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Statewide stuff **Updated x 1**

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007

* New Press Release: Speaker Madigan responds to Gov. Blagojevich lawsuit

In essence, the governor has sued because the House started two of the special sessions a few hours earlier than the governor would have preferred – in other words, because the House acted on his supposedly urgent business too urgently

I believe that the House made every reasonable attempt to comply with the governor’s 16 special session proclamations, even though: none of them could have resulted in the passage of a comprehensive budget bill because they were written to only allow the General Assembly to consider a portion of the state budget; many of them were duplicative; many were received with only a few hours’ notice (in two instances less than an hour); and for none of them did the governor furnish any legislation for the body to consider, permit any witnesses from his administration to testify or himself appear in support of a bill.

* Chuck Sweeney: Syverson and Blago, the new odd couple

* Lawmakers look for citizen opposition to governor

Michael McRaith, director of the Illinois Division of Insurance, was in town in the afternoon to get out the governor’s message ahead of an evening budget hearing run by state Rep. Jack McGuire, D-Joliet.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich and the Illinois House have been holding dueling events around the state as they take the Springfield budget battles on the road.

McRaith said the governor vetoed about $463 million worth of spending in the House budget to free up money that will fund breast and cervical cancer screenings for women without insurance.

Many of McRaith’s comments — and those from local officials, including Joliet Junior College President Gena Proulx and Plainfield Economic Partnership Executive Director Alex Harris — focused on local projects that would be funded in a $25 billion Senate capital bill supported by the governor.

* State worker defends gov’s veto in Joliet

* Illinoize: The veto override tour rolls on

* Sen. Brady praises construction project despite ‘no’ vote

Millions of dollars in projects could come to Central Illinois as part of a statewide construction program, state Sen. Bill Brady said in a two-page press release Monday.

Nowhere in the release, however, does the former gubernatorial candidate explain that he voted against a way to pay for many of the projects.

The Bloomington Republican was among 15 senators who voted “no” last week on a plan to expand gambling in Illinois in order to generate the billions of dollars that will fund the statewide construction program.

Brady did vote in favor of two components of the proposal, which is now awaiting action in the House. He supported provisions that outline how the money will be spent and on which projects, but he voted “no” when it came to the gambling expansion idea.

* Springfield poker buddies on Obama’s gambling style

Obama studied the odds carefully, friends say. If he had strong cards, he’d play. If he didn’t, he would fold rather than bet good money on the chance the right card would show up when he needed it.

That reputation meant that he often succeeded when he decided to bluff.

“When Barack stayed in, you pretty much figured he’s got a good hand,” said Larry Walsh, a former senator.

More than one lawmaker teased Obama about his careful style of play.

“I always used to kid him that the only fiscally conservative bone in his body I ever saw was at the poker table with his own money,” said state Sen. Bill Brady, a Republican from the central Illinois city of Bloomington. “I said if he would be half as conservative with taxpayer dollars, the state would be a lot better off.”

* Federal lawsuit aims to void state law

The federal government sued the state, contending that Public Act 095-0138, which Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed in August, is illegal because it prevents Illinois employers from participating in a federal program to check the legal status of job applicants.

“Today’s lawsuit seeks to invalidate an Illinois state law that frustrates our ability to assist employers in making sure their workforce is legal, and in doing so conflicts with federal law,” Carl Nichols, deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said in a news release.

* U.S. sues Illinois for blocking immigration crackdown

* Open road tolling could spell end to toll booths

* Ted Pincus: Gidwitz sees Illinois business as lame giant

Ron Gidwitz is alive and well, and fighting mad. The former gubernatorial candidate and influential CEO of Helene Curtis Industries says that the Blagojevich administration is crippling Illinois’ ability to compete in today’s tough global marketplace. While the state successfully shook off the rust belt image years ago and became a key hub of finance and services, vast overspending plus inattention to upgrading needs of transportation, education, workforce quality and tax incentives have greatly handicapped us, he contends.

“We’re at a significant economic disadvantage vs. Iowa and Wisconsin, for example,” he says. “Take a look at workmen’s comp, medical and health care costs. Iowa is at least 25 percent less expensive as a place to live and do business, and Wisconsin is at least 10 percent less.

