Daley, Quinn Play the Feud Over Budget
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Apr 1, 2009 4:00PM
Expressing displeasure with the amount of money Chicago (and other cities) would get, Mayor Daley attacked Governor Quinn's proposed budget two weeks after the Governor first made his budget public. Said the Mayor, "We get no benefit. Then why should anybody be for it?" But Daley's complaints didn't stop there: he chided Quinn for a budget that lacked sufficient funding for things like transportation and education, claiming the Chicago Public School system would only get $54 million as opposed to the $200 million it needs. He also complained about the need to fund local governments as revenues drastically decrease:
The reason you got the state income tax - local governments participate in any increase you're going to have. That was always the commitment. Now you're cutting all local governments out. Then you're telling local governments, 'Go fend for yourselves.'...
Everyday, every week, and every month, [revenues] are falling drastically. That's why we need a statewide infrastructure plan, a greater education funding, ongoing support from the state income tax, as well as pension and property tax relief.
Daley also stressed the need for property tax relief if the income tax was going to be raised, saying, "You cannot increase the income tax without property tax relief."
Quinn, taking a more pragmatic approach, referred to Daley as "a good friend of mine" and tried to explain that the budget is intended to help all cities, not just some. Said the Governor:
Mayors obviously have a laundry list of needs, and we want to try to help them as best we can. And that includes the mayor of Chicago, but also the mayor of Springfield, the mayor of Decatur, the mayor of Peoria and anywhere else. We're all in this together in Illinois. Everybody's in. Nobody's going to be left out...
I have to deal with the entire state of Illinois. I respect every single city, every single small town, but we're going to do this together. Sometimes there has to be shared sacrifice.
Of course, it's easy to understand why Mayor Daley is more cantankerous these days: with pesky inconveniences like the Sanchez conviction, the police union contract dispute, and now these budget issues, he's got no time to focus on the important things. [Trib, WGN, WBEZ]