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Quinn signs Chicago pension bill

Monday, Jun 9, 2014

* As expected

Gov. Pat Quinn today signed into law a pension measure backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel that would cut benefits and raise the retirement age for workers in two of the city’s pension funds.

Today was the deadline for Quinn to act on the legislation, and he had been mulling it over since lawmakers sent it to him in April. The bill presented a bit of a political quandary for the re-election-seeking Quinn. That’s because it requires the city to make higher yearly pension contributions, which Emanuel has said he would seek to pay for through a property tax increase. Quinn has campaigned on reducing the property tax burden.

Quinn received cover in the form of a separate bill he signed last week that will allow the city to raise 911 fees on land lines and cellphones by up to $1.40 a month, to $3.90. If the City Council increases the fee by the full amount, it would generate an estimated $50 million a year – which could put off the need for a property tax increase until after next year’s city elections.

* Rauner’s response…

Gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner today criticized Gov. Pat Quinn for breaking his promise to Chicago homeowners by signing a law that will force City Hall to raise their property taxes.

“I would have vetoed this law – but Pat Quinn likes to raise taxes and left homeowners holding the bag again,” Rauner said. “This should have been a no-brainer – veto the bill, don’t squeeze Chicago families even more.”

Despite pledging to lower property taxes for homeowners, Gov. Quinn broke yet another promise by signing the Chicago pension bill into law, thereby forcing City Hall to raise property taxes on hardworking Chicagoans. Even if the city diverted $50 million in new 911 emergency phone tax revenue to pay for the pension bill, City Hall would still face a massive shortfall over the five-year phase-in, paving the way for a massive property tax hike.

It also should be noted that the 911 tax will only cover the first year of the pension reform legislation - because it’s just a $50 million tax and sunsets in a year.

* From the ILGOP…

Tim Schneider, the Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, released the following statement this afternoon following Gov. Pat Quinn’s signature of the Chicago pension legislation:

“Pat Quinn just signed the hardworking taxpayers up for five straight years of property tax hikes.

“He said he ‘read the fine print,’ said his ‘conscience’ guided his decision, and then he signed the bill anyway.

“It shouldn’t surprise anyone: Pat Quinn has spent the last five years putting government first and the taxpayers last in every decision he’s made. Illinois families already struggle with some of the highest property taxes in the country, forcing seniors out of their homes and doing real damage to our business climate. And despite all that, Pat Quinn just put them on the hook for hundreds of millions more.

“It’s clear that we need a major change in Illinois, starting with a governor who will finally stand up to tax hikes, not sign them.”

* Gov. Quinn’s signing statement…

* Mayor Rahm Emanuel…

Since day one, my administration has worked to strengthen the City’s finances by making the necessary cuts and reforms to spending, which have resulted in reducing the structural deficit by half. Finding a long-term solution to our pension crisis is a critical piece to securing Chicago’s economic future.

Working with 30 union leaders who were willing to compromise and be part of the solution, and with the General Assembly and Governor Quinn, we have taken a big step in addressing Chicago’s pension crisis. This pension reform and retirement security plan marks a significant step forward for Chicago. It ensures that we can continue to deliver the services that residents rely upon, safeguards the retirements that 61,000 workers and retirees expect, and respects our taxpayers.

This balanced plan relies on efficiencies and savings as part of a long-term funding solution, and I intend to work with City Council in the coming months to find alternative options to replace property taxes as the source of the City’s first pension payment.

Today’s action is another step toward correcting the series of financial challenges that have been building over the last few decades. I thank the Governor for his leadership, the General Assembly, and our partners in labor who worked with us to reach a responsible long-term solution that will allow us to chart a stronger future for Chicago.

* From the We Are One coalition…

“Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s pension-slashing plan, now signed by the Governor, is wrong for Chicago. This is no victory for the Mayor, but a huge, missed opportunity to find a truly fair, constitutional solution.

“Senate Bill 1922 would slash the value of pensions by one-third within twenty years of retirement. It inordinately hurts women, people of color, and low-income workers and retirees, disrupting and harming our city’s communities.

