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Fracking bill dies

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

* Illinois Review

Admitting the failure of legislation proposed by State Rep. John Bradley to circumvent the Illinois Department of Natural Resources by directly instituting hydraulic fracking rules via the General Assembly, State Rep. David Reis (R-Ste. Marie) led a call for fracking to begin in Illinois.

“All that needs to be done is that the Governor and the DNR present a second draft of the regulations, and fracking will be able to begin,” Rep. Reis said at a press conference in the Capitol with other members of a diverse coalition supporting fracking. “Politlcally-driven delays by the governor, his administration and departments are single-handedly stymieing the process,” he said. “We need to get busy fracking.”

Mark Denzler, CEO of Illinois Manufacturers Association, headed the pro-fracking GROW Association.

“Even the environmental community said we had the strongest environmental protections in the country. We worked to protect Illinois’ air, water and land. Second we wanted to bring jobs to Illinois,” Denzler said. “It’s been a year, it’s time for the governor and DNR to move on fracking rules.”

* Personally, I think the enviros are making a big mistake by supporting IDNR’s slow-walking of the rulemaking process.

I mean, there’s a reason why Gov. Quinn doesn’t want finalized rules before the election: The moratorium types are gonna freak the frack out once fracking begins. He’ll be constantly hounded in Chicago like he was last month

By flooding IDNR with thousands of copy-and-pasted public comments and then demanding that IDNR respond to each and every one, they’re an accomplice in the slow-walking.

And what’s that gonna get them? Post-election rules that they will almost definitely hate.

Welcome to Springfield, kids.

- Posted by Rich Miller   25 Comments      


Not soup yet

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

* Call it a good start

A change to the way the state doles out school funding passed in the Senate today, but a House floor vote on the bill is not expected before session is scheduled to adjourn later this week.

Sen. Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat, sponsored Senate Bill 16, which supporters say could make school funding for poor communities more equalized to wealthier communities. A Senate committee spent months evaluating the current funding formula after questions arose about drastic disparities between schools throughout the state. The plan would put more of the money the state sends to local school districts through a filter that would weight funding more heavily toward factors such as whether students live in poverty or are bilingual learners. It would also consider the need of local districts that have less affluent property tax bases for local funding. “Will there be winners and losers under a new funding formula? Absolutely. But those winners and losers will be based on need and resources and not what their zip code is,” said Democratic Sen. John Sullivan of Rushville. “We’ve all said that around here for years that it ought to be based on not where you live, but what resources you have, and Senate Bill 16 addresses that.” […]

Lawmakers agreed that the state’s education funding formula needs to be changed, but Republicans questioned whether this legislation is the right way to go. Manar said when asked of the debate, “I was quite shocked at their defense of the status quo at the debate and it’s as if (Republicans) are immune or numb to the reality of what is going on in the state today. There’s no reason to pause, there’s no reason.” […]

The legislation would not take effect until July of 2015 and would allow a phase in period to let schools adjust to the newly proposed funding formula.

There is a reason to pause. Even Manar admitted that the bill wasn’t quite soup yet.

* More

Some Republicans added they would have to vote against the bill out of principle, even though it helped their district, because they wanted to make sure that the state maintained a minimum amount of spending per student, or a “foundation level.”

“If you look at the winners and losers list for this bill, my district wins, my schools would get more money almost uniformly,” said state Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon. “There are times when we act focused solely on our districts and then there are times when we act focused more broadly on what the policy is statewide and what the long term policy is…. If this bill becomes law the one objective measuring stick that we have to say that we are funding to the degree that we said we would will be change dramatically, that is the foundation level. The $6,119 per child that this General Assembly and this Governor have said is the absolute minimum a child can spend in these schools and give them an adequate education… is no longer locked in statute.”

* But the sole Republican vote for the bill explained why that foundation argument doesn’t really hold up. From a press release…

“The current formula is out of touch with current fiscal realities and it creates major disparities throughout the state,” said Senator Sam McCann.

One of the major issues identified in the Senate GOP report was that state dollars have been redirected from the basic foundation formula grant, which was established to ensure all students are guaranteed a minimum level of funding.

“Senate Bill 16 reprioritizes state education funding by focusing funding priorities on need,” said McCann. “This means our poorest districts, the ones who rely the heaviest on state dollars, will see increases in funding. This is the way it should be.”

SB16 will slowly implement increases or decreases in funding over a period of three years. Currently, Senator McCann is finalizing the details of new legislation which would require the state to fully fund the formula, whether it’s the current formula, or the new system laid out by SB16. In recent years, the state has been paying less than 90% of the recommended level.

