Posts Tagged: Pat Quinn

Conventional labor disputes

Chicago's McCormick Place

Even as both private and public sector unions lose power, labor is a powerful force in Chicago. But Illinois politicians — even Democrats who get union contributions — argue that AFL-CIO unions like the carpenters and the teamsters keep the city from seeing millions, maybe billions, of revenue at the McCormick Place convention center. But, like the dispute between Chicago-based Boeing and the machinist union, federal law has so far sided with labor.

Public employees win in Illinois

Pat Quinn

An arbitrator ruled that Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn must pay raises promised to the state’s public employees under their collective bargaining agreement, Reuters reports. The 2.2 percent pay raises were not included in the 2012 fiscal budget that Quinn signed into law.  The Democratic governor’s standoff with public employees (unfairly) brought comparisons to Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

Give me a break AFSCME Council 31!

Kristen McQueary of the Chicago News Coop reports that AFSCME Council 31, which represents Illinois public employees, has compared Illinois Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn to Wisconsin Republican Gov. — and public employee union super-villain — Scott Walker. The reason? Quinn will do a one-time block of a pay raise negotiated between the union and the state.

Breaking a stipulation in a union contract has justifiably angered AFSCME. But this is totally unlike the situation in Wisconsin where Walker used the pretense of a budget deficit to permanently hamstring the collective bargaining rights of public employees. Comparing Quinn to Walker sort of cheapens the truly long-term damage Walker has likely done to the livelihood of Wisconsin public workers.

Scott Walker: Affordable Care Act champion

Scott Walker

The political leadership in Illinois says they love the Affordable Care Act, and the political leadership in Wisconsin and other Republican controlled states want the law repealed. Yet Illinois lawmakers punted on starting a state-run health insurance exchange, a central component of the national health care reform law. Meanwhile, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has created an entire new state office — funded by an Obama administration “innovator” grant, no less — to establish a health insurance exchange. Walker is one of several prominent Republicans working to implement ACA. (more…)

New York leaves Secure Communities

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has pulled out of the federal Secure Communities program for deporting illegal immigrants, reports Kirk Semple of the New York Times. Cuomo follows in the footsteps of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and the New York governor echoed Quinn’s complaint that the program hasn’t done what U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement said it would do — target immigrants convicted of serious crimes. Cuomo added that the program compromises public safety, impacting the relationship between law enforcement and the Latino community. (more…)

“Secure Communities”: Fingerprints of failure in immigration reform

On May 4, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn wrote a letter to U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement stating that Illinois planned to leave Secure Communities, an immigration deportation program where ICE uses fingerprints collected by county jails to apprehend illegal aliens.

The reason for Illinois leaving Secure Communities was simple. (more…)

Illinois Gov. Quinn ICEs Secure Communities

Pat Quinn

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn declared that his state will terminate involvement in Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s “Secure Communities,” a program where the fingerprints of people booked by police are checked against a Homeland Security database for immigration violations. Quinn seems to recognize that Secure Communities has not accomplished what it promised — to arrest and deport illegal immigrants who are dangerous criminals.

In a letter to ICE, Quinn points out that when Illinois entered into Secure Communities in November 2009, he signed a Memorandum of Agreement that the program’s purpose was to deport illegal immigrants convicted of serious criminal offenses. (more…)

More borrowing for Illinois?

When not searching the couch cushions and glove compartment for loose change, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn tends to make controversial proposals to ensure his state pays overdue Medicaid bills — and therefore keeps getting millions in federal Medicaid funds. First, Quinn wanted the state to borrow $8.75 billion, but the state legislature was cool to the idea. Now, the Springfield State Journal Register’s Dean Olsen reports that Quinn wants the Illinois Finance Authority to borrow $750 million from private investors like banks and then repay the banks with interest.

Given the state’s massive short and long-term deficit, further borrowing sounds bad. But other alternative to make state payments are worse: like freezing state income tax money that goes to municipal governments (many of which, like Chicago, are doing just as badly as the state).

High-speed rail network requires networking among states

Taiwan, like Illinois, supports HSR

Greg Hinz of Crain’s Chicago Business predicts Illinois will get about $1 billion in additional high-speed rail money that Florida forfeited when their governor, Rick Scott, put the brakes on an Orlando to Tampa high-speed rail line. Under Gov. Pat Quinn and a Democratic legislature, Illinois has strongly supported Barack Obama’s high-speed rail ambitions. But the next steps are politically tricky.

Hinz writes that Illinois will get a “decent-sized piece” of high-speed rail money because, “This state, unlike others seems prepared to spend the money without dithering.” But Illinois must rely on the non-dithering of its neighbors. (more…)

Illinois government wildly exceeds extremely low expectations

Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan

The big Washington, D.C. news is a possible federal shutdown as House Republicans refuse to compromise on a series of ideologically polarizing budget cuts. Statehouses across the country including almost the entire upper Midwest — Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan — are engaged in their own painful debates over what government should provide. Ironically, the one state right now with a functional budget-making process is Illinois, normally associated with fiscal — and general — ineptitude. (more…)