* My wife was in an auto accident a little over a month ago. Nobody was hurt, but our car was crunched but good. She picked up the car today in Chicago and said it looked brand new, which is good since it’s not even a year old. She loves that car and she’s ecstatic right now, so this one’s for Wasan…
Honey, it ain’t your money
Baby, I got plenty of that
The parent of the Chicago Board Options Exchange has held talks with a number of governors and state officials about a possible move of its headquarters to another state after Illinois raised its tax rate, providing another challenge to the city’s status as the self-styled “derivatives capital of the world.”
January’s tax increase is seen increasing CBOE Holdings Inc.’s (CBOE) state tax bill by a quarter. Chicago-based CME Group Inc. (CME), the world’s largest futures exchange operator, is also talking about relocating its headquarters.
“We’ve had a series of meetings with people in this state and outside this state,” said Bill Brodsky, chairman and chief executive of CBOE, in an interview. “The bottom line is that we don’t want to leave Illinois, but the structure that exists as it relates to exchanges is virtually punitive.” […]
Chicago’s derivatives exchanges form the nucleus of a broader financial services sector that is also being hit by the tax rise, said Brodsky. The trading business is estimated to employ around 120,000 people in the city, and has expanded to fill the gap left by the decline of its manufacturing base. […]
“Our goal is to find a way that will remove the punitive aspects that will allow us not to move operations out,” Brodsky said. “Hopefully we will come to a solution, but if not we have many other alternatives.”
It may already be too late, but I really think we need to seriously consider repealing that corporate income tax hike.
You’d probably better set aside more money in your budget to fight a blizzard of lawsuits over your planned facility closures…
Among the potential roadblocks is a statute designating the Chester Mental Health Center as the state’s sole facility for treating certain kinds of violence-prone residents. The governor wants to move the residents to an existing facility in Alton.
In addition, moving nearly 2,000 inmates out of the Logan Correctional Center will cause additional overcrowding in the state’s already cramped prison system, potentially opening up the state to an inmate lawsuit. […]
In addition to requiring statutory changes allowing Alton to begin serving Chester residents, mental health advocate Mark Heyrman, a facilitor for the Chicago-based Mental Health Summit, said state laws limit how Quinn can use the savings he says he will get from closing the three centers.
* Dear Tammy Duckworth,
It’s “Dick” with a “D.” Try to remember that the next time you send out a fundraising e-mail…
…Adding… But this Duckworth campaign e-mail update ain’t bad at all…
Here’s the good news: when we totaled it up at lunch yesterday, we realized that Tammy has raised $386,504 for the primary from over 2,000 people.
* Dear Community Unit School District 300,
If Sears moves its headquarters because the company’s local economic development area authorization is allowed to expire, you’re gonna get even less tax money…
“EDA is not the way.”
Allison Strupeck, director of communication services in Community Unit School District 300 admitted, “I’ve been thinking a little too much about what the slogans might be.”
Those are slogans Strupeck said she hopes to see and hear soon around the Carpentersville-area school district as it treads into uncharted waters to stop the extension of the EDA — economic development area — special property tax status around Sears’ Prairie Stone corporate headquarters in Hoffman Estates.
District 300 is working with students, staff, parents, community groups and legislators to remove an amendment to Illinois Senate Bill 540 that would extend the EDA past its expiration in mid-2012. That’s because those tax incentives hand about $14 million in tax dollars each year that would go to District 300 instead to the EDA generally bordered by I-90, Route 72, Beverly Road and Prairie Stone Parkway, school district officials say.
What kind of person calls 911 because his wife locked him out of the house after she discovered on Christmas morning that he was allegedly having an affair with their neighbor? Yeah, she threw stuff at you, but, sheesh dude, couldn’t you just walk away, perhaps to that very same neighbor’s house?
* Dear Chicago Tea Party honcho Steve Stevlic, who is co-hosting this weekend’s TeaCon 2011 event,
In retrospect, I’m sure you would agree that it probably wasn’t a good idea to taunt Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. after his marital problems were exposed when you yourself had been busted two months earlier by the coppers for soliciting the services of a, um, woman of the evening.
