Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By: Mark Glennon*

Here’s a test: Read the 638 pages linked here and decide if you’d vote for it. You have four hours, during which you also have listen to the debate on a $5 billion tax increase and cast your vote on that.

Aside from the $5 billion tax increased passed yesterday, the Illinois House also passed a $36 billion spending plan — the budget, basically.

But it was new, and was popped on the House in mid-afternoon, just hours before the vote. “We have no idea what’s in it,” said House Minority Leader Jim Durkin at the time.

It came in the form of an amendment to Senate Bill 6 — but an amendment that’s 638 pages long.

“The Democrats made matters more complicated by filing a new spending bill within the last 15 minutes,” said Durkin, who was visibly agitated according to Illinois News Network.

You may recall that House Speaker Michael Madigan said on Saturday no votes would be taken over the weekend, but changed that later in the day to say the vote on the tax increase would be held on Sunday. He did not say the spending vote would be taken.

We now know at least one thing in it, a “boobytrap” for Governor Rauner, according to Capitol Fax, a publication that’s not generally friendly to him.

Here’s how the boobytrap works: It blocks the flow of money from the state to schools unless Rauner signs the school funding bill Democrats want. That’s Senate Bill 1, which recently passed the General Assembly but is opposed by many Republicans and is criticized as a bailout of Chicago schools. So, Rauner would have to sign Senate Bill 1 or face the charge by Democrats that he’s cutting off all school funding.

What else is in the spending plan? I’d say “God only knows,” but he’s definitely not who drafted it. House Speaker Michael Madigan knows, along with some other key Democratic legislators and staff, but that’s probably it.

Cramming complex bills through the House in the final hours is a tradition with Speaker Madigan. His party and many Republicans go along without objection. The spending plan passed 81 – 34 with significant Republican support.

$36 billion.

*Mark Glennon is founder of Wirepoints. Opinions expressed are his own.



newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Is it just a coincidence that they are moving the shells around on a holiday weekend?

bob oriole park

No, they always do that. I really expected the 2016 city CAFR to be released today, but no sign of it on the web site.

bob oriole park

If you go under document properties (command/control-D) you’ll see the 2015 was created on 7/2/16 and modified 7/8/16. So 7/8 is the minimum release date, the modify was probably when they tried to backdate it.


Skillicorn stayed up to read it, did a little video. There’s a poison pill that excludes school funding if Rauner doesn’t approve CPS funding. !!!


Sure I’m upset. But knowing that I have the means to leave this state in a few years is comforting. I’ll pay this tax for a few years, maybe the property tax freeze will still happen and it will be a wash. Whatever happens, I’ll be in south Florida or Georgia around the horizon.

Jeff Carter

The silence of the gubernatorial candidates for Governor in the Democratic Primary, deafening.

Shame on anyone who would sign the spending bill without the slightest clue what it contains. Rauner’s best move now through the end of his term is to veto everything that crosses his desk, and do his best to educate Illinoisans as to how bad the situation really is. He will not be reelected. What does he have to lose? He should take to twitter daily to hammer home the fact that Illinois is in a financial crisis, and the tax increases and spending bill will only make it worse. He should constantly call attention to the fact that public sector pensions will soon fail. He now… Read more »

agree 100%-well said


Lets face it Rauner (and those of us who voted for him–work for a pay check, own a home, run a small business, or retired) just got there clock cleaned by Madigan and Co–zero reforms. Where do Rauner and Ill Rep go from here? what’s Rauner going to do for the next 2 years while we await a Madigan lackie like Pritzker. Can only assume going after retirement accounts are next


Wow, a Corrupt Madigan last minute pressure bill that no one has read? Pray for Rauner to stay strong, he is our only hope for someone to do the right thing on behalf of the taxpayers.

Art from Lake County

Total irresponsibility on the R’s part and total surrender. I read the justifications last night on the tax vote. (Shame on the rep from Arlington Heights.) But there is no justification for voting for a spending bill without considering it thoughtfully. It is not D’s versus R’ s. It is the people of Illinois versus the politicians.

bob oriole park

They aren’t Republicans. An Illinois “Republican” is too liberal to be a southern Democrat. Even they have minimum standards.


Well said and true. A pox on both Dems and Republicans here. Illinois badly needs bankruptcy.