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Is IL closer to getting a state budget & reforms than a year ago? Berkowitz w/ trial lawyer Matt Belcher, Cable/web

Speaker Madigan, talking to the media last December, after meeting with the Governor and other legislative leaders about the State Budget and reforms. Since then, despite the hype, no progress on a balanced budget and reforms.

Speaker Madigan, talking to Berkowitz and other  Chicago media last December outside the Governor's Conference Room at the Thompson Center in the Chicago Loop, after meeting with the Governor and other legislative leaders about the State Budget and reforms. Since then, despite the hype, no progress has been made on a balanced IL state budget and reforms.

IL House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and Senate Republican Leader Chris Radogno talk with the media after meeting with the Governor and Speaker Madigan about a balanced Budget and reforms. Since then, despite the hype, there has been no real progress toward a true Grand Bargain on the IL budget between Radogno, Cullerton or anybody else.

IL House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and Senate Republican Leader Chris Radogno talk with Berkowitz and other Chicago media last December at the Thompson Center outside the Governor's conference room  after meeting with the Governor and Speaker Madigan about a Balanced Budget and reforms. Since then, despite the hype, there has been no real progress toward a true Grand Bargain on the IL budget between Radogno, Cullerton or anybody else. There were no true reforms in the Cullerton Radogno deal. So, the fact that Radogno thought Rauner would be okay with that is kind of beyond rational belief.

 

What happens, hypothetically speaking, when Speaker Madigan asks a typical plaintiff's trial lawyer specializing in Worker's comp. insurance cases to reach a compromise on the causation standard used  to resolve Worker's compensation lawsuits? 

Does Illinois have a bad business litigation climate relative to surrounding states and if so why?

Could more charter and voucher school options radically improve the quality of education received by low income minority students in CPS.

To learn the answers to these and other important public policy questions relating to portions of Governor Rauner's Turnaround Agenda, watch plaintiff's trial lawyer Matt Belcher (of Aleksy Belcher) debate and discuss the issues with show host Jeff Berkowitz. The "Public Affairs," show, featuring Matt Belcher, airs tonight throughout the City of Chicago at 8:30 pm and midnight on Cable Ch. 21 [CAN TV].

The Public Affairs show airs EVERY MONDAY night in the City of  Chicago at 8:30 pm and midnight on Cable Ch. 21 [CAN TV]. The show also airs EVERY WEEK at the times and in the locations listed below.

You can also watch the show featuring Matt Belcher 24/7 by clicking here.  

Since March, 2016 when we taped this episode of Public Affairs, we have been told that the most likely of Gov. Rauner's Turnaround Agenda reforms that the Democratic Party leadership would support  in exchange for Governor Rauner's support of new tax revenue to finance a variety of state government spending high on the Democratic Party's wish list  were workers' comp. reform and pension reform.

State employee pension reform was almost a done deal between Gov. Rauner and Senate President Cullerton at the beginning of 2016.  However, Cullerton apparently concluded Madigan was not yet ready to deal with the Governor and that baby, which was nurtured by Cullerton, was sent back for a longer gestation period.

However, if a deal is ever reached on resolving other reforms, spending and new tax revenue, which is almost surely not the case, the Speaker will sign off on the Cullerton-Rauner pension reform deal, which is a reform that President Cullerton has fathered and authored from the "Get go."

Such other Turnaround Agenda reforms as tort reform, significant pension reform, giving local governments the right to curtail the scope of collective bargaining with public sector unions and term limits (or, in short any significant reform)  are dead in the water and the Democratic Party Leadership, i.e., Speaker Madigan and Senate President Cullerton, will not consider those reforms, at all, as part of a deal. Anything you are being told to the contrary is a snare and a delusion.

However, as to worker's comp. reform, Madigan and Cullerton would agree, if they were actually bargaining for reforms to get more tax revenue, to some modification of workers' comp.-- but they will never agree to a change in the causation standard. 

They, and tonight's featured guest, trial lawyer Matt Belcher, simply don't agree with the Republicans that the current workers comp. causation standard is too expansive in allowing medical treatment and lost earnings for too many employee medical conditions that were not "Caused," in the "Course and scope," of the individual employee's work.

