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Fresh end of session thread. *** Lottery bill dies in House committee *** House kills gaming bill with parliamentary maneuver ***

Saturday, May 31, 2008

* 6:08 pm - Reports from inside that Speaker Madigan would run a different, scaled back capital plan and tell the Senate to take it or leave it were denied by Madigan’s spokesman.

The Senate-passed version has language that requires all the funding and spending bills to pass or nothing takes effect. So some expect Madigan may choose the weakest part of the package, let it die and then declare all of it dead. The weakest link is most likely the gaming bill.

The other option, of course, is to call no capital bills and adjourn.

* 6:32 pm - Sen Hendon just announced that the Rules Committee would meet for the final time and then the Senate would run the bills and adjourn.

* 7:00 pm - . Gov Blagojevich is reportedly coming to the House floor soon to make a last ditch push for the capital plan.

The House GOP and Rep Jay Hoffman are angrily demanding that the capital plan be brought to the floor. The House Rules Comitye is meeting soon so we’ll know more soon.

* 7:11 pm - Blagojevich just arrived on the House floor.

* 7:18 pm - The guv has been on the floor for several minutes but has not yet been officially recognized. Never seen anything like that.

* 7:28 pm - The Senate adjourned a while ago and the guv was finally introduced in the House.

House will hear capital bills in committee soon.

*** 8:10 pm *** The House Revenue Committee just killed the Lottery sale bill. Since all capital bills are tied together it appears the game is probably over except for much shouting.

* 8:37 p.m.- The House Gaming Committee just approved the gaming expansion bill 17-11, not that it really matters. The next likely step will be for Capital Bill proponents to make a motion to discharge the lottery sale bill. If the motion fails, then there will likely be a motion to overrule the chair. That may lead to some interesting parliamentary procedure.

* 9:02 p.m. - There is a motion to table the motion to concur on the Senate’s amendments to the gaming bill. If it prevails this would essentially kill the bill.

* 9:40 p.m. - The motion to table was ruled passed with 59 votes. The motion to concur with the Senate’s gaming expansion amendments is now effectively dead.

14 House Republicans sided with Madigan on the motion to table. All are anti-gambling or are politically vulnerable.

- Posted by Rich Miller   102 Comments      


End of session reports

Saturday, May 31, 2008

* We can’t be everywhere, and we can’t always get to the computer to blog, so follow along at home and help us live-blog the end of session in comments…

* Senate audio and video

* House audio and video

* 2:50 pm - One piece of the capital projects package is approved

The Illinois Senate has approved the lease of the Illinois Lottery to help pay for public works construction projects.

The chamber voted 43-8 to approve the plan in which a private operator would pay the state for the privilege of operating the lottery.

The Senate also passed the gaming expansion bill and is working on the capital projects spending bill now. Listen or watch at this link. Also, the House unanimously sent the ethics bill to the governor.

* 3:22 pm - The capital projects bill just passed the Senate with 51 “Yes” votes and just one “No” vote.

- Posted by Rich Miller   25 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - End of session party details

Saturday, May 31, 2008

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Question of the day

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Let’s assume for argument’s sake that everything goes as planned and a new state budget is passed by both chambers today.

Question: Do you think Gov. Blagojevich will veto the entire budget, which would necessitate an overtime session?

Or, do you think he will just reduce and line item various parts of the budget, which wouldn’t have to dealt with until the November veto session?

Explain.

- Posted by Rich Miller   46 Comments      


Durbin slams Blagojevich

Saturday, May 31, 2008

* US Sen. Dick Durbin doesn’t have much good to say about Gov. Rod Blagojevich…

Illinois’ senior Democratic senator said Friday he had a much better working relationship with former Republican Gov. George Ryan than Democratic successor Rod Blagojevich. […]

“You may assume—and it’s natural that you would —that there’s a closer working relationship with the governor and senator than there actually is. There isn’t much,” Durbin said, adding he’s talked privately with Blagojevich only a handful of times since Blagojevich took office in 2003. […]

As for how Ryan compares to Blagojevich, Durbin said he regularly received phone calls from Ryan as late as midnight to discuss public business. That never happens with Blagojevich, he said.

