SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Today’s Number: $13,680 a year

Wednesday, Dec 19, 2012

* One of the things I talked about in my City Club speech yesterday was the fact that the pension reform debate has been far too heavily dominated by people who blame the scammers for all the problems. All the major media outlets have run stories about how this or that person was able to scam a really sweet pension deal.

Lost in this debate, though, is the very hardcore fact that in many ways we’re talking about giving the shaft to little old ladies who depend on their monthly pension checks.

* So, I called the State Employees’ Retirement System today to ask a question: What’s the average pension of female state retirees age 80 and above?

The answer: $1,140 per month, which works out to an average annual retirement pension of $13,680.

Keep in mind that the General Assembly has also passed a law which allows the state to slash its subsidy of retiree health insurance premiums.

Also keep in mind that, according to SERS, quite a few, if not most of those women probably didn’t enroll in Social Security when they were working for the state. So, their pension check is all they have.

According to SERS, there are 4,790 such women currently drawing retirement pensions.

* Meanwhile, a coalition of labor unions has said its members will put more money into the pension systems in order to help preserve benefits for retirees

The group said it would be willing to put in 2 percent of their salaries, which equals about $350 million, toward their retirements - a percentage point higher than one proposal before legislators - and warned lawmakers to end borrowing to pay pension obligations.

“Public employees have said time and again that we are willing to do our part to aid in the stabilization of pension funding,” the report said. “We will only do so, however, if there is an ironclad guarantee that the state will fulfill its funding responsibilities.” […]

The group’s proposals for bringing in more revenue include closing tax loopholes, like reforming corporate tax expenditures and getting rid of some tax credits and incentives. The group cites several including repealing corporate tax breaks Quinn offered to CME Group Inc. and CBOE Holdings Inc. last year after they threatened to leave the state.

The coalition also called for a summit in January with lawmakers where unions could participate.

* Related…

* The Ghosts of Illinois Pensions Past

* Lawmakers making pension pitch - Rank-and-file members frustrated with process offer a bipartisan approach

* VIDEO: Lessons from Rhode Island: Gina Raimondo Talks Pension Reform

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - M Smith - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:17 pm:

    Very pro-reform but I thought they were proposing tiers for the premiums & the cuts would not be for those with lower incomes. Agree with no social security $1,100 is not much. People over 80 likely were not ever aware of the problems pensions would be facing in 2012 & have no recourse.

  2. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:26 pm:

    – One of the things I talked about in my City Club speech yesterday was the fact that the pension reform debate has been far too heavily dominated by people who blame the scammers for all the problems–

    That crew, the Tribbies and Ty’s Guys, have an agenda, which is to pull their own scams to weasel out of the state’s contractual responsibilities.

    The chosen way to do that is to play on everyone’s victimization complex; you’re getting, hosed, you shouldn’t be responsible.

  3. - Cook County Commoner - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:42 pm:

    No one is talking about shafting smaller pensions, at least I hope not. When my last employer went belly up, its pension plan was taken over by the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Fund which paid pensions up to about $43,000.00 per year. We taxpayors may be willing to backstop government employee pensions up to a certain amount so long as the whole system is abolished. However, I will not back stop the Illinois State Legislator Pension to the tune of almost $25,000.00 per year being presently paid to US Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and others like her.
    And now double dippers like Schakowsky want to lower the CPI on Social Security via a “chained” CPI while she likely enjoys a 3% COLA on the state pension she is currently receiving on top of a generous Congressional salary? Try and get an on the record comment from her on this.
    What’s galling to many is the cavalier approach of politicians to private sector retirement (lower Social Security, work longer, expect less in general) but the resistance to change the gold plated retirement security to the “new aristicracy” of federal, state and local governemt elected officials and employees nationwide.
    The most recent Illinois Department of Insurance report on the over 600 IL state, county and local government employee pensions shows over 1 million active retirees and vested employees in the state. And the number is growing.
    Better wake up out there folks. These entitlements will squeeze the remaing quality of life of life out of Illinois in a lot less time than the massaged numbers being fed to us indicate.

  4. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:46 pm:

    ===No one is talking about shafting smaller pensions===

    You must not be from here.

    Then again, you’re right, nobody wants to talk about it, but that’s still part of the overall plan.

  5. - Lil Squeezy - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:53 pm:

    $1,400 a month, more than $16,000 a year!!!? Seems excessive.

