Springfield doesn’t belong to Rauner. These signs are all over town.
I’m here for the state convention of the Illinois Retired Teachers Association. I would have come by Amtrak. There’s a train from Chicago’s Union Station to downtown Springfield. But the train that then goes on to St. Louis is not running this month while they do track repairs.
If I was going to spend any time lobbying at the state Capitol while I was here that isn’t going to happen. Like the train to St. Louis, nobody in state government is working in Springfield, except state workers. Legislators are gone and won’t be back until November 10th.
If you thought there was a sense of urgency to pass a budget and have money flowing back to early child care centers for low-income families, or checks to doctors so their chemo patients can get treatment, you’re mistaken.
There is real pain because of the governor’s demand that any budget passed by the legislature include his union-busting agenda.
There is this odd sense of mixed feelings about the budget. Even if one is passed, it won’t be enough to pay the bill to care for the most needy. Not without increased revenue.
Revenue that should come from a fair tax that makes the rich pay their share.
Note to the coven of commenters that write to me about the rich leaving town if we make them pay more. Forget it. I’m not posting them.
I heard you. We all heard you.
There should be no budget agreement if it means ending collective bargaining. That would be a real hurt for the working families of the state.
The other news from Springpatch is that Charlie Parker’s restaurant won $25,000 in a contest for a famously local breakfast called a horseshoe.
The horseshoe is made of eggs, bacon, fries, cheese sauce, sausage gravy and hash browns on a toasted English muffin.
And a new Krispy Kreme opens in town this morning. The first 100 customers get a year’s worth of donuts.
I’m getting out of here as soon as the meeting is over.