* He also touched on the governor’s legal problems…

Durbin… said he was “troubled” by some of Blagojevich’s early appointments. Some of those appointees, Durbin noted, played prominent roles at the public corruption trial of Antoin “Tony” Rezko, a former top fundraiser for Blagojevich. […]

Asked whether he should have registered his unease to Blagojevich about appointees like Levine, Durbin said, “When it comes to dealing with the state and all of the decisions involved in it, there’s just so much I can do, to be honest with you.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      


Capital bill roundup

Saturday, May 31, 2008

* Funding

To pay for the construction plan, lawmakers were considering Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s multibillion-dollar proposal to expand gambling and lease of the state lottery.

Included in the mix was the possibility of adding three new casinos, including one in Chicago, one in its suburbs and one in a downstate city.

* Opposition from casinos

The Illinois Casino Gaming Association opposed both the House and Senate bills, saying they add too much gambling to an already-shrinking market.

* House Speaker Madigan ain’t happy, either

Madigan reiterated the reason behind lawmakers’ hesitation: “It’s all about trust. It’s all about trust and whether people are prepared to trust Gov. Blagojevich and trust his record of broken promises.”

* Another Lottery shell game?

The state would lease out its rights to upward of 80 percent of the state lottery proceeds for nearly 65 years in exchange for at least $10 billion upfront, with $3 billion set aside for education and $7 billion for construction projects.

So, how much does the lottery bring in annually?

The answer: $600 million. […]

But whoever ends up with the lottery, will likely make at least three times that much over the course of this deal.

80 percent of $600 million is $480 million. Multiply that by the possible length of the lease (65 years) and you get $31.2 billion.

So the state’s giving up $31.2 billion for $10 billion now.

- Posted by Rich Miller   35 Comments      


Budget roundup

Saturday, May 31, 2008

* First up, Bethany Jaeger’s report

The General Assembly is expected to approve a state budget before the deadline, but the budget also is expected to contain a rather large hole. Madigan said the legislature’s job is to approve the spending authority. The actual spending is up to the governor. “If he feels that some of those numbers should be changed, he has a reduction veto.”

The state Constitution grants the governor the power to strike out portions of the budget or to reduce the amount of money dedicated to specific programs.

* Spending

Under one budget plan being considered, spending on regular state operations would jump $2.1 billion over the current budget. […]

The proposal would give universities a 2.8 percent increase over the current fiscal year and would fund an 80-bed expansion of the LaSalle veterans home.

The plan also would overrule Blagojevich’s earlier bid to close Pontiac Correctional Center by earmarking enough money to keep all of the state’s prisons open.

In addition, the spending proposal would add money to fully open the state’s unused maximum-security prison in Thomson, which was built in 2001, but never opened.

* Schools

It would give schools another $500 million, including nearly $150 million for two dozen schools to pay for long-delayed construction projects.

* AFSCME

Hannig said the new budget does not include money to cover any pay raises for state workers who are members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The union and state are negotiating a new contract to replace the one that expires June 30. […]

Any pay raises that are part of the contract would have to be added to the budget later in the year, Hannig said.

* Revenues

Senate Democrats approved issuing pension bonds and sweeping money from restricted state funds to cover about $1 billion of the new spending. But neither proposal has passed the House, and Hannig was noncommittal about whether he thought they will be taken up there.

Senate Republicans also said the Democrats are assuming the state will collect $1 billion more in tax revenue next year, something they said is highly unlikely given the economic slowdown.

* Hole

But the deal could force Blagojevich to be the bad guy. […]

“Will the governor have to make some reductions? More than likely he will,” Trotter said, noting Blagojevich slashed more than $450 million in legislative projects last year. […]

The state constitution bars officials from passing a budget that spends more than they estimate will be available. But “estimate” is the key word. Legislators could use generous guesses at tax revenue coming in next year to say they’ve passed a balanced plan.

* Motivation?…

[Sen. Terry Link] contended there was an Obama factor that also helped move legislators toward a budget plan, knowing that a fracas among Democrats in the legislature where Obama once served would do little to help him.

“Everything we do here is going to be national, under a microscope,” said Link, a close Obama friend.

“That’s why it’s important that [Saturday] night, this gavel is hit and we’re out of here.”

* Prepare for the worst?

