SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Caption contest!

Wednesday, Feb 4, 2015

* Jim Reed of the Illinois Education Association sitting next to Kristina Rasmussen of the Illinois Policy Institute at today’s State of the State Address…

- Posted by Rich Miller   58 Comments      

Question of the day

Wednesday, Feb 4, 2015

* Your thoughts on the SOTS?

And, yes, I know the governor has an annoying affectation of dropping some of his g’s (not all, just some, which is why it’s annoying), but let’s please stick to substance. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller   155 Comments      

Today’s number: $500 million

Wednesday, Feb 4, 2015

* The only way to make Sen. Andy Manar’s school funding reform plan at all viable is to hold wealthier districts harmless. Manar has a rough projection of what that would cost

State Sen. Andy Manar on Tuesday called for a $500 million increase in education funding as part of his plan to revamp Illinois’ school funding formula.

The Bunker Hill Democrat filed Senate Bill 1 in mid-January, which he plans to use to overhaul how the state funds its schools. He said at a Statehouse news conference he was echoing the State Board of Education’s recent request for $729 million more than in the current budget. […]

“I don’t think there’s too many people in the building – Democrat or Republican – that think the way we do things today is worth preserving,” he said. “So that brings about the question of how we’re going to change it and how we’re going to get there.” […]

Gov. Bruce Rauner is expected to propose massive cuts during his Feb. 18 budget address to battle a potential $9 billion deficit. Manar said he wouldn’t take any options off of the table on how to find the money – including cuts to other programs such as Medicaid – but where the money comes from would ultimately be part of the budget discussions.


- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      

Vaccinate your kids!

Wednesday, Feb 4, 2015

* Tribune

A measles outbreak spreading across the country is fueling the debate over vaccinations and causing alarm among parents, pediatricians and public health officials in the Chicago area. Doctors are fielding calls from anxious parents — some who are wondering if their vaccinated children are safe, others who are re-examining their decision not to immunize.

“We’ve been getting phone call after phone call,” said Dr. Anita Chandra-Puri, a pediatrician, who estimates that inquiries into her Lincoln Park office regarding vaccines have gone from zero a month ago to about 10 per day. “Parents are asking everything — from whether or not their kids have been immunized to questioning whether it’s safe for them to travel.”

Dr. Robert Minkus has seen a spike too. The Skokie pediatrician said he has received “dozens and dozens” of calls during the last two weeks from parents who had declined or deferred immunizations and have now had a change of heart. “It was different when measles was something abstract,” he said. “But they’re saying, ‘I want it now.’”

Last week, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported that a suburban Cook County resident had a confirmed case of measles — the first this year. Before that, the state recorded only a handful of cases over the years, with no cases at all in some years over the past two decades. There were 32 cases reported statewide in 2008; 59 in 1994; and 1,356 in 1990 — when there was a surge nationwide.

* State statute regarding exemptions from immunization

a) The provisions of this Part shall not apply if:

1) The parent or legal guardian of the child objects to the requirements of this Part on the grounds that the administration of immunizing agents conflicts with his or her religious tenets or practices, or

2) A physician licensed to practice medicine in all its branches, an advanced practice nurse or a physician assistant states in writing that the physical condition of the child is such that the administration of one or more of the required immunizing agents is medically contraindicated.

b) If a religious objection is made, a written and signed statement from the parent or legal guardian detailing the objection shall be presented to the child care facility or local school authority. The religious objection statement shall be considered valid if:

1) The parent or legal guardian of a child entering a child care facility objects to the immunization or immunizations on the grounds that they conflict with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious organization of which the parent is an adherent or member; or

2) The objection by the parent or legal guardian of a child entering school (including programs below the kindergarten level) sets forth the specific religious belief that conflicts with the immunizations. The religious objection may be personal and need not be directed by the tenets of an established religious organization.

c) It is not the intent of this Part that any child whose parents comply with the intent of the Act should be excluded from a child care facility or school. A child or student shall be considered to be in compliance with the law if there is evidence of the intent to comply. Evidence may be a signed statement from a health care provider that he or she has begun, or will begin, the necessary immunization procedures, or the parent’s or legal guardian’s written consent for the child’s participation in a school or other community immunization program.

