Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » This just in, Part 2… CMS asks agencies to stop bottled water purchases *** Madigan on transit, gaming *** Record filing day ***
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This just in, Part 2… CMS asks agencies to stop bottled water purchases *** Madigan on transit, gaming *** Record filing day ***

Monday, Oct 29, 2007

* 3:46 pm - Acting CMS Director Maureen O’Donnell has sent a letter to all state agency heads asking them to terminate purchasing contracts for bottled water…

As Chief Procurement Officer, I am charged with continually seeking ways for the State of Illinois to reduce its expenditures. I am therefore requesting that all State agencies cease purchasing bottled water with State funds. This shall apply both to purchases of individual water bottles and larger bottles that are dispensed through water coolers… The notification to vendors should be accomplished by no later than Friday, November 16th.

O’Donnell’s request does not cover “water funds” established by employees. The full memorandum can be downloaded here.

* 4:07 pm - Speaker Madigan on the transit bailout bill

If the plan, which failed earlier this year, doesn’t pass Friday, Madigan said he plans to call it again for a vote next Monday. Madigan predicted the bill would pass in the House and suggested there’s a “high level of support” for the sales tax plan in the Senate.

“I think more people in the House and Senate have come to realize that this is a good, solid bill that ought to pass,” Madigan said.

And the gaming proposal…

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan appears to be warming to the idea of a gambling expansion, saying today that the “political conditions” in Illinois leave more casinos as the only way to pay for a state construction program.

Toward that end, the Speaker proposed a fully revamped, independent Gaming Board to regulate what could be a significant expansion of casino gambling and slots in Illinois.

“I should not be viewed as a proponent of gambling,” Madigan told reporters in Chicago. “I don’t gamble. I don’t go to casinos. I don’t go to horse tracks. I don’t play cards. I don’t bet on sports. It’s the last thing I wanted, but … the political conditions in Illinois today are such that, right now, what appears to be the only way to have a viable public works construction program is an expansion of gaming.”

The audio is here.

* 4:18 pm - From the State Board of Elections…

A record 650 candidates filed official nominating petitions by 8:00 am today - the first day of filing at the Illinois State Board of Elections. On the first day of filing four years ago, 350 had filed.

One reason the number of candidate filings is higher is the decision by the Democratic Party to have Presidential candidates and their delegate candidates file at the same time as candidates for the U.S. Senate, Congress, the state legislature and judges.

Last election they filed a month later - as the Republican Presidential and delegate candidates are still doing. The filing period for these candidates begins Nov. 28. […]

“Many of the candidates think they can gain an advantage by being listed first on the ballot, so they arrived at the State Board office in the early morning hours - or a day earlier - to try to win a top spot,” Executive Director Dan White said. “A lottery for ballot order will be conducted Nov. 14 for all those who filed by 8 a.m. Our second busiest day will be Nov. 5, the last day of filing, when some candidates will file near the 5 p.m. deadline because they think they may gain an advantage by being listed last on the ballot.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - He makes Ryan Look like a Saint - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 3:57 pm:

    have you ever drank the water at the Stratton Building? It is horrible. I hear next they are going to issue a memo to tell you how many sheets of TP you are allowed to use.

    Notice they didn’t say anything about Drinking the Kool-Aid!!!

  2. - crystal clear - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 4:08 pm:

    As a chemist, a citizen concerned about the environment, and as a taxpayer I have to say this is a positive step. Tap water is too pure for most uses (think washing clothes, the car, the dog) but it is treated so as to be healthful to drink. To turn around and pay even more for repackaged tap water is very wasteful in many ways.

  3. - DeepFriedOnAStick - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 4:18 pm:

    Madigan called Cindy Canary’s group “The Coalition for Political Honesty.” Is that a slight toward her or her mission?

  4. - cover - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 4:19 pm:

    The Speaker’s gaming ethics proposal would provide the House the “cover” it needs to approve a gambling expansion, after the vote to halt the practice not so long ago. This aspect of the plan may be more important than its own merit.

  5. - Leigh - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 4:32 pm:

    The bottled water thing has huge enviromental implications in that petroleum is used in the production of those bottles.

  6. - GoBearsss - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 4:43 pm:

    So, Rich, is this cover for House members? Or is it a poison pill?

  7. - GoBearsss - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 4:44 pm:

    Or is this - “Yea, I can do gaming…” until the transit bill passes on its own?

    Then he pulls the rug out?

  8. - Anonymous - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 4:51 pm:

    uh, there are many things the state does that have ‘environmental implilcations.’

    as for the practical applicaion of this, if you’re a state worker i guess it means walking a bit further (a lot further if you work in the thompson center) to get a drink from the fountain or GASP, bring your own bottled water (which runs counter to the point of the environmental angle).

    as for when you have meetings and bring in people from the private sector to a gov’t building lets say, i guess that means you’re going to have to tell them to bring their own.

    BYOB at the JRTC!

  9. - Captain America - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 4:58 pm:

    Governor Blagojevich and Senator Jones - “read em amd weep.” You both have a “dead mans’s hand” in terms of the Hamos mass transit funding plan.

    What’s left of your political careers is hanging in the balance. Will you have a deathbed conversion and live on to fight another day? Or will your poltical careers end ignominiously for your failure to support the only viable plan in towm.

    Doomsday cometh!!!

  10. - DuPage Dave - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 5:01 pm:

    The water policy is completely consistent with Blago’s “all for show” governing style. We’ve been back and forth on bottled water at JRTC since it opened in 85. There is only one water stack per floor (restrooms and one water fountain) in the center of each floor. Previous govs eventually recognized that people were walking a long way to hydrate themselves. These are the type of fountains where it’s very difficult to fill up (re-use) a plastic water bottle, so that option is limited.

    Considering that we are four plus years into “reform and renewal”, it’s interesting that having water coolers for staff is now seen as a frivilous expense. Our department pays for two water coolers in our area at the far end of the floor.

    You can bet that people will be checking to see if the Hinckley and Schmidt people are still going up to the 16th floor….

  11. - GoBearsss - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 5:07 pm:

    “the only viable plan in towm”

    It isn’t viable if it can’t pass, right?

    I am sure other revenue options would be just as viable if Hamos and Madigan hadn’t put all their eggs in one basket and refused to compromise.

  12. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 5:08 pm:

    Anon 4:51 said..”as for when you have meetings and bring in people from the private sector to a gov’t building lets say, i guess that means you’re going to have to tell them to bring their own.”

    As if it isn’t already bad enough dealing with the private sector when your State is a national embarrassment thanks to Blago. Once we were known for Michael Jordan, now it’s “wasn’t your Gov the guy on Comedy Central?”

    Now a bottled water ban. Like CMS doesn’t p*** away more in a week than is spent on bottled water in a year. Fine, let the State workers BYOB, but for guests, who wants a semi-clean glass (no dishwashers or sinks) or a styrofoam cup of water?

    Oh, but “water funds” are ok. Next thing you know, Filan will raid those, too.

  13. - downhereforyears - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 5:23 pm:

    While Rome is burning….we talk water for drinking…but nothing about putting out the fire. Where’s Blago’s plan for the CTA that he promised last week.

  14. - Unbelievable - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 5:36 pm:

    Will they also get rid of the vending machines serviced by the company of which George Ryan’s brother was affiliated?

  15. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 6:18 pm:

    Gobears: Check the record, but the Hamos plan has broad regional, bipartisan support.

    As for compromise, there’s no alternative on the table to compromise with, except more endless borrowing that pushes the day-of-reckoning on the calendar but makes the DOOM in Doomsday that much bigger.

  16. - Herself - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 6:21 pm:

    State agencies need to terminate newspaper purchasing. It is unbelievable how every Bureau Chief and/or Executive feel they need to have their own personal newspapers delivered to them every day at their office, funded by taxpayers. Most articles of interest are on-line and free!

  17. - good idea - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 6:24 pm:

    This sounds like a sensible policy to me. If employees want to pay for a water cooler, go for it. But taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for both tap water and bottled water.

  18. - Nort'sider - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 6:34 pm:

    The Hamos bill is the only responsible plan on the table for reasons that have been stated time and time again.

    Moreover, Congress is taking note of the megillah going on here. Check out Hilkevitch’s story at His money quote from Rep. Peter DeFazio, chair of the House Transit and Highways Subcommittee: “It seems that the state and the governor are walking away from a minimal responsibility to maintain an existing system, let alone dramatically enhance it. … You’re in a full-crisis mode and the whole country is going to be watching this week.”

  19. - GoBearsss - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 6:35 pm:

    YDD - Look, I never said there was no “broad regional, bipartisan support.”

    I am saying it doesn’t have enough votes to pass. If it is 1 vote short, it isn’t viable (Unless you can get that vote). It’s that simple.

    The Governor’s health plan was 1 vote short. And we all call that plan not-viable.

    What I am saying, essentially, is that Rep. Hamos has had a year now that she has been locked into this plan, despite consistent evidence that it didn’t have enough votes to pass. They tried to scare people into voting for it by pushing the vote right up against doomsday, and they will do so again, and possibly fail again.

    If Rep. Hamos had started looking for a funding alternative 6 months ago when she knew her bill didn’t have a chance, instead of trashing every other revenue idea that came along, then we wouldn’t be in this mess.

    Go check out the Moving Beyond Congestion report - there are numerous revenue options that would have greater support than the sales tax increase.

    The stubbornness and lack of compromise has brought us where we are now. Just saying “my plan is the only viable plan” doesn’t actually make it so.

  20. - Shelbyville - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 6:38 pm:

    Why don’t they put in pay toilets, that would raise some $$$$.

  21. - Water funds - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 6:51 pm:

    I don’t know too many offices that cover the big water bottles. I used to work in a state office building and there were a couple of these water funds. I always thought it was kind of humorous, but I guess it’s more serious now.

