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The dancing governor

Friday, Aug 31, 2007

Go to the 17:50 point in this video as soon as you possibly can…


- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Governor begins Health Care expansion *** Updated x1 ***

Friday, Aug 31, 2007

* Governor snubs legislators, expands health care plan

The $16 million expansion of the state’s All Kids program will cover people between 19 and 21 years old, and represents the first wave of health care expansion promised by the governor this month.

But critics warned the governor is making a serious mistake by snubbing legislative input and leaving taxpayers on the hook for what could be “an open-ended entitlement program.”

Blagojevich announced the expansion in Chicago, and a spokeswoman said it would be paid for by dipping into unspecified funds within the state budget.

* Governor could stretch health care plan

Surrounded by health-care advocates in the play room of a children’s hospital, Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Thursday that he would act without the legislature to expand state health insurance coverage for seriously ill young adults

The proposal, dubbed the All Kids Bridge, would extend coverage for 19-year-olds who would have been dropped from the state’s All Kids program.

“I’m going to continue to use all of the executive authority that the constitution gives me as the governor to expand health care for people,” Blagojevich said, speaking at a news conference in La Rabida Children’s Hospital on Chicago’s South Side. “And if the legislature won’t do it, then I’m going to do it.”

* Governor starts expanding health care for young adults

Money for All Kids Bridge will come from cutting waste and “pork” projects from the budget, Blagojevich said Thursday, although his aides previously have said new health spending would come from shifting money and controlling costs in existing programs.

Blagojevich said his new spending does not require approval from the General Assembly because he is changing eligibility rules for existing programs rather than creating new ones But his rule changes probably will have to go to a legislative committee, giving lawmakers a chance to block his actions.

Illinois Sen. Kwame Raoul, a Chicago Democrat, praised the governor’s actions at Thursday’s news conference.

* Governor moves on health care without approval

That’s part of why critics complain that Blagojevich’s expanded health programs are likely to run out of cash before the end of the current budget year. Blagojevich, though, refuses to wait for the General Assembly to approve the new spending.

“What am I supposed to do? Just give up on health care because they can’t say no to a lobbyist?” Blagojevich said. “We’re not supposed to call ‘em out when they make priorities that are just crassly political. And they’re sellin’ out the interests of their constituents because some lobbyist tells ‘em they can’t support a way to pay for health care. I believe you’re supposed to fight for it.”

* With state late, hospitals wait

Spokeswomen for Hynes and Madigan said the governor’s long review period made it much harder to borrow the $1.2 billion in time. DeJong said the governor took so long to sign the bill because he wanted to give it a “careful review.”

“While we had a tight time frame to pull this together, we were able to secure everyone’s sign-off needed, including the comptroller, treasurer and ratings agencies, except the attorney general, who missed last week’s deadline,” DeJong said.

Sen. Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston), who spent last week trying to cobble together enough political support for the deal, said the program fell victim to “the lack of communication and mistrust that exists at the state Capitol.”

He said it will take another vote of the legislature to make the 2007 payments unless “a miracle happens” and the state is able to borrow the $1.2 billion within 10 days.

*** UPDATE *** From the Bond Buyer earlier this week. They beat the Tribune to that story above…

Illinois finance officials and the state Attorney General’s office accused each other of scuttling the state’s proposed $1 billion general obligation note sale that was expected to generate as much as $80 million in additional Medicaid matching funds and pay off a backlog of Medicaid bills.

The GO certificates were to sell competitively this past Monday and be repaid within 60 days, possibly with revenues generated through the state’s hospital assessment tax that is used to leverage about $600 million more in federal matching Medicaid dollars annually.

The state’s treasurer and comptroller must approve short-term financings, and the attorney general typically signs off on all bond transactions. The state faced a deadline of this coming Friday, 60 days past the close of fiscal 2007, to close on the deal in order to count the proceeds under a fiscal 2007 supplemental appropriation that would allow the state to distribute the proceeds to hospitals under the assessment program. For accounting purposes, state law permits a 60-day lapse period for paying bills for 2007 and collecting revenues to count toward the prior year.

“While we had a tight timeframe to pull this together, we were able to secure everyone’s sign-off needed, including the comptroller, treasurer, and rating agencies, with the exception of the attorney general, who missed last week’s deadline,” budget office spokesman Justin DeJong said this week. “We’re disappointed because an opportunity has been missed to help both the state and hospitals providing care to our Medicaid clients, but we’re committed to finding a way to make this work despite this set-back.”

The deal was pulled together quickly in recent weeks, but lawyers working on the transaction warned last week that Gov. Rod Blagojevich needed to sign the $59 billion, fiscal 2008 budget before the state could proceed. The governor acted on the budget last Thursday, but the attorney general’s office raised other questions over the transaction and did not sign off by late last week when the state had hoped to post a notice of sale, according to budget officials.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office sharply denied any responsibility in the sale’s delay, stressing that its approval is needed solely on the final documentation and not for the state to proceed with the transaction. Madigan chief of staff Ann Spillane blamed the deal’s troubled timing on the governor’s failure to sign the supplemental appropriation in a timely fashion after its passage this spring. “The governor’s office botched the hospital assessment program by not signing the bill until Aug. 13 and is now looking for someone to blame,” she said, adding that staff lawyers had conceptually agreed to the borrowing although they were still reviewing various details.

- Posted by Paul Richardson   Comments Off      


Never-ending budget debacle

Friday, Aug 31, 2007

* Editorial: Beware the blade of Blago

Meanwhile, as if the tax dollars already wasted on the overtime sessions weren’t enough, now Illinois taxpayers get to spend even more on a court battle over whether the governor can call even more special sessions - the Legislature has “in no way completed all the business necessary” - to squander even more of their money.

* Rep. Mitchell and others decry downstate project cuts

Still, while Decatur’s CeaseFire anti-violence program, Good Samaritan Inn, Salvation Army and other agencies saw some funding slashed in the district of state Rep. Bob Flider, D-Mount Zion, projects requested by Mitchell survived the ax.

But Mitchell said some people complaining now about the process have been silent for too long in criticizing what they see as a stranglehold that Chicago Democrats have on state government. The governor has kept some schools and communities in Republican districts from receiving money that had been appropriated to them in the past, he said.

* Tribune Editorial Board interview with Dick Durbin

On feuding Democrats in Illinois:

I received a letter about two months ago from a group in Chicago asking me if I would go to Springfield and mediate their difficulties. I said I’d rather go to Iraq — and I meant it. I’m very disappointed as a Democrat that it has reached this point. I cannot explain it other than there are personal elements involved here that have unfortunately transcended the real issues and there is not a good spirit of cooperation and compromise.

When we passed the federal highway bill we brought more federal funds back to Illinois than ever in our history. The stars all lined up. It’s a huge pot of money. We’ve never had this much federal money available for our state. It all requires a [state] match. Unfortunately, our budget in the state can’t accommodate that match. I begged the governor and all the leaders — “If you can’t agree on anything else, please don’t miss out on this opportunity for federal funds.” It looks like we missed a year of construction. We’re just squandering these opportunities to bring federal resources in.

* Editorial: Governor’s lawsuit pointless and petty

* Budget cuts hurt agencies

* Budget cuts hurt museums too

* State budget cuts could hit Springfield park district

- Posted by Paul Richardson   Comments Off      


Cook Co. & Chicago News

Friday, Aug 31, 2007

* Cook Co. hospitals may charge $3 for prescriptions

While Stroger himself would not say how much he pays for prescriptions under the county health insurance plan, most of the county’s highest-paid employees pay only $5 for theirs.

“He’s sticking it to the people who can least afford it,” said Ed Shurna of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. “To make the county’s poorest people pay almost as much as someone making six figures is completely unfair.”

* Tribune Editorial: A costly peace for the Chicago public school system

The Chicago system has seen some inroads with innovative education and management strategies. The schools have improved.

But they have so far to go. And the overriding message of this teachers contract is that the status quo is just fine, thank you.

Excuse us. The status quo plus 4 percent a year. And virtually no structural reforms.

The Illinois legislature did little this year to demand change in public schools. And Chicago school management has demanded even less.

* Teamsters reject 10-year city pact; more here

* Department of Administrative Hearings chief stepping down

* Sheriff Dart to talk to Shakman about hiring

- Posted by Paul Richardson   Comments Off      


Morning Shorts

Friday, Aug 31, 2007

* PrairieStateBlue: Latest ins and out of IL-18

The most interesting thing about the article though isn’t that Myerscough decided not to run, but rather how involved the DCCC has already been. They spoke with Myerscough before her decision not to run (who said that she came away from the meeting thinking that IL-18 was more winnable than she thought) and have also reportedly spoken with Edley and Grawey. It’s clear the DCCC thinks that this district can be in play.

