* There’s nothing like waiting until the last minute, eh? Sheesh…
Dozens of top state officials could be booted from their posts later this month under a new law originally designed to fumigate state government in the aftermath of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s ouster.
On Oct. 25, an estimated 90 agency heads, various university trustees and members of a number of state boards and commissions face an uncertain future when a deadline expires on their terms. […]
The law limits the ability of appointees to serve for more than 60 days past the effective date of the new act, which is Oct. 25. To avoid a break in service, the governor could rename all of the members before Oct. 25. He also could name them as acting appointments. Or, he could name new people to those positions. […]
Rikeesha Phelon, spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said the governor has not communicated his intentions.
“We assume we’ll get a big stack of reappointments and appointments on Oct. 24,” Phelon said.
* Meanwhile, for this kind of money, we could send all these kids to the best private boarding schools in the world and have money left over to pay their tuition and expenses at Harvard…
Unlike the state’s overcrowded adult prisons, Illinois’ juvenile facilities are operating at just 68 percent capacity. The number of juveniles sent to them is dropping — from an average daily population of 1,603 a day in fiscal 2005 to 1,113 in fiscal 2011.
As the numbers have decreased, the per-bed costs have skyrocketed. In Murphysboro, which operated at about 40 percent capacity, the estimated cost to house just one youth in fiscal 2010 was $142,342 a year. Yikes.
The girls’ facility at Pere Marquette near Alton has an even more outrageous cost of $215,750 per youth. Quinn wanted to close that facility in 2009, then backed off because of public pressure.
Leigh Ann Stephens, executive director, DuPage Center for Independent Living, in an Aug. 17 letter asking for payment:
“The bank has declined a line of credit, despite a track record of strong fiscal management, not one single year ending in the red for the last 20 years. Their reason for this reduction was that the state is our major funding source.”
* Oh, man…
In one of the more egregious cases, the city stopped making payments into the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund for 10 years to free up money to pursue Daley’s school reform agenda. Now the teachers’ pension fund is reeling. In 2014, when a pension holiday negotiated by the Daley administration ends, the Chicago Public Schools’ contributions into the fund will triple to nearly $700 million, equaling the size of this year’s budget deficit.
* A little late, perhaps?…
The Democratic-led Legislature needs to reel in government pensions on its own during the upcoming fall veto session and not expect any financial lifeline from Washington, a group of leading congressional Republicans said in a letter Sunday to the four legislative leaders and Gov. Pat Quinn.
“We can say with clarity: There will be no legislative bailouts from the U.S. House of Representatives. The federal government is already borrowing over 40 cents of every dollar it spends — a sad reality House Republicans are working to correct. Given that incredible fiscal weight and the pressures facing many other states in our Union, the federal government cannot be expected to take on these additional obligations,” the joint statement from 19 House Republicans read. […]
The communiqué follows a statement from Quinn’s administration last February that it intended to seek “a federal guarantee of the debt” of the pension systems, though no such bailout of the pension systems that are $85 billion underwater has been initiated by the governor since then. […]
“The authors of this letter failed to note the following statement made in February by the governor: ‘Notwithstanding any media reports to the contrary, the state of Illinois has not and does not intend to request any federal guarantee of any of its bonds,’” said Kelly Kraft, spokeswoman for the Governors Office of Management and Budget.
* This is strange…
Like many homeowners these days, Victor and Yvonne Delia stood to lose a lot — about $90,000 — when they sold their townhouse near Midway Airport five months ago.
Instead, the two retired Chicago police officers managed to walk away with a 23 percent profit — thanks to property taxes collected from 61,145 of their fellow Southwest Side homeowners.
The Delias benefited from a law Illinois legislators passed in 1988 to curb white flight in Chicago’s bungalow belt. The law offered homeowners a guarantee: They wouldn’t lose money if they sold their home even if property values declined.
But there was a catch: No one was supposed to profit if their property values went down because of a national housing slump — as has happened in Chicago the past several years.
Still, some, like the Delias, have ended up profiting, while others aren’t getting paid at all.
The article’s headline is: “Taxpayer money set aside to curb white flight helped some flee city.” But, of course.
* And what the heck?…
Soon after Northwestern University professor Robert Fourer entered into a civil union, he did what many others in newly recognized relationships have done: He applied to add his partner to his health insurance.
But Northwestern denied his request because his partner is a woman.
The university’s top-tier PPO insurance plan is available to same-sex partners in a civil union, but not to heterosexual couples in the same type of legal relationship. Male-female partners are eligible only for the university’s HMO plan — unless they marry, in which case they can pick either plan.
* Other stuff…
* Deadbeat Illinois: Cash-strapped state deliberately waits to pay its bills as residents suffer
* $700,000 state debt to CWLP a big improvement
* State debt to pension funds ‘much better’
* Official takes another slap - County board cuts $9,000 regional school chief’s budget
* Dixon Mayor Speaks Out Concerning Plan to Close Local Mental Heath Center
* School districts feel pinch of transportation funding cuts
* Editorial: Quinn’s veto pen is not a budget panacea