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Our sorry state

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016

* Yet another mess created by Pat Quinn that has yet to be cleaned up by the current administration

The situation for women housed at the Logan Correctional Center in downstate Lincoln has become “untenable,” according to a new study funded by the Department of Justice that found overcrowded conditions, problems with handling mentally ill inmates and the overuse of harsh punishments.

The problems, according to the study, are rooted in part in a 2013 decision by the Illinois Department of Corrections to consolidate the populations of its two largest women’s prisons at Logan, an aging facility that had been used to house about 1,500 men. IDOC now houses about 2,000 women there, according to the review, including hundreds of inmates with mental health problems.

The state’s prison system made the transition “with limited planning, staff training and efforts to take into account the unique nature and needs of such a large, complex women’s prison population of all security levels,” the report states, outlining how women are often treated too harshly and their stays behind bars are extended unnecessarily. […]

“Our staff is our greatest asset. They work hard every day to maintain order in our facilities and protect public safety across this state,” IDOC Director John Baldwin said in an email. “But it is clear they did not receive critical and necessary training on how to work with female offenders in 2013, when Logan transitioned from a male to female facility.”

Um, director, no offense, but 2013 was three years ago and you’ve been on the job since August of 2015.

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      


Question of the day

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016

* Your own caption?…


- Posted by Rich Miller   60 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** Automatic voter registration veto override fails

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016

* As expected…



To answer Rep. Ammons’ question, the rest either didn’t show up to town today or are Republicans who switched sides and voted with the governor.

…Adding… The roll call is here. The previous roll call is here.

*** UPDATE ***  Harsh

Trevor Gervais with the government watchdog group Common Cause Illinois noted that the Republican version has no timeline for the policy’s implementation.

“What we anticipate happening is that it would be delayed until after the governor’s reelection in 2018,” he said. “It’s very clear what his motives are for that.”

As the president-elect considers an Attorney General with a checkered record on voting rights, and Republicans take control of more state legislatures and governor’s mansions across the country, Gervais lamented the Illinois did not opt Tuesday to make voting more accessible.

“We’re stepping into four years of direct attacks on voting rights,” he said. “Here in Illinois we actually had an opportunity to expand voting rights before the attacks began, but instead we’re going to do nothing because of our billionaire governor.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   39 Comments      


Magic 8-Ball: Outlook not so good

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016

* Bob Reed on Donald Trump’s $1 trillion capital plan and the Illinois Safe Roads Amendment and what that all means

There is even some cautious, if overly hopeful, talk that sometime next year Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan could put aside their differences and craft a multiyear capital spending bill.

Don’t laugh.

Yes, that’s a pretty tall order since both men have failed to reach a budget deal for over two years. Still, others say a rapprochement is possible.

Jim Reilly, an experienced political hand who’s now a senior fellow at the Metropolitan Planning Council, envisions a capital bill emerging if and when a state budget accord is reached.

That’s particularly true if the budget deal calls for higher taxes and lawmakers are scrambling to explain a rate hike to their tax-averse constituents, he adds.

“Historically, the legislature has also done a capital bill so legislators can say they voted for an increase but, ‘look, I also got you a new highway or a bus route or whatever,’” said Reilly.

Unless there’s a truce, and a real honest to goodness truce at that, I wouldn’t hold my breath. Capital bills give governors enormous leverage. They can dangle projects over members’ heads to get them to vote the way they want. Anyone think that Speaker Madigan is ready to hand those powers over to Gov. Rauner? Yeah, maybe - maybe - he could somehow draft legislation to lock in spending, but Rauner would still have to sign it.

Also, too, the governor himself just said that Madigan is backing away from a tax hike for now.

- Posted by Rich Miller   5 Comments      


Rauner says Madigan has “backed off of pushing for a tax hike”

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016

* Speaker Madigan yesterday

“The governor has spoken at length about a lame duck tax increase. I think it’s very interesting. I think that we ought to listen to the governor and work with the governor and that’s what I plan to do.”

