image
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Madigan: Time for cost shift

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

* Speaker Madigan said he was holding a meeting this Thursday to discuss the cost shift

House Speaker Michael Madigan is moving forward with a plan to require local school districts to pay their share of teacher pensions.

Currently the state covers pension payments for teachers in suburban Chicago and downstate Illinois.

Madigan says it’s a “free lunch” for those districts. He says the practice has exacerbated Illinois’ nearly $100 billion crisis and “should come to an end as soon as possible.”

More

The announcement prompted questions from House Republican leader Tom Cross of Oswego, who has opposed the shift over concerns that property taxes would rise. Cross supported the comprehensive Madigan pension overhaul that the House passed last week.

But Madigan’s move on the cost shift prompted Cross to worry that the focus on fixing the overall retirement system would be lost.

“It’s a matter of staying on point,” Cross said. He said all legislative energy should be centered on getting an overall pension reform bill to the governor. After that happens, he said, the speaker could “talk about anything.”

* It faces a tough road ahead, but

Jessica Handy, policy director for the education advocacy group Stand for Children, said if the state would pay for everything that it owes for public education, then it would be not be a problem for some schools to pay for their teachers’ pensions.

“We have incredible disparities within our school systems, and general state aid is the one funding mechanism that is fighting that,” Handy said. […]

Handy’s group is pushing a map that she says shows 26 of Illinois’ 102 counties would lose under a cost shift. But that means the majority of Illinois counties could see their schools helped if the state paid for classroom education and not teacher retirement.

“The districts with high property wealth and low poverty counts would prefer to have money (go to pensions),” Handy said. “The districts with high poverty counts and low levels of property wealth would be better if they took that money in general state aid.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


40 Comments
  1. - RNUG - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 10:49 am:

    If we’re going to do this, let’s make sure we also change the school aid formula to eliminate the favorable treatment for CPS that is there because CPS does (kind of) cover their own pensions.


  2. - plutocrat03 - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 10:55 am:

    BEat me to it. Chicago has been getting a subsidy for their pension system forever. I don’t know whether it is not enough, enough or too much, but it is there.

    The fiction being put out that the burbs and down state are somehow coasting needs to be corrected.

    That said, it is nothing more than a revenue dodge by the state to move costs out of it’s budget to the local budget while maintaining the revenue stream that was supposed to take care of things.

    Simply a massive tax increase - just what we need.


  3. - siriusly - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 11:01 am:

    They will have to lift the tax caps if they do this. Many suburban districts are already near the max.


  4. - walkinfool - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 11:03 am:

    Madigan is pushing for a real, long-term fix — and some cost-shifting has long been part of his solution. The difficulty is that cost-shifting is the hardest to pull off politically, and had to be separated out from the primary bill to get some GOP support.

    Cross is right in that Madigan is probably a week early with this second push, and should wait to see how the Senate might deal with his primary bill before stirring the pot. He is going all out, and disregarding traditional partisan concerns as much as is practical.


  5. - siriusly - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 11:10 am:

    Your analysis is probably accurate walkinfool. Perhaps he is trying to show the Tribbies that “the real problem is in the Senate” when he muscles out the cost shift bill from the house and then the Senate isn’t able to pass either . . .


  6. - cassandra - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 11:14 am:

    I’d also look at school aid for low-income children. Is the aid truly proportionate and does it adequately reflect child poverty outside of Chicago? The latter must be considerable given the economic struggles of rural and semi-rural areas of Illinois.


  7. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 11:18 am:

    in some school districts, it will not be politically possible to raise taxes enough to cover the cost of pension and maintain current educational offerings . the cost shift, although I understand the reasoning behind it, and it is difficult to argue against it, the cost shift will be very tough on property poor districts. they will cut staff and programs. it will happen, watch the headlines if this is signed into law.

    further there is the issue of these school districts having no say as to whether they participate in the pension plan, but being forced to support it financially. it doesn’t make sense from this perspective. i’m actually in favor of a cost shift to cover pension costs, but these districts must be given the choice at some point in the future to opt of the program for their staff (even if it is new hires, people below a certain age, etc.).


  8. - biased observer - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 11:19 am:

    the above comment are mine “biased observer” (haha) not anonymous. must be some glitch.


