Monday, July 6, 2015

Will we celebrate budget deal on Bastille Day? Only if we bring along guillotine to take off pols heads

We’re past the Independence Day holiday weekend. But those of us interested in figuring out when Illinois government will finally resolve its budgetary differences are focusing on a different holiday.

Also the day the Senate will try again to solve state budget
As in Bastille Day, that holiday on July 14 related to the French Revolution and the overthrow of King Louis XVI.

THERE WILL BE celebrations in Chicago (in the shadow of the Picasso at Daley Plaza – to be exact). But that day is also the date that the Illinois Senate is scheduled to convene again at the Statehouse.

Which means that legislative officials don’t foresee any reason to think that Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, and the Democratic leaders of the General Assembly will actually come to an agreement on anything they could vote for to implement a state budget for the fiscal year that began on Wednesday.

Barring a miracle, that session to be held a week from Tuesday will be nothing more than the senators meeting, formally telling each other that there’s still nothing to be done, then adjourning to go back home until a yet-to-be-determined date in the future.

Now I know some people are going to try to claim that it’s irresponsible for the legislators to hide back in their home districts and do nothing while the state lingers without a budget in place and the potential for agencies to have to shut down their activity because there’s nothing in place (except for public education) to tell them how to spend their money.

BUT IT REALLY isn’t. Because this is a dispute amongst the leadership over issues that really have nothing to do with budgeting.

RAUNER: Does he think he's Louis XVI?
I was actually pleased to see the Illinois House of Representatives last month reject an effort to implement a status quo budget that would only be in place for the month of July.

Keep government going while the officials talk seriously about the long-term budget, is their line of logic. Which is nonsense.

All that would do is encourage a sense of laziness amongst the political people – who probably are going to need to feel pressure and contempt from the public before they finally get off their derrieres and do something to resolve the situation.

MADIGAN: As revolutionary seems a stretch
AS OF NOW, I don’t have a clue when that will happen. Anybody else who says they know is seriously lying to all of us.

Because this is a partisan spat between people who are trying to assert their authority as “top dog” of the Illinois Statehouse scene.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, likes the idea of being the top guy whose intense knowledge of the workings of the legislative process makes him the guy who enables things to happen, while Rauner is the guy who thinks that having the gubernatorial title entitles him to call the shots to benefit the desires of his business-oriented buddies.

But Madigan does have that “veto proof majority” in his own chamber and in the Illinois Senate that enables him to thumb his nose at the governor

WHICH IS WHAT the two of them are doing to each other. It’s all about one-upmanship. Everything Rauner has done in recent weeks has been geared toward trying to place the blame for anything that does wrong on Madigan.

Because the reality is that the governor will be the one who gets smacked around once people lose a state payroll check or aid payment of some sort. It’s part of being the guv, which isn’t as good a post as being “king” – remember Mel Brooks as Louis XVI in “History of the World, Part 1?”

That could be all too appropriate. Since we have officials who currently are acting in a French Revolution mentality – they want to do the “Off with their head” routine to the other guy.

While the masses of Illinois get offended enough at politicians who tell us all the equivalent of "Let them eat cake" that we want to bring in the guillotine for use on everybody.


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