The Labor Tribune

Labor News From Our Region

Labor out-shouts Rauner’s rally on opening day

January 23, 2017 by admin in Labor News From Our Region with 0 Comments

UNION MEMBERS supporting the re-election of Democratic Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan to a 17th term rallied Jan. 11 at the Univeristy of Illinois-Springfield where Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s operatives staged a bogus protest against the re-election. – Mike Todd, Laborers Local 459 photo

By CARL GREEN

Illinois Correspondent

Springfield, IL – Opening day of the Illinois Legislature is sometimes a day of high hopes and great expectations.

This year, not so much. The titanic stand-off between the Democrat-dominated Legislature and Republican Governor Bruce Rauner is showing no signs of ending, leaving the state without a budget and many of its residents suffering as a result.

Rauner is determined to damage unions’ standing within the state, and much of the Democratic defiance to his demands is to protect their Labor allies.

That couldn’t have been more clear Jan. 11 at the University of Illinois-Springfield, where Rauner’s operatives in the Illinois Policy Institute staged a protest against the re-election of House Speaker Michael Madigan to an unprecedented 17th term.

While the Republicans mustered a few working people to join in their stunt, they were thoroughly drowned out by a genuine rally of union members supporting Madigan, including many from the Metro-East.

Republicans followed up with a barrage of press releases attacking Democratic representatives individually for voting for Madigan’s re-election, although nobody was running against him.

SENATE PLAN STALLS

Senate President John Cullerton was re-elected to his post by the Democratic majority in that chamber. Earlier in the week, in the last days of the previous Legislature, the Senate agreed on a bipartisan budget plan, but it was quickly shelved by Republicans as the session expired, the Associated Press reported.

Cullerton and Senate Minority Leader Susan Radogno were trying to distinguish the Senate from the showdown between Rauner and Madigan.

“We’re two years in and we don’t have a budget,” Cullerton said. “It’s embarrassing for the state, and there’s been real damage that has happened to people and we want to avoid that.”

Cullerton said he will present the plan to the new General Assembly. The legislation would increased the income tax rate to 4.95 percent from 3.75 percent to narrow a multibillion-dollar annual deficit and $11 billion in unpaid state bills. It was also written to streamline purchasing, consolidate local government, reform the tax code and add term limits.

Later Wednesday, Democrats and their Labor supporters gathered to celebrate the inaugurations of four Democratic state representatives from the Metro-East – Jay Hoffman of Swansea, Latoya Greenwood of East St. Louis, Katie Stuart of Edwardsville and Dan Beiser of Alton. Hoffman, Stuart and Beiser all issued statements.

TIME TO ACT

Hoffman, chairman of the House Labor and Commerce Committee, said it’s time to solve the budget dilemma.

“The state budget should not be a political football that can be used in order to gain political power,” he said. “As elected officials, there are consequences for our actions, and for every day we continue without a balanced budget, more damage is done to people and businesses in this state.”

Hoffman noted that Rauner has not signed a full state budget into law since taking office two years ago, despite the passage of several budgets out of the Legislature.

As a result, state universities, social service providers, health care providers and other organizations that depend on payments from the state have faced uncertainty and under-funding. Rauner has allowed the backlog of unpaid bills to grow from $4.5 billion to $13.5 billion, which has damaged the state’s credit rating.

“Working families and small businesses are two of the groups most negatively impacted by this impasse despite being two of the groups that depend most on the stability and support that the state can provide,” Hoffman said. “In order to do right by Illinois families and businesses, we must come together and pass a responsible budget.”

JUST DON’T PAY

Stuart said job creation, school funding and fiscal responsibility are at the top of her agenda.

“The families in my district do not have the ability to ignore their bills and run their homes on an unbalanced budget. The state should not be any different,” she said. “The status quo in Springfield isn’t working. I believe that if lawmakers don’t do their jobs, they shouldn’t be paid. I’m rejecting my own pay until a budget is in place and will fight the politicians and special interests to protect our families.”

Beiser called on Rauner to work with the Legislature on the budget.

“The time has come for Governor Rauner to look towards true compromise with lawmakers,” he said. “Since taking office, the governor has held our state budget hostage. Without a budget, our social service organizations are being also held as collateral damage, abandoning our most vulnerable citizens, the elderly and disabled.”

Beiser said he would also focus on property tax relief for homeowners, public safety and creating jobs by building the economy.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*

Search by keyword
Recent Posts
  • Teachers who left St. Louis Public Schools, citing classroom violence and lack of support, were sued by the district. A judge just ruled in teachers’ favor
  • Labor leaders back Democrats’ ‘Better Deal’ to strengthen collective bargaining rights of workers
  • GOP tax plan provides permanent tax cut for corporations, slashes critically needed deductions for working families
  • Minimum wage, CLEAN Missouri ballot initiatives are key to defeating RTW
  • Donate to the $18 for ’18 campaign to help defeat RTW
  • Candidates, representatives lay out their plans for 2018
  • IBEW Local 309 officer and organizer Artie Minor dies
  • Young Mine Workers’ leader gives thanks to Mother Jones
wordpress visitor counter

505 South Ewing Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63103

Ph: 314.535.9660
Fx: 314.531.6131

info@labortribune.com


View Larger Map

Contact us with your comments and news tips!

Your Name:

Your Email Address:

Your Message:





PLEASE NOTE: Depending on your browser settings, the PDF links on this site may automatically download to your computer.