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Brady’s cuts will require more than he says

Monday, Oct 4, 2010

* Greg Hinz at Crain’s writes today about an editorial board meeting with Bill Brady late last week. Among other things, Brady said he wants to do a huge pension bond deal, perhaps as much as $50 billion.

But most of what Hinz writes about today is Brady’s claim that he can cut ten percent of all spending to balance the budget. The object, Brady said, is to cut 10 percent from $45 billion of available spending. But Hinz heard something different

Mr. Brady’s own number guys have told him that so many things like federal programs and debt service would have to be exempt that the remaining programs would have to be cut nearly 20%.

No, he hasn’t been told that, he replied. But “it’s possible” the average cuts would exceed 10%, depending on how fast his administration could boost income by creating new private-sector jobs.

And Brady’s numbers for the deficit are off as well….

Once you take things like the $14-billion Medicaid program off the table, which is mostly funded by the federal government, “maybe $30 billion” remains on the table for the 10% cuts. And the real deficit actually is more like $7 billion than $5 billion, [Taxpayers Federation president Tom Johnson] says.

In other words, without new revenues, “you’d need about 20%” in cuts to balance the budget.

That would be on top of what has already been cut.

And according to the comptroller’s office, the state’s bill backlog for last fiscal year now stands at more than $6.4 billion, or 23 percent of total FY 2010 base revenues. On top of that, the state has accumulated another $3.5 billion in unpaid bills for this fiscal year.

Nightmare.

* Ummm

For sure, $44,000 isn’t a whole lot of money compared to the state’s $13 billion budget deficit.

But, when it comes to cutting the state budget during an economic downturn, you have to start somewhere.

The early returns on one of Gov. Pat Quinn’s attempts to reduce state spending show at least three of his agencies have complied with an edict to cut out magazine and newspaper subscriptions.

The governor’s directive, issued in July, also asked agencies to find savings in other areas, including telephone costs, travel and overtime. […]

At the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the order has meant the end of morning delivery of two daily newspapers and the political newsletter Capitol Fax.

Like every other publication in this state, I do have several agencies as subscribers. I haven’t pushed them for payment or complained about late payments and I’m more than willing to work with the agencies as they try to get through this. All they have to do is ask.

* In other kinda-sorta related news

Gov. Pat Quinn says he’d push for legislation forcing public officials to pay income tax on their state salaries, even if business losses wipe out their income.

Quinn has criticized Republican Bill Brady for not paying federal income taxes, implying the state senator did something improper.

But Brady didn’t pay taxes because his state salary was more than wiped out by his business losses.

Quinn said Monday that Brady should’ve paid taxes on the publicly funded part of his salary anyway.

And

Gov. Pat Quinn says Republican opponent Bill Brady and House Speaker Michael Madigan wouldn’t be in office today if a constitutional amendment to impose term limits he supported years ago had gotten on the ballot.

In an interview Monday with The Associated Press, Quinn wouldn’t say if Madigan has overstayed his welcome in Springfield. Quinn says it’s up to voters in Madigan’s district and lawmakers in Springfield to decide if he keeps his seat and remains speaker.

Thoughts?

* Related…

* Quinn vague on ideas for Ill. future: Gov. Pat Quinn isn’t offering many details on what more he would do to repair the state budget or where he’d like to take Illinois if he wins a full term.

* Republicans, Democrats fight over credit for budget plan

* Ill. Gov. Quinn highlights tax amnesty program

* Quinn: Delinquent taxpayers must pay by Nov. 8

* Delinquent Illinois taxpayers have five weeks to pay up, avoid penalties

* State wins $23M from debt collector

* Schoenburg: Stout may see job protection from new angle

* DCFS wins $9.5 million for older foster kids

* Schools predict harm from end of hold harmless

* Illinois Labor Law Will Keep Employment Program Going

- Posted by Rich Miller        


49 Comments
  1. - fedup dem - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 2:48 pm:

    If Brady wins (Heaven Forbid!) I hope he finds himself a really big pillow for that Budget Fairy to slip those billions of dollars needed under it the night before Inauguration Day. Otherwise, Illinois will be screwed and broke!


