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“Report cards” issued

Thursday, Aug 31, 2006

A+ Illinois has just released its “report cards” of the education plans put forth by both Gov. Blagojevich and Judy Baar Topinka. The following is from a press release with the “grades” added in brackets:

A+ Illinois graded the strength of each candidate’s proposal in four key areas:

* Fair and adequate school funding that meets the recommendations of experts at the state’s Education Funding Advisory Board and provides increases for inflation; [Blagojevich “D+” and Topinka “B”]

* Sustainable school funding source that provides reliable, stable long-term resources for schools; [Blagojevich “D-” and Topinka “D+”]

* Meaningful property-tax relief for homeowners and businesses that shifts the burden of school funding away from local property taxpayers; [Blagojevich “F” and Topinka “C-”]

* Strategies to close Illinois’ student achievement gap, one of the highest nationwide; [Blagojevich “B-” and Topinka “B+”]

* A plan to improve the state’s ailing fiscal health and protect funding for essential programs such as health care and human services. [Blagojevich “F” and Topinka “D”]

The full Blagojevich “report card,” which explains the grades, is here. Topinka’s report card is here. [pdf files]

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - McDem - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 1:10 pm:

    I think it interesting that no Governor has done more for education than Governor Blagojevich. That’s real world results. The challenger has the luxury of promising anything. I do wish the Governor would leave open the possibility of a fundamental change in how schools are funded if both parties could ever agree on a plan. We have been wrangling over school funding for years with no progress towards a bi-partisan plan so I do understand doing the best he can with the system that is in place.

  2. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 1:14 pm:

    McDem - what real world results are you talking about?

    The Governor broke his own campaign pledge to increase the foundation level funding for schools, the increases he did make barely kept up with inflation, no new dollars for school construction, and we just lowered the standards for teachers.

    Do we even want to discuss higher ed?

    Please, direct us to these real world results.

  3. - Wumpus - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 1:17 pm:

    I hope the gov, nor the mayor (Daley) were cheering too loudly about the increease in the number of students passing the IL State test, when all they did was make the test easier/lower passing grades.

    Rod is happy he passed.

  4. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 1:18 pm:

    By the way, he’s not doing the best he can with the system that is in place. It’s Blagojevich’s blind oath to not raise taxes — an oath which the Chicago Tribune says 80% of voters don’t even believe — that has frozen the current inequities in place.

    The bottom line:

    Illinois ranks 47th out of 50th in state support for public education;

    We spend nearly $20,000 more on the public education of white kids than African American and Latino kids;

    The Illinois Manufacturers Association points to the shortcomings of our education system as the primary reason that Illinois is losing manufacturing jobs.

  5. - M.V. - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 1:21 pm:

    What about WHITNEY!!! His education plan is far better…I can’t believe they would leave him out. I think they get a A+Illinois gets a D+ for not doing their homework

  6. - Truth - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 1:28 pm:

    I thought Rod said he was a “C” student. This looks like he’s a “D” student. What’s Judy thinking? Thinkin her plan got a better grade than the education Governor’s.

  7. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 1:33 pm:

    M.V. — keep your powder dry. Whitney just became an official candidate this morning. I’m sure a report card on his education plan is forthcoming, as soon as he officially announces it.

    In the meantime, folks can read for themselves what Whitney has said in the past about education funding and budget reform here.

  8. - Chicken a la Rod - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 1:35 pm:

    What about Whitney?

  9. - Bubs - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 2:04 pm:

    Hey McDem, this is pretty “real world,” wouldn’t you say?

    “Pediatricians at a nationally recognized children’s hospital in St. Louis will schedule young Medicaid patients from Illinois “in the last available appointment” beginning Friday because the state is six months behind in making payments.”

  10. - Gus Frerotte's Clipboard - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 2:33 pm:

    Yellow Dog, it’s true that the Governor didn’t do everything he promised, but he did a lot more than anybody else ever has. The foundation level has in fact gone up by record amounts, and he’s done incredible things for the state preschool program. Obviously school construction is a big hole, and I can understand putting partial blame on the Governor for that, but it’s certainly not solely his fault.