* More

Under Manar’s bill, the state would send districts money based primarily on need.

Many collar counties would take a hit if the bill becomes law. In hopes to lessen the negative impact on districts, Manar has capped the amount of money a school district can “lose” in the matter at $1,000 per pupil.

* But some aren’t convinced

“Poverty disparity is widened by this,” said state Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine. “Current law is $3,000 dollars per poor kid in a high density poverty area, it’s $314 in a low poverty area. Under this bill it goes up to $4,800 all the way down to $12… That great school district in that rich area I live in has 31 percent poverty—we get $12 a kid for everything [in taxes] we send out.”

That school district Murph spoke of had cash reserves of over $148 million in 2012. They built that gigantic reserve by over-taxing by about $10.6 million each year.

* And, of course “Chicago“…

“The problem is the disproportionate funding that goes to one district… that benefits one district at the expense of every other student and child throughout this state,” said state Sen. Jason Barrickman, R-Bloomington, talking about the Chicago Block Grant.

The block grant is eliminated by this bill.

* One more link

Manar added several amendments to his bill. They include giving more weight to at-risk students, capping the amount of money a district could lose per student, and funding early childhood programs, special education, and transportation.

One amendment that got left off the list was a proposal to allow schools to opt out of dozens of mandates, from teaching drivers ed to black history. Some senators thought that belonged in a separate bill.

Like I said, it ain’t soup yet.

- Posted by Rich Miller   13 Comments      


Minimum wage referendum to appear on ballot

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

* It’s pretty obvious from the press release that the governor fully intends to use this issue as much as he can in the upcoming campaign…

Governor Pat Quinn today released the following statement regarding Illinois Senate passage of House Bill 3814, legislation that would place a question on the Nov. 4, 2014 ballot asking voters if the state’s minimum wage should be raised to $10 per hour by Jan. 1, 2015. The bill previously passed the Illinois House, and now heads to the Governor’s desk:

“This November, Illinois voters will have the opportunity to send a clear signal to lawmakers that we must have an economy that works for everyone.

“Raising the minimum wage will benefit hundreds of thousands of hardworking men and women across our state. Higher wages for employees means they will spend more at local businesses, which in turns boosts economic growth.

“As we work to build a majority to raise the minimum wage in Illinois, this referendum will help us get the job done.

“I thank Senator Kimberly Lightford and House Speaker Michael Madigan for sponsoring this important legislation. I look forward to signing it and letting the people’s voice be heard on this important issue.”

Think it’ll work much?

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      


Question of the day

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

* State Sen. Darin LaHood (R-Dunlap) wants a privately funded statue of Ronald Reagan somewhere in or around the Illinois Statehouse

“Everyone knows about our extensive Lincoln heritage and President Grant’s military prowess, but they often forget that Ronald Reagan is the only Illinois-born man to reach the White House,” LaHood said. “Currently, the Capitol features prominent statues of Lincoln and Grant, but it’s time for President Reagan to have his place at the Illinois Capitol.”

LaHood and other lawmakers are seeking to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of President Reagan’s death on June 5, with a private fund-raising drive to place a formal statue on the Illinois State Capitol Complex grounds.

Senate Resolution 1242 was introduced on May 27 and requests that an appropriate memorial be placed at the State Capitol. In addition to the resolution, Senator LaHood also sent a letter to the Architect of the Capitol and the four legislative leaders stating the desire for the Reagan memorial. That letter was signed by Senators Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington), Tim Bivins (R-Dixon), and John Sullivan (D-Rushville).

“We are keenly aware of the state’s fiscal condition, which is why we want to emphasize the need to raise private funds for this Reagan memorial at the Capitol,” LaHood concluded. “Let me make it abundantly clear that this Reagan tribute will not be funded by any taxpayer monies.”

The resolution is still in the Assignments Committee.

* The Question: Should a privately funded statue of Ronald Reagan be placed on the Illinois Statehouse grounds? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


polls

- Posted by Rich Miller   90 Comments      


Roger and me

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

* I guess I can reveal this now since he passed away last Saturday, but Roger Stanley and I used to talk on the phone all the time when his company handled the House Republicans’ mail program.

Roger would call just as soon as then House Republican Leader Lee Daniels’ chief of staff Michael Tristano left his office. He’d then brief me about what was in the mailers and whatever else was on Tristano’s mind and I’d get some great stories for subscribers.

