Despite the recent problems the city has had with trying to lease Midway Airport and the sale of Chicago's parking meters, the mayor is suggesting the state of Illinois try privatization. And in lieu of increased income taxes the state should spread the deficit reduction effort over several years.
Gov. Quinn, who faces a May 31st budget deadline, seemed unimpressed.
After receiving an award from the Chicago Children's Advocacy Center, the governor was optimistic that within the next 31 days he and legislative leaders will resolve the state's $12 billion deficit.
"I'm confident that with people of good faith, we can get this done," said Gov. Pat Quinn, (D) Illinois.
And despite continued criticism, Quinn is holding firm to his income tax reform plan. that he says will help balance the budget by increasing the rate as much as 50 percent for the wealthiest tax payers.
"The Illinois constitution says you have to have a balanced budget every year. You can't be like the federal government where you run a deficit," said Quinn.
But Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley - who welcomed a new wind power company to the city on Thursday morning - repeated his opposition to a tax increase and suggested the state take several years resolve the deficit. And Daley, one of the most powerful Democrats in Illinois, suggested the state contract out more services and, like the city did with its parking meters, lease assets to raise money.
"You can't just increase taxes. The state government has been the same for the last 25 years. We have outsourced more than all the state government has done," said Mayor Daley.
Meanwhile the governor denied published reports that his administration had reneged on a promise to spend one billion dollars to repair and rebuild public transit systems, including the CTA, Metra and Pace. He says as part his administration's emphasis on transparency. The agencies must say beforehand how they'll spend the money.
"They have to fill out the applications. We can't issue the bonds without even knowing what they want to spend the money on. I think it's important to have that kind of basic principle of government," said Quinn.
The governor said he had breakfast on Thursday morning with Illinois Senate president John Cullerton to dispel any misunderstanding about capital funds for transit.
Friday begins the critical month for resolving the budget crisis. The governor is only one with a plan on the table. The other players, the legislative leaders, are still holding their cards very close.