Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** Don’t hold your breath
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
*** UPDATED x1 *** Don’t hold your breath

Wednesday, Dec 21, 2011

* Gov. Pat Quinn said this week that he’s creating a pension reform “working group” to tackle the complicated issue. While many would say this is preferable to allowing the corporate titans at the Civic Committee and their little “me too” buddies at the Chicago Tribune editorial board to dictate all the terms of pension reform, it’s a whole lot easier said than done

Quinn said the working group will be led by Jerry Stermer, a senior advisor in his office, and will be made up of a mix of Democrat and Republican lawmakers from the Senate and House. Union groups and other organizations will also have a seat at the table, Quinn said. […]

Quinn said he modeled the makeup of the group on similar panels that have brought about major education overhauls and changes to the state’s workers compensation system.

“This process seems to me to be the very best way to make sure that everyone has a voice,” Quinn said. “We will work together to go forward on the common good when it comes to pensions, public pensions in Illinois.”

The school reform negotiations were long and tedious, but most of the groups at the table were OK with the general reform goals, which put pressure on the Chicago Teachers Union, for instance, to get in line. I highly doubt we’ll see the same willingness by the unions to compromise on sweeping pension reform, but correcting some of the more egregious abuses (like getting rid of the magic wand that universities have to put anybody they want into the pension system) is possible. So, good luck, Jerry, you’re gonna need it.

*** UPDATE *** Steve Schnorf ought to be on this panel. There isn’t a better big picture and small details guy in all of Illinois. If the governor wants this panel to succeed, then Schnorf most definitely needs to be on it. Period.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* Meanwhile, one of the most significant developments in pension reform this year just happened in Rhode Island

Retired police and firefighters from Central Falls, R.I., have agreed to sharp pension cuts, a step thought to be unprecedented in municipal bankruptcy and one that could prompt similar attempts by other distressed governments.

Matthew J. McGowan, who represents the retirees, said the agreement could be groundbreaking if the courts approved it.

If approved by the bankruptcy court, the agreement could be groundbreaking, said Matthew J. McGowan, the lawyer representing the retirees.

“This is the first time there’s been an agreement of the police and firefighters of any city or town to take the cut,” he said, referring to those already retired, who are typically spared when union contracts change. “I’ve told these guys they’re like the canary in the coal mine. I know that there are other places watching this.”

As cities, towns and counties struggle with fiscal pain, there has been speculation that they could shed their pension obligations in bankruptcy. Some have said it might, in fact, be easier for local governments to drop those obligations than it is for companies, which use a different chapter of the bankruptcy code. Large steel companies, airlines and auto suppliers like Delphi have terminated pension plans in bankruptcy.

Illinois municipalities can’t declare bankruptcy without the state’s permission, and the state Constitution is written in such a way that they probably couldn’t discharge their pension obligations in bankruptcy anyway. But, hey, you never quite know what will happen when an issue reaches the courts.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - John Bambenek - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 9:18 am:

    An interesting point about the pension clause in the constitution in bankruptcy.

    The entire point of bankruptcy is a judicially sanctioned breaking of contracts, however. It’ll be interesting if it gets there. Hope it never does.

  2. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 9:20 am:

    Creating and running a working group discussing the pensions may be hard, Rich, but its necessary for the very reasons you state. With the Civic Committee, the Trib, and the Illinois Policy Institute flooding the airwaves with misinformation, the first job of the group ought to be a statement of the problem(s), followed closely by an agreement on the facts. Only then can potential solutions to those problems be discussed.

  3. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 9:24 am:

    Gee John, why would you even bring that up? Wait…let me go look to see whether the sky is falling…nope.

  4. - Reality Check - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 9:24 am:

    Of course, the unions have been pushing to address the real pension crisis — the state’s failure to pay its share. SB 512 and its ilk aren’t just unconstitutional and unfair to public employees, they would do nothing to ensure adequate funding. So the core question is what is this about, more empty politics, or really working together to solve a problem?

  5. - - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 9:32 am:

    The Rhode Island case is a new twist: shed your pension obligations but keep bondholders whole.

    If that holds up, you can bet a lot of distressed municipalities would give it a look. Why not? It worked for the airlines. They whacked their employees and still maintained access to credit markets.

