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“Clean jobs” group backs Exelon bill

Monday, Nov 28, 2016

* Press release…

The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition, many of whose members had announced their opposition to the original version of the legislation, voted Monday night to support the amended version of the Future Energy Job Bill and urged its passage during the Illinois General Assembly’s current veto session.

The coalition released the following statement:

    “We as a coalition are firmly committed to acting on the urgent need to create thousands of clean jobs and spur needed investment in the state, cut energy bills for consumers and respond to the growing threats of climate change. We are especially pleased to have found common ground with ComEd and Exelon to fund at least $750 million in investments in low-income communities, finally fix the state’s broken Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to spur private capital investments in wind and solar projects, and boldly expand energy efficiency standards, a key reason Illinois has the lowest electric rates in the Midwest.

    “As with any compromise bill, our coalition is not pleased with every detail. But we are united in the belief that Illinois urgently needs to modernize our energy policy so we stop losing clean energy jobs and other benefits to more innovative states.  We believe this bill can be a strong step toward our goals of creating thousands more clean jobs, cutting electric bills and cleaning the air we all breathe.  We urge the General Assembly and Gov. Rauner to pass and support the Future Energy Jobs Bill during the veto session.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      

Republicans suggest there’s a divide between Democratic leaders

Monday, Nov 28, 2016

* Senate President John Cullerton emerged from the leaders meeting shortly after 4 o’clock to say that the Democrats will “offer counter-proposals” to the governor’s ideas tomorrow. He said those counter-proposals would be centered on workers’ comp, consolidation of government and pension reform. “We’ll see if we can make some more progress,” he said.

Asked about any progress on the budget, Cullerton said “we’re talking about ‘reforms,’” before they “talk about the budget.”

Asked why he described it as a “good meeting,” Cullerton said “We have an understanding of the topics and process,” going forward and the leaders “will have a normal give and take.”

* But will the Democrats really offer counter-proposals? House Speaker Michael Madigan emerged to say, yet again, that if the leaders “continue to use the framework” successfully used for seven budgets, they could get something done. That’s usually his code for saying that they need to work out a budget before they tackle the governor’s reforms.

So why is he participating in the talks if the governor insists upon talking about his reforms first? Madigan said he participated today at the invitation of the governor.

And when asked about Cullerton’s comment regarding counter-proposals, Madigan initially dodged the question, but later said “Sen. Cullerton can speak for himself and I’ll speak for myself.”

* House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said the Democrats would offer counter-proposals on the governor’s proposed reforms tomorrow. But, Durkin said, he wasn’t “getting the same sense of urgency” on completing a budget from the Dems.

Durkin said if nothing changes he fears the Democrats would push stop-gap budgets for the next two years.

* Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno said “It’s unclear who we are negotiating with.” Cullerton, she said, pledged to bring counter-proposals tomorrow, but Madigan, she said, is sticking with his “seven successful budget negotiations” stance.

“It does seem that there’s a divide between the two of them about how committed they are to any kind of change,” Radogno said, adding she’d take Cullerton at his word. “But I just continue to hear the rote comments” about the seven successful budgets out of Madigan.

Durkin said he was worried that Cullerton might bring a “workers’ comp lite” proposal to the meeting tomorrow. Radogno wondered if Cullerton was once again just playing “good cop” to Madigan’s “bad cop.”

Durkin said that, rather than a special session, the leaders should meet every day, whether in Springfield or in Chicago.

* Meanwhile, Madigan also told reporters that he had “overwhelming support” for his reelection as House Speaker. And when asked about a lame duck session, Madigan said “The governor has spoken at length about a lame duck tax increase,” with a bit of snark in his voice, calling that fact “interesting.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   49 Comments      

“These two men are impervious to public pressure”

Monday, Nov 28, 2016

* Phil Kadner

The people who support the Republican governor seem happy to see him doing battle with Madigan, who they blame for everything that’s wrong with this state. There’s little doubt the Democratic Party leader is responsible for much of it.

On the other hand, Rauner has done absolutely nothing to resolve any of the major problems, other than confront Madigan. That alone seems to satisfy some people. […]

But the problem is that these two men are impervious to public pressure. They simply don’t care. They don’t care what you have to say, they don’t care if their political strategy fails and they don’t care if people get hurt along the way.

