SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Bankruptcy? C’mon, man

Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014

* Eden Martin recently made the case for allowing Chicago to declare bankruptcy in order to get out of its pension obligations

It seems to me that the most important issues have to do with the fiscal future of Illinois and Chicago. Whatever the fate in the courts of the state’s pension reform law, Chicago has its own unfunded pension debts to deal with, and it needs state legislative permission to do just about anything. So here are some questions for the candidates.

Detroit was able to seek federal bankruptcy protection only because Michigan law expressly permitted it. Illinois, unlike Michigan, has not permitted cities here to seek such bankruptcy protection. Would you, Mr. Candidate, support an Illinois law authorizing Chicago to seek bankruptcy protection, like Detroit? If Chicago can’t pay its bills, isn’t a bankruptcy process of some kind necessary to avoid chaos? […]

If the state’s pension reforms are upheld and if similar reforms are enacted for Chicago, do you think pension reform — by itself — would be enough to avoid fiscal collapse? Have you looked at the numbers lately?

* Kind of extreme, no? Standard & Poor’s now has a negative outlook on the city’s credit rating, but bankruptcy? C’mon, man

The negative outlook reflects our view of the risks involved in how the city will address its upcoming, large pension payments.

A pledge of the city’s full faith credit and resources, as well as ad valorem property taxes without limitation as to rate or amount, secures its GO bonds.

The rating reflects our assessment of the following factors for the city, specifically its:

    • Strong, broad, and diverse economy given its status as a major regional economic center;

    • Adequate budgetary flexibility, which indicates that, although the city has home rule status, which provides increased taxing and borrowing capacity, its flexibility is limited by the city’s historical reluctance to adjust property taxes;

    • Very weak budgetary performance, reflecting recent deficits and reliance on reserves to balance operations and an outlook of continued budget challenges; however, we note that the city has no plans to utilize its long-term reserves in the service concession reserve fund;

    • Very strong liquidity providing very strong cash levels to cover both debt service and expenditures;

    • Strong management conditions with good financial practices and policies in place;

    • Very weak debt and contingent liabilities position, driven mostly by the city’s high net direct debt; and

    • Weak Institutional Framework score.

* From the narrative

Very strong liquidity

Supporting the city’s finances is liquidity we consider to be very strong, with total government available cash of more than 100% of debt service. We believe the city has exceptional access to external liquidity. The city has issued bonds frequently during the past 15 years, including GO bonds, enterprise fund revenue bonds, and sales tax bonds.

Strong management

We view the city’s management conditions as strong, supported by “good” financial management practices under our financial management assessment (FMA). The city produces long-term financial and capital plans, which officials update annually. The city has a formal debt management policy and has adopted ordinances that limit the use of nongeneral fund reserves for budget-balancing purposes.

Very weak debt and contingent liability profile

In our opinion, the city’s debt and contingent liabilities profile is very weak, with pension funding levels and upcoming pension payments posing a significant challenge. The city has a combination of fixed-rate and variable-rate debt, and swaps are utilized to hedge risk. We do not view the city’s debt portfolio as being vulnerable to interest rate risk or speculative contingent liabilities. Direct debt is manageable in our view, with total governmental fund debt service at 13% of total governmental fund expenditures in 2012. The city has a roughly $3 billion, five-year bond program, most of it focused on water and sewer projects. We do not expect debt issuance within the next two years to lead to significant increases in the GO debt burden. The city has used bonds to improve and modernize its infrastructure.[Emphasis added.]

* The pension stuff is darned serious, though

The city’s debt profile is challenged by its pension obligations. The city contributes to four different pension plans. The city’s budgets include pension payments for the four defined benefit plans that fully meet the statutorily required amounts. However, current state statutes in effect base contributions on a multiple of payroll and do not address unfunded liabilities. The budgeted pension payment amount for 2013 is $479.5 million, based on the statutory formula. This stops short of the $1.47 billion actuarially required contribution (ARC) determined in the Dec. 31, 2012 actuarial report. If it was included in the 2013 corporate fund budget, the ARC payment of $1.5 billion would represent roughly 35% of the corporate fund budget, an amount we consider very high.

