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President Cullerton: Quinn flip-flopped and killed the pension note bill

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

* 8:45 pm - As we told you below, the pension note bill failed on its second try in the Senate. President Cullerton blamed the lack of support on Governor Quinn.

After speaking in favor of the pension note bill during his address to the joint session of the GA, Quinn apparently contacted a handful of senators and asked them to vote against the bill. The pension bill actually received less yes votes the second time around. Roll call was 32-21-4-2.

President Cullerton discusses the bill’s failure…


The Senate has adjourned to the call of the Chair.

*** UPDATE *** Sen. James Meeks, who helped organize opposition to the pension note bill, talks about what happens next, Speaker Madigan’s role in the process, and what he wants to happen now that the bill has failed. Good stuff, and that vote tonight shows he has some big leverage now…


- Posted by Mike Murray   30 Comments      


The House has adjourned

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

* 7:45 pm - Speaker Madigan just adjourned the chamber and told members to prepare to come back to deal with Gov. Quinn’s budget veto overrides. He told a couple members of the press that he would be voting for those overrides.

I’ll have Madigan press availability and adjournment speech video in about 20 minutes.

* 8:05 pm - OK, here’s the avail vid. Madigan was asked at one point about the governor’s apparent habit of changing his mind. Worth a look…


* Speaker Madigan adjourns the House and tells members what to expect…


- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      


Another twist - Pension note goes down, for now - FAILS on second try

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

*6:00 - The Senate just defeated the pension bonding bill. It came up two votes short.

However, the SDems believe they will have another vote today on another concurrence motion.

* Voting no or present among Dems were Clayborne, Forby, Frerichs, Jacobs, Lightford, Meeks, Noland, Steans.

* 6:18 pm.- Sen Trotter told reporters that they’ve picked up a vote and will be voting again tonight.

* 6:30 pm - Here’s video of Sen. Trotter explaining what’s ahead with the budget, and also with the failed (at least temporarily) pension note plan. If that plan doesn’t pass, it’ll blow a $2.2 billion hole in the budget…


*** 8:22 pm *** SB415, the pension note plan, failed on the second try,

But Senate President Cullerton told the chamber that after Gov Quinn came out in favor of the bill, he worked against it in the Senate. Oy.

We’ll have Cullerton video soon.

- Posted by Rich Miller   39 Comments      


Quinn dodges and weaves but threatens veto again - Cross explains a strange Quinn demand ***Updated multiple times with video***

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

* 4:56 pm - Gov Quinn, speaking to reporters, just repeated his vow to veto a partial budget.

“Partial budgets are not what adults do.”

The guv did say he didn’t think a temporary budget was going to happen.

But Quinn ducked and dodged and would not directly say he wouuld veto a budget without a tax hike even when asked several times.

Quinn also dodged a direct question about a special session, if any and about when he absolutely had to have a budget to avoid a shutdown.

“I don’t want to talk about tomorrow until we finish today.”

We’ll have video later.

Tom Cross’ pressed is soon.

* 5:14 pm - Cross wouldn’t say yet whether he would support an override of any budget veto, saying he hadn’t had a chance to speak with his caucus.

*** Cross just said the guv has asked that a budget extension for 30 days be based on Quinn’s introduced level - which would assume revenues for a tax hike. Amazing.


* 5:45 pm -
Here are Leader Cross’s comments on the 30-day budget extension…


* 6:00 pm - Leader Radogno held a press availability and, among other things, discussed the lack of agreement regarding a 30-day budget as well as the true size of the budget deficit. Watch…


* 6:13 pm - For your viewing pleasure, here is the entire presser with Leader Cross…


* 6:33 pm - Here is video of all of Leader Radogno’s comments from the presser…


* 7:11 pm - As promised, here is some video from the press availability Quinn held earlier today. The video is only of the Q & A portion of the presser and is broken into 2 parts. Part 2 is still uploading to YouTube, but here is part 1…


* 7:48 pm - Sorry for the delay, we are having some problems with the internet in the Capitol. Here is part 2 of the Q & A from Quinn’s presser…


- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      


This just in… Guv to address joint session at 3:30 - Will speak to reporters at 4:30

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

* 2:22 pm - Rep. Art Turner just announced on the House floor that the governor will address a joint session of the General Assembly at 3:30 pm.