It’s fantastic that you weren’t convicted after you agreed to attend a rehab program. Here’s hoping that you’re a better person now. And I mean that without any snark in my heart. But you still might wanna try to keep a low profile during the upcoming festivities.
In Illinois, budget belt-tightening has a whole different meaning than is generally understood.
With the state effectively bankrupt, should top state elected officials be handing out pay raises to their staffs? […]
Here [is the reasoning]: The raises were given because employees took on new, more serious duties; the pay raises were given as a matter of equity because the employees had been previously underpaid; and the raises were given to nonunion employees because union employees had received raises.
Those explanations are reasonable. What’s unreasonable is handing out any raises in these offices when the state is effectively broke.
A floundering private business could never get away with this kind of money management. In the private sector, having no money means having no money. In the public sector, that doesn’t seem to be a problem — at least not in Illinois.
This is a bit like the class valedictorian and student council president getting caught phoning in a bomb threat as a prank on their high school. Here we have the lone Republican constitutional officers, the ones who have preached fiscal responsibility to the point of advocating combining their offices to save money, doing the very thing that so drives taxpayers and good government groups crazy. […]
Sure, we get the excuses: Pay equity. Promotions. Adjusting for new duties, etc. But some of the raises handed out by Rutherford and Topinka seem at most excessive and at the very least, tone-deaf.
It doesn’t help public perception that news about these raises arrives only with help from the Freedom of Information Act or by good-government groups sifting through state data.
All the excuses in the world aren’t going to do anything to assuage voter anger, especially since some voters haven’t had raises in many years, and in many cases have seen pay and benefits shrink. Add in the fact that we are paying more taxes to help the state out of a fiscal crisis, and this move isn’t going to do anything to stem the ire when terms are up.
They all have excuses and explanations for the new jobs and the big raises. But no way should they be doing this in the midst of a fiscal crisis. They’re supposed to be leading us out of this mess, but instead they are adding to the problem.
* The Question: Are editorial boards overreacting to these raises for non-union employees? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please. Thanks.
Prominent experts in utility regulation are speaking out about Senate Bill 1652 (Electric Infrastructure Modernization Act).
Here’s what they are saying:
“ComEd is the only utility proposing legislation that includes performance standards linking utility investments to service reliability improvements. SB 1652 establishes a new era of accountability to consumers and serves as a national model.”
- John Kelly, Galvin Electricity Initiative
“(SB 1652) is an innovative approach to setting electricity rates that is compatible with good regulation, market realities and the goal to modernize Illinois’ electric grid.”
- Ken Costello, former regulator, principal at the National Regulatory Research Institute
“Changing regulatory policy is not easy, nor should it be. But this bill represents one opportunity for Illinois to shape policy that protects consumers, spurs needed investment in a fragile grid and creates much-needed jobs.”
- Ray Romero, former commissioner at the Illinois Commerce Commission
“The long term success of a digital grid requires that we free ourselves of outdated thinking and stereotypes, and embrace innovation as we have in so many other facets of every day life.
- David O’Brien, former Vermont Commissioner of Public Service
By phone this week, Paige told NBC Chicago she had raised questions herself about the expenditure omissions.
Thirdly, Billie Paige has been one of Braun’s best friends for decades. To make these accusations now is inexcusable. Paige has defended Braun through thick and thin, and there’s been plenty of both over the years.
And, lastly, Ms. Paige is not a senile old woman. Far from it. To suggest that this problem was caused by Paige’s age and lack mental acuity is just flat-out disgusting and wrong. She’s still as sharp as a tack. The real problem was a wholly disorganized and disjointed campaign apparatus created by Braun’s total incompetence. Nobody knew what was going on from minute to minute because Braun thought she knew best. She didn’t.
Carol Braun ran a terrible campaign, and these financial reporting problems are further proof of this fact. Thankfully, she has finally been exposed as the horribly disorganized, mean-spirited person many of us have long known her to be.
It was obvious to all of us who knew her that Paige realized early on that she’d made the biggest mistake of her life by convincing Braun to run for mayor. It weighed on her heavily, and probably broke her heart.
And now this. The final insult, and a total crock to boot.