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Today’s must-watch video

Thursday, Dec 5, 2013

* Sen. Matt Murphy sat on the pension reform conference committee. Murphy’s seat mate is Sen. Kirk Dillard, who had strongly supported every pension bill that came down the pike except for the union-negotiated proposal. Dillard’s campaign posted a video of the candidate explaining his vote on the Senate floor. Reboot Illinois watched the video and wrote this

Dillard’s deskmate, Sen. Matt Murphy (a member of the committee that drafted the bill) is patient with his colleague at first. But his body language is practically screaming as Dillard goes on. And it’s not screaming, “You go, Kirk!” Be sure to watch until the very last second, when Murphy appears to either cheer that it’s over or let out a long yawn, possibly both. - See more at:!-12/5/2013#sthash.np7BYKMU.dpuf

* Murph starts out by deliberately looking away. Then he begins to drum his fingers on the table, twirls around in his chair, rocks way back and forth, fiddles with his tie, makes notes, puffs out his cheeks, shields his eyes from Dillard and, does indeed, yawn at the end. Hilarious

Maybe he needs a new seat mate.

* Meanwhile, Reboot also produced a handy chart comparing Speaker Madigan’s pension bill from May to the bill that finally passed. Click here for a larger version

* And Speaker Madigan told reporters late Tuesday how he was able to bridge the gap between Senate Democrats who were concerned about the impact on retirees and House and Senate Republican negotiators who wanted more savings from the legislation…

Madigan: “In the end, just a few days ago, I was the one who made two critical suggestions.

“Number one, I’m the one that said that in terms of the inflation adjuster on the COLA it ought to go to the full consumer price index, which was a significant change because the House bill had provided for flat COLA, no change. The conference committee was talking about one-half of CPI. I’m the one that said, especially to the Senate Democrats, let’s use the full CPI which of course would reduce the cost savings.

“But then we would make that up by my second suggestion, which was to take 10 percent of the savings coming out of the bill and dedicate that to the pension system. Put it all together, you’re back over $160 billion in total cost savings, which was a strong demand from Republicans.”

Q: That 10 percent came in the final days?
Madigan: “Final days. Just before Thanksgiving. And I was the one who fashioned the compromise.”

Q: Did you have to make any promises to get those?
Madigan: “Just to be nice to reporters for a change.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 10:45 am:

    ===I was the one who made two critical suggestions===

    ===And I was the one who fashioned the compromise===

    Geez, try not to pull a muscle patting yourself on the back Mike.

  2. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 10:45 am:

    Love him or hate him (or sometimes both!), Madigan has to be the legislator of the year. This dude can get stuff done.

  3. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 10:48 am:

    Some interesting inside dope from Madigan.

    In the last few months, he’s pushed concealed-carry, gay marriage, and this pension bill over the goal line.

    There’s no discernable ideology at work there. But you want the dude carrying the rock in the red zone.

  4. - Rusty618 - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 10:50 am:

    As a 30 year SERS employee who will be forced to retire when the Governor closes my office down next year, am I going to get back my 1% pension contribution from the previous 30 year with compounded interest? Doubt it!

  5. - Rahm's Middle Finger - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 10:53 am:

    Murphy is great. Dillard is a bozo.

    Two years ago I would have no in a million years thought I’d say that.

  6. - Reason IL - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 10:54 am:

    Really? No ideology? Let’s be real…there is always a political agenda, especially for a career politican that can also have a second job that pays him much $$$$. He doesn’t have to worry about being able to pay his bills in the future.

  7. - Rahm's Middle Finger - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 10:56 am:

    One other thing, it’s totally out of character for the Speaker to try to take credit. I think he may have been really shook by the Metra/ Lisa calling him out month of June.

  8. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 10:59 am:

    Not sure what to make of Reboot Illinois these days.

    After it was noted Reboot’s pro-pension bill stance was at odds with Ken Griffin’s Trib op-ed and support of Rauner, Reboot Illinois spotlighted his Trib column (with disclosures stating Ken is not affiliated or involved with it but Anne was a founding investor).

    Just looked at Rauner’s A-1’s and noticed he got more cash on Dec. 2 from Lester Crown and Susan Crown’s husband ($75k in total), even though I thought the Crowns had a hand in Reboot Illinois as well and would
    have supported the pension bill along with the other civvie types.