* Grover Norquist discusses ‘liberty agenda’ in Springfield

* AG Madigan expecting 2nd child

* Political ‘neophyte’ to run against Durbin

* Sun-Times Editorial: On Weller announcement

Weller also doesn’t like answering questions about his ethics problem. When TV newsman Mike Flannery pursued him after his retirement speech in Joliet, he got shoved twice by a Weller aide near a stairway, knocking him into a woman. Maybe that’s the way they did things in Guatemala when Mrs. Weller’s old man was in power. It’s not the way we do things even in as tough a political state as this one.

- Posted by Paul Richardson   Comments Off      


School strain builds

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007

* State budget still worries schools

“We just don’t know. Our budget needs to be passed by September 30th. We have to put a 30-day window out there, put a tentative budget out, advertise it, pass it,” said Dr. Kelly Funke, Superintendent of Limestone Community H.S. District.

Many school districts expect to get more state money for 2008, and that could be about $400 more per student.

* School budget conservative in light of state budget impasse

While Illinois politicians continue to fight over the state budget, school financial planners try to do their jobs without hard numbers. For Harlem — and probably many other school districts across Illinois — it means that budgets will probably be amended after state funding for schools is known.

A public hearing on the tentative budget is set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, with the School Board expected to vote on it immediately afterward. This process, with revisions likely, would have to be repeated if the budget is altered at a later date.

“My guess is that most districts will have to amend their budgets,” said Rob Holmes, Harlem’s business manager.

At Monday’s School Board meeting, he told board members that with no word from Springfield, the 2007-08 budget will not change from the tentative version that was released in late August. That spending plan showed balanced spending for this school year.

* School district on the capital budget

* Editorial: Assignment, boost scores in high schools

- Posted by Paul Richardson   Comments Off      


Cook Co. news

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007

* Cook Co. urged to boost sales tax

Stroger’s office would not say Monday whether he supports the increase, but at least one commissioner said he got a call from the president late last week asking him to support the proposal. Administration officials have been talking to commissioners in recent weeks about whether they could support some form of higher taxes to fill a 2008 budget deficit estimated by some officials to be as large as $400 million.

“The president supports ways to increase revenue wherever possible,” spokeswoman Ibis Antongiorgi said. “This would be a possible revenue source.”

The Stroger administration could not say how much revenue the increase would generate. At the current rate, the county sales tax brings in about $300 million a year. Critics said such a large increase in the rate would send shoppers outside Cook County and would particularly hurt businesses that sell big-ticket items such as cars and appliances.

* Phil Kadner: State’s Attorney says Cook Co. should issue tax bills now

Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is in a bitter feud with Madigan, last week used his veto power to amend the House measure and expand and increase the tax breaks for homeowners. Houlihan appeared at a news conference to endorse the governor’s plan.

But the measure now must go back to the Legislature, where sources tell me Madigan plans to kill it.

In the meantime, school districts, library districts, fire districts, municipalities and the county itself are not receiving the property tax money they have anticipated in their budgets.

If the property tax bills are not mailed before Nov. 1, school districts will not have the money they need to make their bond payments, which are due Dec. 1. Property owners have 30 days to pay after receiving the bills.

“There is a panic setting in in a lot of school districts,” said Rob Grossi, Bloom Township’s school treasurer. “People have to start making plans on how they’re going to deal with this situation, and nobody’s sure what’s going to happen.”

Houlihan is hopeful that the governor and Madigan “can put their differences aside” and agree on at least a one-year tax cap expansion to resolve the current dilemma.

* Chicago Public Radio: Despite legal advice, Assessor insists on waiting

- Posted by Paul Richardson   Comments Off      


Museum march rolls on

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2007

* Mayor on museum: No reason to fear 5 year olds

“I’m open to compromise, but what is wrong next to Millennium Park?” Daley said. “You see families. They’re not destroying the park. They’re in the Crown Fountain. Look at them there — all types of kids. Their parents are down there. They’re not destroying anything. … Now, those are a little older kids. But these are 5-year-olds. Now, do you really believe that a 5-year-old can destroy your property values?”

* Dennis Byrne: Free, clear endangered by our mayor

After all is said, the rationale for relocating the Chicago Children’s Museum into Grant Park comes down to this: Nothing’s there, something has to go there and it might as well be the museum.

Obviously, that reasoning flunks all tests of logic, but, at base, it’s the best that the move’s backers can do. Put aside all the red herrings (racism, classism, adultism) raised by Mayor Richard Daley. A Tribune headline succinctly got to the heart of the argument: “Fixing ‘nowhere.’” The northeast corner of Grant Park is “underused;” enter it from the serpentine bridge from Millennium Park and you’ll find yourself “nowhere.” Because large-scale work must be done on the parking garage below, we’ll have an opportunity to fix the supposedly desolate park by relocating the privately operated, fee-to-enter Children’s Museum from its cramped Navy Pier quarters.

* Tribune Editorial: Follow the money on Children’s museum move

As you weigh the proposed relocation of the Chicago Children’s Museum, consider this sentence from Sunday’s Tribune: “If located in Grant Park, the museum would also receive a subsidy from the Chicago Park District, part of a program that has netted millions for other museums on park land.”

What a nice bonus: In addition to getting a lease on a Grant Park parcel — perhaps 99 years at $1 a year — the privately owned, nonprofit museum would get a phased-in subsidy from Chicago property taxpayers.

This year, 10 cultural institutions are divvying up $33.8 million in Park District subsidies; the Lincoln Park Zoo gets a separate $5.6 million, according to the district. The money is allotted according to a formula that factors in their respective attendance figures and budgets.

* Mary Mitchell: Downtowners don’t fret about black children

Daley has been harshly criticized for playing the so-called race card in this dispute, which pits him against aldermanic newcomer Brendan Reilly (42nd). Reilly is backing residents who live in high-rises near the park site where the Chicago Children’s Museum would be located.

Last Thursday, Jean Pritzker, president of the board of the museum — and oh yes, a billionaire — told the Chicago Sun-Times that the uproar was “killing” her.

“I don’t think anybody has a right to be fearful of a bunch of little kids and their parents who simply want to go to a place that cares about them, nurtures them and helps them,” she said.

Now that’s two white people of means who hang out with other white people of means, and both of them think some of the naysayers are playing a race card of their own.

* No Navy Pier casino, says Daley

“When we decided to do Navy Pier, people had rumors: ‘Oh, there’s going to be a big gaming hall.’ I don’t know who’s getting these rumors out. This will never be a gaming facility. … Navy Pier is for families,” Daley told a news conference at Navy Pier, where he is hosting a “Hemispheric Forum” for mayors from North, Central and South America.

“When I closed … Meigs Field, they said it was going to be gaming. It’s not going to be gaming. And also, gaming is not going to be around McCormick Place because you have conventions. They want to do convention business. If we have an opportunity to do a casino, you place it … away from these venues.”

* Mayor Daley nixes site for Chicago casino

* Daley open to compromise on Children’s museum fight

* Daley on nephew’s deals

* Mark Brown: It’s deja vu over again for Daley’s kin

- Posted by Paul Richardson   Comments Off      


« NEWER POSTS PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Question of the day
* Illinois Primary Health Care Association CEO resigns under racial cloud
* Rauner escapes criticism in gun rights hotbed
* More revisionist history
* It's most definitely ribbon-cutting season
* Pritzker ad: "Rauner wasted a billion dollars and got nothing for it"
* Expect partisan fireworks at committee hearing next week
* Bost opponent launches first TV ad
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Yesterday's stories

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* Funds available for monument honoring Ida B. Wells-Barnett
* Correction: Mental Health Grants story
* Trump says Air Force One to get red, white and blue makeover
* Test track proposed for Illinois transportation lab
* Chicago museum stops selling doll depicting Hindu god
* Activist sues for video of Chicago police shooting
* Correction: Legionnaires’ Disease-Illinois story
* Off-duty EMT, lifeguard save girls from Lake Michigan waves
* Giant pyramid tourist attraction burns in northern Illinois
* Board votes to demolish 123-year-old Rock Island courthouse

* Springfield man wins Illinois State Police logo contest
* Rauner 'deeply troubled' by Trump's Helsinki comments
* Rauner signs bill to ease physician assistant hiring
* Bill taking Illinois out of voter registration system vetoed
* Rauner signs laws to improve Quincy veterans' home
* Rauner: President Trump should blame Russians for hacking
* Rauner signs laws to speed up Quincy veterans' home construction
* U of I paying alum $7,500 to halt sales of Chief Illiniwek T-shirt
* Rauner's campaign spent nearly $8 million last quarter. Pritzker's spent more than double that.
* Gov. Rauner signs two gun control bills, says he'll veto another

* Jewel-Osco names president
* How Grubhub and Uber Eats can save restaurants from apocalypse
* Sinclair to keep WGN-TV in revised Trib Media bid
* Sinclair to keep WGN-TV in revised Tribune Media bid
* Can a 3-D printer solve Chicago's affordable housing problem?


* White Sox option Charlie Tilson to Class AAA Charlotte
* Auto industry cries foul as Trump moves toward car tariffs
* UNC coach says football is ‘under attack’ because of CTE allegations
* Lay’s new ‘Taste of America’ chips include Deep Dish Pizza flavor
* Really big pike for Fish of the Week: Not too young for a fish of a lifetime
* What to look for from White Sox after All-Star break
* LaVar Ball weighs suspending JBA’s Chicago coach who shoved Ballers player
* Transgender detainee renews fight for transfer to all-female prison
* Chief Judge Timothy Evans reaches settlement with county in lawsuit over layoffs
* Girl, 5, fatally struck by vehicle pulling into driveway in Little Village


* Richard Marx meant he 'wouldn't' be right here waiting for you, and other reactions to Trump's walk-back
* Bikini Bottom owner agrees to use doormen, install cameras and scanners to cut down on illegal activities at West Dundee bar
* After a brief lull, we now return to our regularly scheduled baseball season
* Field Museum halts sale of 'insensitive' Hindu deity doll
* Crews responding to massive fire in Prospect Heights, people urged to avoid surrounding area
* Jabari Parker's edge makes homecoming more pragmatic than romantic
* Tale of sex, deception emerges about suspected Russian agent Maria Butina
* Trump asserts Russia not still targeting U.S., contradicting his top intelligence chief
* Pitchfork 2018 guide: What to know if you go
* Pitchfork 2018: Greg Kot picks the best acts to see


» 'Carnaval’ Festival To Highlight Latinx Stories In Theater
» The Cook County Sheriff Is Launching A Podcast On Opioid Addiction
» July 17, 2018 - Full Show
» Rauner Vetos 'Crosscheck' Ban — Illinois' Participation Already On Hold
» Rauner: Trump Should Be Holding Russians Accountable
» Suit: Chicago Should Refund Drivers Hit With Expensive Tickets
» Vallas Returns Campaign Cash From Controversial Donor Tied To CPS Scandal
» Biometric Data Lawsuit Reaches IL Supreme Court; Electronic Monitoring Devices; HPV Vaccines
» Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Signs Two Bills Aimed at Reducing Gun Violence
» July 16, 2018 - Full Show


* Springfield man wins Illinois State Police logo contest
* Rauner 'deeply troubled' by Trump's Helsinki comments
* Guest View: As politicians duke it out, we must remember that most children just want to go home
* Byron York: Trump's approach doesn't work for the Trump-Russia probe
* Marc Thiessen: Trump isn't the first president to embarrass America by cozying up to Putin
* Catherine Rampell: Why do Republicans hate consumers?
* Rauner signs bill to ease physician assistant hiring
* Bill taking Illinois out of voter registration system vetoed
* Rauner signs laws to improve Quincy veterans' home
* Rauner: President Trump should blame Russians for hacking


* BND reporter undergoes mock rape exam
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* Codfish Hollow has a 'museum-like' way of displaying its history: Wooden show posters
* Watch the demolition of historic, 150-year-old log home in O’Fallon
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* The [Wednesday] Papers
* GOP Candidate Wilhour calls for new Speaker and government accountability in next IL General Assembly
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* The Weekend Desk Report
* Court Vacates Injunction Against Publishing The Law
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* Scholarly Publishing Is Broken. Here's How To Fix It.
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* Nursing Home Violations for Second Quarter 2018
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* Illinois State Fire Marshal announces $2.2 million in grants for fire safety
* Gov. Rauner vetoes SB 2368
* Governor takes bill action

  
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* IBM delivers Q2 revenue growth, IBM Z leads hardware gains

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