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We love you, Schnorf!

Friday, Jan 27, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Pretty much everyone who knows Steve Schnorf respects him as a professional and loves him as a human being. The former CMS and budget director has forgotten more about running a government than most everyone will ever know. And he’s one of the kindest, sweetest souls you will ever meet.

We had dinner a month or so ago and he looked great and we had a very nice evening. A few days later, though, Steve called from the hospital to tell me that he had just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

That’s the bad one. It moves very fast. An experimental treatment from the University of Chicago was supposed to prolong Steve’s life, but it’s not working as billed. He developed a nasty infection and was in intensive care here in Springfield when I visited him yesterday. He said he was being moved out of the ICU to palliative care. Steve said he expects to be sent home in a week for hospice care.

Steve told me yesterday that he and his wife Jane are planning a celebration of life event and he wants it to be held somewhere at his beloved Capitol Complex after he’s gone. He and his daughter, a musician, are working on the music.

* Steve has been an integral part of this blog. His comments carry great weight. He told me yesterday the tubes in his hands have prevented him from commenting on or even reading the blog, which caused him to realized how much this website and all the characters who populate it have meant to him over the years.

I asked him if he was OK with me doing a post. He made a joke about how he figured I’d eventually try to monetize his impending demise. We had a good laugh about that one. But, hey, I always laugh a lot when I’m around Schnorf. He’s a super guy and I cannot tell you how much I will miss him without breaking down. My heart and the hearts of the few who’ve known about this sad development have been broken for the last month or so.

But he’s taking it like the man he is, and so will I. No tears - just the joy of knowing that I and many others are darned lucky to know this gentleman.

Schnorf has been my friend and my mentor for many years. He has helped so many people and has meant so much to them that I’m not really sure this very modest man understands the full impact of his life.

* So, the point of this post is for all of us to tell Steve what he means to us and to wish him well on his journey. He’ll be reading your comments.

This is my favorite photo of Schnorf from last summer before we took Oscar for a spin on the pontoon…

I love you, Steve. Hang in there, buddy.

          Click here to help buy presents for LSSI foster kids!

  1. - Curious Georgina - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 10:51 am:

    I’ve always greatly appreciated his insightful comments on this blog. Sad news.

  2. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 10:52 am:

    I don’t know you personally Steve but have been in state employment long enough to remember when you were CMS Director. Your comments on this blog make me mad as hell sometimes yet I always pause to read them because I respect the wisdom and knowledge you always offer. May God be with you and your family during this journey.

  3. - Archiesmom - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 10:52 am:

    Oh no. This is terrible news. Steve is one of the good guys, and one of the smart guys, and his personality and his voice is an important one. I wish you, Steve, strength to fight this battle. You know we will all be thinking of you with love and support. If positive thoughts can help, you will be awash in them shortly.

  4. - jim - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 10:53 am:

    really sorry to hear that. i know from experience that pancreatic cancer is brutal.
    this kind of news puts all of our rather petty disagreements in perspective. wish him the very best in addressing this cruel situation.

  5. - Pelonski - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    I’ve never met Steve, but I’ve always appreciated his comments. They are based on extensive knowledge, but more importantly, they are well thought out and take all sides into consideration. I’ve never once seen a post from him where he repeated a talking point or went with the easy answer. Our democracy and political system would be much stronger if we had more people like him.

    I wish for him the best final outcome possible and want him to know that his positive impact on the world will continue long after he’s gone.

  6. - East Central Illinois - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 10:57 am:

    There have been certain commenters here that stop you in your tracks as you scroll through, “must read”-types of comments. Steve’s comments are those types of comments. I don’t know you personally, Steve, but I have gained a lot of insight from your posts. May God bless you and your family and friends during this journey.

  7. - Porter McNeil - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    From the Quads, hang in there, thanks for your substantive insights into the state’s complex budget challenges over so many years and my very best to you and your family and so very sorry to hear this news …

  8. - Jeanette Malafa - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    Praying for you Steve.

  9. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    Steve, we never met but I feel like I know you by reputation, through mutual acquaintances and your insightful commentary here over the years. You are a wise, good man, who has influenced many for the better. Prayers to you and your family and friends.

  10. - The Dude Abides - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:03 am:

    As a previous poster stated, when Schnorf posted on here you always wanted to know what his point of view was because he always presented a knowledgeable and unbiased viewpoint. I am really sorry to hear this news.

  11. - Anon - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    I appreciate the trenchant analysis on state budget issues that Steve has shared with us over many years. I am better informed because of him, and I know I have lots of company.

  12. - Courtney Shea - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    Thank you for your insights and mentorship in state government and finance. My thoughts and prayers are with you
    Courtney Shea

  13. - Toi - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    Praying for you Steve. So sorry to hear this. Thank you for being who you are and who you’ve been to all the people who think they know you personally just because of what you write on this blog. Here’s to calling like you see it!

  14. - Silent Budgeteer - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:07 am:

    Director Schnorf was my director at the Bureau of the Budget oh so many years ago (so I am dating myself a bit). When he came on board, I think the consideration of BoB rose tremendously from his predecessor, who had turned the agency from a place that could tell the Governor that there wasn’t a feasible option for a program (like we could under Dr. Mandeville) to a group of yes-men and yes-women. Director Schnorf returned a sense of pride in working for BoB, a sense that had disappeared for a few years.

    I remember serving as a temporary division chief under him. While I didn’t have all the knowledge and history of the chief who had left, Director Schorf went out of his way to help me feel comfortable in doing what I was doing, especially since it involved revenue and expenditure projections for the General Funds. In the short time I served in that capacity, I saw that he really worked to make the concept of team a reality and that we were working for the benefit of the entire state, not just one party, one politician, or one group.

