SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Race to the bottom

Monday, Jan 31, 2005

I’ve seen plenty of arguments pro and con about the impact of a single state increasing its minimum wage (as Illinois did). It’s not clear from the evidence that it has a huge impact.

But new technologies appear to be allowing corporations to change the dynamic.

The McDonald’s restaurant in Hermiston, Oregon is outsourcing customers drive-thru meals to North Dakota.

The restaurant on Highway 395 has outsourced one of the most important jobs at the drive-through window — order taking.

When a customer drives through, they’ll be patched through to Grand Forks, North Dakota to place the order. Why? Because the minimum wage in North Dakota is five-dollars and 15 cents, compared to Oregon’s seven-dollars and 25 cents.

I wonder when McDonald’s finally outsources this task overseas at a buck an hour.

- Posted by Rich Miller   4 Comments      

Statewide sites

Monday, Jan 31, 2005

I’m going to add a new link category on the right side of the page for statewide candidate websites and their non-blogger tormentors. The link shouldn’t be under “blogs,” for instance, and I’m going to change that.

If you know of any STATEWIDE candidate-related sites, please post them in comments. Thanks.

The latest one I’ve found is Rod Gidwitz’s site. Kinda lame, but he does have a “Road Diary”.

- Posted by Rich Miller   3 Comments      

New IRMA chair

Monday, Jan 31, 2005

From Crain’s online:

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association named Western Springs True Value Hardware owner Linda Johnson as chair to replace Jewel-Osco executive Pete Van Helden, who was promoted to the head of the grocery store chain’s California division.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Hynes says no

Monday, Jan 31, 2005

Comptroller Hynes says “No” to paying the governor’s bill.

Illinois’ chief financial officer said Monday his office would refuse to pay for the millions of dollars in flu vaccine that Gov. Rod Blagojevich ordered from Europe but never got federal approval to import, even though the state signed a contract.

In a letter to the governor’s chief of staff, state Comptroller Dan Hynes’ office said the lack of approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to import the vaccine should let the state cancel the contract under a provision about “circumstances beyond its reasonable control.'’

The letter also notes that Illinois’ $2.5 million contract for 256,000 doses of flu vaccine was not submitted until Jan. 24 — three months after Blagojevich struck the deal to import the vaccine.

“In light of these facts … the Office of the Comptroller will refuse any requests for payment,'’ the letter said. Hynes spokesman Alan Henry said that if the vaccine suppliers still feel entitled to the money, they will have to sue the state.

Blagojevich spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff said the governor’s office was looking into the letter and had no immediate comment.

Stay tuned for more.

- Posted by Rich Miller   2 Comments      

Recommended reading

Monday, Jan 31, 2005

The Rockford Register-Star’s Aaron Chambers sits down with the governor’s commerce director, Jack Lavin.

The interview is transcribed online, Q&A style, a practice that has been used by more and more of this state’s newspapers in the past year or so. It began when House Speaker Madigan decreed last year that he would only allow himself to be interviewed if it was reprinted verbatum, and then everyone else asked for the same treatment.

Imagine that. Mike Madigan, of all people, helping to reshape news coverage for the better. Kinda weirds me out.

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      

Pulitzer sold

Monday, Jan 31, 2005

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Bloomington Pantagraph are being absorbed by Lee. All of Lee’s Statehouse reporters operate out of one office right now, but it’s getting kinda crowded in there, so I wonder if they’ll make Erickson and McDermott (both very good reporters) move.

Pulitzer Inc. has agreed to a $1.46 billion acquisition by Lee Enterprises Inc., that will create the seventh-largest U.S. newspaper chain in terms of circulation.

The deal, announced late Sunday, ended two months of speculation about the fate of Pulitzer, whose holdings include The Pantagraph and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. […]

Lee operates 44 daily newspapers in 19 states. It had revenue of $683 million and profits of $86.1 million in its latest fiscal year. Pulitzer owns 14 dailies and more than 100 weekly newspapers and other publications. It had revenue of $444 million and profits of $44.1 million last year.

Lee’s deal for Pulitzer also includes a small stake in the St. Louis Cardinals. Pulitzer Inc. and Michael Pulitzer together own slightly less than four percent of the baseball team.

One question not answered by the above Pantagraph article was how the SP-D’s very strong employees’ unions will be impacted.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Survey says…

Monday, Jan 31, 2005

Despite some of the bad press resulting from the state’s “C-minus” in the Government Performance Project’s latest management survey of all state governments, Illinois appeared to be praised more often than it was criticized.

You can see the complete Illinois study here, or you can just peruse the press release here.