Listen or watch here. Liveblog in comments if you possibly can to help everybody else out. Thanks.

The governor will not take questions from the chamber when he concludes his address, according to Turner.

More

Turner said the governor would not take questions but his comments would affect the House’s business after that.

“It may have some impact on some of the legislation that we’re dealing with,” Turner said.

Turner said he couldn’t answer whether lawmakers would have to stay in town beyond today yet.

* 2:35 pm - Leader Radogno: “There’s just not a lot of functional discussion going on … at all.” Watch it…


* 3:30 pm- WUIS.org will have live coverage of Quinn’s address…

* 3:42 pm Governor Quinn has entered the House Chamber and is currently addressing the joint session.

3:47 - Quinn offered to make an additional billion in cuts.

Quinn said he would veto a partial budget and laid out his conditions.

Quinn said he was prepared to stay all summer.

* 4:04 pm
- The governor is having a press availability at 4:30 pm. We’ll have video.

Also, Gov. Quinn did a very curious thing today. He walked into the joint session, walked to the podium and didn’t shake the hands of the two Democratic legislative leaders at the podium with him. He then left without even acknowledging them. Here’s the video of his walk to the podium…


Highly irregular. A sign? Maybe. But maybe also a sign that he’s a rookie and this was a spontaneous appearance.

* 4:26 pm - Important context from Tribune…

Prior to Quinn’s address, Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) said he and the three other legislative leaders agree that they should send the governor the budget they passed at the end of May, with an additional $2.2 billion in spending authority from a pending pension-borrowing plan. That budget, Cullerton said, gives Quinn the flexibility to keep social service spending at current levels and buys more time to try to get Republicans to back a tax increase.
 
“We want the governor to have authority to spend money for the next month without imposing any draconian cuts. And when we will have passed all of the (budget bills), we will have done that. And he then has the ability to spend at whatever rate he wants. We’ve given him that flexibility,” Cullerton said “And then at the end of the month, if there wasn’t any resolution to the budget deficit, then he can reduce the spending and spend at the draconian levels and then we’d be back here in a special session to vote on an income tax.”
 
Cullerton said that idea was suggested to Quinn during a two-hour meeting this morning. “That’s what we’ve suggested that he do, and I don’t think at this point in time he’s agreeing with that tactic,” Cullerton said.
 
“He’s somehow is saying that because we’ve appropriated all of the money we’ve had and it doesn’t include a tax increase, so that’s somehow a false budget. And that’s not true. It’s a balanced budget. It just doesn’t have enough money to spend at the level that he wants to spend,” Cullerton said.

Oy.

- Posted by Rich Miller   72 Comments      


*** UPDATED w/ Video *** A bit of drama as Statehouse protesters detained

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

* 2:18 pm - We’ll have video of this in a few minutes, but several protesters were just taken away by Statehouse security. From Rep. Fritchey’s Twitter page

Protesters blocking the door to the chambers, some being led away by law enforcement.

John Bambenek

Protest at state capitol by SEIU… Looks like arrests made. Chanting “raise taxes now”

Kevin Lee

SEIU workers sitting in front of House chamber’s door, urging lawmakers to pass a tax increase. […]

Sec of St police have taken into custody about 8 to 10 SEIU workers who were rallying in front of the House chamber. […]

SEIU Ill. Pres Keith Kelleher urges an inc. tax increase outside security office in Capital basement. No word on SEIU workers yet. […]

Kelleher said SEIU workers deliberately got arrested in order to pressure lawmakers on a tax increase.

*** UPDATE *** And here’s the video…


- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Quinn budget way out of whack?

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

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Leaders meeting ends, no progress reported

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

* 1:42 pm - Despite what I’m about to post, try not to panic. These end of session battles have ups and downs. Mainly downs. Expect more downs before it’s over, and when it’s over is anybody’s guess at the moment.

From the Illinois Radio Network’s Melissa Hahn’s Twitter page

Thud. Leaders left, not speaking. Gov stays in his office, and will not speak. This is BAD.
17 minutes ago from web

Ben Yount of Metro Networks Tweeted this

EPIC FAIL. Leaders meeting looks to have gone wrong. Quinn cancels press avail. Leaders leave without saying a word. Not good at all.
13 minutes ago from web

And here’s the video of Senate President John Cullerton and Quinn spokesman Bob Reed after the meeting…


* The governor will apparently speak to the House Republicans at 2 o’clock. From GOP Rep. Roger Eddy’s Twitter page

Waiting to hear from the Governor at 2pm. Tough decisions to be made — we’ll see which approach he takes.