* Gov. Rauner was asked about Madigan’s comment early this morning

“That’s a little goofy. I mean, the speaker came out a year ago in December and said ‘Hey, let’s start with putting the income tax back up to 5 [percent] and go up from there.’ I mean that was a quote. I mean, I’ve never been an advocate for higher taxes. I’ve always fought against them. I’m trying to get more efficient government. So, for the speaker to [laughs] it’s a little, a little humorous.

“But, anyway, and at this point he seems to have backed off of pushing for a tax hike right now and has kinda said ‘Let’s just do stopgap budgets, like we’ve done seven stopgaps in the last two years. Let’s do more of those going forward.’ That’s not solving our problems. That’s going to push more employers out. That’s going to raise more taxes in our future, ’cause it’s more deficits today, more borrowing today. We need balanced budgets and reforms to grow our economy.”

So, the logical follow-up question would be: Doesn’t that make you in favor of a lame duck tax increase just like Madigan said you are? And if Madigan has, as you say, “backed off pushing for a tax hike right now,” doesn’t that erode your position?

But, hey. Morning shows.

* Meanwhile

Concerned over a possible post-election tax increase, state Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, filed a proposed constitutional amendment that would require three-fifths House and Senate supermajorities to raise taxes until the new General Assembly is seated after the election. Lawmakers in past sessions have used the post-election lame-duck session, and its lower threshold to pass bills, as a way to enact significant legislation while avoiding voter wrath.

Franks, who will be sworn in next month as McHenry County Board chairman, said getting it onto the House floor for a vote, at the very least, will put House members on the spot regarding their willingness to raise taxes if a much-discussed “grand compromise” state budget package comes to fruition.

“My goal is to get a majority of the House of Representatives to support my measure, and once I do that, we’re on record as not wanting to increase taxes during the lame-duck [session],” Franks said.

Under the Illinois Constitution, the threshold required to pass legislation that takes effect immediately increases from a simple majority to a three-fifths supermajority – or 71 House members and 36 senators – with the end of the spring session May 31. But it decreases back to a simple majority – or 60 House members and 30 senators – on Jan. 1. That gives lawmakers after each November election a window to pass controversial legislation until the new General Assembly is sworn in on the second Wednesday in January, which this time around falls on Jan. 11.

- Posted by Rich Miller   50 Comments      


We really need some straight answers here

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016

* This is obviously a huge difference in estimates: Less than 25 cents a month vs. $4.20

A week after ComEd and Exelon dropped some of the most contentious provisions of a controversial energy bill making its way through the Illinois legislature, the power companies say they are paring the bill even further.

The most recent changes would trim below 25 cents the average monthly increase customers would see on their bills if the legislation passes, Tom O’Neill, senior vice president of regulatory and energy policy and general counsel at ComEd, said Monday during a meeting with the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board.

A third amendment to the bill was filed Monday. ComEd previously estimated the entire proposal, presented earlier this month, would cost consumers an extra 25 cents a month.

“It’s going to be substantially less” with this newest amendment, O’Neill said, although ComEd does not know exactly how much less.

Opponents, however, still disagree with ComEd’s math.

Better Energy Solutions for Tomorrow, or the BEST Coalition, a nonprofit organization made up of business and consumer groups who oppose the legislation, estimated the original legislation would cost ComEd ratepayers $6.23 more per month on average. That number drops only to $4.20 per month with the changes. “This enterprise began as a nuclear bailout and it will end as a nuclear bailout,” said coalition director Dave Lundy.

Expect yet another amendment tomorrow.

* From an op-ed in favor of the bill

Illinois businesses, as well as consumers, will without a doubt see their electric bills rise as a result of the closure of the Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear plants. These plants contribute $1.2 billion to Illinois’ GDP and provide for 4,200 jobs, but of equal concern, their loss would drive up electric rates by a minimum of $364 million per year and have an environmental impact of $1.1 billion annually. This is a major concern for businesses that depend on the competitive electric rates that are one of the few clear competitive advantages Illinois enjoys over neighboring states.