  9. - walkinfool - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 11:30 am:

    Just beginning to wonder why Madigan is pushing so hard for a comprehensive fix right now, caring little about political image, and burning bridges as he goes.

    Could it be a swan song?

    Will he be surprising us, and stepping out of Lisa’s way?


  10. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 11:31 am:

    If the cost shift occurs, in addition to leveling the state aid formula, all pension-related and hiring decisions should then default to the hiring district. If you’re paying for it, you should control it.


  11. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 11:39 am:

    There’s some pretty hefty surpluses in many of those suburban school districts.

    OPRF District 200 has a $71 million annual budget, but is running a surplus now close to $120 million — a bump of about $7 million over last year.

    They pay real well, too, so the state-supported pensions are pretty sweet.


  12. - dupage dan - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 11:40 am:

    walkinfool has a point. If MJM clears the table then one of the biggest, if not the biggest, issues facing Illinois will be dealt with before the next gov election. Can PQ take any credit for this? I see he is working day and night on this - week in and week out - 24/7 as it were.


  13. - biased observer - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 11:43 am:

    cincinnatus is correct. if cost shifts occur, which actually make sense to me, the local districts need to be able to decide whether to participate in the pension program, and this needs to be part of the legislation.


  14. - Out Here In The Middle - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 11:45 am:

    Given the condition of most school district budgets its difficult for me to see how pensions costs can be shifted to the schools without enacting a “TRS” tax levy similar to the IMRF levy that is now available to participating entities. This would mean that the pension “shift” is simply a local property tax increase enacted by ILGA with (as per IMRF) no rate limit. THAT will be popular.


  15. - biased observer - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 11:49 am:

    yes, in some school districts it will go beyond having to raise taxes to pay for these pension…in some of these districts it will be politically impossible to pass tax increases.

    so essentially, you will have school districts becoming nothing more than retirement plans for its current and retired teachers, and educational offerings will be slashed to bone.

    much like state of Illinois is becoming nothing more than a taxpayer supported pension plan.


  16. - Anon - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 12:04 pm:

    Another value of the cost shift seems to be that the districts & teachers will really need to think about what’s important in the contract negotiation process. It’s easy for a district to say, ‘ok, fine, here’s a bunch of retirement perks’ since the state has picked it up - with the cost shift some tough conversations will have to happen. I welcome those tough conversations.


  17. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 12:05 pm:

    – all pension-related and hiring decisions should then default to the hiring district. If you’re paying for it, you should control it.–

    What’s your pipe dream here, exactly? Districts could hire non-certified personnel as teachers and not offer pensions?

    Yeah, that will attract the best and brightest to Hinsdale Central and New Trier. It would put districts in the Social Security business, however.


  18. - RNUG Fan - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 12:13 pm:

    Year after year Teachers will have no COLA, everyone ex Chicago will have higher property taxes and no school sports……and all these people will have this in Nov 2014.
    This is good new for Lisa?


  19. - Observing - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 12:17 pm:

    Maybe they ought to try to pass the cost shift bill first. If it passes, wouldn’t the impact on state revenues allow for an adjustment in the thinking about what is needed for the state employee pension fix?


  20. - RNUG - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 12:30 pm:

    R-Fan,

    If they clean up the school aid formula, Chicago will have property tax hikes also.


  21. - RNUG Fan - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 12:49 pm:

    Lets rewrite this

    Cross started worrying that massive property tax increases would blow back on his alliance with Madigan resulting in a bunch of primaries from anti-tax groups


  22. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 12:50 pm:

    Not offering pensions in a school district should indeed be an option, as would be offering a pension. A state requirement that all teachers be certified doesn’t bother me a whole lot, but keep in mind that hiring uncertified teachers can be an option under certain circumstances.

    I guess you must have a bunch of ideas yourself. Why not share them, or are you just a defender of the status quo and/or a dictatorial cost shift where all school districts have to pay for whatever the poobahs in Springfield demand? See how easy it is to put words in your mouth and shot ideas down, just like you all the time?


  23. - Endangered Moderate Species - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 1:40 pm:

    Contingent upon the School Aid formula becoming equal, I am also in favor of the cost sharing.


