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Wednesday, March 29

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The Mechanics
« Drivetime Radio Illinois Parental Notification Law Upheld »

Illinois Wed Jul 15 2009

A Concise History of the Budget Mess

Speaking of PI, and the budget, Josh & Friends (specifically, Adam Doster, I hasten to add) provide a nice history of how we get where we got with this years budget in Springfield.

They hit on the tactical mistake Quinn made at the outset--sadly, it seems that trying to propose something that asks all major power players to make sacrifices for the general good is the quickest way to failure.

But by crafting a compromise budget, Quinn found himself without any political support from those constituencies that can actually move an agenda forward in Springfield. His plan to reduce pension benefits for incoming state workers, increase employees' pension contributions and health care payments, and require state employees to take four unpaid furlough days frustrated public employee unions. Social service providers also criticized the proposed cuts to their critical programs.

Not all the blame, of course, is Quinn's. On House Speaker Mike Madigan's role:

House Speaker Michael Madigan had different ideas, however. Convinced, apparently, that a 67 percent income tax hike would endanger members of his majority at the ballot box next year, he pushed a modified version of Gov. Quinn's initial tax hike proposal. This measure temporarily raised the income tax rate from 3 percent to 4.5 percent while permanently doubling the EITC. But beyond saying that he himself would vote for it, Madigan made little effort to whip up support for the bill, knowing full well that no GOP members were willing to make the measure "bipartisan." As a result, the temporary plan went down in flames by a vote of 42-74-2 on May 31. The Meeks plan passed the House Education Committee that same day, but never came up for a full vote in the House.

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Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...


Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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