  22. - Captain America - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 7:31 pm:

    As far as I can tell, the primary person who has been stubborn and completely unwilling to compromise during this entire legislative session is Governor Rod R.Blagojevich. Senator Emil Jones has become the Governor’s “chief stooge and water carrier.”

    GoBearRearEnd and I must be reading different newspapers because as far as I know the Governor’s health care plan was nowhere near passing.

  23. - Fox Mulder - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 7:44 pm:

    Maybe Mark Kolaz suggested the water plan as a helpful suggestion on the way out of CMS. If so, well done.

  24. - irishpirate - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 7:54 pm:

    Mike Quigley go the same “water bottle” idea a few weeks back for the County of Cook.

    WLS AM on Quigley

    I imagine someone at da State actually noticed.

    Now that major issue is past.The Governor can tell everyone how he is saving the State countless thousands of dollars on bottled water. Meanwhile, back at the legislature……

    GRRRRRRRRR, Governor Bobblehead is a joke.

  25. - RJW - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 8:31 pm:

    It’s nice to see that the important things are getting attention. No Budget Implementation Bill . . . no problem. No capital program . . . no problem. Bottled water . . . holy crap! we have to do something about that!!

  26. - anonymous again - Monday, Oct 29, 07 @ 9:33 pm:

    Maybe they were buying the water from somebody’s friend(s)

  27. - John - Tuesday, Oct 30, 07 @ 12:29 am:

    Captain America - The Governor’s health care plan got 29 votes in the Senate - 1 short of passing.

    Maybe you will remember the fight between the Gov and Sen Jacobs? He was supposed to be that one vote.

    I think GoBearss is right - you either have a plan that has the votes or you don’t.

    Don’t mess with people and use transit riders and doomsdays as pawns (I am the 3,000th person to use that phrase!) to threaten lawmakers to pass a plan.

    That’s a strategy the Governor would use. Don’t play that game.

  28. - John - Tuesday, Oct 30, 07 @ 12:33 am:

    Look - The Speaker pulled votes off the Governor’s proposals all summer. Now the Governor pulled votes off the sales tax increase.

    Do we vilify one and not the other? If I had to compare - I would see denying people the ability to get healthcare as the bigger threat to peoples’ lives than raising fares on mass transit.

    I hope both plans can eventually pass. But lets at least not put our blinders on all the time.

  29. - Lainer - Tuesday, Oct 30, 07 @ 5:46 am:

    The tap water at the Stratton Building IS just awful. Of course there’s always the Pepsi vending machines…

  30. - Stasi - Tuesday, Oct 30, 07 @ 8:00 am:

    Ban jet fuel for Blagojevich’s fancy refurbished plane.

  31. - Stratton Bldg. State Employee - Tuesday, Oct 30, 07 @ 9:29 am:

    There are no drinking fountains in the Stratton Office building. The plumbing was so bad they took them out. If bottled water is not allowed, there will be no drinking water available. I recently was lucky enough to join the union. Can you say grievance? How much will that cost the state in lawyer fees!! Stupid.

  32. - Nick - Tuesday, Oct 30, 07 @ 10:49 am:

    I think it’s a great step for CMS to stop using taxpayer money for bottled water. It’s hard to justify spending public money that could be spent on strengthening the public water system on bottled water which is often tap water and is extremely bad for the environment. this is a good first step but there’s still a lot of work for all of us to do as far as curbing bottled water.
    For any interested people check out they have info as well as a pledge you can sign, promising to not drink bottled water.

  33. - Say WHAT? - Tuesday, Oct 30, 07 @ 11:54 am:

    Last year I cancelled our contract with a bottled water co. because I added up the yearly cost for service and could not justify the expense. I found we could buy a crock on a stand outright and save money if I go and carry the heavy water bottles myself, which I have been doing since last year. The crock is free of harmful aluminum and the bottles are the environmentally correct kind. I have been assured they do not leak petroleum or other chemicals. I have been doing all of this in order to save this office and the State of Illinois money. That was way before the memo from CMS. As far as a water fund is concerned…. I am the only staff in this office. The majority of the water is being consumed by constituents. A tin cup on top of the bottle asking for donations to the water fund? We have no other source for water here, except the bathrooms NOT A GOOD SOURCE OF DRINKING WATER. There are no drinking fountains. Whats a girl to do???

  34. - Anon - Tuesday, Oct 30, 07 @ 12:11 pm:

    At the Thompson Center, there is not enough water pressure to DRINK from the water fountains, much less fill a cup or bottle. That means you can take your cup or bottle into the restroom and try to fill it in the sink that is not deep enough to fit something that tall in, and which often contain spat-out toothpaste, the detritus of shaving, and I don’t want to speculate on what else. Or you can use the filthy utility sinks that the janitors use to pour buckets of filthy used water in. As if one restroom per huge floor (which is closed for “cleaning” multiple times per day, which means you made a long walk for nothing) wasn’t bad enough. It would be nice if they could put some ventilation in the restrooms too, which often remind me if the pachyderm house.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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