* But

Average wholesale electricity prices have dropped 15% this year to $29.70 a megawatt-hour, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of power market data from the Energy Department. That is 43% below the 2014 average. […]

“It’s an adverse environment because of the low gas prices, and it’s aggravated by the growth of renewables,” said Hugh Wynne, an analyst at investment research firm SSR LLC in Stamford, Conn.

Natural gas is becoming a dominant fuel for U.S. power plants, and with its price at historic lows, operators of commercial nuclear and coal plants are taking a hit. Also, power demand across much of the U.S. is flat, which weighs on electricity prices and power-plant margins.

U.S. electricity sales this year through August totaled 2.5 billion megawatt-hours, down nearly 1% compared to the same period a year ago, according to data from the Department of Energy.

* And

Competitive Power Ventures announced Thursday its intention to open a state-of-the-art electric generating facility in the Three Rivers area of unincorporated Grundy County.

The CPV Three Rivers Energy Center is a nearly $1 billion privately funded project designed to meet the future electricity demands of Illinois. The 1,100-megawatt natural gas-powered 2-by-1 combined cycle facility will provide enough electricity to power about 1.1 million homes.

* Related…

* Biz opposition grows as Exelon trims bailout bill again

* Editorial: Rescue 2 Illinois nukes? Why Springfield shouldn’t pick winners and losers

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      


GOP focusing on three Democratic votes for House Speaker

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016

* The Illinois Republican Party has a new website called BossMadigan.com. The party is making no bones about its three top targets for next cycle and is warning them about their vote for House Speaker in January

* From the site

Brandon Phelps has taken over $200,000 from Mike Madigan’s political machine and has voted to make Madigan the Speaker seven times. Phelps voted for Madigan’s plan to hold funding for his school district hostage to try to bail out Chicago Public Schools. Phelps also voted for Madigan’s $8 billion unbalanced budget that would force at least $1,000 tax hike on middle-class families. Phelps even voted for the Madigan-Blagojevich pension scheme that increased pension debt by up to $22 billion.

Despite these actions, Phelps can show he’s ready to begin repairing Illinois by opposing Mike Madigan for Speaker in 2017.

Mike Madigan’s funneled over $1.6 million to Sam Yingling’s campaigns, and in return, Yingling has twice voted to make Mike Madigan the Speaker of the House. Yingling sided with Madigan to hold school funding hostage in an effort to bail out Chicago schools. He also voted for the broken Madigan budget that would have increased state debt by $8 billion and forced a massive tax hike without reforms on hard-working families.

In the weeks ahead, Yingling can show he’s ready to put Illinois families ahead of his political patron by opposing Madigan for Speaker in 2017.

Mike Madigan’s given Jerry Costello nearly $200,000, so it’s no surprise that Costello has twice supported Mike Madigan as Illinois Speaker. Like the rest of Madigan’s members, Costello followed orders and held his own school districts hostage to bail out Chicago. And Costello tried to force a $1,000 tax hike on families in his district by voting for Madigan’s phony budget that was nearly $8 billion in the hole.

In January, Jerry Costello can show he’s willing to start fixing Illinois by voting against Mike Madigan as Speaker.

Discuss.

…Adding… I’m told these are just the “first three” targets. “Long time until the vote for speaker to add more.”

…Adding More… From the twitters…


- Posted by Rich Miller   59 Comments      


Tipping their hand?

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016

* One of the problems that many Democrats have with workers’ compensation reform is that it too often seems like a never-ending race to the bottom.

Yes, there’s no doubt that more reforms are needed here. But check out this quote from yesterday’s House hearing

Legislators overhauled workers compensation in 2011. Jay Shattuck with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce says that made a dent, but Illinois’ system is still too expensive.