* As the Daily Herald reported in 2013, that religious exemption is pretty darned broad

Illinois has two types of exemptions allowing unvaccinated kids to stay in school: One calls for a doctor’s note if, for example, a child is allergic to a certain vaccine. Or, a parent can file a religious objection to the immunizations.

That second method has opened a gateway to forego the shots that more and more parents, such as Elgin’s Ashley Focht, are choosing to walk through. She has skipped immunizing her son Gavin, despite not having any actual religious beliefs against vaccines. […]

Juanita Gryfinski is one of the many school nurses who can provide a link to that help. She was recently a nominee for the Illinois Association of School Nurses Nurse Administrator of the Year Award for her work in St. Charles Unit District 303 schools. She reads every religious exemption letter in her district.

“The letter just has to state a religious belief that conflicts with our immunization policy,” Gryfinski said. “But they don’t have to attach it with a specific religious tenet or church. Some people are very specific and talk about fetal material used in a vaccine. Some just briefly mention ‘a creator.’ But as soon as it says religious belief it gets very unlikely that I would reject a request because I can’t read somebody’s heart. What I’m looking for is any indication that they are trying to avoid something else.”

* The All Natural Mom blog had a post about Illinois’ exemptions a couple of years ago

In Illinois, you have to use the word “spiritual” or “personal religious beliefs” at least three times in your letter. […]

When submitting your religious exemption letter, here are a few tips. Get the school physical form that the school gives you (if they need a physical that year). Have the doctor fill out everything else. If you refuse vaccines, they just write over the vaccine section “Refused.” Don’t be scared by the nurses in your doctor’s office either. They are usually totally unaware of the laws because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked by the nurses, “How will your kids go to school?” I was told my kids would not be allowed to attend school without their vaccines. Wrong. That’s what the pharmaceutical companies want you to think. […]

In the last 10 years, I’ve never once been asked to keep my kids at home. Why? Because there has never been an outbreak of one of these diseases. If there were, I’m sure we would have gotten a letter home to the class about it. We get letters every time someone has strep. I also believe if there were an outbreak, some nurses may not remember which kids were the ones who were not vaccinated. I’m thinking they are just required to tell us that.

If questioned by a school administrator who does not know the law, they may question your religious belief. This is illegal and tell them so. They cannot question your personal religious belief.

* The blog also published a sample letter

To Whom It May Concern:

As parents, based on our personal religious beliefs, we object to the following vaccinations, including but not limited to, Dtap/DPT, HepB, Hib, Tetanus (TB), MMR, Polio, and Varicella (Chicken Pox), for our child, ___________.

Our child’s body is the temple of God. Our family’s personal religious beliefs prohibit the injection of foreign substances into our bodies. To inject into our child any substance which would alter the state into which he was born would be to criticize our Lord and question His divine omnipotence. Our faith will not allow us to question our Lord and God, nor to challenge His divine power.

I Corithians 6: 19-20, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? …Therefore honor God with your body.”

II Corinthians 7:1, “…let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

Our objection is based on our lifelong, deeply-held spiritual beliefs based on scripture.

The vaccination of our child violates laws put forth within us by a higher force at the time of conception.

Our personal religious beliefs include our obedience to God’s law, the Holy Bible, and we believe that we are responsible before God for the life and safety of our child, created by God.


Your name


- Posted by Rich Miller   152 Comments      

*** LIVE *** State of the State coverage

Wednesday, Feb 4, 2015

* Speaker Madigan has announced that he’ll appear on Public Television’s Illinois Lawmakers program after today’s State of the State address. He’s also planning a 1:30 press conference to react to the governor’s address. You can watch the address and the interview on’s live feed here and here. Democratic legislative react will be here. GOP react will be here. I’ll be on Illinois Lawmakers’ pre-game and post-game shows.

Follow along with ScribbleLive

- Posted by Rich Miller   118 Comments      

Rauner grant freeze prompts protest

Wednesday, Feb 4, 2015

* Mark Brown

More than 30 Chicago area social service agencies discovered an unwelcome surprise in their email inboxes late last Thursday afternoon.

A letter from the Illinois Department of Human Services tersely informed them to “cease any and all operations” funded by state grants they were awarded in the closing weeks of Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration.