  6. - Cassiopeia - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 9:37 am:

    The Rhode Island example is ominous for municipality pension plans since they can declare bankruptcy, but not for states which cannot declare bankruptcy.

    Correct me if I am wrong but congress would need to change the law to allow states to go legally bankrupt.

  7. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 9:40 am:

    I like the idea of a group of diverse interests gathering at table to work out difficult problems. I’m glad to see that. It should be very interesting, when it happens. The Trib might have to take a bit of a chill pill and ease off of its doomsday predictions, now that a difficult democratic process is in the works.

  8. - unspun - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 9:43 am:

    The comparison of creating a working group similar to that of the workers comp negotiations is interesting, particularly considering that the Governor’s office was expelled from the table throughout the month of May when the deal got done.

  9. - Bigtwich - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 9:59 am:

    == congress would need to change the law to allow states to go legally bankrupt.==

    The Supreme Court changes the law on Eleventh Amendment Immunity every time it looks at it. But basically there are only two levels of government in this country, federal and state, and they are both sovereigns. Local governments are creatures of the state. So changing the law to allow the federal government to take over a state, and by extension all local governments, would change the allocation of power in this county dramatically and would probably be beyond the power of congress.

  10. - John Bambenek - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 10:04 am:


    I brought it up because Rich brought it up as it happened in Rhode Island. And I like complex legal issues. If I’m making a policy stand, you’ll know. Generally, I don’t realize white papers as 20 word blog comments.

  11. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 10:15 am:

    This is a step in the right direction. Ignoring the problem won’t solve it. The solutions offered by the fat cat Civic Federation are all from people that hate government and its employees. The real solution must come from having all parties that have an interest vetting various ideas, and coming formulating policies that are workable, have the support of those affected, and are enforcable. The pension crisis was solved years ago, except the people responsible to administrate the solution failed to follow their own plan (i.e. the ligislators and governors). Solutions formulated today must have the support of the unions, employees, governor and the GA. The current measures of pension solvency are unnecessary and unrealistic. A pension system that is funded at 65 or 70% would probably be doable. This would reduce the amount of perceived underfunding, reducing the necessary state contributions to catch up, and also cutting back any additional state worker contributions.

  12. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 10:18 am:

    Isn’t about time to bring up that Meredith Whitney massive muni default prediction and ask how her new rating agency is doing?

  13. - Union - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 10:20 am:

    Let’s say an agreement is made, but a union member takes the agreement to court because of the Illinois Constitution saying Public Pensions cannot be reduced or impaired. The court agrees with the union member…..then what?

  14. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 10:37 am:

    Can we hope for someone with actuarial experience to be on the panel?

    Benefits are wonderful, but they have to be paid for.

  15. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 10:41 am:

    Let’s all wish the panel luck. They face a very difficult series of problems.

  16. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 10:46 am:

    Yes John, it happened in a CITY in Rhode Island, whose pension fund was DEVOID of funds, and 60% of the retirees were on “Disability” retirement. States can’t declare bankruptcy as pointed out by posters above, and our state pension funds, while continuously underfunded for the last 50 years are not out of money, or anywhere near out of money, as was this city in Rhode Island. In addition, any law that favored one set of creditors (the bondholders) over another (the pensioners) would absolutely end up in court here in Illinois, and we’d win.

  17. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 10:56 am:

    Steward and others: whatever the funding formula target, remember the unfunded balance will require interest payments at 7.75-8.5%. In other words, let’s say 70% would leave an unfunded balance of $50B. That would then require a (growing) contribution of about$4B per year, plus normal costs plus debt service on POBs.

    Whatever is left unfunded will be the most expensive long-term debt the state will hold. As the old trucker song says, there ain’t no easy road.

  18. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 10:59 am:

    ===Whatever is left unfunded will be the most expensive long-term debt the state will hold.===

    Only if we abide by the status quo.

  19. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:05 am:

    I don’t understand your comment Rich.

  20. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:06 am:

    I nominate Schnorf for the panel.

