Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Rep. Hamos on TV: Speaker Mike’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

This week’s suburban edition of “Public Affairs,” features State Rep. Julie Hamos [D-Evanston, 18th Dist]. See the end of this blog entry for a detailed suburban airing schedule. This show will also air throughout the City of Chicago [in the regular “Public Affairs,” City of Chicago time slot] on this coming Monday night, June 27 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21 [CANTV].
Next week’s guest on the suburban edition of “Public Affairs,” is State Senator and 6th CD Republican Primary candidate Carol Pankau [R-Itasca]
State Rep. Julie Hamos debates and discusses with Show Host and Executive Legal Recruiter Jeff Berkowitz pension legislation and reform, the state budget and taxes, education, affordable housing, CTA state subsidies and mass transit reform, Medical Mal-Practice damage award caps, gaming, guns, mandatory minimum jail time for multiple sexual assaults, drinking Speaker Mike Madigan’s Kool-Aid and much, much more.
Jeff Berkowitz: Are you a supporter of [Governor] Rod Blagojevich?

State Rep. Julie Hamos: …He has done a really good job of focusing on a few key priorities…He inherited a 5 billion dollar deficit…so he took on a very tough economic situation in Illinois and focused on just a few priorities. We will be hearing about those: Health care, education, public safety and he did not increase taxes. Now the problem with Rod Blagojevich I would say…I already have said it to him-- is we don’t really want him to box himself in again for his second term.

Berkowitz: In terms of pledging no increase in taxes [income and sales].

Rep. Julie Hamos: Right, because we cannot continue to band-aid the problems facing the state and we cannot continue to take from pension systems, raiding funds, from the kind of little band-aid approaches that we have taken and we can’t continue to do that if the economy does not rebound. If the economy does not rebound, then we all have got to take a more responsible and more courageous approach.

Berkowitz: Would your solution have been, in this case, instead of shorting the pensions, as you might put it, raising taxes, either the sales tax or the individual income tax?

Rep. Julie Hamos: No, I don’t think we were ready for that. And, truthfully, we have a governor—

Berkowitz: What would you have done, then?

Rep. Julie Hamos: Well, I think there were two things
that we all thought should have been done. Really from the first minute we heard the budget. One is there were some gaming opportunities out there that I think we all would have supported. At the end of the day, the five leaders couldn’t agree on how to do that. The additional slots in gaming—I don’t think anyone of us had big problems—

Berkowitz: More slots at casinos than is currently the case?

Rep. Julie Hamos: That’s right.
Or even at horseracing.

Berkowitz: Which would give you approximately how much [in new revenue]?

Rep. Julie Hamos: 500 million dollars, give or take—

Berkowitz: You supported that.

Rep. Julie Hamos: I would have supported that, sure.

Berkowitz: You and Rep. Lou Lang.

Rep. Julie Hamos: Well, and a lot of others.

Berkowitz: He is very close [to our studio]. We tape in Skokie and Rep. Lang is in Skokie.

Rep. Julie Hamos: That’s right. He is the Leader [in gaming]. And, I think if we had more pension reforms, then we also could have justified why we were talking some dollars in current savings—long term savings as current—

Berkowitz: So, you wanted more pension reform.

Rep. Julie Hamos: So, less than a billion, I would have said, maybe more like 500 million [taken as future pension savings] but with more [pension] reforms.

Berkowitz: With more reforms and the 500 million—

Rep. Julie Hamos: So, more [pension] reforms and gaming, and that would have had, I think, a better result. That would have been my approach.

Berkowitz: You don’t want the Governor to say that he is not going to raise income taxes or sales taxes when he runs again in 2006 because you think he might have to.

Rep. Julie Hamos: No [I don’t want the Governor to say that], because the state might need it. We might need it. [an increase in the income or sales tax].

Berkowitz: And you would support that possibly? [Raising the sales and income tax]

Rep. Julie Hamos: Yes, I would.

Berkowitz: And, maybe you would say that unequivocally now. Would you have supported House Bill 750 [A bill to lower the property tax, raise the state income tax, with a net increase of about three billion dollars in new tax revenue and about two billion of those dollars were to go to education].

Rep. Julie Hamos: I didn’t support House Bill 750 in the form it was in. I do think we need school funding reform and I am open to—

Berkowitz: A tax swap. You favor a tax swap?

Rep. Julie Hamos: You know this really wasn’t a tax swap.

Berkowitz: It was not [revenue] neutral. It was an increase in tax revenue.
State Rep. Julie Hamos [D-Evanston, 18th Dist.] recorded on June 12, 2005 and as is airing on the Suburban edition of Public Affairs this week [week of June 20] and on the City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs on Monday night, June 27 at 8:30 pm on Cable Ch. 21. See, below, for a detailed suburban airing schedule.
The suburban edition of "Public Affairs," is regularly broadcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8:30 pm on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Bannockburn, Deerfield, Ft. Sheridan, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Kenilworth, Lincolnshire, Riverwoods and Winnetka.

The suburban edition also is broadcast every Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 19 in Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northfield, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Wilmette and every Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. on Comcast Cable Channel 35 in Arlington Heights, Bartlett, Glenview, Golf, Des Plaines, Hanover Park, Mt. Prospect, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Prospect Heights, Schaumburg, Skokie, Streamwood and Wheeling.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at