State Legislative Results Could Mean Armageddon for Suburban Taxpayers

Illinois State Capitol

Chicago Sun-Times reporter Dave McKinney was following statewide legislative results while I was looking at the McHenry County Board.

The short of it is that the legislative maps worked as well or better than did the Congressional maps.

Losing Joe Walsh, Bob Dold, Bobby Shilling and Judy Biggert and keeping Jerry Costello’s seat Democrat was pretty much all that Mike Madigan could have wished for. 9Not to mention having Don Manzullo lose to Adam Kinzinger in the GOP primary.)

But United States House of Representatives will still be in Republican hands, so there is something of a brake there.

Not so in Springfield.

Dave McKinney reports that Mike Madigan will have a veto-proof majority.

So will John Cullerton.

Madigan is getting a net gain of seven seats by his calculations.

71-47.

In the Senate the edge will be 40-19.

Can everyone spell “minority?”

For certain our local school taxes will go up as the Democrats shift the pension burden that state legislators in years past spent on increasing teacher salaries (at the urging of the teacher unions, of course), rather than putting the money into the Downstate Teachers Retirement Fund, as it was budgeted by Governors.

That practice delivered a two-fer to the taxpayers.

Obvious is the money could not go both places.

By putting the money budgeted for pensions into higher State Aid to Education, which allowed higher teacher salaries, future pensions, in turn, were increased.

What else will Madigan want to do to us?

Don’t dismiss the possibility that the state income tax may be further increased.

And remember, we haven’t felt it yet because of the Feds having cut the Social Security tax by the exact same amount that the Democrats raised income taxes–two percentage points.

And, as taxes go up on the taxpayers of Illinois, more and more of them will decide to move.

And the downward spiral will continue.


Comments

State Legislative Results Could Mean Armageddon for Suburban Taxpayers — 26 Comments

  1. So, just to be clear, while y’all were worried about whether or not Dee Beaubien would vote for Madigan as Speaker, Madigan was out winning enough races to get a super-majority, even with out the 52nd.

  2. As Bill Zettler describes in Illinois Pension Scam the benefits were increased in the state pensions (TRS, SURS, SERS, GARS, JRS) after the pension protection clause was added to the Illinois State Constitution at the 1970 Constitutional Convention.

    Advocate to the General Assembly and Governor the benefits need to be first decreased for existing employees and pension recipients, to compensate for the increases that occurred after the pension protection clause was enacted.

    Then talk about tax hikes and service cuts.

    This is an absolute nightmare.

    Quinn said on TV tonight that Obama election was good for Illinois.

    What he means by that is he wants at least a partial bailout of state pensions (police and fire also) in exchange for the campaign contributions and votes from public sector unions and employees.

    That’s how Illinois politics works.

    People have no clue what a scam and crisis the state pensions are.

    It’s a nightmare.

    Especially teacher/administrator pensions.

    Madigan, Cullerton, and Quinn are going to pull every trick in the book rather than reform pensions.

    They will go for minimal pension reform, focusing most heavily on Federal bailout, phased in shift state portion to suburbs and downstate, reduction in general state aid to schools, the school districts will be forced to have property tax and fee increases, the school districts will cut programs and extra curricular activities and impose increased fees on extra curricular activities, it’s awful.

    The only one telling the story is Bill Zettler. One man.

    Thanks press and state legislators and Governors and public sector unions for not reporting in detail 40 years of benefit increases to state pensions after the pension protection clause was enacted.

    We really got the shaft and public sector unions just twisting words and whipping up rhetoric to hide the truth.

    Thanks to Madigan and Cullerton and Quinn blaming solely school district salary increases, when it was also their own new pension hiking state laws year after year after year that also caused the crisis.

    Thanks to school districts for blaming the legislatures for passing pension hiking legislation, when it was also you salary increases that caused pensions to increase.

    The citizens got the shaft from the Illinois General Assembly, Governors, School Districts, School Boards, Public Sector Unions, and the press who didn’t cover the problem early enough and in enough detail.
    This is sickening.

  3. And why is Cal Skinner the only one who explains that state legislators in years past increased teacher salaries through General State Aid (at the urging of the teacher unions, of course), rather than putting the money into the Downstate Teachers Retirement Fund (Teachers Retirement System – TRS), as it was budgeted by Governors.

    Where are all the other past legislators and Governors and press?

    Unbelievable.

  4. Responding to Dave’s comment above, the very reason Madigan/Beaubien were defeated, was because there was an effort to expose Madigan’s campaign contributions to Beaubien.

    If that had not been the case, Madigan/Beaubien may have very well won that seat.

    The people were paying attention.

    Madigan won those other districts mainly because through redistricting he drew the boundaries to favor Democrats.

    What’s needed is 101 more Cal Skinners to cover the other 101 counties in Illinois to uncover all these political and governmental schemes.

  5. ** the very reason Madigan/Beaubien were defeated, was because there was an effort to expose Madigan’s campaign contributions to Beaubien. **

    Oh… I absolutely agree.

