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*** UPDATED x1 *** This just in… Appellate court denies stay motion

Friday, Sep 27, 2013

* 4:46 pm - I’m told by an attorney involved in the fracas that the appellate court has denied Gov. Pat Quinn’s motion for an emergency stay of Judge Cohen’s rulings on Quinn’s legislative salary veto.

More when I know more.

*** UPDATE *** The one-sentence appellate court order denying Quinn’s motion for a stay can be read by clicking here. Not much to see, but it could be suitable for framing if you’re a state legislator.

…Adding… And there go the checks…

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Reader comments closed for the weekend

Friday, Sep 27, 2013

* I think I’ll go see Los Lobos at Donnie’s Homespun. Better turn it up, y’all

Life is a fly
And then you die

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Quinn files emergency appellate motion for stay

Friday, Sep 27, 2013

* I haven’t had a chance to go through it all yet, but here are two documents filed with the appellate court today…

* Emergency motion for stay of judgment pending appeal

* Supplemental affidavit

* The governor’s motion admits the “impracticality” of forcing legislators to return their paychecks, but wants immediate action to block the next round of pay checks to be issued Monday. From the motion…

An immediate stay is needed to preserve the status quo and the ability to effectuate the Governor’s veto if he prevails on appeal. If the judgment is not stayed, the plaintiffs and the other 175 members of the General Assembly will receive payment of their legislative salaries from the Comptroller’s office. Once that occurs, a ruling by this Court or the Supreme Court that the Governor’s veto was valid would to a large extent be a pyrrhic victory.

Still reading. I’ll let you know what else I find.

…Adding… Man, they laid it on thick…

(A)ny potential hardship the plaintiffs may experience will be short-lived and is vastly outweighed by the Pandora’s Box that would be opened if the members of the General Assembly were allowed to collect their salaries prior to the final adjudication of the issues in this case concerning ripeness and the constitutionality of the Governor’s veto. It would be inappropriate to allow these issues of great public importance to be effectively decided at the trial court level, but that is exactly what would occur in the absence of a stay.

It was actually shorter than it first looked, so I think I’m done. I’ll be closing comments soon and will let you know if a stay is issued today or over the weekend.

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Perhaps a little payback?

Friday, Sep 27, 2013

* Top Republicans received an interesting little mailer this week. The entirety of the letter was a recent Tom Kacich column in the Champaign News-Gazette about Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner’s unusually large number of ties to Democrats. The sender highlighted the most important parts. Here’s a cellphone pic of one page of the letter…

* The sender didn’t use a bulk mail permit, so we can’t trace its origin. But check out the postmark…

Hmm. What Rauner enemy lives in Peoria? Lemme think a bit. Nope, I just can’t possibly guess.

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      


Protected: Subscribers only: This just in… Yet another retirement

Friday, Sep 27, 2013

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Your Friday moment of Zen

Friday, Sep 27, 2013

* It’s been a crazy day. Actually, it’s been a bit of a crazy week. So let’s chill for a moment, shall we?

Here’s a pic I took yesterday of Oscar the Puppy…

* A commenter who owns the same breed of dog as Oscar wrote here not long ago about the phenomenon known as the “nut run.” It’s when dogs just go a little crazy and start running around like a bat outta heck.

When the weather is nice, I’ll take my laptop and Oscar to the back yard. If I’m too busy to play, he’ll sometimes go on a nut run.

Here’s the tail end of one from yesterday. The little guy had already slowed down a lot by the time I started recording his fun

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      


This Is Illinois

Friday, Sep 27, 2013

* From the Belleville News-Democrat

An attorney appointed to represent the interests of some residents from the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center says in a sworn statement that the private homes they’re being sent to are unsafe and woefully understaffed.

The attorney, Stewart Freeman, says in his affidavit that he fears someone might even die in one of the privately-run homes.

Freeman says one of his clients who has been moved to a private facility suffered a seizure because the home ran out of medicine, and another was fed a store-bought nutrition drink for days because the home ran out of the doctor-prescribed nutrition that the resident is supposed to receive via feeding tube.

But the head of the state office that is responsible for safeguarding Illinoisans with developmental disabilities says in his own sworn statement that he, too, has visited the privately-run homes, and found former Murray residents who are living happily in well-run facilities.

* AP

A year after Illinois was sued and reached a settlement over inadequate conditions in its juvenile detention centers, two separate reports are detailing a number of conditions that the authors say must change.

The first report is by a panel of experts, submitted in U.S. Northern District Court Monday as part of the settlement. It details an eight-month investigation of the state’s six juvenile detention centers in Kewanee, St. Charles, Warrenville, Joliet, Harrisburg and Pere Marquette. The juvenile justice and adolescent psychiatric experts describe incarcerated teens mowing lawns during the school day, being improperly medicated and routinely subjected to more solitary confinement than necessary.

The second report, by watchdog group the John Howard Association, was obtained by The Associated Press ahead of its scheduled release Thursday morning.

