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Quinn setbacks

Tuesday, Jul 30, 2013

* Kurt Erickson reports

Gov. Pat Quinn’s push to close the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center in Centralia took another step back Monday.

Clinton County Judge Dennis Middendorff ruled that no wards of the state currently housed at the center can be transferred to other facilities or smaller, group homes until further hearings are held.

The ruling comes after a separate federal court ruling earlier this month barred the administration from transferring residents with private guardians while the matter is being litigated.

The Friends of Murray Center, consisting of parents of residents at the facility, is suing to stop the governor from moving forward with the closure of Murray and the dispersal of 270-plus residents.

Quinn announced last year he wanted to close Murray in October 2013. He was successful in shuttering the Jacksonville Developmental Center earlier this year.

* Meanwhile

The biggest plank in a 2012 law designed to save the state $1.6 billion a year and help shore up Illinois’ Medicaid program was a strengthened effort to remove ineligible people from the rolls.

The future and effectiveness of that effort, however, remain in doubt after an arbitrator’s ruling that orders the state to cancel its contract with the governmental consulting company Maximus by the end of December.

The administration of Gov. Pat Quinn hasn’t decided yet whether to appeal arbitrator Edwin Benn’s ruling or hire the estimated 100 additional state workers who would be needed to completely take over the work Maximus has done since January.

Um, y’all might want to make a decision soon. Just sayin…

* Other stuff…

* South Loop land deals at the corner of business and politics: The company and its executives have been regular supporters of Quinn, who appoints members to McPier’s board. The company has contributed more than $35,000 to the governor’s campaign fund, including twice picking up the tab for food and beverage expenses likely tied to fundraisers.

* OfficeMax tax debate so far not like Sears: State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, a Chicago Democrat and House Speaker Michael Madigan’s No. 2, said there’s no agreed-to way to move forward. “There is no clear plan at this point,” she said.

* A Chicago privatization deal that doesn’t suck

* Lawmakers, Advocacy Groups To Hold Hearings On Sexual Abuse in IL Juvenile Detention Centers

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Reality Check - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 10:40 am:

    Ending the privatization deal re Medicaid isn’t a setback for Quinn, it’s a win for taxpayers. Doing the work in-house at DHS will save $18 million.

  2. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 10:43 am:

    Regarding the Trib’s DePaul/Mac Place story, I guess we know now why DePaul thinks a venue seven miles from its main campus is a good spot for its basketball games.

    The Cacciatore family have been in the news in the past.

    The old man used to live next door to The Big Tuna in River Forest. He testified at a mob trial that he was being extorted at one point for $5 million and someone left the head of a dead dog on his kid’s car.

  3. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 11:07 am:

    A lesson for all those who claim to have firm plans to cut government spending: Your best plans will run up against amazing hurdles from all directions, and bureaucratic resistance, and will take twice as long as your original forecast.

    Even when you’re in the political party in control.

    If you’re in the opposition, you’ll be just talking to the press, and hoping for some impact with the like-minded across the aisle.

    I always laugh at loud when I hear the great fiscal plans of new candidates. Good things can happen, but not based solely on your actions, and not on your schedule.

  4. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 11:36 am:

    Word, that was one of the best pieces I’ve read from the Trib in quite awhile. Eye-opening in many ways. I’m sure the good folks out at Calpers wouldn’t be pleased that one of their money managers is in the middle of a deal like this.

  5. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 1:01 pm:

    AA, credit where credit is due, it’s nice to see the Tribbies go long, round up all the players and follow the money trail.

    The one criticism I have of the piece is no mention of a casino. The whole development — new entertainment venue, new hotels — makes no sense without the addition of a daily retail draw.

    Convention and show-goers don’t want to stay down by Mac Place now. There’s nothing to do at night.

    Plus, you have more hotel rooms coming on-line in the Greater Loop all the time. There’s three in the works now in the area of The Hard Rock Hotel on Michigan Avenue just south of the river.

  6. - Rufus - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 1:31 pm:

    The Maximus deal has raised our eyebrows for a long time. $70 million for a job that shouldn’t cost more than 1-2 million ( 10-20 man years). A no-bid award. Very shaky, especially when you see who is on the B.O.D.

  7. - Ruby - Tuesday, Jul 30, 13 @ 2:21 pm:

    Is the Office Max $40 million income tax “help” the unfair deal that allows Office Max keep their employee’s state income tax instead of paying the taxes to Illinois state government to pay for services that we all should be supporting with our tax dollars?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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