Wednesday, June 21, 2017

“Do what you’re told!” is the way of the world for government officials

Wednesday is the day in which our state’s General Assembly is supposed to reconvene at the Capitol to try to accomplish in a day or two the action upon which they have been so inept for the past two years – putting together a state budget proposal.
Which one ...

Of course, it’s not entirely the Legislature’s fault. For we have a governor who has made it clear he isn’t really interested in what legislators have to say.

HE HAS HIS own agenda he wants pursued, and he’s holding up approval of the budget that is required for state government to operate in a normal manner (and I can already hear the smartalecks quip that the absurdity of the past two years IS our government operating in its normal manner).

Now I realize that Bruce Rauner has scaled back his ideologue talk. He’s no longer spewing the blatantly offensive measures such as “right to work” (which really is nothing of the sort), but he’s still making it known he wants something of politically partisan value before he’ll let our government get back to its normal routines.

But when one has to cope with a Legislature that is solidly in the hands of the opposition political party, it isn’t the time to make demands of any type. Those will have to come for a time when Republicans actually have some say in the legislative branch of the governmental process.

But we have our going-on-two year budgetary stalemate because we have legislative leaders who see the political value – hoping that it turns the electorate so solidly against the Rauner Administration that it shrivels up and dies following the 2018 election cycle.

THOSE ARE THE circumstances under which we see our Legislature convened for a special session called by the governor to try to approve a budget. As though anything has changed since the last time legislators were convened at the Capitol just three weeks ago.
... will get to wear ...

Senate Democrats are still saying they passed a budget, and that their Illinois House colleagues and the governor should just shut up and approve it. While Illinois House and Senate Republicans have put together their own proposal, which Rauner says he’ll back.

Meaning the people who ought to “shut up and approve it” are the Democrats of both legislative chambers.

That’s actually the problem with government these days. It’s too much about “shut up and approve it.” As though people think bipartisanship means the other guy has to pipe down and do what they’re told by you.
... the budgetary dunce cap?

I REALLY DON’T expect much to come out of this special session, which if it runs through June 30 will carry over into the 2018 fiscal year – which will make it Three Years and Counting that Illinois has been unable to have a budget proposal that authorizes government operations.

If anything, it was Rauner himself that convinced me nothing would change this week – what with the “live address” he gave from Springfield Tuesday (timed perfectly to be the lede story on television newscasts across the state, if news directors so chose) that was meant to make it seem like he wants a budget put in place.

But through spokesmen, the governor said he’s fully backing the Republican legislative proposal as a “truly balanced budget” and isn’t interested in having legislators consider anything else. Anybody who thinks this is going to be a week-and-a-half of serious fiduciary contemplation needs to get real. The state’s finances will merely be the focal point of playing politics.

It also seems like the same mentality that dictates the way redistricting and political boundaries for legislative and congressional districts in Illinois will be followed. Redistricting gives us that process that inevitably winds up being resolved by a random draw lottery that gives one political party complete control of the process – and both sides put up with that because their greed is such they like the idea of getting everything AND being able to screw over the opposition.

THAT IS WHAT our state’s finances and daily operations have come down to. Which truly is sad, regardless of which political party one leans toward.

I also got a kick out of the governor’s promise to cancel the remainder of the legislative special session that runs through June 30 “if the General Assembly enacts the compromise balanced budget plan prior to” that date.

Would the governor really make legislators sit around if they don’t “shut up and approve” his plan? Would it be the equivalent of making the naughty, disruptive student sit in the classroom corner?

Or should Rauner be wary because his opposition, in the form of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, could easily find a way of making the governor wind up wearing the dunce cap as a result of fiscal ineptitude.


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