IVCA Provides Updates for State Legislative Issues – 08/03/22

Illinois Venture Capital Association Illinois Legislative Report
David Stricklin / Stricklin & Associates
Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Illinois Democrats are in part banking on voters going to the polls this fall with a belief that they, the Democrats, have put the state on solid financial footing. With a crucial assist from federal COVID relief funds, the Democratic majority assembled a budget which has resulted in credit ratings upgrades, an elimination of the unpaid bill backlog, and the creation of a “rainy day” fund. They also sent various tax breaks, rebates, and credits through the system just as election day draws near. Voters will balance that fiscal news against other economic indicators which flash caution for tax receipts going forward and for signs of a recession.

Critics of the process, if not also the result, say legislators and the public should be given much more time to analyze the proposed budget prior to voting on it. The sort of report they think would be valuable might be this one from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. In fairness to the sausage makers, it takes months of analysis to produce this report, which wouldn’t work well in the frying pan nature of the final days of the legislative session. Maybe there’s a happy medium.

For those of you with the time and energy to pour a cup of coffee and dig in, this report has every relevant detail about revenue, spending, and the choices the legislature and governor made in the Spring Session:


Illinois Governor JB Pritzker maneuvered successfully to install Illinois House of Representatives Assistant Majority Leader Lisa Hernandez as chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois. The governor won a few and lost a few races for state central committee, the political body from which the chairman is elected, winning enough to move Hernandez into the role in place of Congresswoman Robin Kelly.

The Democratic Party of Illinois was controlled by former Speaker Michael J. Madigan for many years, unlike most states where the governor runs his or her state party apparatus. One issue working against Rep. Kelly was her status as a federal official and how that impacted her ability to raise non-federal dollars. The other factor was a straightforward political battle between the governor and forces on the committee aligned with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.

Republican Gubernatorial nominee State Senator Darren Bailey will not have the financial support of Ken Griffin, the Citadel billionaire who supported Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin for governor and who is moving his company and fortune from Illinois to Florida.

Bailey may still be able to count on the support of Republican donor and packaging billionaire Richard Uihlein:

Compounding Bailey’s struggles: Hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin, who put $50 million into the failed candidacy of Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, isn’t going to help Bailey’s attempt to unseat Pritzker, according to a report by WBEZ’s Dave McKinney and Sun-Times’ Tina Sfondeles. So Uihlein’s involvement in Bailey’s campaign is seen as crucial.
Politico, 8-2-22
The Bailey campaign has about $500,000 cash on hand, while the Pritzker campaign has $60 million cash on hand.


What the governor is doing with his financial advantage has been done to great success previously in Illinois – he’s spending a lot of money running hard-hitting ads, a strategy which could result in defining Bailey to the general public before the primary dust has settled.  Former Governor Jim Edgar effectively used this strategy in 1994 against Dawn Clark Netsch. That of course was when campaign spending was measured in the single millions of dollars.

The point is it’s an effective approach when you have a financial advantage and when your opponent is coming out of a competitive primary seeking to first organize the party before taking on the general election foe.

Pritzker has unearthed comments where Bailey makes a comparison between abortion and the Holocaust:
Today, the JB for Governor campaign released a new ad holding Darren Bailey accountable for recently uncovered comments he made in 2017 comparing the Holocaust to a woman’s right to choose. In the video, Bailey egregiously says “the attempted extermination of the Jews of World War II doesn’t even compare on a shadow of the life that has been lost with abortion.”
LISTEN TO BAILEY’S COMMENTS HEREThis new video comes less than one month after Bailey’s offensive comments telling the predominantly Jewish community of Highland Park to “move on’’ and “celebrate” only 90 minutes after a mass shooting was carried out by a gunman with a history of posting antisemitic content.
Bailey has proudly touted his extreme abortion views and has repeatedly said he does not believe in any exceptions to abortion even in cases of rape or incest.
Capitol Fax, 8-2-22
Political operatives across the country this morning are analyzing the results in Kansas where a referendum banning abortion lost decisively. It is completely clear that reproductive choice will be an issue which voters will have an opportunity to decide between the two candidates for Illinois governor.

The legislature is not in session but may come back after Labor Day to act on abortion policy and gun safety legislation. The Illinois State Fair in Springfield is the week of August 15 and in an election year such as 2022 is will draw every candidate across the state and some recognizable names from other parts of the country as well.

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