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*** UPDATED x2 - Barickman walks it back, blames the coverage *** Barickman claims Rauner will negotiate when he gets SB 1, cautions on outcome

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* Sen. Jason Barickman, the lead school funding reform negotiator for the Senate Republicans, told reporters this afternoon that he spoke to the governor about negotiating with the Democrats on SB 1

I asked the governor, ‘When the bill is transmitted to you, will you hold the bill so that we can have a negotiation?’

He said, ‘Yes.’ He said ‘That’s a very reasonable thing to do. But I need the bill first.’ […]

I will tell you I am concerned that those negotiations will play out like prior ones, where the Democrats walked away from the table, introduced legislation that had no public scrutiny and advanced it through the legislative process that they control.

After a follow-up question, Barickman confirmed what he said. “There will first be negotiations, yes.” He also said there are no “hard lines in the sand.”

So, if Barickman is right, the governor seems to have reversed himself on that whole “Don’t you see how outrageous that is?” schtick.

*** UPDATE ***  Press release…

The best way to help schoolchildren is for Gov. Rauner to agree to sign a landmark overhaul of how Illinois funds public education, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton said Thursday.

Cullerton renewed his request for Rauner to indicate his support for Senate Bill 1 and cautioned him against using his veto powers to rewrite the plan, which would jeopardize its future. Cullerton noted that an amendatory veto does not automatically become law and instead sets up a showdown with lawmakers on an override vote.

Here is the full statement from Senate President John Cullerton:

    “All the governor needs to do is tell us he will sign his name. The fastest way to help the children is to sign this historic education reform into law.

    An unconstitutional amendatory veto threatens all the work that has gone into this reform proposal. I again urge the governor to show us any changes he wants and to sit down for rational discussions now.

    We’ve done our homework. We passed an overhaul of the worst public school funding system in the nation. All the governor has to do is sign his name to get credit.”

*** UPDATE 2 ***  Well that didn’t take long. And look how he’s blaming the coverage of his exact words…


- Posted by Rich Miller   57 Comments      


No, “Tom” is that other guy in DuPage

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* From NBC 5 last night…

Background on this weird and persistent phenomenon is here.

[The person who sent that to me said it was WGN, so it’s been corrected and sorry for the confusion. I hear that’s going around.]

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 - Purvis does it again *** Purvis partially blames Comptroller Mendoza for coming school crisis

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* Gov. Rauner’s education czar Beth Purvis was on Steve Cochrane’s radio show this morning

PURVIS: In addition, the comptroller has not yet released the Q3 and Q4 what are called mandatory categorical payments. The schools are owed about $850 million from FY17. And so we also call on the comptroller to release at least those Q3 dollars so that schools have the cash on hand that they need to open their doors.

COCHRANE: Why did she not release that?

PURVIS: That is a question for the comptroller. We believe that, and I think there have been conversations with her from many people saying she can at least release those Q3 dollars. Again, Q3 and Q4 the districts across the state for their mandated categorical payments, which is serving students with disabilities, serving English language learners, transportation, transportation for special education students. So when you add what is now a 56 or 57-day delay [in sending SB 1 to the governor’s desk] and the fact that the comptroller will not release those Q3 and Q4 payments, it is creating a crisis in all 850, well, not all, in those districts that serve a high percentage of low income kids, including the Chicago Public Schools, and those districts, who, because of proration of General State Aid or the fact that the General Assembly did not fully fund the schools from 2009 to 2015, a lot of them have burned through their cash reserves, so this cash flow issue is a really big one.

COCHRANE: Nobody runs a business like this. How can you run, you know, politicians standing up and going ‘Oh, it’s the kids, it’s all about the kids.’ Kiss my butt. It’s all about the kids, you care about yourself. And let me tell you something, when it comes to the comptroller, gimme an e-mail address Andrea for the comptroller so that we can let every listener know that they should be e-mailing the comptroller today and demanding an answer for why those Q3-Q4 payments haven’t been released, and when will they be…

* From the comptroller’s office…

If creating havoc for the State of Illinois was a form of art, Governor Bruce Rauner would be Michelangelo. Just three weeks removed from a narrowly-avoided statewide financial meltdown, he’s back at work on his latest masterpiece, plunging the state into a school funding crisis, and blaming everyone but himself.

