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Guv “details” budget cuts - 2,552 headcount reduction

Friday, Jul 31, 2009

* 2:37 pm - The governor’s “Action Plan Overview” is now online. Click here to see it.

The presser starts in a few minutes and we’ll be covering it here. Help out in comments if you can.

The live video link to the guv’s presser is here.

* Here is the overview of the cuts to be announced today…

• State Operations (includes layoffs,12 furlough days) $185 million
• Medicaid $140 million
• Grants $250 million
• Education $175 million
• Corrections $125 million
• Additional Reserves $100 million
• Other State offices, departments and agencies $25 million
Total: $1 billion

Not a lot of detail there, eh?

* Here’s the broad overview of how he’ll allocate that $1.2 billion in undesignated funds that the GA gave him…

• $1 billion for Healthcare and Family Services includes
o $300 million for Medicaid
o $700 million for group health

• $150 million for State Board of Education includes
o $85 million for early childhood education
o $11 million for bilingual programs

• $40 million for Department of Public Health includes
o $17 million for HIV/AIDS programs
o $9 million for breast/cervical cancer screening programs

• $13 million for Amtrak

* And here’s the overview of the remaining problems. They didn’t completely fund group health insurance, for instance…

Medicaid ($600 million)
Group health coverage for state employees, retirees and dependents ($600 million)

* 3:48 pm - Press conference is now over. That wasn’t so hard now, was it? However, he did take the easy way out by holding it in Chicago, where reporters are less aware of state government.
Pre K-12 education ($145 million)
College scholarships ($225 million)
Contingency reserve funds +$180 million

Unmet Needs $1.4 billion

* 2:56 pm - Click here for more budget cutting details.

* 3:02 pm - Dept. of Corrections cuts include ▪ a reduction of 18 Central Office positions and 413 other positions.

A different document claims that DoC headcount was cut 1,073. Thanks to a commenter. More headcount reductions are on that sheet. Here are a few…

* 303 - IL State Police
* 1,073 - DoC
* 866 - DHS
* 105 - Dept. Juvenile Justice

TOTAL: 2,552

* You can take a look at all agencies below…

  • Summary (includes headcount reductions)
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Central Management Services
  • Department of Children and Family Services
  • Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
  • Department of Corrections
  • Department of Healthcare and Family Services
  • Department of Human Services
  • Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Department of Natural Resources
  • Department of Public Health
  • Department of Revenue
  • Department of State Police
  • Illinois Department of Transportation
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Department on Aging
  • Illinois Board of Higher Education
  • Illinois State Board of Education
  • Other State Agencies and Offices
  • * 3:24 pm - From AFSCME…

    Statement of Henry Bayer, executive director of AFSCME Council 31:

    “These cuts will hurt every Illinois resident.

    “If the cuts stand, thousands of working men and women will lose their jobs. Human services, health care, education and public safety will be harmed. Our communities, families, children and seniors and our environment will suffer.

    “By slashing thousands of jobs, these cuts contradict and undermine President Obama’s efforts to fight the recession, protect public services and keep Americans working.

    “The fault for these terrible cuts belongs to the governor and every legislator who supported an irresponsible budget. The responsibility lies with every Illinois elected official and opinion maker who has opposed raising the revenue needed to avoid them.

    “Every Illinoisan must demand that lawmakers and the governor renounce these damaging cuts, commit to raising new revenue, and return to the Capitol as soon as necessary to fix this broken budget.”

    - Posted by Rich Miller        

    1. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:42 pm:

      Nice elevator music…..

    2. - not 47 - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:43 pm:

      College financial aid for needy students (Monetary Award Program) is left with a $225 M hole. As Sun-Times reported today, no scholarships for any students after January 1.

    3. - Chubs Mahoney - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:44 pm:

      I have a feeling that Jerry Stermer will look avuncular.

    4. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:45 pm:

      Anybody else having trouble with the live stream?

    5. - Will County Woman - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:45 pm:

      yes, rich

    6. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:46 pm:

      Working for me, I see some women in the audience, podium and 4 flags (six flags is more fun)

    7. - South of Sherman - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:46 pm:

      Yep, stream was working fine and then it stopped. Maybe the IT budget was cut…

    8. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:46 pm:

      Sounds check, from a quiet individual

    9. - Chubs Mahoney - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:46 pm:

      Open it in windows media player.
      File –> Open URL

    10. - Will County Woman - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:47 pm:

      It’s working for me now.