Madigan offered no reason for optimism that the legislative loose ends could be tied up by tonight, telling reporters to “plan for the worst” and blaming his nemesis, Blagojevich, for the lack of legislative cohesion.

“He’s now looking at the consequences of a six-year policy of tearing people apart,” Madigan said of the governor.

- Posted by Rich Miller   8 Comments      


Bunker pics and Madigan audio

Saturday, May 31, 2008

* Here are a couple of photos courtesy of Metro Networks‘ Ben Yount from the tunnel under the Capitol Complex during last night’s tornado evacuation

* Bethany Jaeger had this onsite report….

We all had to head to the basement of the Statehouse, where tunnels connect buildings on the Capitol complex. Amanda Vinicky, reporter for WUIS public radio station out of the University of Illinois at Springfield, caught up with House Speaker Michael Madigan in one of the tunnels. We listened to her audio file. She asked the speaker about the status of the budget, the leadership style of the governor and the lack of trust plaguing the democratic process.

Madigan’s advice for others was to consider the past five or six years — and to “prepare for the worst.”

* Bethany’s photo….

* Listen to Amanda’s recording of the impromptu Speaker Madigan interview by clicking here.

* The governor stayed in his office during the evacuation

Blagojevich joked about staying in his office during the tornado warning saying, “Well, with all those lawmakers downstairs, I was a lot safer up here.”

The governor was actually in a safe area when the tornado warning occurred, said his spokeswoman, Rebecca Rausch.

* And some complained

Rep. Bill Black, R-Danville, announced that he was glad everyone was safe.

“But if we are to use the tunnels in the future for an evacuation because of severe weather, I would urge those responsible to study what went on tonight. It was extremely hot down there. … There was no water, there was no ventilation,” he said.

“I appreciate the fact that we were safe, but I was concerned about some people being overheated. No water. No automatic external defibrillators. No nurse. No medical attention if it’d come to that, and quite frankly, I’m not even sure who was in charge,” Black added. “I think we can prepare a little better than what we were today.”

* Related…

* Tornado sirens halt lawmakers in Springfield

* State Capitol evacuated due to tornado threat

* Storm sweeps through Ill.; lawmakers run for cover

- Posted by Rich Miller   13 Comments      


Morning shorts

Saturday, May 31, 2008

* Tamms reforms on the way?

* Chicago is choke point in overloaded U.S. rail system

* The reality of oil prices

* Roskam says his district’s No. 1 concern is gas prices

* Foster, Durbin cry foul over gas prices

The lawmakers said they supported stepping up efforts in Congress and by the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether fuel suppliers are “gouging” customers or colluding to fix prices artificially high.

* Con Con Considerations: Presentation

* Seeking office in DuPage may get easier

* Lawmakers approve helping Lake in the Hills with runway land dispute

* Many consumers spend early rebates on soaring cost of living

* UI student’s candidacy validated by electoral board

* Legislators: Act may retain IDOT jobs

* IDOT spent on ice, snow; little left for roadkill

* Lawmaker questions IDOT budget

* Lawmakers push hospital plan to care for poor

“This critical infusion of federal dollars will help hospitals and other health-care providers ensure accessible, affordable and quality health care for services in underfunded communities throughout the state,” Schoenberg said.

* GPS for stalkers bill sent to governor

* Veterans home becomes political battle ground

* Potential softening of review board has prosecutors scared

* Why does Lisa Madigan leave the heavy-lifting to Fitzgerald?

* Why Lisa Madigan isn’t taking the lead in fighting political corruption in Illinois

My short answer is that this is nothing new: The feds traditionally handle big corruption cases in part because they have more resources and in part because the “gotcha!” crimes in political corruption cases — mail fraud, for example — are often violations of federal and not state law.

* Feds raid union boss’ farm

* Rezko’s Rubber Checks Drawn from Giannoulias Family Bank

* Gambling with a crooked governor

* Lawmakers urge EPA to block BP plans

“Increased carbon dioxide emissions at Whiting remain a major concern for us,” said a letter from Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Il.; Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Chicago; Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Evanston, and Rep. Melissa Bean, D-Barrington. “We strongly encourage you to revisit those issues and object to the permit” until Indiana and BP “have rectified these problems.”