“From the business community standpoint, 2011 was a good start. We have, um, had, some savings. Which we are glad to have,” Shattuck said. “But we’re not in a static environment. Other states have been aggressively looking at workers’ compensation reforms and have passed legislation and enacted laws that have helped their businesses in their communities also to have lower workers’ comp costs.”

So, apparently, as long as other states continue to “aggressively” cut workers’ compensation benefits, Illinois will have to go along.

* Related…

* Workers’ compensation for state, county and municipal workers costs Illinois taxpayers $400 million per year

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 - Cullerton hopes to reschedule *** Madigan a no-show for leaders meeting

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016

* Yesterday

As he has stated for weeks, Madigan said a deal would be reached only if Rauner followed the “framework” for other temporary spending agreements. That’s code meaning Rauner should set aside his economic agenda, as he has done in the past facing other funding emergencies.

Asked why he participates in these meetings if he’s opposed to Rauner’s ideas, Madigan said he attends “at the request of the governor.”

Republicans, meanwhile, said they were unclear with whom they were negotiating, suggesting either a game of “good cop, bad cop” between Cullerton and Madigan or a divide between the Democratic leaders.

“It’s hard to know what’s going on here,” said Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno, of Lemont. “So we’ll see who shows up tomorrow.”

* Today…


I told subscribers about this earlier today.

*** UPDATE ***  Senate President John Cullerton just told reporters that “hopefully” the leaders can reschedule for this afternoon. “If we can get back today we will. If not we have a time scheduled for tomorrow.” Cullerton met with the other leaders for more than half an hour before he talked to reporters.

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      


IDOT embraces vaporware

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016

* CBS 2

The head of the Illinois Department of Transportation said driverless cars are here, and Illinois needs to welcome them. […]

State Transportation Secretary Randall Blankenhorn told the City Club of Chicago, his agency is already talking to companies that want to use autonomous vehicles to deliver goods. But he admits there are some hurdles to overcome.

Blankenhorn said that autonomous vehicles are here, and the Rauner Administration and lawmakers must work on safety regulations and standards for them. He opposes any ban on self-driving cars, despite a resolution passed by the Chicago City Council.

Um, driverless cars are here? Where?

* Forbes

There has been much-fevered talk about the imminence of self-driving cars, leaving the impression with the public that it won’t be very long before the automobiles we buy don’t even have steering wheels or pedals.

This has been fuelled by the car manufacturers themselves as they swap overblown rhetoric about the progress being made thanks to their engineer’s ingenuity and the massive sums committed to these projects.

Britain’s BMI Research hosted a seminar recently where it tried to get the hype and bluster and provide some insight into the prospects of computerized/robot/autonomous vehicles. Perhaps job one should be to decide which of these terms makes the most sense.

But the most important “fact” to emerge from the meeting was that fully-autonomous cars won’t be available for up to 15 to 20 years , according to BMI Research analyst Anna-Marie Baisden.

If it’s 15 years minimum, any regs the state devises today will be hopelessly out of date by then.

- Posted by Rich Miller   32 Comments      


It’s just a bill

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016

* Actually, it’s a House resolution with several Democratic co-sponsors

Urges the United States Congress to immediately adopt an “American Recovery” program by restoring the provisions of the Glass Steagall Act; returning to a national banking and a federal credit system, modeled on the principles of Alexander Hamilton’s First Bank of the United States; using the federal credit system to build a modern network of high speed rail, power generating systems, and water projects; and creating programs to rebuild our space program to put a permanent manned colony on the Moon, explore the solar system, and create nuclear fusion.

Why stop there?

- Posted by Rich Miller   21 Comments      


The dysfunction continues

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016

* Dan Petrella

Members of an Illinois House committee on Monday spent a portion of their hearing on a proposed workers compensation overhaul debating whether the hearing should have been held at all.

Following a meeting earlier this month among Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the four top leaders of the General Assembly, the House Labor and Commerce Committee scheduled a hearing on a long-dormant bill from House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs. […]

But Republicans on the committee, including Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, said the bill doesn’t reflect progress made last spring in negotiations among a bipartisan group of rank-and-file lawmakers.