  24. - ProblemChild21 - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 1:42 pm:

    ==in some school districts, it will not be politically possible to raise taxes enough to cover the cost of pension and maintain current educational offerings . the cost shift, although I understand the reasoning behind it, and it is difficult to argue against it, the cost shift will be very tough on property poor districts. they will cut staff and programs.==

    It is more problematic that that. With a large portion of the rural districts in Illinois unable to meet payroll already (see State Supt Chris Koch’s newsletters), a pension shift to local districts will doom some districts financially. Several superintendents in my area, who have already made deep cuts, have noted that they have two or three years at CURRENT revenue/expenditure levels before the doors are closed. GSA is down, transportation and other categorical reimbursements are down, and in many rural areas EAV isn’t moving, while costs and costly mandates continue to increase. And the Affordable Care Act is kicking into high gear. A pension cost shift to the local districts would be devastating.


  25. - Rod - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 1:56 pm:

    Wordslinger in his post has to a degree presented the OPRF District 200 budget surplus in too simple a manner. OPRF had a projected ending balance of $119,379,685 in FY 13. The budget projections made by OPRF indicate a budget surplus of $6,929,955 for the 2012-2013 school year. Readers of this blog can see the budget at http://www.oprfhs.org/business-office/documents/FY2013MBABudget%7BF%7D.pdf

    The $119 million is actually a reserve, but very few districts have such good fortune.
    OPRF in April 2002, received a voter approved property tax referendum increase of $.65 per $100 of EAV in the Education Fund tax rate. The district states in its budget that tax rate increase which was incorporated into their Five Year Financial Projections in 2002, and it was expected to result in an improvement in fund balances and surplus for several years. Hence, the total surplus of about $120 million.

    The increased revenue generated by the voter approved tax increases was projected to
    fully support the costs of the district until approximately 2020. Education Fund reserves for OPRF were projected to accumulate until approximately 2017. But in FY 2017, expenditures will begin to exceed revenue, thereby causing deficit spending. The fund balance was projected to diminish over time until the eventual need for another referendum in the spring of 2018 generating revenue for FY 2020 and thereafter. This five year analysis was done without any pension cost shift provision, all of these numbers will change once that is factored in and it is likely a referendum would have to be called before 2018 if OPRF is faced with these pension costs.


  26. - GA Watcher - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 1:57 pm:

    The oost shift is going to be an interesting fight. If you haven’t seen it, here’s a link to a report House Dems have put out which refutes the one the Senate GOP put out in March re overall funding inequities between Chicago schools and the rest of the state: http://www.housedem.state.il.us/SchoolFunding042213.pdf.


  27. - thechampaignlife - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 2:05 pm:

    Why not just shift the expense and the funding? That would result in no impact on locals’ budgets in the short term. Then inevitably the State will start delaying payments and eventually cutting back funding. But by that point it’s just an appropriation decision, not a requirement of the pension ramp law.


  28. - Nickypiii - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 2:09 pm:

    Couldn’t a large portion of the State’s saving from getting out of the TRS (worst funded pension in State) be tied to increasing the State’s percentage of funding, let’s say 50%, for the total cost of education Statewide. It’s currently at about a third only.


  29. - RNUG - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 2:20 pm:

    Nickypiii @ 2:09 pm:

    Whether you agree it’s fair or not, the point of the shift is to actually reduce state spending, not relabel it.


  30. - Griz - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 2:26 pm:

    Why not throw out the “Fair Share”?

    From Illinois Education Labor Relations Act, A Fair Share agreement provides that every person employed in a status position in a classification covered by that bargaining unit must either pay union dues or a fee which represents a fair share of the costs of the services provided by the union.

    Use the money thrown to Unions and fund the retirements at the local level.


  31. - Ahoy! - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 2:27 pm:

    – if the state would pay for everything that it owes for public education, then it would be not be a problem for some schools to pay for their teachers’ pensions.–

    1) If “ifs” and “buts” were candy and nuts, oh what a merry Christmas it would be.

    2) If only the State doesn’t create the same burden that it has on cities by passing pension sweeteners. The State should at least pay half or develop a formula that ensure they are impacted for passing pension enhancement bills.


