.

Eyes are back on to the Senate on Wednesday to see how negotiations will shape up between majority Democrats and Republicans over issues important to Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The Senate approved a $5.4 billion tax increase for a $37.3 billion spending plan Tuesday. Republicans said Democrats were walking away from attempts to trade a tax increase for a local property tax freeze and Rauner-demanded reductions in the cost of the workers’ compensation system.

* A Senate Republican operative was super cheerful this morning about the spotlight finally being off that chamber after months of turmoil, and then I shared the above link. The response…

Who told them that?

I don’t think anybody did. The Senate President’s spokesman said he’s not aware of any scheduled negotiations on property taxes or workers’ comp. Cullerton is open to such negotiations, however.

The governor may want these talks to stay in the Senate, but those days are over unless he comes up with a new path.

The ball is in Madigan’s court now.

…Adding… This

“All of these cries for more time, please allow me to say you have more time in the other chamber,” said Sen. Toi Hutchinson.

*** UPDATE ***  I explained some possible House scenarios to subscribers this morning and told them about Springfield’s special visitor. Here’s Greg Hinz

About two hours after Illinois Senate Democrats sucked it up and approved a big tax-hike bill late yesterday, two other figures were seen dining at a Springfield restaurant: Michael Sacks, a confidant and emissary for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Consider it a sign that the inevitable finally has arrived. […]

That leaves Madigan in position to box in Rauner. But what will he actually do?

Sacks, who was good enough to email me, isn’t saying — if he knows. About all he’ll disclose is: “I came down with a group to talk about education funding. With the prospect of a new formula and significant revenue, it is really important to get things right. It was great to be able to catch up with (Senate) President (John) Cullerton and Speaker Madigan and other leadership.” […]

Madigan spokesman Steve Brown says the speaker and governor are not now scheduled to talk. But he does allow that a Madigan budget and revenue package likely will emerge in committee “over the weekend.” It looks like that will be the first solid indication of the shape of the world.

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      

*** UPDATED x2 *** Mendoza warns of “breaking point”

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

* Crain’s

A federal judge could decide today whether insurers collectively owed more than $2 billion by the state of Illinois can move to the front of the long line of vendors waiting to get paid.

If they win, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza, who pays the state’s bills, says she could lose the little room she has to decide who gets paid first. Currently, she says, she prioritizes payments for agencies that care for the most vulnerable populations: children, elderly and people with disabilities, among others. […]

The bill backlog for vendors has reached $14.4 billion, Mendoza said. Of that, private insurers that are contracted to manage the care of about two-thirds of Illinois’ 3.1 million Medicaid recipients are owed more than $2 billion. The budget crisis has created a ripple effect: When insurers don’t get paid, they don’t pay doctors and hospitals. Patients, particularly those on the state health insurance plan, lose out if their providers turn them away or make them pay upfront for care. […]

Consent decrees and court orders dictate how about 90 percent of bills are paid. But Mendoza has the discretion to prioritize who gets the remaining 10 percent, a small pool of money she wants to protect.

If the insurers win their federal case, the comptroller could lose control to the court of where that money flows. A victory for the insurers could be a “breaking point” for Illinois, she said.

* More…

A question I’ve had for a while now is what happens when the state just doesn’t have the cash to satisfy all these court orders? Does a federal or state judge take charge? And which judge? The state is dealing with several federal consent decrees and a state court which has ordered employees are to be paid without an appropriation.

*** UPDATE 1 ***  The judge didn’t issue a ruling today. Both sides were told to return to court next Tuesday.

*** UPDATE 2 *** From the courtroom…

* From Tony’s story

Two years ago, Judge Joan Lefkow ordered the state must pay Medicaid providers even though it is operating without a budget. The state is now virtually out of money — its backlog of bills has grown beyond $14.2 billion — and Medicaid service providers said the state isn’t paying them fast enough.

During a Wednesday court hearing, Lefkow suggested that Medicaid payments be paid faster — but she stopped short of issuing a ruling. “I don’t know what I’m going to do here,” said Lefkow, who called for another court hearing next week, where she is expected to make a decision.