“Our coalition has presented numerous alternatives that would rebalance our tax code and ask those who can most afford it — the wealthiest among us — to pay their fair share. Unfortunately, some elected officials have chosen to ignore the constitution and these fairer revenue alternatives, opting instead to slash the retirement life savings of our city’s public health professionals, teachers’ aides, librarians, cafeteria workers, and other public employees and retirees.

“The Mayor’s plan is unfair and unconstitutional, and our unions intend to seek justice and will be preparing to file suit.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


60 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 3:49 pm:

    –Gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner today criticized Gov. Pat Quinn for breaking his promise to Chicago homeowners by signing a law that will force City Hall to raise their property taxes.–

    City Hall isn’t forced to do anything by signing the bill.

    For crying out loud, now Rauner is blaming Quinn for Daley kicking the can down the road for 20 years? Rauner sure was sweet on Daley with campaign contributions over the years.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 3:50 pm:

    Can’t wait to hear the response from the “5th Floor”.


  3. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 3:53 pm:

    “I would have vetoed this law – but Pat Quinn likes to raise taxes and left homeowners holding the bag again”

    Again, what’s the plan, Mr. Rauner? You want to fund education properly or increase education funding but not raise taxes. This is the big leagues. Step up to the plate and offer a plan.

    Gov. Quinn had to make a tough choice, and I believe he did the right thing for now, given the very few realistic choices he had. The city couldn’t and wouldn’t do a financial transaction tax, and putting all workers on 401(k) style pensions would not have been feasible either.

    Because the 911 tax will sunset in one year, it does help for now, absent of any other plans. I would prefer that something longer-term was done, but that’s how we roll here, one or more cans kicked down the road at a time.


  4. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 3:54 pm:

    ==City Hall isn’t forced to do anything by signing the bill.==

    The exact point made by Rauner’s pals at the Trib editorial board in their Quinn to city: drop dead editorial. Of course, Bruce fails to offer a plan of his own to help the city, only criticizing the actions taken by others. Bruce Rauner, all talk, no plan for action.


  5. - Wally - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 3:55 pm:

    A law sunsets? Where have we heard this before????


  6. - Frank - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 3:56 pm:

    How much you wanna bet Rauner and the GOP had similarly critical press releases ready if he vetoed the bill?


  7. - cover - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 3:58 pm:

    = “It’s clear that we need a major change in Illinois, starting with a governor who will finally stand up to tax hikes, not sign them.” =

    As opposed to the GOP’s kick-the-can approach to Chicago’s pension funding problems? Not exactly a “major change” in my playbook…


  8. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 3:58 pm:

    ===“Pat Quinn just signed the hardworking taxpayers up for five straight years of property tax hikes.===

    I’m confused. City Hall is not only not forced to raise property taxes, now for “five straight years” there will be hikes?

    Maybe Rauner’s Crew will clarify for “their” Party Chairman(?)


  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 4:03 pm:

    Mike Flanery via Twitter;

    @PoliticalEditor - Rahm after @GovernorQuinn signs Chicago pension reform: we seek new revenue other than $250 million real estate tax. 3:54pm - 9 Jun 14

    I thought the “5th Floor” must raise property taxes.

    I thought, according to Rauner, and his chosen State Chair, there is no other option, right?


  10. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 4:04 pm:

    The law also requires city employees to contribute more money each year to their pensions and lowers their COLAs. Sheesh, you’d think this was simply a tax hike bill and not the unconstitutionally one-sided raid on earned benefits that Rauner prefers.


  11. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 4:12 pm:

    If you are defending, you are losing.

    Quinn should make the point that this bill PREVENTS a massive tax hike or life threatening cuts to public safety.


  12. - Knome Sane - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 4:13 pm:

    3,000,000 wireless lines in Chicago
    3,000,000 landline phones in Chicago
    x $1.40
    x 12 months
    = $100,800,000

    Add in the 25% of the market that’s prepaid (going from 7% to 9% of the prepaid amount purchased) and you’ll get a figure higher than the $100 million. So when you read $50 million, you might ask “how did you reach that figure”?

