* Quinn signs bill to protect telephone consumers
* Quinn approves 133 clemency petitions
* State sends more funds to help heat homes
About 2,000 more local houses will get aid with $1.3M boost to program.
* Quinn Expects Sales Tax Veto Overthrown
* Chicago budget: Aldermen focus on ward issues rather than $370 million plan to dig deep into parking-meter reserves
City Council poised to vote Wednesday on Mayor Richard Daley’s new $6.1 billion spending blueprint […]
Austin said Daley’s budget proposal headed off more contentious budget hearings because this year he’s sparing aldermen the politically unpalatable task of voting on tax or fee increases.
Instead, Daley is relying on $370 million from the parking meter lease — far more than he initially planned to use when he persuaded aldermen to quickly approve the deal just days after it was unveiled in December 2008 — to fill a $550 million hole.
* Experts have beef with Daley on TIF
1. “Most TIF Funds don’t generate any money,” Daley said.
Wrong. Figures from the Cook County Clerk’s office show the funds brought in $495 million in 2008, the last latest year for which figures are available. “They generate a lot of property tax revenue — a substantial number of dollars in total,” said Woods Bowman, professor of public service management at DePaul University.
2. “Most TIF funds are used for schools, parks, libraries, ex-offender programs, job training, economic development to keep jobs here,” Daley said.
Wrong on everything but economic development.
* Highest-taxed homes? Take a gander at Sheridan Road
* New area code rings up unexpected charges for some condo boards
* Economy blamed for drop in Catholic school enrollment
The number of elementary and secondary students in the system — which includes 255 schools in Cook and Lake counties — dropped by roughly 4.5 percent this year, or 4,158 kids, figures show.[…]
“The schools conduct interviews with families as to why they’re leaving, and … we’re being told by 90 percent of our parents that it’s really money,'’ Sister Mary Paul McCaughey, the schools superintendent, said in a recent interview with ChicagoCatholicNews. ‘’So it’s a reflection of the economy. …'’
* Illinois tuition savings program cost goes up Tuesday
* Block 37 opens, but bank dispute looms over project
* Surge of stingy shoppers
Bargains drove people into the stores and to their computer screens, with 195 million shoppers visiting stores and Web sites over the holiday weekend, up 13.4 percent from last year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation.
Shoppers weren’t buying more, though. On average, each shopper spent about 7.9 percent less: $343.31 compared with $372.56 a year ago.
It took those extra shoppers to keep sales practically flat from last year’s biggest retail weekend. Total spending was $41.2 billion, less than 1 percent higher than the $41 billion spent a year ago.
* Overnight winter parking ban starts early Tuesday
Chicago’s overnight winter parking ban goes into effect at 3 a.m. Tuesday, meaning you need to be careful where you park tonight.[…]
If you get towed, it’ll cost you $50 for the parking ticket, $150 for the towing fee and $10 a day for storage in the impound lot.
* Maintenance work to cause CTA delays this week
* CTA seeks funds to rehab Purple, Red Line stations
* Travelers catching a bus also catching a bargain
* Work begins on bridge linking Iowa, Illinois
* Officials fighting mandatory flood insurance say coverage still good idea
* Champaign-Urbana offers drive-through H1N1 vaccines
* Chicago’s Ellis Island
* Some black youth feel more at home in Boystown, but get chilly reception
* Ill. hunter kills 25-point buck
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — It took Google Earth, a little deer psychology and a freak shot for a bow hunter in southern Illinois to bring down one of the largest deer in the state so far this year — a 25-point buck.