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Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - This just in… Dillard demands concession (use this morning’s password)

Monday, Dec 18, 2006

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Docs turning thumbs down on All Kids

Monday, Dec 18, 2006

The governor’s office recently issued a statement on All Kids

More than 120,000 Illinois children have enrolled in the All Kids health insurance program since November 2005. […]

“I am proud to announce that since we took office, 300,000 children across the state now have health insurance who didn’t have it before,” Blagojevich said in a statement. “That means those kids are healthier, their families are healthier, and they are more likely to do well in school.”

Not mentioned was how many of those children were already enrolled in an existing Medicaid program and were simply moved over to All Kids, which was billed as relief for middle class parents without insurance. The last time an announcement like this was made, we later discovered that only a tiny handful of middle class kids were in the program.

Also, the Daily Herald discovered that doctors are extremely reluctant to accept the program’s enrollees.

A Daily Herald survey of 58 Kane County pediatricians on a state-supplied list found that at least 41 percent were not accepting new All Kids patients. In addition, more than one in five of the phone numbers either sent callers to a fax machine, pager or cell phone, or they were disconnected.

Just over 12 percent said they accepted only newborns, while another 12 percent did not respond. Ten doctors offices on the state list of 58 said they accept new pediatric patients under All Kids; all were in Elgin or Aurora.

And, as usual, the stone wall is still encircling this administration.

The governor’s office so far has not fulfilled a Dec. 1 Freedom of Information Act request for similar lists from other suburban counties. A patient presumably could get the lists in a timely fashion by calling a hotline for the All Kids program.

The program boosted physician payments - tripling the reimbursement for visits, for instance - but doctors are so frustrated with the state’s Medicaid reimbursement rates that they are just flat-out refusing to accept new patients.

The governor really needs to address this problem. Now that the election is over, he should either make All Kids work or try something else that does actually bring healthcare to children.

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      

Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - White; Kelly; Jones; Schools; Minimum Wage; Jakobsson (Use all caps in password)

Monday, Dec 18, 2006

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Monday morning quarterback

Monday, Dec 18, 2006

This is a Chicago Bears open thread.

Have at it.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      

Question of the day

Monday, Dec 18, 2006

It’s a holiday week and I’m expecting comments will be pretty light for the next several days (before I shut down the blog for a week or so). Let’s have a little fun today.

This has been done by others, but I don’t think we’ve ever touched on it here. Our current state slogan is, of course, “Land of Lincoln.” Come up with a new one.

- Posted by Rich Miller   49 Comments      

Guv backs off

Monday, Dec 18, 2006

This was not unexpected, considering the governor’s strong ties to ComEd and his unwillingness to challenge Emil Jones, who opposes continuing the rate freeze.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich appears to have abandoned his pledge to force lawmakers into discussion over curbing ComEd’s upcoming rate hike, likely tossing the political hot potato to the spring legislative session.

The lack of action by Blagojevich and lawmakers means Commonwealth Edison can press ahead with the 22 percent rate increase it intends to impose after a nine-year freeze on its rates expires Jan. 1. Rate increases may be much higher for businesses.

The governor threatened to call a special session back in October, releasing a letter which stated in part…

I have and continue to support legislation extending a rate freeze and would like to sign it into law as soon as possible. To this end, I intend to work with you right away to secure sufficient support among lawmakers to pass such legislation. Once we have the votes to pass the legislation, I will immediately call a special session to do so. I have every confidence that members of the legislature will agree that it is necessary to extend the rate freeze and protect consumers from significant electricity rate increases, but if we are unable to reach consensus in the near future, I will call a special session to take up the matter. Such a session will continue for as long as necessary to reach the intended result, even if it is extended through the holiday season.

But now?

Blagojevich aides did not respond to a request for comment Friday. In early December, spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff refused to acknowledge the governor had promised to force lawmakers into special session.

She said only that a special session was among the “options on the table.”

Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn will hold a press conference today to push for an investigation of ComEd’s connection to CORE, an advertiser here. From a press release:

Quinn will discuss the decision by Illinois Commerce Commission Administrative Law Judge Terrence Hilliard ordering the ICC staff to investigate the financial ties between ComEd and its front group, Consumers Organized for Reliable Electricity (CORE).

In a petition to the ICC requesting an emergency investigation, Quinn had asked the Commission to order full disclosure of the millions of dollars the utility company has funneled through CORE to fund deceptive television commercials supporting the utility company’s demand for a 25% rate hike beginning Tuesday, Jan. 2.

In his order, Judge Hilliard stated: “In summary, we conclude that the Commission has the authority to investigate ComEd’s financial support of CORE and its alleged sponsorship of CORE advertisements. Furthermore, the facts alleged in the petition suggest such an investigation is warranted.

“On the basis of the results of this investigation, the Commission may take further action concerning the request that we impose disclosure requirements on ComEd for CORE ads sponsored by ComEd with an underlying commercial purpose.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      

This just in… Governor’s inauguration events

Monday, Dec 18, 2006

The governor’s office just released the inauguration schedule.

Inter-Faith Prayer Service: 9:30 a.m.–10:15 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Springfield, located at 7th and Capitol Streets. The Governor and First Family will join other Constitutional Officers for an interfaith service, during which the Constitutional Party will light the Unity Candle.

Inaugural Ceremony: 11:00 a.m.–12:55 p.m. (doors will open at 9:00 a.m.) at the Prairie Capitol Convention Center in Springfield. More than 5,000 attendees will watch as the Governor and Constitutional Officers take the Oath of Office.

Executive Mansion Receiving Line: 2:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m. at the Executive Mansion in Springfield. The Governor will be joined by Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn in greeting the public at the Executive Mansion.

Celebrate! Illinois 2007 Inaugural Ball: 7:30 p.m.–11:30 p.m. at the Exposition Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. The Governor, First Lady and Constitutional Officers will take part in the ball, which is an Inaugural tradition.

You can find out more info and purchase a limited number of tickets at a special website set up for the occasion, Celebrate Illinois.

What inaugural events would you like to see? Snark encouraged.

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      

Illinois hoping softdrink war pays off big

Monday, Dec 18, 2006

Illinois hasn’t made much money off of naming rights, and while the state is stopping short of naming an “official” soft drink, like New York City did (and then raked in $166 million from Snapple), it is planning to give one of the top beverage makers exclusive access to state buildings.

In a move patterned after a plan already in place in New York City, state officials are seeking formal proposals to hire one company to supply nearly every government building with soft drinks and other beverages.

The results of the competition could put the folks at Coke or Pepsi in control of more than 2,300 vending machines in scores of state buildings, as well as give one company the right to sell its products at the Illinois State Fair and at a handful of state university campuses.

As with just about everything with this governor, the state’s deal with Maryland-based Team Services has been more press pop than reality. And there is also a political aspect.

A Team Services founder donated $4,000 to the governor and had a past business relationship with Blagojevich’s former chief of staff, Lon Monk, before he joined the administration in 2003.

The administration credits Team Services with helping generate $3.7 million for the state through private sponsorship deals. The state has paid the firm $300,000 for its services.

Last year, Team Services was cited in a harsh state audit for helping shape the state contract proposal it later wound up winning.

Coke or Pepsi?

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      

Morning shorts

Monday, Dec 18, 2006

* Martire: Spending cuts won’t solve Illinois’ budget woes

* AP Interview: Tusk says Illinois better off as he returns to NY

* Editorial: Gov. Rod Blagojevich fashions himself as a risk-taker. This tendency gets him a lot of attention, although it comes with a cost.

* Governor’s Pentagon suit revived.

* Fight brewing over fate of Finkl site

* Lincoln museum draws crowds, is boon for Springfield, Ill.

* State Republican leaders gather at Hastert’s home

* LaHood: GOP needs some bonding

* Shakeup predicted in ‘07 city elections - Experts say 15-plus incumbent seats up for grabs

* ‘Downstate Story’ now available

* Obama’s Legislative Chops

* Andrade: Backing 700-mile fence could put Obama up against wall in ‘08

* Washington Post: Obama Says He Regrets Land Deal With Fundraiser

* Tucker: Treat Obama with respect: Be hard on him

* Jake pops the question then blogs about his elation. Go over there and congratulate him. And be nice, please

- Posted by Rich Miller   5 Comments      

* Open thread 2
* Open thread
* DHS slammed after care disrupted for "thousands" of mentally ill
* Mendoza wants emergency Deloitte contract review
* The plot thickens on Rauner's AV
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Important update and a supplement to today’s edition
* Frerichs: Don't use new federal rules on 529 programs for state taxes
* "Watchdog" flatly denies getting money from Illinois Policy Institute, but group funded 98 percent of budget
* Governor promised "superstar" appointee a year ago, hasn't delivered
* Chicago survives the first cut in Amazon HQ2 sweepstakes
* Rauner to air entire Blagojevich/Pritzker audio this weekend
* Adlai III endorses Biss
* Yesterday's stories

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* Attorneys plan change of venue poll in McDonald case
* Champaign man pleads guilty in teen's 1985 assault, stabbing
* Illinois school officials seek double state education aid
* Indiana city denies wrongful conviction amid lawsuit
* 80-year-old accused of bank robbery has decades-old record
* Lawyers support man's lawsuit in wrongful murder conviction
* U of Illinois trustees approve 4th-straight tuition freeze
* Chicago mayor vows to step up Amazon second headquarters bid
* U of Illinois withdrew 35 job offers after background checks
* Chicago man dies 4 years after suffering gunshot to head

* Mendoza to keynote Women's March Saturday in Springfield
* Chicago mayor vows to step up Amazon second headquarters bid
* Under the Dome Podcast: More Blago-Pritzker talk, Rauner confirms Duke is racist
* Rauner to air extended ad of Pritzker, Blagojevich on wiretap
* U of I withdrew 35 job offers after background checks
* Frerichs: Can't get tax break for using college savings plan on private K-12 tuition
* Illinois governor to air extended ad of rival, Blagojevich on wiretap
* Chicago a finalist for Amazon's second headquarters
* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $26M in last 3 months
* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $28M in last 3 months

* Data center company sues Aurora over telecom tower
* Here's how the 20 HQ2 contenders stack up
* Here's how the 20 HQ2 wannabes stack up
* Crate & Barrel ends five-decade Mag Mile run
* American Airlines expanding O'Hare flights

* After exciting start, heist thriller ‘Den of Thieves’ loses momentum
* NBA names performers for All-Star Game
* Lawyer: OJ Simpson is golfing a lot, staying in Las Vegas
* Natalie Moore: Obama Presidential Center must preserve soul of Jackson Park
* Parents of 13 children charged with years of torture, abuse
* LETTERS: Don’t use Dreamers as bargaining chips
* Since 1 Hollywood sign is good, would 2 be even better?
* Prosecutors want to call 19 other accusers at Cosby retrial
* Man tries to abduct 11-year-old girl walking home from school in West Pullman
* It’s time for the Bulls to start unleashing Zach LaVine heading into Week 2

* With minutes set to increase, Zach LaVine focused on basketball, not business
* Highlights from the Bears' introduction of their new coordinators
* Driver of stopped car on I-80 killed in crash
* Apple will let you choose between your phone's speed and its battery life
* Man pleads guilty to '85 stabbing death of DuPage girl, will get 80 years in prison
* Amazon narrows list of headquarters cities to 20 finalists
* University of Illinois freezes in-state tuition for fourth year
* Parents of 13 malnourished children charged with years of torture and abuse in California, could face up to life in prison
* Alsip man killed in 'targeted' shooting near Oswego, officials say