  21. - Bill - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:14 am:

    I do this for a living, so I’d like to offer a couple points as clarification. First, Congress won’t have to change a law to allow states to go bankrupt: Congress and the states jointly would have to amend the Constitution. Presently the 10th Amendment reserves to the states all powers not granted the federal government, and since states are sovereign, it would take an amendment to the Constitution to allow state bankruptcies to occur.

    Second, Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code contains eligibility requirements to go bankrupt. One of the first, and a key one, is that units of government within states must be permitted by state law to file for bankruptcy. At present, 26 of the 50 states generally do not permit unfettered access to the Bankruptcy Courts by their municipalities and other governmental units. Illinois is one of the states that does not, while California (see: Vallejo) is one of the states that, for now, does permit unfettered access.

    Certain states, Illinois and Pennsylvania most famously, have state constitutional prohibitions against altering or amending existing public pension plans. So, yes, dealing with Illinois’ pensions would be difficult. However, this prohibition does not extend to other employee benefits such as healthcare and the like. In other words, you could, in theory, reduce retiree costs for the governments within the state by simply eliminating all other benefits beyond their pension obligations. In truth, no one would want that, and so the issue then becomes allocation of pain. In other words, how much would some folks be willing to give on pension obligations by way of negotiating concessions in order to preserve their medical benefits?

    While Draconian, this does set the stage for negotiation. Central Falls is the Rhode Island city being discussed in today’s post. Prior to the city’s bankruptcy, the state appointed a Receiver to take charge of its affairs, an action not too dissimilar to the current appointments of Emergency Managers in Michigan these days. The Receiver actually has broader latitude, under Rhode Island law, to alter, amend or slash pensions than a judge does under Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code. This dynamic has been playing out for more than a few months, and the discussion today reflects the fact that a bargain has been struck between the Receiver, acting for the city and state, and the public employee unions, and at this point, what is being asked of the Bankruptcy Court is merely that the Court bless this negotiated settlement rather than impose it.

  22. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:16 am:

    There is room to negotiate. Recent years have seen increases in the normal costs of some systems that are now somewhat out of line with private sector costs. Those costs can be accounted for through adjustments in employee contributions, but why agree to adjustments in contributions if you don’t believe the state will make its contributions. So there needs to be some sort of solidification of state funding and I am not sure how that can be accomplished.

    The real savings should come from shifting normal costs to certain employers. Downstate school districts are left off the hook and contribute only a fraction of a percent towards benefits. Pensions are compensation for employment but yet the employer does not fund the system. Transfering normal costs to taxing districts and adjustments in employee contributions would decrease FY 13 state contributions which are certified at a billion dollars more than FY 12 contributions.

  23. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:17 am:

    Schnorf and I just talked on the phone about what I’m trying to get at here.

    Essentially, we need to say that Illinois pledges to have “x” years’ full funding on hand in the systems at all times rather than this enormously painful 90 percent total funding level. Let’s say for the sake of argument it’s 10 years’ of funding on hand, just in case a huge number of people decide to retire at once (which is highly unlikely, but whatever). That would take huge pressure off the funding mechanism and still provide abundant assurance that everybody will be paid.

    Anyway, I hereby officially endorse Steve Schnorf for this pension reform panel. The man is brilliant and even when we disagree I always respect his positions.

  24. - Sam I am - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:36 am:

    Hats off to the Civic Committee, the Trib editorial board, and others for identifying the unholy pension mess that its creators and beneficiaries have only begrudgingly started to address.

  25. - piling on - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:37 am:

    Odds that Molaro ends up on the taskforce?

  26. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:37 am:

    The public should be concerned if public compensation is out of line with private compensation. I think taxpayer/business groups have every right to be at the table if there is disparities between public and private compensation.

    But the underfunding of these systems has paid for medicaid reimbursements, schools, prisons, etc. In other words the public has benefited at public employees expense. If we were to equalize the wrongs of the General Assembly, payments to the systems would be required from any entity who has recieved money from the state.

    The Civic Committee’s proposal artificially creates larger disparities between public and private compensation as a way to put employees on the hook for a portion of the unfunded liability. This places a disparity in tax burden for public employees. Essentially their increased contributions would be used to service the debt on past medicaid reimbursements, payments to schools, prisons, etc.

