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Rauner, Mayors Push Stopgap Budget; Suicide Top Cause of IL Teen Deaths; Airport Work Stalls

Governor Bruce Rauner with Illinois mayors at a press conference in Springfield on Monday.

Governor Bruce Rauner with Illinois mayors at a press conference in Springfield on Monday.

(Chicago) – Governor Bruce Rauner and several Illinois mayors yesterday urged the General Assembly Democrats to pitch the need for the GOP version stopgap budget, but the prospect of full legislative approval this week seems bleak at the moment.

“We are in a critical time in Illinois with government services at risk of being shut down on July 1st without a stopgap budget,” Rauner said at a press conference in Springfield on Monday. “It would be an outrageous, tragic failure for the people of Illinois, and we can’t allow this to happen.”

Rauner is seeking money to fund a variety of government operations and to pay vendors at the Illinois Department of Corrections and human services providers at the Illinois Department of Human Services who have gone nearly one-year without payment. The governor also wants construction projects at the Illinois Department of Transportation continue uninterrupted and he wants to provide more “bridge” money to public universities and community colleges.

During the press conference, Rauner expressed optimism that a stopgap budget deal was close.

“We’re pretty well there,” Rauner said. “The differences are very, very minor.”

But the governor noted that disagreement over education funding for Chicago Public Schools remained, calling additional funding for the financially ailing district a “bailout.”

“People across the state should not be held up with their tax money to go bailout the Chicago Public Schools,” Rauner said. “CPS has been mismanaged for years.”

Meanwhile the mayors at Rauner’s presser backed the GOP version of a stopgap budget.

“The stopgap budget that has been introduced by our minority leaders in the House and Senate is a good idea,” Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico said. “It’s a good idea for the city of Naperville and it’s a good idea for the state of Illinois. And regardless of whose idea it was, it should be voted on and it should be passed.”

“The stopgap budget will allow operations to continue like critical road projects and other public infrastructure projects, economic development projects, city revenues, and the critical, critical opening of our schools to happen, as well as the funding of our agencies that are in the greatest need throughout the cities and the state of Illinois,” Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey said.

Joining Chirico and Morrissey were Mayor Sean Widener of Mahomet, Mayor Terry Blakeman of Ashland, and Mayor Barb Stamer of Auburn.

On Tuesday morning, Rauner, who is scheduled to meet with House Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, issued a statement announcing that a fresh legislative version of a stopgap budget and education budget were being introduced and took the opportunity to criticize Madigan:

“This morning Republicans will introduce an updated stopgap measure to add funding for higher education, MAP grants, and human services.

We are three days away from the end of the fiscal year. While we have essentially reached agreement on a six-month stopgap budget, the super majority is focused on passing a school funding bill that forces suburban and downstate taxpayers to pay for a massive bailout of the severely mismanaged Chicago Public Schools system.

I have said it before, and I say it again today: we must not bail out a broken system that refuses to change the way it does business. Forcing Illinois to raise its income tax to bail out CPS is fundamentally unfair to our school children, parents, homeowners, and small business owners across the state.

The real tragedy is that we have proposed legislation which would let Chicago fix every one of CPS’ problems, allowing city leaders to protect their students and taxpayers while eliminating the need for any bailout – but Speaker Madigan has refused to call the bills for a vote.”

DOUBTS ON LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL… State Rep. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) took to his Facebook page on Monday to share a “rumor” that lawmakers will fail to approve a full stopgap budget and education budget when they return to Springfield on Wednesday.

“Here’s a disappointing rumor that’s currently circulating. After canceling three Wednesday “continuous session” days in early June — because of supposed progress with budget & reforms working groups– is it possible that all the House will vote on this Wednesday is one Transportation Bill? That’s It?! No Stop-Gap (let alone full) Budget Bill?! No K-12 Education Funding Bill?! C’mon Speaker Madigan, Republicans have Bills on all of the above ready to solve some pretty daunting issues. Release them to the House Floor — along with all Democrats Bills — because they deserve a vote, all of them. ‪#‎NoBudgetNoBreak‬ ‪#‎NoEducationFundingNoBreak‬”.

Democrats are seeking more education money than Rauner wants, including money for Chicago Public Schools, which could torpedo an agreement.

COMPETING BUDGET BILLS: Tina Sfondeles, Chicago Sun-Times… “Gov. Bruce Rauner has produced a new stopgap bill that provides hefty funding for higher education and more money for MAP grants and human services in an effort to get Democrats on board.

