Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Democrat intransigence in two midwestern states

In one case, it's a Republican governor getting served notice by a Freedom-Hater legislature that his ideas about reviving the state from flatline status don't mean diddly, and in the other, it's the opposite: a F-Her governor pulling the rug out from under a Pub legislature.

Longtime LITD readers know that my term for Republican go-along-get-along-ism is Reasonable Gentleman Syndrome, as in the mindset the assumes those across the aisle are just nice folks with different ideas about how to get to the common goals embraced by all.

Well, in Illinois, which is the American heartland's Venezuela, the House Speaker has declared that this mindset is more important than finding an actual path back to solvency:

House Speaker Michael Madigan said Democrats plan to unveil their budget proposal on Tuesday amid a new round of negotiations to end the state's historic budget impasse, suggesting that "a settlement" is possible if Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner "is reasonable."
Even before Madigan spoke, Republicans were raising concerns that Democrats appeared poised to water down proposals the governor has made conditions to a deal, including changes to the state's workers' compensation system and a temporary statewide freeze on property tax increases.
The continued political positioning amid a lack of trust comes as a Friday deadline looms to avoid entering a third straight year without a full budget. Credit agencies are threatening to slash the state's credit rating to junk status, road projects face possible suspension, school districts are raising concerns about how long they would be able to operate without state funds and Illinois gamblers could lose access to the Powerball and Mega Millions games.
Then there's Minnesota, where the F-Her is seated in the governor's mansion, and he's singing, "You knew darn well I was a snake before you took me in":

I wrote about the ongoing cage match between Minnesota Democratic Governor Mark Dayton and Minnesota’s majority-Republican House and Senate here. Governor Dayton really doesn’t play well with others of the opposing party. We have all learned to tread lightly in his vicinity. His feathers are easily ruffled.
At the end of this year’s slightly extended legislative session Dayton signed all tax and budget bills. He could have vetoed any of them. Even though he professed extreme unhappiness with certain items, he signed the bills The package of budget, tax and state government bills that finally passed reflected compromises on the part of all participants including Dayton and his commissioners. 
As a result of his unhappiness with certain items, however, Governor Dayton exercised his authority to veto budgetary line items to wipe out the funding of the legislative branch. The legislature’s current funding expires on July 1. After that it can run for a while on fumes (i.e., reserves on hand). Dayton explained himself in the letter posted here.
Dayton demanded that Republicans revisit selected issues on his terms after they had already given ground elsewhere to arrive at the bills that were sent to him for his signature and adjourned. Unlike some other Republicans I can think of on the national scene, they weren’t inclined to make fools of themselves.
The legislature was not inclined to just endure the snake bite, however:

The governor can’t do that, can he?
In search of the answer, the legislature took Governor Dayton to court. In asking a judge to weigh in on the issue of whether one branch can wipe out another, the thought is likely to occur that the judiciary might be next. It’s an obvious point and one that did not escapeRamsey County Judge John Guthmann, to whom the case has been assigned. Next stop, Mark Dayton rules the world!
Now Judge Guthmann has ruled that the Minnesota Constitution is not friendly to one-man government. “If the legislative branch is not funded, it cannot carry out its core functions, which include those functions necessary to draft, debate, publish, vote on and enact legislation,” Judge Guthmann wrote in an opinion issued shortly after attorneys left the courtroom yesterday. Judge Guthmann has ordered continued funding on an interim basis through October 1. The Pioneer Press’s Rachel Stassen-Berger reports on the ruling in her story along with which she has embedded a copy of the decision. I think it bodes poorly for the governor’s position in the case.
Governor Dayton has a high tolerance for embarrassment and Judge Guthmann has yet to render a final ruling in the case. Dayton can carry it on for a while. At some point before too long, however, I should think that embarrassment might deter Dayton from protracting an ordeal that highlights the weakest and most offensive features of his public character. 
F-Hers talk a good game about a more equitable and gentle world, but when they get any degree of power, the gloves come off.

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