Wednesday, June 13, 2007

over time hell in Springfield

The budge impasse in Springfield continues with very little hope of the General Assembly and the Governor coming to an agreement on a new budget for the state. A big part of the problem comes from Governor Blagojevich refusal to abandon his planned spending increase and the accompanying 7 billion dollar tax increase in the form of the Gross Receipts Tax and payroll tax. This despite the House voting 107-0 against the tax increase and it not even coming for a vote in the State Senate because legislative leaders realized that it would fail and the failure of the State Senate to pass his health care plan, despite Senate President Emil Jones being a close ally of the Governor.

Along with that the Governor is continuing to push for the sale of the state lottery, while privatization of state run industries is often a good idea, the Governor has not offered a detail plan on how he would make up for the 600 million dollars a year that the state would lose in lottery revenue. Other than claiming it would be made up by investing part of the money from the lottery sale, but the amount that he would plan to invest would be required to make a return of about 10-13 percent to make up for the lost in lottery revenue and it is all put impossible to make that kind of return with out taking on some kind of risk. Along with this the lottery sale is not to popular with the members of the State General Assembly and it opposed by State House Speaker Mike Madigan. The public needs to put pressure on Governor Blagojevich to drop his tax increase and massive increase in spending on social program and accept a zero or low growth budget and start working on future budgets that would cut back on unneeded state spending and reduce the overall size of state government.

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