  2. - Davey Boy Smithe - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 2:55 pm:

    fedup dam, aren’t we already broke?


  3. - Irish - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 3:00 pm:

    Ouch! Sounds like PQ has thrown down the gauntlet on MJM. Has Fozzie found some intestinal fortitude? Is he secretly hoping MJM loses his majority? How does this work if he doesn’t? Will it be MJM and RB all over again?


  4. - cassandra - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 3:24 pm:

    If Quinn does win, something I have always felt was likely given state demographics, is the Legislature going to turn around and give him a big income tax increase. Or even his one percent “education” increase. It seems that the latter would not provide much relief but there may not be much political appetite for the former, especially with 2012 coming up fast. But would one percent be enough? And if not, where to cut.

    The state’s fiscal future under both major candidates seems equally mysterious.


  5. - Cincinnatus - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 3:39 pm:

    Any budget plan that doesn’t start with significant spending cuts to the current budget is a farce. Any overall budget plan that does not contain significant pension reformed is a farce.

    Who is more likely to perform the necessary cuts, Quinn or Brady?


  6. - soccermom - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 4:01 pm:

    It’s not correct to say that Medicaid is mostly paid for by the feds, even with the enhanced match. The problem is, if you cut the state’s Medicaid spending, you lose the federal dollars. So you start a budget death spiral — you cut state spending, lose federal match, less money available, so you have to cut more, and so on.


  7. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 4:02 pm:

    You have to learn to walk before you run. Brady should probably polish up that 17-year legislative accomplishments answer (Heartland College and, um, and ……………..) before he starts taking budget questions.


  8. - Anonymous - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 4:06 pm:

    @Cinci:

    The problem is that Brady’s so called cuts are also a “farce” b/c he has absolutely no idea what he is doing with regard to the budget. Quinn doesn’t either, so we’re screwed no matter what the outcome.

    Also, what other “significant pension reform” do you want besides to the newly implemented two-tiered system. You can’t change the plans for current employees. It is unconstitutional. Period. I don’t care what that wacky law firm in Chicago says. I would bet my pay for the rest of my life, my house, and any other possession that pensions are guaranteed by the constitution. Move on to another solution.


  9. - Demoralized - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 4:07 pm:

    Sorry, the comment above was from me. Wasn’t trying to hide.


  10. - just sayin' - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 4:11 pm:

    Wow, a $50 billion bond deal. Imagine the “consulting” fees for GOP fat cats this time! lol

    The last one was only $10 billion and look at all the greed that unleashed.

    Bob Kjellander, please call your office.


  11. - Whatever - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 4:24 pm:

    So now Quinn is for term limits? What a phony — he’s a perpetual candidate who’s been on the public payroll forever. What about eliminating the Lt. Gov.’s office? I’m sure Quinn can tell us how worthless the job is, unless you’re No. 1 gets impeached and removed from office.


  12. - Rich Miller - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 4:26 pm:

    Whatever, he’s been for term limits forever. As for lt. guv, he adamantly opposes getting rid of the office.


  13. - jake - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 4:35 pm:

    Term limits are a terrible idea. And even if they weren’t, why on earth is Quinn bringing them up now? I am a supporter of him, but he drives me crazy. Every time I start to feel a little better about his campaign, he goes off message in some stupid way.

    Oh well, Sheila Simon over Jason Plummer—-now that is a clear choice about which I have no reservations.


  14. - Give Me A Break - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 4:37 pm:

    When it comes to code departments like DCFS and DHS, much of their GRF funding cannot be cut due to concent decrees they operate under. As Rod, then Quinn found out, you try and cut those programs, the courts will tell you you are not touching those programs. And no, not all the concent orders came under Democrat rein.


