Report from the House Floor

Here’s what State Rep. Peter Breen sees happening in Springfield. Breen is from Lombard.

Speaker Junk

The fiscal fate of Illinois rests in the hands of the most political man in Illinois, or probably even the country, Speaker Michael J. Madigan, and that’s how he likes it.

Peter Breen

Today is day 8 of Governor Rauner’s 10-day Special Session.

With only 3 days left until the end of the fiscal year, after two years without a budget, we are facing the precipice of becoming the first state in the country to fall into “junk” status, indicative of utter financial collapse.

Yesterday, Speaker Michael Madigan filed a series of spending and alleged “reform” measures.

The problem with these bills is that Madigan claims they are “compromise,” which is utterly false.

House Republicans are currently engaged in good-faith negotiations with House Democrats, but instead of respecting that process, Madigan has put his one-sided bills onto the floor.

These bills are dead on arrival, since every bill after May 31 requires a bipartisan supermajority for approval.

The rumors in Springfield are that Mike Madigan wants to put off any budget agreement until after June 30, so that the state goes into junk status.

He wants to blame Governor Rauner for the impasse and resulting destruction–it’s reported that he wants to use the tag line “Governor Junk.”

From where I stand, the person who deserves that moniker is Madigan:

He’s the one who’s racked up the massive debt we face, over the decades of his rule. He’s the one who rejects reforms to help our jobs climate.

He’s the one who opposes any attempt to clean up Illinois government.

If we reach July 1 without a budget, Mike Madigan will go down in the history books as “Speaker Junk.”

I ran for office in order to make life better for you, your family, and your neighbors.

As we count down the final days of this fiscal year, I’m fighting hard to pass good bills and defeat bad bills, to help turn our state around.

Please continue to keep me and all of your legislators in your thoughts and prayers!


Report from the House Floor — 22 Comments

  1. Typical Alinsky tactics. Cause the problem so that the people will beg you for a solution. These people are evil to the core.

  2. Rauner nd the Repubs are just as much to blame as Madigan and the Dems.

    No budget yet the courts mandating paying employees and other bills is driving our deficit up not down.

    You drank the kool aid that Rauner would lower Quinn’s taxes but instead they will be raised.

    Both President Obama and Trump could step in and force state to get a budget but neither acted while Illinois is destroyed.

  3. One wonders if the ‘junk bond’ status favors the friends of Madigan, more usury in their pockets!

  4. The current mess is the result of decades of poor legislation, governing, and mismanagement by Democrats and Republicans, long before Bruce Rauner was elected on November 4, 2014.

    The person who has been around the longest is House Speaker Michael Madigan.

    Learn about Michael Madigan in the free YouTube movie, Madigan: Power. Privilege. Politics.


    The biggest fiscal problem in Illinois is underfunded pensions.

    The primary cause of underfunded pensions is decades of legislative pension hikes, while pensions were already underfunded.

    That is akin to not being able to make the full monthly credit card payment, yet charging more on the credit card.

    That was unnecessary and stupid.

    What is the biggest problem with charging more on the credit card, when one was not able to pay in full monthly?

    One pays interest.

    Well, taxpayers also are responsible for the “interest” on the pension unfunded liability.

    The pension unfunded liability is the amount that should be in the pension fund, but is not.

    Taxpayers (employers) are responsible for 100% of the unfunded liability.

    Employees are not responsible for 1 penny of the unfunded liability.


    The rate of return on zero, is zero.

    Thus the rate of return on the unfunded liability is zero, because by definition, the unfunded liability is the amount that should be in the fund, but is no.

    So, actuaries calculate the interest on the unfunded liability using the “discount rate.”

    Each pension fund has a discount rate set by the fund, and the rate varies from fund to fund, and varies over the years to account for changes in the fund’s performance and actuarial projections.


    The interest on the unfunded liability for one year, based on fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, for the five state pension funds (TRS, SURS, SERS, GARS, JRS) was $9,142,056,750 on unfunded liabilities of $129,917,900,000.

    That interest represents the consequence of not having $129,917,900,000 in the pension fund on June 30, 2016.

    The $9,142,056,700 is the extra amount the employer (taxpayer) will have to eventually contribute to the pension fund.

    That is 9 billion dollars.

    For one year.

    The taxpayers receive no value for that $9 billion.

    Just think what $9 billion could buy.

  5. Mark yes the problem is from decades of abuse and not paying the amount to pensions etc that was collected from taxpayers and putting in an iou but Rauner CHOSE to run for Illinois Governor, the highest position in Illinois so he knew that it was that way and promised he could solve it.

    The Dems are offering a 4 year property tax freeze now but he never budges.

    Yes the interest is high so we should pass a law that all former and current lawmakers who voted to use money collected for one fund for another and now it is in debt should have their pensions and benefits cut.

  6. Ending “law maker” pensions entirely would be great although it won’t make a dent. I’m rooting for bankruptcy at this point.

    It’s the only way out the hole we’re in. We need a complete re-boot, a fresh start.