    By closing off Tier 1, contributions sky rocket so that Tier 1 public employee costs are significantly higher than private sector employee costs for similar benefits.

    But the Civic committee doesn’t close off Tier 2 for the purposes of determining Tier 2 employee contributions. Instead they require the systems to pretend as if everyone is in Tier 2. By pretending everyone is in Tier 2 the normal cost of the benefit is artificially inflated. the real cost of the benefit requires an employer normal cost that is far lower than private sector employer costs for comparable benifts.

  27. - Quinn T. Sential - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:40 am:

    This is not possible.

    I can’t believe that the Democrats have established a “Blue Ribbon” panel that does not have Abner Mikva at the helm.

    Even before I realized he was on the congresssional ethics panel reviewing Jesse Jackson Jr’s behavior, he had played the straw man on so many different appointed panels I thought he had season tickets in this type of role.

    I was thoroughly convinced that that they had a contingency plan to have him cryonically preserved in the event of his untimely demise so that they could bring him back again in the future for the really role which is yet to come.

  28. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:41 am:

    ===In other words the public has benefited at public employees expense. ===

    Wrong. The state has never missed a pension payment. Stop playing the victim.

  29. - soccermom - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:59 am:

    I like the “move normal costs to the districts” idea. These are the folks who gamed the system by giving top administrators great honking raises in the last years of their contracts to boost their pensions, then sent the bill to taxpayers statewide. Let’s have a little “reap what you sowed” action….

  30. - The Elderly Man You Used to Love - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 12:00 pm:

    Ah, yes, the age-old Springfield cannard that we must gather everyone at the table. Surely the problem hasn’t been solved yet because all parties haven’t gathered together in a deliberative setting, right?


    Let’s review:

    - 2004 Blago pension commission, everybody had a seat at the table, everybody talked, nothing happened

    - 2005 Blago pension commission, everybody had a seat at the table, everybody talked, nothing happened

    - 2009 Pension Modernization Task Force - a failure of epic proportions. Everybody had a seat at the table, everybody recited their well-worn talking points, no consensus was reached and the task force almost didn’t issue any report at all. A big nothing.

    2011 House pension working groups - everybody had a seat at the table, everybody talked, nothing happened.

    See where this is going?

  31. - gournalizm - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 12:05 pm:

    It’s funny to see that a quick search of this column finds the word “panel” 10 times in the text and comments. The governor said he was going to convene legislators from the four caucuses and interested parties. He didn’t say he was creating a panel. Indeed, Quinn’s words were “I don’t know all the details about it, but I think we’ve got to be a little careful with respect to our pension systems right now,” noting that there was no structure, no format, no official panel. Ignoring the key details of stories like this can derail the process even before it has begun by turning it into something it is entirely not.

  32. - The Elderly Man You Used to Love - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 12:09 pm:

    I have nothing against Steve Schnorf, but if he’s so brilliant, where were his pearls of wisdom during the last 5 pension working groups?

  33. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 12:09 pm:


    You’re idea is an excellent one. I endorse you’re inclusion on the panel.

    Another fact is overlooked in the public vs private discussion, while it is true that most private pensions have been scrapped, they have been replaced by 401k’s, which many employers match the employee contribution. So look at it this way, the pension payment the state was supposed to pay is very similiar to your 401k match. I wonder how many of these people squawking about the state pensions would feel if they discovered that the 401k contributions the employer was suposed to make never were.

  34. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 12:10 pm:

    You can’t just barge into those sorts of meetings. Sheesh.

  35. - The Elderly Man You Used to Love - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 12:11 pm:

    They let Filan in to the Modernization Task Force.

  36. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 12:14 pm:

    Well, he had some power at the time, no?

    Don’t be so obtuse.

  37. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 12:19 pm:

    I say we send him down there & see what happens.

  38. - gournalizm - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 12:23 pm:

    Has anyone actually seen any words of the governor’s that say “panel” or “commission” or “task force” in reference to pensions in the past three days. No, everyone is literally making this up as they go along.

  39. - AFSCME Steward - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 12:25 pm:

    They probably would be severely confounded. Someone who has real practical solutions to serious problems that don’t involve scape-goating or blaming the other party.