  9. - justthefacts - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 10:59 am:

    ==As a 30 year SERS employee who will be forced to retire when the Governor closes my office down next year, am I going to get back my 1% pension contribution from the previous 30 year with compounded interest? ==

    Not to be rude, but are you serious? Do the math. chances are you will get the entire amount you contributed WITH the equivalent of compounded interest back within the first 4-5 years of your retirement.

  10. - walkinfool - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:02 am:

    True. Madigan will push it over the goal line, but on all three big issues, others worked for months/years to get them inside the ten. He knows and uses the strengths of his line.

  11. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:02 am:

    ===it’s totally out of character for the Speaker to try to take credit===

    It’s something we’ll be discussing soonish.

  12. - LARD - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:03 am:

    My favorite quote from Dillard is him locking himself in a room to read the bill. Couldn’t he get all the information he wanted from his running mate who is on the committee and voted yes?

  13. - Algonquin J. Calhoun - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:05 am:

    Justthefacts -

    Where does it say the 3% annual increase is to equal what was contributed? As part of the “compensation package” for employees, part of the deal was getting 3% annual increase and paying 1%. Other parts of the “deal” included receiving (generally) less than what is offered in the private sector, no bonuses, etc.

    What about this: at a “normal” retirement age, and “normal” life expectancy, will you receive more out of SS than you paid into it? If so, why should you?

  14. - Norseman - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:08 am:

    Hilarious video yes. His antics were very funny. But it also irritates me as a retiree because it shows disrespect for all the people that this legislation is going to adversely affect. That’s not funny. We’ve come a long way from the Matt Murphy I respected and campaigned for to the childlike antics shown during this debate.

    Yes, Dillard was being disingenuous, but that is the norm during legislative debates.

  15. - walkinfool - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:08 am:

    I continue to think the Speaker is considering his legacy much more now, than in the past. He’s “short”. A lot will depend on 2014 results.

  16. - Chicago Publius - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:09 am:

    In politics as in the parlor, people tend to claim credit when they feel vulnerable or irrelevant.

  17. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:12 am:

    Sen. Murphy, that was epic! That little slice is….exactly … how those who have known of Sen. Dillard, circa 1990s… see the Sen. Dillard of today and how we just can’t stomach this “new” Dillard. Wow.

    - wordslinger - posted something so obvious, that it was completely lost on me until it was pointed out. Goodness Gracious, look at the heave lifting and in the context of vast spectrum of Bills Speaker Madigan carried over the goal line. Not one mentioned by - wordslinger - would have been passed, not because he is Speaker Madigan the “velvet hammer” but passed because he was Speaker Madigan the member who knows how to count votes, and votes Bill when they are the most ripe.

    Working bills to passage on a window of your “specialty” is admirable. Working multiple bills to passage with nothing in common but their controvery on at least one side, wow.

  18. - A guy... - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:17 am:

    ===it’s totally out of character for the Speaker to try to take credit===

    Unless for the sake of some nervous legislators, taking credit is translated as taking blame. It’s not an ego trip, he ALWAYS knows exactly what he’s doing. He was not uncomfortable handing Mr. Googin, Goggin, whatever, a campaign issue. lol

  19. - Chicago Publius - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:18 am:

    In politics as in the parlor, people tend to take credit for themselves when they feel vulnerable or irrelevant.

  20. - walkinfool - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:18 am:

    Word says it right, of course.

    a “political agenda” does not equal “ideological”

    The drive to win, can trump loyalty to other shared concepts.

  21. - A. Nonymous - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:18 am:

    On Sen. Murphy… “Maybe he needs a new seat mate.”

    In kindergarten.

    He’s one-finger away from a one-finger salute at about 3:14.

    If Murphy was having that much trouble digesting his seatmate’s schpiel he should’ve gotten up and walked away.

    Disgraceful lack of respect to the 100,000s of Illinoisans this bill will hurt.

  22. - John Galt - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:19 am:

    I’m still unclear as to how the COLA works.

    My understanding is that generally (not Illinois’ pension plans, but just overall), COLAs are designed to keep a pension recipient’s purchasing power intact. I always thought it was largely pegged to inflation only, so that they won’t go backwards, but they would not be GAINING in purchasing power either.

    Now, with full compounding COLAs, what’s actually happening is that a pension recipient will not only be merely maintaining their purchasing power, but growing it, since the COLA is above the rate of inflation.

