Brady opened the day saying that holding the roundtable
discussions locally was a means of forcing a conversation between
the local government and himself, offering an opportunity for
questions to be asked and answered that are of importance to a
He talked about the budget impasse and the state of the state as far
as jobs and industry are concerned. He said the budget problem has
gone on too long and chided the state’s House of Representatives for
taking a month off when there is so much that needs to be
Brady said that Illinois is among the worst of all the states when
it comes to jobs and economic growth through industry. He noted that
the two largest barriers to growth were property taxes and the cost
of worker’s compensation.
He also noted that in state government there is a need for proper
redistricting, and there must be an establishment of rules for term
limits. He noted that Speaker of the House Mike Madigan is a good
example of someone who has been in his political position too long.
Another item holding up progress according to Brady is the state
rules of prevailing wage. He said that the prevailing wage is making
it difficult for some communities to afford to pay for the work it
needs to do. Brady said the control and decision to pay prevailing
wage should be given back to local government. The local government
would then have the choice of paying or not paying union wages for
their contracts. Brady said that in talking with union leaders, they
don’t have a problem with making this type of change, but it is
Speaker Madigan that will not give in to the suggestion that the
state does not need to control this issue.
Brady said that of course as is known, the state of Illinois is
doing a very poor job of managing its finances. He noted that the
worst township in the state had greater financial responsibility
than the state of Illinois. He noted that the state is spending
$400,000,000 per month more than it is bringing in.
Brady noted that non-essential services cannot be paid without a
budget, and it is impacting several people throughout the state. He
noted the devastating effect this is having on the MAP Grant program
that is impacting colleges and universities throughout the state. He
noted as an example, Chicago State is closing for this school year
one month early because of the funding issues.
Lincoln Mayor Marty Neitzel
Fifth Street Road
When Brady asked if anyone in the room had questions for him,
Neitzel asked immediately about funding for the Fifth Street Road
Project. She explained that the city is $1.4 million short of being
able to do the $6 million project. Brady asked a few questions about
the project, then asked his chief of staff who was present if the
Brady Office had a file on the project, Chief of Staff Alex
Henderson confirmed that it does.
Brady said what he does know about is a road project that will be
done in conjunction with the High-Speed Rail program that will
impact the roadway to the prisons in Logan County.
Lincoln Developmental Center
Neitzel also asked about the Lincoln Developmental Center property.
Brady said that the building is being controlled by the state’s
Central Management Service, and there needs to be more conversation
with that party. He said that he does know that there are a couple
of state agencies using buildings at LDC and like being there. When
asked, he confirmed that the state is using the newer buildings on
Brady eluded to conversations in the past that included the mayor
and City Administrator Clay Johnson. Neitzel confirmed there had
been meetings. She also mentioned that Johnson would have attended
the round table, but was in another work related meeting downstairs.
Brady suggested that Neitzel or Johnson try to get another meeting
scheduled within the upcoming week.
He also commented that he would like to see LDC handled in the same
manner as the old Sailors home in Bloomington/Normal had been
handled. He explained that the city had taken over management of the
property and had developed it into a usable part of the city.
Between the city and the state, there had been an agreement that if
the project lost money, the city and state would share the
liability, and on the other hand, if it made money the two entities
would share that as well. He suggested that Neitzel and Johnson also
contact Bloomington/Normal and speak with city officials about how
they succeeded with the Soldier Home project.
Village Clerk Stacy Coon and Chief of Police Maria Cripi
Police Officer testing
Police Chief Cripi of San Jose mentioned a meeting she had recently
attended where she learned there was a basket full of bills in the
House that will impact police officers and departments around the
state. Brady said he wasn’t familiar with these bills. He explained
that the House Bills are held in the House until they are passed,
then they are sent to the Senate side. He said then he would have
the opportunity to see the items to which Cripi was referring.
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Cripi said that there were several bills that will threaten the
careers of police officers and will have an impact on manpower in
the police departments. She noted as an example one bill that will
require psychological testing of experienced officers, wherein if
they fail the test they are immediately fired.
that as a police officer becomes experienced with the real-life
situations he can be put in, his perception changes, but that
doesn’t mean he has a problem. She’s concerned that the testing will
not take that into account as it should. She said young,
inexperienced officers don’t see the world in the same perspective
as seasoned officers, so their mind doesn’t see the threat that a
tenured officer might see. She commented, referring to ink blot
testing, that for a seasoned officer “that butterfly becomes a
Left to right,
Lincoln City Clerk Susan Gehlbach, Lincoln City Treasurer Chuck
Conzo, and Senator Bill Brady
State’s delinquent sewer bills
Lincoln City Clerk Susan Gehlbach asked about the past due debt that
is owed to the city of Lincoln. She told Brady that as of this day,
the state owes the city $414,586 in sewer bills for the two prisons.
She said a large portion of that was past due money. She wondered if
the state would soon be doing anything about this.
Brady said there were two spending bills that could be passed, that if they were
passed, the state does have the means to pay. One would address higher
education, and the other would address local and social services.
Brady went on to comment that the state is in debt to many, including the city
of Springfield. There, the state owes over $10 million to the public utilities,
and the city of Springfield has threatened to shut off the power to state
buildings in Springfield. Gehlbach commented that the city of Lincoln could do
that as well.
Brady went on to say that there are companies that have been buying the state
debt for 90-cents on the dollar, and will collect from the state with interest
at a later date.
Pension Fund Mandates
Neitzel also commented that she found it a bit ridiculous that the state has set
up strict mandates for cities to fund their pension plans fully when the state
pension plan is unfunded, and the state is doing nothing about it. Brady agreed
and again said that Michael Madigan and his followers were influencing what is
happening to state pensions.
Gas or Motor Fuel Taxes
City clerk for San Jose, Stacy Coon brought up the gasoline taxes and said that
it is hard for any part of the state to grow in population when Illinois has so
much taxation on the gasoline. He said transportation costs are causing people
to consider relocation to states with lower gas taxes.
Brady said the gas tax is the motor fuel tax used for infrastructure. He told
the group that in his political career, he has never voted for a tax increase of
any kind. He went on to say that what does need to happen, is there needs to be
a restructuring of the Motor Fuel Tax.
He mentioned that consideration is being given to adopting a mileage tax or a
percentage tax. He didn’t go into details about how those taxes would be
imposed, particularly the mileage tax, but said there was still much to be
worked out there.
Eliminating the Lt. Governor position
The last question to Brady was his opinion on a very recent announcement that
the Office of the Lieutenant Governor should be eliminated. He said that he
would “dodge that question” by saying that he would first want to see the
offices of the State Comptroller and Treasurer combined so as to save money for
Brady said that his concern for doing away with the Lt. Governor position was
how that would impact the order of succession. Brady said for example that if
today, something were to happen to Governor Rauner, Lt. Governor Evelyn
Sanguinetti was prepared and well qualified to fill the role. However, if her
office did not exist, that task would fall to the Attorney General, currently
He said the experience and qualifications of the attorney general are not the
same as the experience and qualifications that make a good governor. Therefore,
he wasn’t sure anyone holding the office of attorney general would be equipped
to become governor.
He also said that he felt that Evelyn Sanguinetti was a working Lt. Governor. It
had been stated in news reports earlier in the day that the position of the Lt.
Governor didn’t have many duties or responsibilities. Brady said he didn’t
agree; he feels that Governor Rauner has given Sanguinetti specific duties and
tasks that she is performing very well.
With this, the formal meeting came to a close. Brady stayed for a while
afterward and spoke with individuals personally.