* I have a bunch of things to do today to get ready for Saturday’s big event, so blogging will be light. Sorry about that, but here’s a roundup to chew on for a while…
* Tuition break program survives attempt to put limits on it: The Illinois House killed legislation Thursday that would have put limits on a tuition break program for employees of the state’s public universities. The proposal mustered just 25 “yes” votes of the 60 needed for passage. It would have limited the current 50 percent tuition cut to families with household incomes of $50,000 or less.
* Juvenile Justice Dept. postponing work on detention center after lawmakers raise concerns: State officials postponed remodeling work on a juvenile detention center in northeast Illinois on Thursday after some lawmakers voiced concerns that the project was violating a law that dictates how state facilities must be closed. The Department of Juvenile Justice believes it wouldn’t be illegal to begin the $4 million upgrade of the Illinois Youth Center at St. Charles, even though it includes readying the facility for higher-risk offenders who are scheduled to be transferred from a detention facility in Joliet that’s slated to close. The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability said the work appears to violate an Illinois statute that bars officials from taking any “action” to close a facility until 50 days after the governor notifies the General Assembly of the plan. That would be May 5 in this case.
* Controversy swirls around St. Charles youth center work
* Senate OKs plan to require more information in state leases: Legislation aimed at disclosing more information about the owners of state-leased buildings and the third-party contractors managing them passed the Illinois Senate unanimously on Thursday. The bill creating the new rules, sponsored by Sen. Susan Garrett, D-Lake Forest, would not apply to existing contracts, which means it would not apply to the management company owned by convicted Springfield businessman William Cellini
* Panel: Cut, don’t eliminate, superintendents
* Illinois hits jackpot with online lottery sales
* Will park fees turn off tourists?
* New “Bullying” bill passes Illinois House
* Morrison School Relief Bill Killed in Committee
* Illinois Policy Institute analysis of the House Budget: Still too big