Republicans plan to file the new stopgap bill on Tuesday. And Rauner continues to support an education bill he’s been touting for weeks that would include an increase of $240 million for a total of $7 billion statewide. Schools won’t lose money, but it doesn’t include a “bailout” for Chicago Public Schools.

Rauner’s plan now competes with one from the Senate Democrats, who on Monday said they planned to file their own education and stopgap budget on Tuesday.

Rauner on Tuesday urged Democrats to pass the six-month stopgap budget, while pointing the finger at Democratic leaders for trying to get more money for cash-strapped CPS.” … Read more here…

QUAD CITY AIRPORT WORK TO STOP: Kevin Schmidt, Quad-City Times… “Ongoing construction projects at the Quad-City International Airport and airports statewide could become the latest victims of Illinois’ budget impasse, airport officials said Monday.

Bruce Carter, the airport’s aviation director, said airports statewide were notified by the Division of Aeronautics of the Illinois Department of Transportation, or IDOT, to cease all work by the close of business Thursday.

The IDOT letter, received late Friday, indicated that “appropriate funding for projects currently under contract with the department is not available.”

“If they don’t get this settled by June 30 (Thursday), the projects we have guys working on will have to stop,” Carter said. “If they do any work after, they are not going to get paid for it.” … Read more here…

DOUBEK: “POLITICAL JOKERS”: Madeleine Doubek, Reboot Illinois… “Well, here we are, my fellow Illinoisans. Just a few days away from the sparkling start to a brand-spanking-new fiscal year.

In the 540 or so days since GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner took office, he’s managed to negotiate zero budgets, zero cuts and plenty of court-ordered spending that is several billions more than his state government is collecting.

In at least the past four years, Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton and their Democratic majorities in the Illinois House and Senate have approved zero balanced budgets, with plenty of oinky pork projects that cost millions of dollars for their members that help send Illinois into the red.” … Read more here…

ILLINOIS TEEN SUICIDE 2nd LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH: Public News Service… “Suicide is now the second-leading cause of death among young people in Illinois and across the country, according to new research published today. The report, titled “Suicide and Suicide Attempts in Adolescents,” updates an American Academy of Pediatrics report from 2007, when suicide was the third-leading cause of death for people age 15 to 19. The new research lists bullying and internet use as big risk factors for that age group.

Dr. Benjamin Shain M.D., Ph.D., of NorthShore University HealthSystem is the lead author of the report. He said online bullying can be as serious as face-to-face bullying.

“Both bully victims and bully perpetrators are affected,” he said. “And the group that’s affected the most is in the group who are both victims and perpetrators, had the highest increase in mental health concerns, suicidal thoughts and behaviors and suicides.”

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, for every young person who takes their own life, an estimated 100 to 200 make suicide attempts. Dr. Shain said one the best ways for parents to help prevent youth suicide is to talk openly and calmly with their kids.” … Read more here…

NEW UNION JOBS TRAINING CENTER: Press Release… “Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined Business Manager James Coyne and leadership from Plumbers’ Local 130 to break ground on the union’s new training center in the West Loop. When complete the center will provide a modern, green learning environment for more than 4,000 journeymen and apprentice plumbers.

“Skilled workers are a part of the fabric of Chicago,” Mayor Emanuel said. “From the success that comes with advanced training to the values that come from vital work, this new center is building a strong foundation for the City of Chicago.”

The 50,000-square-foot new training center will be complete in July 2017. When complete the center will offer a number of technology-related and green, as well as traditional plumbing skills courses.

“The Plumbers Local 130 is building a green building for the City of Chicago that will serve as a state-of-the-art learning center for the future of skilled labor,” Business Manager and JAC Chairman James F. Coyne said. “This 50,000-square-foot, three-story building will create jobs and pave the way for the future by showcasing rainwater harvesting, solar energy and grey water systems, and training thousands of Apprentices and Journeymen who Protect the Health of the Nation.”

WOMAN MISSING FROM MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY: Evanston Patch… “A woman went missing from an Evanston residential care facility last week, and police are now seeking the public’s help in finding her.

Aral Lea Johnson, 24, was last seen leaving the facility in the 1400 block of Chicago Avenue without permission at 11 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21.

Police say there is no known destination for Johnson, who suffers from a mental health condition that required medication she does not have.” … Read more here…


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