  40. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 12:38 pm:

    - Has anyone actually seen any words of the governor’s that say “panel” or “commission” or “task force” in reference to pensions in the past three days. No, everyone is literally making this up as they go along. -

    My god Woodward, you’ve really cracked the story here. Yeah, the specifics of the “working group” aren’t set in stone yet, everyone knows.

  41. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 12:40 pm:

    The number of goofy red herrings, misdirection and downright nastiness is more than a little appalling. People, chill out a bit.

  42. - Cook County Commoner - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 1:00 pm:

    And will the Governor’s panel, committee, working group or whatever deal with all the approx 300 state, county local gov employee pension plans in Illinois or just the Illinois gov employee and union boss plans? Anyway, sounds like more kick the can down the road. Besides, the real problem with the plans won’t materialize for years, when the most feeble literally run out of money. Plenty of time to posture and do nothing. Real reform will arise when non-gov employee voters get a grasp on gov employee pensions, including the feds with a pension and 401k-like plan, compared to the table scraps most have. 10,000 Americans are turning 65 every day according to reports. That’s the countdown clock to real gov pension pension reform.

  43. - Borealis - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 1:54 pm:

    I am ready to be completely underwhelmed by whatever the said august panel comes up with unless they start cranking out money from a machine in the basement of the the Capitol 24 hours a day…

    See The Elderly’s comment @ 12:00 noon…ditto …

    Merry Christmas to all bloggers here.

    Time to bake more cookies!

  44. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 2:13 pm:

    Was Simpson-Bowles a model?

  45. - bigdaddygeo - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 2:37 pm:

    Central Falls should raise taxes to cover their obligations.

  46. - Lakeview - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 2:48 pm:

    I’m going to change the subject a bit, but I’m trying to figure something out: what would be the advantage to all these non-state agencies to be in SURS? Social Security is a good-enough system, and there are a million vendors that would be happy to add on a 403(b) plan.

    The real issue for small non-profits is health insurance. The premiums are killing them (as they are killing just about everyone). Are Special Olympics, etc., getting health care benefits through SIU? Or just pension?

    And if it’s just pension, what’s the catch to the taxpayer over a combination of Social Security and 403(b)? Because there has to be one.

    Forgive me if this was discussed already and I missed it.

  47. - PublicServant - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 3:11 pm:

    Steve, if you get put on the working group, recommend me too. I’m fair and balanced just like Fox. I report, you decide.

    P.S. I hope Rich doesn’t apply the delete button here!

  48. - Rarely Posts - Thursday, Dec 22, 11 @ 5:11 pm:

    The IL Constitution says “the benefits of [state pension plan membership] shall not be diminished or impaired”. But that MUST mean benefits already earned and not benefits yet to be earned, correct? Suppose a 23 year-old college graduate starts working for the state today. Is the unions’ position that the 23-year-old has an entitlement for life (assuming she keeps working) to the same benefits guaranteed to the 65 year-old worker about to retire tomorrow? Surely not. Surely the state could say to the 23-year-old next year (when she is 24) “Yes, we will give you the actuarial value of what you have earned in the past year, but from now your benefit going forward is that we’re putting your contribution into a 401(k)-type defined contribution plan.” Correct? Or do the unions really think this is a lifetime entitlement. If so, that is a breathtakingly broad reading.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Caption contest!
* Federal rules protecting net neutrality have expired! Support House Bill 4819
* Harmon says he has votes in Senate for gun shop licensing override, but future still unsure
* It's just a bill
* Rauner makes "official" trade show announcement seven months after it was announced
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Biss says he wants more details about Pritzker's progressive tax plan, Rauner campaign agrees
* Question of the day
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Why was Travis Reinking allowed to keep his guns?
* Comptroller: State racked up "two decades worth of late payment interest penalties in just over two years"
* Madigan says he hasn't made up his mind on legalizing marijuana
* Illinois Legislators: Make Health Coverage Fair by Supporting HB 4146
* Rauner's new website slams Pritzker-Madigan "corruption"
* Today's must-listen: Madigan and lone chairmanship "No" vote together on Joravsky's show
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...