The contract awards, which were announced Dec. 17 and took effect Jan. 1, were intended to provide job training, after school and other “youth development” programs.

Some $8 million total was involved, a drop in the bucket compared with the $1.5 billion budget deficit that Gov. Bruce Rauner says he inherited from Quinn upon his Jan. 12 inauguration.

* Charlie Wojciechowski

“He has cut $4.5 million in youth employment,” said Father Michael Pfleger of the St. Sabina Parish. “He has cut $3.5 million in after school care. Make it clear, this money he can say the state didn’t have, this money was allocated. Jobs began, contracts were signed as of January 1.”

One of those contracts was with the Humboldt Park-based Youth Connections, which was expecting $900,000 to fund 250 jobs.

“I was sad. I was crushed,” said Founder of Fellowship Connections Lynette Santiago. “In this economy and in this community we serve, to have to tell people that they are no longer employed… I don’t know.”

Pfleger said the cuts are “inappropriate” at the time and come at a time when the governor is raising the salaries of his own staff.

* Charles Thomas

“In order to keep the income tax low, he’s going to have to make spending cuts in the state budget,” said Diana Rickert of the Illinois Policy Institute, a free market think thank that is a Rauner beneficiary.

Rickert expects the governor to cut selected social programs as well as state worker jobs and salaries.

“Everything is fair game for cuts this year,” Rickert says. “The reason why is government has been over spending for many, many years.”

* Back to Mark Brown

Communities United, formerly known as the Albany Park Neighborhood Council, had planned to use its $276,000 grant mainly to operate its popular Bikes N’ Roses program, which I have written about previously.

The group employs neighborhood youth after school and during the summer to work in its bike repair shop, where they are trained not only to completely overhaul a bicycle but also to work with the public, to come to work on time and to meet deadlines.

Oscar Rivera Jr., the program director, had already hired 50 kids and was planning to open a second shop in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood. Some had quit other jobs to take this one, he said.

- Posted by Rich Miller   51 Comments      

Heat turned up on Schock

Wednesday, Feb 4, 2015

* Tribune

A watchdog group Tuesday asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to examine whether Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois acted improperly by accepting free services from an interior designer who redid his offices with a “Downton Abbey” motif.

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington asked for the probe in a letter from Anne Weismann, its interim executive director and chief counsel.

The request was prompted by a story in Tuesday’s Washington Post about the fresh decor in the Republican lawmaker’s Rayburn Building office. […]

The paper quoted Schock’s office as saying Brahler offered her services for free, His congressional district includes Jacksonville, Ill., where Euro Trash is located.

The complaint is here.

* Meanwhile, USA Today looks at past spending by Schock

In December 2009 he paid $7,400 to an Illinois design/build firm called KBL Design Center, and then another $21,000 to a hardwood floor company, a building contractor and company called Old World Granite and Marble that apparently makes high-end countertops. He then spent $6,600 on an Illinois painting contractor.

Two months later, Schock spent $79,061 on furniture purchases, including $5,123 from a company called Mulnix Industries that specializes in hardwood podiums.

Around the same time, Schock spent more than $4,000 with a fine-leather furniture company called Garrett Leather.

All of the expenditures came out of Schock’s taxpayer-funded office account, which lawmakers can use to buy office furniture and pay for renovations.


- Posted by Rich Miller   57 Comments      

Rauner wants more prison guards, new minority programs

Wednesday, Feb 4, 2015

* Gov. Rauner’s team leaked some State of the State stuff to the Tribune

The rookie Republican chief executive will suggest to lawmakers an overhaul of the parole system and higher spending on programs that help inmates find jobs and readjust to the community after they’ve served their time, according to an aide for Rauner with knowledge of the speech. Specifically, Rauner will talk about a program known as Adult Redeploy, which provides grants to counties to develop ways to keep nonviolent offenders out of state prisons.

Those efforts, coupled with the hiring of an unspecified number of correctional officers, are aimed at addressing what Rauner will call the “unsafe environment” for prisoners and guards alike because of the state’s high prison population. […]

The governor’s offensive on organized labor is likely to continue in Wednesday’s speech. He is expected to call on unions with state contracts to include more minorities in their apprenticeship programs, and require work crews on taxpayer-funded construction projects to “reflect the diversity in the surrounding area,” according to a Rauner aide. The move has the political benefit of tweaking unions while also appealing to minority voters.

