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Illinois Government Shutdown Watch

Illinois Government Shutdown Watch

Will Anyone Notice?

Will they, or won’t they? Signs point to yes—the Illinois government will “shut down” at midnight tonight.

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner spent the majority of today touring various agencies in an effort to calm the nerves of state employees who can’t be assured of a paycheck after mid-July. Democrats in the Illinois legislature led by House Speaker Michael Madigan plan on pitching an alternate, short-term spending plan tomorrow that would fund “essential” programs for the next month; Rauner, however, has already vetoed one Democrat-drafted budget, and indicated that short-term fixes aren’t a viable funding option.

Still, Rauner is a Republican pilgrim in an unholy “blue” land, and the pressure is mounting. Will Rauner cave? It doesn’t look like it:

Asked whether the governor would support Madigan’s temporary budget, deputy chief of staff Mike Schrimpf pointed to Rauner’s statement earlier in June that “an unbalanced short-term budget with no real reforms is still a phony budget and unacceptable to the people of Illinois.”

Absent a budget deal, it’s unclear what will happen with state government at the start of business Wednesday. Employee unions have said workers will punch in; there is enough money to pay them through mid-July. Services provided by private vendors could wind down or end because there’s no guarantee there will be payment for them.

Rauner spent Tuesday morning visiting workers at state agencies, assuring them that he will do what he can to make sure they continue getting paid — the Democratic attorney general has warned his plan would be illegal. And Rauner bemoaned uncooperative Democrats who won’t go along with business and political reforms he wants adopted before discussing the budget.

Rauner insists Illinois must freeze property taxes to give homeowners a break, put restrictions on liability lawsuits and compensation for workers’ injuries to make business operations cheaper, allow for expansion and increase tax revenue. Term limits and impartial political map-drawing would keep officeholders accountable and thrifty, he says.

Madigan says the business changes would hurt middle-class workers and calls them “extreme.”

Rauner turned that term against the opposing party, saying his plans make “extreme common sense.”

“What is extreme in Illinois is our property tax burden, what is extreme is our deficit and our debt, what is extreme is our low economic growth, our low rate of job-creation and our high rate of conflicts of interest inside government,” Rauner said.

Rauner made waves in his first budget address earlier this year when he called for major spending cuts to Medicaid, higher ed, pension plans, and municipal grant programs.

So far, the impending downfall of life as Illinoisans know it hasn’t made much of a splash on social media. We’ll keep you updated as the situation progresses (or fails to progress.)


Democrats are still set to vote on their temporary spending plan Wednesday in an effort to avoid the shutdown. Rauner is expected to veto the effort.


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The federal government was shutdown following Barack’s refusal to sign a budget. That’s probably not a good reason to follow his lead, but it does offer a reference to judge people’s reaction.

I remember the Barry-cades Obama erected in order to punish the folks for his profligate spending habits. Today, we have Obamacare, over $18 trillion in recorded debt, demands to capture capital through private mandates, and there are still unidentified Americans.

    4fun in reply to n.n. | July 1, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    Today, we have Obamacare, over $18 trillion in recorded debt,

    And from what I read the sign showing that debt figure hasn’t moved in something like three weeks for some reason. Hmmm…could we have hit $20 trillion already?

“What is extreme in Illinois is our property tax burden, what is extreme is our deficit and our debt, what is extreme is our low economic growth, our low rate of job-creation and our high rate of conflicts of interest inside government,” Rauner said.

Exploiter extremist Mike Madigan has been the downfall of this state. He and his daughter Lisa must be removed from office.

The Chicago Teachers Union-Klingons of the past-must get a life.

We will need a constitutional amendment just for pension reform. We must do that and then offer simple 401K plans to state employees with a small amount of matching. Then state workers can be just like the rest of us. We are not hiring the best and brightest with the extreme benefits being offered.

As I was riding the METRA train to Chicago yesterday someone told me that many people are leaving the state. I’ve thought a lot about doing the same but my four kids are here right now and I plan on retiring in a few years and then move to another state where I can do research and maybe some day trading from home.

I’ve paid enough Illinois ‘dues’ to the corrupt Democrats of this state. Little wonder Obama found himself at home here among the corrupt.

    NC Mountain Girl in reply to jennifer a johnson. | July 1, 2015 at 9:19 am

    In the 1980s I knew a large group of young professionals interested in politics and political reform. I’d estimate that today 75% of them live in other states while the remaining 25% took state patronage jobs during the Thompson/Edgar/Ryan administration and got co-opted by the corruption in the state Republican party.

    The brightest left.

    Come and join the small but growing number of pro-Liberty NY’ers (like me) to Southwest Florida to keep FL from turning red.

inspectorudy | July 1, 2015 at 5:12 am

When will the American people finally wake up and realize that there is no solution. Just like Greece and Puerto Rico, Illinois will simply default on their debt and then move on. Europe is on the verge of defaulting and the South American countries are the same. The public sees no down side to the state going bankrupt because they equate it with their own lives. They do not realize that the state can no longer borrow money at an affordable rate or sell bonds to finance projects. All goods and services that were once provided on account will now be cash up front. That is if obama doesn’t figure out a way to make us pay for their stupidity and greed.

pablo panadero | July 1, 2015 at 7:47 am

I look at this as an advertisement on the benefits of federalism. Except for the ability of people to vote their destruction, then get up and move to continue to vote continue the contagion on a new state.

NC Mountain Girl | July 1, 2015 at 9:13 am

Mike Madigan may be the most powerful unknown politician in America. He’s been in power for decades and is still largely unrecognized by the public. Soundbite journalism in one reason. He’s personally low key and does most of his damage through back room deals and his knowledge of procedures- none of which translates to “coming up at 11” reporting. Also the Legislature in based in the state capital in Springfield, which is not a favorite destination for reporters based in Chicago. The Governor and the heads of the executive agencies have a dual presence with offices in Chicago as well as in Springfield.

There are some who have been waiting 30 years now for Madigan to be reined in.

Rauner’s right: a short-term fix just encourages profligacy. It’s very much like the continuing resolutions that Harry Reid is so famous for. They are at best an outline of spending, and do not have developed controls. That’s how we, through the kind offices of our President, managed to tack another $8-trillion onto our budget in six short years.