    How about this report card, though, for A+ Illinois:

    1) Actually being in Springfield to fight for education funding: F
    2) Actually getting a bill passed on any subject, education or otherwise: F
    3) Providing misinformation about a bill that would dramatically raise taxes for most Illinois families: A+

  11. - Anonymous - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 3:06 pm:

    Okay, so just more evidence that the teachers’ union people are jumping in bed with Topinka.

    Just one more reason to vote for Blagojevich.

  12. - PalosParkBob - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 4:54 pm:

    Just understand that when ever you see Bindu Batchu of A+ Illinois’ lips move, you’re hearing the voice of the IEA and IFT.

    As with Martire’s “Center for Tax and Budget Accountability”, they only have one goal; getting more money from the taxpayers’ pockets into the IEA and IFT bank accounts.

    Here’s another “grade” for Bindu and her buddies:

    Willingness to support the children by removing tenure protection from incompetent or recalcitrant teachers: F

    Willingness to end early retirement for teachers, so that tax dollars can be spent improving education for the children: F

    Willingness to cap end of career raises given for no purpose other than bloating pensions WITHOUT providing any educational benefit to the children:F

    Willingness to cap teacher and administrator pension benefits to, say, the average civil engineer’s SALARY in Illinois (approx $66K):F

    Willingness to cap teacher salaries and benefits to available ed funds in a school district: F

    Willingness to even discuss and declare a position on these issues: F

    Willingness to protect the children by outlawing teacher strikes in suburban and downstate schools, as they are in Chicago and 41 other states: F

    Both these groups claim to be “non-partisan” because they hire one out of work Republican, while being dominated by Dems.

    Notice that they NEVER state that they are unbiased or have the best interest of the children and community in their positions.

    I guess having such a lie in their throoat would be too much for even Batchu and N\Martire to swallow.

  13. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 4:54 pm:

    Jeez people!

    YDD is absolutely right. What was doing through Blagojevich’s mind? For the past three years he had hobbled himself just to say he didn’t raise taxes. Look at what he did instead! Voters gave him the green light regarding educational funding, and he blew it.

    Was it because Blago wanted to run for President as a non-tax-raising Democrat? I admit it would be a feather in his cap, but look at the high price we paid for his feather!

    Regarding schools, A+ Illinois is right. Regarding the fact that we are talking about our schools, he should be ashamed.

  14. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 5:14 pm:

    Gus - providing more money for schools that doesn’t even keep pace with inflation isn’t really much to brag about. And I’ll remind you that, however belatedly, Gov. Edgar did push for education funding reform, which Democrats passed out of the Illinois House in 1997. So, if I were issueing a report card on testicular verility, I’d give Edgar a B+ and HotRod an F.

    As for the A+ Illinois coalition, to say that the IFT, AFSCME, IEA, Voices for Illinois Children, and the other A+ Illinois coalition members weren’t in Springfield fighting for education funding reform is a big fat lie.

    Unfortunately, many of those same groups were forced to spend alot of their time and energy beating back the Governor’s hairbrained — and unconstitutional — proposal to completely take over the State Board of Education and replace the regional superintendents of schools with his own wet-behind-the-ears political flunkies.

    Thank God Madigan put a stop to that.

    And, A+ Illinois, and anybody else, would be the first to admit that its pretty tough to pass comprehensive legislation when the state’s Governor has made it clear that he’ll veto any legislation that would provide $700 million for downstate schools and $540 million in property tax relief, $400 million for collar county schools and $720 million in property tax relief, $240 million for suburban Cook and $608 million in property tax relief, and $427 million for Chicago schools and $351 million for property tax relief.

    Roughly $400 million of that property tax relief would go to Illinois businesses, and the new school funding would address what the Illinois Manufacturers Association has identified as the leading reason that Illinois is bleeding good-paying manufacturing jobs: our failing schools.

    So yeah, the Governor is a huge frickin’ obstacle that means reformers need a 2/3 majority instead of a simple majority, and the reality is that it’s tough to get those who are on the cusp to do the right thing when the governor is pounding his chest like a gorilla. That’s why we have elections every four years.