The group examined conditions at Kewanee, a specialized mental health facility that’s seen an influx of maximum security inmates following the closure of another facility by Gov. Pat Quinn. The Joliet Youth Center closed in February as part of Quinn’s decision to shutter several Illinois prisons and other facilities as a way to save money. The report says Kewanee is a facility with “extremely limited resources” to deal with its population of juvenile sex offenders and youths with acute mental illness.

* Tribune

The staff of the agency charged with overseeing land use and transportation planning for northeastern Illinois is recommending against the construction of a new toll road connecting interstates in Illinois and Indiana.

The proposal for the Illiana Corridor is “broadly incompatible with the overall goals and recommendations” of the region’s long-range master plan, the staff at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning said in a report issued this morning.

Building the Illiana would “expose the State of Illinois to extensive financial risk” due to the proposed toll road’s estimated cost and potential financing structure, the report found.

The Illiana, a project strongly pushed by Gov. Pat Quinn, would be a 47-mile toll road cutting across southern Will County and linking Interstates 55, 57 and 65 in Indiana.

The full report is here.

Greg Hinz has more

CMAP estimates that in addition to the $950 million IDOT estimates the road will need from the state or a private investor, there is an additional “funding gap” of $440 million to $1.1 billion.

The Illiana will be “unable to repay its initial debt, pay for annual operations and maintenance, finance required periodic capital maintenance expenditures and meet private-sector return on investment requirements without a public subsidy,” the report says. […]

Officials in Will County strongly back the roadway. So do proponents of a proposed third metropolitan airport at Peotone, which the Illiana would pass to the south. But foes — including the Metropolitan Planning Council and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle — suggest that CMAP’s integrity and ability to send resources where they’re most needed is on the line if it begins caving in to demands from powerful politicians.

Though Mr. Quinn has argued that the roadway would serve transportation needs, it also would serve political needs as he enters an election year. It could potentially help him attract votes in Will County, campaign contributions from contractors and shore up support for the Peotone airport that he’s also pushing as a way to attract support from African-American voters.

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      


This just in… Quinn to appeal stay denial

Friday, Sep 27, 2013

* 12:01 pm - I’ve confirmed that Gov. Pat Quinn is planning a quick visit to the appellate courts to try to overturn Judge Cohen’s ruling from this morning that denied Quinn a stay on Cohen’s Thursday legislative pay ruling. Quinn wanted the stay during his appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Fasten your seatbelts, campers.

*** UPDATE *** * 12:20 pm - Tribune

“The governor violated the constitution. He had no right to do that despite his benevolent intent,” Cohen said.

Cohen commended Topinka for following his order to “immediately” issue checks.

Testimony showed Topinka will issue checks for October by 3 p.m. today. Quinn attorneys are appealing Cohen’s denial of a stay immediately to the state appellate court.

Quinn’s attorneys argued that “no one in this courtroom” believed Cohen’s decision that the governor violated the constitution “would be the final word in this case.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   41 Comments      


This just in… Judge denies Quinn request for stay pending appeal

Friday, Sep 27, 2013

* 11:01 am - From the Twitters…


*** UPDATE *** Sun-Times

-Republican Treasurer Dan Rutherford, a 2014 candidate for governor, joined the bi-partisan chorus of officeholders Friday calling on Gov. Pat Quinn to drop his appeal of a court decision that blocked the governor’s pension-driven bid to withhold legislative salaries.

“I think the judiciary has spoken. He should just let it be at rest,” Rutherford said in an interview in the Chicago Sun-Times Statehouse office. […]

“It really added a great deal of acidity in the waters between two co-equal branches of government, the executive and legislative. I just don’t see how this is going to enhance the ability to try to work together to help fix what Illinois needs to have fixed,” Rutherford said.

“The second thing is it also is a horrible precedent to set. At what point does a future governor say that he or she wants you to do something, and if you don’t general assembly, I’ll veto your salaries?” the treasurer said. “I just think it was a bad move.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   32 Comments      


Question of the day

Friday, Sep 27, 2013

* Mary Ann Ahern

Thx @GovernorQuinn for stopping by WLS Radio with @John_Kass #lawmakerspay

Kass asked Quinn if lawmakers should be forced to stand in line in public to get their paychecks so the media could photograph them. Quinn laughed and kinda dodged the question.

* Mary Ann’s photo

* The Question: Caption?

Funniest commenter wins a new Statehouse mobile app that will be launched very soon.

- Posted by Rich Miller   50 Comments      


*** UPDATED WITH LIVE COVERAGE *** In other courtroom news…

Friday, Sep 27, 2013

* WGN

A Cook County judge is expected to make a ruling today, on whether a same sex marriage ban in Illinois is constitutional.

A lawsuit seeking to legalize same sex marriage got opposition from five downstate county clerks.

Twenty-five gay couples initiated the case because they want the legal right to marry. Cook County’s top prosecutor and the Illinois Attorney General say the ban violates the state constitution.

The hearing begins at 11 o’clock.

Looks like a busy Friday.