“It doesn’t seem right that Medicaid payments are being de-prioritized, shall we say,” Lefkow said. “Ultimately this comes down to a political issue.” […]

As the hearing concluded, Lefkow addressed the attorneys who have been representing the state government during the budget impasse.

“I don’t envy you,” Lefkow said.

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      

Can an oligarch be a progressive?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

* Tribune

After giving a typically fiery speech on Tuesday to those gathered at a City Club of Chicago luncheon in which she denounced Gov. Bruce Rauner and his No. 1 supporter, billionaire Ken Griffin, for contributing $70 million between them to re-elect Rauner, CTU president Karen Lewis was asked by Chicago Inc. what she thought of Pritzker’s largely self-funded campaign. […]

“Can one oligarch replace another oligarch?” Lewis responded, rhetorically. “What’s going to be different?”

Lewis said she’d met with all of the Democratic primary contenders, including Pritzker, adding that she’d shared her concerns with Pritzker about his estimated $3.4 billion wealth.

“He said, ‘But I’m a progressive,’” Lewis said. “I thought it was hilarious!”

“You don’t think that’s funny, that an oligarch thinks he’s progressive and says, ‘You know, I’m different’?!”

- Posted by Rich Miller   48 Comments      

*** UPDATED x2 - Kennedy responds - Pawar responds *** Pritzker, Biss respond to Senate budget votes

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

* Last night and then earlier this morning, I asked most of the Democratic gubernatorial campaigns for their response to the Senate’s passage of a budget that includes new revenues.

Here’s Galia Slayen at the JB Pritzker campaign…

“It’s been 693 days without a state budget. Our state’s finances are in shambles and working families across Illinois are paying the price. Rauner’s pet projects and stalling tactics aren’t going to get our state the relief it so desperately needs. It’s past time for Bruce Rauner to stop playing politics and figure out how to govern.”

Not exactly an answer to my question. The Pritzker campaign is also running “interactive digital banners highlighting the 693-day budget crisis that Bruce Rauner created”…

* Sen. Daniel Biss voted for the bills, and his state office sent this out after the vote…

“It’s time to stop the dangerous, unproductive, two-year staring contest in Springfield.

“A budget is a statement of priorities, and while this one is far from perfect, it reflects some core priorities – health care for the poor, P-12 schools, higher education, an increase in the tax credit for low-income workers and vital services for those who need our help. It offers some short-term stability by making different choices and calling on everyone to share the burden of cleaning up Gov. Bruce Rauner’s failures.

“But long-term solutions to our fiscal problems will require bigger reform to create a fair tax system. We must repeal our constitution’s unjust and unusual flat tax provision; we must finally require millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share; and we must eliminate the current carried interest tax loophole that allows the super wealthy to evade state taxes.

“That’s why I am pleased that today we made progress toward establishing each of these policies and building the fair economy that is our only hope for long-term economic health.

“These are the kinds of honest solutions that taxpayers want lawmakers to find the courage to pursue. Until we do that, we will continue to fight budget battles like these – battles that result in winners and lowers – over and over again.”

* I’ll let you know if I hear from the other campaigns. Ameya Pawar’s Twitter feed was silent on the topic, as was Bob Daiber’s and Chris Kennedy’s except for this response today to Gov. Rauner’s demand for a property tax freeze…

How about telling us what the “fix” would be? Say what you want about Rauner, but at least he has an idea.

Such an odd campaign.

…Adding… By the way, the Kennedy tweet links to a story that’s partially about JB Pritzker’s new online ad.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Ameya Pawar…

I applaud my friend Sen. Biss for his efforts on the carried interest bill and the public servants in the Illinois Senate for putting the most vulnerable, our public schools, our social service agencies, and the future of Illinois ahead of politics.

