The State of IL has problems. The August 2011, headline below sums up the situation. IL is fiscally broken, and the governor and the legislature have placed themselves in the position of having only three days this week to fix the 2010 budget enough to advance to the next year’s budget.

Illinois Statehouse News: Illinois 50 out of 50 in 2010 for state deficit

Governor Pat Quinn, has so far fumbled the political football passed to him by Rod Blagovich. The IL veto session is showing  his political inepitude to be the biggest obstacle to working to resolve the outstanding budget issues which need to be compromised on for the state to begin addressing next year’s budget.

State legislators last week showed determination to not give in to Quinn’s demands that the State take the easy choice and simply borrow more money to cover this year’s shortfalls. Instead, legislators are holding firm to work with the revenue the state has and still come up with enough funds to close out this year. Quinn threatened closure of a number of critical state facilities, including IL Department of Corrections Logan prison and the Chester Mental Health Center, for lack of money. While it is possible that one of these might still be on the chopping block next year, legislators have indicated that they will not allow unconsidered ad-hoc and wide-scale closure decisions by Quinn. For now, they will simply work around Quinn to avoid allowing any of his closures without resorting to more fiscal borrowing.

Governor Pat Quinn’s attempts to manipulate the legislative action have cost him a lot of respect in political circles. He has put himself in so many contradictory and self-binding situations that even the New York Times felt compelled to comment on his amateur moves in the article below:

As Fall Veto Session Begins, Lawmakers Question Quinn’s Ability to Lead

State legislators are up against very serious fiscal problems and a big time deadline. Quinn’s attempts to change legislative decisions has muddied the water. Legislators have to reach some compromise this week on a whole list of budget issues which are negatively impacting life and just about every business in the state as demonstrated in the whole spate of news articles about the budget that have been cropping up in the media over the last few weeks, such as the following examples:

Lawmakers yet to tackle massive $85B pension debt

Small businesses nickel-and-dimed by state

State’s tardiness costs you money

Few signs of movement on paying late bills

Local legislators: Overspending must stop

Bills get paid faster with lawmakers’ help

Illinois backlog adds to schools’ money problems

Fiscal year 2012 off to bad start for schools

Prisons have hard time buying food

Universities cope with chronic late payments

Small businesses feeling the pinch here

A long wait: Unpaid bills undercut business partners

Deadbeat state: Illinois owes billions in unpaid bills

Legislators may come out with some action this week regarding state pensions, but, if so, actions will certainly be challenged in court and, like Wisconsin, IL will be viewed as an attempt to break unionism, since Madigan is trying now to disengage Quinn’s power to represent the state in negotiating state union contracts. Whether the legislature will succeed in moving on all the outstanding items this week remains to be seen. A recent court decision, also below may additionally give them more leeway in looking a funds available to be moved around:

Lawmakers to work on budget during break in veto session

Madigan seeks cap on state pay raises

Illinois Supreme Court: State money cannot be special

Even with severe budget woes, it is ironic to instances of political pandering by Quinn and outright greed on the side of union officials still cropping up. It goes to show us that the harshness of the fiscal crisis is still somewhat not real to some folks in power.

Retired IDOT chief back on payroll

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s