As the last days of the legislative session ticked away in Springfield, the Illinois Senate passed their Grand Bargain bills and sent them to the House for consideration. Instead of debating those bills or an alternative budget strategy the House was pulling an elaborate scam on all of us, wasting time on political bills and bills of true inconsequence… like catfish labeling.
Apparently, it’s more important to legislate whether a restaurant can label a dish “catfish” than to deal with the unprecedented budget that isn’t. Thankfully, Jeanne Ives is willing to stand up and ask why this is more important than the budget and the structural reforms needed to grow our economy. Unfortunately, those pleas continue to fall on deaf ears.
For my two cents, asian carp actually tastes better than catfish so I’m not sure what we’re trying to solve.
Federal Judge Orders “Substantial” Medicaid Payments
While the General Assembly was debating catfish, U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow was considering a lawsuit that asks whether Illinois has a duty to prioritize payments to Medicaid over other obligations like pension payments or state employee salaries.
On Wednesday, Judge Lefkow ruled that Illinois has not lived up to its obligations and must make a “substantial” dent in the bill backlog and should negotiate with its debtors to reach “substantial compliance” by June 20.
However, in a motion filed to the court Lisa Madigan admits the state simply doesn’t have the money to pay the back log. Specifically, she admits, “the State’s cash flow crisis leaves [Illinois] with no obvious way to satisfy Plaintiff’s request for relief.”
Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza agrees stating that there simply isn’t enough money to pay to growing obligations and that the “real solution to this crisis is a comprehensive budget plan passed by the General Assembly and signed by the governor, Now.”
Unfortunately, the General Assembly is catfishing all of us, and has more important issues to address.