    Know What I’m Sayin? (also known as Knome Sane)


  13. - OneMan - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 4:18 pm:

    Courts are going to strike it down anyway….


  14. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 4:27 pm:

    You are On It - OneMan -, it may happen.

    No branch of Illinois Government will have a greater impact on the lives of the People of Illinois this Summer and maybe this Fall will be the Illinois Supreme Court.

    Not Quinn, not Madigan or Cullerton, and not even the election and seating of a new General Assembly, or the swearing-in of a new Governor.

    The Illinois Supreme Court’s shadow is looming large right now, let alone when the gavel raps, or when opinions are handed down.

    The real leadership will be needed most when the Court decides the fate of all these questions. Then the other Two Branches will be beyond “on notice”.

    This could all be theatre, or it all could be our fate.

    “All rise!”


  15. - Wake Up! - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 4:31 pm:

    “No principle of law permits us to suspend constitutional requirements for economic reasons, no matter how compelling those reasons may seem.” Jorgensen v. Blagojevich


  16. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 4:34 pm:

    ===I thank the Governor for his leadership, the General Assembly, and our partners in labor who worked with us to reach a responsible long-term solution that will allow us to chart a stronger future for Chicago.===

    Rahm is thankful now, will Rahm be helpful to a Governor Quinn later.

    Hope that Rauner’s Montana Ranch is big…


  17. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 4:34 pm:

    @Wake Up! -

    You say ‘precedent’, I say ‘prescient.’


  18. - Nobody's Perfect - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 4:35 pm:

    Guess Mitt is giving up on offering any ideas…sure path for his defeat


  19. - A guy... - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 4:47 pm:

    He painted himself into this corner. In doing so he had no other choice other but to sign this. The relationship between political beings and labor is fickle on its very best day. Today wasn’t its very best day. There will be more days like this to come.


  20. - Soccermom - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 4:53 pm:

    You know, there’s a very tiny part of me that would enjoy the spectacle of a Rauner governorship — watching that smug jerk get an education in how government actually works.


  21. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 4:55 pm:

    @Nobody’s Perfect:

    Do not bet on it.

    Lots of folks prefer the devil they don’t know to the devil they do.

    The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

    Blagojevich was elected TWICE on promises not to raise the income tax, and not much else in the way of budget prowess. If Brady hadn’t been such an ultra-conservative when it came to abortion, pet euthanasia, and global warming, he probably would have won.

    Rauner is a freakin’ pro-choice, dog-loving conservationist.

    Any Quinn supporter they have a problem with a Republican who is less scary than Frankenstein combined with strong majorities of voters who disapprove of Quinn’s job performance and the direction of the state.

    True, union voters may believe Rauner is Frankenstein’s monster. But Quinn is like the werewolf, with union families stuck in the middle like Abbott and Costello.

    And Quinn has yet to go full-tilt boogie with the nursing home stuff, so grandmas and their grandchildren might think Rauner is a monster by November too.

    But first, voters have to be willing to listen…and this might just be one of those elections where voters want change so badly that they don’t really want to listen.


  22. - A guy... - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:00 pm:

    Soccermom, please listen to that very tiny part of yourself and act upon it. (And OW says there’s no GOTV! lol)


  23. - OneMan - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:03 pm:

    You know there is a small part of me that would enjou the spectacle of a second full Quinn term — watching that clueless oaf bumble for another 4 years…


  24. - Soccermom - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:03 pm:

    A guy…

    The day I vote for Rauner, my right hand will wither. He would be a disaster for the people of Illinois. I get physically ill when I think that he might have a chance at the Mansion.


  25. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:04 pm:

    I signed this. But I want you to know I was the one who got it changed and saved you all from property tax increases.

    And that bit about telling the City they need to get their finances in order? Umm, I think that can be said about the state too.


  26. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:04 pm:

    ==I get physically ill when I think that he might have a chance at the Mansion.==

    He’s got money. Maybe he can fix the roof.