    Without Madigan’s money, Dee probably would/could have won.

    But hindsight is 20/20.

  6. Geez dave, then according to your logic, Khan Madigan simply devoted staff and resources out of benevolence?

    Baa baa.

    No wonder this county and state have the problems they do with such thinking.

    Madigan won an unexpected super majority based on unforseen turnout.

    Clearly he was covering his bases in supporting Dee.

    Once they start rolling in, tell me how pleased you are with those property tax bills that your demigod Madigan will be sending you.

    The devastating blow to taxpayers last night was not Obama’s re-election, it was the failure of the state GOP to put up a fight against Madigan.

  7. Please let me be crystal clear.

    After last night’s IL House & Senate GOP bloodbath, Cross and Radogno need to to have their leadership challenged.

    Lose that bad and you cannot expect to remain your caucus leader.

    Just like a sports team, we need a few years to rebuild our organization and operation.

  8. **Khan Madigan simply devoted staff and resources out of benevolence?**

    Huh?

    What are you talking about?

    Madigan invested resources because they made a strategic decision that it could work.

    And think it ended up being the wrong decision.

    **your demigod Madigan will be sending you.**

    My demigod?

    Really?

    Maybe you could point out one time where I have even supported Madigan.

    I am no fan of Madigan.

    I just don’t think he’s the evil despot y’all make him out to be.

    As for property taxes…I’m not too worried. But if you really care about property taxes, you might want to shift your hate from Madigan to the Repubs that control all levels of govt in mchenry county.

  9. The 52nd district voters need to be commended, they saw through the illusion of the “independent” candidacy of Dee Beaubien, and the obscene amounts of money the Democrats put into her candidacy, and elected David McSweeney with a convincing win.

    One of the few bright spots for the Republicans last night on an otherwise dismal night at the state level.

    Notice what happened in suburban districts where Democrats ran openly as Democrats.

    Madigan won a big victory, but lost one battle in the 52nd.

    Additionally, in McHenry County Board District 1, the voters ousted incumbent Bob Bless.

    While I do not like seeing a Republican go down, this man should have honorably resigned his nomination when the ARDC got so involved.

    The Republicans will get that seat back in 2014.

    And last but not least, I agree with Allen Skillicorn, that both Tom Cross and Christine Radogno must go, along with IL Republican Chairman Pat Brady after this bloodbath.

    Four congressional seats, plus the open 12th district, lost!?

    The Illinois congressional delegation is now 12-6.

    Running 75 year old Congresswoman Judy Biggert again this year against a younger opponent needs to be evaluated.

    And yes, much of last night is due to the Democratic map, but not all of it can be attributed to Democratic mapmaking last year.

    At least Jack Franks had a bad night, with his county executive referendum going down in flames, and his county board candidate who attacked conservatives being put in his place.

    And last but not least, look south of the county line to see what has happened in Kane County.

    Chris Lauzen is now chairman-elect of the Kane County Board, and the Republicans won a 14-10 majority over the Democrats.

    Allen Skillicorn is a Republican Party leader in Kane County, so great work Allen!

  10. Anyone that is not worried about property taxes hasn’t a clue as to the extent of the unfunded pension and early retirement benefits that resulted from pension hiking legislation enacted last 38 of 40 years from 1971 to 2011.

    1970 just happens to be the year the pension protection clause was added to the Illinois State Constitution at the 1970 Constitutional Convention.

    Instead of funding pensions, lawmakers increased pensions.

    Lawmakers made new “promises” when they couldn’t fund the “promises” they already made.

    “I can’t afford to pay you now, so I’m going to increase you pay.”

  11. I actually meant “brake,” as in “The House of Representatives will put the ‘brake’ on whatever the U.S. Senate and the President want to do.”

  12. Alright, now all you people GO PICK UP YOUR STUPID LITTLE SIGNS OUT OF THE DITCHES!

  13. I think we are not putting enough blame on the local school boards who give away tax payer money to the local Superintendents and school staff.

    They approve the salaries and the teachers contracts.

    I ran for my school board and I have been advocating for a changed system since 2005.

    I actually had residents tell me I was the only one complaining..

    They did not understand that their tax bill was a direct result of the wasteful spending of the local school boards.

    We as tax payers pay more than 53 percent into the teachers pensions.

    I say we strip them all even those who have retired already and especially the Regional School Superintendents.

    I will bet money that if you went out and asked an average citizen why their tax bill is so high they do not understand the school board control.

    And what cronies these board members are with the School Super’s and staff.

  14. And check the Illinois report card to see how our schools fair. We are paying all of this money in taxes and we have mediocre and poor performing schools.

    In the small town of Marengo we have Riley school of 300 student and a different school district. and then we have Locust and the middle school both grade schools and a different district.

    All in little Marengo.

    Then we have the high school also a different district.

    The last number of savings with a consolidation was around 3 million plus plus dollars for the small town of Marengo.

    Each school has nurses..Superintendents, Principles etc.. etc.. Libraries as well as the local library in little Marengo.

    Look at the salaries of the Superintendents.

    All for mediocre results.

    But the problem is you cannot get the residents to understand the dynamic and the cost to the community.

    They simply don’t want to get involved for change.

    Its awful and it has a dramatic impact on house values.

    That’s also why Illinois has the highest forclosure rate in the country.

  15. The Republican party in Illinois is dead as a door nail has has been ever since Topeka let it go right down the drain.

    Remember that fiasco.

    Its been bad ever since.

    I happen to think Illinois is too far gone that’s why Corporations have left in droves.

    They know more than we do and they are getting out fast.
    I am worried and angry

  16. Cal – a bit curious why you have nothing to say about the “only Congressman from McHenry County.”

  17. Yep, Blame Springfield…. Your single party government machine collecting multiple office pensions, and paychecks is never too blame…

  18. Expanding on the reader’s comment about Marengo school districts.

    There are many reasons why school districts may or may not consolidate.

    Thanks to teacher union lobbyists a state law was added stating when school districts are merged, the teacher collective bargaining agreement with the higher pay scale is required to be utilized for the newly
    formed district.

    That is one of several reasons teacher unions lobby for school district consolidation.

    The resulting higher teacher salaries often wipe out savings of eliminating administrators, especially when elementary/middle school districts are merged with high school districts.
    Furthermore, down the road, larger school districts have a tendency to increase administrators over time.

    To be fair, part of that has to do with increased State and Federal unfunded regulation which results in more administrative work.

    Also, larger school districts produce more powerful teacher unions, one reason being the threat of a strike affects more students.

    The most recent Marengo area elementary district consolidation took effect July 1, 1987 when Union CSD 8, Hawthorn CCSD 17, and Marengo CSD 140 consolidated to Marengo-Union CSD 165. The number 165 comes from adding 8 + 17 + 140 = 165.

    One can look at data on the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) website to compare expenditures between Marengo – Union E Cons D 165 and Riley CCSD 18.
    http://www.isbe.net

    On that home page, the fourth blue tab is Illinois Schools, don’t click on the blue tab, rather under the tab click on “eReport Cards.”

    Let’s look at the Total Revenue 2010-11 for each District.

    Marengo – Union E Cons D 165: $9,981,949

    Riley CCSD 18: $4,123,385

    Let’s look at the student enrollment in each District.

    Marengo – Union E Cons D 165: 1,083

    Riley CCSD 18: 300

    Let’s calculate the Revenue per student in each District.

    Marengo – Union E Cons D 165:

    Riley CCSD 18: $9,217

    Riley CCSD 18: $13,755

    So on the surface the reader seems to have a valid point about consolidating these two districts.

    That’s a considerable discrepancy but just a starting point, there are tons of other factors that come into play and many other comparisons to consider.

    By no means from that simple calculation am I advocating consolidating those two districts without doing lots of additional research. For instance, why wasn’t Riley consolidated in 1987 with the other three districts?

    The Board and Administration might have some insight, ask them, it’s a perfectly legitimate concern to explore savings.

    As soon as you start asking questions though, politics come into play, as you may be eliminating or changing someone’s job, and all sorts of people will have all sorts of opinions.

    The amount of money you save on your tax bill compared to the number of hours you spend researching and advocating for change makes it a losing financial proposition for any one individual.

    While you and the public sector employee fighting you each may save a few dollars off your property tax bill, the public sector employee has the added incentive of their paycheck being at least partially derived from the same tax bill.

    Yet another reason why much of the public sector union and administrative pay and benefits are so high in this state and why we are in our current financial mess.

  19. Dear Mark, Thank you very much.

    I have tired for years to ask these questions of the school board.

    They simply do not answer the questions.

    For instance in the last 24 years Marengo has had some 19 different Superintendents.

    What a huge cost to the tax payer and why?

    There is a whole network of really questionable relationships going on between school board members and the services hired for special education.

    Something is not right with the current set up.

    I became so disgusted that I pulled our kids and began Home Schooling.

    The Superintendent lied and I ended up in court with an attorney.

    Of course nothing came of it other than me spending money on an attorney.

    Oh, they came after me big time and this is what they do.

    I had pulled the kids so they could not get after them.

    I am still considering taking legal action and now have the kids in a private school

    However, I am so concerned with the future of education in our country and in our state I am considering running again.

    Or my husband who holds a Phd in Economics ans is a former Econ professor.

    Between us we could blow holes in the budgets and the numbers.

    We can’t sell our home so we might as well try and work toward change.

    The thing is a child from Riley cannot go to district 165 or vise versa.

    Unless of course the family is here illegally or is homeless.

    We pay the taxes but we have no choice in school selection in the little town of Marengo or anywhere in Illinois.

    In my opinion Dist 165 is awful.

    The results are not good and the environment is even worse.
    Dear Lennie, you just might hear from me..thank you.

  20. Dear Mark,

    Your information was very valuable. I printed a copy and will dig into this.

    Thanks again, I learned a great deal from you.

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