Governor Rauner more than tripled the state’s bill backlog from $5 billion to $15.4 billion since taking office. Despite Governor Rauner’s manufactured budget crisis, our office prioritized putting together $429 million last month to make a delayed categorical payment to schools around the state. As of today, the state’s checkbook balance is only $254 million. The Governor has not left enough money in the state’s accounts for another categorical payment to happen again soon. Falsely blaming our office for not making payments from a bank account he emptied is like a check-bouncer blaming the bank for bouncing his check.

Thanks to the General Assembly overriding his veto and passing a budget, our office has been able to use dedicated funds — funds that can’t be used for K-12 education — to provide much-needed relief to higher education and Medicaid. General State Aid (GSA) to K-12 schools cannot be paid through interfund borrowing or through the General Revenue Fund (GRF) without a school funding bill being passed to authorize those expenditures.

This misinformation campaign coordinated by the Rauner Administration is the height of hypocrisy. Unfortunately, we have seen this playbook before. The governor needs to stop the political spin, do his job, and stop holding schools hostage. School funding legislation must be sent to the governor and he needs to sign it so I have the legal authority to release critical funds for schools.

In other words, you can’t pay big bills with a nearly empty checking account.

*** UPDATE ***  Purvis tried it again at the Sun-Times today

In an interview with the Sun-Times on Monday, Education Secretary Beth Purvis noted vouchers were submitted to the comptroller’s office on time by the Illinois State Board of Education and implored Mendoza to “prioritize” the payment the same way she prioritized post-secondary education payments.

Purvis said that payment would alleviate some pressure — without a school funding bill in place. The governor and Democratic leaders continue to bicker about that measure, with Rauner vowing to issue an amendatory veto to take out Chicago pension costs.

The comptroller’s office released about $429 million for “categoricals” a month ago. But another quarterly payment is delayed because there’s no revenue in the books yet to pay for it.

Mendoza on Thursday pinned the blame for the delayed payment — and the budget impasse — squarely on Rauner’s back.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** Tribune: Madigan, Cullerton to blame for losing Foxconn to Wisconsin

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* I seriously doubt that this particular POTUS would’ve favored a state he lost by 17 points over a state he unexpectedly won and which helped make him President, but whatever

Early this month, when they hit taxpayers with a 32 percent jump in the individual income tax rate, many legislators broke a promise they had made: No more tax hikes without major reforms to help Illinois’ moribund economy. Don’t worry, said Democrats who pushed the tax hike. We’ll get to those reforms soon enough.

But not soon enough, we now see, to keep electronics giant Foxconn from bypassing Illinois to make a jobs-rich investment in southeast Wisconsin. This is a huge win for Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin whom Illinois Democrats loathe. Just as this is an embarrassment for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton.

Once again, the people of Illinois see how Madigan and Cullerton, with their combined 86 years in Springfield, have left Illinois ill-prepared to compete for 21st-century jobs. Their agenda is about raising taxes, not about delivering those reforms. As we wrote a few days ago, every other state on Foxconn’s short list looked better than Illinois by the basic measures of financial stability and pro-growth economies. […]

But we do know this: Wisconsin boasts a freshly burnished global image. One of the planet’s largest tech firms, with a million workers worldwide, says its search led it to bet a fraction of its future on Wisconsin. Assuming that happens, expect robust economic growth from suppliers, subcontractors, construction companies and other businesses that will serve Foxconn and its workforce.

Illinois is a train wreck. The government is paralyzed with infighting and barely keeping its fiscal head above water, it can’t figure out how to fund its schools, the state has a lousy economic climate overall and is losing population. What’s not to love?