  15. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 4:39 pm:

    You can smell the meat-a-cooking with the pension bond deal. Isn’t fiscal hawk Brady against more borrowing?


  16. - vole - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 5:09 pm:

    So the 10% across the board is out. If Brady gets in, I think (fear) his proposals will translate into 50% cuts to some agencies and departments, including some that have already been downsized considerably. At some point, viability and functionality are gone.


  17. - steve schnorf - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 5:23 pm:

    $50B (or more) in bonds may well be the only remote possibility of dealing with the existing unfunded liabilities.


  18. - Downstate - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 5:32 pm:

    Let the cuts begin. Actually, let the reorganizations, privatizing, and a general rethinking of what we do and why we do it begin.

    Other states deal with their problems. Illinois pushes them down the road.

    As the great Jeremiah Wright has bellowed, the chickens are coming home to roost.


  19. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 5:42 pm:

    Schnorf, you may be right, but it’s way out of tune with the Brady hymnal.

    Consider a couple of bullet points from the official website, under “Protecting Taxpayers,” “The Bill Brady Commitment,” “action plan.”

    –Balancing the budget without relying on more crippling borrowing.

    –In the past year, as Illinois borrows and borrows and doesn’t come up with a solution to overspending, the state’s bond rating has been lowered. Bill Brady’s action plan will stop the borrowing and upgrade our rating.

    I’m waiting with wondrous anticipation on how the “action plan” stops the borrowing and upgrades the ratings. Except, it appears he’s done a 180 and wants to go all-out for borrowing.

    Needs to update that website.


  20. - Retired State Employee - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 5:49 pm:

    Well, at least HFS is doing their part, switching to Century Gothic to save toner and ink. ;-)


  21. - ShadyBillBrady - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 5:57 pm:

    The reason Quinn is bringing up the term limits, jake, is because Brady is RUNNING on them. Have you seen his ads? Listened to him? Quinn is pointing out that Brady is a hyprocrite. Pay attention and try to keep up.


  22. - cassandra - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 6:10 pm:

    One way to reduce costs is to improve agency management and functioning.

    DCFS’ new federal grant is designed to help the agency find ways of reducing the number of kids who languish in foster care and fail to achieve permanency expeditiously…or at all. Illinois has always struggled with reunification and permanency targets and is probably still suffering from the reverberations of Illinois’ foster care panic of the 1980’s and 1990’s.

    There is a consent decree, but if the service population goes down, as it should, the judge is not going to order that the same amount of money be allocated regardless of conditions. Good management really does save $$$$ even in the public sector.


  23. - jake - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 6:17 pm:

    To ShadyBillBrady—

    Ouch! I have been paying attention, honest! I just don’t think this is a really winning issue for Quinn. And even if it is, why should Quinn point to Madigan as an example? I don’t understand why any Democrat would point to Madigan as an example of an entrenched boss when Madigan’s caucus has been all over the map on important votes. Tom Cross, on the other hand, enforces an iron discipline on his caucus, even to the point of stripping Bill Black of his leadership on the pension funding vote. By comparison to Cross, Madigan lets a thousand flowers bloom.


  24. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 6:45 pm:

    A 50 BILLION DOLLAR PENSION BOND?

    The General Assembly giving Blago the stupid pension bond and kicking the can down the road and refusing to raise taxes is what set the table for the current deficit mess.

    I know Brady says he wants to run Illinois like a business, but does he know that unlike a business Illinois can’t exactly declare bankruptcy?