The House Republicans were always furious that they obviously had a leakage problem, but to my knowledge they never caught Roger and I always tried to be careful with how I reported whatever he told me so he wouldn’t get caught.

* Despite our frequent chats over many years, I never once met the man. He invited me to accompany him on election night, 1998, when his old friend George Ryan was elected governor. He said he’d rented a limo, was getting some “broads,” as he called them, and some booze and insisted that I come along. I politely declined. I have to work on election nights, I explained. There were no hard feelings.

I can’t remember how or why we began talking on the phone. But he was a heckuva source, baby, and I’ve missed him ever since he got into trouble with the law. He knew everybody, and he was privy to tons of incredible stuff, much of which he passed on to me. There was never a dull moment, lemme tell ya.

* Apparently, the feds loved the way Stanley talked, too. You really should read his Sun-Times obit in its entirety, but here’s a snippet

Former state lawmaker Roger Stanley, an informant for the feds in a corruption investigation that led to the trial and conviction of former Gov. George Ryan, has died.

Stanley, a longtime colorful figure in state politics who carried the moniker “The Hog,” died Saturday after “living the good life in Costa Rica,” according to his death notice. He was 71. […]

Stanley finally agreed to sit down with prosecutors and so began a long relationship with the feds — one that involved regular meetings in a “secret FBI office” in Chicago for more than a year, [former assistant US attorney Michael Ettinger] said.

“He had a great personality,” said Ettinger. “He was very entertaining to talk to — had story after story.” […]

“He did sit down and essentially give us a tutorial from his perspective on how all this stuff works,” [former assistant US attorney Patrick Collins] said of Stanley. “He was very helpful on how what later would be called “pay to play” sort of worked. He was a firsthand player and he provided that firsthand knowledge to us.” […]

“He ended up being an entertaining colorful person, who ultimately when you sat down with him, told it like it was,” Collins said.

The downside, of course, is that he ratted out the very people who made him so rich and successful, chief among them George Ryan. Lee Daniels was a Ryan protege, and George never let him forget it. So Stanley was a must-hire for Lee and Tristano, who was also taken down by the feds.

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      


Illinois Credit Unions – A Smarter Choice

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

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- Posted by Advertising Department   Comments Off      


Not quite ready for cupcakes

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

* Sun-Times

At first, it looked like the “cupcake-girl” bill suffered the same fate as an overbaked batch of brownies or cookies: It got tossed.

But the Illinois Senate had second thoughts, undoing a vote it had taken earlier in the day and voting to give a downstate 12-year-old cupcake baker the right to stay in business without her family having to build on a second kitchen in their home to satisfy their county public health department.

The Senate used a parliamentary maneuver to reverse a 17-32 vote that appeared to have killed legislation aimed to help Chloe Stirling. On a second try, the Senate voted 57-0 on legislation that would keep her mixing bowls spinning and bake-oven lit.

“Let them eat cupcakes,” said state Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, after the early-evening revote.

The offending language was demanded by the Illinois Department of Public Health. Apparently, Gov. Pat Quinn ordered a reversal after the bill went down in flames.

* The Tribune editorializes today on the cupcake bill fiasco

Senators spent an hour debating whether the state should crack down on young business people such as Chloe, a 12-year-old from Troy. Chloe was earning $200 a month selling homemade cupcakes to family and friends. After she was featured in her local newspaper for her baking skills, the Madison County Health Department made a few phone calls and shut her down.

She was told she needed to set up a commercial kitchen if she wanted to sell her cupcakes. “The rules are the rules,” the health department spokeswoman told local reporters.

Lawmakers in the House who heard about this filed a bill to give Chloe a break. The bill would have barred county and state health departments from regulating small, home-based food businesses that earn less than $1,000 per month. It was a one-page bill. It passed without a dissenting vote.

* But there’s something that nobody has been mentioning. The only way they got that bill through the House was with language demanded by some Chicago-area public health officials

This Section applies only to a home kitchen operation located in a municipality, township, or county where the local governing body has adopted an ordinance authorizing the direct sale of baked goods

Troy’s mayor is in the process of drafting an ordinance which would allow for these bake sales, so, the kid can’t legally sell her wares yet.

And unless Cook County, Chicago, etc. vote to allow this sort of thing, it ain’t gonna happen there, either.

- Posted by Rich Miller   34 Comments      


** UPDATED x1 *** Slow it down, please

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

*** UPDATE *** Sunny Fischer, the chair of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Board of Trustees, has released a statement on this issue, claiming that her board was blindsided by the Madigan bill. Click here to read it.

