Thursday, June 25, 2015

EXTRA: Keep playing politics, and all of Illinois will come across as losers

Gov. Bruce Rauner followed up his budgetary approval for public education expenses pretty much the way it should have been expected.

RAUNER: Veto was totally predictable
He used his veto power to reject everything else!

SO WITH FIVE days remaining before the end of the current fiscal year, the state still has no budget plan detailing how money will be spent during Fiscal 2016.

Except for the schools portion; where elementary and secondary education will get a $244 million increase in funding and early childhood education programs will get a $25 million boost.

Which isn’t as much as educators will claim they need. But it is better than the thought of the schools not being able to open up on time for the new school year because they aren’t getting their state aid payments.

The practical result would be that parents all across Illinois would have to make arrangements for their kids while they work because they can’t count on just sending them off to school for the daytime hours.

THAT WOULD BE a lot of p-o’ed parents who would look to the situation and see Rauner as the guy to blame.

There will still be many people who will view the budgetary standoff and blame Bruce for stirring things up all for his own ideological motives. But he’ll have a few friends.

Or if not quite friends, at least they’ll be people who won’t despise him quite so much!

As for the fact that Rauner used his veto power to reject the rest of the budget, it’s not a surprise. Because when the General Assembly’s Democratic supermajority used its power to approve a budget, they knew the governor would hate it.

BECAUSE THE BUDGET proposal essentially set spending levels at rates above the actual amount of money on hand. It’s the amount of money they’d like to have.

They saw it as a tactic to pressure Rauner to back some sort of revenue increase for state government – an action that the governor has said he would only consider IF Dems first gave him some of the anti-organized labor measures he has said are a priority for his administration

Which means Rauner isn’t giving in. Not yet anyways. He’s still delusional to think that the people who voted for him in November amount to the entirety of the Illinois electorate.

Hence, he’s issuing statements insisting everyone else has to concede to him – even though the reality is that he has a veto-proof majority of the opposition to cope with in the Legislature.

MEANING THAT IN theory, Democrats could unite and vote to reinstate the budget agreement that Rauner just vetoed. They could literally shove it down his political throat.

Except that the Legislature’s veto session comes in November. Nobody wants to see Illinois government have to operate for four-and-a-half months without a budget agreement where nothing could operate except the schools.

That would cause so much ill-will to go all the way around. Which makes it very likely that the special Committee of the Whole session scheduled for Tuesday is likely to turn into a gripe-fest by Democrats about how reckless and irresponsible Rauner has become.

In some ways, he has. But the truth is that this situation isn’t going to be resolved until both sides quit thinking in terms of how they can “win” this political fight. Nobody wins under those circumstances!


No comments: