Evanston’s state senator lambasted Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner Tuesday for threatening to veto a legislative compromise on the state budget.

Sen. Daniel Biss, who is an announced candidate for governor in 2018, contended that, although the proposed budget is far from perfect, “it will open schools in the fall, fund vital social services, pay public sector employees, and put our state within the realm of financial solvency.”

While Rauner’s “obstructionism” is nothing new, Biss said, “ what is new is that he is losing control of his own party.”

If the governor carries through with his threat to veto the measure, Biss predicted, “we will be prepared …to override the governor’s veto.”

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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  1. Just say “No!” to Biss
    This state has been a playground for Democratic Party for generations, and it’s time to stop kicking the can down the road. It’s time to stop empty scare proclamations along the lines of blah-blah-blah kids blah-blah-blah. Have the schools been closed this past year without a budget?

    The fact that Biss has nothing except these worn, decrepit platitudes, that he has no proposals for the real problems – debt, pensions, spending – shows that he’s far from ready for governorship.

    1. Biss Is Right
      Rauner has been destroying our state, doing incredible damage to public colleges, our credit rating, and all the businesses that have contracts with the state. Both Republican and Democratic politicians raided the pensions to fund deficit spending, and now they don’t want to pay what’s owed to the workers. However, the Constitution won’t allow these schemes to work. Biss seems to have a reasonable plan to finally solving these problems (unlike Rauner, who is just a Trumpish con artist promising to lower taxes for everybody). Raising the very low income tax rate is an obvious first step, and Biss has good ideas on improving tax fairness.

  2. Biss and others want to raise our income and property taxes
    The Democrats, including Biss, and a few Republicans want to raise our income taxes without serious budget cuts or meaningful government union pension reform.

    More taxes and more spending without cuts and pension reform will NOT even come close to solving the fiscal crisis we are in. Illinois is facing a $115 BILLION government pension debt and it’s growing. The governor wants to impose a five-year property tax freeze that would prevent local governments from filling the gap by raising taxes on their own. Anyone who just got their property tax bill would agree.

    Rauner also wants a term limit resolution in which voters get to decide next year whether to adopt term limits. Legislators would be limited to 10 years in the Illinois General Assembly, and Rauner and other constitutional officers would be limited to eight years. I like that but Biss and the Democratic party do not. I wonder why.

    Illinois lawmakers, mostly Democrats, have lost control of the state.

  3. Biss wants to raise taxes even on those who don’t make much $$$$

    Biss was interviewed on WTTW where he disclosed he only makes $38,000 per year. He seems to think everyone else is wealthy. The last politician I recall even mentioning trying to save money was Judy Barr Topinka, and that was years ago.

    1. State constitution

      Hi Kara,

      You are aware that the state constitution bars a progressive income tax, right? That means any rate hike must apply to all taxpayers, regardless of income level.

      — Bill

      1. 38,000? not really

        My understanding is legislator’s pay is $67,874/year + per diem of $111.

        1. Biss tax returns

          Our story about Biss’s release of his tax returns for the last five years can be found here. It has a link to the actual returns.

          — Bill

          1. Biss and Charity

            Yes look at his returns—esp. Charity. Like his other Progressive Al Gore, talk about charity, the poor, health but depend on others to fund it or say ‘my taxes are suppose to take car of it.’

          2. They’re generous people

            Not every form of generosity results in a tax deduction and not everyone itemizes anyway.  I know a little bit about them through the schools – enough to know that the Biss family has given in other ways. How much do you expect them to be able to donate monetarily given their income while raising a family in Evanston?  I know my charity takes other forms as well as we are in a similar position.  I would be much more curious to know just how generous billionaire Pritzker and the other challengers are.

    2. How good is his decision process

      He was a professor of mathematics at the University of Chicago where he made a good salary. But he gave it up for State government ? Not very good sense. At least the lawyers who run for government can always supplement with deals with clients [e.g. tax appeals] but a math professor ?

      His math did not seem to teach him that when you subtract taxes, less is left to spend my taxpayers. It does not just reappear in their wallet.

  4. Tax and spend is always their answer.

    If the Legislature’s tax increase [confiscation really], is upheld on top of the Evanston Referendum for schools [read pay increases for teachers/administration who only work nine months a year] it will mean that people who use think a bare-bones fast food lunch was expensive, now will be reduced to taking peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to work for lunch. Of course people will adjust their spending downward to make-up for the increases, which will decrease the revenue businesses  [who actually do something rather than just spend other people’s money] make, thus reducing the, any remaining, prosperity of Illinois and Evanston.

    The Legislature and schools seem to think everyone is made of money and they can spend like drunken sailors [apologies to drunken sailors].  Their answer to everything is tax, tax, tax and never fix the overspending. Hopefully voters will finally clear the fog of government from their eyes and get rid of the tax and spenders. The Legislature several years ago said if they could get a ‘temporary’ 5% tax, all would be fine—sure !

    I thought Biss had  promise, but he has become like all the rest.

  5. Stand up to Mad-dog

    I see no point in giving the democrats any more power in this state. A democratic governor is just going to be subservient to Madigan, who only seems to care about power. Someone has to stand up to him. Say what you will about Rauner but I support him just for that reason alone and I will only support gubernatorial candidates from the opposition party while Madigan and co. are in power.

    I consider myself an independent. I wish more of you would, too, for the good of this state.

    1. Why Trump ?
      A lot of people held their noses and voted for Trump. Why ? Because among other things taxes and how governments like we have in Illinois raise taxes and refuse to cut spending and their own ‘pork’ projects. Evanston clearly has not learned and probably never will. The Cook County Board, which is practical tied at the hip to Chicago politics, will probably also never learn. Hopefully the rest of the taxpayers will eventually—before we completely go down the tubes—and vote out those who have no sense of economics/finance or regard for taxpayers. As long as they can protect the special interests who keep them in office, they don’t care about businesses, taxpayers or even the poor [they of course say they do but how could they with the bills they pass?]. They will keep Madigan and his crown Prince Cullerton in office and kiss his ring.
      Hopeful ? No.

  6. Dan – 

    Dan – 

    Have you spent one minute among your voters who want to pay more in taxes? If so, show it.


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