We now have confirmation - something we knew all along - that Governor Rauner and the Senate Republicans he controls never wanted a budget. Social services are collapsing and people are dying because of Governor Rauner’s failed leadership and the Senate Republicans are now complicit. They should be ashamed of themselves.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Kennedy campaign…

It’s a sad day when, after almost two years of stalemate and stubbornness from a failed governor, we appear no closer to resolving a budget crisis that’s holding the entire state hostage. Chris Kennedy believes taxes and cuts alone are not enough to solve our problems. Illinois needs fundamental change from top to bottom to restore the promise of this state, including an overhaul of the corruptible property tax system that we rely on to fund our public schools.

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      

In her dreams

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

* From the Illinois Policy Institute’s radio network

State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, said she prefiled to be a sponsor of the tax increase bill “because I think there’s a bigger conversation that needs to happen before there’s a tax increase.”

Ives said she’s not on board with any tax increase.

“There’s a lot of tax increases in here we shouldn’t even have a conversation about until we talk about cutting spending and doing more for the business community rather than making them the highest tax in the United States,” Ives said.

However, she says her attempts to control it in the House could be taken away from her through procedural moves.

She would love nothing more than a fight over sponsorship of SB 9, and that’s why I really doubt the House Democrats will do anything. Why make her into a national cable TV and talk radio martyr in her courageous and lonely battle against the entrenched Speaker Madigan? So, she’d better milk this for all it’s worth right now because at the end of the session she will almost undoubtedly still be the chief House sponsor of a huge tax increase.

* Politico

Now the bill moves to the House and into the safe hands of the staunch GOP anti-taxer state Rep. Jeanne Ives.

Screeeeech! Say what? Yup. Ives, a Republican, stealthily filed paperwork early in the session ensuring that the revenue bill to come out of what was then the so-called grand bargain would end up in her lap. So the Dems’ SB9 is slated to come to the same House member who told POLITICO last night she believes the state needs a “tax revolt.”

If the House Dems do decide to run a tax hike bill, they can shell out a Senate bill and amend it with their language. Or, they could use a House bill.

Remember, the Senate removed all the “if and only if” language from the grand bargain package that inextricably tied all those bills together. When Rep. Ives pre-filed for sponsorship back in February, that language was still in the grand bargain bills so her motion would’ve been a more important move. As it stands now, she’s merely sitting on a bill that can be easily copied.

No doubt this has great comedic value, and I’m all for that in times like these. But Ives’ move means nothing.

* Rep. Ives

“I want to be a part of the conversation when it comes to taxes and how any tax increase would impact hardworking Illinois families and job creators. Senate Bill 9 would give Illinois the highest taxes on employers of any state in the nation and make it more difficult for middle-income families to make ends meet. There is a bigger conversation that needs to be had before the state considers a tax increase; specifically on real property tax relief, responsible spending cuts and pro-business reforms to help create jobs in Illinois. I believe the best way for me to have a voice in that discussion is to control the bill in the House of Representatives as its sponsor.”

This sounds reasonable until you realize that no matter what sort of “bigger conversation” is had on property taxes, budget cuts and pro-business measures, Rep. Ives won’t be voting for a tax hike anyway.

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      

Support High-Performing Charter Schools

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

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Charter schools operate best when local communities, parents, teachers and school boards work together to offer the best options possible for all of our children. HB 768 supports that effort and promotes local control in establishing quality public charter schools.

The State Charter School Commission will remain in its current role as the authorizing entity for currently existing state-mandated charter schools. Their effective work in this role will not be impeded in any way with the passage of HB 768.

Let’s work together to ensure quality public charter schools for all the children in Illinois. Support HB 768.

- Posted by Advertising Department   Comments Off      

“I’m a big believer in win-win”

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

* We talked yesterday about a question posted by Edward Hadnott during Gov. Rauner’s Facebook Live event

What happened to the art of compromise? I know its not perfect but I feel that you, Madigan and Cullerton should work out a budget where the people win. I feel that you, Madigan and Cullerton let your ego’s get in the way of progress. Remember you, Madigan and Cullerton were elected by the people. Serve the people period.

The governor only read the first sentence, then gave a long, rambling response that appeared to indicate Democrats needed to compromise with him, not the other way around.