- Posted by Rich Miller   8 Comments      


Question of the day

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

* Here’s a risky caption contest. US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald…

We’re gonna need some rules here…

1) Do not post anything that could get me or yourself investigated, indicted or arrested at 6 o’clock in the morning, etc.

2) Stay away from obvious “size” references at all costs or you will be permanently banished from this site and will likely be arrested at 6 o’clock tomorrow morning. (Just kidding, sir.)

- Posted by Rich Miller   59 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - This just in…

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

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*** UPDATED x3 *** Quinn hints at budget veto - Wants GA to stay in town *** Franks wants guv to hold off on capital plan *** Guv flip-flops on temp budget ***

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

* 11:30 am - Gov. Pat Quinn just said that he wants the General Assembly to stay in town if they don’t pass a balanced budget today…


Asked about a budget veto, Quinn said he would “send it back” if a budget came to him that wasn’t balanced.

The governor also wouldn’t be pinned down on whether he will sign the capital bill now that the parliamentary holds have been removed, taking a not-so-subtle shot at Rep. Lou Lang in the process.

More

“I think sometimes the governor has to be the quarterback and call the play. Legislators can react to each of those signals but it’s not time for running in place,” Quinn told reporters in Chicago before catching a flight to Springfield. “I’m not going to let the legislature send me a half-baked budget that does not include funding for those important services. If they do, we’ll have to send it back and we’ll have to go into double overtime.” […]

The governor stopped short of saying he’d veto the spending plan lawmakers already approved, but said he will “not accept” it.

“If they throw that my way tonight, they will see it thrown right back at ‘em,” Quinn said. “For those who might be advocating things in the budget that are unfair, are not humane, or indecent, I’m not going down that road.”

*** UPDATE - 11:56 am *** Here’s some video of GOP Leaders Cross and Radogno before today’s leaders meeting taken from another reporter’s video. Cross complained about how the Democrats are continuing to shut the Republicans out of the process…


And SEIU is holding another Statehouse rally today protesting the budget meltdown…


*** UPDATE 2 - 12:16 pm *** Democratic Rep. Jack Franks, a possible attorney general candidate, says the governor shouldn’t sign the capital bill yet because it’s funded by video gaming…


*** UPDATE 3 - 12:20 pm *** As I told subscribers this morning, the governor has flip-flopped yet again. This time, on a temporary budget, which he has totally ruled out for weeks…

Gov. Pat Quinn isn’t ruling out a temporary budget as a way of buying more time to reach a final budget deal.

“I’m willing to listen to anybody with a reasonable plan,” said Quinn, who until now has rejected the idea of a temporary budget. Quinn made the comments this morning when arriving at his Capitol office for a meeting with legislative leaders.

[ *** End of Updates *** ]

* Related…

* Tell The Governor to Rescind His Order to Secretary Adams: Last week, Governor Quinn ordered DHS Secretary Carol Adams to proceed with the implementation of the draconian budget cuts. When agencies asked how to deal with the thousands of people who will be displaced by these cuts, the Secretary had no response.

* Senate President Cullerton says he doesn’t expect vote on income taxes

* Fiscal year deadline looms, does Illinois shut down?

* Lack of state budget deal won’t be felt right away

* State Capitol Q&A: Does July 1 count?

* State shortfall to affect YMCA day camps

* AID will slash its services by half

* Mutual Ground set to close shelter if state fails to act

* Press release: ACLU heads to court over foster care cuts

* House removes hold on capital bills, adjourns

* Local lawmakers support temporary budget delay

* Pieces to the puzzle

* House OKs $2.2 billion in borrowing to free up social service funds

* House OKs borrowing plan to avoid huge cuts

* House votes to borrow money amid budget mess

* House approves borrowing plan

* House OKs borrowing, sends construction package to Quinn

* Illinois borrowing measure to avert cuts

* Still no budget; Illinois House votes to borrow money

* Illinois House Approved Two Billion Dollar Loan

* Illinois budget fix heads to the Senate

* Deferring pension payments will put state in deeper hole

* Deadline is now for Illinois legislators

* State Budget Deadline Looms With No Deal In Sight

- Posted by Rich Miller   40 Comments      


More details emerge

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

* So, the U of I “formalized” its alleged clout-driven admissions process in 2002, just before Rod Blagojevich became governor and took full advantage. Unlike Jim Thompson’s request, I’ll bet Blagojevich’s touts weren’t summarily rejected