    When I accepted a job at another state agency, Director Schnorf congratulated me and thanked me for my years at BoB. I appreciated the simple fact that he actually acknowledged me as an employee; BoB staff weren’t just simple minions, as his predecessor seemed to think (one time, during a particularly contentious budget season, she told us we could not leave until she had dismissed us; she promptly forgot about us and went home. We weren’t released until a staffer called her at home at 3 in the morning to ask if we could go, since the GA had left hours earlier. She was angry at being disturbed at home by staff, but also told us to be back at 6 AM “in case something happened.”) Director Schnorf would never do anything like that; he defended BoB staff and our work, and we appreciated it.

    I’m sad to hear of the diagnosis, but I’m blessed in that I had the opportunity to work for this good man and to watch him work his magic for the benefit of the state of Illinois. God willing, there are more out there like him, and we will find them, listen to them, and get on the right path.

    Director Schnorf, thank you. Without your simple guidance, a lot of us wouldn’t be doing what we do and serving the people we serve. You and yours will be in my prayers and thoughts. You are indeed appreciated.

  15. - steve brown - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:07 am:

    Prayers for comfort and strength during these times. I have always enjoyed his perspective and stories even when we disagreed. Was hoping for relief from the treatments. Thanks for the update1

  16. - Usually silent observer - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    I have never met you, Steve, but I worked in State government during your administrations. While you were just a “name” to me then, I have since come to appreciate and look forward to the expertise and thoughtful comments you have shared with us on this blog. Thank you for the learning experience you have provided to all of us. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  17. - Finally Out - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    Had a few encounters with Steve during my tenure with the state. Always a gentleman. Level-headed. Always respected by EVERYONE in the room regardless of politics. So sad to hear the news…praying for a miracle.

  18. - Abe the Babe - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    A great public servant. Its hard to believe how much respect I can have for Steve never having met him. This city, state, and country would be better off with more Steve Schnorfs in it.

  19. - perry noya - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    I knew few people in government who would give you nothing but hard facts and even fewer who would do so in a gentlemanly manner. Mr. Schnorf was the best. What a shame we will lose him.

  20. - walker - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:11 am:

    Always helpful. No BS. His fights are for truth, justice, and the American way.

    Steve: Sorry you’re feeling lousy, but you gotta admit you’ve had a heck of a run, including even now.

  21. - OneMan - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:11 am:


  22. - Ahoy! - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:12 am:

    I only got the pleasure of meeting Steve once and it was brief only an introduction. I always took time to read his comments when he did comment as they were always insightful and level headed.

  23. - Dan Vock - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:13 am:

    I’m very sorry to hear this news. I don’t know Steve well, just well enough to know that he was a source with great knowledge and great integrity to help me figure out Illinois’ continued budget woes. The embargoed budget briefings he held for the media when I was a cub reporter were some of the most valuable education experiences of my early career. I still laugh when telling other reporters about the “false specificity of large numbers.” It’s also clear that Steve cared deeply about the people and government of Illinois, and served both well. Thank you!

  24. - Sir Reel - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:13 am:

    Today, more than ever, we need people like Steve in government, at all levels. People with knowledge, judgement and compassion.

    Get well Steve. Know you’re greatly admired by those on this blog.

  25. - AlfondoGonz - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:16 am:

    Thoughts are with you Steve. Know that every day you fend it off, you’ve won a victory. When the time comes, it will be a decisive one in your favor; you however many days you resisted, and the cancer only 1.

    We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.

  26. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:17 am:


    Thank you for your generous decades of public service: as a state employee, observer, advocate, mentor, and friend to every stranger.

    Your thoughts and moreover your tenor are forever woven into the DNA of Capitolfax, and thereby the public discourse in state policy making.

    I am saddened by your passing, and for your family, but we are all better for having been blessed by your patient presence.

  27. - realkewlio - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:20 am:

    Steve- although I haven’t know you as long as Rich and others, I am thankful for the time I have spent around you and just blessed with the chance to listen to the 50+ years of stories you have in that brilliant mind of yours. I will continue keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

  28. - PublicServant - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:21 am:

    Thank you, Steve, for always being a voice of knowledge and reason on this blog. I always have looked forward to reading your informed comments. I’ve learned a lot from you over the years, and you continue to inspire me with your actions and demeanor while dealing with the cards you’ve been dealt late in the game.

    I’ll be raising a glass to you this evening, but it won’t be the last time your words and actions will make me smile.

  29. - Emily Miller - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:22 am:


    We don’t know each other personally, but of course I know you by reputation and through your writing– I tend to devour things you post on this blog immediately.

    I’m so sad to hear of your illness. I know it’s a nasty one that moves so quickly. Rich says you two aren’t crying. Hope that’s not a rule for everyone, cause I just broke it.

    Thank you for sharing your life with all of us. My thoughts are with you and with your family.


  30. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:22 am:

    Powerful, smart, thoughtful and humble are rarely a combination found in one human being. That rare combination has always been my impression of Steve.

    Thank you, Steve, and my very best wishes to you and your family.

    Mike Thomson

  31. - A guy - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:24 am:

    To the souls in purgatory who need an advocate to get to the next level; your good forture awaits you with the imminent arrival of a first ballot inductee. We’ll miss him.

  32. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:24 am:

    Steve you are the most knowledgable commentator on this blog and I have never detected any partisanship from your comments, just the facts. God bless you and your family

  33. - Dave Sullivan - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    Steve, our prayers go out to you, Jane, your family and your many friends. You have always been a stand up gentleman, a true public servant and a great mentor to so many of us. Thanks for taking the time and effort to help me and many others. The world is a better place because you have joined us on the journey. God bless!

