Springfield. I’m outta here.

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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.

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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.

4 thoughts on “Springfield. I’m outta here.

  1. Fred, when you get on the train, bus or drive to Springfield, IL to advocate or lobby….too often the Legislators hide from their constituents. The House and Senate legislators have a home office. When we stop in, we ask for a piece of their stationary, write them a personal note, sit in their lobby and call Springfield directly (free on most mobile phones) and then ask to see them or their legislative aid.
    WE Demand Fully Funding Pensions. We demand Actuarial Required Contributions! We call for raising the capacity to Fully Fund Education in Illinois! We call for hearings on plans to Fully Fund education. And we call for a plan that is sound, fair, and legal. We don’t have the money to fight the broken system, but we have over 100,000 members and families that can stop by and have a cup of coffee in their offices!

    • Raymond–Might be a stupid ?, but what is the name of your organization that has “over 100,000 members & families that can stop by & have a cup of coffee in their offices?”

  2. Fred,

    What you are seeing first hand regarding bills being paid ( or not paid) by the state has been a reality to any business in Illinois that has tried to do business with the state. Not many companies, especially small ones, can afford to wait 12, 18 or 24 + months to be paid for services. Fewer and fewer folks will want to or can afford to do business with them. When large, relatively healthy companies can’t afford it there is a real problem. What you are seeing is a sad combination of political infighting and the fact Illinois is really broke. You can blame the guv, but he just brought the reality to the for front. Sometimes its not real until it affects you directly.

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