[ *** End Of Update *** ]

* Sun-Times

A move by House Speaker Michael Madigan to wrest control of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum from a state agency moved out of the House Tuesday despite qualms that his framework seemed “drastic.” […]

The quick emergence of Lincoln library and museum bill has triggered murmurs at the Capitol, even from some Democrats, who question privately whether Madigan is engaged in a power grab that has the potential to become, what one high-ranking party aide described as “Metra times two.”

Madigan, who hasn’t been to the library and museum in two years, has said he began contemplating the power shift four or five months ago and that one of the problems with the current management setup is that numerous job vacancies have gone unfilled at the library and museum.

* Sun-Times editorial

The $115 million Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is being undermined by greed and selfish ambition.

Actually, that’s what we wrote 13 years ago, when then-Gov. George Ryan tried to end the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency’s authority over the Lincoln center so he could, in the words of Sun-Times columnist Steve Neal, turn the center into a “patronage dump.”

Now, House Speaker Michael Madigan is trying to do the same thing — end the IHPA’s authority over the Lincoln center. And the sneaky way he’s going about it — producing a bill at the last moment in a busy legislative session, pushing it through a committee on Memorial Day and ramming it through the House the next day — is offensive. Last we heard, the Legislature has bigger problems to grapple with, like a potentially devastating unbalanced budget.

* But check out the roll call. The bill passed 84-29. By my count, 21 Republicans, including House GOP Leader Jim Durkin, voted for Madigan’s bill.

So, maybe Madigan cut a deal with Durkin on something else. I dunno. But there was clearly bipartisan support for this move.

* However, the Sun-Times is most definitely right about this

If Madigan feels there’s a better way to run the Lincoln center, he should follow the normal legislative process, getting the input of everyone from Lincoln scholars to museum experts. Rushing things through invites unforeseen consequences.

I totally agree. The library/museum is a state gem. Changes should only be made after careful deliberations, with lots of input from outside experts.

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      


A look ahead

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

* House Speaker Madigan is probably correct. The November election will almost surely turn out to be a referendum on whether to keep the income tax rate at 5 percent or roll it back

Speaker Michael Madigan acknowledged the budget proposal would leave unfinished business and vowed to spend the summer and fall working to get the income tax hike made permanent to provide more money to run state government. The approach also ensures the governor’s race will continue to be framed up by opposite positions on a tax hike Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner have staked out.

“My expectation is that this issue will be taken into the general election and I think the governor will be supportive of an extension of the income tax increase through the general election,” Madigan said. “My expectation is that Mr. Rauner will be against. So you’ll have a clear line of division going into the election. And people can make their choice.”

Rauner will point to things like Senate President John Cullerton’s prediction that taxes will have to rise after the election and maybe even tell voters that there’s already a “secret plan” to do just that. Quinn will have to campaign on a platform of avoiding painful cuts by keeping taxes at 5 percent.

* For his part, Madigan is trying to remain coy

Asked if he also believes a tax increase will be needed later in the budget year, Madigan said “not necessarily.”

“I plan to work into the summer on the budget and when we get into the fall and into January I’ll assess the situation at the time,” he said.

That gives cover to some of his more politically vulnerable members.

* I haven’t received anything official from Bruce Rauner’s campaign since last Friday, May 23rd, when he sent an e-mail blast to supporters…

This week, we made a series of phone calls to voters in key legislative districts encouraging voters to stand against the Quinn-Madigan tax hike.

Quinn pledged to the people of Illinois the tax hike would be temporary and now he’s breaking his word. But our calls worked. When we stand on principle we can beat the Quinn-Madigan machine.

* The next day, Rauner attended the annual Livingston County Republicans Lincoln-Reagan Dinner at the Elks Lodge in Pontiac

“Our plan is to roll that income tax back ­– all the way back to 3 percent,” said Rauner. “He said he was going to have that income tax hike be temporary and now he’s flipped-flopped to make it permanent.”

* But Eric Zorn added his voice to those who are clamoring for some specific answers

Oh, but the plans are coming, Rauner said, as the conversation began to wrap up. “We’ll have a pension plan, an education plan, a transportation plan.”

Pearson’s follow-up was on point: “How can anyone believe this after hearing it month after month after month?”

Well, they can believe it if Rauner stops playing the coy, condescending critic and becomes an active participant in this week’s negotiations.

Tell us: Where would a Gov. Bruce Rauner find the estimated necessary $4 billion in spending cuts, on a full-year basis, that will be needed if the tax hike expires, while also increasing support for education? What constitutional remedies do you have for the pension crisis?