The overall unfunded liability of the four plans is $19.5 billion as of 2012, up from $11.9 billion in 2009, and the plans altogether are 35% funded. [Emphasis added.]

* While not diminishing the problems, S&P seems to believe they’re manageable. For example

We consider Chicago’s economy to be strong, broad, and diverse, with employment opportunities spanning all the major industries. Furthermore, the city is home to the headquarters of several large corporations, has a large tourism base, and is a transportation hub.

* And

Adequate budget flexibility

In our opinion, the city’s budgetary flexibility is helped by its reserves in the service concessions and reserve funds. […]

Although the city has taxing flexibility owing to its home-rule status, it has not historically availed itself of that flexibility. Hindering budget flexibility is a political unwillingness historically to raise property taxes to meet budgetary challenges, particularly with respect to looming pension payment increases. In our view, the city also has a limited capacity to cut spending given that nearly two-thirds of 2012 general fund expenses were in the area of public safety.

Bankruptcy would mean a horrible credit rating for possibly decades to come. It should not be an option.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    Chicago is not Detroit. I don’t know how many times it has to be said. Chicago isn’t even close to discussing bankruptcy.

    As for the pensions, I guess Mr. Martin will go to whatever lengths necessary to take away public employee pensions.

  2. - Mittuns - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    LaRouches may have a Senate candidate in Texas:

  3. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    –Strong, broad, and diverse economy given its status as a major regional economic center;–

    Just like Detroit, right Eden?

    Chicago can pay its bills; guys like Eden just don’t want to pay contracted pension obligations for services already rendered.

    He’d rather the city shed its pension obligations in bankruptcy court, like the airlines. That’s considered “conservative” in some circles.

  4. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    So we should reward bad behavior by allowing a bankruptcy filing?

    No thank you. That sets a dangerous precedent and eventually leads to a recurrence of this situation.

    The Constitutional Convention saw this problem coming from a mile away and sent a very clear message to state leaders. Legislators chose to ignore that warning and dig the hole even deeper as voters chose to re-elect those legislators many times over.

    Now, we must literally pay the consequences of our actions. The lesson learned may be a painful one, but it will also be one remembered by future generations.

    It is too bad for us that we are the ones at the end of the road the can has been kicked down for so many years. We are the ones who will have to endure the cost of paying off all those checks our predecessors wrote on our dime.

    Either that, or we could always dump the cost on our kids. Again.

  5. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:54 am:

    Eden Martin - poster child for NOT doing another ConCon. Does he REALLY believe Chicago is like Detroit? Wow - with friends like this, Chicago ain’t got need for no enemies.

  6. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    “We consider Chicago’s economy to be strong, broad, and diverse, with employment opportunities spanning all the major industries.”

    In good news, there will be a new technology center that involves public-private funding.

    Mayor Emanuel did a long op-ed article also that’s in the paper today, about the center, Digital Manufacturing Design Lab.

    People like Martin will do anything for the wealthy to not contribute a penny more toward solving our fiscal problems, and bankruptcy is another one of those tactics. Using the bankruptcy option is an excuse to attack unionized public employees and their benefits.

  7. - A guy... - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 11:58 am:

    Sure, exactly what we need. Dope. First Chicago and then every city in Illinois looking for an easy, quick fix files bankruptcy. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. How about you fix the symptoms that caused the problem in the first place. Negotiate in good faith, negotiate with brass knuckles if you need to. But, ultimately negotiate. People who despise each other make agreements every day. If every side walks away thinking they’ve given up too much, it’s probably a lousy deal everyone can live with.

  8. - Norseman - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    Martin should be declared morally bankrupt.

  9. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    What’s missing in this discussion is that Chicago’s strong economy is, overwhelmingly, -in- Chicago. I’ve talked to reporters from Detroit and Cleveland and they’ve said the biggest problem those cities had wasn’t the migration of jobs as much as the inability to adapt to those changes because of too much borrowing (something one credited the late Mayor Daley of avoiding w/ Chicago). People forget that there’s still an economy in the Detroit metropolitan area, there’s just little within Detroit itself. The key to Chicago staying vibrant and making bankruptcy talk a non-starter is keeping its middle class property owners and white yuppie renters (and I don’t mean that derogatively) in the city. Dump the entire pension liabilities AND bond debt on them and the picture could change.

  10. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    Bankruptcy is a standard corporate tactic. Has been for decades. To R Eden, and the other plutocrats, declaring bankruptcy is just a means to an end of reducing debt. Boom! Problem solved. Beyond that, they don’t care about the continued destruction that they wreak on the middle class.

  11. - anon - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    Eden (a misnomer of a first name) seems to think that the filing of bankruptcy will be a magic wand which automatically wipes away all pension obligations. Really? Does he think that the proceeds from selling the City’s considerable assets (O’Hare to name one) won’t go directly to the pension fund? Enough with the scare mongering.

  12. - Carl Nyberg - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    If Chicago started to initiate taxing the money that moves through CBOT, would the rating improve?

    Or are these ratings more accurately understood as the capital class opinion on the direction of the unit of government?

  13. - RJ - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    If all the corruption and theft of public resources were eliminated….Chicago would have a budget surplus.

  14. - funny guy - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:49 pm:

    I’m glad to see that someone else mention has mentioned O’Hare as an asset that could be sold to significantly reduce the pension debt. If Midway can fetch $2 Billion–O’Hare could easily sell for $10 Billion or more. AND–UNLIKE PARKING METERS–no O’Hare revenue currently contributes to the City’s budget. Further, you could eliminate City personnel that do O’Hare-related work. Next–all TIFs could be cancelled and reallocate the $500 million per year that is used for a slush fund. These are just the obvious assets. So, Eden, do you really want to see Chicago declare bankruptcy and then be required to open their books to forensic accountants to find where all the money goes? Go ahead, make my day.

  15. - DuPage - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 12:49 pm:

    @Carl Nyberg, 12:15pm=If Chicago started to initiate taxing the money that moves through CBOT=

    I think they already tried that. The CBOT said they were going to move 20 minutes away to Indiana if the tax was not rolled back. Unlike a factory, they could very easily relocate.

  16. - Bill White - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    If the Detroit Institute of Arts goes on the auction block, why wouldn’t O’Hare Airport?

    But maybe for some that would be a feature rather than a bug.

  17. - DuPage - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 1:31 pm:

    =Detroit was able to seek federal bankruptcy protection only because Michigan law expressly permitted it.=

    That sounds inaccurate, I had read Michigan law did not allow that. According to the article, the state overseer announced Detroit would file the next day. The unions went to a Michigan court to get an injunction. The state’s lawyer then faked illness and the judge granted a 15 minute delay in the hearing so he could use the washroom. He came back at the end of 15 minutes and announced the proceeding was moot as Detroit filed in the federal court 5 minutes ago. The federal judge said once bankruptcy was filed, absent an injunction, it was valid.

    Federal law allows cities, townships, counties to file bankruptcy.

    Federal law does not allow states to file bankruptcy.

    The Michigan governor and AG ignored Michigan law to order the bankruptcy filing.

    Ignoring state law appears to be catching on, maybe they figured if Illinois does it, so can Michigan.

  18. - facts are stubborn things - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    A none starter.

  19. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    The City brought this on itself. During Daley jr admin he had at least 3 early buy outs of employees.

    Another words , they got to buy 5 years of service and retire early. Daley, of course, didn’t fund the pensions so your left with thousands of guys and gals retiring in their early 50’s at 80% salary for the rest of their and their spouses (at a reduced %) life. Just being able to retire at 50 is unsustainable.

    No City can afford that. They very well may have to sell their airports.

  20. - MOON - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 1:50 pm:

    My reading of Eden Martin’s article does not conlude he is advocating bankruptcy.

    He is merely asking hypothetical questions. It is time for all of us to think about how these problems can be solved. Some of the alternatives are extremely grim.

    The commentators are jumping to conclusions not supported by his article.

  21. - illinifan - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    Amen to Public Servant…private business has used the bankruptcy tactic to short shrift retirees for years….when will we say this is not a good business tactic and when will the public wise up…we keep touting private business as if it can operate better….not necessarily so, they can operate differently from government. There is a reason government pensions were excluded from the PBGC legislation since government was expected to be better than business in meeting its obligations.

  22. - Cook County Commoner - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    Bankruptcy is not an option for Chicago. Increased gentrification of lakefront property will increase property tax revenues and more privatization of services, especially education, and more cutbacks in non-safety related services should buy it liquidity for years to come.
    Smaller Illinois communities are another story. They may play out like in California with new ch 9 filings every year. But the California municipal bankruptcy drama is far from hopeful. For instance, Villejo CA appears on the brink of going into bankruptcy for the second time because it failed to properly address its pension problems the first time around.
    If the Illinois Supreme Court overturns the pension reform act, which appears likely, I suspect pension reform in Illinois will follow the California model of increasing small municipal bankruptcies or defaults, if the state government does not approve a filing, followed by a solution which is yet to be determined.

  23. - Joe M - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 2:11 pm:

    Chicago STRENGTHS

    • Chicago’s role as the center of one of the nation’s largest and most diverse economies

    • Very large property tax base and high tax collection rates

    • Broad legal authority to levy property taxes and sales taxes as an Illinois home rule unit of government

    That is from Moody’s. Doesn’t sound like a city near bankruptcy to me.

  24. - Steve - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 2:12 pm:

    Is it crazy to talk about Chapter 9 Bankruptcy for Chicago ? As Bloomberg news reported recently , Chicago has the highest debt per capita of any major American city.

    Secondly, the business cycle suggests there will be a national recession by no later than June of 2019- if history is any guide. City Hall acts like there will be no more recessions. The last two recessions were brutal on revenue collection for Chicago.

    What if Chicago continues to lose more population? It lost 7% in the 2010 Census. We all hope S&P and Moody’s are right about Chicago but they aren’t perfect- remember the housing bubble ?? Lastly, where is Rahm going to get the $600 Million for the pensions coming up??? Will higher Chicago taxes really bring in more revenue at this point?

  25. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 2:20 pm:

    –• Chicago’s role as the center of one of the nation’s largest and most diverse economies–

    Fourth largest metro economy in the world: Tokyo, New York, LA, Chicago. Eight largest metro destination in the world for immigrants, with 1.6 million foreign-born residents voting with their feet.

  26. - Steve - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 2:31 pm:


    Being diverse is great but where is Rahm supposed to come up with the $600 million for the public pensions by the end of year? Are you suggesting raising sales taxes? property taxes? Or instituting a city income tax?

  27. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    Steve, I’m not suggesting anything. Rahm wanted to be the Man on Five, he can figure it out between tapings of his new reality show.

    I just caution against equating the Daley/Rahm kick-the-can fiscal mismanagement to economic vitality.

  28. - fed up - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 2:51 pm:

    Phineas J. Whoopee -

    WHAT EMPLOYEES GET 80% OF SALARY, typical BS make up lies to stir up dissent.

  29. - illinifan - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 3:10 pm:

    fed up…..some employees got this kind of money when they retired from jobs that had defined contribution plans in private industry. I have friends who retired from AT&T and UPS at age 51 and have lived very nicely on their pensions….this is when business used to provide pensions. Now pensions are not common in private industry but everyone gripes about what government employees get. I still remember when my family thought I was crazy to work for half the salary in government that I would have gotten in private industry. I kept saying but I will have a pension. Also remember 80% of government employees do not qualify for Social Security. The pension is their only income. My friends from AT&T and UPS who retired at 51 are now receiving their Social Security benefits plus their pension.

  30. - YO - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 3:13 pm:

    Will higher Chicago taxes really bring in more revenue at this point?

    Well, um, yes. Apparently skimming off of public workers’ deferred compensation won’t work anymore and you really can’t just make them work until they die without collecting anything in old age, so, yes, people actually have to pay for things provided to them.
    Is there some other option?

  31. - anon - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 3:14 pm:

    == Hindering budget flexibility is a political unwillingness historically to raise property taxes to meet budgetary challenges, particularly with respect to looming pension payment increases. ==

    Chicago property owners enjoy the lowest property taxes in Illinois. My house in northwest Cook pays a tax rate about 50% higher than the Chicago rate. Why should the political cowardice of City officials to raise property taxes to the level in the ‘burbs justify bankruptcy?

  32. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 3:15 pm:

    Hey fed up,

    “Daley, a former state senator, made it happen by briefly rejoining the legislative pension plan in 1991. He stayed there just one month before returning to Chicago’s municipal pension fund, but the switches made him eligible for benefits worth 85 percent of his mayoral salary — a better rate than all other city employees receive.”

    Well there is one of them.

  33. - YO - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 3:22 pm:

    In addition to what Illinifan said about private pensions plus social security……..they also actually made some cash while they worked. In the position I held, on a very low salary, the only money I was able to save was for my childrens’ college education. There is no IRA, there is no 401K,there is little savings for me because I worked for a paltry sum, assuming I would have a pension as my main income in retirement. Lots of people in the private sector had enough to create their own retirement account in addition to social security (which I do not get) and profit sharing, 401K, perhaps a pension in addition. I don’t think most people are willing to acknowlege how little overall, public workers get while working and how little they’re entitled to in retirement. The media has done a fabulous job of exploiting the very tiny percentage who receive very generous pension amounts. The overwhelming majority live on small pension payments but enough to keep them out of poverty. Couple that with little saved for themselves because they never made much.

  34. - I B Strapped - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 3:56 pm:

    wordslinger@2:41PM: Hero for the day!

    Sorry Rahm…..(Not)

  35. - RNUG - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 4:08 pm:

    –Cook County Commoner–

    Under current IL law, any IL governmental unit can’t declare bankruptcy. Maybe they could get away with a Detroit style run into federal court, maybe they couldn’t.

  36. - Bemused - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 5:08 pm:

    Just looked at another article over on MSN Money about the Hostess bankruptcy. Seems they managed to dump about 2 billion in pension debt with that one. Of course on the private side that kicks the pension over to the PBGC. Some pensioners will go from around 3 grand a month to maybe 1000. Some will lose even more than that.
    To the point, neither private nor public employers should be able to get that far behind on payments to a plan. That we as a country have allowed this is more than sad. To talk about Chicago going broke to stiff their employees just has me shaking my head.
    Watched a show on PBS about labor in the 1910 timeframe last night. It seems some want to return to those great times.

  37. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 5:17 pm:

    –My reading of Eden Martin’s article does not conlude he is advocating bankruptcy.–

    Right. Like most columnists, he just randomly chose a topic that he has no obvious opinion on.

    Do you get paid for that weak spin? If so, salud.

  38. - Judgment Day (Road Trip) - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 6:32 pm:

    “Under current IL law, any IL governmental unit can’t declare bankruptcy. Maybe they could get away with a Detroit style run into federal court, maybe they couldn’t.”

    Can’t do it. Already been tried - Washington Park, down in Metro East. Filed for reorganization, Federal judge tossed the filing, as the IL legislature has not passed enabling legislation allowing local units of government to file for bankruptcy.

    Legislature would have to pass enabling legislation to make the bankruptcy option available to units of local government (specifically municipalities).

  39. - RonOglesby - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 6:36 pm:

    “Watched a show on PBS about labor in the 1910 timeframe last night. It seems some want to return to those great times. ”

    Seeing how lots of the pension issues are gov (state and local) and Labor and politicians are pretty tight and have created this problem TOGETHER I am not sure how we are returning to 1910 labor practices. If anything, most of the private sector has moved from pensions BECAUSE of the problems with them, while gov has embraced them as well as their labor partners.

  40. - What is to be done? - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 7:14 pm:

    On the brightside, the plot to the original Robocop looks more and more likely to actually take place in Detroit in the not-too-distant future.

  41. - Judgment Day (Road Trip) - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 7:22 pm:

    City of Chicago can survive, but it’s likely to mean a lot (and that’s A LOT) of cutbacks in terms of jobs, programs, etc. And big time changes in how business is done in Chicago.

    The City’s budget is like, right around $3.2 bil currently. If I remember correctly, in 2016 (confirmed by the report), Chicago is going to have to come up with around $600 mil more for public safety retirement funding. That’s right at 20% of their current revenue base.

    That’s more than 100% of the amount the city gets from sales tax (current #1 revenue generator).

    Also, from the report, if they want to raise any part of the money from property taxes (the $600 mil a year increase comes due in calendar year 2016), the increase has to be passed by the City Council as part of the 2014 budget to make sure the money comes in during 2016.

    Chicago may not be Detroit redux by any means, but it’s nowhere near clear blue skies. They got some work to do, and anybody currently in the City workforce who thinks it’s just business as usual is likely to get a rude awakening.

    The City workforce is likely to be a lot smaller than it is today, because IMO there’s no place else to reach those retirement funding numbers required.

  42. - YO - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 7:27 pm:

    It continues to be an exercise in futility and ignorance to try to compare private to public. Different capabilities to create revenue. However, defined benefit plans are much cheaper than defined contribution plus social security. Schools would be really wiped out if they had to contribute to social security for their employees along with a 401K style benefit plan (and then everyone would be upset that the children were being ripped off. So DB plan is cheaper). Of course it’s only better if the sticky fingers of politicians stay out of the pot. Just like IMRF, pension funds would be at 80% or better if there hadn’t been theft of funds.

  43. - Bemused - Wednesday, Feb 26, 14 @ 9:12 pm:

    Ron O 6:36
    What some seem to think.
    1910 = Government regulation of labor, health and safety not needed. Unions just interfere with the owners god given right to run the company as they see fit. Workers lucky to have a job.
    2014= Different?

    I have said before and will say again 401K is a big lie. Corporate America loves it because the full effect will take some more time to be seen. For the time being it takes responsibility off of the company’s and they will not have to bankrupt to shuck the real cost. Same ending though, Taxpayers pick up the cost.
    Your line about the Unions and Lawmakers being in bed to cause the problems we now have with DB pensions is a Howler. Those lawmakers are influenced from two sides. I am pretty sure it was not the Unions that wanted laws to be such that both private and public employers could underfund pension contributions for years with almost no ramifications.

  44. - ejhickey - Thursday, Feb 27, 14 @ 12:52 am:

    sooner or later, someone is going to have to say the dreaded words: CITY INCOME TAX

  45. - facts are stubborn things - Thursday, Feb 27, 14 @ 7:57 am:

    Straw man.

  46. - Obamas Puppy - Thursday, Feb 27, 14 @ 8:23 am:

    Eden used to be a reasonable guy with thoughtful input, those days have past.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Happy Thanksgiving!
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Five unanswered questions
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Question of the day
* Caption contest!
* Crossing the line
* Moody's warns Illinois
* The Credit Union Difference
* *** UPDATED x1 - Franks responds *** Uh-oh
* Then and now
* 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

* Huawei Mate 8 goes official in China with Kirin 950 inside, global launch to follow in Q1
* Smartphones targeted as a cause for US traffic death spike
* Lara Croft: The Shard of Life updated with new chapter
* HTC kicks off new Preview Program
* Get $100 back from LG if you get a G4 or V10 on Verizon
* Telegram update brings supergroups and admins
* Verizon’s go90 streaming service now has its first original series

* White Sox program provides kids real chance
* Johnson solid candidate for White Sox rotation
* White Sox sign catcher Avila to one-year deal
* White Sox sign catcher Avila to one-year deal
* White Sox sign catcher Avila to one-year deal
* White Sox sign C Alex Avila for 1 year, $2.5 million
* White Sox sign catcher Avila to one-year deal


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

November 2015
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


* Cross Supports New Appointee - Alton Daily News..
* Rauner on Refugees - Alton Daily News..
* Illinois makes tax break deals with 3 companies.....
* Rauner Pardons Man Found Innocent of 1999 Attac.....
* Governor Issues Pardons In 2 Jefferson and 1 Fa.....

* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attack
* Springfield police chief bemoans body-cam 'burden'
* Illinois makes tax break deals with 3 companies
* Most Illinois metro jobless rates fall but many lose jobs
* EXCHANGE: Fire training buildings adapt to versatile needs
* Amtrak ramps up service, offers tips for holiday travel
* Bishop Hill Museum acquires early painting by folk artist
* State treasurer to hold online auction of unclaimed property
* Man gets 16 years for sexually assaulting a woman he knew
* U of Illinois group looking for chancellor led by professor

* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attack
* Springfield jobless rate falls again, to 5.1 percent
* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Number of Illinois inmates released on parole climbing
* Bryce Benton circulating petitions to challenge Sen. Sam McCann in GOP primary
* Executive Mansion roof repairs nearing completion
* Candidates begin filing petitions for March primary election
* Benton circulating petitions to challenge McCann in GOP primary
* Rauner administration says House Democrats holding local aid hostage

* Review: Sociale in the South Loop
* Her Barbie was a lawyer. Now she defends victims' rights
* Meet the guy making money off your food scraps
* Anger, pain and calls for change in response to police video
* United, Delta bet on long oil slump

* Blackhawks cool off Sharks; Kane extends point streak to 17
* Four more Laquan McDonald police dashcam videos released
* President Obama: ‘Disturbed’ by Laquan video, grateful for ‘peaceful’ protests
* Black leaders call for Supt. McCarthy to resign
* Viktor Tikhonov embraces off-ice role as Artemi Panarin’s guide
* Ex-Hawks winger Ben Smith working his way back from a concussion
* FOP posts notice on raising bail for officer charged with murder
* Brian Bliss remains employed by Fire
* Black Caucus renews calls for McCarthy’s ouster
* Reasons Blackhawks fans should be thankfull

* Teen dead, 3 other people wounded in city shootings
* Live blog: Laquan McDonald protests in Chicago
* Four new Laquan McDonald shooting videos raise more questions
* Calls for reform after McDonald video release; protesters march in Loop
* Man charged with home invasion after woman reported taken from Oak Park house
* Questions remain on long inquiry before Laquan McDonald shooting charges
* Police: Two girls struck by SUV while walking on sidewalk
* Indiana's proposed new religious freedom plan draws ire
* Charges dropped against protest leader accused of striking cop during Loop march
* Gov. Rauner grants clemency to 10, denies 200

* Eugene Robinson: The GOP's political correctness dodge
* Douglas Holt: Woman's protest of Trump was misguided, inappropriate
* George Will: Muzzling pet advice another case of free speech erosion
* Bernard Schoenburg: Josh Langfelder took father's advice on election petition signatures
* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attack
* Springfield jobless rate falls again, to 5.1 percent
* Michael Gerson: The Trump effect, still 'understated'
* Catherine Rampell: For millennials, first comes love — then what?
* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money

* Illini swept again by Nebaska
* Cubit planning ahead
* PODCAST: Sports Talk 11-25-15
* Asmussen's Huddle Up: Michigan State feeling good
* PODCAST: Celestina Savonius-Wroth, U of I Library
* Ex-Rockets: Relish experience
* Arcola's Hutton takes care of business
* Updated: Danville teen killed, 3 hurt, in Indiana crash
* The Health Reporter Is In: Nov. 25, 2015
* Danville teen killed, 3 hurt, in Indiana crash

* Vermette, Duclair, Domi lead Coyotes to 4-2 win over Ducks
* Lowry, DeRozan lead Raptors past Cavaliers, 103-99
* At funeral for slain Minneapolis man, vow to seek justice
* Better effort helps Buffalo Grove past Marmion
* A different kind of college achievers

* 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

* Nebraska ethanol producers name former Dur......

* Opinion: Sen. Kirk must stand with crimina......

* “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective
* IDOT Debuts Winter Weather Driving Tips Video
* Pot Dangerous? Mother's Testimony Says Yes [video]
* Happy Thanksgiving
* It seems like it’s everywhere, that video of the final moments of Laquan’s life
* Laquan McDonald.
* Sixteen shots. The story that broke the silence.
* Thomas Francis McGuire interviewed on NTNM
* Random thoughts.
* Prosecutors drop charges against Malcolm London.

* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

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