    There was a time in my life where it would have been impossible to say that, even as a joke. I just wasn’t brought up that way.

    To be fair, HB 6258 provides reductions to annuities in excess of $25,000 a year. And we can all agree $25,001 a year is excessive. I feel terrible.

    To be fair, we could pretend HB 6258 doesn’t really reduce many $25,000 annuities by that much and go after those people earning $35,000 annuities. Those people make me sick.

  6. - Ahoy! - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:54 pm:

    Is this the average for those who retired with a full pension? I’m always a little skeptical when averages are discussed since people who only worked a couple years would bring that number down. So my question is, what’s the average pension for someone who received a full pension or nearly full. It would be good to take the outliers at both the top and bottom and then get a good number. Surely this would be easy to do for the pension systems.

    And yes, Chicago millionaires should stop blaming public employees.

  7. - wert - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:55 pm:

    We need another constitutional amendment. One which forces the State to pay its share every year. They’ve ignored every other law. I wouldn’t give 2% more of may paycheck to people who have never lived up to a deal in the past.

  8. - geronimo - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:58 pm:

    Thank you Rich. Keep informing.

  9. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 1:04 pm:

    Don’t fall into the thicket of statistics. The median, (which is a better measure) is higher than the average. Another way to look at the data would be to ask what the average pension is for people retiring in 2011 and 2012. The annual payments are quite a bit higher now than 20 or 30 years ago.

    One thing that is lost in all the discussions is that the salaries of the oldest who are on pensions were really quite modest for the time they were working. That results in a small pension. As the salaries have risen to be on par with the private sector, the pensions being paid to today’s retirees is much higher.

    I would support a freeze on any benefit reductions for pensioners collecting a pension below some sort of threshold. 20-25K annual pension, adjusted for inflation. Fix the problem on the backs of the better off, not the lowest tier.

  10. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 1:05 pm:

    ===One thing that is lost in all the discussions is that the salaries of the oldest who are on pensions were really quite modest for the time they were working. That results in a small pension. As the salaries have risen to be on par with the private sector, the pensions being paid to today’s retirees is much higher.===

    I don’t disagree. In fact, that’s just what I said in my City Club speech.

  11. - Burnham the Monk - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 1:14 pm:

    Don’t fall into the thicket of statistics. The median, (which is a better measure) is higher than the average. Another way to look at the data would be to ask what the average pension is for people retiring in 2011 and 2012. ===

    So let me get this straight. You start off with a warning about statistics. In the second sentence you propose cherry picking the median (statistic) because it’s higher than the average (statistic). And in the third sentence — you nonetheless ask for an average (statistic) from 20 or 30 years ago.

    At this point, I stopped reading because I was thoroughly confused. However, when I resumed reading, you appeal to some anonymous entity that they (he? she? it?) freeze benefits for, oh, around (a completely arbitrary) data point of, well, let’s see … um, 20-25K? Based on what exactly? Averages? Medians? Your general sense of “Oh, that’s about right?”

    And then (finally?) you assume that these folks are “better off” (again — by some statistic? Some average? Some median? Some “insider” information?)

    This post demonstrates precisely why the pension debate continues to go nowhere fast.

  12. - zatoichi - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 1:15 pm:

    That $13,680 is very close to what my 88 year mother gets for her Social Security. None of my retired state friends earns over $35,000 even with over 30 years in. Much easier to generalize the big dollar accounts to all retirees because it sounds good until someone actually does the research.

  13. - Irish - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 1:27 pm:

    Thanks Rich, for bringing the other part of this to light.

  14. - Been There - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 1:41 pm:

    As much as everyone is dumping on the 3% COLA (myself included) it looks like these retirees receiving only $13,680 a year probably started off making just $5000-$6000 per year when they retired 25 years ago. While they have now doubled their pensions in total that isn’t even enough to get close to the poverty level.

  15. - Billy - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 1:44 pm:

    The unjust part of pension reform is trying take away from those who are retired and based their retirement decision on what they were promised by the state. They can not get their jobs back, and have no other recourse then to complain to their politicians and hope any unjust reform is found unconstitutional by the courts!

  16. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 2:05 pm:

    Seems like the pension mess is off the front page for awhile. I’m sure the GA is working hard behind the scenes to effect a just solution. And the MSM will trot out the scammers just to gin up the circulation. Nothing new going on - move along.