- Posted by Rich Miller   57 Comments      


House budget roundup

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

* Jamey Dunn has a really good take on yesterday’s House budget action. Go read the whole thing

Debate on the bills was lacking in the House in part because lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were uncertain about the details of the budget. For example, none of the key budgeting players in the chamber were able to give a definitive answer on the total spending number for the plan. All the responses were between $35 billion and $36 billion, but nobody knew the number spot on.

The bills were worked out in House budgeting committees, but many Republicans on those committees said they were not included in negotiations. Complaints aired by Republicans on the floor were primarily about the process and not the specifics of the budget itself, which they say they got this morning. “This is not a good budgeting process when you don’t know what you’re talking about. You don’t know what you’re advancing,” said Rep. Ron Sandack, a Downers Grove Republican.

“I guess that the speed-reading classes that you’ve taken are paying off over there. Thank God. But the process has been a complete joke,” Elmhurst Republican Rep. Dennis Reboletti said to Democrats on the House floor. “You do this every year, and then you’re surprised that we’re not working with you, or that we’re angry or frustrated.” Democrats said they tried to include Republicans, but that many did not attend meetings held budgeting committees yesterday. They say that because Republicans have been unwilling to vote for budgets in recent years, they likely would not have been in favor of the plan, no matter what the process.

Those Democrats who crafted the proposal were able to keep the budget relatively flat by tapping into some well-worn creative budgeting tactics, such as delaying payment for some spending obligations, adjusting revenue estimates up and borrowing from funds outside of general spending. Democrats say that the moves freed up about $2 billion. Most of the tactics are short-term solutions or one-time sources of funding. […]

But flat funding does not mean that the budget picture is rosy. The bill backlog would grow substantially and there would be layoffs under the plan, according to those who worked most closely on it. “As the year goes on, things are going to get tighter and tighter in our departments,” said Rep. Greg Harris, who chairs the House human services budgeting committee. Harris said that the budget would likely increase the state’s stack of unpaid bills by “a couple billions of dollars” and would result in “thousands” of layoffs of state workers.

It’s a heckuva way to run a railroad.

* More

Rosier revenue estimates, long a staple of Statehouse budgets, also are on the table this time. The state is now estimating it will collect another $200 million in the new budget year that starts July 1.

That’s kinda misleading. The revenue estimates are from COGFA, not pulled out of thin air. And the overall estimates are not as optimistic as the governor’s.

* Some of the cuts

At the Illinois State Police, for example, the new plan scraps a new cadet class at a time when the agency already has a problem with overtime costs because of a manpower shortage.

At the Department of Children and Family Services, workers will face bigger caseloads.

Spending on mental health and programs for developmentally disabled people would be cut in order to divert money to comply with federal regulations. […]

Education funding actually rises slightly under the plan, but overall aid to schools remains at about 89 percent of what officials say is adequate. Universities will receive roughly the same amount they are getting this year.

* More cuts

“People will not stop being disabled, people will not stop getting elderly simply because we don’t have the ability to raise the revenue to pay for it,” said Harris, who chairs the human services appropriations committee. “So the providers are going to be faced with the fact they are going to be serving those people until their appropriation runs out.” […]

But the budget also would cut $137 million from community care programs that serve the elderly at home. Another $7.8 million would be cut from programs that provide in-home care for the disabled. Funding for child care for the poor would be cut by $24 million, one legislative analysis showed.

Also eliminated would be $10 million for grants for after-school programs and another $15 million that funded anti-violence programs that arose from Quinn’s troubled Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. Republicans argued the Democrats moved money into different agencies to keep some of the programs going.

* Finke

Asked if the budget bill passed by the House could lead to layoffs, Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, chairman of the Human Services Appropriations Committee, said, “Yes, probably thousands of people.”

Steans said the Department of Human Services alone warned of 1,500 job cuts under the so-called doomsday budget during budget hearings this spring.

Harris also said agencies may be forced to leave jobs unfilled if people retire or leave for other reasons.

However, Rep. Fred Crespo, D-Hoffman Estates, chair of the General Services Appropriations Committee, said layoffs aren’t necessarily certain.

“Some agencies are going to have to make decisions based on the money they have,” Crespo said. “They can probably cut elsewhere to make sure they meet those needs. I don’t think they necessarily have to let people go.”

* Gov. Quinn’s react

Quinn’s office called the spending plan that advanced Tuesday “incomplete.”

