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Child-Care Savings Based on “Magic Assumptions” PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 15 March 2015 05:06

Buried deep within Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget plan for next fiscal year is yet another claimed “savings” that might not actually save any money, and could easily wind up costing the state more.

The governor proposes to save $108 million by discontinuing child-care services provided by relatives in the child’s or relative’s home.

At first glance, that cut might look prudent. Why should the state pay grandma to babysit her own grandkid? Is that some sort of scam? Go to any right-wing blog, and you’ll occasionally see stories bashing this whole idea.

But those payments are designed to help low-income parents go to school and work their way out of poverty. So by pulling those payments, “grandma” could lose her income and may very well have to find a different part-time job, meaning the parent then has to search for another provider and the state saves no money.

 
Rauner Gets Frigid Reception for “All or Nothing” Budget-Fix Demand PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 08 March 2015 05:53

Governor Bruce Rauner has met with dozens of state legislators both individually and in small groups since his election. By all accounts, every meeting has been cordial, and he has scored lots of points with legislators who aren’t accustomed to this sort of gubernatorial attention.

Then he had the Senate Black Caucus over to the governor’s mansion for breakfast.

It started out well enough, but things turned south in a hurry when Rauner said he couldn’t accept the Senate Democratic majority’s stand-alone proposal to patch about $600 million of the current fiscal year’s $1.6-billion budget deficit with transfers from special state funds. He wanted, he said, an “all or nothing” solution.

 
Rauner Makes Huge Mistake with Budget Address PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich MIller   
Sunday, 01 March 2015 05:50

A rookie mistake has led to some big problems.

House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton both believed that Governor Bruce Rauner would ask to postpone the scheduled February 18 budget address.

The current fiscal year’s outlook was so incredibly dire that the veteran Democratic leaders figured that neophyte Rauner would want to first tackle that problem before moving on to the mess in the budget for next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Rauner declined, declaring that a deadline was a deadline.

He should’ve asked for a delay.

 
Despite Promises, Rauner Presents a Booby-Trap Budget PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 22 February 2015 05:27

After he was elected governor but before he was sworn in to office, Bruce Rauner repeatedly lambasted Governor Pat Quinn and the legislative Democrats for passing a “booby trap” budget that was about to blow up in the state’s collective face.

Rauner was absolutely right. Last year’s budget was irresponsible and didn’t deal with the reality of the expiring income-tax hike. As a result, the state’s budget is in a terribly deep hole right now.

But did Governor Rauner really make all the “tough choices” necessary to get us out of that hole during his budget address, as he promised he would? Well, he sure proposed a lot of cuts. But he planted at least one major booby trap himself.

 
Rauner Flexing His Muscle – to Uncertain Ends PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Illinois Politics
Written by Rich Miller   
Sunday, 15 February 2015 05:10

More than a few Statehouse types have been wondering aloud for weeks what Governor Bruce Rauner is up to with his almost daily attacks on organized labor.

His people say that the governor feels “liberated” since the election to speak his mind about a topic that stirs great personal passion in him. He played up the issue during the Republican primary, then all but ran away from it in the general-election campaign, including just a few weeks before Election Day when he flatly denied that “right to work” or anything like that would be among his top priorities.

Yet there he is day after day, pounding away at unions, demanding right-to-work laws, vilifying public-employee unions as corrupt to the point of issuing an executive order barring the distribution of state-deducted employee “fair share” dues to public-worker unions such as AFSCME. The dues are paid by people who don’t want to pay full union dues.

 
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