  34. - Big Joe - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:27 am:

    Never have met you, but as many have said before me, I have always enjoyed reading your insightful posts. I, as well as everyone that reads this blog, are much better informed on state government because of you. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you endure this trying time in your life. All the best, sir. May Peace Be With You.

  35. - illini - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    When I first started following this site what seems like so many years ago I began to pick up on some of the regular as well as infrequent commenters.

    These fall into two categories - those who are perceptive about “politics” and a much smaller group of those who actually know what they are talking about when it comes to actual “policies” and their implications. And there are those in both categories that I have developed great respect for.

    You fall into that later category. And I recognized your expertise even before I knew your background and experience in State government. Your comments have always been to the point and appropriate. And I have learned much from your posts.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  36. - Amalia - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:30 am:

    Steve: thank you for your spectacular work, and your frequent smart words here. and thank you for your willingness to be seen with your illness. that is a rare and selfless thing, a beacon to others who suffer, and a call for help for those with the illness.
    thank you. peace and love. Amalia

  37. - unclesam - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:31 am:

    Sending prayers to you and your family.

    You’ve always been willing to pass on your knowledge and insights in an honest and fair manner. You’ve taught me so much about how relationships matter, and I’m confident you’ll face this with the same tenacity you approach budget debates.

  38. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:31 am:

    I don’t know Steve Schnorf personally, let alone how well Rich and so many others do that can speak to the man and all he is and has meant to them, both personally and professionally. I do know that the people who are so incredibly fortunate to know Steve Schnorf in multi-dimensional ways speak of a man who easily can speak as a friend, confidante, “buddy”, ally and worthy adversary that speaks to the issues better than almost anyone in recent memory under the Dome.

    Steve Schnorf has been bipartisan. He has taken his core belief of service to Illinois to heart like few ever have. Because of that, Steve Schnorf can speak to state issues in a way few could even imagine… he can speak to them honestly to their realities.

    As with the General Assembly, there are just a very small select few that when they speak, Chambers fall silent as the words of those small select few silence even the quietest of quiet voices. Steve Schnorf has that ability anywhere he speaks, and especially here on Rich’s blog. The voice and the unquestioned credibility of Steve Schnorf has made readers and commenters stop, and take that pause. I know for me many times, far too many to cite, Steve Schnorf has made me pay close attention so I could learn from someone who has such a deep well of knowledge it borders on bottomless. Steve Schnorf never has commanded respect or looked for respect, Schnorf has earned the respect that has allowed him to bypass the worry of respect, it’s inherent in his unequivocal integrity.

    Friends like Rich, and others, talk of his friendship and loyalty, his well-rounded knowledge, on subjects far beyond politics and governing, and still Schnorf is as captivating and knowledgable on these other facets of life that have made Schnorf who he is and the wonderfully interesting and fun person to be around.

    Steve Schnorf has always been the complete package. As wonky as he can be is as fun and personable as you’d hope he would be too.

    Mr. Schnorf, I wish you well on your journey. It’s because of the example you have given to far too many that you don’t even realized you have touched and made an impact and impression to is a legacy I hope you get to realize reading how much you mean to so many, including the many like me.

    Oswego Willy.

  39. - Big Ben - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:33 am:

    What a sad day. Prayers. Sad sad day.

  40. - Wow - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:33 am:

    Nobody does a goatee like the Schnorf.. a celebration of an icon. A special man. Peace forever. :)

  41. - RNUG - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:33 am:

    Steve’s insight and institutional knowledge will be missed. I think the best thing I can say about him is he made a difference. Plus, if he gave you facts and figuress, you could take them to the bank as the best available information.

  42. - David Starrett - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:35 am:

    One of the wisest and most statesmanlike persons ever to grace State government, and he left his mark everywhere. I actually enjoyed negotiating with Steve. We could never have done a bi-pasrtisan Procurement Code without him.

    Steve, know that you will always be remembered and loved.

  43. - cdog - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:36 am:

    Maybe our souls are born to this life to learn, teach, to advocate for things that are good. Then, we go…

    Find peace, as you finish this gig, that you have accomplished this.

    Blessings of comfort to you, family and friends.

  44. - Ray del Camino - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:37 am:

    I’ll never forget when he came to our campus and shot straight with a conference room full of political science students about how governments *really* work, and how we have to pay for what we buy and borrow, despite rhetoric to the contrary. No partisanship, not judgmental, kind but serious. I know a few of those students are working in Springfield today, armed with Steve’s grounded advice and viewpoint. Thanks, man.

  45. - Carhartt Union Negotiating Team - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:37 am:

    This is the saddest thing I’ve seen in a long, long time. This guy…oh, this guy. What an institution. Peace Steve.

  46. - morningstar - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:40 am:

    I am very sorry, Steve. I thank you for all you have given to us. Please know that you have made a difference, even down to the tiny “end-user” of State dollars like me. May flights of angels sing you to your rest!

  47. - FormerParatrooper - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:40 am:

    From what I have seen here, your a man of principle. Bless you on your journey and may we all follow your example.

  48. - Norseman - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    One of the best things we can do in life is make a difference. Steve, you made a difference and should be proud of that fact. Enjoy every day. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  49. - Greg Harris - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:45 am:

    Your experience and advice have helped me so many times. Your deliberative decision making, your pretty amazing encyclopedic knowledge of so many things, your fighting spirit and your ability to steer the ship of state in better directions have made life better for people in every corner of Illinois over the years.

    Thank you. And now we are all with you in this new fight.

  50. - Honeybear - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:46 am:

    I’m so so sorry Mr Schnorf. I had a personal experience with pancreatic with my dad. My heart goes out to you and your family. Anything I can do.