* Martin Ozinga’s faith pulling him to congressional race

* Hastert Joins Dickstein

* FOX News Documentary Shows Congressmen Sent Millions in Earmarks to Their Own Families

After President Bush flew to Hastert’s district in August 2005 to sign the bill, Hastert and his partners flipped the land for what appeared to be a multi-million dollar profit.

* Clinton expects superdelegates to start deciding

“I think that people will have to ask themselves those questions, who would be the best president in terms of preparation and readiness and effectiveness, and who would be the stronger candidate. And I imagine that process will begin after the end of the last primaries,” Clinton said.

* Friday Beer Blogging: AB (Possible) Buyout Edition

- Posted by Kevin Fanning   2 Comments      


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Saturday, May 31, 2008

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End of session updates *** UPDATED x15 *** Tornado forces evacuation *** House Cancels Session ***Senate Cancels Floor Activity***

Friday, May 30, 2008

* Here’s the outline

Schools would get about $515 million more, though $148 million of that boost would be used for long overdue school construction payments, negotiators said. Classroom spending would be lower than last year’s extraordinary boost of about $550 million.

Chicago Public Schools would get about 20 percent of that total, or slightly more than $100 million, under the proposal, said Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago), the lead Senate Democratic negotiator. Mayor Richard Daley had asked for $180 million more, but school officials acknowledged earlier this week they could live with an extra $130 million.

Trotter said spending overall would go up $2.1 billion in the proposal, but questions still exist over how to pay for the sizable increase. Despite a dismal economy putting a damper on tax revenues, lawmakers hope to collect as much as $1 billion more in the next fiscal year.

The new spending would be supported in part by an auction of the state’s long-dormant 10th riverboat casino license, from which they hope to reap as much as $575 million. But support for some pending measures to help avoid budget shortfalls is in doubt.

* And

But the big question that remains is whether it’s in balance. […]

Trotter says if those revenue measures don’t pass, an out-of-whack budget could be sent to Governor Rod Blagojevich for possible big cuts.

* Also

llinois House committees Friday approved major parts of Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s public works construction program, including a massive expansion of gambling and leasing the Illinois lottery.

However, the fate of the plan is still uncertain as lawmakers drive to pass a budget and adjourn by Saturday. Time may run out before the capital plan can be approved. And one key lawmaker said Blagojevich must still convince legislators that he can be trusted to ok construction projects in their districts before the capital plan will be approved.

“I think the governor has a lot of work to do convincing people he can be trusted,” said Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, who is sponsoring the gambling expansion bill. […]

Some committee members said they voted for the bill only to get it to the House floor where all representatives would have a chance to vote on it.

*** UPDATE 1 *** There’s a leaders meeting at 5:30 to discuss the capital plan. The caucuses were given te final capital language at noon today and they’ll discuss any changes they want. The bill is huge and complicated, so some House Dem members are saying that passing that gigantic thing at this late date probably wouldn’t be prudent. Others say the issue is too important to put off until November. It’s highly doubtful that the plan will pass by tomorrow, but there will likely be some fireworks.

*** UPDATE 2 *** This is pretty basic stuff, but here’s more on what the governor faces with the budget deal…

But the deal could force Blagojevich to be the bad guy.

Legislators haven’t come up with a way to pay for the proposed new spending. If they pass an unbalanced budget, Blagojevich either would have to veto the whole thing - potentially triggering months of gridlock - or pick and choose which programs to cut.

He might have to slash programs for important constituencies, close prisons or scrap health care expansions. […]

“Will the governor have to make some reductions? More than likely he will,” Trotter said.

*** UPDATE 3 *** Clean Car bill update

Supporters of a bill to impose California’s stringent emission standards on cars sold in Illinois are hoping for a showdown vote before the Illinois General Assembly’s scheduled adjournment Saturday.

Although Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, is one of the bill’s co-sponsors, it’s unclear whether a vote will happen during the end-of-session rush. “I don’t do predictions,” said a spokesman for the speaker. “It’s on the calendar, but it’s obviously controversial.” […]

The auto industry and its allies are fighting hard to keep the bill bottled up as legislators rush to finish bigger issues, such as next year’s state budget and long-term funding for infrastructure improvements. […]

Environmental groups claim to have 45 solid votes for the bill, including 37 co-sponsors, and they count about 40 likely votes against it. That leaves about 33 undecided or uncommitted, with 60 votes needed for a majority. The auto industry spokesman declined to comment on that assessment of the bill’s support.

The process would start all over in the Senate, however. It’s taken since February of 2007 to get this point, which isn’t very far.

*** UPDATE 4 *** Capital bill grows by almost $3 billion..

State lawmakers are now trying to push through a construction-spending spree that’s swelled to nearly $34 billion in the final hours of their legislative session. […]

A breakdown provided by the governor’s office shows the state would come up with $21 billion, the federal government would provide nearly $10 billion and local governments would contributed $3 billion for an unofficial total of $33.7 billion in spending over at least the next five years.

The preliminary breakdown shows $2 billion for school construction and another $165 million to provide $50,000 maintenance grants to every school district in the state. Public universities would get $1 billion, community colleges and private universities would get $300 million apiece.

Check out what’s at the bottom of the story…

But billions more in spending remains unspecified, at least to the public, at this point. For instance, there’s $1 billion set aside only for “revitalization” to be distributed by the Illinois Finance Authority.

*** UPDATE 5 *** The Statehouse has been evacuated because of the tornado warning. Members are in the basement.

*** UPDATE 6 *** The leaders meeting wasn’t started when the tornado evacuation order was issued. Most are in the tunnels under the capitol complex. No idea yet whether the meeting will go on as planned, or whether the General Assembly will reconvene tonight.

Hail has been reported, but no touchdowns or even sitings of tornadoes have been confirmed.

*** UPDATE 7 *** The SJ-R is live-blogging the storm. You can also listen online or on your radio to Jim Leach do the play-by play on WMAY.

*** UPDATE 8 *** The alarms have been turned off at the Statehouse, but people are still being advised to stay sheltered. The first storm is passed, but another big one is on the way. It’s not expected to produce a tornado, but high winds are likely.

*** UPDATE 9 *** A third storm has been spotted in Morgan County, and there are signs of rotation.

*** UPDATE 10 *** The House has canceled session for the rest of the evening. As of now the Senate is still waiting it out.

*** UPDATE 11 *** The leaders meeting will convene at around 7:45 tonight.

*** UPDATE 12 *** The Senate is in recess for committees. It is uncertain whether or not they will reconvene tonight.

*** UPDATE 13 *** The Senate has canceled any more floor activity for the night. However they are still in committee.

*** UPDATE 14 *** The leaders meeting has ended.

Officially they are expressing optimism. However, the House Democrats are saying that they have not had adequate time to review the Capital Plan. They are not promising or even speculating yet as to a vote.

Also, it appears that a 12th river boat license may be on the table.

*** UPDATE 15 *** 9:10 P.M. Senate President Jones, Senate Minority Leader Watson, and Governor Blagojevich are still currently meeting.

They are trying to hash out significant differences between Jones and Watson on the bill.

- Posted by Rich Miller   56 Comments      


Question of the day

Friday, May 30, 2008

* The setup

Workers represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees say contract proposals by the governor’s office would hurt them and the public they serve.

Thousands of union members joined Unity Pickets at about 36 offices, nursing homes and prisons around the state on Thursday, from far-south Anna to Waukegan, where protesters circled and chanted in front of the Ann M. Kiley Developmental Center, 1201 Dugdale Circle.

Marvin McBride, president of AFSCME local 785, which represents 351 employees at Kiley, said the one-half percent pay raise offered by the state would amount to a pay cut when factoring in a proposed 50 percent increase in health insurance deductibles, co-payments and pension contributions. […]

Overtime is also an issue in negotiations. Cuts in staffing have caused a shortage of technicians who work directly with Kiley’s 222 mentally disabled residents.

* The question: If the union’s contract expires without an agreement, should the workers strike? Explain.

- Posted by Rich Miller   102 Comments      


Budget and end of session roundup

Friday, May 30, 2008

* One House member asked the presiding officer (Rep. Joe Lyons) last night if members could check out of their hotels on Friday, since the calendar didn’t show a Saturday session

“Representative, we will be here Saturday. Nice try,” said Lyons.

That’s pretty much what everybody else was told as well.

* Things are moving along

State Sen. Donne Trotter, the Senate’s budget point man, said negotiations, were mostly complete, with the exception of some human services programs.

* And schools appear to be in line for a big boost

Illinois schools could receive up to $500 million more from a new state budget coming together in Springfield, a key lawmaker said Thursday.

* But the budget won’t be balanced. The $16 billion pension bond bill, which passed the Senate yesterday and would free up $500 million, isn’t likely to pass the House. That might not be such a bad thing

A University of Illinois economist says a pension borrowing plan pushed through the state Senate by Democrats Thursday is “nothing more than a book-keeping gimmick” that won’t solve the state’s long-term financial problems.

Jeffrey R. Brown, director of the U of I Center on Business and Public Policy, said the plan passes the burden of future pension debt to the next generation of taxpayers.

“It is a classic case of using smoke and mirrors to try to fool the public into thinking we have done something meaningful when we have not,” said Brown.

* A Senate-approved $530 million funds sweep has a better chance of passing the House, but

Even without those two infusions of cash, Senate Republicans said the Democrat budget isn’t balanced because it is overly optimistic about state tax collections next year. Democrats think things like personal and corporate income taxes and sales taxes will increase by $1 billion, despite the economic downturn.

The governor will essentially be told to use his line item and reduction veto powers to bring the budget into line. They used to do that all the time in the 1970s and 1980s.

* Still, sticking points remain

The main sticking point in the overall budget appears to be with the House Democrats, who want to increase spending for human services. But Hannig said the House tomorrow likely will present two more substantial portions of a budget that would represent an agreement between the chambers.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      


Pay raise politics

Friday, May 30, 2008

* This won’t work, but it’ll make some people feel good

While Senate President Emil Jones and his new chairman of the Senate Rules Committee have so far managed to avoid holding up-or-down votes on a pair of resolutions aimed at blocking legislative pay raises, the topic continues to rile up lawmakers who don’t think it’s appropriate to receive an 11.7 percent salary hike during a recession.

Fifteen lawmakers from the House and Senate gathered Thursday to denounce Jones’ tactics and demand a Senate vote on the issue. The pay increases would push lawmakers’ base yearly salaries to $73,000 and also boost the pay of judges and statewide officials such as Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

* But not everybody agreed

Later Thursday, a supporter of the pay raises said the lawmakers who want a Senate vote on the issue should stop pointing fingers at others.

“If they’re unable, because they’re not very effective legislators, to convince the leadership to do what they want them to do, who are they blaming?” said Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline. “I mean, the blame should sit in their lap.”

* The pay raises won’t be included in next fiscal year’s budget

Trotter also said funding for pay increases of nearly 12 percent for legislators and other government officials, including Gov. Rod Blagojevich, is not included in the proposed spending plans.

“No, unfortunately, you guys have learned all our tricks on that one,” a laughing Trotter told reporters in the Senate press box. “So, you know, we couldn’t hide it nowhere and get away with it. So we just left them out.”

The same thing happened two years ago. They’ll just fund the raises next year and legislators will receive lump sum checks.

* How the pay raises will break down

Under the recommendations, rank-and-file lawmakers would see their salaries jump from $65,353 to $72,985 next July. Legislative leaders, such as Jones and House Speaker Michael Madigan, would see their pay increase from $91,824 to $102,547.

Additionally, Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose yearlong showdown with lawmakers has caused delays in education and agricultural funding and almost shut down government last year — would receive an increase of more than $20,000, boosting his salary to $192,773 from the current $170,917.

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      


Feds checking the fine print

Friday, May 30, 2008

* Meddling bureaucrats strike again

A 2006 Illinois law that allows diners to carry home an unfinished bottle of wine is going to cost Illinois 3% of its federal highway construction money, or about $23.4 million this year.

A letter to the state from the U.S. Department of Transportation dated Wednesday said the money has to be transferred to measures against driving while impaired by alcohol, enforcement of drunk-driving laws and highway safety programs.

The state law amended the Illinois open-container law, allowing diners to carry resealed bottles home in a special tamper-proof, one-use-only bag. The amendment passed by wide margins in the Illinois House and Senate and took effect last year.