    I guess I’m not clear on the new plan for current retirees. Say a 30 year retiree has a pension of $100K per year. It seems like that $30K (30 years x $1,000) will be given a 3% simple interest COLA. Depending on the year, 3% may or may not be keeping pace with inflation.

    But what happens to the other $70K? Just nothing?

  23. - Bongofurry - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:20 am:

    Q: Did you have to make any promises to get those?
    Madigan: “Just to be nice to reporters for a change.” —–
    Does that also start go into effect in 2045?

  24. - A guy... - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:23 am:

    Comparing Illinois pensions to Social Security is utterly laughable. Between employee and employer, you pay 15%, self-employed pay the whole thing. At the end…age 65, 66 or 67, you get up to about $2100 if you paid the very maximum, most people get remarkably less. It’s nothing close to 75% of your best average earnings or other State plans that allow for earlier retirement. I’m sympathetic to pensioners. This is a tough one to deal with,but comparing it to Social Security is nuts.

  25. - Mason born - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:24 am:


    Let’s say you bought stock in Apple at its ipo at $22 and have held it ever since. Now you want to start redeeming shares to fund your retirement. Apples price today is $572. Apple tells you that is okay but we will only pay you $430. (this is the same ratio of reduction from example 1 of yesterday’s post) You are still getting much more than you put in. Would you consider that to be adequate??

    Try to think of it as a product purchased by employees. In exchange for 1% (the amount that was to go to colas) for their career they were to receive a 3% compounding cola. Would you had you purchased a similar product accept a 32% reduction in that product??

    I agree that changes have to be made to the pension system. However to pretend that you can uniformly dismiss the money you owe through a legally binding contract should chill everyone.

  26. - wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:25 am:

    –Just looked at Rauner’s A-1’s and noticed he got more cash on Dec. 2 from Lester Crown and Susan Crown’s husband ($75k in total),–

    Les Crown knows how to shake up Springfield. It involves bribing legislators with cash-filled envelopes.

    He knew how to shake up Washington, too. His General Dynamics secretly put Admiral Rickover on the payroll in a large way while chasing Navy contracts, then overcharged the government for stuff like country club dues and dog kennel fees.

    Reagan’s Navy Secretary John Lehman found in General Dynamics a ‘’a pervasive corporate attitude that we find inappropriate to the public trust.'’

    Andy Shaw found in Les Crown a sugar-daddy for the Civic Leadership Committee of the Better Government Association. Rauner’s on it, too.

    Can’t make that stuff up. Check out the old NYT article where Les “blames the system” for his actions, lol.

  27. - himself - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:26 am:

    Yes, SB1 is Mike Madigan’s. Remember that when the Supremes make their decision.

  28. - A guy... - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:28 am:

    Yikes to those criticizing Murphy. He ain’t my favorite. Yet, when you listen to that level of hypocrisy, making it up as you go along from Dillard, (I didn’t know Obama was gonna use the tape being the latest excuse/example), it’s amazing anyone could contain themselves. I don’t think he was showing contempt for the content of the bill, but the content of the character for his seat mate. Yeah, I’d move to another seat or there’ll be more of these Homer Simpson moments.

  29. - Demoralized - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:30 am:

    ==Disgraceful lack of respect to the 100,000s of Illinoisans this bill will hurt. ==

    Man, you totally missed the boat on this topic. I’d be disgusted with Dillard too. He apparently can’t pick a lane and stay in that lane. The guy is all over the place. I honestly have no idea what he stands for anymore.

  30. - Huh? - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:34 am:

    Does anybody know how this bill affects those former employees who resigned from the State before their retirement age and are waiting until they can apply for retirement?

  31. - Raising Kane - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:39 am:

    If you read those quotes of Madigans without somebody telling you who said them, you would believe Dillard was being quoted. When did the Speaker become so needy of credit? The great thing about him was that everybody knew he was the guy who got things done but he never said so himself.

    His “look what I did” victory lap makes him seem so pedestrian. MJM…go back to being cool ninja-like dude….don’t lower yourself to Dillard-speak.

  32. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:46 am:

    Nancy Pelosi & Obamacare situation?

    What a preening jerk!

    People said nice stuff about Dillard because he lost.

  33. - dupage dan - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:48 am:

    So, SB1 and the passed legislation looks remarkably similar. MJM claims credit for the bill being passed.