* Mark Brown tracked down Hadnott

It got me to thinking that I’d rather hear more of what Hadnott had to say than to listen to another day of everyone blaming each other in Springfield, so I tracked him down. […]

Some of you are saying “Amen,” [about Rauner’s response] and some are wondering how anybody could compromise with a fellow with that kind of tin ear. […]

[Hadnott’s] premise is simple: “I feel like three reasonable people should be able to sit down and work this out. It wouldn’t be perfect. But it would be better.”

“You can’t just have it all your way,” Hadnott said.

“In a compromise, I get A, B and C, and you get D, E and F. They keep saying win-lose. I’m a big believer in win-win.

I think that’s how a lot of people see it, and while those of us who follow these matters closely might get bogged down on the details, Hadnott is expressing the essence of the common man’s frustration over living in a state now on Day 694 without a budget.”

Hadnott also said that while he believes the governor is interested in finding a middle ground, he ought to stop talking so much about the past: “No one wants to hear about the past mistakes. The issue is where do we go from here?”

Anyway, click here and go read the whole thing. Brown gives props to the commenters here as well, so let’s run up his page-view count.

- Posted by Rich Miller   45 Comments      

Unkind headlines

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

* They’re not inaccurate…

* AP: Illinois Senate Democrats vote for $5.4 billion tax increase: Senate Democrats added spending to a budget plan Tuesday to lure more Democratic support before voting to approve a $5.4 billion tax increase without a single Republican “aye.”

* SJ-R: Senate Dems approve $5.4B tax increase; budget fight continues: Opting to stop waiting for Republican support, Illinois Senate Democrats Tuesday moved ahead with a tax-hike-and-spending plan aimed at finally trying to end a stalemate that has left the state without a permanent budget for nearly two years.

* Tribune: Illinois Senate Democrats pass major tax hikes unlikely to become law: Illinois Senate Democrats on Tuesday opted to go their own way and passed a politically risky measure to hike the income tax and expand the sales tax, drawing the very reactions that almost surely doom the plan to failure.

* WGN: Illinois Senate approves 32 percent income tax hike in party-line vote: Illinois Senate Democrats decided to go it alone in the budget battle Monday, approving a spending plan that would raise the income tax rate in the state by 32 percent in a party-line vote.

* WJBC: Local Republicans decry income tax hike: Central Illinois Republicans were unanimous in slamming a proposed $5.4 billion tax increase which the Illinois Senate pushed through Tuesday with no GOP support.

* Some were more neutral, however…

* Sun-Times: Senate Dems call budget a ‘compromise’— but GOP calls it ‘incomplete’: Illinois Senate Democrats passed what they called a “compromise” budget on Tuesday, even though it attracted no Republican votes, was denounced by the GOP and failed to include the one piece Gov. Bruce Rauner said was most important.

* Public Radio: Illinois Democrats Pass Budget Proposal in Senate: The Illinois Senate passed a budget package Tuesday after a similar plan failed last week. The difference was several new “yes” votes from liberal Democrats. No Republicans supported either plan.

* Fox Springfield: Three Budget Related Bills Pass in the Senate: There was movement Tuesday at the Capitol, as three vital bills passed in the Senate.

* Bond Buyer: Illinois Senate Democrats go it alone on budget: Forging ahead on their own, Illinois Senate Democrats sent on to the House a $37.3 billion fiscal 2018 budget that relies on more than $5 billion of new tax revenue to help stabilize the state’s rocky finances.