    11. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:48 pm:

      Smone just knocked the camera out of line.

    12. - siriusly - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:49 pm:

      very pleasant on hold music, it shows me as a viewer / citizen that this administration is acknowledging that I am waiting. They know I’m here waiting, and they care. Never had on hold music in the Blago years.

    13. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:50 pm:

      It’s working. I had to refresh windows media player.

      Why does the state continue to use that awful player? Ugh.

    14. - Josh - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:50 pm:

      I’m just excited human services get to be political pawns a little longer!

    15. - Chubs Mahoney - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:50 pm:

      I get no audio. Others?

    16. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:50 pm:

      Who does the professional dress of the “prep” guys? Wow, I’ve seen better dressed employee’s at Big Lots

    17. - SIU - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:51 pm:

      No MAP grants after January 1st?????This is horrible news for universities who are already loosing enrollment.

      Wake up Illinois!!! Before we go back to the stone ages.

    18. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:51 pm:

      C’mon, anonymous. That’s a working man.

    19. - A Naughty Moose - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:51 pm:

      Funny to watch the Chgo political press corps paging thru the document. “Uh, is that it? There’s nothing here!”

    20. - Will County Woman - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:52 pm:

      you’re not on mute are you?

    21. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:52 pm:

      gaggle of attendess (or is that a flock?)

    22. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:54 pm:

      lol tight shot of a fire exit blocked by oxes!

    23. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:54 pm:

      ahem boxes*

    24. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:55 pm:

      And, now… Back to the goofy muzak.

    25. - Details - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:55 pm:

      I found some more details here,

    26. - Stones - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:56 pm:

      Now that we know what is going on I feel better - AHEM!

    27. - whatever - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:56 pm:

      Is anyone ever on time in Illinois???

    28. - You Go Boy - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:56 pm:

      hopefully the Gov won’t be sued by some porn outfit for infringement of music rights….er, or so my cousin told me.

    29. - Jojo - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:57 pm:

      anybody else streaming this? I can’t get on.

    30. - You Go Boy - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:57 pm:

      lets not get impatient….they’re still working the numbers.

    31. - Will County Woman - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:58 pm:

      “That’s a working man.”

      If only all others could be so lucky.

      people need jobs! that’s the only real way out of this mess.

    32. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:58 pm:

      Whatever, they are always on Illinois time, its just that Illinois time is kept secret and operates on a random scale where the amount of time available in any given rotational cycle is divded randomly.

    33. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 2:59 pm:

      Salute mayor daley for green efforts… develop green jobs for IL

    34. - siriusly - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:00 pm:

      Who are the people standing next to Gov?

    35. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:00 pm:

      IL wants to get people working; but state has been hard hit byu recessions. dealth with it by working together

    36. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:01 pm:

      I inheritated the deficit, did not create it.

    37. - Bill - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:02 pm:

      He sounds like Rod.

    38. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:02 pm:

      we need money to fight pandemics…education…. soldiers (insert political emoitonal plea here)

    39. - siriusly - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:03 pm:

      No way Bill, he is talking to the people directly and honestly. There is nothing Blago-ish about this speech so far.

    40. - Will County Woman - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:03 pm:

      “I inheritated the deficit, did not create it.”

      no. really??????? geeze.

    41. - Bill - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:03 pm:

      yeah, sure.

    42. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:03 pm:

      GA did not support his budget which uncluded revenue. GA pushed “half baked” budget.

    43. - Bill - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:04 pm:

      Madigan is a republican!

    44. - Chubs Mahoney - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:05 pm:

      he appears relaxed. straightforward approach.
      no showboating here. this is anti-rod.

    45. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:05 pm:

      Gov got together with GA leaders, all worked together and developed and imperfect plan to provide a bridge to the future…

    46. - A Naughty Moose - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:05 pm:

      “We need jobs, jobs, jobs [fast forward] so I am laying off thousands of people.”

    47. - siriusly - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:05 pm:

      Rich - what’s up with veto session in October?

    48. - Say WHAT? - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:06 pm:

      Rich, please make Bill go away.

    49. - siriusly - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:09 pm:

      Stermer now talking, explaining what the Governor meant.

    50. - tanman - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:12 pm:

      Hey, check out the headcount reduction in the summary:

      800+ for DHS plus the 1000 for DOC

    51. - Say WHAT? - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:12 pm:

      “As you see in the power point presentation” we cant see anything. The moment the words power-point were used, the camera went tight on Stermer.

