Thursday, June 8, 2017

The imperial almighty Illinois House Democratic budget working group meets. Just what will they accomplish?

I (almost) feel sorry for state Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago.
HARRIS: In charge of nothing occurring?

He's the state legislator from up around the Ravenswood neighborhood (that's North Side, for those who are Chicago neighborhood clueless) who's the head of the Illinois House Democratic budget working group, which on Thursday is going to begin the charade of pretending it is trying to put together a budget for state government.

OF COURSE, BY this time, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, has decided it's not likely any real financial plan can be reached to ensure the state's operations. So it's become more a campaign strategy to let nothing happen -- and do their best to hang the failure on Gov. Bruce Rauner. Who, of course, has been trying his darndest to "blame Madigan!" for everything.

Remember last week when the General Assembly completed its spring session for this year and said there would be hearings throughout the state to allow the public to express their views?

The first of those hearings is set for Thursday in Chicago. Harris will have to conduct the process by which he pretends to listen to the public -- while really ensuring that the wishes of his "master" (a.k.a., the esteemed "Mr Speaker") are maintained.

Here's my account, written in advance, of what will occur on Thursday, and on any other day these legislators take the time to convene.

WE'RE NOT GOING to get any closer to a budget by the end of the month -- which is the end of Fiscal '17 and the point at which it will be two full fiscal years that Illinois has operated without a budget plan that dictates what it can, and cannot, do. We may well have to wait until the day after the November 2018 general elections for any serious talks to occur.

Which is why I pity Harris for having to put on the charade of working towards a budget and trying to fill in the empty space that won't have any more substance than what I have (non)-written. Or perhaps I pity more the reporter-types who have to show up at those hearings and pretend that anything significant is being said!

Thank God I don't have to be there.


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