    And I don’t think A+ Illinois or anyone else has been misinforming anybody about the tax increases included in HB 750, or any other legislation that might get the job done. However, you are. 80% of Illinoisians would see their total tax burden go down or remain the same. No worker who earns $50K a year or less would see their taxes go up. Not even everybody who makes more than $50K would see their taxes go up — that depends on a complex set of factors like how many dependents you have, your mortgage deduction, and other factors. For those whose taxes do go up, their average net tax increase would be less than 2%.

    Next time you come to town, Gus, you better bring some facts with you.

    Palos Park Bob - I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s easy to knock teachers. If it’s such any easy job and it’s so lucrative, why aren’t you doing it.

    As for the rest of your comments, tenure protection is a myth. Any teacher can be fired at any time by any school board in the state. The reality is, that most of them don’t because they’ve got nobody to replace them with, because guys like you wouldn’t take such a thankless, underpaying, overworking job.

    I’m sure that A+ Illinois is willing to discuss all of these issues with you. Have you tried? And are you willing to discuss increasing state revenues to ensure the state pays its fair share of funding for education, as well as the property tax relief we desperately need?

    Or are you a one-trick pony like Bob Dole who just likes to rail against the teachers unions (I noticed you’re not to upset about golden parachutes for corporate executives) and has nothing else to add to the conversation?

  15. - M.V. - Thursday, Aug 31, 06 @ 8:50 pm:

    Yellow Dog, you say:

    “Whitney just became an official candidate this morning. I’m sure a report card on his education plan is forthcoming…”

    A+Illinois has been aware of the Whitney candidacy and plan for some time, and they could have released his report card today after the ruling if they wanted to. And what is strange is that Whitney’s plan is pretty much right in line with them.

    I’m absolutely certain they didn’t include Whitney because he would have gotten far better marks. My question is, why don’t they want voters to know about the candidate with the best education plan???

  16. - Gus Frerotte's Clipboard - Friday, Sep 1, 06 @ 5:43 am:

    Oh, dear, Yellow Dog. Your numbers are simply false. Sit down with a calculator, the text of HB 750, and data about school district tax rates from the ISBE website, and you will see that there are a ton of people who make less than $50,000 a year whose taxes will go up. The Tribune provided a handy calculator, and a lot of people used it. Whether you get savings doesn’t actually depend on your raw income, it depends on the ratio between your income and the price of your house, and downstate (where housing values aren’t that high) many people come out behind. Even most proponents of the bill are now admitting that many (if not most) people would see a tax increase. A lot of *businesses* would see an overall tax decrease (they pay high property taxes, but not much in the way of corporate income taxes), and that might be a good thing from a tax policy standpoint, but individual families wouldn’t.

    As for your comments about IEA, IFT, and Voices, I’ll concede in part that you’re right. The constituent members of A+ — particularly IEA and IFT — are in Springfield fighting for more education funding. But they do it as individual members, and the “coalition” is never represented down there. Fair point, although you overextend it when you talk about the members fighting the Governor’s proposal to take over the State Board of Ed. The IEA and IFT were both proponents of that initiatives from day one to the very end.

    Dog, you add a lot to this board and you’re usually very fair, but your facts are just totally wrong on this one.

  17. - Truthful James - Friday, Sep 1, 06 @ 7:15 am:

    Since over 85% of the school budget goes for Teacher and administrator salries and benefits — where would you think more money would go?

    To the same underqualified teachers we have now.

    Where can we get subject matter qualified teachers with experience in instruction? We retire many qualified people from the military every year, who already have a pension. After having taught at military academies, post graduate schools and the like, they are by fiat of the ISBE not qualified to instruct without going back to Illinois colleges of Education schools. Why do you think that is?

    By the way, the EFAB does not have experts. They contract with Augenblick and Myers to get the desired results — increased funding to make schools adequate.

    When the foundation monies increase, does school quality go up?

    Not that anyone can tell.

    Money is not the answer. Where the money goes is the problem. The teachers and the adminsitrators want to contuinue a closed shop operation — like the old CIO and UAW.

    When did the quality of U.S. built cars start to increase? When competition from foreign manufacturers — especially those with US plants came to be.

  18. - PalosParkBob - Friday, Sep 1, 06 @ 8:36 am:

    Yellow dog:

    To answer your questions,

    1. I would be teaching today if the state had a sane certification program that actually was based on qualifications to teach, and if there was anything even APPROACHING a fair compensation program in public education in Illinois.