Moreover, the plaintiffs' trial lawyers are too important to the Democrats, including, most importantly, Speaker Madigan and Leader Cullerton, as campaign contributors for Madigan and Cullerton to oppose the trial lawyers on this issue.

So, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus and there will be no significant worker's comp. reform this year or next ; nor will there be any sort of a  "Grand bargain," on the budget or reforms.

We didn't know that for sure as of the time this show was taped in March, 2016, but we know that now. Still, tonight's show is interesting to watch and you will learn a lot of relevant stuff.  

For example, you should know that many claims for workers' comp. claimants relate in large part to a pre-existing condition that pre-dated or occurred outside that individual's course and scope of employment with his current employer.

Further, those facts and circumstances, along with the current "IL causation standard,"  result, argues show host Berkowitz, in unusually high workers' comp. insurance rates in IL, which are tending to drive industry and jobs out of Illinois--and to surrounding states.

So, what happens, hypothetically speaking, when Speaker Madigan asks a typical plaintiff's trial lawyer specializing in Worker's comp. insurance cases, such as Matt Belcher, to reach a compromise on the causation standard used  to resolve Worker's compensation lawsuits? 

Further, does Illinois have a bad business litigation and tort liability climate relative to surrounding states and if so why?

As I said, this week's Public Affairs show is just as relevant now as when it was taped in March, 2016.

Nothing changes in IL, except Illinois' economy, compared to economic improvements in its surrounding states, continues to deteriorate and the host of Public Affairs keeps getting better and better looking:)

A stop gap deal on the Fiscal 2017 budget was reached at the end of June, 2016, but with no reforms, no spending cuts, no new taxes and no balanced budget.

Now, Speaker Madigan and the other Dems want to do that one more time in April or May, 2017.

Gov. Rauner says no mas, or, if you prefer, not one more stopgap budget, unless Democrats agree to a permanent freeze of local property taxes-- and we know the IL Democrats will never sign off on that.

So, just in case you think Governor Rauner and Speaker Madigan will negotiate a balanced budget with new revenue, reforms and spending cuts for Fiscal Year 2018, tonight's show on workers' comp. reform is very relevant to disabuse you of that notion.

There will be no significant IL fiscal or civic reforms, as long as the Democrat's constituent unions, trial lawyers, etc.. have anything to say about that, and they have plenty to say about what Democratic politicians do in IL.

And, improving the business litigation climate in Illinois and education reform are also important to think about, even though those reforms won't happen prior to 2019, if then.

And, we ask yet again, could more charter and voucher school options radically improve the quality of education received by low income minority students in CPS? Now, that is something you really should think deeply about.

So, to learn some aspects that will help you in thinking about the answers to all of the above public policy questions, watch plaintiff's trial lawyer Matt Belcher (of Aleksy Belcher) debate and discuss various topics with show host Jeff Berkowitz on this week's Public Affairs' Chicago, Chicago Metro suburban, Evanston, Rockford and Aurora editions.

Tomorrow night's "Public Affairs," Chicago Metro, suburban edition, featuring Matt Belcher, airs at 8:30 pm in 24 North and Northwest Chicago Metro suburbs:

--The Chicago Metro suburban edition airs Tomorrow night at 8:30 pm  on Comcast Cable Ch. 19 in--

Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, parts of Inverness, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northfield, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Wilmette

and on Comcast Cable Ch. 35 in--

Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Glenview, Golf, Des Plaines, Hanover Park, Mt. Prospect, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Schaumburg, Skokie, Streamwood and Wheeling.

The show featuring Belcher also airs:

--Tonight at 8:30 pm on ECTV-6 in Evanston,

--Tonight, Wednesday and Saturday nights at 6 pm on ACTV-10 in Aurora,

--This Thursday night at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 17 in Rockford, and 

--tonight and tomorrow night at 8:30 pm  on Cable Ch. 19 in Winnetka, Kenilworth, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Bannockburn, Ft. Sheridan and Deerfield. 

You can also watch the show featuring Matt Belcher 24/7 by clicking here.  

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