“I don’t know what we’re going to accomplish today,” Brady said, noting that Republicans did not ask for the hearing and that Durkin was in a meeting with Rauner and the other legislative leaders at the same time.

* Amanda Vinicky

Democrats persisted anyway, and used the chance to criticize Rauner’s plan as unfair to workers.

But Chicago Rep. Luis Arroyo evidently didn’t get the memo. He seemed to take a page from Republicans’ playbook instead.

“We shouldn’t have this dog and pony show to stand here and talk to everybody all day on something that ain’t going to matter anyway,” he said. “Let’s not play no games. I drove three and a half hours today in the rain, for three and a half hours, thinking that something was going to happen on this bill. And now you guys are telling me that nothing’s happening …. I didn’t come here to waste my time today.”

* Monique Garcia

Republicans balked at the outrage, noting they don’t control the House and can’t schedule hearings. That duty falls to Democrats under long-serving Speaker Michael Madigan.

“We did not schedule this meeting,” said Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington.

And so the dysfunction continued as lawmakers return to Springfield for the final scheduled week of the fall session, with the pressure on to cut a budget deal as a temporary stopgap plan expires at the end of the year.

Democrats also complained that Gov. Rauner was tweeting workers’ comp reform stuff during the hearing even though nobody from his office bothered to show up.

* Matt Dietrich is the only one who got into what was actually discussed once the hearing got underway

Democrats say a 2011 reform bill made workers’ compensation much less expensive for insurers, but those insurers have not passed savings along through lower premiums. But the insurance industry says 332 companies write workers’ comp policies in Illinois, making it the most competitive state in the country. Profits for those companies are 2.68 percent, said Steve Schneider, the American Insurance Association’s vice president for state affairs, Midwest region. “It has not been tremendously profitable,” Schneider told the committee.

Health care providers spoke out against the bill’s proposed 30 percent reduction in several parts of the workers’ compensation medical fee schedule, noting that the 2011 reforms imposed a 30 percent across-the-board cut. “An additional 30 percent would force many medical providers to stop seeing injured workers,” said David Spaccarellie of Deerfield-based Surgical Care Affiliates.

While an enhanced “causation” standard that would require the workplace to be the major cause of an injury is the top goal of Rauner’s workers’ compensation reform plan, Illinois’ current standard is not an outlier. “The causation standard in Indiana is exactly the same as it is in Illinois,” said David Menchetti of the Chicago law firm Cullen Haskins Nicholson Menchetti. Indiana’s insurance rates, rated second lowest in the country in a recent study, are low because employers control medical choices for injured workers and because it pays “poverty level” workers’ compensation benefits, Menchetti said.

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      


From the editorial board suggestion box

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016

* SJ-R editorial

We fear not having a budget has become the norm, and because the vast majority of people haven’t been personally touched by the lack of one, they feel no need to urge action.

That is unacceptable.

We need outrage. We need phone calls made and letters written and protests organized. And we need it from all corners of the state, and from people not directly affected by the budget woes. We see it from the social service agencies, small businesses and higher education institutions that rely on state funding. They are pleading for a resolution, because they don’t want to go back to the year of no budget (July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016) and all the horrors that included, such as layoffs, serving fewer clients, or in some extreme cases, shutting down. We need it from everyone now.

It’s not too late for either Rauner or Madigan to do the right thing. Absent that, the rank-and-file legislators need to raise hell and get more involved. They need to be willing to sacrifice the monetary security Madigan and Rauner provide during campaigns to those they consider allies in favor of the greater good. They need to demand to be part of the budget process. It should no longer be solely hammered out by the leaders in private conversations with the governor. Not when we’re again on the edge of not having a fiscal blueprint for a significant amount of time. This is the public’s business, and it’s time it is done in the light.

* Sauk Valley Media editorial

When the election for House speaker takes place, minority Republicans should not do the same thing they’ve done for years – fruitlessly vote for their party caucus leader for speaker.