Rauner also is expected to propose creating a program that would help minority-owned businesses get off the ground.

* The AP didn’t get a heads up, so it speculated about what could be in today’s address

Watch for signs of influence from first lady Diana Rauner, who leads the Ounce of Prevention Fund, an early childhood education not-for-profit group.

She told The Associated Press last month that one of her primary roles as first lady will be to advocate for vulnerable children and families, and to help her husband understand the struggles social service agencies and families are facing.

Will the governor, who’s pledged to make Illinois both “competitive and compassionate,” touch on any of those topics?

…Adding…. Oops. They did give the AP one nugget that I somehow missed

A Rauner administration official said Tuesday that the governor will reiterate his call to increase early childhood and K-12 education funding, despite Rauner’s warning for weeks that painful budget cuts may be coming in other areas.

Subscribers have known about that for at least a week.

- Posted by Rich Miller   41 Comments      

Good morning!

Wednesday, Feb 4, 2015

* This Stones song probably influenced me beyond all others

Never want to be like Papa,
Working for the boss ev’ry night and day

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      

Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition

Wednesday, Feb 4, 2015

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)

Wednesday, Feb 4, 2015

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      

* This Just In: Exelon Announces More $$$$ For Shareholders, Higher 2015 Profits And Still Seeks Bailout
* "Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please"
* *** UPDATED x1 - IllinoisGO checking the facts *** "Mug shot" mailer hits Ken Dunkin
* Credit Unions – A Smarter Choice!
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Money, Endorsements, Muñoz, Farnham
* *** UPDATED x1 *** State to close Kewanee youth center
* Today's political videos
* *** UPDATED x2 - Duckworth doubles down - But what about Kirk's Rahm endorsement? *** Because... Rahm!
* As expected, Rauner endorses McCann opponent
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Dunkin mailers, Alvarez poll results and xtabs, etc.
* Pot, meet kettle
* 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

* Shortcut Launcher review
* Sony releases Xperia Beta Program for Android Marshmallow
* [TA Deals] Score a Codeanywhere 3-year subscription for $59
* AT&T shares plans for early high-speed 5G testing
* Looks like Team AOKP will be active again, Marshmallow custom ROMs soon
* ASICS buying Runkeeper
* Galaxy S7 pre-orders, HTC One M10 renders & more – Pocketnow Daily

* White Sox reportedly considering Desmond
* Lefty-heavy rotation not a concern
* Melky: White Sox must play like family to contend
* White Sox remodel in big way this offseason
* White Sox ink Ishikawa to Minor League deal
* White Sox sign righty Latos to 1-year deal
* White Sox sign Mat Latos for one year, $3 million


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
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


* “Get your facts first, then you can distort the.....
* Ray LaHood earns Order of Lincoln Award - WLDS-.....
* Ray LaHood, NPR host among Order of Lincoln awa.....
* Union discloses training guide for Rauner budge.....
* Union discloses training guide for Rauner budge.....
* Ray LaHood, NPR host among Order of Lincoln awa.....
* Ray LaHood, NPR host among Order of Lincoln awa.....
* Ray LaHood, NPR host among Order of Lincoln awa.....
* Ray LaHood, NPR host among Order of Lincoln awa.....
* Ray LaHood, NPR host among Order of Lincoln awa.....

* Illinois to close youth correctional facility in Kewanee
* AP Interview: Police shooting spurs state agency changes
* Illinois roads could benefit from potential $84.7M windfall
* Illinois governor's mansion renovation gets $1M in donations
* Ray LaHood, NPR host among Order of Lincoln award winners
* Chicago-area priest charged with sexual abusing 2 children
* Illinois youth soccer group bans hitting ball with head
* SIU small business center to close due to no Illinois budget
* EXCHANGE: Richwoods swim team includes 4 sets of brothers
* Man found guilty of taking girl to Illinois for prostitution