* Illinois Gov. Rauner down by double digits agai.....
* Roundup: Vacaville tennis seals MEL title with .....
* For Illinois Voters, The Governor's Race Is Lik.....
* Who should have access to sales tax records?..
* Rauner's run - Chicago Tribune..
* Attorney General Lisa Madigan: Suburban Express.....
* Illinois: Senate to Consider Overriding Veto on.....
* While Honoring Grandparents, Lightford Offers R.....
* Senate OKs bill to nearly double home care work.....

* The Latest: Waffle House slaying suspect's court date reset
* Man who disarmed Waffle House shooter hailed by lawmakers
* Court to rule on Illinois village's right-to-work ordinance
* Police: Co-worker called Waffle House suspect 'paranoid'
* The Latest: Sheriff says Waffle House suspect 'compliant'
* St. Louis group for women entrepreneurs expands to 6 cities
* Prosecutor: No more testimony allowed from 10 Chicago cops
* The Latest: Co-workers said shooting suspect was 'paranoid'
* 4th death reported in Illinois linked to synthetic marijuana
* Lawmakers honor man hailed as hero in Waffle House attack

* Senate OKs bill to nearly double home care workers' pay
* 4th death reported in Illinois linked to synthetic marijuana
* Google aims at Illinois' privacy law after Facebook lobbying failed
* Illinois Lottery sells tickets for instant games after top prizes are gone
* Michael Madigan wins re-election as Democratic Party leader
* Champaign-area bus company faces harassment lawsuit
* Illinois' late fees skyrocket over past 3 years
* State paying bills, but not late-payment interest
* Legislators push Rauner for Quincy veterans home improvement plan
* Michael Madigan expected to win re-election as Democratic Party leader

* Sinclair agrees to sell 23 TV stations as part of Tribune deal
* Sinclair agrees to sell WGN-TV—but would still control it
* Robert Malott, CEO who wrestled with Boesky's crimes and Continental's downfall, dies at 91
* Chicago law firms beat national average on revenue growth
* Ex-Sears exec: 'This is all a sham'

* Humboldt Park shooting wounds 2
* Kris Bryant left out of Cubs’ lineup Tuesday against Indians
* Emanuel says interactive 311 system will ‘revolutionize’ city services
* Local draft prospect TE Troy Fumagalli more than story about his missing finger
* Chicago Park District, runners’ group host series of free 5Ks starting Saturday
* Michigan State kept ties to coach Rick Butler accused of sexual abuse
* ‘Smallville’ actress Allison Mack granted bail in NXIVM case
* West Side residents plead for stronger anti-gang loitering ordinance
* Man, 57, killed in Calumet City shooting
* Attorneys for Jones, LeGrier file another motion for sanctions against city

* Albert Almora Jr. chalks up baseball-themed baby reveal as simply 'awesome'
* Waffle House shooting suspect left considerable evidence at scene, police say
* Kris Bryant out of Cubs lineup tonight vs. Indians
* For Ryan Pace and the Bears, the smart play is the safe one in this NFL draft
* Bears GM Ryan Pace skillfully hiding his cards as NFL draft draws near
* River Forest joins class-action lawsuit fighting opioid epidemic
* 3 film students mistakenly caught in Mexico gang turf battle were tortured, slain and dissolved in acid, police say
* A Pennsylvania golf club called the cops on black members for taking too long
* Police investigating report of driver trying to lure Arlington Heights girl into car
* Restaurant in McDonald’s new Chicago headquarters will feature food from its menus around the world

» Getting Books To Illinois Prisons; Virtual Medical Interpreters; Chicago’s Gang Database
» Illinois Pushes For State Net Neutrality Rules After Federal Rules Expire
» Prince Heirs Sue Illinois Hospital Over Care During Overdose
» Immigrants Shine In New CPS Varsity Sport
» State Legislature Considers Tougher Penalties on Texting While Driving
» April 20, 2018 - Full Show
» April 23, 2018 - Full Show
» Madigan Elected For 6th Term As Democratic Party Chairman
» Illinois Case Argues Bullet Analysis Is ‘Basically A Guess’
» Illinois Case Questions Bullet Analysis By State Police

