RUTHLESS RAUNER REGIME: McKinley Park teach-in on May 11 will explore how nasty the attack on unions and democracy in Rauner's 'Illinois Turnaround' is....

ON Monday, May 11 from 6:00 pm to 7:45 pm, McKinley Park Progressives will host a teach in on the Rauner Budget cuts. The event will take place at the Mckinley Park Branch Library, Damen Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60609

One of the panelists at the McKinley Park May 11 event will be Jennie Biggs of Raise Your Hand. Above, Biggs after being insulted by David Vitale at the April 22, 2015 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education. (See the Substance BOARDWATCH report on that meeting, for a description of the encounter). Substance photo by David Vance.According to their most recent announcement, "The McKinley Park Progressive Alliance is hosting a panel of experts to explain the effects of the Rauner Budget Cuts. Advocates for schools, communities, and special populations will speak to the effects. And we'll explore the roots of austerity and regressive taxation. So far we have Jennifer McDermott Biggs speaking from Raise Your Hand Chicago on the devastation to Education, Valerie F. Leonard on the not for profit world of community organizations. Reaching out to the immigration reform community and to other experts. Let's make it memorable for high quality and broad attendance..."

According to Bill Drew, who is helping organize the event, "This can be an awakening event for many. Like when we had teach ins about the Vietnam war in the '60s. It was like -- 'I feel I should know more before I really get involved.'"

It is not just the budget. Rauner's legislative agenda is full of anti-labor and anti-democratic measures. His entire plan, which he called "Illinois Turnaround" can be downloaded in PDF and read at your leisure.

You can study them at

The article in the Tribune also details what we're facing...


Rauner takes budget ax to health care for the poor

More than a third of the $300 million in budget cuts for the current fiscal year will come from Medicaid, Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration says. (Michael Tercha, Chicago Tribune)

By Monique Garcia, Chicago Tribune

Rauner's latest budget cuts: health care for poor, college aid

Gov. Bruce Rauner has started to cut $300 million from the state budget

A month ago, new Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and state lawmakers agreed to $300 million in cuts as part of a plan to fix a budget passed last year that didn't have enough money to cover 12 months of spending.

On Thursday, a few details of what those cuts are started to emerge at the Capitol, though the Rauner administration declined to provide a full list of what's been chopped.

The administration will make roughly $106 million in cuts to the Medicaid health care program for the poor, much of which takes the form of a 16.75 percent reduction to reimbursement payments to doctors and pharmacies. Another $1.1 million would be slashed from human service programs including domestic violence shelters, services for homeless youths and the sickle cell clinic at the University of Illinois.

College scholarship grants for low-income students also would be cut, as would funding for community colleges. Lawmakers briefed by Rauner budget director Tim Nuding said he indicated that scholarships would be trimmed by about $6 million and colleges would lose about $8 million.

Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, said the cuts are "consistent" with agreements made during weeks of budget negotiations between lawmakers and Rauner's office to fix a budget that the new governor inherited from his Democratic predecessor Pat Quinn.

That's a far cry from accusations lawmakers lobbed earlier in the week that Rauner wasn't upfront about an additional $26 million in cuts he made on top of the reductions lawmakers already signed off on. Those cuts, made on the Easter holiday weekend, targeted services for those with autism and epilepsy, as well as funding for the state's tobacco quit line and burial services for the poor.

"It doesn't appear we were caught by surprise here, it was something we had agreed upon," said Sen. Dan Kotowski, D-Park Ridge.

Earlier this week the Senate passed legislation that would allow Rauner to sweep $26 million from special funds to offset those cuts, but the measure does not have support in the House. As part of the short-term budget deal approved last month, lawmakers already have given Rauner power to tap into $1.3 billion in special funds as he grapples with what his office says is a $1.6 billion budget hole.

Solving that shortfall has occupied much of the spring legislative session, and budget talks are only expected to grow more contentious as lawmakers begin to turn their attention to crafting a spending plan for the new budget year that starts July 1.

Rauner is pushing for billions in cuts, while Democrats say the problem will require both reductions and a tax increase an approach Rauner is open to, but only if they go along with his plans to curb union powers and cut workers' compensation costs for businesses.


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