“The budget doesn’t avoid the tough decisions. It just postpones them,” said his spokeswoman, Brooke Anderson.

* And the last word goes to Reuters

The fate of the income tax increase is being tracked by Wall Street credit rating agencies, which already have Illinois at the lowest ratings among states, largely due to its $100 billion unfunded pension liability.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      


Cullerton: Revenue options will be “on the table” after election day

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

* The problem with kicking the can down the road is eventually you get to the end of the road. So, this comment shouldn’t come as a shock

Senate President John Cullerton says lawmakers will have to hold a vote on extending Illinois’ temporary income tax hike or find another source of revenue after the November election. […]

Without the tax extension lawmakers are considering a roughly $35 billion budget they acknowledge won’t cover the state’s costs. It could lead to layoffs and delays in paying bills.

Cullerton says various revenue options will be “on the table” after the election.

- Posted by Rich Miller   53 Comments      


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* Closer to the end

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» Chicago Schools Chief Pledges Major Changes To Special Education
» Chicago’s Police Reform Is A ‘Long-Term Project’
» Chicago Needs ‘Substantive, Foundational Change’ To Police Department


* Rauner campaign: 'Governor believes David Duke is a racist'
* Our View: Dubious tariff endangers newspapers' future
* Byron York: Paul Manafort has a point
* EJ Dionne: Will Trump exhaust our democratic capacities?
* Ralph Martire: Evidence-based school funding formula makes most sense
* Catherine Rampell: Trump is hoping you won't notice his backdoor repeal of Obamacare
* Rauner defends amendatory veto of school funding bill
* Rauner signs bill to focus on needs of female prison inmates
* Rauner tours Lincoln prison, touts reforms helping female inmates
* Fact check: Rauner Legionnaires' claim downplays facts


* Jan. 18 prep sports chat
* Songs of the ’60s highlight ‘Breaking Up Is Hard to Do’
* Get an inside look at Hard Road Theatre’s latest musical
* Bass Pro Shops founder to restore historic Missouri mill
* Noon update: Warmer in the Q-C
* O’Fallon Township Youth Committee seeks members
* LISTEN: Sharon Gramm of the Peoria Riverfront Association
* Suspect’s boyfriend says sex-change ‘mood swings’ led to kitten killings
* Rauner spokesman: 'Governor believes David Duke is a racist'
* Sen. Dick Durbin talks Trump comments on 'The View'


* Humans will review video from most popular YouTube creators
* East Carolina hires ex-Tennessee football assistant Mahoney
* Fundraiser saves pony who lost penis to cancer, frostbite
* Police interview friends of quarterback who killed himself
* American, Canadian kidnapped by gunmen in central Nigeria

* Our view: End patronage at Algonquin Towns...
* Hultgren behind effort to expand energy re...
* Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and...
* Lawmakers back renaming Warrenville post o...
* Tioga State Bank leader addresses Congress...
* Teacher raised in Yorkville running agains...
* Kane County assessor: No guarantee your ta...
* Algonquin Township fires Ryan Provenzano a...
* Dissident artist Ai Weiwei and US Rep. Ran...
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* Meghan McCain asks Dick Durbin about his '......
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* EXTRA: Ives a movement, or nobody?
* From the archive: The man who built a 33-foot-tall metal Madonna
* This is not a drill.
* Sketchbook.
* Sunday week in review.
* WTTW’s Paris Schutz and the myth of averages.
* Di Leo: The Founding Fathers and the Immigration Debate
* Democrat Pritzker calls for legalizing marijuana in Illinois
* Cook County GOP chairman slams Chicago GOP for endorsing Ives over Rauner
* University of Chicago top ranked school for viewpoint diversity


* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

  
* Siri’s podcast-promoting ‘Give me the News’ feature is now out of beta
* Google will make page speed a factor in mobile search ranking starting in July
* Apple Seeds Sixth Beta of tvOS 11.2.5 to Developers and Public Beta Testers
* Samsung has produced a stunning Limited Edition Galaxy Note 8 for the Winter Olympics that you can’t buy
* Honor 9 Lite gets a price and release date in India, coming soon to ‘other global markets’
* Google’s Project Fi now caps data bills at $60
* Best Chargers For Your Android Phones and Tablets [2018]

* Pirates rebuild not met with enthusiasm
* White Sox announce player development staff
* Robert at ease during Sox hitters mini-camp
* Moncada guiding Robert during mini-camp
* White Sox announce player development staff
* Hitters’ mini-camp underway in Glendale
* Kopech close to joining White Sox rotation


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