The University of Illinois formalized its system for tracking clouted applicants after an unqualified student with ties to ex- Gov. Jim Thompson was rejected, angering a top administrator who reversed the decision, a former admissions worker testified Monday.

Thompson said he had no recollection at all about the denied admission request and claimed he has written “scores” of letters on behalf of university applicants over the years.

* It also appears that there weren’t all that many “mopes” being pushed for the U of I…

He said the number of such cases grew in the last seven years from about 110 applicants per year to about 160. He said most came from affluent suburban schools, and that those students’ appeals were much more likely to be successful than ones coming from the general applicant pool.

But there were some…

[Former U of I admissions worker Abel Montoya] said there were between a dozen and 20 applicants a year who received the lowest possible admissions ranking, yet had denial decisions reversed after pressure from above.

* This is a clue to what was going on…

…Montoya said he chafed at e-mails and meetings that directed him to give special consideration to the students from high schools like Marist and New Trier who sometimes didn’t have qualifications as good as those of other students.

Those schools are known for parents who are almost fanatical about making sure their kids get into the best schools possible. Those parents are also more sophisticated than the average bear, and were probably more likely to call their legislators in a panic.

Montoya apparently was upset about the Category 1 admissions because he was working to recruit economically disadvantaged students

[Montoya] said it was a priority to enroll students from Chicago public schools, many of whom were at an economic disadvantage to students from the suburbs, in order to create “a talented, diverse freshman class.”

“We tried everything we could to get more students to apply” from public schools, he said. Montoya said he had complained to Marshall about the Category I admissions but was overruled by administrators.

* And a U of I lobbyist at the center of the controversy, Richard Schoell, denied laws had been broken and said there was never a quid pro quo with legislators…

Asked whether there was quid pro quo with legislators, he said “that would be totally inappropriate.”

More from Schoell

During testimony Monday, Richard Schoell, executive director of the university’s Office of Governmental Relations, said his office kept a log of between 150 and 200 requests made each year by lawmakers on behalf of students. Schoell said his office forwarded requests to the appropriate university department and some of those students made the “Category I” list, some labeled “important” or “very important.”

He said receiving input from public officials is important and students have the right to appeal to a legislator if they believe a wrong decision was made. But if a student was admitted “purely because of clout, it shouldn’t have happened,” he testified.

Schoell suggested that instead of lawmakers contacting his office directly, the school hire an ombudsman or create a panel to field those inquiries.

* This, I’d love to see

[Admissions Review Commission Chairman Abner Mikva] also said he’d like to hear from some legislators, including House Speaker Michael Madigan, who sponsored at least 40 applicants in five years, more than any other lawmaker. “I would like to hear his explanation,” Mikva said.

I’d also like to see all commission members reveal in public whether they had ever written a letter of recommendation or made a phone call about a prospective college or law school student.

- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      


Hoffman gearing up? Unknowns mulling

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

* I’ve heard that Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman is mulling a run for mayor or attorney general, but we’ll just have to wait and see

Hoffman’s four-year term as the city’s watchdog expires this fall. He took a long pause Monday when asked by reporters if wants another term.

HOFFMAN: I’m still making a decision about what I want to do, and I’m in the midst of making that decision now.

A decision that could include elected office.

HOFFMAN: Not sure. That’s some of the things I’m thinking about, talking about with my wife.

* Meanwhile, Mark Brown takes a look at an almost unknown candidate who has a ton of personal cash to spend…

Adam Andrzejewski, an announced Republican candidate for governor, sent out a press release Monday to inform everyone that he had made public his income tax returns in the interest of transparency.

My first thought was “Adam who?”

But then I decided that if Andrzejewski was taking this campaign seriously enough to release his tax returns, then I could at least take him seriously enough to look them over.

And that’s when I noticed Andrzejewski had filed this year for a federal tax refund of $632,110, plus a state refund of $51,579.