  25. - bored now - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 6:46 pm:

    i rarely get involved in these discussions, and haven’t a clue why i am now, but we all need to realize that it is going to take a long time to get ourselves out of the mess that we’re in, regardless of who wins. what *i’d* like to see (understanding that neither party will do it) is a long-range plan that actually reaches some modicum of consensus among the legislators and the governor. not simply one session or one budget cycle, but a ten or fifteen year plan that provides a roadmap for stability and reasonableness. that’s the quandary that blagojevich left us with all the tricks and accounting gimmicks. granted, other states used them, too, but it’s time to realize this crap doesn’t work.

    to my mind, pat quinn is clearly superior — first because he’s at least been honest about the problem and isn’t going to rely (exclusively) on the tricks and gimmicks that got us into this mess. and, secondly, he has enough integrity to not try to squeeze government for his own personal gain. brady has, and there isn’t another state in the land who wouldn’t have referred brady to their ethics committee for his votes for private personal gain in the legislature. it’s truly disgusting. again, i realize that this is the illinois way, but that doesn’t mean i like it. we should be better than that. we *can* be better than that. we just have a long road to hoe…


  26. - Park - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 6:49 pm:

    FINALLY. An original idea by PQ. Now if these new wacky polls are right, and you’re elected, you’ve got something to work on…..new leadership in the GA. Go for it, man.


  27. - anonymouse - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 6:54 pm:

    Carla Oglesby., Stroger’s spokesperson arrested as she leaves work. Looks like a cook county investigation. Can the federal investigation of Stroger be far behind? This one bears watching closely.


  28. - railrat - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 7:21 pm:

    Geesh Brady your using all of Lauzens sign locations you’d think you ask his advise on pensions!!


  29. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 7:36 pm:

    If Brady is pressed on this $50 billion POB, I hope someone asks whether it would be a competitive or negotiated deal.

    The bond gurus will tell you that muni finance is so vanilla there’s no real need for negotiated deals, except as a bipartisan source of pinstripe patronage.


  30. - Tim - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 8:15 pm:

    G. Hinz has his own political agenda, he’ll never give Brady, or the GOP any slack.


  31. - dave - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 8:35 pm:

    G. Hinz has his own political agenda, he’ll never give Brady, or the GOP any slack.

    When you can’t attack the message (because it is true), attack the messenger?


  32. - VanillaMan - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 8:38 pm:

    Quinn has failed as governor. Why would anyone elect a failure? Because Brady has proposed plans that don’t sound fiscally possible? Because Whitney isn’t either Republican or Democrat? Because Cohen beat his wife and had roid rage?

    The current governor is a loser. Trying to justify voting for a loser by claiming the other guys are even bigger losers is a stupid way to justify voting for Quinn.

    We know what Quinn can’t do. Govern. It is time to pick someone else and stop settling for a guy who has repeatedly shown he cannot do the job.

    Honestly people - it is this kind of ideological nonsense that has gotten us in this deep already.

    Stop pretending Quinn has suddenly found magical powers he has never had!


  33. - Hamburgler - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 9:04 pm:

    Vanilla man, You must be a real huge winner in the real world. I bet you are way smarter and more accomplished than Pat Quinn. Give me a break — Quinn got the capital bill done, he got pension reform, and he got recall on the ballot. But I bet you and Bill Brady have much bigger accomplishments to tout. Please share them. And enough with the name calling. It’s childish.


  34. - Richard Afflis - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 9:05 pm:

    Thank you VanillaMan!
    Finally a voice of reason has entered the fray. Quinn has had opportunity and he squandered it. My pain threshold is such to give someone else a chance. And Brady has made a better case than Quinn has anyway. Expand the economy by attracting new business. Support the business that is here. Create JOBS, that brings new income that we did not have before the JOBS that brings in new revenue. How hard is that?


  35. - Hamburgler - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 9:12 pm:

    Mr. Afflis, get a clue. The audience here isn’t going to swallow the “attract new business…create new jobs - it’s so simple!” pablum. Also - how about naming one real big accomplishment Senator B has achieved in his 17 years in Springfield? Please.