  51. - cracked screen - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:46 am:

    As an armchair observer who depends on Capital Fax and it commentors for news on Illinois politics, I am deeply appreciative for your insights. Thank you, and safe travels.

  52. - Saluki - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    thank you Mr. Schnorf.

  53. - Marcia Armstrong - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:48 am:

    I worked for Steve for 11 years. He wanted me to come work at CMS after I was a real pain in his ass as his budget analyst. He did more for my career than anyone ever had, and I greatly admire and respect him. I talked to Steve briefly last month when he was in the hospital and I’m saddened to hear of this quick escalation. Steve, I love you dearly and I thank you for everything you brought to my life by your loyalty and support. God bless you and prayers for you and your family.

  54. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:51 am:


    We’ve met, first back in 1998 or so, but there’s no reason you’d remember me from the few times our professional paths crossed. I, on the other hand, won’t forget it. On this blog I’m a partisan and previously I’ve been a professional Democrat. But to me, you’ve always been an Illinoisan, first, and a problem-solver second.

    You demonstrated to me on many occasions that there are Republicans of good will who are trying to get to the same place I am, but sometimes on a different path. I need to remember that more, so I thank you for the lesson that was your example.

    You did good work here. You made a difference. People noticed. Thanks, and may God bless you and your family and may He hold you in the palm of His hand.

  55. - Vote Quimby! - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:56 am:

    I don’t live in Illinois any longer, so I don’t read as often as I used to. But when I do, Steve is one of the commenters I always read because they are always insightful, respectful and accurate. Thanks Steve and may you and your family be blessed always!

  56. - Anon221 - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:59 am:

    Words at this time are hard to come by. Steve… Thank You for the life you are living and the lives you have touched along the way.

  57. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:59 am:

    It’s a small thing, in a sense, but on this blog you used your real name. That impresses me, and always will. It was not doneGod Bless out of hubris, but out of reflexive accountability (after all you are the Major Domo of budgets!). You have a nature that faces things directly. That is just one of the many components of your legacy.

  58. - Rich's Mom - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:00 pm:

    I never knew Steve personally, but instead knew him vicariously through his thoughtful and cogent comments on this blog. I am so sorry to hear of his illness.Some people pass through this world without notice, but not this man. He has made a difference to so many. We are sending our prayers of comfort to him at this time.

  59. - Downstate - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:00 pm:

    Time for a candid admission. When I open up the comments to one of the blog posts, and there are more than 20 or so, I’ll blow through them only looking for Rich and your posts.

    God bless you.

  60. - Shawshank Red - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:01 pm:

    I’ve known Steve (known OF Steve, more accurately) since my days as a Dunn Fellow in Governor Edgar’s office. I can tell you that the words “Steve Schnorf” way back then were synonymous with “class act” and “font of knowledge.” Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

  61. - Patty Schuh - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:01 pm:

    Schnorfy, I’ve seen you in some tough battles. I’m praying for your continued strength, tenacity and humor. Our thoughts are with you and your family. Patty Schuh

  62. - Jake From Elwood - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:02 pm:

    Mr. Schnorf-
    Blessings and best wishes.
    Thank you for your impact on this blog and for the good of the State of Illinois.

  63. - wordslinger - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:04 pm:

    Steve is the goods, the brightest banana in the bunch, a true public servant whose dedication and passion for the greater good shines through with every post here.

    He’s the best Illinois has to offer and everyone in the state has been blessed by his service. There’s no one who’s taught me more, there’s no one I respect more. We’re lucky to know him.

  64. - State Worker - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:07 pm:

    I don’t know Mr. Schnorf but after reading this, I truly wish I had the honor of knowing him, he sounds like a truly great man who has clearly made a strong impact on many people. I will keep him and his family in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks for sharing him with those of us who don’t know him!

  65. - Janeway63 - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:10 pm:

    I have always had great respect for Steve especially when he was at BoB and from his commentary here. This news deeply saddens me. I will keep you in my prayers Steve. May God Bless you.

  66. - Rep. Bill Mitchell - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:10 pm:

    Steve, I’ve known you almost 30 years. You were a great public servant. Smart, honest. Both attributes needed desperately today. My gratitude to you for all you’ve done for me. Your in my prayers. Bill

  67. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:13 pm:

    We served together briefly on the Taxpayer Action Board. When he spoke, all listened. I have greatly appreciated his comments here, seasoned with knowledge, insight, and love for the State of Illinois.

    God Speed

  68. - Foster brooks - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    I loved steves insight of state government. Our prayers are with you

  69. - Fiercely Independent - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:16 pm:

    Prayers for you and your family, Steve. Thank you for everything.

  70. - 10th ward - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:17 pm:

    Peace Steve. I wish you peace and I will pray for you

  71. - yvette at the bond buyer - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:20 pm:

    What terrible, terrible news…Steve, you are the best combination of knowledge, graciousness, integrity, and boldness this state has seen in a finance officer….lighting a candle for you.

  72. - MikeMacD - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:21 pm:

    Like many who frequent the comments section of this blog, whenever I see Mr. Schnorf’s name I will stop to make sure I read it. I’ve concluded that his facts are of the non-alternative variety, his analysis worthy of following and his opinions about 65% correct :). I wish him the best in the future.

  73. - dupage dan - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:22 pm:

    Being retired and no longer living in Illinois,
    I don’t monitor the capfax blog as much as I did in the past. The current issue re state employee pay enticed me. Low and behold, this tough news brought me up hard. I have never met you, Mr Schnorf, but have looked forward to your enlightened posts even when I didn’t agree with them. Godspeed sir

  74. - Ghost - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:25 pm:

    Safe Journeys, your adventure is just beggining. We worked together a few times though i doubt you would recall me. You always made me laugh the way you would cut in with a single sentence to sum up and shut down somone who was babbling on to cover that they didnt really know the answer. You represent the ideal servant of the people. Othes can stand in your foot prints but they will never fill your shoes. God Bless you.

