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Quick budget address roundup

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2019

* Tribune

While the full scope of Pritzker’s spending plan remains unclear, an administration document shows the governor will propose spending an additional $630 million on education, from preschool through college.

A new statewide formula for funding elementary and secondary education already calls for an increase of $350 million for public schools compared with the current year, but Pritzker wants to add another $25 million.

His budget plan also will call for spending increases of $55.2 million for public universities, $13.9 million for community colleges and $50 million for tuition grants to low-income college students.

He also will call for $100 million in additional spending on early childhood education.

And since he’ll use this address as an opportunity to kick off his two-year campaign to implement a graduated income tax, expect a lot of talk today about how this budget is merely a “bridge” to the future

“Tomorrow (Wednesday) I will deliver a budget that begins to stabilize our state finances while starting to rebuild our human services, our universities and P-12 education, and our public safety, along with the funding needed to make this minimum wage a reality,” Pritzker said.

* The other side is waiting for him

Ideas Illinois has launched a digital ad campaign just hours before Gov. J.B. Pritzker makes his first budget address. The ad, obtained by POLITICO, highlights what chairman Greg Baise calls a “lack of new ideas” to solve Illinois’ serious financial problems.

“Even though Illinois has a new governor, all we hear are the same failed solutions to our state’s budgetary problems—higher taxes, shorting our pension funds and massive amounts of new spending,” said Baise. Ideas Illinois is a 501C4 not-for-profit that’s pro-business and anti-progressive income tax (which it refers to as a jobs tax). It’s the counter to Pritzker’s Think Big Illinois group.

The ad claims “Illinois leads in all the wrong categories” and it ticks off as examples “high property taxes, billions in unpaid pension obligations, never-ending tax increases and population that has declined for five years in a row.”

It’s all a shot at Pritzker, whose party controls both houses of the legislature—leaving Republicans wafting in the wind.

The ad is about a minute long

* Meanwhile

Incoming Gov. J.B. Pritzker will include revenue from Illinois sports betting when delivering his budget proposal to the state legislature Wednesday, according to an advance briefing to lawmakers Tuesday.

As the new Democratic governor who upended a Republican incumbent, Pritzker holds a lot of sway with his party members. Democrats dominate in each chamber of the Illinois General Assembly.

Illinois Rep. Mike Zalewski, who soon plans to introduce a sports betting bill, tells Legal Sports Report that Pritzker backing IL sports betting will be “a huge help” to his efforts.

“He’s trying to rectify a budget situation that’s four years in the making, and he sees sports betting as part of that solution,” Zalewski said. “He’s an incoming Democratic governor who won by a wide amount. Those in our caucus want to give him what he asks for to lead us.

“To have him ask for sports betting, I think we’ll be supportive of it.”

That’s a pretty good article, by the way. So click here and read the rest if you’re interested in the topic.

* In other budget-related news

During his campaign for governor, Pritzker frequently attacked his predecessor’s handling of multiple Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks at a state-run veterans’ home in downstate Quincy, Ill. The families of 12 residents are suing the state for neglect over their loved ones’ deaths. Legislators overrode a veto from Rauner to raise the limit of what those families could win in their lawsuits, from $100,000 to $2 million.

Chicago attorney Steven Jambois, who represents one of those 12 families, told WBEZ Tuesday that those settlement negotiations have just begun. Jambois said he’s demanding the full $2 million for his client, the family of Valdemar Dehn, a Korean War veteran who died in 2017 — two years after the first Legionnaires’ outbreak at the Quincy home.

“How does one evaluate the value for that? Particularly on our case, he was one of the last persons to die and clearly in our mind the most preventable of all the deaths, since they clearly had sufficient notice,” Jambois said.

In addition, Pritzker vowed during the campaign to continue Rauner’s plan to rebuild the Quincy veterans’ home. Last year, lawmakers put $53 million as a down payment toward construction. Rauner estimated the total spending on a new veterans’ home in Quincy could cost about $245 million.

- Posted by Rich Miller   45 Comments      

Rate the new anti-Daley TV ad

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2019

* From Local 150’s Fight Back for a Better Tomorrow fund

* Script…

Bill Daley says it’s time to get real.

But who’s the real Bill Daley?

Daley was hand-picked by Bruce Rauner to co-chair his transition team, laying the framework for Rauner’s reckless policies.

And as Rauner drove Illinois billions into debt, Daley stood by and did nothing.

Now Daley’s the only candidate funded by Bruce Rauner’s biggest donor.

Daley even said he was “proud” to take 2 million dollars from Rauner’s billionaire Wall Street buddy.

And now we should trust Bill Daley to be different from Bruce Rauner?

Let’s get real.

…Adding… Daley campaign…

The following should be attributed to Jorge Neri, campaign manager:

“This week, the Better Government Association rated the claims made in this new ad as false. Bill Daley served under two Democrat presidents: as Chief of Staff for former President Barack Obama, and U.S. Commerce Secretary for former President Bill Clinton. He also served as campaign chairman for former Democratic Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaign. Bill is proud to be a longtime Democrat and to suggest otherwise is ridiculous.

“Bill is the only person in the race with the ability and experience to ensure every Chicago neighborhood prospers. Special interest groups aligned with Susana Mendoza are scared and these groups have chosen to hide behind dark money to maintain their grip of perceived political influence.

“This dark money group, with suburban roots, has previously supported Republican candidates over Democrats like Sean Casten and Lauren Underwood. The fact that they want to tell the City of Chicago who to vote for is laughable.

“As mayor, Bill will be accountable to the people of Chicago.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   36 Comments      

* Caption contest!
* The harm done by the "pension crisis" narrative
* What Is The Credit Union Difference?
* Unmentioned?
* Question of the day
* Pritzker wants to start phase-out of private school scholarship program
* Snoop Dogg will perform at Illinois State Fair
* Pritzker budget boosts early childhood education, child care
* Two vastly different ways of addressing the issue of consent
* Way to go, Tina
* A look at some of Pritzker's increased spending
* A quick look at Pritzker's new revenue streams
* A big nail unanimously driven into the drug war's coffin
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