  36. - Richard Afflis - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 9:16 pm:

    Ummm…..
    Heartland College.
    Now that I have named Brady’s big accomplishment, how about naming one of Obama’s accomplishments before he became president.
    I voted for him. I do not regret voting for him. I think he is doing the best anyone can do sitting in his chair- and I do not think the same of Quinn.
    Go ahead hamburglar.


  37. - Norseman - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 9:31 pm:

    “Quinn accomplishments” - Get a clue Hamburgler. The recall is a joke, which is the only reason the Democrat leadership in the General Assembly allowed it to pass. The capital and pension reform measures were passed because Cullerton and Madigan needed something positive to help their incumbents run for re-election.


  38. - Emily Booth - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 9:32 pm:

    Senator Brady spent 17 yrs in Springfield? So, is he vested in the Legislative Assembly Pension Fund? :)


  39. - dave - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 10:07 pm:

    Heartland College.

    You mean the Heartland College that started (1991) before Brady was a legislator (1993)? That would be a pretty impressive legislative success. Actually, it would be unheard of for a legislator to have such success before becoming a legislator.

    By the way… what does Bill Brady have to do with Barack Obama, other than they played poker together.


  40. - Richard Afflis - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 10:16 pm:

    Legislative accomplishments.


  41. - dumb ol' country boy - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 10:47 pm:

    How about we cut legislators and there ties to lobbyist and money from big unions and big business. Folks the big unions want to represent all state employees, you know why? They want their cut of the all mighty dollar as well. Check out those salaries of the union bosses and their tax free expense accounts. Wake up people it’s all about the almighty dollar. Most state employees pay approx. $50 per month in union dues. Add that up, at approx 40,000 union employees (educated guess) thats a lot of money per month getting split by the local, state, and national unions. Over a years time that 24 million dollars collect in union dues, heck with that kind of money I could buy a lot of votes huh?
    Hey next we go and cut some state employees, reduce the head count, which in certain agencies the has grown, because Quinn is still creating job titles for his cronies. Do the homework Rich..
    I guess they way I look at things is I, as a taxpayer, would like to see the government try a across the board cut in lieu of just increasing my taxes. I pulled out my pay stubs today, the last 4 years to be exact, and the amount of money taken from by check for the feds tax has nearly doubled in 4 years, as for the state it has increased approx. 25%. And then I wonder to myself, with all of this big gov going on around me, is it necessary, really needed? And why would I support a canadidate who wants to take more from me and my family? To do what with? To expand more government? Why? Why does it appear people want more governemnt when it continually messes up and then costs taxpayers more money in the end. Why?


  42. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 11:25 pm:

    This post isn’t about Obama but just to satisfy you Richard so we can return to talk about ILLINOIS POLITICS. If you asked Obama about his Springfield legislative accomplishments (I think he got there AFTER Bill Brady) he’d probably say:

    -Helped pass gift ban act
    -Expanded earned income tax credit
    -Got videotaped confessions bill through
    -Got bill on racial profiling passed
    -worked on state’s bills implementing welfare reform and setting up TANF

    Now back to your comment on Brady…

    “Expand the economy by attracting new business. Support the business that is here. Create JOBS, that brings new income that we did not have before the JOBS that brings in new revenue. How hard is that?”

    It’s actually VERY hard for a governor to create jobs in a bad economy.

    And given that Brady hasn’t figured out how to create jobs in his own businesses in recent years but has actually been laying people off, what reason should I think he is suddenly going to be so great at creating jobs in the state as governor?

    And VMan accuses people voting for Quinn of thinking he has “magical powers”?


  43. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Oct 4, 10 @ 11:50 pm:

    “I pulled out my pay stubs today, the last 4 years to be exact, and the amount of money taken from by check for the feds tax has nearly doubled in 4 years, as for the state it has increased approx. 25%”

    I’m sorry, but what?

    Neither the state or the federal income tax rates have increased in the last four years.