* Meanwhile, the Catholic Conference of Illinois is gearing up. From a press release

The Catholic Conference of Illinois is promoting a “Defend Marriage Lobby Day” scheduled for Wed., Oct. 23 at the Capitol in Springfield.

Efforts to change the state’s legal definition of marriage from “between a man and a woman” to “between two persons” dominated the legislative session last year.

Senate Bill 10 passed the Senate in February, but was not called for a vote in the House by the May 31 deadline because it lacked the votes needed for passage.

The legislature will meet for its fall session on Oct. 22-24, and Nov. 5-7. There is always the possibility that SB 10 could be called for a vote in the House.

That’s why the Catholic Conference of Illinois is promoting a “Defend Marriage Lobby Day” on Wed., Oct. 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Capitol in Springfield. Download a flier about the day here. […]

The “Defend Marriage Lobby Day” is sponsored by the Illinois Family Institute.

*** UPDATE *** Tony Arnold and I presume others will be covering the 11 o’clock hearing. Here’s a ScribbleLive feed

- Posted by Rich Miller   22 Comments      


Updates and nuggets

Friday, Sep 27, 2013

* We had a long, thorough discussion about Judge Cohen’s ruling yesterday. There’s not much in today’s coverage that expands on what I’ve already told you and what you commented on.

But there are some updates. Tribune

Dealt a loss in his attempt to wipe out lawmakers’ paychecks, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn will try to put the ruling on ice Friday as he attempts to kick up to the Illinois Supreme Court the legal question of whether his move was constitutional.

Those efforts were complicated by Republican Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka’s decision to send money electronically overnight to lawmakers’ bank accounts for the checks they missed in August and September while the dispute played out in rounds of legal briefs and hearings.

Subscribers know more about the current status of the checks. But this is from NBC 5

Quinn’s camp immediately filed a motion to appeal that decision and a hearing was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Friday.

I’ll let you know what happens.

* AP

Topinka, a Republican who controls the state’s checkbook, said late Thursday her office already was processing the checks and that lawmakers with direct deposit should have money in their bank accounts Friday morning. Paper checks also would be in the mail, she said. She also criticized the Democratic governor for what she called “game playing.”

Topinka’s quick action brought a rebuke from Quinn’s office.

“We’re disappointed that she started to issue paychecks,” said Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson. “Her enthusiasm to hand out paychecks to legislators appears to exceed her interest in public pension reform.”

Ouch.

* On to the nuggets. SJ-R

A co-chairman of the pension reform conference committee declined to speculate Thursday when the committee will finish its work.

“I think we’re very close (but) I have stopped making predictions on time because mine have all been very wrong,” said Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook.

Nekritz, who was at a meeting with some other committee members Thursday, said the outcome of the lawsuit should have no impact on the talks.

“It didn’t have any impact when the governor made that decision. I don’t think it will now,” she said. “We’re still focusing on getting some legislation that will get (the necessary) votes.”

* Sun-Times

The governor’s office is represented by outside legal counsel, Steven Pflaum, and a Quinn aide said Thursday it was unclear exactly where the legal tab now stands in defending against the Madigan/Cullerton lawsuit.

“I can tell you in the grand scheme of things, it’ll be pennies compared to $5 million a day,” Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said, referring to the multimillion-dollar rate at which Illinois’ unfunded pension liability grows daily. […]

The total for legislators’ pay for August, September and October stands at $1,000,581 per month, though it is unclear how much additional interest will have to be paid out on top to comply with Cohen’s order.

* From AFSCME…


Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller   25 Comments      


Our sorry state

Friday, Sep 27, 2013

* Forbes

Illinois boasts the fourth-most big companies in the U.S., including Boeing, Abbott Labs, Caterpillar and Kraft Foods.

Job growth, however, is projected to be second worst in the country over the next five years, according to Moody’s Analytics.

Throughout my lifetime, Illinois has lagged other states at the end of recessions. But this one is worse. Much worse.

- Posted by Rich Miller   39 Comments      


Quote of the day

Friday, Sep 27, 2013

* From OneMan in comments

You know at this point I would have to say the entertainment value of CapFax comments if Rauner wins the whole thing would be priceless

I was telling somebody yesterday that Bruce Rauner inspires more heated debate in comments than anyone I’ve seen since the Rod Blagojevich days. I might have to endorse the guy out of purely personal self-interest.

Just kidding.

Mostly…

Why do you think he rubs people the wrong way here?

- Posted by Rich Miller   68 Comments      


Twittereaction

Friday, Sep 27, 2013

* Two consecutive tweets from yesterday…


A bit contradictory, no?

* On the other hand, Rep. Ron Sandack was clear and concise…



* But the fake Speaker Madigan was the best by far…


Heh.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      


Protected: *** UPDATED x2 *** SUBSCRIBERS ONLY: And the race is on…

Friday, Sep 27, 2013

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Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition, breaking news and a roundup

Friday, Sep 27, 2013

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Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)

Friday, Sep 27, 2013

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