Monday, June 04, 2007

Seal of Disapproval

With all due credit being given to Eric Zorn for pointing me to the resources, I have decided upon my semi-official logo for the (unfortunately) foreseeable future.

Without getting into the various circus sideshows that have driven us into overtime, I am hard-pressed to believe that this exercise is going to wind up with a better outcome than the budget that we passed in the House.

Are there other items which I would have liked to see included in the budget? Of course there are. But as I stated in the press, I believe that this is the appropriate time to pass a budget that addresses needs before wishes.

Are there items in the budget that I don't think belong there? Yep. I'm not comfortable bailing out Stroger Hospital to the tune of $100 million dollars until Cook County gets its own house in order.

Yet the budget we passed relies on natural revenue growth and closure of certain corporate tax breaks in order to provide about a billion dollars in new expenditures. It does so without a sales or income tax increase and without relying on gaming as a crutch.

This overtime was avoidable.

The Governor attempted to lead by edict, with a plan that was doomed from the start no less. I can count on one hand, with fingers left over, the number of colleagues that feel that they have a positive working relationship with the man. It didn't have to be that way.

And style aside, he is attempting to foist an $8 billion dollar increase upon the Legislature, and the people of the State, to support programs that many experts feel are substantively unworkable.

Here is a math equation for future Governors to remember:
Bad funding plan + Unproven massive fiscal expenditure + alienated legislators + Complete unwillingness to compromise = Overtime
Of course we all want people to have access to quality healthcare. But there are other legitimate needs out there as well - education funding reform, mass transit funding, infrastructure improvements, etc. And the Governor's refusal to even scale back his proposal, while at the same time simply dismissing other priorities as unworthy may well mean that none of these needs get met.

Who wins in that scenario? Nobody that I can think of.

But there is always another need underpinning all of these issues. The need to pass a responsible budget. One that looks beyond election cycles and press releases. One that keeps in mind our duty of stewardship for this and future generations.

If it turns out that I am wrong, and that this overtime results in a budget that everybody is ultimately happier with, I will be the first to say so. But to go into overtime to wind up with an inferior outcome than what we could have had last week makes no sense to me.


At June 4, 2007 at 12:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's see: you're willing to fund a corrupt Stroger Hospital; fund mass transit without any reforms in its bloated a corrupt system; fund urban school construction in what are still bloated and corrupt systems; but not health-care for thousands without any health insurance to say nothing of the padded healthcare you get for what is it -- $69 a month. Good democrat, good little democrat. And Madigan doesn't rule by edict. I'd love to see you cross him just once -- just once, John.

At June 4, 2007 at 12:55 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...


1. - I stated that I think that the Stroger Hospital funding is a bad idea;

2. - I am the one that drafted the resolution that resulted in the Auditor General's report on the CTA so that we could determine their operational inefficiencies;

3. - Mass transit has yet to be funded;

4. - Countless leaders in the healthcare field have gone on the record as saying that the Governor's proposal will not work. (see AllKids, where parents can't find a doctor around for miles who will see their 'covered' child);

5. - You'd like to see me on a different page than the Speaker, 'just once'? Where the heck have you been for the last 10 years?


At June 4, 2007 at 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey John-
Love the logo! Does the money bag refer to GRF, which seems to be in short supply, or per diems in overtime? (I think Bernie's column Sunday suggests there are no per diems in overtime without a special session, but maybe I remember it wrong)
Good luck wih the coming weeks...

At June 4, 2007 at 5:54 PM, Blogger Levois said...

Mr. Fritchey, you got skills!

At June 4, 2007 at 8:02 PM, Blogger Hon. John Fritchey said...

Levois, thanks my friend.

Anon, 12:39, I got your reply to my response, and I'm happy to continue the debate with you on this blog.

BUT if you want to do so, you don't get to stay anonymous. Up to you.

Your ball :)

At June 4, 2007 at 11:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaker Madigan is in my district, and I can tell you the man works hard, keeps in touch with his constituents, and continues to do a great job. I work in banking, and the Speaker tried to do something about the high rate of foreclosures, but the governor yanked his program. I thought that was terrible what the governor did. Anyway...I am glad you stood up to this governor because quite frankly I think he is corrupt. Nevertheless, my sister an her husband live in your district and are impressed with your availability. They met you at some community meeting. Keep up the good work, and stand up to your principles.


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