In Springfield, the same old crap

Oh, sure. Gov. J.B. Pritzker and his myrmidons promised a new day in Illinois--solutions to all of the states problems, blah and blah--yet when the talk ended and reality set in, the Democrat-controlled state government brought us more of the same old crap.

Just for starters:

  • A new, record-breaking $40.27 billion budget that, according to the conservative Illinois Policy Institute is "structurally out of balance by at least $1.3 billion."
  • A proposal by Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi to reform the crooked and broken Cook County method for assessing commercial buildings failed after an onslaught against it by special interests.

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi. (Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)

Some of the budget highlights, according to the Institute:

  • Illinois drivers will be left with the second highest total gas tax burden in the nation as lawmakers voted to double the state's gas tax to 38 cents from 19 cents a gallon. This would cost the average driver about $100 more per year. Additional fee increases include those on car registrations, electric car registrations, motor homes, parking garages and diesel fuel.
  • The budget relies on a number of gimmicks such as fund sweeping, overly optimistic assumptions that may not materialize, and one-time revenue sources from areas such as sports gambling licenses
  • Lawmakers filled the budget with millions in wasteful spending for items such as decorative streetlights, construction for parks and gazebos, and exposing “youngsters to the game of golf.”

As if that's not bad enough, the strangulation of Kaegi's reform at the hands of 16 special interests demonstrates that when it comes to cleaning things up, the Democratic leadership still answers to the dog whistle of powerful lobbyists from businesses, trade unions and the big downtown landlords.

The Senate had approved the bill, but in the House, Speaker Michael Madigan who makes a comfortable living appealing assessments from the same special interests, the bill failed.

Same old, same old. As the Institute pointed out, taxpayers are on the hook for $85 billion dollars that includes the, $40 billion, 1,581 page spending plan. All of this happened in 12 hours. It's as if passing a law to find out what's in it has become a Democratic habit.

Illinois still is on the road to armageddon at break-neck speed, only faster, thanks to Pritzker and the oligarchs who run the state for their own benefit. 

My historical novel: Madness: The War of 1812

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