  32. - ProblemChild21 - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 2:28 pm:

    Nickypiii - If TRS is the “worst funded pension in the State”, only the legislature is to blame for it. Too many years of underfunding and “borrowing.”

    Anyway, the idea that the State is funding about a third of education really doesn’t pan out. My Education Fund expenditures last year were around $2.5 million, and state sources provided around $550,000 of that, or around 20%. Outside of the Education Fund, for the other $870,000 expenditures, no state dollars were provided at all - including such mandated or necessary items as IMRF/SS, Health Life Safety, and Tort. The real % of education paid by for the the state for my district is around 16%.

    For us, even if the state increases its input from “one third” to “50%”, that would bring a whole $93,500 to our district to offset an Ed Fund deficit of $650,000. Still doesn’t come close to cutting the ice.

    And by the way, we run a very tight ship…


  33. - archimedes - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 3:07 pm:

    OK - let’s look at this Cost Shift in light of SB1 as amended.

    TRS (teachers) Normal Cost is 18.7% and teachers pay 9.4%. With SB1, the Normal Cost is reduced 30% (logical since UL is reduced 30%)to 13%. Teachers pay 2% more - so are paying 11.4%. And this amount goes down each year since Tier 2 was introduced. So, with cost shift, local school districts end up paying maybe 1.5% for Normal Cost, and that amount goes to nothing in a few years.

    The Cost Shift discussion timing is pressure to support SB1-amended versus SB2404. SB2404 would only reduce the Normal Cost by about 10% - so local school districts would have to pick up between 5% and 7% for Normal Cost versus almost nothing with SB1 as amended.


  34. - archimedes - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 3:09 pm:

    Edit above:
    “And this amount (the Normal Cost) is going down each year since Tier 2 was introduced.”


  35. - Madison - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 3:38 pm:

    i understand the fundamental problems of the school districts suddenly be accountable for their actions; however, the problem would go away if farm property were assessed at its real value as income producing property. Index the valu


  36. - Madison - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 3:41 pm:

    The valuation to commodity prices, and all of the suden the problem, and the disparities sp? Between suburban districts and downstate districts go away.


  37. - Holdingontomywallet - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 8:08 pm:

    I have to put back 1/2 of my house payment now (each month) to pay for my tax bill. If this happens, I will be looking to move or rent. Just the facts….simple math.


  38. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 8:13 pm:

    To be frank, labeling this pending cram down “a meeting to discuss” is akin to handing a dude the blindfold and cigarette and saying “this is a meeting to discuss punishment. ”
    I’m hopeful that the shift is phased in over a reasonable period of time, allows the districts to levy and label separately, and have a hold-harmless to TRS in the event of any tomfoolery at the local level.


  39. - Shemp - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 9:07 pm:

    Cincinnatus is dead on. If you want to fund pensions locally, then they should be designed locally. It’s too easy for the State to increase benefits when they have no stake in it. Ask anyone who has to oversee a local police or fire pension fund and isn’t in the wealthiest 5 or 10% of Illinois cities. Without changing tax caps and increasing local control, the cost shift is just shirking responsibility.


  40. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, May 8, 13 @ 9:51 pm:

    The cost shift would not be an automatic tax increase unless the bill included the authority to levy for TRS expenses from the uncapped “retirement fund.” None of the proposals I have seen would allow that, so the TRS money would be pulled from the education fund. The most logical way to cover that cost would be to lay off 7-8% of the faculty; that would not enhance learning…

    Curiously, the suggestion to allow districts to opt out of TRS made by several previous commenters would, as wordslinger wrote, “put districts in the Social Security business.” Districts are allowed to levy for Social Security costs in the uncapped “retirement fund,” resulting in an immediate tax increase very close to that which could be expected if TRS costs could be levied from that fund.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* *** UPDATED x2 - 9 Indy CEOs demand changes - Wilco bites Indiana *** Indiana bites back
* Tracy takes herself out of Schock replacement bid
* This is how it starts
* *** UPDATED x1 - Rauner responds *** Fritchey, Emanuel double-team Rauner on "right to work" zones
* Meanwhile, in Missouri
* Question of the day
* Rauner "troubled" by new Indiana law
* Dold doubles down on Schock money
* More budget details begin to emerge
* *** UPDATED x1 - Announcement video released *** A somewhat odd Duckworth rollout
* "If I ever leave here I hope never to return"
* Schock's breathtaking downfall
* Dogmatic nonsense
* Schilling endorses LaHood
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