In the end
, whether you see Illinois management as a glass half full or a glass half empty doesn’t matter a great deal. The bottom line is that there’s an enormous amount of catching up to do—but at least now there’s somebody checking to see that the glass doesn’t fall off the table.

And some basic facts:

The state takes longer than average to hire new employees and terminates an above average number of new workers before the end of their probationary period. Despite recent high retirement turnover, the state boasts comparatively low voluntary turnover. Illinois spends an average amount of money on benefits per salary dollar for employees, including a 19 percent contribution of employee salary to retirement and payment of 90 percent of an employee’s health insurance costs.

* 51,127 state employees (excluding temps)
* 20% of employees are covered by the merit system
* 45 political appointees serve in the Executive Branch
* 80% of state employees are covered by labor contracts […]

Total benefit dollars per state employee:

* $16,347 for state classified employees
* $16,347 for state non-classified employees
* $20,812 for Environment classified employees
* $29,577 for Environment non-classified employees
* $24,700 for Transportation classified employees
* $36,100 for Transportation non-classified employees

Benefits dollars per dollar of salary:

* $.29 for state classified employees
* $.40 for state non-classified employees
* $.40 for Environment classified employees
* $.32 for Environment non-classified employees
* $.57 for Transportation classified employees
* $.57 for Transportation non-classified employees

Percent of health insurance covered by state:

* 90.9% for state employees

Employee relations:

* There were 1,211 grievances for state employees
* There were 23.7 grievances per 1,000 state employees
* There were 110 appeals for state employees
* There were 2.2 appeals per 1,000 state employees
* There were 138 discrimination charges for state employees
* There were 2.7 discrimination charges per 1,000 state employees

There’s more, and I’m sure other reporters and bloggers will dig it up. I’ll keep looking as well.

- Posted by Rich Miller   3 Comments      

Turn me on, dead man

Monday, Jan 31, 2005

Very trippy:

Remember when the “White Album” came out and we were worried that Paul might be dead?

Remember ruining our needles playing songs backwards searching for hidden messages?

Remember wondering what the entire song of “Revolution #9″ would sound like backwards? […]

Not every family had reel-to-reel tape recorders and it was impossible to play an 8 minute song backwards on a turntable so I don’t think many people ever got to hear the whole thing. I longed for the day that technologies would allow this type of sonic manipulation to be simplified and of course that day is here now! Using Cool Edit Pro, I have completed the project for all to hear.

Go here and scroll down.

(Via growabrain.)

Frankly, it doesn’t sound like anything.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* Zopp makes small cable TV buy during debate
* Exelon Just Received A $1.7 Billion Rate Increase Through The Market-Based Capacity Auction
* Question of the day
* Raoul: "Inflexible demands plus willful amnesia is no recipe for any negotiation"
* Violence spike blamed on budget cuts
* *** UPDATED - Home and doing better *** I'll be back later
* Gray hired by Trump
* MLB playoff open thread
* Once more, with feeling
* B3 fallout?
* Unclear on the concept
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* Acer setting up for October 12 Windows 10 devices day
* 3D Touch Control Center concept reminds Apple of what it can do
* Google is getting more search volume from smartphones than PCs
* BATBAND: Sleek, ear-free headphones won’t hurt your ears, now on Kickstarter
* Moto X Force passes through Chinese regulators
* Still time to win: enter to take home this HTC One M9 while you can
* Master your super human skills, control powers in ‘Heroes Reborn: Enigma’

* Hahn feels White Sox fanbase's frustration
* Sox to rely on improvement of core in 2016
* One benefit of the White Sox' lefty-heavy rotation
* Foot issue to sideline White Sox prospect Hawkins
* After second base, it was no-go White Sox
* Scouting, player development key for White Sox
* Arbitration-eligible White Sox won't put dent in payroll


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Rauner names new chair of Illinois Historic Pre.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....

* Rauner names contributor to preservation agency
* Ex-governor says ex-convicts shouldn't be labeled felon
* Rockford University looking to finish raising $17.3 million
* Corruption arraignment Tuesday for ex-Chicago schools CEO
* Chinese students bring new business to Champaign-Urbana
* ISU president calls for end to budget turmoil in Springfield
* EXCHANGE: Many point with pride at World War II service
* NIU to rededicate plaque honoring fallen WWII veterans
* Chicago State names Alabama university official to top post
* Mural, crosswalk art project underway downtown Springfield