    What drives most “Type A” personalities out of public education is the union system that teachers’ salaries be established by how long someone’s been in the system, regardless of how well they do their job, and whether they took a lot of courses that did little to improve their teaching skills.

    If public education paid teachers based upon how well they taught their subject and how well their students improved academic performance, I and thousands of other crossover professionals, would still be teachers today, revolutionizing public education and driving a world class system for our children.

    The problem is the IEA and IFT are terrified that the culture of “no fault” teacher pay would end, and many teachers virtually unemployable in any other profession would lose their six figure salaries and professional salary level pensions in their mid fifties.

    2. As far as tenure protection being a “myth”, why don’t read the series I mentioned about the difficulty of firing tenured teachers? I’ll get you the direct reference if yu can’t “google” it.

    If you want to make your case, site some statistics from a reliable source stating how many incompetent and underperforming tenured teachers were fired in Illinois last year. Put up or shut up!

    3. As far as contacting A+ Illinois to discuss these issues, I have, many times both by phone and e-mail. It is their “policy” not to take a position on issues that might adversely affect the teachers unions, but greatly benefit students and taxpayers. Try calling Bindu Batchu at A+ Illinois yourself. If you can get her to commit on issues of tenure protection of incompetent and underperforming teachers, prohibiting teacher strikes, prohibiting school boards from approving teacher and staff contracts for which they have insufficient funds, transferring state aid from locally overfunded schools (like Roundout district, which gets about $24,000 per student locally but still gets $600 per student from state aid), ending early retirement options for teachers and adminstrators, and capping “end of career” raises, you’re a better politician than I am.

    4. As far as willingness to discuss increases in state taxes “for education”, I’ve attended all of Ralph Martire’s dog and pony shows in my area, and always spoke out in front of the IEA and AFT dominiated crowds. The problem is that I was only allowed one question, and comments for less than two minutes. Funny thing. Whenever I got around to the spending side of the “structural deficit” curve, I heard “time is up, thank you for your question”.

    I’ve often requested “equal time” with Martire to tell “the rest of the story”, but was always told by the lefty League of Woman voters and various “Education Associations” that the meetings were about “increasing education funding” and that discussion of how to increase value and control educational spending was “not on the agenda”.

    5.As far as criticism of “golden parachutes” for executives, I’m just as vigorously opposed to them as the golden parachutes in public education.

    I save detailing my issues on that subject to appropriate blogs and shareholders meetings.

    Lets just say that Disney and BP folks are no happier with me than the IEA and IFT.

  19. - Ambulance chaser - Friday, Sep 1, 06 @ 12:13 pm:

    Palos Park Bob - except for ripping Bindu and Ralph, you do a nice job of outlining issues that prevent quality (and sustainable) public education from taking root. Without addressing those issues, we won’t see real improvement. Should all of these issues be in the purview of A+? It seems to me they are grappling with enough by addressing the funding structure. Why make them shoot themselves in the foot politically to appease you? That said, keep up the good rants about the unions getting in the way. They do! The pendulum has swung: teachers used to be under-appreciated and poorly treated. Not anymore!

  20. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Sep 1, 06 @ 12:31 pm:

    PPBob — Discussions on merit compensation are in the works, and even the President of the Chicago Teacher’s Union has said that they support the idea of merit compensation in theory, but the details need to be worked out.

    I’ll warn you though, merit compensation is not the silver bullet that you and many others seem to think it is. In fact, noted business expert Jim Collins, in his book “Good to Great”, looked at companies that had transformed themselves from mediocre companies to great companies, and he found NO correlation between incentive packages for CEO’s and how those companies performed. Exactly half had merit compensation for their execs, and half didn’t.

    I would argue that what we need to do is figure out how to attract the kind of people who are intrinsically motivated to be great teachers and keep them there, and I think that starting salaries do make a big difference to kids who are in high school and college and choosing their first career. I know alot of bright people when I was growing up, probably myself included, who were passionate about education and probable would’ve made great teachers, but in the end they all wanted to own a house and raise a family someday, so they had to ask themselves how the compensation for teachers compared to other professions like engineering, accounting, business administration, medicine, or law. I think we can all agree “not good.” In fact, in Chicago, garbagemen make more than teachers.

    Most of your complaints about teacher compensation seem to regard local school board decisions and teacher contracts. And my advice to you again is that you should really get engaged in your local school district’s elections. One thing I think you’ll hear universally over the state is that people want more local control, not less, and I think the last thing the state should be doing is dictating the terms of local teacher contracts.

    I would disagree with you, by the way, that what we need in education is more “Type A” personalities. If you haven’t read “Good to Great” yet, I encourage you to. I think Collins lays out a pretty good argument for the kinds of leaders successful organizations do need.

    2. Again, just because teachers aren’t being fired in Illinois doesn’t mean they can’t be fired. Many principals choose to keep under-performing teachers because there isn’t a line forming to teach in schools th are in the middle of drug war zones.

    3. I’ve heard you say again and again that you hate the teachers unions, but I haven’t heard you say that you would support a comprehensive plan to increase school funding, provide property tax relief, and end the state’s annual ritual of robbing Peter to pay Paul. You might also be surprised to learn that polling data shows that most folks are pretty happy with how their local schools are performing, and except for you and Bob Dole, very few people think that teacher’s unions are the problem.

    There is a simple solution, however. If you think you’ve got a plan that works, you’re free to get it drafted up, find a legislative sponsor, go to Springfield, and lobby for it’s passage.

    Gus - In the interest of full disclosure, I should also mention that the Illinois Farm Bureau and Metropolitan Planning Council (one of the largest economic development agencies in the state) were also pushing hard for education funding reform in Springfield and are A+ coalition members. A+ Illinois itself is a non-profit organization and is prohibited by law from engaging in lobbying, which is why you didn’t see Bindu Bathu on the rail.

    Truthful James - you raise a good point about military instructors. You should pass that along to A+ Illinois. I have a little knowledge in this area myself, however, and I’ll tell you that my uncle just retired from the USAF, where he was an instructor at the Air Force Academy. The day he retired, he was offered a job at a defense lobbying firm in Colorado Springs, where he’s certainly making more money than the Governor, and probably making more money the George Bush. My only point is, while I think your idea is a good one and worth exploring, I don’t think it’s necessarily a panacea. And while I’m not sure how well military school instruction — where you are teaching adult who are basically employees — translates into K-12 classrooms, I don’t think an 8 week training for alternative teacher certification is an unscalable barrier. But you’re right, it’s worth looking into.

    This is a great thread and you all are obviously passionate about this issue. I think if we really want to solve this problem, we need to think of ourselves as people sitting on the same side of the table working on a problem that we all have an interest in addressing.

    I know Rich is going to want to close comments for the holiday weekend, so I’m going to open a thread over at Illinoize. I hope everyone will continue to share their constructive criticisms, including ideas for what a comprehensive plan would include, over there. Look forward to hearing from you.

  21. - Truthful James - Friday, Sep 1, 06 @ 1:52 pm:

    YDD — a large dose of intlligent criticism you have added today.

    Regarding my point — officers and NCOs usually know eighteen months before retirement that they will be leaving. That is the time for recruitment, and even give them perhaps some time for night schooling in education subjects, which can be credited as they walk in the door.

    I said senior NCOs, because in the navy at least they have a lot of science education.

    What we truly need are teachers with subject matter mastery and a love of what they are instructing. Techniques too, of course. But the communication of the knoiwledge has more effect when the student can feel the affection for the subject. It is inspiring to have such teachers. You can’t test for affection, but you sure an test for the level of knowledge in the subject being taught. Befoe my in service teaching stint I went through the 13 week USAF Academic Instructors Course at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, which was highly useful. and just about the right length. Somewhere I have the diploma.

    The stool of education on which the student sits is threelegged. One leg represents the family unit, one the teachers and the third the school and the curriculum. What we have unfortunately found ourselves in America is that we have not only weakened the family structure itself, we have created two generations at least of parents who came out of school or decided later that education was neither an economic or a social good and infected their children as well. The success of at least the Asian immigrants has at its base the firm family structure in which the child feels the obligation to honor his parents.

    Without the love of and rspect for learning on that side it must come from on the other side from teachers who are not only technically facile but also subject matter oriented.

    And therein lies the problem. Certification is not enough. Additional education courses are not enough.

    I think we need, among other things, to go outside the box. Make education a required adjunct to welfare. We have had too many school leavers without even a GED.

    For that matter, rethink the use of the schoolhouse and even the school bus. They are underutilized. Ideally the bus should bring children and parents to school and the city bus system would take them on to work, after a morning in remediation. In the afternoon, reverse the process. Do it on a twelve month basis. A lot if fleshing out to do. More jobs for teachers. And what I would call a preventative welfare program — not unlike preventative medicine.

    But that would be down the road. In the interim, we need competitive choice as San Francisco has. Vest the students after reserving moneys for special needs. Accreditation done fairly by the State for wvery teacher and every school which would participate. New schools will spring up, where there is a shortage. Allow the parochials in as well, if and only if the any religious subjects are special after school classes.

    If as you say there is a shortage of (good) teachers, every public school teacher would find a job. Handle persion vesting carefully. It can work.

    In bidding for students, other schools will bif below that vested amount conferrd on each student. The public schools will use the surplus to improve their own facilities and faculties.

    It will work, and eveybody will benefit, most especially the students who must as adults compete in a 21st Century world economy.

  22. - shara! - Wednesday, Sep 27, 06 @ 5:17 pm:

    i am so happy im in

  23. - shara! - Wednesday, Sep 27, 06 @ 5:18 pm:

    higth school!

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* Joel Quenneville wants Jonathan Toews to keep his gloves on
* Activists circle City Hall with black casket to honor Laquan, Tyshawn
* CPS lags in hiring black teachers
* BGA Public Eye: Dolton voters may get shot to recall trustees

* Man killed, girlfriend wounded in Back of the Yards shooting
* Tollway motorist dead after driving into retention pond
* 3 dead, 5 wounded in Chicago shootings
* Man stabbed to death in West Pullman
* Laquan McDonald protests Saturday draw only dozens
* Teen missing nearly month from South Side returns home
* 5 hurt, including seriously injured child, in South Side crash
* Illinois schools' strengths, weaknesses exposed in statewide survey
* West Chicago man charged in cousin's murder
* Young couple who died in McHenry County crash were planning to get married

* Bernard Schoenburg: Book on Blagojevich impeachment lets reader 'be right there'
* Andy Shaw: It's time to crack down on no-bid contracts
* 'Pot doctors' pushing boundaries in Illinois, other states
* Burger King manager: Police erased video of Chicago shooting
* Kristina Rasmussen: Relying on one another, not the government
* Charles Krauthammer: The Syrian immigration cul-de-sac
* Rob Elliott: EPA ethanol ruling affects more than energy policy
* Local free community college plans may be template for U.S.
* Rauner faces challenges in move to block refugees
* Vendor Payment Program suspended due to budget impasse

* Nov. 30 Bob Asmussen Chat
* Nov. 29 Asmussen Top 25
* Pet Talk: Unpleasant surprises
* Sundiata Cha-Jua/Real Talk: Are WSUs the new backlash against black resistance?
* Ted Kooser: An American Life in Poetry, Nov. 29, 2015
* Donna Reed/Voices: In life, sometimes we just need a reboot
* Getting Personal: Amanda Bossard
* Reluctant Townie: The legend of the Thanksgiving Troll
* Leonard Pitts Jr.: Trump giving people want they want
* Letter from Birdland: Cold weather is changing the landscape

* Bail set at $2 million for West Chicago teen charged with killing cousin
* Worldwide climate rallies draw tens of thousands
* Hundreds of Russian truck drivers head to Moscow for protest
* The Latest: UK: Turkey required to solve migrants crisis
* Virginia's Mike London resigns after 6th season as coach

* 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

* Durbin Backs Duckworth - Alton Daily News...

* Opinion: Sen. Kirk must stand with crimina......

* Jail killer cops. Not Poets. #FreeMalcolmLondon
* Random thoughts.
* Free Malcolm London.
* Sunday posts, pics and tweets.
* Chinese Take Out
* "Mexican Food, Opening Soon"
* Tony at the Red Line Tap.
* The cover-up of the killing of Laquan McDonald.
* Keeping retirement weird. Justice is the public face of love.
* RLC Roundup: Drivers Aim Lawsuit At Tinley Park Red Light Cameras

* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

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