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

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Gmail for Android update gets way smarter about working with multiple accounts
        * ZTE intros new phones, calls them Nubia Z9 Mini and Z9 Max
        * Plex for Android gets updated big time, version 4.0.1 now out
        * Microsoft’s Project Spartan browser is finally ready for you to try
        * ASUS ZenFone 2 gets ready to bring its 4GB of RAM to Europe
        * Nuzzel: read links that your friends share on FB, Twitter
        * Find your next new job in Jobr, now on Android

        * Add Modular Counter Space to Your Kitchen with a Simple Folding Bracket
        * Backlash Grows Against Indiana ‘Religious Freedom’ Act
        * Always Consider the Time Costs of "Free" Items First
        * Eight Steam Features You Probably Don't Know About
        * Revitalize Saggy Couch Cushions with Poly-Fil and Quilt Batting
        * Gawker LBJ Was Obsessed With His Dick | Gizmodo A Simple Design Tweak May Keep Drunk People From Fal
        * A Juror Speaks About His Vote for Kleiner Perkins but Still Wants the Firm to ‘Be Punished’

        * 'Athletic' Sale makes progress during simulated game
        * 'Athletic' Sale makes progress during simulated game
        * Final roster alignment a question of flexibility
        * Noesi recovers from quick stumble; Sox fall
        * Petricka headed to disabled list
        * Rodon's immediate future to be in Minors
        * Podcast: Countdown to Opening Day

        ...............


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        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

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Question of the day..
        * Gov. Rauner meets with SW Illinois government a.....
        * Rauner discusses budget in Metro East..
        * Governor met with business leaders in O’Fallon..
        * Cook County, Chicago officials oppose 'right to.....
        * Illinois governor to push for federal spy agenc.....
        * Dogmatic nonsense..
        * Governor to meet with business leaders in O’Fallon..
        * Lockport First Ward candidates desire more deve.....
        * Rauner to push for federal spy agency relocation..


        * Lincoln funeral car set to appear in Springfield
        * Coroner IDs 6 people killed in fiery Interstate 26 crash
        * BNSF railroad adds new safety rules for crude oil trains
        * Aunt of men accused in terror plot: They're 'not monsters'
        * Cook County, Chicago officials oppose 'right to work' zones
        * Officials: Slow justice at fault in Chicago man's long con
        * Garcia focuses on wealth gap in speech before civic group
        * 2 decades after crash, Willis family gets new TV show
        * Duckworth makes video announcement for 2016 Senate bid
        * Religious act has Chicago mayor wooing Indiana businesses

        * Duckworth to challenge Kirk for U.S. Senate seat
        * LIHEAP utility assistance fund for Sangamon County is empty
        * Rauner to push for federal spy agency relocation
        * Cook County, Chicago officials oppose 'right to work' zones
        * LaHood talks transportation issues as he kicks off Congressional campaign
        * Bill pushes for possible municipal bankruptcies in Illinois
        * Stripped of funding, auto theft task forces shutting down
        * Rauner looks to Kentucky right-to-work zones as labor model
        * Rauner's business prescriptions are popular, but no cure-all
        * Stripped of funding, Illinois auto theft task forces are shutting down

        * BNSF railroad adds new safety rules for crude oil trains
        * Cook County, Chicago officials oppose 'right to work' zones
        *
        * Duckworth could become Senate's second female combat veteran
        * New black-car service coming to Chicago


          * BNSF railroad adds new safety rules for crude oil trains
          * Man who wanted prison released from jail
          * 1 dead, 2 wounded in separate shootings on South, West Sides
          * Missing North Side woman, 86, found
          * Aurora mayor calls for alderman's resignation after theft conviction
          * Garcia says Emanuel policies drive middle class to suburbs
          * Deputies save 2 lives in 26 hours in Lake Bluff, Antioch
          * Charges against cousins in terror plot tearing up family, aunt says
          * Derrick Rose takes contact in Bulls practice
          * McDonald's confirms it is testing all-day breakfast


          * More than 21K early votes cast in Chicago runoff election
          * Duckworth makes video announcement for 2016 Senate bid
          * Legal expert says Illinois 'got it right' when it comes to religious freedom law
          * Legal expert says Illinois 'got it right' regarding its religious freedom law
          * Heinz buying Northfield-based Kraft and building a $28 billion food giant
          * Obamacare tax rules trip some immigrants
          * Jesse Jackson Jr. leaves federal prison for halfway house
          * With GOP votes, Indiana House approves religious objection bill
          * After spending scandals, Rep. Aaron Schock says goodbye
          * Legislature to consider Madigan plan to fill state budget gap


          * Duckworth to challenge Kirk for U.S. Senate seat
          * LIHEAP utility assistance fund for Sangamon County is empty
          * Rauner to push for federal spy agency relocation
          * Cook County, Chicago officials oppose 'right to work' zones
          * LaHood talks transportation issues as he kicks off Congressional campaign
          * Our Opinion: Rianne Hawkins for Springfield city clerk; Misty Buscher for city treasurer
          * Bill pushes for possible municipal bankruptcies in Illinois
          * Stripped of funding, auto theft task forces shutting down
          * Rauner looks to Kentucky right-to-work zones as labor model
          * Rauner's business prescriptions are popular, but no cure-all


          * Upcoming Services
          * Sports Page 03-30-15
          * NSA: 1 dead after car rams police vehicle at Fort Meade
          * Brooklyn Police chief quits as towing scheme unfolds, following raid
          * Police: Sunday's Arbor District fire determined as arson
          * Bloomington man identified as crash victim
          * Turkey causes accident near Pinckneyville
          * Shiloh mother arrested for battering her son
          * Former correctional officer charged with not registering vehicle with sheriff
          * Indiana lawmakers try to quiet firestorm surrounding new law


          * Duckworth's Senate bid could mean crowded 8th District race
          * UnitedHealth buys Catamaran for $12 billion
          * Dist. 204 choosing tests to measure student growth for teacher reviews
          * Sidewalk, curb, lighting work begins around Barrington Village Center
          * Boil order for Sugar Grove street

          * Tammy Duckworth running against Mark Kirk ...
          * Bustos offers support for Duckworth; says ...
          * Davis on Iran talks
          * Dold doubles down on Schock money
          * St. Louis-area members of Congress votes f...
          * Tammy Duckworth running against Mark Kirk ...
          * U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos says she won't run ...
          * Duckworth Announces 2016 Senate Run
          * Tammy Duckworth to Run for Senate Bid in 2016
          * Aunt of men accused in terror plot: They'r...

          * Dick Durbin vs. Patty Murray?...
          * Gun Rights Victory In the Senate...
          * SUV driver crashes NSA gate; prosecution r......
          * Senator Durbin Announces $250,000 Investme......
          * Rubio & Jordan Introduce Bill To Repeal D.......

          * With or without Iran deal, Obama faces fig......
          * Duckworth could become Senate's second fem......
          * Tammy Duckworth running against Mark Kirk ......
          * Racing Against the Clock: 'Progress' and '......

          * Chipotle Is Hiring, Opening Date Still Unannounced
          * Chipotle Is Hiring, Opening Date Still Unannounced (Updated)
          * Elderly Woman Reported Missing Near Uptown
          * Elderly Woman Reported Missing Near Uptown (Update: Located!)
          * Come to Driftwood For A Fundraiser and Fun on Friday
          * Morning Minute: The green home features home buyers want today
          * Messages that Move You
          * Calling All Artists & Musicians!
          * Will Mayor Bowser recommit to Sustainable DC & MoveDC?
          * Oswego RTW: Rauner’s right to poverty zone


          * Illinois Mayors to Celebrate National Service - April 7, 2015 Designated as “Mayors Day of Recognition”
          * Governor Rauner Takes Bill Action
          * Governor Announces Appointments B.R. Lane to lead Illinois Lottery; John Holden to continue leading Dept. of Aging
          * USDA Awards Grant to Illinois' JTED-SNAP Employment & Training Grant - Program helps participants find jobs and promotes business growth
          * Nominating Petitions Available For Illinois Commodity Board Seats




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