Feel free to skip this if you live out of state, or educate yourself, take your pick. Granted, I only know from previous years’ experiences and of course the little blip I was able to catch on the news today (being the final budget day for the next fiscal year)…
In the past few years (Since Jim Edgar (God bless him) left office) there has not been a balanced budget, let alone one on July 1st like there is supposed to be. For every single DAY that the senators blowhard and put off passing the budget, they charge the state for hotel rooms, per diem for meals, and of course all the aides and assistants needed to run copies, get coffee, clean the area, bring in donuts, etc. etc.
So, roughly 177 (sorry, illinois.gov is down so can’t confirm) congressmen times the standard hotel rate of $70 (2008 lodging guidelines), and presuming none of them would DARE to double with each other, that’s $12,390. For peons, the per diem was $26, so we will assume (hardy har) that it’s the same for the congressmen, add another $4,602 to bring the total for food and lodging up to $16,992 for one day. I can’t begin to fathom how much each aide makes to work overtime while congress is supposed to be out of session, let alone any benefits they might get. Okay boys, today is day one, you just put us $17,000 more in the hole by yourselves. Try again tomorrow, and we’re at $34,000 more.
Are they doing this on purpose? A free stay in a hotel and as much food as they can squeeze into their per diem? Trying to push off the decision until after they are sure they will be re-elected? Jerks.
The governor (not Blago, he was ousted), stood up and said (not a direct quote), “we are going to do this, because that is what adults do, we face tough decisions, and we make them” etc. A senator (I believe from Highland), responded, blusteringly, (nadq) “he can’t just call for us to just say take it or leave it, it’s unprecedented” — meanwhile crowds of people chant ‘do your job’ ‘do your job’ –what do you think about this? Going on like 6-8 years of not having a budget by July 1, forcing the taxpayers to take up the slack or other programs to be cut to pay for hotel rooms and meals for these jerks to slack off the rest of the year.
I have a dad who is 6 months away from retirement from the state. Will he get paid for the last 6 months? Or will he have to retire early because they might actually pay for it? Or will they cut retirement benefits out from underneath of them. Is letting ‘the crazies‘ as it is put around here, loose a good idea? No, the mentally ill should probably continue to get care. What goes, then? What goes? That’s why we elect people to DO THEIR JOB and decide what stays and what goes. Raise taxes if you have to, but do something.
Does any other state continually go way over time to get their budget in? I haven’t heard any complaints from blogdom, so just wondering.