  27. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:07 pm:

    Ok Mr. Rauner. You would have vetoed it. That’s fine. What’s your solution then? I have no idea what magic wand you have for all of these financial problems that are out there other than to say you don’t like any of the solutions anybody has proposed. It might be nice to tell us someday what exactly it is you are for.


  28. - DuPage - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:08 pm:

    Is the tax hike part of the bill severable from the pension cuts? If so, could the courts throw out the pension cuts but keep the tax hikes?


  29. - Soccermom - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:09 pm:

    I don’t think Rauner realizes that people’s lives and futures depend on the State of Illinois doing its job. Education. Medical care. Safe prisons. Support for people with disabilities. It’s all serious, real-life stuff. And if you get cute with trying to make irresponsible budget cuts, the consequences will be felt for years to come.


  30. - Soccermom - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:12 pm:

    There’s nothing “lol” about a clueless billionaire buying the Mansion and trying to make political points by messing with people’s lives.

    For those of us who understand what state government actually does, this is not at all amusing.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:13 pm:

    - Soccermom -, educate as many as you can.

    To the Raunerbots;

    Your “Guy” would have vetoed it. Ok, what is the plan for next Fiscal?

    Illinois problems and that Pesky Constitution will hamper many things…


  32. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:13 pm:

    @Soccermon:

    Jeez. Lighten up. It was a joke. I’m intimately familiar with state government.


  33. - Steve - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:14 pm:

    This is a historic day for Chicago property owners. Most likely, your property bill is going to go up. Most likely Chicago’s City Council will vote to raise your property tax bill. Unless you get a raise at work, your increased tax bill means a diminished standard of living for you. Who will you blame? The Koch brothers? Republican dominance on Chicago City Council? Evangelical Christians? People against gay marriage? Those who don’t want to recycle? If you are looking for the guilty , look in the mirror. One party rule in Chicago has been just great if… you are an insider.


  34. - Soccermom - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:16 pm:

    And I withdraw my previous comment. Although there’s a tiny part of me that likes to think about Rauner facing political reality, a Rauner victory would break my heart.


  35. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:16 pm:

    –Most likely Chicago’s City Council will vote to raise your property tax bill.–

    I wouldn’t count on that, at all.


  36. - Soccermom - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:16 pm:

    Demo, I was responding to a guy’s “lol”.


  37. - Demoralized - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:18 pm:

    @Soccermom:

    My bad. I’m not likely to vote for the guy and at least part of the reason is, is that I have no idea what he stands for other than he’s going to “shake up Springfield.” I’ve been to that movie before (i.e. Blago). The ending isn’t good.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:18 pm:

    ===Most likely Chicago’s City Council will vote to raise your property tax bill.===

    Not according to Emanuel’s Crew…

    ===One party rule in Chicago has been just great if… you are an insider. ===

    Another victim heard from.

    Beat ‘em then get back to me.


  39. - Steve - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:22 pm:

    - Oswego Willy -

    Maybe new Common Core math will be the Emanuel regime’s best friend. “It’s not that we raised property taxes, it’s how we got there.”


  40. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:22 pm:

    - A Guy… -’s smugness to defend Raunerite talking points include laughing at the idea that governing is hard, the idea of Rauner governing and causing shutdowns and tantrums is real too. Unless that is nervous laughter…

    Remember, Rauner laughs at direct questions of governing, smugly dismissing real governing questions.

    That is not funny. That is terrifying.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:25 pm:

    - Steve -,

    With respect,

    What needs to be figured is how all this is going to play out after the ILSC rules what is constitutional, and what is not.

    The ILSC will fundamentally change Illinois before the next term of anyone elected governor.


  42. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:25 pm:

    –One party rule in Chicago has been just great if… you are an insider.–

    Gee Steve, there’s no law against Republicans actually making an effort in Chicago or Cook County. They just choose not to.

    Chicago politics is separate from party politics, anyway. Was Daley a “Democrat?” Is Emanuel? They’re brand names with big money behind them.

    And a lot of that big money came from GOP business types like Rauner who thought Daley and Emanuel were good for the “business community.”

    Heck, Emanuel wouldn’t even have had the bankroll to get into politics if he hadn’t gotten together with Rauner and Bill Daley on that hinky SBC deal.


  43. - Rudy - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:44 pm:

    The 911 tax gets the Mayor and City Council past the election. Then they ask the GA for another year. If they don’t get it, a property tax increase will come with no immediate political risk.


  44. - Wensicia - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:49 pm:

    Rauner isn’t anti-government; he’s anti- Illinois. Any action to solve the state’s problems he’ll veto, yet won’t say what he’ll do instead? There couldn’t be a stronger message on why not to vote for him.


  45. - Statesman - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 5:55 pm:

    So while the “Fight for $15″ activists get minimum wagers a pay increase, Rahm’s Phone tax and upcoming Quinn endorsed tax hike will neutralize the ‘raise’. Makes sense. What the Rahmfather giveth, the Rahmfather taketh away!


  46. - Chris - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 6:06 pm:

    “Tim Schneider, the Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party … ‘Pat Quinn just signed the hardworking taxpayers up for five straight years of property tax hikes.’”

    Um, Tim, I know that your target audience resides in the dull normal to sentient rock range of humanity, but the rest of us realize that the tax increases were given to us by Rich Daley and all of his years of give-aways, and pay-ya-laters.

    Once Rich Daley decided to kick multiple cans down the road to try to get the Olympics, and to sell off *BILLIONS* of city assets to fund operations, the fate of Chicago taxpayers was sealed.

    But you can’t say that, bc your Guv candidate is even better buddies with the Daleys than he is with Rahm. So you peddle half truth to the ill-informed and ignorant. Bravo.


  47. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 6:20 pm:

    How many times is Quinn going to look like he loves to raise everyone’s taxes? That bill is a loser during an election year. It isn’t an aberration either. Quinn and Madigan had to be threatened to an inch of their lives, and still favored keeping the schmucky income tax increase permanent.

    You folks who don’t have second doubts over this are disconnected from Illinois voters. This thing is a loser.

    Strike two on the tax issue within the first week of June.

    Start packing Pat.


  48. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 6:29 pm:

    - VanillaMan -,

    Is this the part when you educate us all on Quinn “running in his record is the way he wins”?


  49. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 6:29 pm:

    YDD == If you are defending, you are losing. ==

    FKA earlier in a separate thread == If you are explaining, you are losing. ==

    At least there are some thing we concur on, YDD ;)


  50. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 7:31 pm:

    Just another reason I’m writing in Oswego Willy for Governor.


  51. - low level - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 7:38 pm:

    Rauner criticizes - but has no plan. Except to move to total 401(k) style / known as 457(b) in public sector. Which we already have on a voluntary level. To go 100% is clearly unconstitutional.

    And as I have tried to explain to those I work with, it’s either this - or nothing. And nothing = no retirement benefits they have paid into for years.

    Rauner and union leaders are both taking irresponsible positions. I’ll bet Bruce never thought he’d find himself in the same bed as them.

    It may be unpopular, but it was the right thing to do.


  52. - Angry Chicagoan - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 9:14 pm:

    Rauner==the Republican Blagojevich. Empty partisanship, cheap politics, and very, very expensive policy. That’s what we’ll be in for if he wins.

    The unions==ostriches who will take their own pension system down due to their inability to see past their own noses. All I can say is, they’d better hope they lose in court. Their members can’t afford a victory. If the state respects constitutional provisions on pensions as well as they’ve respected constitutional provisions on education funding over the years, they’ll be getting pennies on the dollar.


  53. - Angry Chicagoan - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 9:21 pm:

    @VM, after Quinn pulled a rabbit out of the hat four years ago, and after Illinois voters have been exceedingly and sensibly suspicious of empty promises over the past few years since Blago’s downfall, what makes you think that Rauner is going to succeed in evading all questions about how things will be paid for? Yes, Michigan elected Rick Snyder, a quite similar kind of candidate, but Michigan had not lived through Blagojevich. I’m not saying he doesn’t have a good chance of winning, given Quinn’s other liabilities such as the perception of incompetence, but he’s in a tough fight until and unless we get some specifics. Or to put it another way, the Tribune comment boards are not representative of state opinion as a whole.


