Sunday, April 17, 2016

Pay for legislature & top officials to be delayed

UPDATE: Politico predicts Illinois Comptroller race will be Rauner-Madigan proxy fight. 

Our State Comptroller, Republican Leslie Munger, announced today that she'll force Illinois' six "constitutional officers" (including herself) and all state legislators to get in line to get paid like state vendors, who currently wait at least two months to be paid.
Comptroller Leslie Munger

The (conservative) Chicago Tribune gives its interpretation of the story in the first word of its article:
Election-seeking Illinois Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger plans to delay monthly paychecks for lawmakers and statewide officials, saying there isn't enough money to pay the state's bills and other services should go to the front of the line.
And here I was not realizing that "election-seeking" was an adjectival phrase in regular use! Munger is indeed up for election this fall, as she was appointed by Governor Rauner to fill the position left vacant by the death of Judy Baar Topinka, who was probably the most respected high office holder in Illinois of either party. Munger hopes her plan will push leaders (or at least their less wealthy followers in the General Assembly) to resolve the budget crisis sooner rather than later; she also no doubt doesn't mind getting her name out there as a do-gooder before running for election.

The AP quotes her Democratic opponent as follows:
In a statement, Susana Mendoza, who is Chicago's city clerk and Munger's Democratic challenger in the upcoming election, criticized Munger's announcement as "10 months late and many dollars short" and chastized Munger for failing to demand that Rauner "end his extreme agenda and pass a budget."
I'm not as omniscient as the Trib reporter so will let you decide whether Munger is genuinely fed-up and trying to end the crisis or just trying to score points before what will probably be a tough election for a little-known GOP candidate in a state that will presumably vote Democratic at the presidential level.

One way or another, pressure is mounting on Springfield to resolve the current crisis. But the current crisis has produced mounting pressure for at least a year, and the pension crisis goes back for years beyond that.

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