* 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.”