  44. - Returning Dog - Tuesday, Oct 5, 10 @ 1:21 am:

    “Well, at least HFS is doing their part, switching to Century Gothic to save toner and ink. ;-) ”

    ROTFL! Century Gothic? The font that’s 20% longer than Arial (more paper) and harder to read so you need a larger font, so it probably nets out the same as more readable fonts? That Century Gothic?


  45. - Newsclown - Tuesday, Oct 5, 10 @ 7:30 am:

    People are going to hold their noses and vote Quinn because Brady can’t show a believable alternative plan, just slogans, and his resume is not all that flashy, compared to the tidal wave of stuff Quinn has backed over the years. Sure, a lot of that tidal wave could be considered “fluff”, but every piece of it is meaningful to some constituency.


  46. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Oct 5, 10 @ 8:11 am:

    So now we have confirmed NoTaxBill’s numbers do not add up….that means the usual GOP bait and switch on taxes is right around the corner.
    Cut min wage
    frreze teacher pay
    right to wor
    RxRon
    McPier Kink
    Tax Hike

    that should be the end of the story for NoTaxBill & Co.


  47. - zatoichi - Tuesday, Oct 5, 10 @ 8:21 am:

    So Brady is talking potential $50B bond and he had not been told some parts of the budget cannot be touched so other parts may have to be cut 20%+ to reach his 10% cut target average. His years of GA experience have clearly given him a deep understanding of economics.


  48. - Sick of the Status Quo - Tuesday, Oct 5, 10 @ 10:59 am:

    Promises, promises, from another batch of career politicians. Illinois voters need to wake up. Brady or Quinn, it does not matter. Either way, taxes will go up, borrowing will increase, the state will continue to renege on promises to communities, and jobs will continue to flee. Lex Green from the Libertarian Party is the only candidate in this race to have put together a proposed budget for the next fiscal year, a budget that immediately cuts $10.5 billion out of state spending, a budget that makes cuts that are very deep but very targeted. And despite all of the talk of transparency from the other candidates, only the Libertarians have put their budget online. You might not agree with all of his cuts, but at least you know what you’ll be getting. It is time for Illinois voters to realize that there is another choice. www.ElectLex.com


  49. - R Truth - Tuesday, Oct 5, 10 @ 10:10 pm:

    Mr. Brady states that he will run Illinois like he runs his private business. However, he paid no taxes because of financial losses in his private business. Very interesting point to ponder isn’t it.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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        * Springfield lawmakers want oversight commission to monitor 10th Street rail promises
        * Springfield gaming terminal up 46 percent in 2014; revenue hits $1M
        * Springfield gaming terminals up 46 percent in 2014; revenue hits $1M
        * Rauner among nation's top donors in 2014 elections
        * Lawmaker proposes bill to ban convicted terrorists from teaching
        * Police reform bills spurred by recent deaths, racial unrest
        * State's tax revenue from video gambling more than doubles
        * Report: Illinois marijuana market could reach $36M in 2016
        * Rauner: 'Right to work zones' are first-year priority
        * Rauner previews 'right to work zones' as first-year priority

        * Wall Street throws a farewell party for McD's Don Thompson
        * Professor who lost University of Illinois job offer sues
        * Illinois professor who lost job offer after tweets sues
        * McD's move erodes ranks of black CEOs
        * In a high-tech world, this retro toy entrepreneur is veering analog


          * CTU's Karen Lewis says 'We have other places we can fight'
          * Potentially thousands of Palatine, Fremd students get nude email
          * As Romney weighs '16 bid, some past donors in Chicago commit to Jeb Bush
          * Steven Salaita sues U. of I. over lost job
          * Woman admits false rescue call, then denies guilt after court
          * 'Squirrel truth' ads debut on CTA
          * Steven Salaita sues U. of I. over lost job
          * Cops: Charges filed in September shooting
          * 4 middle school students facing charges following 'sex party'
          * Chicago Public Library will offer 3 locations for WiFi lending program