  17. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 2:19 pm:

    – And the MSM will trot out the scammers just to gin up the circulation.–

    I truly don’t think the Tribbies have kept that pot boiling for circulation reasons (if they have, man, it ain’t working).

    They are part of a corporate culture that saw in the economy’s hard fall (felt, by far, more by individuals than Big Business) and tough recovery an opportunity to shed some contractual obligations by appealing to fear and resentment.

    Tribune Co., like many other big corporations, stuck it to their employees by running and hiding in bankruptcy. The state doesn’t have that option, so the Tribbies cherry pick the scammers, ignore facts and history on pension obligations and hope to turn people against their neighbors and take away as much as promised as possible.

  18. - geronimo - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 3:03 pm:

    ==Tribbies cherry pick the scammers………==

    But, unfortunately, a whole lot of people are buying into their hysterical mythology. Having read some of their outrageous, inflated alarmist reports of massive pension payouts, I have to wonder who these people are? Know many many dozens of retirees, none of who come anywhere close to earning the pension amounts reported in the Trib as “average”.
    Who ARE these people?

  19. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 3:20 pm:

    Thanks for making that point to the city club rich, as far as an iron clad guaranteed from the GA to make pension payments,the ONLY way they will make a guaranteed payment is to bond the whole pension debt. And as far as Elaine Nekritz theory that the supremes will rule in their favor because the state is in a financial crisis does not hold water as long as the state has the ability to raise revenue.Thats like telling the judge “well i cant afford the property taxes anymore can i still live here anyway”? Sorry.
    Jim Edgar said it best,your just going to have to pay them. The GA made their bed now they have to lay in it.

  20. - D.P. Gumby - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 3:33 pm:

    This is the same as DC wanting to cut social security to give tax cuts to the rich.

  21. - Very Old Soil - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 3:35 pm:

    The 2012 federal poverty level for a single person is $11,170.

  22. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 3:35 pm:

    Thanks for getting and posting the average pension numbers on elderly female retirees. I didn’t know they were so low. I don’t recall what the average SERS retiree gets, compared to other state pension systems. It is because of such retirees that AFSCME and other unions have validity in their battles, and why they are not solely greedy and useless, like so many people say.

    I saw Anders Lindall from AFSCME and Ralph Martire on WTTW not long ago, and if I remember correctly, Mr. Lindall said that AFSCME is willing to make concessions as long as the pension is funded properly. I remember Mr. Martire saying that some of the Chicago Tribune’s ideas will or may have to be implemented or considered.

    I’m glad the unions are willing to offer something in a conciliatory spirit. I try to also look to the future, and though I can’t hazard a prediction about what will happen, I like the idea that offering concessions may buy us unionfolk political capital, and more people would look upon us more favorably.

  23. - Anyone Remember? - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 3:37 pm:

    As much as I’d like to see an agreement, don’t see it happening … UNLESS … the General Assembly will change its position and agrees to an ironclad enforcement mechanism to ensure pension contributions are made by the State when the employees do (just like the private sector). Given political history over the last 40 years, that mechanism would have to be in the Constitution, or it would be “BIMP’ed” every year. Look how long it took to get the State Police off the Road Fund - for over 10 years the requirement was “BIMP’ed” a year into the future.

  24. - Downstater - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 3:42 pm:

    =What’s the average pension of female state retirees age 80 and above=
    How many are their in the state of Illinois?
    More cherry picking of data to try and make point. Someone should publish a list of all the folks making over $100,000 a year in pensions and send the list to those little old ladies over 80. Maybe, they can contact them for some help.

  25. - Downstater - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 3:45 pm:

    If the majority of the union employees were really concerned about those 80 year olds making $13 thousand a year, you would have thought they would have bargained in their contracts to help them out!

  26. - anon for a reason - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 3:59 pm:


    I think union talks about it.
    The people with the over 100K pensions are not Union unless they have some political sweet heart deal. The rank and file would agree to a payout per employee cap. The elected official do not want to talk about it.

  27. - western illinois - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 4:00 pm:

    They did get something for them in the contract -free health care for 20 years service.
    I have no problem with a deal to pay more BUT not if it helps Pat Quinn

  28. - Downstater - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 4:18 pm:

    =They did get something for them in the contract -free health care for 20 years service.=
    =Keep in mind that the General Assembly has also passed a law which allows the state to slash its subsidy of retiree health insurance premiums.=
    Which is it? Either they are getting free health care or they aren’t!

  29. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 4:28 pm:


    Your account doesn’t differ much from mine, in a way. I meant, in a shorthand way, that the MSM, in general (and the Trib fits that mold), engaged in the type of reporting they did not necessarily so as to get to the truth of the matter but for bottom line reasons. Your sounds more Machiavellian than mine but I think as likely to be accurate. In any event, the issue is not being reported in a way to informs the public.

    Your statement on the circulation part is right on.

  30. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 4:37 pm:

    Reading word’s post again I am struck by the thought that defined pensions are problematic for a reason discussed many times - the company/gov’t entity keeps the funds and controls same. When the s#!+ hits the fan and the company declares bankrupcy, the pension may go down with it. For folks who have a 401k, they are at the whim of the larger economy but not dependent on the health of one particular company. I am mostly out of my depth here - so can easily be called on it. However, I think the state pension could be better controlled if done outside the gov’t direct control. We, the beleaguered state employees make our mandated payments into a retirement account (monthly? quarterly?) - the state makes their, mandated payments (monthly, etc) and the state can’t delay the payment or call a pension holiday or withdraw any funds.

    To my uneducated eye seems foolproof.

  31. - Sgtstu - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 4:50 pm:

    I talked to a Afscme friend of mine this week. He has been informed that Quinn still wants current retires to pay $1,100.00 for healthcare. That leaves just this one group with $40.00 a month to live on. NO one can do that Quinn needs to get off people that are already retired !! This is the information from the last contract talks. which I believe were last week.

  32. - AC - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 5:01 pm:

    2% sounds like a reasonable sacrifice from people who didn’t cause the problem. I’d gladly contribute 4% if I kept rule of 85, and 3% or CPI COLAs, especially if they bonded some of the shortfall. Borrowing money at low rates and investment in the market would create an arbitrage situation for the state long term

  33. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 5:57 pm:

    Quite a few of the people Rich is talking about retired before the automatic annual 3% COLA for retirees.Back in the day, in looking at this very issue, I asked the systems how much it would cost to bring all those people’s pensions up to 85% of the purchasing power they had when they retired, and it really wasn’t much. It would be far less today because many more of them have passed on.

  34. - western illinois - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 5:59 pm:

    Steve That would be another benefit for an increased payment i am all for it

  35. - No emotion, just facts - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 6:13 pm:

    Random pension thoughts:

    -The Nekritz-Biss bill takes care of the 80 year-old grandma’s…the compounding COLA stays for the first 25k in pension.

    - The unions deserve credit for their willingness to give a 2 percent increase in salary…but the large menu of tax increases probably won’t fly, not after the largest income tax increase in state history 2 years ago. BTW, that increase brings in 7 billion in new revenue per year. How much will the state spend on pensions in FY 2013? 7 billion.

    - The compounding 3 percent COLA, which is untethered to CPI, is a relatively new instrument. It didn’t go into affect until the late 80’s, which means it was not “part of the deal” most current retirees signed up for. If one benefit has to be rolled back a bit, COLA is probably the right area to target. With the current 3 percent compounding formula, an individual pension’s value doubles in 23 years. Most retirees live 23 years or more after their retirement date….living that long was unheard of when the idea of a pension was first conceived and implemented a century ago, which is why we have to rethink the way benefits are accrued today.

  36. - unclesam - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 9:07 pm:

    I think it is more concerning that we have a Governor that states all of these critical issues MUST be resolved by early January, he won’t rest until they are resolved, but then leaves the country and leaves the negotiation and leadership to others to fix for him (granted, I know he’s going to visit the troops, and I fully support our troops and won’t question the Governor’s sincerity for our troops). IMO, that just seems to be a root cause of the current failure to get things done.

  37. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 11:56 pm:

    unclesam - The Governor is going on a self funded trip to visit our troops from Friday to Sunday. The GA is not in session, and it’s the weekend before Christmas. Criticizing this is just ridiculous.

  38. - Harry - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 5:31 am:

    It’s not a huge amount of money, a few millions when we’re talking billions, but can anyone explain why part-timers get full, even generous pensions?

    I’m talking legislators. Other than they can pass laws to benefit themselves and so they do, what is the rationale for GARS or for Chicago aldermen to be in Muni, or for appointed/elected board members to get defined benefit pensions from the units of government they control?

  39. - Anon - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 8:34 am:

    A few comments and clarifications:

    The overwhelming majority of SERS members receive Social Security or will be eligible for it.

    Current Employees:
    Vested: Coordinated with Social Security 46,159
    Noncoordinated 2,052
    Nonvested: Coordinated with Social Security 16,606
    Noncoordinated 782

    That’s about 96%. And it makes sense:

    “Members are required to contribute a percentage of salary as their share of meeting the cost of the various benefits. Contribution rates are:
    A. Members Coordinated with Social Security:
    4% of salary
    B. Members Without Social Security:
    8% of salary
    Members coordinated with Social Security also pay the current Social Security tax rate.”

    In other words, for an additional contribution of 2.2% (10.2% vs. 8%), members can collect Social Security. For private-sector workers the contribution is 6.2% and for the self-employed it’s 12.4%.

    The comments by Cook County Commoner regarding private vs. public retirements are very relevant.

    Average Social Security benefit: approx. $15,000

    Average Illinois teacher pension: $50,000 (from the most recent TRS annual financial report summary, projected forward to the current fiscal year)

    Average starting teacher pension for teachers retiring in 2011 with at least 30 years of service: $66,699 (from Illinois Policy Institute)

    Yet there is talk in Washington of cutting Social Security — by changing the inflation calculation — which reinforces the view of many that, rather than being the party of the poor, the working class, or the middle class, Democrats are the party of the government class.

  40. - Say it ain't so! - Thursday, Dec 20, 12 @ 8:58 am:

    When you look at the data for teacher’s salaries, you should see that a large percentage of the teachers earning more than $100,000 per year are PE teachers. It does not require an advanced degree to be a PE teacher. The reason these schools are paying out such high salaries to PE teachers is because these are the ones that coach the school’s football and basketball teams. If you want to slow down the cost of pensions in schools, the schools have to stop paying such permiums to the football and basketball coaches (all other coaches too). There is no way that a PE teacher should be paid more than a science teacher with a master’s degree.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Raoul: "Inflexible demands plus willful amnesia is no recipe for any negotiation"
* Violence spike blamed on budget cuts
* *** UPDATED - Home and doing better *** I'll be back later
* Gray hired by Trump
* MLB playoff open thread
* Once more, with feeling
* B3 fallout?
* Unclear on the concept
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* Our top 10 Windows phone games of September
* Treat infections, find cure to deadly diseases in ‘Pandemic: The Board Game’
* LogMeIn buys password manager LastPass for $125 million
* DJI’s Osmo camera ready to take on the world, Android app included
* Do OnePlus have a new phone coming out soon?
* Verizon pushes a massive security update to the LG G4
* The California DMV has released a report of all the self-driving car accidents this year

* One benefit of the White Sox' lefty-heavy rotation
* Foot issue to sideline White Sox prospect Hawkins
* After second base, it was no-go White Sox
* Scouting, player development key for White Sox
* Arbitration-eligible White Sox won't put dent in payroll
* Hawk Harrelson's reduced schedule creates opportunity for White Sox...
* Holliday, Ventura connection goes way back


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Rauner tries to crank up the pressure - Suburba.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Illinois Senior Fair 2015 -
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....

* Rockford University looking to finish raising $17.3 million
* Corruption arraignment Tuesday for ex-Chicago schools CEO
* Chinese students bring new business to Champaign-Urbana
* ISU president calls for end to budget turmoil in Springfield
* EXCHANGE: Many point with pride at World War II service
* NIU to rededicate plaque honoring fallen WWII veterans
* Chicago State names Alabama university official to top post
* Mural, crosswalk art project underway downtown Springfield
* Donations come in for new police dog in Winnebago County
* Chicago man sentenced to 5 years for CTA train beating

* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago shootings climb
* The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project still in jeopardy; memo paints discouraging picture
* Democrats say Rauner 'needs to get serious' on budget
* Democrats: Illinois could go broke without budget
* Gov. Rauner ends quarter with $19M in campaign fund
* Prosecutors say former Congressman Aaron Schock is 'grandstanding'
* State Rep. David Leitch won't seek re-election
* Rauner to Democrats: 'Time's up' in budget impasse
* Illinois panel OKs medical marijuana for 8 health conditions
* State Sen. McCarter to challenge Shimkus in Congressional primary