* Senate OKs bill to nearly double home care workers' pay
* 4th death reported in Illinois linked to synthetic marijuana
* Google aims at Illinois' privacy law after Facebook lobbying failed
* Guest View: A nation at risk
* Illinois Lottery sells tickets for instant games after top prizes are gone
* Michael Madigan wins re-election as Democratic Party leader
* Champaign-area bus company faces harassment lawsuit
* E.J. Dionne: Where are the conservatives we need?
* Illinois' late fees skyrocket over past 3 years
* State paying bills, but not late-payment interest

* Five at 5: Caterpillar 1Q profits soar on equipment sales and 4 other stories to see
* Police looking for man in wheelchair in Glen Carbon Walmart theft case
* Danville star Moore commits to Colorado State basketball
* Lucas transferring to Milwaukee
* Causes of death unclear for mother and daughter found in their O'Fallon home
* SIU Carbondale plans to recruit Ph.D. graduates for ‘volunteer’ adjunct positions
* LISTEN: Journal Star opinion page editor Mike Bailey
* Twenty-one area hoops coaches honored by IBCA
* Westville police investigate armed robbery
* Collinsville's World's Largest Catsup Bottle Festival comes to an end

* Man has 15 DUI convictions. Now he faces 30 years in prison.
* Bears could recoup Round 3 pick by trading down in Round 1
* Arkush: Cracking the Bears GM's Super 8 list for NFL draft
* District 70, teachers agree to 5-year contract
* Some raises, some pay freezes for DuPage County officials

* Are Illinois Congressmen safe in wake of D...
* It's official: If you prepaid your propert...
* A quick look at a few congressional races ...
* Underwood hopes winning primary formula ca...
* House Approves American Space Commerce Fre...
* Democrats aim to turn Obamacare into asset...
* Group of Nearly 100 Iranians Stuck in Vien...
* Lamar Smith visited Galápagos, where warmi...
* CFPB Director Mulvaney Backs Commission St...
* This RSS feed URL is deprecated

* E-Cigarette Sting Operation Prompts Warnin......
* FDA Cracks Down On Juul E-Cigarettes Popul......
* A tough re-election climate tests the chum......
* Senators Cling to a Fading Custom Trump's ......
* Sen. Durbin warns educators of risks of fo......

* Tammy Duckworth and Working Moms Like Mine...
* The Senate celebrates Sen. Tammy Duckworth......
* Editorial: Up to the task...
* I'm a legislator and a mom. Tammy Duckwort......
* Tammy Duckworth is uniquely privileged, bu......

* Is Illinois ready for a potential influx of stoned drivers?
* Jeff Rosenstock talks about his notorious Pitchfork set and how he’s sticking to his DIY punk principles
* How and why did G Herbo’s show at the Vic get canceled?
* Lathrop launches lottery for affordable housing at revamped CHA complex
* The [Tuesday] Papers
* Looking more at the 2018 Associate Judge finalists - part 1
* Trump’s war on medical marijuana putting Illinois dispensaries at 'risk'
* Improvising horn trio Spectral play with the colossal reverb in an abandoned munitions bunker
* Joe Rode wasn't a great artist, but he lived a great Chicago life
* No lunch plans today? Vanguard Awards Luncheon starts at 11:30 at the Standard Club

* IEMA Highlights Role of Volunteers in Disasters
* Governor Rauner activates State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield
* February Flooding Information
* IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather
* Governor issues state disaster proclamation for flooding in Iroquois, Kankakee, Vermilion Counties

* This Hacker News thread is a masterclass in how to put down your damn smartphone
* Anker announced an affordable AirPods rival and a bunch of new speakers
* Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) is now getting Oreo too
* Google looks to give Chrome a fresh coat of Material Design paint
* These glittering ribbons scare away baby birds and also my focus
* YouTube channels are using bestiality thumbnails as clickbait
* Avengers: Infinity War is stunning, hilarious, and heartbreaking

* White Sox put Garcia on DL, recall Palka
* Garcia lands on DL; Palka recalled
* South Side Sox Roster Ranking: Round 19
* South Side Sox Prospect Vote: Round 19
* After early work, elusive feat escapes Moncada
* After early work, elusive feat escapes Moncada
* Beck up from Triple-A as Gonzalez hits DL

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller