A taste of feuds to come

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It is interesting to view from afar what is happening with other governors. If you want to get a taste of the fight to come on pricey new proposals, the appetite for new revenues and dependence on casinos as a cure-all, read a report by Steve Stanek of Budget & Tax News reports on Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois.

The Illinois General Assembly in 2007 was supposed to finish its business in May, but seven months later lawmakers remained in session to wrestle with mass transit funding in Chicago and the surrounding counties.

Political observers say the record overtime session was due at least in part to personal animosities between Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) and key lawmakers.

As the Italians say, all the world is like the town next door. Want more?

The animosity between House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and the governor has grown so bitter that in early December Madigan boycotted two days of mass transit discussions involving the governor and other legislative leaders.

Proposed transit funding solutions have included a regional sales tax hike, diverting gasoline sales tax money, and a huge expansion of gambling, including putting a casino in Chicago. The additional revenue would fund the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), which oversees mass transit in the city and suburbs.

Stay tuned for the Massachusetts version?