But it will still benefit from this because workers in the northern part of the state could find employment, and some or even many of those suppliers and contractors could wind up being from Illinois (unless they move operations north, of course).

* Not to mention that, at a time when the state is still struggling mightily to recover from the just-ended impasse and can’t even revive its most important corporate incentive (click here for that story), shelling out as much as $3 billion in subsidies probably would be frowned upon here

Let’s take a look at those figures: Wisconsin is paying as much as $1 million per job, which will carry an average salary of $54,000. The state’s economic development corporation is selling the project to taxpayers with a claim that it will create 10,000 construction jobs for building the facility and another 6,000 indirect positions. It’s expecting $3.3 million of investment per employee from the Taiwanese company.

Politicians, lobbyists and Foxconn can make the figures work by being generous with the facts. For example, if every one of those jobs came to fruition, they can claim 29,000 positions for $3 billion, or $103,000 per job. But that’s not going to happen.

Foxconn has factories in China and another dozen countries globally, yet that stated $10 billion investment is more than the group’s publicly traded flagship — Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. — has devoted to capital expenditure over the past five years combined.

There is potential for the payroll to climb to 13,000 in the future — a figure crucial to Wisconsin justifying the expense — but I wouldn’t bet your 401(k) on it. That’s because if Gou really does dish out $10 billion on this facility, the only way to make it viable is by keeping staffing low and leaning on automation to boost productivity. This LCD factory will be either labor intensive or highly automated. It can’t be both.

* But it still would’ve been a big win

The agreement represents an opportunity as well as a risk for Wisconsin — state lawmakers must now consider a subsidy package nearly 50 times bigger than the state’s previous record.

The factory project would involve a virtual village, with housing, stores and service businesses spread over at least 1,000 acres, according to interviews. That acreage, a 1.5 square-mile area the size of Shorewood, could be assembled from parcels that initially aren’t contiguous, the source said.

At 20 million square feet, the factory would be three times the size of the Pentagon, making it one of the largest manufacturing campuses in the nation. It would initially employ 3,000 workers making an average of $53,900 a year plus benefits and could eventually boast more than four times that.

*** UPDATE ***  Greg Hinz reached out to an upbeat Mark Peterson, the new head of Intersect Illinois...

Intersect Illinois already has been talking with county officials about how to plug local folks into Foxconn Technology Group’s talent search, and has had preliminary talks with the company that likely will be followed by a fuller discussion later this year, he said.

“We want to talk to them about what they need,” he says. “What can we do to customize (through worker training and other programs)?”

The state also may facilitate a connection between Foxconn and Northwestern University, Peterson said. Foxconn likes to work with academic institutions, and engineering-heavy NU “has a lot of things that could be beneficial.” […]

The potential is at least equally large for suppliers, Peterson said.

Though some will be located on a campus with Foxconn’s main factory—and still, a site hasn’t been chosen—”A lot of times, they want their suppliers close but not in their backyard. They don’t want to cannibalize their own workforce.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   90 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker lampoon’s Rauner’s “Best team in America” comment

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* Press release…

Crisis Creatin’ Rauner released a new video today highlighting Bruce Rauner’s so-called “best team in America,” a group of radicals and amateurs, many of whom were hired directly from the Illinois Policy Institute.

After Rauner was asked about his controversial new hires by a Quad City TV station, Rauner said, “we’re building the best team in America.” So far that team has included a staffer fired on his first day for “racially-charged, homophobic and sexually explicit tweets,” and a still employed staffer who “compared abortion to Nazi eugenics.” In total, over 20 Rauner staffers have been fired or resigned in protest and have been replaced by people with little to no government experience and extremist views.

“The only thing Rauner’s new team is ‘best’ at is unleashing crisis on this state,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. ‘‘His new hires will only aid Rauner in furthering the damage he’s done to the state, and their radical views are deeply out of step with the people of Illinois. Surely, even Bruce Rauner and the Illinois GOP can do better than this.”

* The video

Oof.