- Posted by Rich Miller   68 Comments      

Modernize the Vital Records Act - Support HB 1785

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

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* Question of the day
* Call for bipartisan cooperation met with accusations
* Kennedy talks property taxes, school funding, but won't reveal his "fix"
* ILGOP targets Rep. Martwick with robocall
* Unclear on the concept
* Pritzker robocall: "Don't believe Bruce Rauner's lies"
* Inside the Senate Democrats' minds
* It's just a bill
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Rauner again refuses to accept responsibility or admit mistakes
* Pritzker to get firefighter nod, runs new ads, slammed by Trib, ILGOP
* "Right To Know" Is Wrong For Illinois. Vote No On SB1502
* *** UPDATED x1 - Rauner blames "procurement process" *** Another day, another warehouse lease probed
* CPS borrowing tab rises to $900 million
* Caption contest!
* Citigroup "strongly" urges clients to buy Illinois bonds
* Fingers point over continued Chicago population loss
* After years of ginning up pension envy, BGA finally clears the air
* *** UPDATED x1 - Pritzker responds *** Rauner gets deer in the headlights look after Proft question
* Department of Revenue finds problems with proposed service tax
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

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* Power plays not productive - Champaign/Urbana N.....
* Voice of The Southern: Thumbs up to nurses deal.....
* Morning Spin: Chris Kennedy to announce the nex.....
* Dispute over CPS money latest snag in longtime .....
* Dispute over CPS money latest snag in longtime .....
* Morning Spin: Chris Kennedy to announce the nex.....
* Rauner: Give local voters control over property.....

* EXCHANGE: Suburban Chicago masonic lodge turns 100 years old
* State recognizes Illinois 'Airport of the Year' recipients
* Officials: Starved Rock visitors should be patient, cautious
* Illinoisans encouraged to observe 'Moment of Remembrance'
* 100 years after JFK's birth, descendants discuss his legacy
* Metra to repair, replace bridges, build new station
* Chicago court stays deportation of pizza worker to Mexico
* Illinois sheriff halts plans for immigrant detention center
* Man sentenced to life for 2 deaths in botched bank robbery
* Bill would ease gender-ID change for transgender citizens

* Push for downtown Springfield casino taking shape
* Push for Springfield casino taking shape
* Push for smaller Springfield casino taking shape
* Census: Springfield population drops below 2010 levels
* Census: Springfield-Sangamon Co. population drops below 2010 levels
* Senate panel questions state warehouse leasing process
* Senate committee questions the leasing process in which Illinois acquires warehouses
* Trump budget draws different Illinois reviews
* Bernard Schoenburg: Senate Democrats take action; situation still tense
* Illinois House begins review of Senate Democrats' budget plan

* Judge tosses out McPier suit against Uber, Lyft
* The illogical reason your electricity bills are going up
* WBEZ parent hiring for big news expansion
* Union Station is on its way back, but it needs one more thing
* The hidden Union Station: Take a tour

* Man shot on West Side
* Man charged with South Shore shooting
* Honda Accord is a perennial mid-size favorite
* 3 people shot at Stickney bar
* 3 killed, 4 wounded in Thursday shootings on South, Southwest sides
* Man fatally shot in Albany Park
* Police searching for 53-year-old woman taken from Lansing nursing home
* 50-year-old mentally disabled woman reported missing from Albany Park
* Elderly pair assaulted during home invasion, robbery in Belmont Cragin
* Man seriously wounded in Washington Park shooting

* All aboard: Joliet Rocket steamin' into town
* Cheap out: Five fun things to do for free
* Quigley says Russia probe is 'in its infancy'
* Chicago in epicenter of charter school teacher contract disputes
* Local veterans sought for Library of Congress oral history project
* Masked gunmen attack bus carrying Coptic Christians in Egypt, killing at least 26
* U.S.-led airstrikes in eastern Syrian town kill 35 civilians: human rights group
* 3 wounded in shooting at Stickney bar
* GOP candidate wins Montana House election after being charged with assault
* ICE agents eat breakfast, compliment chef, then arrest 3 workers at Michigan restaurant

» Offline And On Paper: Chicago Teens Make Zines In An Ephemeral World
» Judge Refuses To Dismiss Murder Case Against Chicago Cop Who Shot Laquan McDonald
» Chicago Firm Will Run $1 Billion Overhaul Of Union Station
» State Committee Approves Tougher Sentences For Repeat Gun Offenders
» Census Data: Chicago Lost 9,000 More Residents Last Year
» Does New Neighborhood Watch Reduce Crime Or Create Resident-Cops?
» Illinois Issues: Should 10-Year-Old Kids Be Kept In Juvenile Detention?
» Chicago Public Schools Look To Borrow $900 Million
» United CEO To Investors: We'll Be More Focused On Customers
» Red-Light Cameras Rake In Millions For Chicago Suburbs

