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Illinois Tag

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:

The movement to boycott those who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is gaining steam, particularly at the legislative level. We previously highlighted federal legislation aimed at the European boycott movement, and the apoplectic reaction, Breaking! Anti-Israel boycotters don’t like being boycotted!:
The vicious anti-Israel boycotters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement don’t like it when the tables are turned on them. That’s why, when faculty pass their anti-Israel boycott resolutions, they include in the resolutions the demand that their right to boycott be protected. In other words, boycotters claim the right to boycott others, but deny others the right to boycott them.
In addition to federal legislation, Illinois is on the verge of passing legislation which effectively causes the State to boycott the boycotters. The Washington Free Beacon reports, Anti-BDS Bill Poised for Passage in Illinois Legislature:
A milestone bill meant to combat international boycotts of Israel cleared a major procedural hurdle in the Illinois House this week, paving the way for the state to become among the first to divest funds from any company supporting the anti-Israel Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment (BDS) movement. The bill, which would force Illinois’ five state pension funds to divest from any company supporting boycotts of Israel, passed by a 10-0 vote through a key executive committee on Wednesday and is now on its way to a full vote in the state’s legislature, where it is expected to garner widespread support.... If passed, Illinois would become the first state in nation to divest from companies abroad that support Israel boycotts.
The anti-Israel movement issued urgent alerts to try to stop the legislation in committee.

Hey, remember when I wrote in February 2011 how state employees accused Scott Walker of being Hitler because he wanted to scale back state employee unions? First They Came For The Right To Retire After 30 Years On Full Salary With COLAs. Welcome to Illinois, where in 2011 the legislature made a similar "Hitlerian" move to protect the State from fiscal oblivion by scaling back annual compounding of retiree Cost of Living Adjustments and other retiree perks as part of a reform package. Those perks, not available in the private sector, were crushing the state budget.

You would think a state with such dire financial problems couldn't even consider spending such a large sum of tax dollars on something that's usually built with private money. Luckily, the Illinois House has backed off the idea for the moment. USA Today reported...
Illinois shelving $100M gift to Obama library A plan to offer $100 million in tax dollars to lure Barack Obama's presidential library to Illinois is on the shelf, with lawmakers prepared to wrap up their spring session without advancing the idea. Democrats in the president's home state pushed the proposal to compete against rival bids from Hawaii and New York. But it faced opposition from Republicans wary of an expensive and precedent-setting gift — with no immediately identified funding source — for a mostly private endeavor when the state faces serious financial difficulties. Not all Democrats were on board either, and the Illinois House adjourned Friday without calling for any final votes on the measure.
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