Monday, March 27, 2006

overtime (with a small o)

Not to be outdone by all of the great OT games in the NCAA Tournament this year, it looks like the General Assembly is going to miss it's previously scheduled April 7th adjournment date as well. While not technically an overtime session (yet), latest word is that session for this Friday, Saturday and Sunday is cancelled, with April 8-12 being added.

Why you ask? I'm not really sure and wouldn't read too much into it. And at this point, it's obviously nowhere near the magnitude of the photo on the left, but the picture was too good not to use :)

All session, the consensus has been that the budget was a fait accompli, essentially an afterthought in light of last year's pension restructuring. But there is word that the Latino Caucus is threatening to hold things up unless their demands are met, and the Black Caucus showed last year that it has become much more adept at flexing their muscle at crunch time, so things could get dicey in a hurry.

Whether or not this is just a version of The Price is Right or whether the leverage will be used for some significant restructuring of budget priorities remains to be seen. But if either of these groups digs in their heels and forces the Governor's hand, it could make for an interesting collision at a very inopportune time for the Executive Branch. And with the Meeks third party Gubernatorial candidacy hanging out there as well, the stage could be set for big problems with the Democratic ticket.

For now, I'm going with the belief that somebody, likely the Speaker, will figure out how to get this resolved relatively peacefully and wrap things up with minimal collateral damage. And while there could be some good theater ahead, I hope that it doesn't come at the expense of a sensible budget and is mindful of the big picture obligations owed to the public.

In any event, as tempted as I was to make plans to get out of town in mid-April, I sure am glad I thought better of it and decided to hold off any definitive plans.

5 Comments:

At March 27, 2006 at 2:50 PM, Anonymous southerilrepub said...

Rep. Fritchey,

If the ILGA does stay over please enact the Cubs losing tax to pay for the overtime on perdium!

 
At March 27, 2006 at 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for the B.C. and the Latino Caucus. I always was amazed at how cheaply these caucuses were bought off by whoever was in office. Forget the little $2M or so stuff for a social service center or what not. Go for the big stuff. I like Meeks' style. He has guts enough to play with the big boys. Good for him.

 
At March 27, 2006 at 7:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go for the big stuff, fine, but don't mess with my taxes. I'm already paying huge amounts.

 
At March 27, 2006 at 11:09 PM, Anonymous silentk said...

Perhaps the delay would be to follow up on the outcome of the Revenue Committee Hearing on our 7% property tax cap? Only hoping...

Revenue Committee Hearing
SUBJECT MATTER: Analysis of the effect of the expanded homestead exemption amount created in Public Act 93-0715.

Scheduled Date: Mar 28, 2006 8:30AM
Location: Room 114 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL

 
At March 29, 2006 at 5:48 AM, Blogger Jill Stanek said...

There is also a potential hold-up of the budget by pro-life Senate Dems if it includes any funding for embryonic stem cell research.

 

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