* Instead of Congress, Darin LaHood to run for State’s Attorney

* Worth noting, coaches earn way more than governors

* New law gives foreclosure notice to help renters

* Questions around Ceasefire effectiveness; more here

* Blog thoughts on CeaseFire here and here

* Plane used by Blagojevich getting a makeover

* Poshard to answer plagiarism claims; more here and here and here and here

* Friday Beer Blogging: More Animals Edition

- Posted by Paul Richardson   Comments Off      


PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Watch the Democratic candidates' forum tonight at 6
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Audit finds a mess in $60 billion Medicaid MCO program
* *** UPDATED x3 - Ives, Pritzker, Biss campaigns respond *** Rauner denied all knowledge of lawsuit, but suit reveals he held two meetings with plaintiff in 2015
* Chris Kennedy admits error, but still blames Berrios
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Illinois Policy Institute moves its news network from one Tillman group to another
* Question of the day
* Rauner calls marijuana a "very dangerous drug" as he plans court appeal
* *** UPDATED x3 - Pritzker, Biss, Kennedy respond *** Rauner campaign echoes Blagojevich demand to release the FBI tapes
* Jimenez wants Sangamon County to get priority for most new state jobs
* Ives' state budget solution: Slash CPS funding and repeal Obamacare expansion
* *** UPDATED x1 - Ives responds *** Rauner promises to patch $2.3 billion hole, balance next year's budget, start rolling back the tax hike and provide "record funding" for K-12
* Dick Uihlein gives Proft group another $3 million
* Legionella bacteria might have been found at Capitol Complex
* Yesterday's stories

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* Conservative Jeanne Ives Takes on Republican In.....
* Munger: To get Amazon HQ, IL needs to “get our .....
* Capitol Complex employees told to take water-re.....
* Audit finds lax monitoring of $7B in Medicaid p.....
* Audit finds lax monitoring of $7B in Medicaid p.....
* Audit finds lax monitoring of $7B in Medicaid p.....
* Audit finds lax monitoring of $7B in Medicaid p.....
* Audit finds lax monitoring of $7B in Medicaid p.....
* Rauner: Cut taxes, 'wasteful spending' to curb .....
* Audit Finds Lax Monitoring of $7B in Medicaid P.....


* Lawsuit: Gov. Rauner met about investments while in office
* Duckworth to be first sitting US senator to give birth
* Audit finds lax monitoring of $7B in Medicaid payments
* 80-year sentence handed Illinois man for girl's 1985 death
* US Sen. Tammy Duckworth is pregnant, to give birth in spring
* Retrial to begin in 1995 arson, murder case
* Appeals court doesn't throw out charges in officer slaying
* Southern Illinois massage therapist gets 16 years in assault
* Illinois hunters take more than 147,500 deer this season
* Ex-doctor gets 20 years for trying to kidnap prosecutor

* Audit finds lax monitoring of $7B in state Medicaid payments
* Capitol Complex employees told to take water-related precautions
* Former Springfield Ald. Jobe added to State Fair Advisory Board
* Democratic governor candidates to have 1st televised forum
* Popular Lincoln sculpture in Bloomington needs cleaning
* Legionella bacteria possibly in Capitol Complex water system
* Rauner wants to 'step-down' income tax increase
* Sangamon County should get first dibs on state jobs, lawmaker says
* Report: State agencies holding nearly $2.5 billion in bills
* Illinois lawmakers hold hearing on marijuana legalization

* Audit stings Rauner's Medicaid program
* Tax winnings in hand, Chase shares some with 2,700-plus local workers


* Boy, 16, shot in Logan Square
* Bob Costas left out of NBC’s Super Bowl coverage
* Jurors begin deliberating in case of murdered Cook County sheriff’s investigator
* Analysis: Does Washington, D.C., area have edge in Amazon second HQ sweepstakes?
* LeBron James congratulates himself; Twitter turns it into meme
* Man gets 80 years in prison for teen’s 1985 murder in Glen Ellyn cold case
* Gather team doubles down on Lincoln Square with new restaurant The Warbler
* Illinois governor’s debate 2018 live stream: Democrats square off
* Yarn, thrift store employees in Evanston threatened by gunman demanding money
* Lawsuit Rauner wanted kept secret reveals details over $67.5M settlement fight


* 2 dead, 17 injured in Kentucky school shooting; suspect held
* Archdiocese announces mergers for North Shore, Lake County parishes
* Cougar proves elusive after reported sightings in DuPage County
* Minnesota Public Radio: Allegations against Keillor far beyond single touch
* Federal prosecutor named to focus on opioid crimes in Northwest Indiana
* Undersea quake sends Alaskans fleeing from feared tsunami
* Glenbrook District 225 approves transgender student policy; 'These kids have rights too'
* Rauner had meeting about investment that earned him $15 million, unsealed lawsuit alleges
* Chicago Bears look to partner in branded Vernon Hills fitness club
* Mueller seeks to question Trump about Flynn, Comey departures


» 'Possible Presence' of Legionella In Illinois Statehouse Complex
» IL Seniors Group Issues Voting Record Report Ahead of Primary
» State Pays $1 Billion In Late-Payment Charges
» CHA To Add More Mixed-Income Housing In Bronzeville
» National Study Hammers Illinois Budget Practices
» Hundreds Of Thousands Gathered For Women's March In Chicago
» Women's March Chicago Stays on Message - Get to the Polls
» Chicago Schools Chief: Cost A Driver In Special Ed Overhaul
» One Year Later, Women’s March Demands More Than Attendance
» State Week: Education Funding, Pritzker-Blagojevich, Rauner-Duke


* Capitol Complex employees told to take water-related precautions
* Audit finds lax monitoring of $7B in state Medicaid payments
* Former Springfield Ald. Jobe added to State Fair Advisory Board
* Democratic governor candidates to have 1st televised forum
* Popular Lincoln sculpture in Bloomington needs cleaning
* Legionella bacteria possibly in Capitol Complex water system
* IBHE: There is a need for bold changes for Illinois' higher education system
* Rauner wants to 'step-down' income tax increase
* Sangamon County should get first dibs on state jobs, lawmaker says
* Report: State agencies holding nearly $2.5 billion in bills


* DACC trustees to hear about finances
* Alorton’s city manager indicted for allegedly giving false statements
* Scott Air Force Base is one of the best places to be stationed, military news site says
* Police investigating alleged abduction attempt
* Sanguinetti discusses 'community approach' to opioid crisis
* Tammy Duckworth announces she is pregnant, will be 1st sitting senator to give birth
* Man pleads guilty to assisting in May 2014 Cairo attempted bank robbery that left 2 dead
* Local small schools thrive in latest AP girls' hoops poll
* Bulldogs, Rockets net votes in latest AP boys' hoops poll
* Vehicle rolls over on Interstate 255 ramp


* Glen Ellyn District 89, teachers union agree to 5-year contract
* Officials working to identify Addison fire victims
* Hanover Park man faces 30 years in prison for armed robbery
* Norge trained three suburban Olympic ski jumping hopefuls
* Report: Former Zurich headquarters in Schaumburg sold

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* Dissident artist Ai Weiwei and US Rep. Ran...
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* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...
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* US Democrats withdraw offer to fund Trump'......
* White House: 'Flake-Graham-Durbin' Agreeme......
* Democrats withdraw offer to fund Trump's b......

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...
* Duckworth to be first sitting US senator t......
* Duckworth to be first sitting US senator t......
* Duckworth to be first sitting US senator t......
* Duckworth to be first sitting US senator t......

* "The Renslow" Rendering Surfaces For Former Man's Country Site
* Life In Chicago: Grant Fraud, Boot Bribery & Unnecessary OT
* Napkin sketch.
* Napkin sketch.
* Ald. Cappleman: Chicago Market, Housing & Women's Rights
* Two gubernatorial candidates support repealing Illinois’s rent control ban
* Academy Awards 2018: The Oscar nominees
* Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers. Episode #48. Amber Smock, people with disabilities advocate and activist.
* Sketchbook.
* Ahead of Janus, union haters are collecting teacher names.


* 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

  
* Facebook acquires biometric ID verification startup Confirm.io
* iTunes Opens 'Double Features' Movie Sale With $9.99 HD Bundles
* The latest iOS update fixes a glitch that would let others crash your phone with a text message
* Plans for new Samsung OLED factory on indefinite hold
* HomePod AppleCare+ plan will cost $39
* Cambassy lets you be your country’s digital ambassador
* RED’s ‘holographic,’ ‘SOLID’ Hydrogen phone will ship this summer

* Anderson on mission after challenging 2017
* Notable 2018 Spring Training non-roster invitees
* Anderson on mission after challenging 2017
* Burger third among top third-base prospects
* Burger among MLB's Top 10 3B prospects
* Kopech, Jimenez among White Sox NRIs
* Baseball America top 100, Sox-Brewers rumors, and other reading


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