By: Diane Benjamin
A number of people have asked me recently where the tax money is in Illinois if the bills aren’t being paid. Senator Chapin Rose took the time on Tuesday to fill me in.
First, he went over how we got in this mess. Of course, this is his opinion.
The Democrats didn’t care about not having a budget because the courts were handling spending for them. Republicans thought Gov. Rauner could work with Rahm Emanual to put pressure on Madigan, the way every other Governor had with Daley.
Both plans failed.
The courts ordered more spending than Illinois brings in! Medicaid is way up for claims that shouldn’t be paid, but without a budget nothing can stop it. Courts ordered payments for pensions and State employees. That’s why prison guards are getting paid, but the bills for electricity and water aren’t. The courts created a deficit of around $4.5 billion.
Emanuel has been neutered by the videos of police shootings and by his attempt to close almost empty Chicago schools. The unions revolted, he could never get elected to any office in Chicago now.
Senator Rose says a comprise stop-gap balanced bill is available for 6 months of spending. Another K-12 bill is available for a full year. He has no idea what will happen to either.
The Democrats want billions more to bail out the Chicago Public Schools, but the money doesn’t exist.
Meanwhile, higher education and mental health get no funding. Routine bills go unpaid.
Chapin thinks that not opening the Chicago schools is the only thing that will end Madigan’s stalemate. He said every governor in recent decades has dealt with late budgets, a problem created by Madigan. He said he has only voted for 2 budgets in 14 years. Twelve didn’t come close to balancing, the two he voted for only marginally balanced. He is happy Senate Democrats didn’t fall for Madigan’s $7 billion unbalanced budget.
That still doesn’t means Illinois is close to a solution however. July 1st all spending ends.
Mike Madigan is the problem, he needs to feel the heat of kids not in school this September and state workers not getting paid.
Even Democrats in the House know Madigan is the problem. They could revolt and kick him out as Speaker.
(just kidding, they don’t have the guts)
6 thoughts on “Chapin Rose on Illinois’s budget”
Sorry. At this point, the governor, Madigan, Cullerton, the General Assembly—all have a hand in this. They spend more time blaming each other than actually working to get the problem solved. Did Rauner really think he could impose his Turnaround Agenda without any resistance? He didn’t have political capital to impose anti-Union legislation, yet he did it. He doesn’t have the benefit of a Republican majority like Walker in Wisconsin. Madigan, Cullerton and the General Assembly are wanting to spend money that isn’t there. Both sides will have to give up something. Both are protecting their turf. Honestly, all the Illinois voters should match down to Springfield, padlock the doors and not allow Rauner, Madigan, Cullerton and the rest of lawmakers out until they come up with a budget. It’s ridiculous at this point that no one can compromise on anything because they are worried about their political careers.
Rauenr has already given up on much of his agenda. Madigan hasn’t given anything. At the VERY LEAST Illinois needs Work Comp reform or businesses will keep leaving.
If the worker’s comp reform is truly what’s best for employers and employees, I would agree. However, I still think the potential is there for the employers and workers to be on short end of any reform. Last I heard, Illinois doesn’t regulate insurance premiums related to worker’s comp. Employers may not have to pay out as much under the tighter restrictions but they will still be paying high premiums. Insurance companies will cut reimbursements if premium regulation is done. Healthcare providers may reduce services or not take as many worker’s comp cases because reimbursements are lower. Worker’s who are legitimately injured on the job will not get the care they require or run out of benefits which would put a strain on tax payer funded assistance programs. There would have to be a lot of provisions in place to protect the main subject–the worker. The insurance companies are laughing all the way to the bank.
Madigan doesn’t want it changed because union members don’t want changes. Meanwhile business saves millions moving across the border.
I do not blame him or the union. Especially when employers and the insurance industry collude to deny benefits in the interest of profits. In the TV show the Wire, a union head kept a cash stash to pay workers who were injured because he knew they could not work and who knew if they would be approved for benefits? He had them go to the bar frequented by the offshore men and tell them “Frank said I should have a drink on him.” The bar tender would give the guy a wad a cash. That would hold them for a while.
You should look up West Virginia as a cautionary tale of what happens when benefits are slashed and did little to boost business or entice businesses to move there.
Illinois has close to the WORST rates in the country, therefore jobs don’t exist. Rauner has stated he doesn’t want Illinois to have the cheapest, just somewhere in the middle.