    What, then, was Quinn’s part in it?

  34. - downstate commissioner - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:53 am:

    The only thing that would have made it funnier would have been his playing solitaire on the computer…

    And I, too noticed the two fingers that if we had had been watching just a little more from the front, would have appeared to be the single finger…

  35. - Huggybunny - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:54 am:

    Murphy’s reaction was rude and unprofessional, it’s really just too bad if he felt uncomfortable with what Dillard was saying. He should have sat there,listened and exhibited the professional behavior warranted for the severity of the discussion. Peoples lives will be dramatically, and severely impacted by this legislation, and he was squirming around in his chair like a 5 year old told to sit still in the doctor’s office.

  36. - A. Nonymous - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:57 am:

    @ Demoralized: “Man, you totally missed the boat on this topic.”

    Umm, no.

    Despite the one sentence you cherry-picked from my post I do get that Murphy was disgusted.

    Apparently you missed the boat while reading my post.

    Murphy should’ve gotten up and walked away instead of acting like a child.

    Then again Matt Murphy does this sort of childish stuff more often than most realize so I guess it’s par for his course.

  37. - Seanoge - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:03 pm:

    Miller what is your obession with Kirk Dillard, have you ever sought help!

  38. - Timmeh - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:10 pm:

    ==Lack of Respect (from Senator Murphy)==
    It’s childish, sure. But the disrespect isn’t for you. It’s for Dillard. Every time Dillard hits one of his talking points (it was especially noticeable when he compared the pension reform bill to Obamacare), Murphy did something. Don’t take it as disrespect to you, because it’s not. It’s a response to Dillard and his pandering. If anything, there’s too much professionalism. Everyone lets Dillard do his rehearsed speech and gets on with their day. It’s pseudo-debate.

  39. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:11 pm:

    Rich, Can’t wait for “soonish.” As weird as Murphy’s fidgeting and Dillard’s dissembling was, the “I did it all, I made it work” stuff from Madigan was just weird and out of character. Curious how you’ll weave all that into our previous discussion of how the Speaker has been off his game of late. When is soonish?

  40. - Norseman - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:13 pm:

    === Man, you totally missed the boat on this topic. ===

    No we didn’t, the video was focused on Murphy’s antics during the speech.

    === I’d be disgusted with Dillard too. He apparently can’t pick a lane and stay in that lane. The guy is all over the place. I honestly have no idea what he stands for anymore. ===

    Agreed, but Dillard’s doing whatever it takes and saying whatever he needs to, to try and get elected has been a consistent theme of many many posts.

  41. - reformer - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:16 pm:

    It’s pretty clear that Madigan compromised the least from his earlier bill, while Cullerton and his caucus gave up the most. Once again, in other words, Madigan dominated the process.

  42. - Steeler fan - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:38 pm:

    Not to say that Speaker Madigan is not talented at his job. He is. However, he is someone who cares nearly exclusively about being in power. His positions on policy, such as they are, serve only that purpose. So, with increasing frequency, responding to the political climate of these times, the Chair of the Illinois Democratic Party regularly adopts traditional Republican Party policies. This enables him to partner with two of the three legislative caucus while the Governor is a non-factor for the most part. When one’s only concern is remaining in power, it makes certain things possible that are otherwise not.

  43. - child games - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 12:52 pm:

    Murphy always has been and always will be a child. Show a little respect my friend.

  44. - foster brooks - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:03 pm:

    Will the speaker own it if the supremes rule against him? If he thinks Illinois is in a hole now wait for the bad news from the bench.

  45. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:06 pm:

    “Yes, SB 1 is Mike Madigan’s”

    I want to take the longer view on pension reform, in that if the court strikes down the law, it will provide us with a “roadmap,” as some say, to do it lawfully. If it stands, well, that’s the law, and the fight will then be purely political. We’ll cross it when we get there.

    What I’m waiting to see is how this will play out in the GOP primary. There are union folks out there, I bet, who would support Rutherford and would vote for him if he stays consistent in his views. Rutherford would be the wisest of all if reform is found unconstitutional. In my opinion, Rauner has locked himself in as the extremist, which pleases the far right but may not appeal to many other people. Rutherford has a very strong case to make against Rauner becoming the candidate.

  46. - The Whole Truth - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:29 pm:

    John Galt 11:19AM
    I believe your understanding is correct.

