March 10, 2017

You can thank Governor Hedgefund, Republican Bruce Rauner, for trying to do his bit to stop Illinoisans from wasting their scarce health care benefits on trifles like chemo and diabetes medication.  You see, as a Professional Man of Business he knows much better than you how those dollars should be spent.

From hometown news leader, the State Journal-Register:

Rauner administration says Munger pay plan was error

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration had arranged to pay a new deputy governor out of an employee health care account that is more than $4 billion behind on its bills due to the state's budget crisis, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
After the AP reported Thursday that half of Leslie Munger's $138,000 salary was scheduled to come from a pool of insurance premiums, a spokeswoman for the governor said an agency "mistakenly" designated the wrong fund and that Munger's pay would come from elsewhere.

It was a typo, people!  One of the Professional Man of Business' team of private sector heroes transposed a number.  Just a boo-boo.  Jesus, why is everybody making such a big deal about this.?

...Rauner's spokeswoman, Catherine Kelly, told the AP Wednesday that Munger had not yet been paid and that her salary would "not impact state employee health insurance payments or service providers." She declined to elaborate Wednesday, and the office didn't provide more details on Munger's salary until Thursday evening, after the AP published its story.
Munger did not return a message left by the AP at her office.
Rauner, a conservative businessman who ran on a platform of government transparency, has a history of paying employees who work for him from accounts not affiliated with the governor's office — a practice known as "off-shoring." An analysis the AP conducted in August 2015 found that half of the $8 million payroll for 80 people answering to the governor was paid by agencies other than the chief executive's office....

Okay, there's that one thing.  And, sure. several other things,  But it's not like Governor Hedgefund has a history of sketchy and morally questionable behavior when in comes to being the steward for my tax money.

...Illinois has been slogging along without a budget since mid-2015, the nation's longest state budget drought since at least World War II.
More than a third of the state's $12.3 billion in past-due bills involve IOUs to medical providers for employee health care. The shortage has forced doctors and hospitals to seek lines of credit or demand payment for service upfront. A dentists' group prompted pending legislation to allow dentists to renege on state contracts for lack of payment.

You know, I'm old enough to remember back when installing a shower at City Hall was enough to get the City of Chicago's budget director crucified and cashiered (from the Chicagoist in 2008):

While some may remember Johnson and his team of number crunchers for providing two of the most difficult budget plans in years, which called for a record number of tax increases, others may remember him for the installation of a $5,400 shower in his City Hall office. The incident, dubbed ShowerGate by the Trib’s John Kass , happened in February when the city raised taxes and fees by $293 million. Johnson defended the purchase by saying the money came out of his own pocket and that he needed the shower because he likes to ride his bicycle to work. Johnson told the Sun-Times’s Fran Spielman that he doesn’t understand why ShowerGate was such a big deal. “People just don't get where I come from. In the private sector, you get private showers and private gym memberships. It’s just what I’m used to. That’s why I didn't think it was such a big deal,” he said. 

Mayor Daley can now choose an interim budget director or find a permanent appointee.

Of course I was so much older then.

I'm younger than that now.

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