- Posted by Rich Miller   36 Comments      

Question of the day

Monday, Nov 28, 2016

* Your own predictions?…

- Posted by Rich Miller   40 Comments      

Fun with numbers

Monday, Nov 28, 2016

* The governor’s office released a video of Gov. Rauner’s morning show interviews today. From that video

“We tried a big tax hike in 2011. They did that. Fixed nothing. Job losses accelerated and the pension liability went up.”

* From the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Illinois page

And, of course, the pension liability has continued to rise even after the tax hike partially expired, so that argument is essentially meaningless, although it does sound good to the teevee people.

…Adding… More from the governor’s round of morning show appearances. This one from WGN TV

Rauner is also pushing four key ideas that will help benefit the budget: reforms to get more jobs, bring down property tax burden, properly fund our schools and term limits on all elected officials.

More jobs would create more revenues. But how many more jobs can be created and how much additional revenues would they generate? He doesn’t say. Lowering the property tax burden would conceivably free up money that could be used for job creation, but how much? Again, he doesn’t say.

Also, too, properly funding schools will require more money, not less. And I’m not quite sure how term limits will “benefit the budget.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   58 Comments      

Around and around and around we go

Monday, Nov 28, 2016

* Doug Finke

When the leaders last met, Rauner also distributed copies of a bill filed by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs to overhaul workers’ compensation to reduce costs.

The bill was initially filed in 2015, but the House has not acted on it. Until now. A House committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the bill Monday, a day before the full legislature returns to the Capitol.

However, in a letter to House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, and the other leaders, Durkin said he objected to the timing of the hearing.

“At the conclusion of (our last) meeting, we agreed to return with feedback on the various reform proposals discussed during the meeting,” he wrote. “Our workers’ compensation reform proposal is a starting point for discussion, not an ultimatum. I believe it is premature to hold a hearing on the matter; our goal should be to use the legislation as a starting point for discussion at our leaders’ meeting (Monday).”

Madigan spokesman Steve Brown disagreed.

“They talked about getting feedback on workers’ comp,” he said. “One of the ways you get feedback is having a committee hearing.”

The hearing on that bill is set to start today at 3 o’clock, the same time as the leaders meeting.

* Tribune editorial

We’ve all seen the stories: Employee claims a shoulder-related job injury. Employee qualifies for workers’ compensation. Employee posts photo on social media of himself hoisting a 150-pound yellow fin tuna while deep sea fishing. Employee busted.

How does this keep happening?

Cracking down on abuse within the state’s workers’ compensation system, which would lower insurance costs for employers, is part of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s so-called turnaround agenda. But he isn’t alone: Legislators on both sides of the aisle agree changes are needed.

That’s a clear case of fraud

Anyone found guilty of any of these actions is guilty of a Class 4 felony, punishable by 1-3 years imprisonment and a $25,000 fine.

The guilty party shall be required to pay complete restitution, and may be found civilly liable for up to three times the value of benefits or insurance coverage that was wrongfully attained.

The Democrats and the unions have said they’re open to weeding out more fraud. That’s not what’s holding things up.

* Back to the editorial

Yet Madigan keeps reinforcing his battle line: He won’t mix budget negotiations with policy negotiations, even though certain policy changes — workers’ comp included — would improve the state’s economic health. Madigan says the issues are unrelated. Never mind Madigan’s long history of mixing budget negotiations with policy negotiations.

His argument is silly. Improving Illinois’ business climate is intrinsically related to funding the state budget.

Madigan does, indeed, have a long history of mixing budget talks with other stuff. And I agree that our business climate is pretty darned harsh. As long as Madigan is just saying “No” to everything, he puts himself into the position of defending an age-old status quo. He refers constantly to the 2011 reforms (which were good), but won’t talk about the results of the 2005 reforms (not so good).

I’ve long advocated for a reasonable compromise which would roll back part of the 2005 reform bill while creating a credible commission to study alleged insurance company recalcitrance at passing along reform-generated savings to employers.

Nobody listens because they prefer their war.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      

A lot of motion, but no movement?

Monday, Nov 28, 2016

* Press release

The Illinois House of Representatives this week faces a critical opportunity to strengthen voting rights and make Illinois’ electoral process more secure and cost effective by voting to override the veto of SB250, a bill that would create automatic voter registration in Illinois. SB250 passed both the House and Senate with bipartisan support in May but was vetoed in August. The Senate voted to override the veto earlier this month, but without a successful override vote in the House on week, the veto will stand.