  47. - MOON - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:33 pm:

    I have a serious question and hope someone has the correct answer.

    If the State decided to stop all pensions and instead went to a 401 k system would it require a change in the constitution?

    This question assumes all current and future pensioners are fully paid for what they claim is owed them under the existing pension programs.

  48. - RNUG - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 2:01 pm:

    Huh? - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 11:34 am:

    It treats “inactive” members (no longer employed and not yet drawing a pension) the same as “active” employees.

    If you scan through the bill, you’ll find the phrase “applies without regard to whether or not the Tier 1 participant is in active service” in pretty much every section where changes are made to Tier 1 terms.

  49. - anon - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 2:08 pm:

    Hopefully Murph will have a new seat mate soon –REBOLETTI!

  50. - Demoralized - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 2:14 pm:

    Well, I guess I’ll just have to disagree with those of you complaining Sen. Murphy acted like a child. Sen. Dillard’s speech deserved a childish reaction.

  51. - RNUG - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 2:28 pm:

    MOON - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 1:33 pm:

    Here’s a serious answer.

    IMO …

    Relying on previous rulings of the ISC re changing the terms of the pension contract, from a IL constitutional standpoint, there would be no restriction to doing so FOR NEW EMPLOYEES.

    If would be ILLEGAL under the IL constitution to FORCE current employees into making such a switch.

    There would be no IL constitutional problem offering such an option to current employees, but contract law consideration issues require it to be a VOLUNTARY choice on the part of the employee with the option to REMAIN in the current system with NO PENALTY for making that choice. Note: the “401K” option in SB0001 is structured this way, but it only applies going forward, does not cash out the previous benefits, and is limited on the nember of participants it will allow.

    Even if it was deemed legal, from a practical matter, it can’t happen. Making a complete swap to a 403(b) by totally eliminating the defined benefit plan and paying cash into the 403(b) plan more or less equal to the future value of already earned benefits is impossible. The State doesn’t have the cash on hand; if they had the cash in the five pension systems, they would be close to fully funded today … and there would be no problem.

    From a pure math standpoint, there are only three solutions:

    1) raise enough new revenue (taxes) to pay back the missing money

    and / or

    2) divert money from existing programs to pay back the missing money

    and / or

    3) figure at way to steal enough from the promised benefits to offset the missing money so it does not have to be paid back

    What we saw Tuesday was a lot of (3) and some of (2). The diversion (2) was the future commitment of monies currently being used to pay off previous pension bonds that becomes “free” between 2016 and 2019.

  52. - Samurai - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 2:32 pm:

    Big deal. Other than the context of Murphy spinning around and making faces next to the guy running for Governor, pretty sure his behavior is pretty common in a room full of people who would rather talk than listen.

  53. - MOON - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 2:40 pm:


    Thank you.

    Then my next question is What was Rauner thinking?

    If you are correct there is no solution other than hoping the new and signed bill is constitutional or having another amendment to the existing costitution.

  54. - RNUG - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 2:54 pm:

    MOON - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 2:40 pm:

    Probablty Rauner is thinking government is like business where a company can artifically create a bankruptcy situation, then dump their pension responsibility through the bankruptcy laws … and leave it to PGBC to partially honor the pensions with taxpayer money. Doesn’t work that way in state government since state’s can’t legally file for bankruptcy.

    Parts of SB0001 are blantantly unconstitutional and, at least, the drafters and leaders know. Heck, some them have even publicly said so!

    Even changing the IL constitution won’tmake a bit of difference, because it would only apply going forward. Under state and federal law you can’t retroactively and involuntarily change a contract. As -Old- said yesterday, that’s LAW 101. All the IL Constitution Pension Clause does is reinforce contract law by stating the pensions are a contract and saying they can’t be diminished.

    The bottom line that still hasn’t sunk in for a lot of people is, sooner or later, the existing state pension debt has to be paid.

  55. - MOON - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 3:09 pm:


    Again I thank you for the answer.Based upon your comments it appears Rauner has no solution.

    However, I am not sure you are correct regarding the question of whether or not the new law will be declared unconstitutional.

    I guess we will have to just wait and see!

  56. - RNUG - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 3:17 pm:

    MOON - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 3:09 pm:

    The ISC will have to overturn a LOT of their own previous rulings to agree that all of SB0001 constitutional. And they were crystal clear in Blagojevich v Jorgensen case that fiscal considerations don’t overturn law.