  75. - Flapdoodle - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:29 pm:

    Though I never knew you, Mr. Schnorf, it’s clear your are among the few who have made a true difference in people’s lives. Salute and God speed.

  76. - LisaC - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:34 pm:

    You are a wonderful individual and J Michael Peck always had you in his highest regards. I appreciate all you have done for the State of Illinois when you were the finance officer and for all of your input in this blog. You will be in my prayers.

  77. - Thoughts Matter - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:36 pm:

    I’ve always enjoyed reading your comments. You always told us not only how things worked, but why. I hope you understand that you were respected by a great many people you never met.

  78. - Todd - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:37 pm:

    Steve you truly are one of the legends of the capitol. A real asset and great person.

  79. - lake county democrat - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:37 pm:

    I can only trivially echo many of the above posts in that I always read Steve’s posts and always thought he was speaking from the heart and not from an agenda. Every best wish to him and his family.

  80. - Aldyth - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:37 pm:

    I suspect that on the rare occasions when you aren’t the smartest person in the room, you are the most knowledgeable. Thank you for sharing that intelligence, knowledge, and wisdom with the rest of us. We are better for it.

    Like many, I shall be thinking of you in the days to come.

  81. - Tough Guy - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    Had the distinct honor of working with Steve and attended several meetings with him during my many years with the State. His insight and knowledge of fiscal matters were always invaluable. You made a difference Steve.

  82. - Fellow Panther - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:40 pm:

    Our prayers and thoughts are with you. You are one of the smartest and best people I have ever worked with. I am proud to say that I know you. Your fairness and truly caring atititude is very rare in today’s world. May God Bless you and yours, see you around the next bend in the river. GBM

  83. - JS Mill - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:41 pm:


    Your contribution to the blog have been many and of great substance.

    Sharing your journey with us is a blessing to all.

    I pray that you and your family find God’s love and peace as you continue on your life’s journey.

  84. - Mokenavince - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:43 pm:

    May the Good lord bless you and your family. You were a wealth of knowledge Mr.Schnorf that is impossible to replace.

  85. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:44 pm:

    I’m so sorry to learn of Steve Schnorf’s illness and wish him, his family, friends and all who love and respect him the best and comfort.

    Steve Schnorf is invaluable to this blog and to our understanding of Illinois politics. To me he’s a disappearing breed: compassionate Republican.

  86. - Ginhouse Tommy - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:44 pm:

    Say it ain’t so. The old professor is ill. He was, according to the people who worked for him, knowledgeable(knew that), a good administrator but also a decent human being that looked at his employees as real human beings rather than mindless drones or greedy money grabbers. It’s too bad the bad things happen to good people like Steve. Every day is a good day Obi-Wan. Hang in there and stay positive.

  87. - Joe Bidenopolous - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:45 pm:


    We met a few times, and though there’s no real reason for you to remember me (legislative staff, budget briefings, etc.), I was always entertained by your wit and thoroughly impressed by your knowledge. The contributions you’ve made to state government are unique and invaluable, and I’ve always appreciated your insight then and now.

    God speed to you and my family’s prayers are with you and yours for comfort and peace.

  88. - Tim Nuding - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:46 pm:

    I first met Steve Schnorf when he was Director of CMS and then worked with him very closely when he became the Director of the Bureau of the Budget.

    I viewed him as a mentor and still do. For those of you who don’t know him, this guy is what government service is all about. Smart on the issues. Fair. Thoughtful. Compassionate. Treats everyone with respect. Has friends on both sides of the aisle and all throughout government. Wise.

    For a guy of his stature - very unassuming and a lot of fun to be around. A lot of fun. A true character.

    He’s taught a lot of people how to conduct themselves in the crazy arena under the dome just by watching his example.

    He has created a significant legacy in our business and continues to carry himself with immeasurable class.

  89. - CCP Hostage - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:46 pm:

    I’ve only seen your words here and the results of your work. And I’ve been in many rooms when everyone stops talking when someone says, “Schnorf says..”. Thank you for your wisdom and many positive contributions to the state of Illinois.

  90. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:47 pm:

    Thank you Steve.
    Your knowledge, service, advice and depth of understanding have contributed to making Illinois a better place. One of you is not enough.

  91. - illinifan - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:49 pm:

    I remember him from his days when state government actually worked. I was too low down on the totem pole for him to remember me. Prayers are with him and his family.

  92. - 21st State - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:49 pm:

    vaya con dios amigo see you on the other side

  93. - A guy - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:50 pm:

    This is really the most “must read” thread I can remember of CF. I kinda hoped and wished it was the last post of the day/week, so the thoughts could all be focused on this.

    Alas, news is news because it’s news. So I get it. Maybe Schnorf would be the first to say “don’t stop anything on my account”.

    I’m really inspired by reading these posts.

  94. - Stones - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 12:58 pm:

    Sorry to learn this today. I’ve always enjoyed his posts on this blog. Best wishes to you sir.

  95. - Threepwood - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:12 pm:

    So sad to hear this. All my thoughts are with you, sir.

  96. - Skirmisher - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:23 pm:

    This was a shock. I put him in the same league with Judy Topinka.

  97. - Concerned - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:24 pm:

    To Steve, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

  98. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:26 pm:

    When I came to CMS Steve was the Director and I was introduced to him. I became one of the people who would be involved in many things one being our system on Election night. I learned more those nights than ever. When Steve spoke everyone listened, they still do. Steve, thank you for everything, you should be proud of your accomplishments.