          * Meet The New Springfield Area Arts Council Director
          * Court Rejects Request To Delay Pension Case
          * Art Beat: Pirates, Local Tunes & Movies Galore
          * Let's Talk Kids - "Golden Stories"
          * Jacksonville Girl Shares Story Of Brother's Death To Help Others
          * Rauner High On List of "Sugar Daddies Of State Politics"
          * Graying Illinois
          * Let's Talk Kids - "Reading To Babies"
          * House Rules Break Bipartisanship
          * "This I Believe" Essay Contest Deadline Is Jan. 29


          * Springfield lawmakers want oversight commission to monitor 10th Street rail promises
          * Our View: Dawdling on medical marijuana extends suffering for Illinois' severely ill
          * Stanford Levin: Nuclear power plant closures could hurt Illinois consumers
          * Bernard Schoenburg: Kaitschuk leaves pork producers to join Rauner team
          * Eugene Robinson: Hillary stands alone
          * Quote of the Day: Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015
          * Springfield gaming terminal up 46 percent in 2014; revenue hits $1M
          * Rauner among nation's top donors in 2014 elections
          * Lawmaker proposes bill to ban convicted terrorists from teaching
          * Police reform bills spurred by recent deaths, racial unrest


          * Iowa Senate panel advances early school start bill
          * Signing Day nearly here
          * Charles 'Chuck' Parks
          * Steven Salaita, attorneys discuss lawsuit against UI
          * Trial postponed for Belleville man in needles-in-meat case
          * Salaita files federal lawsuit against UI
          * Should 3 Madison County school districts be consolidated? Voters to decide on April 7
          * Voters to decide whether Madison County school districts will be consolidated
          * Chance of drizzle with falling temps this afternoon
          * Man, 48, dies after hit by car


          * AuctionWorks.com offers online bidding of luxury homes with local team
          * Elk Grove group sends 5,000 pizzas to Afghanistan
          * Crash closes Roosevelt Road at Fabyan Parkway in West Chicago
          * Vernon Hills woman denies setting garbage fire in park while out on bail on similar charges
          * Auburn opens 2015 Louisville schedule featuring 7 bowl teams

          * Shimkus votes to prohibit taxpayer funding...
          * Congressman visits WVC to talk bills, comm...
          * Subcommittee Continues Work Toward Pro-Job...
          * On 42nd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Shimku...
          * Shimkus Votes for No Taxpayer Funding for ...
          * Shimkus: 'We Need to Get This Monkey Off O...
          * 'More limited' TSCA measure expected in US...
          * Shimkus nominates two from Highland to ser...
          * Illinois congressmen urge NGA to construct...
          * Congressman Shimkus seeks Valentines for m...

          * Bill would end all restrictions on travel ......
          * Milbank: GOP misjudges Loretta Lynch...
          * Ark. senator joins colleagues to introduce......
          * Senators unveil legislation to lift all tr......
          * The Human Cost Of Taking Away The Presiden......

          * Senate panel approves Iran sanctions bill...
          * Senate panel approves Iran sanctions to ta......
          * Iran sanctions bill advances...
          * Coming up short...
          * Sanctions bill founders again on Obama vet......

          * Chicago Housing Activists Protest At Citibank To Save A Rogers Park 'Community House'
          * O'Hare Catering Workers Kick Off 'Nickel A Ticket' Affordable Health Care Campaign
          * State Rep. Been: College of Dupage board betrayed the trust of the community
          * State Rep. Breen: College of Dupage board betrayed the trust of the community
          * Aldermanic Candidate Forum In Chicago's 33rd Ward
          * Study: Several U.S. Corporations 'Fleecing' Uncle Sam, Spending More On CEOs
          * LaHood: Caterpillar prime example of need for right to work in Illinois
          * Lawmakers look to emancipate students in the Land of Lincoln
          * The Weekend In Chicago Rock
          * 5 of the top 50 donors to state races were in Illinois


          * 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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