Instead, after some behind-the-scenes negotiations, they should announce the following:

“We are prepared to vote en masse for a compromise Democratic candidate for House speaker.”

That’s right, 51 Republicans voting for a DEMOCRATIC candidate who is not named Madigan.

Republicans could continue:

“We, in fact, will nominate such a person. We will then supply 51 votes, out of the minimum 60 that are required for election. That’s 85 percent of the total.”

Democrats disaffected by Madigan’s leadership would thus have an opportunity and a choice to bravely chart a new course.

It would take a coalition of only 9 Democrats to join 51 Republican colleagues to unseat Madigan as House speaker.

Nine Democrats who want Illinois to have fresh leadership.

Is this outside the box? Definitely.

Unorthodox? Of course.

But it could happen.

Your thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller   43 Comments      


Chicago alderman floats his name for yet another office

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016

* Just a few months ago, Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar was floating his name for a mayoral bid. Now he’s publicly mulling a race for governor

Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar, who five years ago pulled off a historic upset with his against-the-grain aldermanic campaign to defeat a machine candidate, is now looking to do the same on a bigger platform. […]

With $58,000 in his campaign account, Pawar, who would run as a Democrat, said he doesn’t fear taking on incumbent Republican millionaire Gov. Bruce Rauner, who reported $188 million in income last year.

“In 2011, I ran for office and people laughed at me. I took on the machine and I beat it,” Pawar said. […]

“We’ve had a set of politics pitting one group of people against another. I don’t think that’s productive,” he said. “I think it’s time we have a progressive campaign for governor.” […]

“When I won in 2011, four weeks before the election I had $2,000 left from the $7,000 to 8,000 we started with,” Pawar said. “We ran the most shoestring campaign you’ve ever seen. Since then, I’ve raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. I feel I can raise money to be competitive. … There’s a tendency to throw a bunch of money at the problem, throw money at the airwaves and crucify one another. There isn’t a lot of going out and talking to one another.”

Pawar did beat a machine candidate, but he did that with lots of door-knocking. A statewide bid is an entirely different level of campaigning, however. You can’t just go out and talk to people one-on-one and expect that to work. You have to raise big bucks, like it or not. Statewide is about wholesale, not retail.

Mayor Emanuel lives in Pawar’s district, so it’s almost assured Pawar will be tagged with the “Rahm’s alderman” moniker. It goes without saying that Emanuel is one of the least popular politicians in this state.

* From earlier this year

He readily admits that he’s fundraising and that he’s interested in replacing Rahm Emanuel—should the mayor decide not to seek a third term. If Rahm does run again, Pawar, born in Evanston to immigrants from India, says he won’t challenge him. He credits Rahm, his constituent, for helping him on many of his legislative accomplishments.

Again: “Rahm’s alderman.” As if being an alderman in a city that has huge financial and crime problems isn’t bad enough.

* Pawar has limited himself to two terms, so that’s why he’s looking around for something else to do. But he already seems to be breaking a promise he made in August...

“What I’m not going to do is spend the next three years scheming for a higher office, any higher office. I think the problem with that is that you’re rooting for someone else’s failure so you can take their job. I’ve never run a negative campaign. I find it odd that the principle campaigns are run on is to destroy the other person; to make yourself look better by making the other person look bad.”

* He does have a progressive record to run on, though

In his five years in City Council, Pawar counts among his successes the towing bill of rights, directing $40 million in TIF funds to schools and libraries in his ward, the licensing debt collectors ordinance, anti wage theft ordinance, and more.

- Posted by Rich Miller   45 Comments      


*** LIVE *** Veto Session Coverage

Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016

* Follow along with ScribbleLive


- Posted by Rich Miller   5 Comments      


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Tuesday, Nov 29, 2016

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* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
* Rauner complains it's "hard to overcome" the "biased" Illinois media
* Question of the day: Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Rate Pritzker's new digital ad
* Recent endorsements: Raoul, Biss, Newman, Villivalam
* Joe Berrios' new radio ad features Jesse White, more attacks on Kaegi
* A make-work program for property tax appeals lawyers?
* Rauner tax hike claim ruled "Mostly False"
* Lawsuits expose more problems at Quincy veterans' home
* Could a Moody's methodology change push Illinois into junk status?
* Republicans get into the "holiday spirit"
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* Miller: Rauner might never be in charge - Quad .....
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* State paying Medicaid bills before interest piles up
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* Judge: Video gambling profits must be split with operators
* Under the Dome Podcast: "Objection! (to nominating petitions), Pritzker endorsements
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* Like our roundup? Share it around.
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* Man wrestles gun away from attacker, possibly shoots him in home invasion on Northwest Side
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* Power fully restored at Atlanta airport after outage grounded more than 1,000 flights
* Homeless man beaten to death at site of his former home, friend says
* Putin called Trump to thank him for CIA tip that helped thwart bombings in Russia
* Trump says he won't fire Mueller as campaign to discredit Russia probe heats up
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* LeBron wears 1 black shoe, 1 white shoe, speaks about Trump
* Teen helping stepdad deliver Tribune, other newspapers shot dead on Southwest Side
* Siri, should I believe in God?


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» Illinois Issues: A Personal Story
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» Protesters Disrupt Meeting, Call For Palos Trustee To Quit Over ‘Racist’ Comments


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* Lawmaker's daughter gets probation in political rival attack
* Scott Reeder: Assaults should never be swept under the rug


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* East Moline police investigate shooting
* Longtime state representative officially steps down
* Community creates Christmas to remember for local family who lost everything in house fire
* Overheated light prompts Country Club of Decatur evacuation
* CIRA cancels flights due to Atlanta airport power outage


* Cowboys edge Raiders 20-17 by slimmest of margins
* Giordano, Bennett lead Flames to 6-1 win over Canucks
* Power fully restored at Atlanta's international airport
* Haula's go-ahead goal in 3rd leads Vegas past Panthers
* Trump: I'm not considering firing special counsel Mueller

* Editorial: Roskam gets gun vote right, Hul...
* Slew of suburban Democrats seek to challen...
* Efforts continue to have Warrenville Post ...
* Editorial: Roskam gets gun vote right, Hul...
* Slew of suburban Democrats seek to challen...
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* High school football: Randy Hultgren lauds...
* Suburban Democrats line up to challenge Ro...
* Kendall GOP chief to challenge Kinzinger i...
* Strong early filing for Illinois attorney ...

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* Investigation: Emanuel's Chicago Infrastructure Trust has cost taxpayers $5 million but has contributed little, and other news
* Let’s not presume that Trump and his political ilk are beaten quite yet
* Bling for the budget- and design-conscious
* Standing on the shoulders of ancestors.
* Sketchbook.
* Whenever the fight for democracy reaches a crossroads, look south.
* Sunday, Sunday.
* Rahm on Colbert.
* Sketchbook.
* A Black friend and a Jew lawyer.


* 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

  
* Purported Sony H8216 specs could foreshadow Xperia XZ1 sequel with Snapdragon 845
* HQ Smashed Its All-Time Player Record Tonight as iPhone Trivia Show Continues to Surge in Popularity
* BlackBerry nixes security support for the PRIV after two years
* Apple finally has a Thunderbolt 3.0 cable to its name
* California’s worried about cellphone radiation and it has guidelines for use
* Buy an Apple Watch Series 3 or Gear S3 from Verizon, get $200 off a phone
* Like most things, net neutrality repeal will be gradual on ISPs’ part

* Lull in Manny Machado rumors, but plates shift underneath
* Sporcle Saturday: The richest free agent deals in White Sox history
* Former White Sox players return to rep team
* White Sox news that doesn’t involve Manny Machado
* Former White Sox players return to rep team
* The cracks in the White Sox-Manny Machado rumors
* Hahn mum on any White Sox-Machado talks


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