    52. - siriusly - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:16 pm:

      Use your browser Say What. It’s posted here:

    53. - Will County Woman - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:17 pm:

      stermer might be assuming that people at the press conference are referring to a hardcopy of the powerpoint when he says “you can see on page…”

    54. - Cindy Lou - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:21 pm:

      30 of the headcount loss in DNR is suppose to be open positions.

    55. - Say WHAT? - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:25 pm:

      Siriusly, Thank you.

    56. - siriusly - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:25 pm:

      Daley is requiring city workers to do furlough days. Why isn’t Quinn taking 10% salary reductions from his top paid administrators AND furlough days for non-state-union employees too?

    57. - Will County Woman - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:32 pm:

      I feel sorriest for correctional officers. they’re job is already dangerous and to decrease staff only makes their working conditions more dangerous. I hope that someone can put a prisoner lock down order in effect to help make the working environment a little more safe for the correctional officers.

    58. - Will County Woman - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:34 pm:

      Ghost - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:05 pm:

      yeah, a bridge to nowhere, rather a bridge to worsened debt. hmmm… that is still a bridge to nowhere. will Illinois ever catch up and have a truly balanced budget that isn’t just playing for borrowed time?

    59. - Say WHAT? - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:37 pm:

      Shared sacrifice. I don’t like the sound of it.

    60. - Speaking at Will - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:37 pm:

      The ______ has hit the fan.

    61. - tanman - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:39 pm:

      ok…if the union is so PO’ed then why did they vote for a pay raise like the gov said? 125 million is the DOC cut, and that’s amount of raises the union demand. Someone’s not be entirely truthful here…

    62. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:39 pm:

      WCW is a bridge to “a” future, but more a postapocolyptic future we dont want to be living in.

    63. - Chubs Mahoney - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:40 pm:

      I agree, “shared sacrifice” sounds goofa.
      I do say that the Quinn/Stermer combo is boring but earnest.

    64. - Lefty Lefty - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:40 pm:

      Anyone know why there is no budget for the Illinois EPA in the last document? All zeroes across–same for “Illinois Power” and “PTAB” whatever they are.

      BTW, the last couple of links are broken– CapFaxBlog beginning to the string instead of beginning with the document name at end. Cut and paste of end of string after word “budgets” gets you where you want to go until Mr. Miller fixes it.

    65. - Vandalia - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:40 pm:

      The Vandalia CC staff will be hit hard. A factory closed there and now 120 more jobs lost. Thanks Governor for your support..see you at the polls!

    66. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:42 pm:

      Link is fixed. Thanks

    67. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:43 pm:

      PTAB = property tax appeal board

      does not bode well for challenges to property tax rates

    68. - Will County Woman - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:44 pm:

      Quinn is being disingenous when he has repeatedly suggested that he GA played ball under his terms. In truth, he was forced to play under their terms. He’s trying to make it seem like everything that happened over the last six months has gone according to his plan and his wishes. He didn’t want a temp budget, yet he signed it for political reasons. So, trying to clean it up now and make it look like he hasn’t flip-flopped constantly is ridiculous.

    69. - Will County Woman - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:46 pm:

      Agreed, ghost. agreed.

    70. - Chubs Mahoney - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:47 pm:

      WCW - not so.

      He’s been saying that things did not turn out as he’d hoped.

    71. - Highway Engineer - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:47 pm:

      lefty lefty - The reports are only for the General Revenue Fund. Many state agencies (DOT, EPA, etc.) receive a significant portion of funding from other sources (federal, MFT, etc). These fund sources may not be used to offset GRF.

    72. - Chi Gal - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:53 pm:

      – Will County Woman - he signed it for political reasons –

      Isn’t that rather disingenuous on your part? We needed something to buy time. Clearly you weren’t one of the state employees who didn’t receive a paycheck on payday.

    73. - Will County Woman - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:54 pm:

      Look chubs, he is an unmandated governor with no political capital and I guess he really had no other choice but to spin in an effort to make himself look a little better.

      the afscme council 31 statement that rich posted earlier in the hour is interesting and worth noting. afscme 31 council supports hynes, and in very strong language regarding the state budget mess it blames the governor…

    74. - Adolf Berle - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 3:57 pm:

      It’s good to see that Gov. Quinn is proceeding with cutting $125 million from DOC. The agency was terribly managed the last few years as overtime grew from

    75. - Chubs Mahoney - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 4:00 pm:

      WCW, I think he just expressed his disappointment and made it clear that he does not relish making these cuts. If you just don’t like Quinn, fine, but it’s not fair to say he’s “disingenuous” when in fact he was very candid.

