Random thoughts. No art in these deals.


Governor Rauner and the legislature had to do something, so they cut a stop-gap budget that allowed more money to flow to pay for basic state needs.

Today the Chicgo Trib reports that Rauner is meeting with a “panel of lawmakers” in Springpatch to address equity in school funding.

If you read this blog you know that Illinois ranks at the bottom in state school funding. There are few places in the country where the funding of schools is more dependent on where you live and, consequently, how much money you have and what color you are.

Democratic Senator Andy Manar has been chasing this issue for the last couple years. His solution is based on his belief that there is little courage in Springfield to address the issue of adequate school funding. He has argued that since the Democratic legislature won’t provide enough funding for every school, we can at least shift current funds around so that the crumbs that are provided can be more equally divided.

This is a state that lives by the idea of stop-gaps.

I say we can’t get equity without adequacy.

I have no hope that the “panel of lawmakers” will act on that principle.

Another part of the stop-gap budget agreement was that in order for Chicago to recieve $205 million for help in paying the pension bill there must be legislative pension reform.

What will this look like? Who will be in on the bargaining? What kind of pension reform can there possibly be that would survive a constitutional challenge after the Illinois Supreme Court’s May 2015 ruling reaffirming the pension protection clause?

I’ll be talking with Ken Davis on Chicago Newsroom about these question tomorrow on his public access program. The video will be posted here later.

Even if the City gets the $200 million, Rahm must come up with $700 million more.

Following the giant property tax increase that Rahm pushed through, there is little enthusiasm for another tax on working families by even the most toady-like alderman.

Speaking of toady-like aldermen.

Joe Moore supports a utility tax instead of a property tax. 

Any further hike in property taxes would make homeowners howl.

“We’re left with the least harmful of the poisons, and that’s the utility tax,” said 49th Ward Ald. Joe Moore.

“At the end of the day, you’re paying more in taxes overall, whether it’s the property tax or the utilities tax,” said Amanda Kass of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability.

It is the cost of Mayor Daley’s unrealistic obsession with keeping property taxes low.

“For years and years and years, pension funds have been underfunded,” Kass said. “By underfunding pension funds, you could keep property taxes artificially low.”

Amanda Kass is right as usual.

I am a homeowner whose property taxes have gone up 30% in two years. We also pay a tax on utilities. How does Dumb Joe think one is a lesser poison?

The pension bill must be paid.

Can they stop-gap forever?



3 Replies to “Random thoughts. No art in these deals.”

  1. The REAL courage, of course, would be to impose a graduated tax & a tax on CME transactions.

    But who said the majority of legislators have any courage?
    Send them to Oz instead of to Turkey!!

  2. BTW–of course I exclude Rep. Will Guzzardi from the aforementioned motley crew–I fully expect him to be our “Mr. Smith goes to Washington.”
    Interestingly enough, he got at least one close up on msm at the Dem Convention–great smile, Will!

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