* Speaking of unknowns, a pal forwarded me this e-mail from Justin Ishbia, who is Kip Kilpatrick’s finance manager. I don’t know either of them, but perhaps you do….

Dear Friends,

Kip Kirkpatrick asked me to reach out to you in my capacity as his campaign treasurer. We’re so grateful for all the early support our campaign has received and now we face a critical early milestone.

Today is the deadline to receive contributions for the first-half reporting period. This reporting period is crucial because it really is the only measure that media and insiders have to judge the viability of a new candidate. It determines whether Kip’s campaign to bring real business acumen to the Treasurer’s office will receive media attention and whether Democrats around the state should consider supporting his candidacy.

From the e-mail, he appears to be a Democrat, but you wouldn’t know that by checking out his campaign site, which, at the moment, is just a one-page contribution generator. The contribution link goes to Act Blue, but a search of that site shows nothing.

* IR reports that Peorian Demetra DeMonte may run for LG…

Seems several individuals have encouraged Illinois’ National Committeewoman, Demetra DeMonte, to run for Lieutenant Governor in 2010.

* And in news about more well-known candidates, Bill Brady reiterated his stance yesterday that the governor should sign the budget that Brady voted against…

A Republican candidate for governor says Gov. Pat Quinn should sign a budget approved by lawmakers that Quinn says has a $9.2 billion deficit.

GOP state Sen. Bill Brady said at a Monday press conference that lawmakers shouldn’t pass the income tax increase Quinn’s pushing. Instead, the Bloomington Republican says Quinn should make work a budget the Democrat-controlled Legislature passed.

* Democratic Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias wrote a post recently for Daily Kos

As the State Treasurer of Illinois and a former vice-president of a community bank, I know a thing or two about banking and, make no mistake, the defeat of the bankruptcy provision known as “cram-down,” is yet another example of Washington putting corporate wishes ahead of citizen needs.

* Related…

* Dan Lipinski addresses airlines’ baggage policies

* Lipinski Calls For Size Limits On Carry-On Luggage

* Olympics an opportunity for Chicago and Illinois to repair reputation, inspector general says

* Chicago investigator urges reform before Olympics

* Chicago personnel chief says inspector general ‘reckless’ in calling for his dismissal

* How about some compassion for those stuck with the bill?

* Daley: City to develop back-up system to protect taxpayers on Olympics deal

* Chicago Alderman Tries to Cap Olympic Spending

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      


Quote of the day - Lisa Madigan, Dick Cheney and Osama bin Laden

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

* From yesterday’s Chicago Tonight, Mike Flannery says Attorney General Lisa Madigan is “tougher to find maybe than Cheny and Osama bin Laden combined.” Watch it…


Flannery and the other reporters on the panel were discussing my recent syndicated newspaper column about how LMadigan has refused to say where she stands on the budget issues facing the state.

[Via Progress Illinois.]

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      


Morning shorts

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

* Lower Standards

An investigation by The Chicago Reporter found that Illinois is arguably the worst state in the nation for black senior citizens seeking quality nursing home care. There is just one home in Illinois rated “excellent” by the federal government when more than 50 percent of the home’s residents are black. In Illinois, these facilities get the worst federal ratings and on average have more violations than facilities where a majority of residents are white. And in Chicago, on average, these homes have more medical malpractice and personal injury lawsuits. People in white homes got better care than those in black homes, even if both were poor.

* State minimum wage going up a quarter

* Auto sector drives down Midwest manufacturing to lowest point in 15 years: Chicago Fed

* Streets and Sanitation commissioner replaced

Under fire for lavish snow removal spending, lax field supervision and allegations of continued personnel abuses, Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Michael Picardi was swept out today in a City Hall housecleaning.

Mayor Daley replaced Picardi with former Chicago Police officer-turned-Transportation Commissioner Tom Byrne, a Daley favorite summoned to City Hall in 2005 to clean up a Transportation Department hard hit by the Hired Truck and missing asphalt scandals.

* Chicago Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Michael Picardi replaced

* Chicago Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Ousted

* Sears tests program for jobless shoppers

Sears Holdings Corp. is planning to give customers who lose their jobs a break on appliance purchases, part of an effort to spur sales amid the economic recession.

Sears customers who spend at least $399 on its Citibank-issued credit card for appliances and related merchandise between July 6 and Aug. 1 will receive help on payments if they are out of work 60 days to a year after making the purchase.

One-twelfth of the purchase price will be credited to their accounts for every month they are unemployed. The full debt will be forgiven for customers who find themselves jobless for more than a year, and they will be able to keep the appliance.

* DOJ cautious about United Airlines alliance

* UAL bond pricing shows liquidity stress: analysts

* Daley to introduce ordinance to renew city’s set-aside program

* Daley to ask feds for money to hire cops

Mayor Richard Daley says Chicago will ask the federal government for $106 million so the police department can hire 400 officers.

The request for federal stimulus money comes at a time when hiring at the department has slowed to a crawl because of struggling economy. The number of officer vacancies has climbed to more than 400 and the union says it could climb to 800 by the end of the year.

* CHA mixed-income building has class clash

* Red-light camera loses backer

Bucking a national trend of putting in cameras to catch red-light runners, northwest suburban Schaumburg may get rid of its only red-light camera system because it doesn’t do enough to prevent accidents.

* Union doesn’t ‘look kindly on concessions’

AFSCME rep says workers willing to find other ways to save Peoria County money; health insurance funds one idea

* Metra breaks ground on station near Sox park

More than a year behind schedule, Metra broke ground today on a new station at 35th Street on the Rock Island District Line to serve White Sox fans and college students while giving neighborhood residents another mass-transit option.

The station, at 35th and Federal Streets, is expected to open in the fall of 2010, at least a full year later than what Metra officials said when they announced the project in 2008.

* Finally, a Metra station for the Cell

* Residents Debate Best Use of Land Along Chicago’s Lakefront

* IDOT to relieve some holiday traffic

Travelers hitting the roads for the Independence Day weekend are getting some traffic relief in Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Transportation says it’s suspending some construction-related lane closures. Lanes will be reopened Thursday to Sunday.

* Press release: IDOT details road construction

* $2.6 million going to 3 Ill. health centers

AURORA, Ill. - Three health centers in Illinois will share $2.6 million in federal stimulus money.

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster announced Monday that the centers in Aurora, Elgin and Rock Falls would receive the money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Of the money, $1,147,645 will go to the Visiting Nurse Association in Aurora, $880,000 will go to the Greater Elgin Family Care Center and $616,240 will go to the Whiteside County Health Department and Whiteside County Community Health Clinic, Inc. in Rock Falls.

- Posted by Mike Murray   7 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009

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* Afternoon updates
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* Protect Patient Safety – Don’t Let Psychologists Prescribe
* Question of the Day
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* Like deja vu all over again
* Kirk to campaign for Oberweis afterall
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        * Man said to be homesick for prison gets 3 1/2 years
        * Nik Wallenda in Chicago to scout tightrope walk
        * Herbalife discloses investigation in Illinois
        * Beaman files new lawsuit in ISU case
        * Environmental groups sue to stop Illiana tollway
        * Illinois gives early OK to $100M for Obama museum
        * Illinois medical marijuana rules drop gun language
        * Lockdown over at southern Illinois' Menard prison
        * Judge puts off ruling in suit against Rutherford

        * Statehouse Insider: It’s spring break time!
        * Aurora firearm training facility suggests online courses
        * Tough tax votes loom for lawmakers
        * Judge puts off ruling in suit against Rutherford
        * Lawmakers to discuss money for Obama library
        * Illinois House committee gives early OK to $100M for Obama museum
        * Quinn promotes autism awareness at Brookfield Zoo
        * Broadcaster Samuelson named to Illinois Racing Board
        * Gun language dropped from state medical marijuana rules
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Battle on for GOP state party post

        * Nik Wallenda in Chicago to scout tightrope walk
        * Michaels Stores confirms breach of as many as 2.6 million cards
        * Career Education CEO got $4.8 million in 2013
        * Environmental groups sue to block Illiana Expressway
        * Don Thompson's smoking habit


        * CTA plans L overpass at Belmont to eliminate bottleneck
        * Rauner firm has stake in $99.3M deal awarded by Quinn
        * Anti-violence funds paid for salary of another pol’s spouse
        * Wallenda says Willis Tower not suited for high-wire act
        * Ex-con who robs bank to go to jail gets 3.5-year sentence
        * Free floating ethics in Cook County