* Thumbs Up: To Hope Learning Academy for opening an inclusive restaurant
* Illinois Chamber of Commerce: Seize the opportunity
* Push for downtown Springfield casino taking shape
* Push for Springfield casino taking shape
* No: Trumpcare would result in less service, bigger bills
* Yes: Replacement would afford women better options, lower costs
* Push for smaller Springfield casino taking shape
* Census: Springfield population drops below 2010 levels
* Census: Springfield-Sangamon Co. population drops below 2010 levels
* Senate panel questions state warehouse leasing process

* Man hurt when leg gets stuck between MetroLink train, platform
* Man’s leg gets stuck between MetroLink train, platform
* Services, parades to mark Memorial Day weekend
* Baby Fold forced to close residential treatment center
* Flag holders stolen from Waynesville cemetery
* Area Calendar 5/26/17
* Daily Digest 5/26/17
* Upcoming Services for May 26
* Rick's Six: Road rage, money laundering, the apprentice, and revised river crest
* Property tax freeze and workers’ comp reforms still in the mix

* Dawn Patrol: Missing Warrenville girl sought; person questioned in Hinsdale murder
* Trump meeting with G-7 leaders after going on offensive
* As Woodridge tragedy shows, pregnancy won't protect you from domestic violence
* US diplomat: China tightened border controls with N. Korea
* LEADING OFF: deGrom seeks dry weather, Senzatela 7th win

* Sweet: Hultgren, Roskam, Kinzinger avoid b...
* House GOP takes first steps to undo financ...
* Local Republicans, Democrats praise appoin...
* Batavia resident announces candidacy for 1...
* Jim Walz Will Challenge Randy Hultgren for...
* US Rep. Randy Hultgren's office the scene ...
* Second Democrat announces bid to unseat Hu...
* Jim Walz Will Challenge Randy Hultgren for...
* US Rep. Randy Hultgren's office the scene ...
* Second Democrat announces bid to unseat Hu...

* Health districts' letter to senators oppos......
* Metra receives $20-million grant for PTC -......

* Health districts' letter to senators oppos......
* Bill Passed to Recognize Asian Pacific Ame......

* The Sunday times.
* Gianforte TKO.
* Broker Post-License Webinar Offered June 1 & 2
* The wheels of justice turn slowly for Laquan McDonald. Nearly three years and counting.
* New use-of-force policy bans cops from shooting fleeing suspects unless there's an imminent threat, and other Chicago news
* Chicago's population decline continues for the third year in a row, and other news
* Explore Urban Ecology Along Uptown’s Coast, Series Begins Sunday
* Night Of Faith And Action Positive Loitering Tonight
* Final Chicago Market Community Meeting Saturday In Uptown
* Commercial Leasing Educational Class Today

* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

* Fresh ‘Unknown Heart’ benchmark appears to hint at Nokia 9 variant with 8GB RAM
* Huawei Nova 2 and Nova 2 Plus sport two rear cameras each, one 20MP selfie shooter
* Google details Android TV facelift, but does it matter?
* OnePlus 3T will remain available for sale in India ‘until later this year’
* Bear 1.2 Brings Sketching, New Icons, and VoiceOver to Note-Taking App
* Get the LG G6 from Best Buy right now for a measly $288 total ($12 a month)
* Latin America gets Android 7.0 Nougat ball rolling for Moto X Force

* Giolito spins seven-inning no-hitter for Charlotte
* Frazier's focus: 'Just keep on rolling' with Sox
* Kopech, Giolito starting on Thursday
* Abreu, Leury homers not enough in finale
* Quintana: Location culprit for big-inning woes
* Abreu, Leury homers not enough in finale
* Sox welcome Detroit for doubleheader

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