    76. - Will County Woman - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 4:00 pm:

      chi gal, no. it isn’t.,and I am not.

      the gov. is on record having said previously and consistently (before july 1) that a temp budget was in effect kicking the can down the road and wrong. that is what people like govs. edgar and thompson chimed in on to help him with. funny how when lisa madigan took her name out of contention for governor, within a day or so, quinn was ready to sign off on the temporary budget and borrowing.

    77. - Chi Gal - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 4:01 pm:

      WCW — Yes, while afscme is buying their way into your man Dan’s heart with those whopping political contributions, they can only shoot arrows at the one who has to make the tough decisions (and not hide behind his dad). They can blame PQ all they want but the bottom line is that this state doesn’t have the money to live they way its become accustomed to. And it was PQ who has made that very clear - publicly (not on post-it-note.) And when he says that things haven’t gone the way he hoped, how is that spinning it to make himself look good?

    78. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 4:02 pm:

      ===it’s not fair to say he’s “disingenuous” when in fact he was very candid. ===

      Yes, it is. WCW is correct.

    79. - Lefty Lefty - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 4:08 pm:

      Thanks for the clarifications, all. I knew that EPA received $ from hazwaste fund, MFT, etc. but wouldn’t have guessed that only $1.6 million came from GRF.

      In case you’re interested, PTAB zeroed from $2.28 mil last year, and Illinois Power zeroed from $1.32 mil last year.

    80. - batty1 - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 4:10 pm:

      Adolph B–see WCW earlier message:
      “I feel sorriest for correctional officers. they’re job is already dangerous and to decrease staff only makes their working conditions more dangerous. I hope that someone can put a prisoner lock down order in effect to help make the working environment a little more safe for the correctional officers.”

      WCW is right. And with cuts to human services we will see a higher rate of recidivism–it costs much more to have people in prison than assisted by agencies with programs for ex-offenders that help them turn their lives around.

    81. - Desert Dweller - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 4:12 pm:

      Any particulars on the constitutionals? Is the $25 million the 10% across the board cut?

    82. - Capitol View - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 4:12 pm:

      Adolg Berle - DOC, by letting go staff, get rid of the least senior staff making the least money. Part of their fiscal craziness of the past few years is that their understaffing has resulted in huge overtime payouts. Bring in new recruits, and these new staffers are paid less and no one needs overtime. The more you hire, the more you save. But the GOMB has’t figured this out yet, despite all the obvious savings from distributing the new recruits for the prison that opened late to the other institutions in the waiting time.

      DOC would save bundles of operating funds by early retirement incentives to senior line staff.

    83. - Another Flip Flop? - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 4:22 pm:

      I read an article in the SJ-R about the Dunn Fellowship being discontinued. According to the CMS page of the budget allocation, it is funding at full levels.

    84. - troop - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 4:36 pm:

      So he can fly all around and go overseas for no good reason while we are in this mess. Wake up Illinois, we need to vote all these guys out. What is the use in working anymore when all the government does is take, take, take? I guess if your a state worker your family does not count!

    85. - civil servant - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 4:40 pm:

      sure does look like the Dunn’s were funded - hmmmm - anyone willing to bet that at least one of them had some big time “clout”?

    86. - RJW - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 4:57 pm:

      Civil Servant:

      Back off of the Dunn Fellowship program. I was a Dunn and so were many, many other people who now work in state government. It is an internship program that prepares college grades for careers with the state. It is non-partisan and Rutan covered. Who you know can’t help you with that program. I knew nobody and was accepted on merit. There were several in my class that weren’t even from Illinois. Please know your facts before stating something.

    87. - Outsider - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 4:58 pm:

      I was a Dunn Fellow almost 10 years ago and saddened to hear that it was discontinued a couple of weeks ago. To be honest, it was the best experience I ever had career-wise and I would not be where I am today without it. Someone above talked about how DOC/GOMB can’t get it right by not hiring new people and their lower salaries to avoid overtime. This immediately made me think of a Dunn Fellow. We made $27k a year and worked like crazy-and were better for it. I would much rather see the governor’s office have a couple deputy chiefs of staff and each of them have some Dunn Fellows who would work hard for their money (I think around $31k now) as opposed to a few employees that have been around in government/public sector making 6 figures each. That would be cost savings for government and a great way to continue a program with a rich tradition of creating great public servants.

