Wednesday, April 13, 2016

State roundup

Capitol Fax concludes that it's now all but certain that Attorney General Lisa Madigan will indeed file a lawsuit arguing that the State of Illinois cannot legally pay state workers. (Previous coverage of that move can be found here.) The politics of this are mind-boggling. Democrats want a real shut-down to force the governor's hand, and to get the crisis resolved to benefit the 10% of state government that is already slowly shutting down. The governor responds with pious words about paying dedicated state employees--at least those not laid off yet, and attacking the Democrats for prolonging the crisis in order to push through a tax hike.  Assuming Madigan's legal reasoning is sound and supported by the courts, her move would result in a nearly complete shutdown of state government, which would presumably in result in some sort of resolution. But she hasn't filed her lawsuit yet, and it would obviously take time to get through the courts.

After the break: what Madigan is saying in the photo below, and an update on a bill that is intended to provide funding for universities and social services.

Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, says that compromise with Gov.
Madigan speaking to the GA on 4/12, via the State Journal-Register.

Democratic Speaker of the House Mike Madigan (father of Lisa) gave a rare speech on the floor of the house, attacking Rauner for failing to compromise. Capitol Fax provides a handy summary. Madigan's argument is that Rauner forced the crisis to get his way, and now refuses to compromise. Madigan quotes some evidence to support the view that Rauner wanted a crisis, from a statement Rauner made at a political dinner while a candidate.
“I apologize but we may have to go through a little rough times and we have to do what Ronald Reagan did with the air traffic controllers,” Rauner said at that dinner.
“We sort of have to do a do-over and shut things down for a little while, that’s what we’re going to do,” Rauner said.
This isn't the only evidence that Rauner has welcomed the leverage he thinks the crisis has given him. Madigan cited his own track record of compromising with six previous governors, sometimes crossing party lines, often despite major disagreements. Not a bad argument, but it shows how long Madigan has been in power--during decades in which Illinois State government has floundered. Madigan's comments came just hours after a rare meeting between legislative leaders and the governor.

The Senate has joined the House in approving  a bill that would fund higher education and social services--or at least allow them to get in line for any available funding, as the bill does not, as Republicans point out, identify a revenue source for this funding. I list this as a below the break item because the Governor has indicated that he will veto the bill, and the House vote does not appear to be strong enough to override the veto. This is the same bill that President Dunn characterized as the only way universities were doing to see any FY 2016 appropriations.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I will review and post comments as quickly as I can. Comments that are substantive and not vicious will be posted promptly, including critical ones. "Substantive" here means that your comment needs to be more than a simple expression of approval or disapproval. "Vicious" refers to personal attacks, vile rhetoric, and anything else I end up deeming too nasty to post.