  99. - NobodysAccountable - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:28 pm:

    I always made sure to read your posts. And because of who you are, they carried extra weight. God bless

  100. - Jo J - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:29 pm:

    Steve, may the remaining time you have be spent in peace with those who you treasure most. You have given great service to the State of Illinois. Prayers for you & your family & friends.

  101. - Jak Tichenor - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:31 pm:

    Steve, I only me you a couple of times but I always felt better knowing you were one of the adults in the room when decisions were being made that affected the lives of everyday people in our state. I say that because your description of how the budget making process had gone from everyone working around the margins to get an agreement to becoming the process of “allocating pain and scarcity” has stuck with me ever since we talked a few years ago at SIU. That told me that someone was in there who knew what they were talking about and that the decisions they were making really mattered to people.

    The outpouring of love, affection, and respect on this page speak volumes about your character and your own impact on countless lives. Prayers for comfort for you and your family, you are much-loved and rightly so.

  102. - Jak Tichenor - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:33 pm:

    Correction, “met” you. Sorry, all thumbs today.

  103. - Dan Long - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:34 pm:

    Steve, so sorry to hear this terrible news–you are in my thoughts and prayers. One of things I will always remember about my many years working in State Government is working with you at CMS in the early years of Governor Edgar’s administration. God bless you and your family.

  104. - Original Rambler - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:39 pm:

    Never met Steve but it was clear early on that his posts carried a gravitas that few others here could match. He always came off as a model for State employees, knowing where the politics ended and the governing took over. He has made a positive impact on a multitude of State employees he never met. Good luck in your battle.

  105. - NorthSideNoMore - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:42 pm:

    Always a wise and kind Gentleman from first time I met him till the last time a saw him at the Cap. May God Bless and Comfort you Sir.

  106. - Grateful - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:45 pm:

    We’ve never met Steve, but your comments here always made me think, and therefore speak and act more thoughtfully.

    So I can only imagine the even greater positive, lasting effects you have had on the many people who have been fortunate to know you in person.

    I don’t know what happens in the great beyond, or if there even is a great beyond, but here on earth, heaven and hell is how we are remembered by others.

    At this difficult time, I hope there is comfort in knowing that you are in heaven here, because we will always remember you with gratitude and we will always think, speak and act better because of your enduring influence.

    You’ve touched more lives than you’ll ever know. Thank you.

  107. - Rich's Dad - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:49 pm:

    So very sorry to read this. Our son has lost a lot of his good close friends in the last few years and it just gets harder to deal with for him. He was just a kid when he started this business and people like Steve helped make it the OUTSTANDING PRODUCT in it’s field! Rich’s original high standards were the foundation along with his ever present discipline. His Mother’s brain did the rest. The kid grew with the business into a fine young successful man. That much success has destroyed a lot of people and it probably would’ve killed me! I’m glad that Steve gets to see the positive thoughts from so many because far to often we lose friends without them knowing just how much we really respect and look up to them. I’ve gone through three episodes of serious health problems and happy for every single day that I have. A young relative of mine is currently in hospice care for cancer. I spoke at some family funerals and I will speak at his. I’ve asked to give it to him first so he will know how I feel.

  108. - KR - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:50 pm:

    I’m one of the many former Dunn Fellows lucky enough to have spent time in the presence of your good humor. You were a busy director then, and the time you took with a bunch of young, eager interns is something I’ve held on to for many years. Thank you for your kindness.

  109. - Blago's Hare - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:50 pm:

    The first time I met Mr. Schnorf, my first impression was “shut up and listen.” He was full of knowledge and could tell right away that he was respected by the others in the room, much the same as he is respected on this blog. His viewpoint is tempered with knowledge and respect. Respect for the process, people, and himself.
    Stay strong. Fight hard. Take solace in the fact that you have made and will continue to make a difference in this world for a very long time. Thank you.

  110. - Another ole' staffer - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 1:51 pm:

    As another former budget staffer, I echo the comments about how much Steve taught his staff and others with whom he worked — not just the facts and law (both past and present) but also the critical big-picture politics and personalities. He also wanted to learn from us. A rarity in State government.

  111. - ryan - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:02 pm:

    I never got to meet you but always looked forward to reading your comments here. You made me smarter. Thank you. See you on the flip side.

  112. - AmandaK - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:04 pm:

    Steve was a board member at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability while I worked there, and I immensely appreciated him as a board member. After he left the board he nominated me for IGPA’s Edgar Fellows Program. While I didn’t make the cut, it meant the world to me (probably more than he knows) that he nominated me. I am beyond sad to hear this news, but grateful to have gotten to know Steve.

  113. - Aaron Chambers - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:09 pm:

    As a cub reporter covering the Statehouse years ago, I learned that Schnorf is uncommonly smart, decent and generous.

    In the years since, I’ve enjoyed following his insights and observations.

    My thoughts are with him and his family.

  114. - City Zen - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:11 pm:

    While doing pension research, I came across some articles or papers Steve wrote a number of years ago about some financial situation. I wish I could find them, but I remember it was the most straightforward, no-nonsense, and refreshing thing I read from someone in a government position…ever. My best to you and your family.

  115. - Lionel Hutz - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:12 pm:

    Only met you once, Steve, but was very impressed with your knowledge and judgment. Blessings to you.

  116. - Mahna Anon - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:15 pm:

    This is incredibly sad news. Steve is someone who has made Illinois a better place to be - through his knowledge, thoughtfulness and dedication to the many issues he has worked on (and commented on) throughout the years. At a time when reason and intelligent debate seem to be on the decline, Steve is an example of what we need more of on this blog, in this State and in our Country.