Senate Bill 250 reforms current registration laws so that whenever an eligible Illinois resident receives services at a designated state agency such as Drivers Services, he or she will be automatically registered to vote in the local jurisdiction unless they opt out. Registered voters will also be able to update their voter information when they interact with these agencies.

Just Democracy Illinois, a broad-based coalition of religious, community and civil rights organizations, urged representatives to vote to override the veto. […]

Earlier this month, Republican lawmakers introduced a watered down automatic voter registration bill that SB250 supporters condemned as an effort to give political cover to Republican lawmakers seeking to avoid voting on the veto override. On Monday, the Just Democracy Illinois coalition and House sponsor Rep. Robyn Gabel again urged lawmakers to abandon alternative efforts and focus on the SB250 override.

* Rep. Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago) insists the Republican alternative is a good bill

During debate in the House last May, I raised this concern, but was told that there was not time to make changes before the deadline on May 31. The bill passed. Over the summer Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed SB 250. In his veto message, the governor identified a number of fixes needed for AVR to work properly in Illinois. Specifically, the governor sought to ensure that AVR in Illinois is consistent with federal voting requirements. His recommended fixes would also avoid problems when personal information is passed between state agencies, particularly in the age of identity theft and computer hacking.

In order to address many of the problems with Senate Bill 250 but also providing Illinois voters with automatic voter registration, I joined with Republican Leader Jim Durkin to file House Bill 6627. House Bill 6627 provides an opt-out box on a form like the driver’s license application. A similar, early opt-out method is used in California, Connecticut, Vermont and West Virginia. With this change, when a person opts out, their private, personal information goes no further than the initial agency and their privacy is respected.

House Bill 6627 also addresses the concerns raised by the governor that involve voter eligibility. The bill will require the Secretary of State to verify a voter’s eligibility at the time of application, as is done in the state of Oregon. House Bill 6627 also requires the applicant to attest to their eligibility to vote, as is required by the National Voter Registration Act and used by all other states that have AVR. These additions are not included in the bill Gov. Rauner vetoed. House Bill 6627 also allows any state agency that processes citizen applications to participate in AVR if they are technically able to do so. Illinois will be the first state in the union to allow such a broad AVR process for potential voters.

* But it may not matter one way or the other, as Finke notes

The official reason for the veto session is to give lawmakers a chance to vote on overriding vetoes that the governor issued on bills in the preceding months.

During the first week of the session, the Senate did just that. The chamber voted to override Rauner vetoes on seven bills, including automatic voter registration and legislation raising the pay of home health care workers from $13 an hour to $15 an hour.

The House, meanwhile, continued to show that Madigan’s supermajority exists mainly on paper. The House tried to override four vetoes that Rauner made on House bills and failed on all of them.

Now the bills where the Senate approved overrides must still be approved by the House. If the House fails to do that, the bills will be dead.

I dunno, maybe a compromise is in order?

- Posted by Rich Miller   8 Comments      

A brief Cuba story

Monday, Nov 28, 2016

* Former Gov. George Ryan talked with Kerry Lester about his historic 1999 trip to Cuba

Although there had been no formal talks between the U.S. and Cuba since 1961, when President Dwight Eisenhower severed diplomatic relations after Castro signed a trade treaty with the Soviet Union, Ryan says he hosted a Cuban “representative” at a state dinner in Springfield shortly after his inauguration. He was then invited to visit Cuba.

Ryan, a pharmacist by trade, considered the visit a humanitarian mission. He said he “put together a package of pharmaceuticals and drugs the people needed, Jewish menorahs and things the Jewish community needed, some things from the Archdiocese of Chicago,” as well as school supplies for the trip.

“They’re very big on Abraham Lincoln in Cuba,” Ryan added.

Along with Ryan, the 45-member delegation included House Speaker Michael Madigan, House Minority Leader Lee Daniels, Senate Minority Leader Emil Jones, Lopez and Serrano.

Ryan describes lengthy meetings and dinners with Castro where “he never stopped talking. I had to interrupt him on several occasions.”

Ryan said he got along well with Castro. “But I never forgot where he came from. He took a lot of lives and he was a pretty brutal guy.”