However, the letter says, the law failed to specify that the bottle has to be carried in the trunk or in the rear of the vehicle, in order to meet federal requirements. Illinois has 30 days to issue a rebuttal and show why its law does comply with federal requirements.

You’d think that other state statutes would clearly cover this situation. Open bottles, even in a bag (of any kind), already have to be placed far away from the driver. To declare this again seems kinda redundant, but that’s a big chunk of money we stand to lose, so I suppose the feds will force Illinois to amend the law.

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      


Morning Shorts

Friday, May 30, 2008

* Parole board reshuffling could spell freedom for Bacino

* Bid to oust Prisoner Review Board memberr fails

* Parole board member survives Senate challenge

* Lawmakers want lead out of toys

* Moment of silence law on hold statewide

* State budget may contain big boost for school funding

* Governor confident lawmakers will ‘do the right thing’

* Senate OKs $16B loan to bolster pension system

The 37-21 vote came as the House and Senate began passing disparate pieces of a new state budget, heightening chances that a 2009 spending package will be in place by a Saturday deadline.

* We’re likely to make the cut — but not as No. 1

* BETing on safer streets

* Bad policies to blame for gas costs, senator says

* Lipinski, Kirk seek life extension of COBRA

* Durbin says Clintons must unite party

“Once it’s clear that (Obama) is the nominee,” Durbin said, “then if she really rolls up her sleeves and says, ‘I’m going to work for him,’ then it can make a big difference. She can bring a lot of her supporters with her.”

- Posted by Kevin Fanning   1 Comment      


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        * Dropbox for iOS Updated with Touch ID Integration, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Support
        * Rawer App: Edit raw photos on your Lumia
        * Verizon site CSS spills the beans on Motorola’s Droid Turbo

        * The Futuristic Gadgets Running Today’s High-Tech Vineyards
        * Why Marissa Mayer Is Still the Right CEO for Yahoo
        * How Justin Bieber Could Spoil Instagram’s Plan to Introduce Ads
        * Android Silver Reportedly Shelved Due To Lukewarm Response From OEMs
        * Android 5.0′s Keyboard Available For Download, No Root Required
        * Microsoft’s Wearable Could Be Launched In The Coming Weeks [Rumor]
        * Gmail 5.0 Details Revealed

        * Lost in Isolation: A White Sox fan abroad.
        * Pnoles' 2014 White Sox offseason plan
        * Former White Sox star Rowand excited for 'little' cousin Shields
        * The South Side Sox 2014-15 White Sox offseason plan project
        * Sox coaches get to know young players in Glendale
        * The longest White Sox home runs of 2014
        * Alexei Ramirez remains top shortstop at turning two


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        * Next Illinois governor debate: Things to Watch..
        * Evanston Democrats honor politicians, activists.....


        * Next Illinois governor debate: Things to Watch
        * Obama urges Quinn supporters to vote early
        * Report: Springfield HS often missing armed guards
        * Belleville, Champaign, Peoria papers back Rauner
        * Peoria woman charged in man's stabbing death
        * Homeless man found dead in wooded area in Elgin
        * Elderly couple, both 87, die in house explosion
        * Chicago Sun-Times endorses Rauner for governor
        * Driver in deadly ATV crash in Illinois arrested
        * Illinois voters to face a rare 5 ballot questions

        * Chicago Sun-Times endorses Rauner for governor
        * Sun-Times, Belleville, Champaign, Peoria newspapers endorse Rauner for governor
        * Bill Clinton to address workers at pro-Quinn rally
        * Body camera use concerns Illinois police officers
        * Illinois unemployment rate falls again, to 6.6 percent
        * Panel to look at body cameras in eavesdropping law discussion
        * Phil Luciano: Company paying surrounding counties to support Logan Co. marijuana growing center
        * Parties donate big to area legislative races
        * Reports give snapshot of 2014 spending
        * Quinn, Rauner school funding counting differs

        * How this exec hopes to strike it rich in water, again
        * Two local businesses profit from a jump in skydiving
        * Emanuel, Preckwinkle clash over mandatory minimums
        * John Murray leaves Chicago Sports Commission. What's next?
        * Rauner, GOP matching Madigan's money in House races


        * TIME TO GET AHEAD OF EBOLA
        * Editorial: Bruce Rauner for governor
        * Editorial: Why we are back in the endorsement business
        * Bruce Rauner for governor
        * Chicago Police officers overwhelmingly ratify contract
        * Judge in Pakistan recommends former city comptroller be extradited
        * Why we are back  in the endorsement business


        * 2 killed when vehicle hits police car, slams into building
        * Obama urges Democrats to vote early for Quinn
        * Man seriously wounded in West Englewood shooting
        * Aunt of slain teen: 'Emanuel, please do something about the violence'
        * Prosecutors: Man repeatedly whipped son, 13, with cord
        * 1 dead in single-car crash in northwest suburban Bull Valley
        * West Side woman held in boyfriend's stabbing death
        * 1 dead, 7 hurt in shootings since Saturday afternoon
        * Man in custody after 4 women found dead in Gary, Hammond
        * Police release sketch of man who tried to lure 2 kids on Southwest Side


        * Quinn, Rauner Agree: No To Education Funding Plan
        * Earlier Than Ever
        * Listen to State Week - October 17, 2014
        * The health problems facing rural and urban poor in Illinois
        * 'Deliverance' Actor Plays Folk Music In Springfield
        * Are Chicago's shorter yellow lights unsafe, or just unfair?
        * Delay In Fracking Regulations Spurs Lawsuit
        * Privacy Issues Complicate Body Cams For Illinois Police
        * Let's Talk Kids - "The Cost of Worry"
        * Scary Story: The Neighborhood By Millicent Bliesener


        * Our Opinion: Re-elect Durbin for another term in U.S. Senate
        * Bill Press: Do you trust your government on Ebola?
        * Quote of the Day: Monday, Oct. 20, 2014
        * Our Opinion: Rodney Davis has earned another term
        * Bernard Schoenburg: CWLP’S Burns considers run for city treasurer
        * Rep. Mike Smiddy: Improving care for those fighting breast cancer
        * Deckle McLean: Party imbalance falls along urban, rural lines
        * Statehouse Insider: Does he wish he hasn’t asked that?
        * Chicago Sun-Times endorses Rauner for governor
        * Bill Clinton to address workers at pro-Quinn rally


        * Mine dust control research hits marketplace
        * Petting zoo opens kids' eyes
        * Memories of a 1940 Soap Box Derby
        * Straight Shot takes aim at expedited delivery
        * No one injured in Bettendorf apartment fire
        * Wonderful weather to start the work week
        * Wonderful weather to start the Quad-City work week
        * Patching work begins on State, Grant streets in Bettendorf
        * Volunteers needed for 'food forest' planting
        * Comcast urges customers to update modems


        * Gary police detain man in deaths of 4 women
        * Dawn Patrol: Teen identified as crash victim; Bears lose again at home
        * Imrem: These Bears are a fine mess
        * Sears up for sale? Not this year at least
        * Butler a bit banged up in Bulls win

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * A swipe at the cash register leaves everyo......
        * A swipe at the cash register leaves everyo......
        * A swipe at the cash register leaves everyo......
        * A swipe at the cash register leaves everyo......
        * Time to Vote: Durbin or Oberweis?...

        * Kirk Challenges Local Entrepreneurs to Mak......
        * Kirk wants travel ban for 3 Ebola-affected......
        * St. Louis-area lawmakers call for travel b......

        * SportsMondayTuesday: Todd Gurley vs. The NCAA
        * The Beer Thinker: An Oktoberfest For The Rest Of Us
        * Excellent Suggestions For The University Student In You
        * South Side Speed Camera Protest Set For Saturday
        * WBEZ Finds Chicago’s Yellow Lights Not Engineered Properly
        * Lower Than Expected Speed Camera Tickets Hurting City Budget
        * It’s that World Series time of year – which ballclub do we follow in Chi?
        * United, American Airlines Execs' Contributions To Emanuel Skyrocket
        * Republicans Crow As Questions Swirl Surrounding Sun-Times' Rauner Endorsement
        * Don’t you wish our schools owned a TV station?


        * Rauner Sweeping Endorsements Across Illinois
        * Belleville News-Democrat Endorses Rauner
        * Champaign News-Gazette Endorses Rauner
        * Peoria Journal Star Endorses Rauner
        * Chicago Sun-Times Endorses Rauner




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