    Steve, I hope you are showered with love and experience peace at this difficult time.

  117. - Moe Berg - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:19 pm:

    A scholar, gentleman and true public servant.

    In addition to the pleasure of a cocktail or two in groups whose numbers included Steve, I had the good fortune on numerous occasions to watch him preside over Illinois Liquor Control Commission hearings. A bearded Buddha, even in such a setting Steve’s thoughtfulness, kindness and wisdom was on full display, whether dealing with slick lobbyists or mom-and-pop grocery stores and taverns that goofed up.

    Godspeed, Steve. Thank you for doing your part to make the world better than you found it, helping others, and setting an example for how to live a meaningful life.

  118. - Roger Eddy - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:21 pm:

    Certainly one of the brightest, knowledgeable and unassuming men I met during my time in the Illinois House. Always reasonable and supportive of those using reason. He indeed has forgotten more about governing than most will ever know. He is the kind of person we need desperately in state government. Praying for you Steve. Love and prayers from your friends in Southeastern Illinois.

    Roger Eddy

  119. - Hack in the Back - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:27 pm:

    Steve, be strong as you always have. I had he privilege of working with you in Edgar administration. You were then, and have always been, the knowledgeable voice of reason, sometimes in a sea of insanity.

  120. - Roscoe - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:27 pm:

    Steve this news really hit hard…you were/are a class act and true gentleman. The many kindnesses and counsel you provided to the late Keith Sanders and me were most invaluable in the days when Illinois higher education was ranked number 1 in the nation. The excellent staff you recruited reflected your own talents. Praying you’ll find that peace that passes all understanding! My best…RH

  121. - Rabid - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:32 pm:

    May you and your family be looked over, we are judged by the friends we keep, god bless

  122. - JoanP - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:32 pm:

    Oh, man, that’s just awful. Steve, you and I have never met, except through this blog. Your comments have always been knowledgeable, and never less than polite.

    These days, when too many think that insults = persuasion and one’s opponents are not just wrong, but evil, we people like you.

    Perhaps when commenters here (and I include myself) are tempted to ascribe the worst characteristics to those with whom we disagree, we’ll stop for a moment and think, “would Steve have said this?”

    You will be missed. Peace be unto you.

  123. - ILGOV2018 - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:32 pm:

    Having never met Steve, but reading his responses for a couple of years, he struck me as someone who knew what he was talking about and someone to be respected. I offer my sincerest prayers and a quote from one of my favorite authors, Leo Buscaglia: “I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.”

    Again, Steve, please let me offer my thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

  124. - Kent Redfield - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:46 pm:

    Steve - One of the problems with getting old is that you reach a point where life seems to be taking more away from you than it gives you. For me, this is one of those days. Yet, like an irrevocable trust, I know your contributions and presence will remain, a foundation that others in government and politics will continue to build on. All you can truly ask out of life is to make a positive difference. The comments here today reflect how much you have and will continue to mean to those who know you and those you have touched in so many ways. All our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

  125. - Top of the State - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:47 pm:

    You have invested in people as evidenced in the posts, and didn’t just do a job…. Praying that you have peace in your heart during this journey. You already know of your legacy, which is a tribute to your character….

  126. - VanillaMan - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:52 pm:

    The Wreck of Our State in Deep Peril

    Gordon Lightfoot, enhanced by VanillaMan

    His legend lives on from Chicago on down
    To the region they call, “Little Egypt”
    This man, it is said, shouldn’t be given up for dead
    After the elections of November’s dire post-script
    With enough wisdom on board, to never be ignored
    Than the governors whose heads were so empty
    That good man just knew that our state was so screwed
    When the politics of November came early

    The man was the pride of our logical side
    Blogging daily from some Springfield laptop
    And the CapFaxers know, he was bigger than most
    With experiences at CMS as backdrop
    Concluding the fact that our state was off track
    He rained holy hell upon all who listened
    And those of us knew when his fire fell upon you
    That you’ve just experienced what amounts to a christenin’

    His points that he made had a tattle-tale sound
    Because of his insider knowledge
    And CapFaxers all knew, as Rich Miller did too,
    That what Steve knew he didn’t get from college
    Every morning by noon this grizzled veteran would lampoon
    Any politicians of November that came slashing
    When afternoon came they’d be frizzled and lame
    In the face of Steve’s political blog lashing

    At the end of such day, old Rich Miller would say
    Fellas, Steve’s logics too tough to protect ya
    If you keep up your lies, Old Steve’ll make you wise
    And then Fellas, it’s been good t’know ya
    The CapFax host later wrote up a post
    That said Old Steve’s headin’ for a fare-well
    But those of us know, he’ll never be a ghost
    With the wreck of our state in deep peril

    Does anyone know where the love of God goes
    Whenever a CapFax blogger goes off-line?
    Some make the claim that no one’s ever to blame
    When the Good Lord give you a permanent deadline
    They might disappear at a heavenly frontier
    Or they just might end up as hellish observers
    And all that remains is their alias and names
    In the CapFax’s dusty old servers

    But what I believe is based upon knowing Old Steve
    And the years that he called us his good friends
    His legend will live on, in our hearts and our songs
    And I know, just like Bill, it will never end!
    And whenever we need, his political screed
    We have a search box that works like a champ
    Then we can read him again, with his political spin
    With its sharp wit, droll humor and date stamp!
    We all want him to know, that there’s no amount of dough
    That will ever suffice to replace him
    So when our politics grow dim, with our governors grim
    We’ll remember that he was the first to tell us so!