» A Prescription For Fruits And Veggies: One Solution To Food Insecurity in Illinois
» A Call For Transparency
» 2 Illinois Governor Candidates Spend $26M In Last 3 Months
» State Board of Education: Double School Funding Now
» Lawmakers Demand Fast Internet For Rural Schools
» 2 Dreamers Discuss Helping Other Immigrants Amid Uncertainty
» Rauner Spokesman: 'Governor Believes David Duke Is A Racist'
» Rauner Signs Law To Help Women Behind Bars
» A Poor Neighborhood In Chicago Looks To Cuba To Fight Infant Mortality
» Democratic Candidates In Lockstep At Justice Forum

* Chicago mayor vows to step up Amazon second headquarters bid
* Under the Dome Podcast: More Blago-Pritzker talk, Rauner confirms Duke is racist
* Rauner to air extended ad of Pritzker, Blagojevich on wiretap
* U of I withdrew 35 job offers after background checks
* Frerichs: Can't get tax break for using college savings plan on private K-12 tuition
* Illinois governor to air extended ad of rival, Blagojevich on wiretap
* Chicago a finalist for Amazon's second headquarters
* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $26M in last 3 months
* Our View: Focus on cost-cutting, then turn to taxes
* 2 Illinois governor candidates spend $28M in last 3 months

* Man tortured into confession will walk free in Illinois
* Jan. 25 Prep Sports Chat
* Police seek man for questioning in East St. Louis woman’s death
* Fire disrupts lunch service at Memorial Hospital
* Standoff suspect fled in stolen car after holding man at gunpoint, police say
* Illinois governor to air ad of rival, Blagojevich on wiretap
* 26-year police veteran tapped to lead Moline Police Department
* 'We couldn't be more excited for everyone to come in'
* New O’Fallon furniture store owner says opening will be ‘bigger’ than IKEA’s
* Man to serve 9 years for dealing hundreds of grams of fentanyl in less than a year

* Chicago makes top 20 for Amazon HQ 2
* Killer sentenced to 80 years for 1985 slaying of Kristy Wesselman
* The Latest: Interior says parks should remain accessible
* Police score win for Olympic skater, find stolen costumes
* For Trump's security advisers, tempering an impetuous boss

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* Illinois Review poll draws attention as Ives supporters outnumber Rauner's
* Thorner/O'Neil: Social Engineering: Transferring Parental Control of Children to Teachers
* Former Rauner staffer seeks public access to First Lady's emails about abortion bill
* Chicago alderman tees off about illegal immigrants on Tucker Carlson
* State Rep. McSweeney endorses Ives over "failed Governor" Rauner
* National conservative commentator Bill Whittle endorses Jeanne Ives
* Sketchbook.
* 9,000 teachers are among those that face deportation without DACA.
* Chicago's ‘clusters’ of unsolved strangling deaths near Washington Park and Garfield Park, and other news
* From the archive: Remembering radio storyteller Joe Frank

* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

* Europe sees discounts for Honor 9, Honor 6A
* Deals: Free Four Month Apple Music Subscription, $4 Movie Tickets for T-Mobile Users, VAVA Dash Cam, and More
* Verizon to distribute NBA out-of-market games, collaborate with media package
* How to Add a Quick Drawing or Sketch to an Email in the Mail App in iOS 11
* Essential Phone enters third Android Oreo beta round
* Instagram Adds New Feature Showing When You Were Last Active
* Google’s Ivy Ross shares design thoughts in recent interview

* 2018 South Side Sox Hall of Fame Ballot
* Collins ranked MLB's No. 9 catching prospect
* With maturity comes lofty expectations for Eloy
* Pirates rebuild not met with enthusiasm
* Moncada guiding Robert during mini-camp
* White Sox announce player development staff
* Robert at ease during Sox hitters mini-camp

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