* Ray LaHood, NPR host among Order of Lincoln award winners
* Rauner closing youth correctional facility in Kewanee
* Gov. Rauner endorses Bryce Benton in Illinois Senate race
* $45M and counting for $315M rail consolidation project
* Lawmakers making second attempt to send AFSCME talks to arbitrator
* President Obama returns to his political roots, connects with past friends, supporters
* Bill aims to create foundation to raise private money for state fairgrounds
* Obama returns to his political roots, connects with past friends, supporters
* Presidential visit notebook: Obama doesn't like horseshoes?
* District 186 misses out on construction bond program

* Here's where Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is selling his amazing rug collection
* A family defends its honor after settling lawsuit over its failed bank
* Autopsy reports found from 1929 Valentine's Day massacre
* Beam Suntory plotting headquarters move to Chicago
* This U of C backed startup makes it easy to split the bill on almost anything

* Emanuel downplays police controvery
* Blackhawks will have their first-ever game broadcast in Spanish
* Tales from the Front: When you’re cheap on first date, don’t count on a second
* Watch the Johnny Oduya tribute video from Thursday’s Blackhawks game
* Oxford’s savage upper-crust boys wreak havoc in ‘Posh’
* Dear Abby: To wife’s chagrin, he sees his kids at ex’s home
* Georgia Nicols horoscopes for Feb. 12
* Clinton, Sanders clash over minorities, money — and Obama
* Stars score early and often, close in on first-place Blackhawks
* Sneed: Hillary making time for her buddies on visit to Chicago

* Driver killed in Huntley rollover tied to earlier crash of another vehicle
* Marina City landmark status welcome, long overdue
* Bond set at $50,000 for priest accused of molesting girls in Aurora
* Man charged in kidnapping, carjacking, shooting at mall awaits verdict
* Record number of riders take 'L' but bus use slips in 2015, CTA says
* Matt Forte says Bears won't re-sign him, ending 8-year Chicago career
* Milwaukee man found guilty of taking girl to Chicago area for prostitution
* Wife of Hinsdale man killed in DUI crash seeks leniency for driver
* Girl, 16, shot on way to school: 'I'm a little bit happy, I still got my life'
* Families connect after toddler's tragic death gives hope to ailing girl

* Ray LaHood, NPR host among Order of Lincoln award winners
* Rauner closing youth correctional facility in Kewanee
* Gov. Rauner endorses Bryce Benton in Illinois Senate race
* $45M and counting for $315M rail consolidation project
* Lawmakers making second attempt to send AFSCME talks to arbitrator
* President Obama returns to his political roots, connects with past friends, supporters
* Our View: Illinois officials should heed Obama's call for civility, compromise
* Bill aims to create foundation to raise private money for state fairgrounds
* Bernard Schoenburg: State GOP past $250,000 in support for Rep. Avery Bourne
* Eugene Robinson: Rubio's revealing loop

* Teen charged in connection with Urbana burglary
* Police shooting spurs state agency changes
* 02-12-16 Penny for Your Thoughts.
* Illinois gets extension to determine flooding damage
* SIU business center to close due to no Illinois budget
* Retail sales rise as consumers shrug off stock price drop
* Diplomats aim for temporary Syria truce in a week
* Police: No more danger after 2 teens shot at Arizona school
* Business stockpiles rise, but sales fall
* Diners’ quick response helped cops find restaurant attacker

* Amazon debuts series based on New Yorker magazine
* Pope Francis lands in Cuba for first-ever papal meeting with head of Russian Orthodox Church
* FIFA ethics committee bans Jerome Valcke for 12 years
* Illinois to close youth correctional facility in Kewanee
* The Latest: Kobe goes through his final All-Star media day

* 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

* Roger That: Durbin battles McCain over Rus......
* Durbin pays tribute to Phil Rock on Senate......

* Illinoisans Urge Kirk To Take Lead On Cons......
* Kirk calls Duckworth a “naive fool.” - WLS...

* Chicago Police Accountability Task Force Community Forum
* Audience At Chicago Police Accountability Task Force Meeting
* Disability Housing Discrimination Suit Settled In Evanston
* Illinois To Shutter Kewanee Youth Correctional Center
* Black vote
* Illinois Reaches $22.5 Million Settlement With Morgan Stanley Over Risky Mortgage Investments
* Chicago Police Accountability Task Force Members At South Side Meeting
* "GED in IDOC" sign
* Ralph Edwards speaks about his experience in the IDOC
* State Rep. Cassidy speaks about GED classes in the IDOC

* 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