  54. - RNUG - Monday, Jun 9, 14 @ 10:13 pm:

    I agree with the various commentators who have said the ISC will ultimately shape the entire debate … but it ain’t going to happen before the general election.

    Justice moves slowly even when it is being fast tracked; I don’t expect the ISC will be issuing any rulings (except possibly Maag/Kanerva which may give us a clue of the court’s leanings) before next summer at the earliest.

    I see the Chicago pension case just sitting in court until SB-1 is resolved and, at worst, I can envision scenarios that would drag the SB-1 case out for up to 4 or 5 years …


  55. - low level - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 6:14 am:

    “Their members can’t afford a victory”.

    Agreed 100% AC. The Rauner characterization and Snyder description are spot on as well.


  56. - Confused - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 7:56 am:

    This is election is shaping up to be an epic battle of Bruce Rauner’s “At least I’m not Pat Quinn” platform vs. Pat Quinn’s “At least I’m not Bruce Rauner” platform. I give the edge to Quinn, only because with less money, he may be able to get less exposure for himself. As more candidates get to know Rauner, I expect a swing against him towards the sitting governor who they already despise.


  57. - funny guy - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 8:23 am:

    Chicago has the assets to pay for its pensions– sell O’Hare.


  58. - facts are stubborn things - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 9:55 am:

    The wheels of the justice system turn very slowly, but turn they do. All of this pension stuff is illegal, and just serves as a political path for the GA. The ruling to “stay” the pension law is huge! AS RNUG points out this pension law suite will take a couple years or more….keep the 3% compounded annual increases comming.


  59. - Chris - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    ” To go 100% is clearly unconstitutional.”

    You lose. “Clearly” is a false construct regarding the constitutionality of *anything*.


  60. - Chris - Tuesday, Jun 10, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    “funny guy - Chicago has the assets to pay for its pensions– sell O’Hare.”

    You got one thing right–that *was* funny.

    Who’s going to pay $10b for ORD *on top of* the outstanding bond debt, when there is an on-going multi-billion dollar capital project?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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        * Dogmatic nonsense..
        * Rauner’s ‘right-to-work’ proposal focus of larg.....
        * Rauner’s ‘right-to-work’ proposal focus of larg.....
        * More budget details begin to emerge..
        * Eye on the inside: Do cameras in nursing homes .....
        * Pyke: Could tolls go up based on inflation?..
        * Rauner targeting Upward Mobility in next budget..


        * Religious act has Chicago mayor wooing Indiana businesses
        * Duckworth makes video announcement for 2016 Senate bid
        * Obama votes absentee for Emanuel in Chicago mayoral runoff
        * Village police chief leaves after raid by Illinois troopers
        * UnitedHealth to buy pharmacy benefits manager Catamaran
        * Officials: Slow justice at fault in Chicago man's long con
        * 1 killed, 1 injured in crash on Chicago's Lower West Side
        * Officials: Slow justice at fault in Chicago man's long con
        * Chicago-area community college to offer free tuition
        * Illinois auto-theft task forces closing due to budget crisis

        * Duckworth to challenge Kirk for U.S. Senate seat
        * 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
        * Statehouse Insider: Now the tough budget talks begin
        * Effingham native Jim Schultz brings entrepreneurial spirit to state agency
        * Rauner's 'right-to-work' proposal focus of larger debate on business climate
        * Effingham native Schultz brings entrepreneurial spirit to state agency

        * Fortune Brands to pay $600 million for cabinetmaker
        * Horizon Pharma buys drugs for rare diseases
        * Catamaran to be acquired by UnitedHealth unit
        * Former opponent Fioretti endorses Emanuel
        * Indiana governor supports bill to 'clarify intent' of religious-objection law