* Rauner names new chair of Illinois Historic Preservation Agency board
* Rail work to shut down Chicago-St. Louis Amtrak trains for two weeks
* More than 400 press passes issued for this year's Illinois State Fair
* Rail work to shut down Amtrak trains for two weeks
* Ex-governor Ryan says ex-convicts shouldn't be labeled felons
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago shootings climb
* The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project still in jeopardy; memo paints discouraging picture
* Democrats say Rauner 'needs to get serious' on budget
* Democrats: Illinois could go broke without budget
* Gov. Rauner ends quarter with $19M in campaign fund

* Notre Dame gets $20 million for global investing institute
* The Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots approach to governing
* Cubs World Series tickets would be most expensive in history
* Union files lawsuit on Chicago Park District pension bill
* Paul Ryan said to weigh speaker bid under GOP pressure

* Patrick Kane spoils Islanders Brooklyn debut
* Jonathan Toews sets up Patrick Kane with ridiculous no-look pass
* Ryan says ex-cons shouldn’t have to wear ‘felon’ label
* Watch: New Blackhawk Artem Anisimov scores shorthanded goal
* Tearful Ald. Carrie Austin on health crisis that nearly killed her
* Emails: Ex-CPS CEO was outraged City Hall questioned no-bid deal
* Artemi Panarin’s personality, skill breaking down language barrier
* Parents blast CPS for cuts in special ed programs
* Mayor tells U.S. attorney general that Chicago cops are in “fetal” position
* Blackhawks’ success further motivates Nick Leddy

* Emanuel supports principal training amid CPS scandal fallout
* Elmhurst police ask for help identifying woman killed by Metra train
* Bomb threat at GSU cancels classes
* Man, 62, found dead outside on Far South Side
* Teen is charged in killing of longtime Chicago police civilian employee
* Ryan says 'felon' hurts convicts' chances of finding work
* Police charge father after incident that left infant son seriously injured
* Black bear that visited Indiana this summer returns to state
* Mother cleared of endangerment charges in death of infant daughter
* Assault weapons bans at stake in Highland Park case before Supreme Court

* Rauner names new chair of Illinois Historic Preservation Agency board
* Rail work to shut down Chicago-St. Louis Amtrak trains for two weeks
* More than 400 press passes issued for this year's Illinois State Fair
* Ex-governor Ryan says ex-convicts shouldn't be labeled felons
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago shootings climb
* The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project still in jeopardy; memo paints discouraging picture
* Mike Lang: 'Racial Taboo' screening will advance local unity efforts
* Democrats say Rauner 'needs to get serious' on budget
* Bernard Schoenburg: Supreme Court refuses to hear Illinois Policy Institute appeal over press access at Statehouse

* LIVE! IlliNOISE Night
* Rantoul man charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse
* Final Word: Cubit returns to Kinnick
* Tate: Big Ten QBs miss mark
* PODCAST: Sports Talk 10-09-15
* Wetter days ahead by mid-month across the Corn Belt
* High school football scoreboard, Oct. 9, 2015
* VIDEO PICK: UI 21, Iowa 14
* Urbana High School Homecoming 2015
* PODCAST: Illini Notebook with Brian Barnhart

* Rozner: Cards execute plan to perfection to take Game 1
* Boy Scouts closing Woodstock's Camp Lakota, two in Wisconsin
* Officials: Five people hospitalized after Long Grove crash
* Lackey, home runs too much for Chicago Cubs
* Priest who led Mundelein retreat, served in Des Plaines, Schaumburg, dead at 79

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Boulder Rep. Jared Polis introduces afford......
* Senator Durbin Calls on VA and Department ......

* Kirk supported money to Illinois waterways......

* Parents, Advocates Speak Out Against CPS Special Need Education Cuts
* Special education
* Marine Drive To Undergo Repaving
* Schakowsky Introduces Bill To Make Renewable Energy Tax Credit Permanent
* Byrd-Bennett Arraignment Scheduled For Tuesday
* Illinois' first lady appears in domestic violence PSA
* Roseburg Oregon protesters tell Obama: "Go Golf!"
* Positive Loitering Tonight, 7pm-8pm
* Islamic extremists cut off 12 year old Syrian boy's fingertips before public execution
* Rauner addresses LGBT Business Graduate Conference

* Board’s New Rules Will Reduce Risk of Tire Fires and Disease-Carrying Mosquitos
* Illinois Hosts Inaugural Interstate Medical Licensure Compact - Aims to increase health care access through multi-state physician licensure program
* IEMA Announces Elgin Community College Attains ‘Ready to Respond Campus’ Designation - Elgin one of five Illinois campuses to receive distinction
* New Mortgage Loan Interface Increases Efficiency, Compliance
* State Fire Marshal Ushers In Fire Prevention Week - “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep!”

    Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller