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It’s gonna get worse - Much worse

Thursday, Jun 4, 2009

* I told subscribers about this yesterday

Quinn’s office told state agencies on Wednesday to begin planning to make do with that budget for the coming year, in case nothing better is approved.

In a letter to the agencies, Chief of Staff Jerome Stermer called it a “very challenging and unpleasant task” because it could mean cutting services that “sustain the lives and well being of hundreds of thousands of our neediest citizens.”

Those cuts may have to be deeper than first thought.

Quinn’s office says the budget passed by lawmakers does not include enough money to match the much-reduced level of spending it contains. In other words, it was designed to eliminate the deficit but contains a deficit of its own. Quinn aides said they were still calculating the size of the gap.

The guv’s office and the Democratic leadership of the General Assembly already know pretty well what the size of that deficit is. And it ain’t pretty. We’re looking at huge cuts (including big cuts to personnel) on top of the “50 percent” funding included in the budget. It’ll be a horror show.

So when you see comments like this

“I think this all becomes a political game,” said Rep. Rich Brauer, R-Petersburg. “They didn’t cut into the bureaucracy. They cut into the service providers.”

You can be assured that people like Rep. Brauer are about to get their wish

[AFSCME] is convinced, though, that the budget approved by lawmakers contains enough shortfalls that layoffs are inevitable.

And then some.

* The AP did give me a hat tip in the piece for reporting that Senate President John Cullerton had placed a parliamentary hold on the budget. Thanks for that. But, actually, it was first tipped here in comments.

Cullerton’s press secretary explains why he did what he did…

“Following our meeting with the governor on Monday, it was made very clear to us that the Governor did not support the budget that we sent him, and in fact he may even veto it, so we simply took that option off the table, and we hope to work with the governor and the other caucuses in coming up with a revenue solution that works for everyone.”

* Besides a big rally at the Thompson Center, here’s what we’re looking forward to today

Gov. Pat Quinn and top lawmakers are supposed to resume their budget negotiations Thursday, the same day a special panel is to suggest ways to streamline Illinois government. […]

They may get some help from the Taxpayer Action Board, which Quinn created earlier this year. The board has spent about two months looking at government operations and ways they could be improved.

On which the Tribune editorializes

Civic groups and think tanks have smothered Springfield in proposals for managed care and other structural reforms that would help patients and taxpayers alike. Statehouse leaders merely bury their heads, as if this staple of private sector insurance is some foreign and dangerous interloper.

But not one word of the budgetary consequences of those moves. And not one acknowledgment of the state’s severe revenue problems

the state faces about $5 billion less in revenues this year compared to last.

* And here’s what happens when you try to cut something. Even the GOP objects

The plan, known as “hold harmless”, guarantees that schools will not get less funding than they received in 1997 even if their enrollments drop. Attendance is a key factor in setting the amount of state aid. […]

[Recently] the state education board said schools will likely get half of their “hold harmless” funding for the 2009-10 school year and then none of it the following year. That’s in the proposed state budget, but it has not yet been signed into law. […]

“Well I think it will be very challenging for the districts,” said state Rep. Sandra Pihos, a Glen Ellyn Republican, whose DuPage County district includes several schools that would lose money. “I think they should have had some forewarning and that if the hold harmless was going to go away then it should have been decreased incrementally so they could adjust to those funding levels.”

* And here’s what everybody’s up against

Forty years ago when the General Assembly enacted Richard Ogilvie’s income tax plan, those who voted in favor largely were run out of office, recalls former Alsip schools Supt. Bill Smith. He was on the Senate floor with former state Sen. Frank Ozinga, of Evergreen Park, during the historic roll call.

“At some point, (Senate Republican Leader Russ) Arrington realized he had the votes necessary, and so he said to (Democratic Leader Arthur McGloon), ‘I’ve got enough votes. Release your people.’

“But McGloon said to Russ, ‘I promised you 12 votes, and you’ll get 12 votes.’”

Smith shared the story to demonstrate bipartisanship of the 1970s. Democratic and Republican leaders worked together to accomplish major reform, a scenario that would never happen today. […]

Most of the 12 Senate Democrats who supported Ogilvie’s income tax lost their re-election bids.

* Finally, the Illinois Times asked to reprint part of my end-of-session wrapup for subscribers. I said OK

The Democratic Party was given a clear mandate in the past two election cycles, but they completely blew it last week.

The Senate has more than a three-fifths majority, the House is just shy of a veto-proof majority. The governor, who was installed by the Democratic legislature after it ousted his unpopular and obstructionist predecessor by force of law, is a Democrat. The former governor’s sidekick Senate president is gone. They had no excuses this time.

Yet, here we are, once again without a viable budget and in overtime session. The third in a row under Democratic leadership.

And what did the Democrats do? They blamed Republicans for not bailing them out by putting votes on the tax hike plan. The House Democrats, who control 70 seats in that chamber, came up short on a tax hike in the House, yet they tried to claim it was the Republicans’ fault. The Dems demanded the GOPs go along even after House Speaker Michael Madigan spent the past five months jamming the House Republicans every chance he could get.

Yes, the Republicans could have and should have put their state’s interests ahead of their desire to pay back Madigan for all the ill treatment he’s dished out. There are several House Republicans who were willing to make a deal on a tax hike but who were not willing to cross House GOP leader Tom Cross. And the Republicans may eventually end up wearing the jacket for this debacle if the government disintegrates and they show no willingness to do something. But this has been a Democratic show from the beginning of the session and Sunday’s end was a complete and utter Democratic failure. Instead of finding solutions on their own, and on time, they have put the Republicans in a position of control.

You cannot tell me with a straight face that Speaker Madigan did any serious heavy lifting this session. When real leadership was required, he sat back and let the train of government go completely off the tracks.

Read the rest by clicking here.

* Related…

* Press release: Governor’s Thursday schedule

* Outgoing Corrections director gets new state job

* Roger Walker heading for Prisoner Review Board

* Governor makes new pension board picks

* Health care crippling the economy

* Quinn must champion cuts to win tax hike

* Schoenburg: Key to tax-hike OK proving elusive for Gov. Quinn

* Suburban schools funding could lose political protection

* Lack of state budget leaves SIU hanging

* State can’t afford to reject savings that are ‘too small’

* Give legislators ‘F’ on handling state finances

* Capital bill funds for city stalled

- Posted by Rich Miller        

46 Comments
  1. - Cal Skinner - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 10:07 am:

    It never made any sense to pay school districts for empty seats while ignoring newly filled desks elsewhere.


  2. - hmmm - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 10:16 am:

    Hold harmless is a vote-buying luxury we don’t have right now.


  3. - Bill - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 10:21 am:

    I am glad at least one person in Springfield (you)has the grapes to point the finger where it belongs, squarely at the Speaker. He is the one who insists on total control and then uses the state like his own personal plaything(ooooo he plays chess!). He is the one constant on the scene over the past 40 years while the GA ran us so far into the hole through mismanagement and misappropriation that we may never see the light of day again. Sure, Rod was probably a dummy and a crook, Emil was, well, Emil. Ryan was in it only for himself and Watson was an obstructionist. Now, they are all gone. Who is left to shoulder the blame? A hapless guy like Quinn who has a hard time balancing his checkbook? Cullerton who let the much needed tax increase pass his Senate? Cross who couldn’t tell his…oh never mind.
    No. It is Madigan, pure and simple. If you want total control then you should take total responsibility. C’mon Mike it is time to do something for the people for a change.


  4. - Leroy - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 10:22 am:

    1. Define some program that has a goal of helping people.
    2. Send the bill for said program to Illinois.
    3. Scream bloody murder if Illinois attempt to cut it.
    4. Profit!


  5. - sal-says - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 10:23 am:

    The political disgrace in IL continues on and on. Next time vote: Anybody But An Incumbent [ ABAI ]. How much worse could it get?


  6. - enrico depressario - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 10:26 am:

    You guys who keep insisting that raising taxes is somehow the noble thing to do, donate away. Dig deep in your pocket and send it to Pat Quinn.
    Just keep your hands off of mine.


  7. - ahoy - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 10:34 am:

    \We have a super majority party who won’t lead and a government that won’t make reforms to save money to make a tax increase more creditable. One can only wonder how the heck we’re going to get out of this mess. I think the only way is to retire the legislature and the constitutional officers.

    I also think enrico should pay more taxes then anyone else.


  8. - Macbeth - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 10:34 am:

    So what good is a party in control of the legislature if they don’t control anything? I don’t get it.

    They’re worried about getting re-elected, I assume.

    Madigan must go.


  9. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 10:45 am:

    OK - I completely agree.

    Yes, the Democrats shanked Ogilvie, (who they now claim as some kind of hero), and have now shanked Illinois three budget years in a row. You want to say that the Democrats were rewarded and learned a bad lesson in 1971 when they did this, preventing them from considering any increase in income taxes, even when it is viable. OK - even though I don’t want to be that cynical. It was 40 years ago, and you’d think the Democrats would have gotten over that by now, right?

    Bottom line: it was a good thing. Can you imagine where we would be right now if the Democrats felt as free as they do in California or Massachusetts? We’d be in this same hole, and, have even higher taxes! The GOP era didn’t inaugurate a conservative era in Illinois - but it did keep the brakes on the budget from destroying Illinois until they went out of business. We’ve been rapidly rolling out of control since then and eating up every available asset and credit by the party who learned the wrong lesson in 1971.

    So, the Democrats want Big Government, but don’t want to pay for it. A majority of Illinoians agree with that, and keep electing the Democrats. This dream is over. Can we please get some political leadership to lead us out of this by doing the right thing, telling the voters the truth, cut back on the programs that are destroying our budget a little bit, passing some reform after Blagojevich & Company, then raising temporary taxes to help carry us through this disaster?

    Yeah - it is a tough job, but what do you expect these people were elected to do? The easy answers have been exposed as lies, and we’re run out of lying easy answers, right?

    How about some leadership?


  10. - Never forget - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 10:46 am:

    They haven’t raised the income tax, yet.

    But don’t forget a majority of Republicans and Democrats have already voted for big tax and fee increases this year. That was HB255 which passed. It raised lots of taxes. Same bill that approved video gambling.

    So I really wish these blowhard politicians would shut up about how they are holding the line on taxes. It’s just another big lie.


  11. - Double - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 10:47 am:

    How about we confiscate all of their war chests…especially Mike and Lisa’s to pay for all the programs they don’t have the intestinal fortitude to cut…once we have eliminated all political campaign funds…then you can talk to me about a tax increase…but only after a thorough audit of government services.


  12. - Das Man - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 10:49 am:

    It’s always darkest before it’s totally in red ink


  13. - taxpaying state worker - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 10:54 am:

    I hope the comission on streamlining also reviews the broken and starved infrastructure that is now state of Illinois government. Cuts have been going on for more than 10 years. Yes some people were hired by the previous gov - they are not the ones who keep the services running and the fedral $ comming. Cut you say - when your son or daughter treatens suicide or you beg for treatment services for your addicted adolescent - then you will understand just how much these services are needed. We have gone without raises - remember Edgar - that was almost 8 years, we have gone without raises - remember Blago. Most of us are here because the state recruited us - and we care


  14. - W.B. Yeats - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 10:59 am:

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre;…
    things fall apart, the center cannot hold; the ceremony of innocence is drowned; the best have lost all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely, some revelation is at hand.


  15. - Macbeth - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 11:00 am:

    It’s inconceivable to me that any more cuts can be made to headcount. We already have the least employees per capita in the nation — and the range of services barely offered demonstrates this.


  16. - Plutocrat03 - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 11:02 am:

    The problem with leadership is that someone has to stand up and be the adult in the room and say no. The voters have a history of ignoring the responsible voices and voting themselves more benefits. Anyone who speaks the truth will likely not be reelected.

    Then special interest chime in, the personal needs chime in, the pols feather their nests, all while the overhead costs of delivering needed services continue to balloon. There is no incentive to deliver a streamlined government.

    Too bad we can’t take the state to bankruptcy court and create a viable entity from the wreckage like was done with the airlines.


  17. - Plutocrat03 - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 11:11 am:

    I keep hearing that the State has the fewest employees per capita.

    Does this take into account the staff of hundreds of tax collecting bodies who do the work done by internal elements in other states?


  18. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 11:27 am:

    I keep hearing that the State has the fewest employees per capita.

    That is because it is true. Over the past decade, Illinois has not been replacing retirees, and now has an incredibly low state employee per capita ration - best in the country. While there was some hiring during the Blagojevich years, it was not enough to offset the natural losses.


  19. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 11:27 am:

    Would ten House GOP votes do the trick? I have a feeling this will get done, as long as Quinn holds firm on the capital bill.


  20. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 11:28 am:

    ===Over the past decade, Illinois has not been replacing retirees, and now has an incredibly low state employee per capita ration - best in the country.===

    Actually, we were 50th in per capita state employees before the Ryan early retirement law.


  21. - Ghost - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 11:32 am:

    === How much worse could it get? ===

    The decision to make the sale of liquor illegal began with that very argument. Confronted with all the problems drinking created, it was decided to ban all alcohol, after all, how much worse could it get.

    today much of the rise of the mafia and organized crime drew its roots from that decision to make alcohol illegal.

    We need to run the State like every family out there. During tough times when you lose income, you go out and get more income to replace it.


  22. - huh - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 11:37 am:

    Director Walker got a PRB job? Can someone explain why? That is definitely $85,000 we could have saved.


  23. - Rambler - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 11:58 am:

    The state constitution severely limits ways to balance the budget — it rules out common-sense measures such as a progressive income tax, a freeze on income for state workers, or pension reform for existing workers. Instead we’re left with job cuts and raising the flat tax, which is a favorite of Steve Forbes for a reason.
    I suspect there would be considerably more support for a Con-Con if it came up this year.


  24. - Louis Howe - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 11:59 am:

    ===Actually, we were 50th in per capita state employees before the Ryan early retirement law====

    Rich….this makes me believe the metrics aren’t comparing Apples to Apples…Illinois relies on many private vendors to deliver state services….I’d like to see the source for this much quoted stat…..


  25. - dupage dan - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 12:00 pm:

    P3,

    It is the township entiries that are the taxing bodies that you are referring to - they do make up some of the difference. It still doesn’t make up for the loss of state employees over the last 10 years or so.

    It is instructive to learn that those who sided w/Ogilvie were voted out at the next election. People do want a free lunch and that is a problem. It looks like the citizens of Illinois are about to get a lesson in that. And no kitty, no matter how cute, is going to be able to distract them from the disaster.

    I’ve got a bet with a co-worker re the demise of MM. I believe he is safe in his district. My co-worker doesn’t. I am hoping my co-worker wins the bet.


  26. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 12:03 pm:

    ===…Illinois relies on many private vendors to deliver state services===

    And that means no state pensions and no state health insurance. It’s a huge savings. Many of these vendors, like Lutheran Social Services, don’t even get full costs from the state and have to raise admin costs privately.

    I don’t get your point at all.

    Also, if you want to see the source, try Google. It’s widely available.


  27. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 12:04 pm:

    === I believe he is safe in his district. My co-worker doesn’t.===

    Your co-worker is insane.


  28. - Cousin Ralph - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 12:13 pm:

    How does the City of Chicago and Cook County stand up in comparing per capita local and county employees as against other metropolitan areas?


  29. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 12:13 pm:

    CR, use the google.


  30. - Legaleagle - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 12:31 pm:

    Illinois political buffs should read Taylor Pensoneau’s excellent biographies on Gov. Ogilvie, Gov. Walker, and Sen. Arrington, to get a feel for the dynamics in 1969 when the income tax was first adopted. The House Dems tried to structure the roll call so the GOP would take all the blame. Then in 1972 the Dems used the tax as a winning issue against the GOPers, ousting Gov. Ogilvie and retaking the Senate. One outspoken critic of “Ogilvie’s tax” was young Patrick Quinn, who ran Dan Walker’s downstate campaign. Somebody should try to research Quinn’s remarks, which railed against the need and wisdom of the income tax. Once elected, of course, Walker’s people declined to repeal the tax. Many of us are old enough to remember those fights .


  31. - Bookworm - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 1:42 pm:

    The number of state employees per capita is one thing; the total number of state AND local government employees per capita may be entirely different. It is a fact that Illinois has more local units of government than any other state.

    While each individual layer of government (state, county, township, city/village, school district, park district, library district, etc.) may not, on its own, demand all that much in terms of taxes, add them all together and you get a significant tax burden.

    Hence the perception of Illinois as a high-tax state with bloated public payrolls even though the state itself doesn’t employ all that many people nor levy that high a tax.

    Also, I wonder if many voters don’t tend to think of every layer of government between the feds and their city/village/township as “the State,” further muddying the waters when it comes to understanding public finance and tax policy.


  32. - muon - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 2:09 pm:

    Bookworm, your point is on target. The state contracts out a lot of services though local units of government and not-for-profit groups. In fact it is this group of providers that took the big hit in the budget passed by the GA. The 50% cut was on the grants and contracts to outside providers, putting the maximum pain on the services seen by the public.

    I also agree that the public often does not distinguish between the various layers of government. That’s in part because the state (and the feds through the state) do so much contracting to the locals. It’s hard for an average resident to tell what the origin of any specific program may be, so the blame for the cost also is spread around.


  33. - Steve - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 2:14 pm:

    Rich:

    You wrote a good column. But, I would disagree with you on one point. The Democrats haven’t failed in their mission for higher taxes and more spending in many areas. Madigan and gang are preparing for a higher state income tax. With all that’s gone on with Blagojevich, they are still standing strong. What Republican can win statewide in this Blue state? A large part of the Democratic coalition aren’t net taxpayers so why should they care about higher taxes and fees? When Jim Thompson and Jim Edgar are lobbying for higher taxes: you know the GOP is pretty irrelevant in the state of Illinois. Yes, the Democrats haven’t finalized a budget but these are difficult times, but not difficult enough to dislodge Mike Madigan from his power.


  34. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 2:16 pm:

    Steve, I never wrote that it was enough to “dislodge Mike Madigan from his power.” Not sure where you’re getting that. As to the rest, I’m not sure it had any relation to my column at all.


  35. - Steve - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 2:27 pm:

    Rich:

    You were writing about Mike Madigan. What I said is very relevant to what you wrote in your column. What’s the downside for Mike Madigan and the Illinois Democrats because of the budget? Not much? Unless you’ve seen polls showing some weakness. Rich, are you suggesting that Democrats might lose House or Senate seats in the next election?


  36. - Skirmisher - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 2:38 pm:

    Muon, the state of Illinois contracts out many of its normal services to local goveernment entities, but this is mostly so in Cook County. That is just one small, though populous, area of the state. Much of the rest of Illinois has a more direct relationship with state government, I believe. Still, Illinois does farm out an awful lot of its activities to local agencies which does reduce the state payroll to a considerable degree. Rich is correct: The people of Illinois have a bargain, though few woudl credit it. Ask folks in Wisconsin about their 15% state income tax.


  37. - anon - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 2:48 pm:

    What is Brauer’s wish?


  38. - Secret Square - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 3:28 pm:

    Re Skirmisher’s reference to high income tax rates in Wisconsin: if high taxes are an automatic job/economy killer, why are places like Madison, Wis., still in the top 10 cities for job creation/openings in the U.S. even in the current economy?

    Could it be that it’s not just the taxes alone but what residents get (or THINK they get) for the taxes they pay that makes a difference?


  39. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 3:40 pm:

    Secret, I think Madison is kind of a special case.

    They have virtually all state of government (a much higher % than Springfield, I’m sure) plus the state’s biggest and most generously funded university.

    Pretty sweet deal. Come to think of it, Austin is one of those boom towns as well, I believe.


  40. - Cousin Ralph - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 4:03 pm:

    Quick check, on property taxes alone, Illinois ranks 7th in the country for the highest property taxes as a ratio of the value of the property, and 6th in the country for the highest property taxes as a ratio to income. Sales taxes, all the different taxing bodies etc… have’nt yet found but dont expect a more promising result.