    It would not be easy for anyone, lots of collateral damage, but I don’t think it can be fixed one bill at a time. DisfunctionIL

  7. Ask Puerto Rico if they’d sell us their territory status.

    Then we can file bankruptcy.

  8. Part of the I-55 expressway renamed the Obama Expressway?

    These guys are workin’ hard for the ‘people’

    Progress Illinois Style

    Illinois has been without a budget for two years and its bonds, already the lowest in the nation, face a downgrade to junk.

    On June 15, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner called a special 10-Day legislative session to finalize a budget.

    We are now in the eighth day of the special session.

    The Special Sessions Cost Illinois Taxpayers $50,000 a Day [6].

    The special sessions have lasted from 10 to 23 minutes at the longest.

    Progress was announced yesterday: My sources tell me that by an 84-0 vote, part of I-55 will be renamed the Obama Expressway.

  9. Paul? You have to be kiding. Why not just get it over with and name it Lucifer?

  10. LOL You people really slay me. Moot! Mute is silenced. Do we have any teachers left in this country or has common core done them in?

  11. States don’t need bankruptcy protection.

    They can default.

    Arkansas did it in 1933, and eight states plus the Florida Territory did it in the 1840s.

    Illinois was one of the states that defaulted.

  12. Bankruptcy was not declared in Puerto Rico yet a recent decision was made to cut its constitutionally protected bond payments.


    The Weekly Standard

    Will Illinois Need a Federal Bailout?

    – Its residents had better hope not.

    June 27, 2017

    by Ike Brannon

    “But another reason for the growing wariness of investors toward Illinois debt emanates from developments in Puerto Rico, which asked for and received legislation from the Federal government to assist with its debt burden.!

  13. Another Michael Madigan last minute rush job is enroute in the State House.

    House Floor Amendment 2 to Senate Bill 6 was filed yesterday.

    Apparently SB 6 is a budget bill.

    It includes a 4.95% state personal income tax hike effective after June 30, 2017.

    CapitolFax referred to it today as an “omnibus appropriations amendment.”

    The amendment to the bill passed the House Rules Committee with a 3 – 1 vote yesterday.

    One has to scroll through 584 pages to see the changes.

    Michael Madigan is successfully wearing down the House Republicans in a pressure cooker scenario created by Madigan.

    The bill has not yet passed the 2nd reading in the House.

    If the House passes the bill, then it goes to the Senate for a concurrence vote.

    It was also announced General Assembly will be in session tomorrow as well (they are still in session today).

    Hopefully all that is accurate.

    Because it is a rush job it is not easy to sort through or follow.

  14. The Democrats have a majority in the State House and Senate.

    They could have passed a budget with a tax hike to their liking and sent it to Governor Rauner during Regular Session.

    However, then fewer Republicans would own voting for a tax hike.

    By waiting until special session, where a super majority vote is required, then more Republicans have to vote to pass a tax hike.

    Looking at the 2018 elections, It is to the Democrats advantage to get the greatest number of Republicans to vote for a tax hike.


    None of that solves the biggest problem of the interest being accrued on a daily basis on the underfunded pensions.

    Just on state pensions, the interest is $9 billion per year, which is $24.6 million per day.

    Every day Illinois taxpayers are flushing $24 million dollars down the toilet.

    That’s the big story.

    And how often is that big story being told?

    See the comment on June 29th at 9:30AM for more details on the unfunded liability interest.

  15. Illinois Policy Institute

    Republicans Lining Up Votes for $5 Billion Tax Hike

    by Greg Bishop

    June 30, 2017

    “House Minority Leader Jim Durkin said he’s putting GOP votes on the spending plan that relies on more than $5 billion in new taxes.”



    The State of Illinois is flushing $9 billion per year down the toilet in interest on the $130 billion unfunded liability for the 5 state pension funds (TRS, SURS, SERS, GARS, JRS).

    The Illinois General Assembly is proposing a $5 billion income tax hike.

    $9B – $5B = $4B.

    $4 billion more is going down the toilet in the form of unfunded pension liability interest than would be coming in from the proposed state income tax hike.


    $130B – $5B = $125B.

    If every penny of the income tax hike went to paying down the unfunded liability, we would still have a $125B unfunded pension liability, and thus still be flushing interest on the unfunded liability down the toilet, albeit a lesser amount of interest.


    $130B / $5B = 26 years.

    If every penny of the $5B income tax hike went to the state pension unfunded liability, the unfunded liability would be erased after 26 years.

  16. An update on SB 6 (let’s call it a budget bill although not sure if that is an entirely accurate title).

    Senate Bill 6 was read a 2nd time in the State House on May 30th (a month ago).

    House Floor Amendment 2 of SB 6 passed today.

    Next step is for the bill to be read a 3rd time and voted on in the House, then to be sent back to the Senate for a Concurrence vote.

    That may or may not happen tomorrow, Saturday, July 1, 2017.

    It’s a wait and see game to see when a credit ratings agency issues another credit report on the State, and when the General Assembly passes a budget bill and any bills that go along with implementing, appropriating, and / or generating revenue for the budget.

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