There’s lots more, so go read the whole thing.

I was also on that trip. Castro held a marathon 3+ hour press conference and he yelled at me for asking about foreigners making big bucks running tourist hotels in his socialist paradise. I also asked about rampant prostitution and street hustling, and suggested his answer (if tourists want it, who am I to stop it?) sounded a lot like Batista. And I told him about a lunch I had with some military veterans who couldn’t afford shoes. He said I should send them some shoes, but I didn’t because I figured I would’ve put a big target on their backs.

* My greatest regret is that, because he pointed his finger in my face while yelling at me and then cut me off when I asked about the hotel owners, I didn’t get to ask Castro about something I’d witnessed countless times in Havana.

Whenever anybody I talked with in Cuba mentioned Castro, they never used the man’s name. Instead, they’d always slyly stroke their chin to mimic somebody stroking their own beard. People whispered to me that they did this because Castro had spies literally everywhere and nobody was sure who was whom. Saying his name out loud risked perking up somebody’s ears nearby and then draw unwanted attention to the person who was speaking.

Castro talked often during that press conference about how the people loved him and how free they all were. So, I wanted to use that chin-stroking thing as my final question, but I never got to ask it.

And now I never will.

- Posted by Rich Miller   40 Comments      

Rauner again imposes some of AFSCME’s ideas

Monday, Nov 28, 2016

* Press release…

Governor Bruce Rauner today announced the creation of two task forces aimed at improving workplace environments for state employees. The Health and Safety Task Force and the Workplace Violence Task Force, both part of the state’s last, best and final offer and proposed by the union during contract negotiations, will be comprised of representatives from the administration and the union.

“These task forces will be instrumental in improving the day-to-day work environment for state employees,” Governor Rauner said. “It is our hope that union leaders will work with our administration to get these union-proposed task forces off the ground quickly so that the state can benefit from their recommendations as soon as feasibly possible.”

The Health and Safety Task Force will identify state agencies, programs or specific worksites that have a high number of serious job-related injuries; analyze the principle cause of job-related employee injuries or illnesses; review current “best practices” to determine how other employers have been able to reduce job-related injuries and illnesses; and develop recommendations for changes to work environments or enhanced employee education and training. Recommendations from the task force are to be issued within twenty-four months of the initial meeting.

The Workplace Violence Task Force will develop recommendations to reduce the risk of violence in the workplace and protocols for employees to follow for when they believe they are faced with safety and health issues that could result in immediate harm.

To many eyes, this is going to look very reasonable on the governor’s part.

* Meanwhile, the SJ-R recently published an editorial entitled “Time for AFSCME to put its cards on the table”

Rauner is under no obligation to negotiate. We recommend that he does, but only — and this is mandatory in our eyes — if a hard-and-fast expiration date is set so both sides come ready to negotiate. AFSCME must come to the table with a proposal that indicates the union understands just how precarious Illinois’s finances are. […]

AFSCME told this editorial board it hasn’t presented its last/best offer. Here’s their chance: Publicly release it. Let the public know what you’re asking for, so taxpayers can judge the merits.

The union should not dismiss some of the pragmatic proposals that the Rauner administration says are in its plan. Overtime kicking in after working 40 hours would mirror the federal standard. Getting 2 times pay, instead of 2.5 times pay, for working the “super holidays” of Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas seems generous as the private sector typically gets time and a half.

While the motivations might have been purely political, two moves by the Rauner administration have made it seem responsive and inclusive. The union wanted bereavement leave for AFSCME members for the death of a child or stepchild — Rauner says he will implement it. The merit pay plan for the first year will provide $1,000 bonuses based on attendance, and the governor wants union input on who should receive it for the remainder of the contract.

The union needs to provide a different narrative if it expects any public pressure on the governor to return to the bargaining table. AFSCME must show taxpayers that it understands cuts to personnel costs will be needed to help the state improve its financial situation. But this also is its chance to provide evidence for what a doubling of health care costs would mean for employees making $30,000 a year, and offer alternatives so we have something to compare. Make it compelling, so the governor’s administration would look unreasonable to not give it consideration.


…Adding… From Council 31…

Our committee was still negotiating when the Rauner Administration walked away back in January. There is no “last” offer to present because negotiations had not reached that point when the governor cut them short.

