(Chicago, IL) — October 15, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn yesterday announced a $2.1 million grant for infrastructure and energy-efficiency projects at South Suburban College in Holland, but Illinois owed the school $2,633,995.70 in overdue payments, as of July 22, 2010.
The new grant reveals the broken, schizophrenic nature of the Illinois budget.
The school will get new energy efficient windows and a new emergency generator with the grant money, but it may be unable to pay the electric bill.
That the Illinois General Assembly gave Quinn only $5 to pay for $20 worth of groceries, a favorite Quinn retort on the topic, is not entirely his fault. But he did fail to persuade the legislature to cough up enough money to pay the bills. And it is the power of persuasion, not the powers enumerated in the state constitution, that is real strength of an executive.
As an accidental governor, Quinn entered office without an electoral mandate that fuels persuasive power. However, if he pulls victory out of the jaw bone of impending defeat, he will have captured persuasive power in spades. He’ll be able to kick legislative butt.
In the meantime, let’s hope South Suburban College can keep the lights on.