*** UPDATE ***  That video reminded me of something that a buddy pointed out to me earlier this week and I forgot to post. This is from Gov. Rauner’s recent WSIL TV interview about the hiring and firing of his one-day body man, who, you’ll recall, tweeted out some pretty disgusting things

REPORTER: But weren’t you involved in interviewing him?

RAUNER: Interviewing?

REPORTER: When he was hired?

RAUNER: No. I met him once.

If you watch the video, “I met him once” was said in an offhanded way.

We already know that the governor’s denial about interviewing his own body man has been contradicted by reporters, including Tina Sfondeles at the Sun-Times.

* And if you click here and let the video run for a few seconds, you’ll see the governor appearing at an event with his body man on the day he was fired. Here’s a screen grab…

I suppose that traveling with the guy for a couple/three hours back and forth to an event in Mt. Zion could be characterized as meeting him “once.” Or maybe he was just hoping nobody would notice.

By itself, on a scale of 1-10 this might rise to a 1.3. Not a big deal at all (which is why this is an update and not its own post). But politicians who establish a pattern of telling little fibs to reporters can often find themselves in hot water down the line.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* And this is from the ILGOP…

It’s been over 57 days since Mike Madigan and his machine have taken school funding and the futures of Illinois children hostage for their $500 million Chicago bailout.

Today, the Illinois Republican Party has updated BossMadigan.com with a stopwatch to remind voters just how long the Madigan Machine has taken our children hostage.

On May 31st, SB1 passed the General Assembly. Per the Illinois Constitution, the bill is supposed to head to Governor Rauner’s desk.

But Mike Madigan and John Cullerton are intentionally holding the bill, perverting the legislative process.

It’s a blatant assault on our democracy in order to create pressure for their Chicago bailout.

See the updated BossMadigan page here:

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      


“Don’t you see how outrageous that is?”

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* The governor was asked this question during a press conference yesterday…

Governor, the Senate President says he’s holding [SB 1] until Monday in the hopes that you’ll come around and agree to meet with him and to negotiate. Are you unwilling to have that meeting?

* The governor’s clearly angry response, after a long pause, is the headline to this post

Now, the governor does go on to explain there is a constitutional process here. The legislature passed a bill in May, but haven’t sent it to him yet. The next step in the process is he takes action and then the General Assembly takes further action on his amendatory veto. He’s right about all of that.

But to claim that a meeting with a legislative leader is an “outrageous” demand is a bit much.

…Adding… Roundup…

* Rauner camp calls Cullerton’s ‘mental state’ remark ‘inappropriate’

* Cullerton won’t send Rauner school funding bill until Monday

* Finger-pointing continues as Cullerton says he’ll wait until Monday to send education funding bill to Rauner’s desk

* Sparring continues on school funding bill; nothing resolved

* No movement on 1st day of special session on school funding

* School Funding Special Session Keeps Legislators & Gov. At Odds

- Posted by Rich Miller   56 Comments      


*** LIVE *** Special session coverage

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* Both chambers convene at noon. No committee hearings are currently scheduled. And since the Senate President said yesterday that he isn’t sending SB 1 to the governor’s desk until Monday, attendance may be even lighter today. Follow along with ScribbleLive


- Posted by Rich Miller   4 Comments      


PREVIOUS POSTS »
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* *** UPDATED x2 - Barickman walks it back, blames the coverage *** Barickman claims Rauner will negotiate when he gets SB 1, cautions on outcome
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* No, "Tom" is that other guy in DuPage
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* FOIA reveals how Rauner calculated his school funding numbers
* *** UPDATED x1 - Purvis does it again *** Purvis partially blames Comptroller Mendoza for coming school crisis
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Tribune: Madigan, Cullerton to blame for losing Foxconn to Wisconsin
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Pritzker lampoon's Rauner's "Best team in America" comment
* Team Rauner sets 5-day fundraising target "to show Madigan that Illinois does not want the old way"
* "Don't you see how outrageous that is?"
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