  41. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 4:06 pm:

    IL’s townships and counties perform functions that are the domain of the state in other states. For example, VA builds and maintains low volume roads that would never be “state highways” in IL. VDOT has more employees (about 8400) than IDOT (about 6000), even though their state’s population is only 60% of IL’s. Not sure that counts for all the difference, though.


  42. - SouthernGirl - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 4:32 pm:

    Here’s the facts and figures kids. “Illinois’ personal income tax system consists of a flat 3% rate on federal adjusted gross income. That rate is the lowest among states that levy individual income taxes”

    http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/topic/26.html


  43. - Charlie Wheeler - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 4:53 pm:

    Point of Information:

    The Illinois Senate approved the bill imposing the state’s first income tax on June 27, 1969, on a 35-22 roll call. Those voting for the bill included 21 Republicans and 14 Democrats. Of those, 29 ran for another term and 24 were victorious, an 83 percent success rate. In the House, the bill passed June 30, 1969, on a 91-73 roll call. Those voting for the bill included 69 Republicans and 22 Democrats. Of those, 78 ran for another term in 1970 and 74 were elected, a 95 percent success rate. The five senators and four representatives who lost all were Republicans. None of the measure’s 36 Democratic supporters was beaten the next time he or she stood for election.

    Source: “Income Tax Hikes: Are Illinois Politicians Vulnerable??” Almanac of Illinois Politics — 2006. Center for State Policy and Leadership, UIS.


  44. - state employee - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 8:47 pm:

    Thank you for the awesome summary of chaotic events here.

    I am so disgusted, mostly with Madigan (for not bringing the strong Meeks’ bill to the floor), and all the cowardly Representatives who voted NO on the weak, sorry excuse of a tax increase that did come to vote on May 31.

    My job is now at risk. You know what? Honestly, I would like to be one of the people laid off if that happens, because we are already so understaffed that I can’t imagine what more stressful hell it will be with even less people working.

    That said, I am even more concerned for the vulnerable people of Illinois who will be the ones to suffer from the draconian cuts, the seniors, disabled people, working poor, homeless, children, and sick people. It is unconscionable what the Reps who have voted NO on a tax increase have done. I hope everyone knows who voted NO. They are to blame.

    If I lose my job, I will look to get a job with another state (besides CA) that supports its government and services. There is no job security here in IL, even with a state government job.

    Also, all the people concerned about improving the economy: since my job is now at risk, I will not be doing any discretionary spending, making the IL economy even worse. Good thinking, reps who voted NO. Acting in FEAR and making things worse, downward spiral here we are.


  45. - Bill-O-Rights - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 9:43 pm:

    Six Degrees

    You need to get the current figures on IDOT headcount I believe it is close to 5000 which is a reduction of about 30% over 5 years


  46. - Bookworm - Thursday, Jun 4, 09 @ 10:42 pm:

    Charlie: That was during the era of 3-member House districts and cumulative voting, so I would think that it was actually EASIER then than it is now to vote out incumbents. Yet even so, the vast majority of incumbents who voted for the income tax kept their seats. Interesting.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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* Democrats, Republicans finally agree: Think tank’s cartoon is ‘s—‘
* SWEET: Sessions taking up Chicago bashing as a cause


* Zarlengo's brings homemade Italian ice to the Southland
* Coming to Rialto, proof that ghosts exist?
* Dennis Hastert's federal prison sentence ends, but lawsuits still loom
* John Lackey's eventful night ends in no-decision as Cubs blow lead, rally for 7-6 win over Reds
* No Powerball winners; jackpot jumps to $510 million for Saturday's drawing
* A franchise first: White Sox hit first-pitch leadoff homers on back-to-back nights vs. Dodgers
* Cubs' Joe Maddon anticipates fine after ejection
* Trump’s lawyer jumps into racial controversy by forwarding inflammatory email
* Naperville police investigate 'suspicious incident' at train station
* Cubs 7, Reds 6


» Rauner Outlines 2018 Campaign Themes: Madigan, Madigan, Madigan
» U.S. Attorney General Slams Chicago (Again) Over Sanctuary Policies
» Illinois House Vote On Rauner School Veto Defeated
» Illinois House Democrats Deal Rauner Symbolic Blow In School-Funding Fight
» Hastert Officially No Longer In Custody; Probation Begins
» Professor Turned Down White Nationalist’s Email Request To Speak At University Of Chicago
» Chicago Public Schools Sinks Further Into Debt
» State GOP Lawmakers Seek To Repeal Cook County Beverage Tax
» Pawar Selects Cairo Mayor As Running Mate In Governor's Race
» Celebrating Back To School At A Time Of Uncertainty


* Rauner: Trump's comments on Charlottesville 'damage America '
* Our View: Keep those consolidation efforts coming
* Bernard Schoenburg: Pritzker to release tax info soon, touts Stratton's mediator skills
* Rauner's school funding changes fail in House
* Illinois House condemns white supremacists
* House vote on Rauner school veto defeated
* Republicans say school talks scheduled Friday in Chicago
* Rauner blasts 'special deals' for Chicago
* Regulators seek more details on state's first fracking permit
* Our View: Our response to hate will define us


* Illini football training camp roundup
* Fling: In Brief
* Chosen: Gospel fest calls Manchester home
* TIP musical embraces war effort
* Library planning second Bookstock fest
* Without proper protection, eclipse may cause permanent blindspots, eye doctor says
* Illini Training Camp 2017: 'Ball security ... needs to be a lot better'
* Thousands lose power after heavy rain and wind, Ameren says
* Roxana man charged with five counts of child pornography
* URS Corp. begin cleaning debris at old U.S. Post Office in Alton


* Lackey looks good; Cubs win on wild pitch
* Judge hits long homer, Gregorius lifts Yanks over Mets 5-3
* WNBA players show support for Charlottesville victims
* Red Stars lose after late Seattle heroics
* LL Bean boosting production of iconic boot

* Congressmen Randy Hultgren and Peter Roska...
* Illinois lawmakers blast President Trump's...
* Trump's 'Both Sides' Comments Draw Harsh L...
* Hultgren praises teamwork in fighting rece...
* Genevans respond to Charlottesville event ...
* Hultgren backs change to Voting Rights Act...
* Unicarriers President James J. Radous III ...
* Oswego Pastor Gives Prayer on US House Flo...
* Rep. Loudermilk proposes bill to update Se...
* Naperville's Lauren Underwood to run for R...

* Durbin, Duckworth Criticize McLean County ......
* Durbin Expresses Optimism And Haste About ......

* Durbin, Duckworth Criticize McLean County ......
* Duckworth Confers With Illinois Farm Burea......

* Justifying white supremacy? Their efforts to do so further taint the concept
* George Maher Sheridan Road Mansion Sells, To Be Rehabbed
* Black, Millennial, Female and… Conservative
* U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Religious Liberty in Church Playground Case
* Roskam: Trump's comments about Charlottesville "not acceptable"
* Illinois Policy Institute takes down "racist" cartoon
* Rauner confirms support for abortions
* Reclaiming the Oreo, the Twinkie, and other iconic American desserts with BraveTart
* Alexi Front’s Scorched Tundra metal festival covers even more ground in its second Chicago year
* “The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective


* 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

  
* FrontRow is a medallion on a necklace you wear for livestreaming
* AT&T Again Giving New DirecTV Now Subscribers a Free Apple TV
* Evan Blass shares the front, back, and sides of the LG V30
* WSJ: Apple has $1 billion to spend on original video content
* Refurbished AT&T Galaxy Note 4 being recalled for counterfeit batteries
* Google Pixel 2 feature differences, Essential Phone dates & more – Pocketnow Daily
* eBay seller has LG Watch Style at $107.99 for a limited time

* Bubba, White Sox eager for Players Weekend
* Sox homer on 1st pitch in 2nd straight game
* Renteria honored by Cubs' gesture
* LIVE Color Feed: White Sox vs. Dodgers
* Rodon looks to spoil Darvish's LA debut
* Jerry Reinsdorf checks in on White Sox rebuild
* White Sox Minor League Update: Aug. 15, 2017


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