Ever since, we have repeatedly indicated our willingness to continue to negotiate, but Rauner has refused. It’s good that both the Journal-Register (and the Journal-Star) have now said the governor should return to the table. Lawmakers of both parties have said the same.

It’s also worth noting here that the ALJ found, and the board affirmed, that the administration committed multiple violations of labor law (unfair labor practices) in refusing to provide basic information requested by the union in order to develop further proposals on many core issues.

- Posted by Rich Miller   132 Comments      

On the other hand…

Monday, Nov 28, 2016

* From a commenter

The GA has for years repeatedly ignored budgets submitted by Governors, now they claim they can’t do their work without one.

That is totally true. I cannot tell you how many times a governor’s budget proposal has been dead even before the the last lines of his budget address were uttered in the House chambers. It was probably all of them.

Yes, this current governor’s proposed budgets have been particularly egregious. Gov. Rauner has refused to take the heat for the massive cuts that would be required to balance the budget without a tax hike, so we get phony budget plans. The Democrats don’t want to propose cuts or tax hikes, so they just pass stopgap bills (or, in the case of the House, massively out of whack spending plans).

* But, hey, we can’t even get to budget negotiations until the governor is placated with some Turnaround Agenda “wins.”

…Adding… The Rauner people point out that they did talk about a budget with the Democrats last May, but the Democrats wouldn’t agree to any of their reforms. So, OK, I’ll rephrase: “We can’t even get to a real budget deal until the governor is placated with some Turnaround Agenda ‘wins.’”

- Posted by Rich Miller   28 Comments      

Exelon bill still up in the air

Monday, Nov 28, 2016

* Crain’s Chicago Business still doesn’t like the Exelon bill

For a while, it looked as if Exelon would be able to sweet-talk lawmakers into including language that would jack up bills for downstate folks to keep open financially ailing coal-fired power plants. That gift was Exelon’s way of buying support for its nuke bailout from coal-plant operator Dynegy, the largest power generator downstate. But propping up coal was a bridge too far for consumer and environmental groups such as the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Citizens Utility Board, and thus, Dynergy lost its subsidy.

That’s progress.

The compromise language being worked out before Thanksgiving also shielded large industrial power users from a big hike in their electricity costs. That’s a win for Illinois’ overall economic health, since relatively low power rates make the Land of Lincoln more competitive when it comes to attracting and retaining big employers.

Also jettisoned from the original bill is a controversial proposal to overhaul how Commonwealth Edison’s electricity delivery rates are set. ComEd wanted to begin charging households and small businesses based on how much power they consume at peak demand times of the day rather than how much they consume overall during the course of the month. The Rauner administration termed that a nonstarter—another win for consumers.

So, you might wonder, what’s the problem? Well, even though the revised legislation provides a cheaper set of ratepayer-funded subsidies—and those subsidies sunset after 10 years—one troubling fact remains: Exelon is getting a bailout. Through that bailout, the company would keep open two nuclear plants that Exelon itself has declared are not economically viable. In any other business, owners themselves would have to deal with a money-losing operation. Exelon thinks it’s exceptional, however. Why should Illinoisans absorb the cost of keeping these unneeded plants open? We’re still waiting for a sensible answer.

* The QC Times thinks it has that answer

Gov. Bruce Rauner has staked his reputation on job creation. General Assembly Democrats cling to unions and environmental issues.

The Exelon bailout furthers all of those goals. It protects jobs and local governments. It prevents yet another exodus of workers. It assures that water vapor is pumped into the atmosphere instead of greenhouse gases. It positions Exelon to expand its footprint in the market, while granting nuclear the benefits offered to other “green” energy sources.

* Meanwhile, the governor and the two Democratic leaders are trying to wait each other out

Rauner said that while he wants the plants to stay open, he also wants a solution that doesn’t adversely affect consumers and businesses… “It’s a very fluid situation. We’ve got to protect all of the jobs we can, protect ratepayers and taxpayers. We can’t have our energy prices go through the roof or we’ll lose jobs.” [Gov. Rauner said]

Madigan and Cullerton aren’t ready to sign onto anything yet, their spokesmen said.

“We don’t have legislation in front of the Senate, and it sounds like changes continue to be made,” Patterson said. “The ultimate question comes down to where’s the governor on all of this and what would he be willing to sign.”

“Until we get to a final proposal, I’m not sure we have a position,” Brown said. “We don’t know what the final outcome might be or when this might occur.”

They’re going to need a structured bipartisan roll call in both chambers, but that won’t be easy if the governor won’t say whether he’ll sign the thing. Passing a bill like this is a whole lot more difficult than killing a bill, so this is a big test for Rauner.

All five leaders are meeting today at 3 o’clock, so we may get a better idea after that’s over.

* Related…

* AP: A closer look at bill that could save Cordova plant

* Pastor Of South Side Church Organizes Opposition To ComEd Rate Hike

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      

Time for a “real” budget?

Monday, Nov 28, 2016

* The House Democrats have lately taken to demanding that Gov. Rauner produce a “real” budget plan

The governor and leaders are meeting as Illinois approaches a deadline: When 2016 is over, so is a temporary spending plan.

Rauner continues to prioritize an agenda he says will grow the economy in the long run; Democrats continue to resist those plans.

House Speaker Michael Madigan’s spokesman, Steve Brown, says passing a budget should come first. Madigan has brought in one rank-and-file legislator, Chicago Democratic Rep. Greg Harris, to be part of budget discussions, and says Madigan will call for other legislators to do the same.

“It’s one thing to say ‘Well, we’ll do a budget and then we’ll do these other matters and then maybe we’ll find a way to fund it. I think people have fundamental questions about the budget as the first step,” Brown said. “What’s going to be in that budget? Are you going to continue to devastate higher education, for example? Are you going to continue to put real … limits on some of the social service programs, around there? How do you expect them to function? And so I think there’s key questions on the budget that have to be answered.”

* But a Tribune columnist claims Rauner has already done so

One of the naysayers’ favorite ways to shift blame for the state’s financial mess is to assert that Rauner never introduced legitimate, authentic, balanced budgets.

False, false and false.

The first budget Rauner balanced in 2015 was the remainder of the 2014 budget that Democrats knowingly underfunded and then left in his lap. Then Rauner introduced a budget for fiscal year 2016 — the 12 months that ended June 30 — that anticipated savings from pension reform. The savings were dependent on the Illinois Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of altering pension benefits.

But a few months after Rauner introduced that budget, the court struck down the pension changes. Yes, a hole was blown into Rauner’s budget. But not because he was playing games or was derelict in his duty. […]

This year, Rauner essentially introduced two budgets. The first included a hole that his aides openly acknowledged and planned to fill with new taxes, if the legislature would agree to reforms. If the legislature didn’t agree to a compromise and new revenue, Rauner proposed a backup budget that would have required the General Assembly to untie his hands. He would make cuts himself, but he needed the legislature to unlock the handcuffs that mandate certain spending practices, such as Medicaid rates.

But he didn’t actually propose any of those specific cuts this year. He just left a gigantic hole in the budget and said they’d somehow work it all out. That wasn’t a “legitimate, authentic, balanced” budget in any way, shape or form.

- Posted by Rich Miller   73 Comments      

Mendoza changes her mind on oath date after consulting with AG Madigan

Monday, Nov 28, 2016

[Bumped up from last Wednesday for visibility and comments opened.]

* Comptroller-elect Susana Mendoza announced the other day that she would take her oath of office in January, even though the statute which created the special election appeared to set a December 5th swearing-in date.

Press release…

Illinois Comptroller-elect Susana A. Mendoza will be sworn in on Monday, Dec. 5 in Springfield, Lauren Peters, the managing director of her transition team, said in a statement released Wednesday.

    “Comptroller-Elect Susana Mendoza has decided to take her oath on Dec. 5 once the election results are officially certified. After conferring with Attorney General Lisa Madigan, we have made a final decision with regard to interpretations of the unprecedented law governing the recent special election. While our legal team reached one interpretation of the law, which does not have any existing legal opinion guiding it, the Office of the Attorney General has concluded that the Comptroller-Elect should be sworn in on Dec. 5 upon certification of the ballots from the November election. As the chief legal officer for the state of Illinois, we believe it is in the best interest of the state to defer to her opinion and move forward with a swearing in date of Dec. 5.”

The exact time and location of the swearing in, which will be open to the public, is to be determined in the coming days. It will take place in the Illinois State Capitol Building.

The Mendoza folks say they consulted with their own attorneys, but then decided it was best to bow to the AG’s opinion.

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      

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