    88. - RJW - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 4:58 pm:

      That should be “prepares college GRADS.” How embarassing.

      I would also note that Dunn Fellows are cheap labor. It saves the state money to have them doing work as opposed to hiring a union worker.

    89. - asht79 - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 5:13 pm:

      does anyone know if the layoffs mentioned above have notices gone out?

    90. - Amazing - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 5:54 pm:

      Welcome to Hellinois….

    91. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 6:12 pm:

      “Not a lot of detail there, eh?”

      Hey Rich, you have to admit, those agency sheets are pretty freaking detailed.

    92. - Odd Fellow - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 6:47 pm:

      I have met some Dunn Fellows. Not a one of them represented the program very well. And yes, a few of them were “connected”. Maybe I was just unlucky and met three “bad apples”.

      In a row.

      The program I think has merit. I just was not impressed by the actual individuals I met. They came off as over-entitled princes- and princesses-in-waiting, just killing time doing menial stuff until they got the clouted managerial level jobs waiting for them. If I’m bitter-sounding, it is more because such a program is a good and needed thing, but I’m afraid it’s tainted like much of the rest of the bureaucracy. I’m sure not Every Dunn Fellow is bad. But like I said, the ones I’ve met, did not do your program any favors.

    93. - Can't Say My Nickname - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 8:06 pm:

      Not much has been mentioned about CMS’s Workers Compensation payroll for state agencies. Is it struggling? Does Workers Comp payroll come out of the personnel services line?

    94. - civil servant - Friday, Jul 31, 09 @ 9:05 pm:

      RJW - I know most of Dunn Fellows are not political - interviews used to be conducted by “important” staff and Dunns were given serious work. Some bureaucrat at CMS organizes interviews now. Most if not all Blago Dunns worked in Gov’s Office. The Program is not the same as it used to be. Blago had Dunns video taping all of the Chicago news stations and then driving the tapes to his house - and they were paid OT! The Dunns, Lt Gov Interns and SOS Fellows worked millions of hours for little pay without a thought of asking for OT. I wonder if we can find out how much was spent on OT and travel (to and from Blago’s house in Ravenswood) - that would be interesting.

    95. - VanillaMan - Sunday, Aug 2, 09 @ 10:14 pm:

      This is not a surprise, and it is a drop in the bucket.

    96. - Dunn Done - Tuesday, Aug 4, 09 @ 3:33 pm:

      I was going to be a Dunn this year. No clout, letters from professors, essay, resume and interview. Despite what the PDFs indicate, the program is indeed gone for the year and its future unknown. Don’t know why this was released, maybe a cruel error or a way to throw off those that were angry the program was canceled.

    Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

    * Reader comments closed for the weekend
    * Long list of appointments by Gov. Rauner
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          * Letter: Rauner economics..
          * Senator wants Rauner to fill vacancy on board c.....
          * Wage comparison is apples and oranges..
          * Quotes of the day..
          * Erickson: Road to savings filled with potholes..

          * Storm crawls into Midwest, threatens Northeast
          * Hill delivers nail-biting 60-58 Illini win over Penn State
          * More than a foot of snow possible for parts of Midwest
          * Chicago police seize cocaine worth nearly $7M
          * Cubs legend Ernie Banks remembered for unwavering optimism
          * Southern Illinois town investigating suspicious fires
          * Illinois suspends Rice, Cosby indefinitely
          * Cubs teammates say Ernie Banks was about more than baseball
          * Chicago mayor wages lively campaign with no big challengers
          * Pair sentenced to prison for $665 million financial fraud

          * Observers await specifics in Rauner's first State of the State speech
          * Statehouse Insider: Rauner pension slide slides over some details
          * Bill to ban pure caffeine introduced in General Assembly
          * Rauner defends paying staff more than Quinn did
          * Local lawmakers named to paid committee positions
          * Decision looms on ATV facility in western Illinois park
          * 'Right to Try' bill would give access to experimental drugs
          * Top Rauner staff receiving higher pay than Quinn's
          * Springfield lawmakers want oversight commission to monitor 10th Street rail promises
          * Rauner staff receiving higher pay than Quinn's

          * The paperless office is here, so why is Acco stock up?
          * Elected or apppointed? Pick your poison for Chicago Board of Ed
          * Governor to find out if Illinois is ready for 'right to work'
          * Rauner's CFO sharpens axe for Illinois budget
          * These fast-food chains are resisting the gluten-free craze

            * Man rescued out of water at North Avenue Beach
            * Man, woman stabbed in separate incidents in Roseland
            * Man fatally shot, 3 others hurt in separate shootings
            * Amber alert: Effingham girl abducted, may be in Chicago area
            * Up to 14 inches of snow in the forecast: 'We have a lot of winter left'
            * Father, son hurt in accidental shooting in Marengo
            * Mother of murder victim: 'Nobody can hurt her now'
            * South Shore on track for express train in March
            * Officials investigate bridge demolition in Hammond
            * Roseland man charged with burglary, threatening cops on West Side

            * Jason Barickman
            * Latest Update: Springfield Area Expecting 3-6 Inches
            * Springfield Attorney Picked To Chair Illinois Gaming Board
            * Up To 8 Inches Of Snow Forecast For Springfield Area
            * Could Rauner's Spending Hold Derail New Train Routes?
            * Listen to State Week - January 30, 2015
            * Rauner Staff Receiving Higher Pay Than Quinn's
            * Rauner Defends Higher Staff Salaries
            * Unmasking Ernie Banks
            * Guzzardi Wants Parents To Be Able To Opt Kids Out Of Testing

            * Our Opinion: Rauner driving wedges instead of building bridges
            * Bernard Schoenburg: Campaign discussion — Oak Ridge to park district?
            * Sharmin Doering: Simulation helps local officials understand poverty struggles
            * Steven Simpson-Black: Human rights struggle continues 150 years after the 13th Amendment
            * Quote of the Day: Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015
            * Observers await specifics in Rauner's first State of the State speech
            * Statehouse Insider: Rauner pension slide slides over some details
            * Statehouse Insider: Rauner pension slide slides over some details
            * In My View: Remembering Mary Lou "Smokey" Schneider
            * Charles Krauthammer: Auschwitz, today

            * Touch of Nature outdoor trips planned for March
            * Top of the morning, Feb. 1, 2015
            * Area Calendar 2/1/15
            * Winchester looking at affordable homes
            * SIU hosts robotics competition
            * Upcoming Services (Feb. 1)
            * Police Beat
            * In the groove
            * SHELF LIFE
            * Police warn about winter road conditions

            * Republican lawmaker brings back GPS tracking bill
            * Court invader interrupts Australian Open men's final
            * Djokovic wins 3rd set, leads 2-1 in Australian Open final
            * Pope to visit Sarajevo to boost 'brotherhood and peace'
            * Seahawks repeat would be a scary prospect for NFL

            * 013115-spt-marcar-bb-car-kelly
            * EPA, Farm Bill, Cuban trade among topics a...
            * Democrats Court Ex-Congressman for Rematch
            * U.S. Congressmen Take Ceremonial Oath in B...
            * GOP Rep: Obama Does Not Hold to Idea of We...
            * Congressional swearing-in held at Benton, ...
            * Sunday Morning Bobblehead Thread
            * “Human trafficking for sexual exploitation...
            * Officials get peek at Transportation Isola...
            * TV News Shows, Jan. 25

            * Tv news shows...
            * Loretta Lynch disarms GOP challengers...

            * Netanyahu invitation shows GOP's disdain f......

            * Can We Trust The Infrastructure Trust?
            * Numbers Are In! Illinois Leads In Most Government Bodies
            * Check Out Chicago’s New Infrastructure Trust Bylaws
            * Municipalities’ New Frontier: Ending Local Debt Disaster
            * We’ve moved!
            * In The Lyons Of Fire
            * BGA Backs New State Disclosure Effort
            * Budget Crisis Task Force Examines Illinois’ Debt Woes
            * To Cut Costs, Suburbs Eye Police Dept. Merger
            * State’s High Court Hears IG’s Case

            * IDHS reminds eligible workers to take advantage of free tax help and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) - More than 30 sites offer free tax services Statewide
            * IEMA, American Lung Association Launch Health House - Radon Excellence Program in Savoy - Two Champaign builders coordinating with Heyworth radon mitigator in program to reduce radon-related lung cancer risks in new homes
            * One Confirmed Case of Measles in Illinois
            * Governor announces latest round of agency appointments
            * Rauner announces “Turnaround Team” - Stellar team to help turn Illinois around

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