* Choose Chicago slashes staff amid budget impasse
* United dangles 100-seat jet order to spur pilot accord
* Is Wall Street's 'fear gauge' entering its end game?
* Brace yourself: A pumpkin shortage looms, threatening pie supplies
* LeBron James and McDonald's are breaking up

* Parents blast CPS for cuts in special ed programs
* Mayor tells U.S. attorney general that Chicago cops are in “fetal” position
* Blackhawks’ success further motivates Nick Leddy
* Viktor Tikhonov’s Blackhawks debut feels like his NHL debut
* Indicted ex-CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett to appear Tuesday in court
* Charity raffling off Blackhawks Stanley Cup ring
* Sweet: Emanuel says House GOP needs to work through ‘some issues’
* Democrats warn Illinois could go broke without state budget
* Obama returns to Chicago on Oct. 27 for fundraising
* Aldermen complain about ‘menu’ price hikes

* Ex-Cicero president Betty Loren-Maltese raising cash at estate sale
* CTA says no room for harassment on buses and trains
* Thirsty Sox fans hope for many Cardinals homers
* Blue Cross eliminates most popular individual plan
* Bomb threat at Governors State University cancels classes
* Police officer, two girls honored for helping save boy's life
* Teen charged in fatal shooting of civilian worker for Chicago police
* Byrd-Bennett to be arraigned Tuesday in Chicago school kickback scheme
* Assault weapons bans at stake in Highland Park case before Supreme Court
* Three years after building skyscraper, Roosevelt University plans cuts

* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago shootings climb
* The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project still in jeopardy; memo paints discouraging picture
* Mike Lang: 'Racial Taboo' screening will advance local unity efforts
* Democrats say Rauner 'needs to get serious' on budget
* Bernard Schoenburg: Supreme Court refuses to hear Illinois Policy Institute appeal over press access at Statehouse
* Gov. Rauner ends quarter with $19M in campaign fund
* Prosecutors say former Congressman Aaron Schock is 'grandstanding'
* State Rep. David Leitch won't seek re-election
* George Will: Impeach the IRS director
* Eugene Robinson: Obama is right to be cautious on Syria

* Tom's Mailbag, Oct. 9, 2015
* Updated: 1 dead, 3 wounded in shooting at Northern Arizona University
* 1 fatally shot at Texas Southern University housing complex
* Cubs-Cards tickets cost a pretty penny
* 10-09-15 Robert Picklesimer on the Homer Opera House
* 10-09-15 Penny for Your Thoughts
* Feeling sick? It's going viral around here
* Talkin' solar farm
* #SundaySneak: Behind the scenes at Market Place Mall
* UPDATE: Prosecutor reviewing Paxton standoff for possible charges

* Redskins without CBs Culliver, Hall or TE Reed at Falcons
* Memphis builds on momentum it established last year
* In rare event, remnants of Pacific hurricane hit Alaska
* Chiefs kicker Santos has franchise field goal mark in pocket
* Million Man March anniversary inspires memories

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Durbin wants college textbooks to be affor......
* Durbin, Franken propose open source textbo......

* Kirk cheers Senate passage of National Def......

* Collateral damage.
* East St. Louis teacher strike continues. Silence from the board.
* Revision of Automatic Transfer Law Achieves Common Cause for Illinois Juvenile Justice Reform
* MRED becomes Centennial Sponsor for IAR’s 100th Anniversary
* Chuck Weaver selected to replace Darin LaHood in 37th Senate District
* What Freedom Caucus members are looking for in a Speaker
* Senator Weaver sworn in, says he's ‘ready to get to work’
* Sen. McCarter hints at challenging Shimkus for 15th CD seat
* Name change sanctioned by IAR board at Fall Business Meetings
* Teamwork makes RPAC Phone-a-thon successful

* Board’s New Rules Will Reduce Risk of Tire Fires and Disease-Carrying Mosquitos
* Illinois Hosts Inaugural Interstate Medical Licensure Compact - Aims to increase health care access through multi-state physician licensure program
* IEMA Announces Elgin Community College Attains ‘Ready to Respond Campus’ Designation - Elgin one of five Illinois campuses to receive distinction
* New Mortgage Loan Interface Increases Efficiency, Compliance
* State Fire Marshal Ushers In Fire Prevention Week - “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep!”

    Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller