* Rich is on vacation this week, and Oscar hasn’t quite mastered home row. That means you are stuck here with me for the time being.
* Feds: Indicted State Rep. Smith admitted to accepting cash bribe: The documents read: “At numerous times during the interview Smith stated ‘I f—ed up’… Smith stated that it was all about getting money to put money back out on the streets in the hands of his campaign workers.” Smith’s attorneys are fighting to keep the alleged confession out of the trial, arguing Smith was falsely led to believe he was cutting a plea deal.
* CTA weighs two options for Red Line extension route
* Gresham staff, parents protest plans for CPS ‘turnaround’
* Ameren touts power grid upgrades; critics are skeptical
* Cubs’ Ricketts: It’s ‘our priority’ to stay at Wrigley
* Addiction treatment specialists say state funding is too low: If the temporary income tax were allowed to drop from 5 percent to 3.75 percent next year as scheduled, the Illinois Department of Public Health would lose $20 million in funding for its drug treatment programs. IDHS estimates it would have to eliminate services for 15,922 people.
* Strip club tax for rape centers falls short of projected revenue
* Bill Brady: Illinois budget likely to ‘kick the can down the road’
* Lawmaker kicks off new campaign for Chicago casino: “Basically the gaming board is a good regulator and they’ve figured out bad things in the existing casinos,” Mr. Quinn’s press office quotes him as recently saying. “Chicago wanted to regulate itself. I think they’ve pretty much given that up and they understand the gaming board will call the shots. That’s principle number one.” I’d take that as a sign that Mr. Qunn is warming up to the Rita bill. On the other hand, City Hall is not there, at least not yet. “We agree with the Governor’s prior statements of not focusing on gaming until our pensions have been resolved,” his spokeswoman, Sarah Hamilton, told me yesterday.
* SJ-R: Approve statute of limitations change for Illinois rape cases
* Southern: It will take patience, but project will succeed
* New Illinois State Police cruisers are parked
* House bill urges schools to make digital emergency plans
* H-R: Fair maps battle enters new phase
* Plastic Bag Ban Vote Delayed by Council Committee
* Normal’s city manager discredits claims by Illinois Policy Institute: “I don’t know what would render them to be considered an expert - what special qualifications they have, first of all,” said Peterson. “I don’t know that. I don’t know why they should be considered a credible critic.” Peterson said most, if not all, the information the Institute claims is missing is there…and it’s not hard to find.
* McLean County Board denies auditor’s furniture expense
* Edwards Confirms Run For (Springfield) City Treasurer In 2015
* Aldermen Want To Restrict Video Gambling
* Marion bumps up its hotel tax