        * CTA: 16 buildings need to be razed for Belmont 'L' overpass
        * Lawsuit filed over traffic stop caught on police video
        * Elderly bank robber sentenced to prison
        * Northwest Indiana mayor, wife and step-daughter indicted
        * 3 shot in separate shootings on South, NW Side
        * Environmental groups file suit to stop $1.3B Illiana toll road proposal
        * Sheriff pushes probes of policing woes in suburbs
        * Vanecko attorneys seek to dismiss lawsuit by David Koschman's mother
        * Emanuel defends Claypool's controversial CTA hires
        * Emanuel defends Claypool's controversial CTA hires


        * Nine Illinois lawmakers vote to fund Obama library - but only five members in attendance
        * WBEZ's Student Stories
        * Interview: John Tinker & The Landmark Case On Students' Right To Free Speech
        * State Legislation Hints At Marijuana Legalization
        * Plan Threatens Proposed Downstate Casinos
        * Raising Gax Tax "Unwise," Says Quinn, But Offers No Other Ideas
        * How Much Would Your School District Lose?
        * Illinois Senate Joins Push For U.S. Constitutional Convention
        * Study: Pre-K Education Provides For Economic Growth
        * The Vanishing Millionaire Tax


        * Aurora firearm training facility suggests online courses
        * Judge puts off ruling in suit against Rutherford
        * Illinois House committee gives early OK to $100M for Obama museum
        * Gun language dropped from state medical marijuana rules
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Scherer got more than $90,000 from Madigan in primary
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Scherer got more than $90,000 from Madigan in primary
        * Tom Bertrand: Poverty grants contribute to inequality among Illinois schools
        * Report: Big cuts to state aid for schools if income tax increase expires
        * Comptroller Topinka reports $125K in income
        * Addiction experts: Illinois budget cuts could hurt drug treatment


        * Police Beat
        * Open Line
        * Thursday's prep highlights: Centennial, Central post baseball wins
        * PBL hoops coach Vogel on the move
        * SJ-O has a mound of confidence
        * Jeff Huth: UI-Penn State baseball preview
        * Checking in with ex-Illini in NBA
        * Loren Tate: Dear NCAA, Speed it up
        * Langley shares first-round lead
        * War of words in Northwestern-athletes' union fight


        * The 10th District money race
        * Aurora Democrat calls out IHSA
        * Lawyers: Ill. hazing law vague, unconstitutional
        * Ill. House OKs lower-cost hunting bill for seniors
        * Quinn’s running mate takes new consulting job

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        * Illinois Lt. Gov. Simon opposes pension le......
        * Dillard Odd Man Out on Pension Deal Reaction...
        * Sen. Mark Kirk sides with Rauner on pensio......
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        * What do Obama/Yoda have in common
        * Red Line meeting next month and other thoughts on transit plans
        * Conan: Bill Tull's Budget Easter tips
        * Applications For US Jobless Aid Edge Up To 304,000
        * War Of Words In Northwestern-Athletes' Union Fight
        * Happy Easter & Passover From Progress Illinois
        * Emanuel's Pension Plan Could Cost Workers $55 Million, Report Finds
        * Comment on 2014 Illinois Tea Party Tax Day Tea Party Rally in St. Charles by Supposed Conservative Williem Kelly A Stalinist Censor? Apparently so! |
        * Comment on Illinois Policy Institute Calls on President Obama to Reject Taxpayer Funding for Presidential Library by Champion News | Illinois Policy Institute Calls on President Obama to Reject Taxpayer Funding for Presidential Library
        * Madigan's Office Investigating Herbalife Pyramid Scheme Allegations


        * Illinois filmmakers invited to enter state’s Shortcuts competition - 7th year for Illinois Film Office contest honoring local talent
        * Injured Worker Charged with Workers’ Compensation Fraud - Defendant Lied Under Oath to IWCC Arbitrator in an Attempt to Obtain Benefits
        * State-wide Veterans Service Offices Will Be Closed for Annual Training
        * Liquor Control Commission March Underage Compliance Report
        * Governor Quinn Releases First-Ever Illinois Bike Transportation Plan - Plan Formally Makes Bicycles Part of Illinois’ Long-Range Transportation Vision




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