          * Duckworth to challenge Kirk for U.S. Senate
          * Downers Grove man charged in Domino's robbery
          * Wisconsin trooper who died in the line of duty to be buried
          * Police: 2 men bring guns into O'Hare
          * Man faces charges after being accused of shooting, injuring another man
          * College of DuPage's spending under investigation, sources say
          * When Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia was in charge: Mixed results at community group
          * Roll-over blocks northbound lanes on I-55 ramp near Burr Ridge
          * University Park girl, 5, found after Amber alert issued
          * Critic Fioretti says Emanuel has changed, but Garcia downplays endorsement


          * 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
          * Rauner signs into law compromise plan to fix budget hole
          * Where can a politician wield more influence? Chicago's City Council vs. Illinois' Statehouse


          * Duckworth to challenge Kirk for U.S. Senate seat
          * 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
          * Statehouse Insider: Now the tough budget talks begin
          * Statehouse Insider: Now the tough budget talks begin
          * Bernard Schoenburg: Use of city seal on campaign materials becomes issue in Ward 7 race
          * Our Opinion: In Springfield mayor's race, Jim Langfelder gets our endorsement


          * Caseyville village trustee races: Meet the candidates
          * Granite City aldermanic races: Meet the candidates
          * Breese school board race: Meet the candidates
          * Granite City Alderman Ward 3 candidate: Nick Raftopoulos
          * Granite City Alderman Ward 1 candidate: Brenda Whitaker
          * 03-30-15 Monday Morning Quarterbacks
          * Cahokia village races: Meet the candidates
          * Fairmont City village trustee race: Meet the candidates
          * Freeburg school board races: Meet the candidates
          * Fairmont City Village Trustee candidate: Michael R. Krypciak


          * Palatine Dist. 15 finances likely to be hot topic at Tuesday forum
          * Tollway: Use our free Wi-Fi, don't text and drive
          * UnitedHealth buys Catamaran for $12 billion
          * The pluses, minuses of educators serving on school boards
          * Another delay in sex abuse trial of former Chicago Bulls player

          * Question of the day
          * Duckworth Launches 2016 U.S. Senate Bid
          * Kinzinger gives foreign policy lecture to ...
          * Duckworth to challenge Kirk for U.S. Senate
          * US Rep. Randy Hultgren joins bipartisan gr...
          * St. Louis-area members of Congress votes f...
          * Bustos steps aside as Duckworth announces ...
          * Tammy Duckworth Formally Announces U.S. Se...
          * Tammy Duckworth Announces Illinois Senate Bid
          * Bustos steps aside as Duckworth announces ...

          * Illinois Senators Propose Changes in Disas......
          * Abbreviated pundit round-up: Threat of mod......
          * Ben Bernanke, blogger...

          * Tammy Duckworth launches Illinois Senate bid...
          * U.S. Rep. Duckworth, Illinois Democrat, to......
          * Rep. Tammy Duckworth Is Running for Senate...
          * Duckworth to challenge Kirk for Illinois S......
          * Illinois Democrat Duckworth to run for U.S......

          * Illinois General Assembly passes emergency budget bill
          * Kaifesh: Six reasons why Tammy Duckworth is unfit to serve
          * Morning Minute: Housing markets warm up for spring home buying season
          * Morning Minute: U.S. pending home sales rise to highest level since June 2013
          * Duckworth announces 2016 bid to challenge Mark Kirk
          * Roskam calls to cut funding for Obama's P5+1 negotiations with Iran
          * University Officials in Florida authorize Pro-ISIS Club
          * Enter Courtney Hawkins
          * The [Monday] Papers
          * Jesse Jackson Jr moves from federal prison to halfway house in D.C.


          * Governor Rauner Takes Bill Action
          * Governor Announces Appointments B.R. Lane to lead Illinois Lottery; John Holden to continue leading Dept. of Aging
          * Nominating Petitions Available For Illinois Commodity Board Seats
          * Health Matters: 2015 Illinois Minority Health Efforts - Creating & Sustaining Healthy Communities
          * ‘Text First, Talk Second’ Often Best Way to Contact Loved Ones When Disaster Strikes - IEMA Encourages People to Have Plan for Communicating with Family Members, Friends during Emergencies




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