  57. - JJJ - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 3:33 pm:

    Murphy’s reaction at the end of the video when Brady was called on as next speaker…priceless.! He couldn’t wait to hear the contrast between Dillard’s “no” speech and Brady’s “yes”.

  58. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Dec 5, 13 @ 5:03 pm:

    To MJM,

    I have no clue as to Madigan’s quotes, or to the fact MJM is taking credit. I do not think its a grand scheme, I do not think it to be self congratulations for his own ego.

    For me, I know more about what I think it may NOT be, than what it actually COULD be.

    The road is littered with those many times smarter than me who thought they knew exactly what MJM was thinking and doing, and those corpses remind me to hold a thought when guessing about Madigan.

    But, this is not about “checkers/chess” or anything over the heads of mere mortals. I am not that cynical, though at times I can be. The right “answer” for me is “I don’t have the first clue”.

    Sometimes, its better to just “love the game”, than to think you “understand” what game is being played out, and along those lines, its not Tin Foil Hat”, its just not knowing what is around the bend.

    The MJM qoutes, in the vacuum, are “the game”. They are away from what made them relevent, and even away from what might be. I am going to let these qutes sit out there and just let “the game come to me”, because in reality, the Bill is long since passed and signed, so the real game is “what is MJM trying to say?”

    I don’t have the first clue.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Afternoon updates
* Hospitals back removal of income tax sunsets
* The other strategy
* *** UPDATED 1x *** Quinn onboard; Rauner latches onto term limits proposal
* Because Illinois is a real battleground state
* Quinn dodges Rahm question on "Morning Joe"
* Morning Shorts
* Yesterday's blog posts

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        * Sosnowski, other state leaders respond to Gov. .....
        * Minimum- and low-wage workers react to Gov. Pat.....
        * Governor Pat Quinn press conference: Western Il.....

        * Man charged with giving girlfriend HIV
        * Man charged with giving girlfriend HIV
        * Ill. jobs screened for political ties after hiring
        * Ex-Marine sentenced to die in sailor's slaying
        * Quinn: Obama library should get private funds too
        * Twice-fired police chief charged with battery
        * Illinois governor praises work of slain doctor
        * Illinois researchers to study Washington mudslide
        * Severe storms loom across central US this weekend
        * Severe storms loom across central US this weekend

        * Bankruptcy court trial sought over $3.8 million paid to Parsons
        * Amazon takes hit in states with online tax, study says
        * State audit: Police training money misspent
        * Audit: Treasurer's office has 30 guns not given to police
        * Madigan: 'Misunderstanding' on Obama library vote
        * Madigan re-elected to lead state Democratic party
        * Hastert, other state Republicans supporting immigration reform
        * Lawsuit seeks investigation of hiring under Quinn
        * Patronage allegations give Rauner fodder in race against Quinn
        * Bill would get state police cruisers on road

        * Chicago City Council committee OKs plastic bag ban
        * Feds to review Northwestern bid to unionize
        * United stock takes biggest tumble since October 2011
        * Next up for CPS: Barack Obama College Prep
        * Bronze statue of Roger Ebert unveiled at Ebertfest

        * Priest in 2nd child abuse investigation won’t be alone with kids: archdiocese
        * Woman sexually assaulted near Matteson Metra station
        * Reject firefighter staffing bill
        * Chicago man charged with giving girlfriend HIV; wife died of AIDS
        * Trio charged with robbing stores, gas stations in city, suburbs
        * His wife died of AIDS, now Chicago man is charged with giving girlfriend HIV
        * Pedicab operators say a crackdown could put them out of business
        * Robo-calls on pension reform bill raise Rauner-Rahm rift
        * Truck fatally strikes semi driver taking picture of accident
        * Semi fatally strikes pedestrian in Noble Square

        * Illinois graduated income tax vote next week
        * Woman sexually assaulted in Matteson
        * Dutch man charged in Chicago with selling drugs for bitcoins
        * 1 dead, 4 injured in shootings
        * Ravinia sales brisk, but wait long, as ticket-buying opens
        * New Chicago high school to be named for Obama
        * Lawyers for men charged in NIU hazing death challenge law
        * Coach fired in Maine West hazing scandal fails to win back job
        * Illinoisans have lowest home-state opinions in the U.S., poll says
        * Mom on death penalty for Torrez: ""I only wish I could do it myself"

        * Secret recording shows Uber's efforts to poach Chicago cabbies
        * Springfield Ordinances for Lincoln's Funeral Unearthed
        * Illinois Finally Gets 'No Child Left Behind' Waiver
        * Chicago aldermen pass plastic bag ban
        * City Council panel passes plastic bag ban
        * Marian Anderson Tribute - 'The Concert That Shook The Establishment'
        * Organic foods sold by Walmart create fear among some organic farmers and farm advocates
        * Senator Kirk joins Revolution in backing Small BREW Act
        * Listen To State Week - April 18, 2014
        * Earth Friendly Event In Springfield This Weekend

        * State jobs screened for political rules after hires
        * Quinn: Obama library should get private funds too
        * Rauner skips GOP event over pastor's comments
        * Quinn backs term limits for constitutional officers
        * Rauner wants Quinn to release hiring documents
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Barr borrowed late in sheriff campaign to keep ads flowing
        * Cristal Thomas: Protecting Illinois’ pregnant workers shouldn’t be a heavy lift
        * Remap group says it is not political
        * Quinn clout hiring faces scrutiny
        * Judge OKs use of lawmaker's post-arrest statement

        * Farm truck crossing railroad tracks hit by passenger train
        * UPDATED: Passenger train hits farm truck near Savoy
        * ISU rehires fired grounds worker
        * Lawnmowers taken from Lowe's
        * Train hits farm implement near Savoy
        * Updated: New Central High School site proposed
        * I-74 bridge meeting draws large crowd
        * Updated: Ebert knew about plans for statue
        * Robber sentenced to 10 years in prison
        * Three charged with Social Security fraud

        * The 10th District money race
        * Aurora Democrat calls out IHSA
        * Lawyers: Ill. hazing law vague, unconstitutional
        * Ill. House OKs lower-cost hunting bill for seniors
        * Quinn’s running mate takes new consulting job

        * Rep. Lipinski Reviews Operations at Hanson...
        * Lipinski announces 2014 Congressional Art ...
        * Lipinski seeks artistic submissions - The ...
        * Lemont VFW honors Vietnam veterans - Subur...
        * Lipinski Votes to Protect the Paychecks of...
        * Meet the 8 House Dems who don't co-sponsor...
        * Jeff Vorva's Editor's Notebook: In this ca...
        * Rep. Lipinski to Honor Vietnam Veterans at...
        * Rep. Lipinski Helps Secure Funds for Safet...
        * Rep. Lipinski Reviews Operations at Hanson...

        * Loading Koch Industries Website Too Many T......
        * Maryland and DC among worst for food aller......
        * Cleveland State University to reestablish ......
        * Convicted political boss Al Sanchez runnin......
        * Candidates make last filings for local, st......

        * Illinois Lt. Gov. Simon opposes pension le......
        * Dillard Odd Man Out on Pension Deal Reaction...
        * Sen. Mark Kirk sides with Rauner on pensio......
        * Governor's race infighting threatens pensi......
        * SCHOONERS - Home of Everyone's Favorite Be......

        * Major Oil & Gas Firm To List Drilling Chemicals
        * Durbin Says FDA E-Cigarette Regulations Don't Go Far Enough
        * Herbalife Punished 600 Distributors For Medical Claims: ABC News
        * Harmon To Push For Graduated Tax Vote Next Week
        * Madigan blames Tea Party for $100M Obama Library re-vote
        * Oberweis remains committed to border security, immigration law enforcement
        * One In Ten U.S. Bridges In Urgent Need Of Repair: Report
        * Chicago Plastic Bag Ban Clears Committee, Heads To Full City Council
        * Quinn Announces Support For Term Limits For Statewide Lawmakers
        * Chicago High School To Be Named After Obama

        * Cases of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and HIV on the Rise Nationally - Residents Are Encouraged to Get Tested for STDs
        * State Insurance Regulators Urge Property Owners to Review/Add Coverage to Protect from Floods & Water Damage - Most homeowners’ policies do not cover flood damage
        * Governor Quinn Statement on New Proposal to Enact Term Limits for Constitutional Officers
        * Statement from Governor Quinn on the Passing of Dr. Jerry Umanos
        * Governor Quinn Proclaims “Wrigley Field Day” - Home of the Chicago Cubs Turns 100 Years Old Today

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