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The Weekend Desk Report

"The first full session of complete DFL control at the Capitol was marked not just by a hefty tax hike on the rich, but higher spending on education, free all-day kindergarten, a two-year college tuition freeze, significant expansion of union power and legalization of same-sex marriage," the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported 11 days ago.

"The big stories on the last day of the spring legislative session were the things that did not get done," Illinois Issues reports today.

"Both chambers adjourned without sending to the governor's desk Senate Bill 10, which would have legalized same-sex marriage, or comprehensive changes to public employee pensions. (For more on same-sex marriage, see this blog from Meredith Colias.) A gaming bill fell apart. (See blog here.) A bill to gradually shift future pension costs to universities and community colleges, which the institutions agreed to, could not even find enough support to pass in the Senate."

Just for comparing and contrasting.


"Minnesotans 'were so frustrated with decades' worth of deficits, just deficit after deficit, and you could really feel their frustration,' said House Majority Leader Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul. 'We really took that to heart and have focused to try and do what we believe are the priorities of Minnesotans and the things that will be important for Minnesotan's future and for a prosperous future for all.'"


"Madigan refused to talk to reporters as he left the House floor."


"For DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, several watershed victories were achieved, including his campaign pledge of taxing the state's wealthiest wage-earners to balance Minnesota's budget. With the governor's involvement, lawmakers approved ambitious, state-backed expansions of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, the 3M headquarters and the Mall of America - years-long projects expected to spin off tens of thousands of new jobs."


"'The governor is going to bring Squeezy [the pension python] out again tomorrow because you guys couldn't figure out how to communicate with the super majority of the same party on the other side of the building,' said Palatine Democratic Sen. Matt Murphy in reference to the cartoon mascot Quinn adopted to try to bring public attention to the pension problem. 'We have not seen the governor. He has not done his job,' said Rep. Jack Franks, a Democrat from Marengo. Franks said Quinn should immediately call a special session on pensions."


"The tax bill offers 'massive property tax relief for all Minnesotans, both for cities, counties and school districts, individuals and renters,' said House Taxes Committee Chairwoman Ann Lenczewski, DFL-Bloomington."


"But the last pension special session Quinn called produced nothing but bad press. Instead, the governor has instead called for a meeting with the legislative leaders next week. 'I will not stop fighting until pension reform is the law of the land. But as I said in my budget address, I cannot act alone. If I could issue an executive order to resolve the pension crisis, I would. And I would have done it a long time ago. Today, Moody's issued another warning to legislators that Illinois' credit rating would soon be downgraded - again - if they did not act on pension reform. Downgrades hurt our economy, waste taxpayer money and shortchange the education of our children,' Quinn said in a written statement. 'Yet every time Illinois is downgraded - legislators leave Springfield without getting the job done.'"


"Proposals that did not survive: A much-criticized proposal to tax clothing, a temporary income tax surcharge and an increase in the alcohol tax, which had drawn intense opposition from the state's beer and wine industry.

"In the end, lawmakers reverted to the framework of a plan first offered by Dayton earlier this year."


"Cullerton was less in a mood to throw stones. 'It's not because we didn't try. There's no blame to go around. It just people have different positions, and it's difficult to get 30 votes on it,' he said after the Senate adjourned. 'You can't criticize the governor for not passing a bill on to the governor's desk.'

"Madigan said Thursday after his bill failed in the Senate that Cullerton had shown a 'lack of leadership.' But Cullerton, whose bill is backed by public employee unions, said he could not force his members' hands. 'I can't order people to vote for bills that they clearly don't want to vote for,' he said. He noted that the unions had lobbied heavily against Madigan's bill."


"In the waning hours, House and Senate leaders hurriedly brokered a behind-the-scenes deal over state borrowing.

"The scaled-down $176 million state-borrowing package includes money for the State Capitol restoration, flood mitigation projects and money for a new veterans building in Minneapolis.

"Legislators from both parties had long advocated for a complete makeover of the Capitol. Dayton had insisted on the project for months, but Republicans defeated a much larger borrowing proposal that suddenly threw the project in doubt. Democrats pulled together a more modest proposal that Republicans could embrace, making the Capitol its centerpiece.

"'This building has no lobbyist to shill for it. It has us, and we must not let it down,' Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City. 'Our Capitol is the symbol of Minnesota. Let it stand solid and strong to serve future generations of Minnesotans long into the future.'

"In a last-minute standoff, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL Cook, told lawmakers he would not end the session until the Capitol restoration was assured.

"After little debate, the House passed the measure 121-10 and sent it to the Senate for final passage. Minutes later, the Senate passed the proposal 57-6 and sent it to Dayton."


"Cullerton said he thinks his bill would have the votes in the House to pass, but a spokesman for Madigan said Thursday that he thinks there is no interest in the House for taking a vote on the bill."


The Weekend Desk Tip Line: Stately.


The Sound Opinions Weekend Listening Report: "Johnny Cash's At Folsom Prison turns 45 this month, and Jim and Greg celebrate with a Classic Album Dissection. Plus they review new records from The National and Dixie Chick Natalie Maines."


The Flying Saucer Weekend Brunch Report: Click through and check out the new website!


The CAN TV Weekend Viewing Report: CAN TV brings you local, relevant issues from Chicago's neighborhoods and communities. See what's happening around the city in education, the arts, government, cultural events, social services and community activities.


Perspectivas Latinas: Salsation Theatre Company


The Latino sketch comedy group dons their sombreros and becomes "Los Improviachis," singing improvised mariachi songs based on audience suggestions.

Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on CAN TV21.


Reconciling Lives: German-Jewish Dialogue


This evening of dialogue hosted by the Goethe Institut highlights efforts of Germans and Jews to reconcile with one another and the legacy of the Holocaust.

Sunday at 9 a.m. on CAN TV21.


Roundtable Meeting on Senior Issues


Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly brings local aldermen and seniors together for a roundtable discussion of infrastructure, public safety and transportation issues faced by older adults in Chicago.

Sunday at 10:30 a.m. on CAN TV21.


Women's Power Lunch


Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky hosts this event focused on women's issues, with keynote speaker Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Sunday at 11:30 a.m. on CAN TV21.


Discussion of Illinois Public Participation Law


How can government best work with citizens in the digital age? Experts discuss whether laws meant to engage residents with the policymaking process are really effective, or if they actually discourage involvement and could be improved.

Sunday at 1 p.m. on CAN TV21.


Posted on June 1, 2013

MUSIC - Millions Of New Guitar Players.
TV - "One America News" is AT&T.
POLITICS - When Wall Street Came To My Mobile Home Park.
SPORTS - Tonyball, Bears On The Run, Eyes On The Sky & More!

BOOKS - China Holding Swedish Publisher.


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