  127. - D - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 2:53 pm:

    Steve, so sorry to learn of that this horrible illness has hit you. May Jane and your daughter find support and comfort from all of the comments here to you. You have been a fantastic commenter on this blog through the years and as an individual who has known you since you first joined Secretary Edgar at SOS, thank you for your service to Illinois.

  128. - Mark Schmidt - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:15 pm:

    I first met Steve more than 33 years ago, when he was Assistant Director of Driver Services and took a chance on this young kid who knew almost nothing about government. For the next 11 years, I served as one of his direct reports. Along the way, I learned a LOT from Steve. He was an excellent boss and mentor, and bailed my backside out of a number of governmental jams along the way. His attention to detail has always been phenomenal. It was not uncommon for him to remember numbers discussed only briefly at a meeting weeks before - down to the decimal places. His knowledge of the geography of Illinois is unmatched. I could name a town, and he’d begin describing it in detail - all the important landmarks, including the churches and the bars!

    Steve, you are in our thoughts and prayers, along with Jane and the girls.

  129. - Rep. Al Riley - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:20 pm:

    Steve: Just like the old Army song, you’re a man who has meant just what you have said, all of these years. I hope you’ve taken time, before and during this challenge, to see all of us who respected and looked forward to your perspective. Thank you for providing good policy perspectives on many fronts. Your battle is our battle. We’ll be there with you, all the way.

  130. - Kevin Fanning - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:21 pm:

    Steve- I’ll never forget the countless nights as an intern for Rich watching you guys solve the world’s problems. If only more people like you were actually in charge there may actually be a chance that they could get solved.

    God’s speed and don’t give up the fight!

  131. - Dave Lundy - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:25 pm:

    Steve, you are one smart dude that’s always added so much around here. So sorry to see this about your cancer - man that disease is an unrelenting bitch. Thank you for all you’ve done for our State. Even when I didn’t agree, I loved having your smart, informed voice in the dialogue. I wish more people would have listened. Peace.

  132. - Greg Baise - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:26 pm:

    One of the few people that when his name is mentioned, capable, thoughtful and sincere are the words that come to mind.

    Have known and worked with Steve since the Edgar SOS days. To all the commenters who have not worked with Steve, you have missed one of the good guys. He always listened and respected a different opinion from his. A lost art in todays hyper sensitive world.

    Prayers to you Steve, we are better people for having known a gentleman like you.

  133. - John Nicolay - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:28 pm:

    Steve - No surprise that you are approaching this with the class and good humor for which you’re well known! I hope you know how much I value your friendship and counsel. The next round at Brown’s is on me! Sending all the best to you and your family, my friend.

  134. - Peg - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:32 pm:

    Steve, you are one good guys and one of the first people I met when I came to Springfield many years ago. All I know about the state budget I learned from you. Thinking of you and your family. May your hearts always be filled with song.

  135. - Bill Filan - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:32 pm:

    My friend,you are a good and decent man! Thank you for always being generous with your time and knowledge! You are in our thoughts and prayers!

  136. - BoB Alum - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:37 pm:

    I was a young pup working in the Bureau of the Budget when Steve was in Governor Edgar’s Office and later BoB Director, having he opportunity to get to know him a little bit. I never did run across someone as smart, witty, supportive, and creative as Steve. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  137. - John Hartnett - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:39 pm:

    Having been around government for almost forty years I can say that I have never met anyone with greater honesty,integrity and intelligence. Like many others I am better for having worked with you and for you. Thank you. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

  138. - Bob Vickrey - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:41 pm:

    Best wishes from LaSalle County. We remember you well as the big bopper on the Harley chopper!

  139. - Mike Murphy - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:42 pm:

    Steve, I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with you in the Edgar days. Thank you for your kindness and patience with me and the knowledge you were able to bestow. Some of it actually did sink in. My thoughts and prayers are with you Steve. Stay strong.

  140. - Veil of Ignorance - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:44 pm:

    I also have never met you directly, but I’ve walked by you in Springfield and never failed to get a friendly nod. As a former state employee, I know that I’ve personally benefited from your hard work and service. My mother had pancreatic cancer and the one piece of unsolicited advice that I’ll share from my family’s experience is that if there’s a trip or experience that you’d like to enjoy with your family, then I beg you to do it. It will be worth it. You and your family will be in my prayers.

  141. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:45 pm:

    Steve is on of the smartest yet nicest man I ever met in Springfield. A great leader in Illinois State Government and still one of my favorite patrons at D H Brown. Here’s hoping for the best for him.

    Henry kurth

  142. - Old Shepherd - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:59 pm:

    I’ll just repeat my Golden Horseshoe nomination of Steve Schnorf from December:

    “I once knew a person involved on a local government board. He didn’t say much. He was a fantastic listener. However, when he spoke, everyone listened because his insights were always intelligent, well-reasoned, and worthy of respect.

    There are a lot of fantastic contributors to this blog. That’s why I check it multiple times per day. If often skim through the comments. Sometimes I read them, and sometimes I don’t. However, I ALWAYS read Steve Schnorf’s comments. He doesn’t comment every day nor on every story. When he chooses to chime in, it’s definitely worth reading.”

    I’ve never met Mr. Schnorf, yet I respect him. Best of luck to you and your family.

  143. - Democrat Grrrl - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 3:59 pm:

    A straight shooter if there ever was. Steve, thanks for your service to state government and for your always-enlightening and thoughtful posts to the blog. Just the facts, leavened with a clear sense of the workings of government and the levers of politics. Always enjoy reading your stuff. Prayers to you, your family, as well as your friends and colleagues (they are legion).

  144. - Heather Wright - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 4:00 pm:

    Steve- I met you when I was 22 years old. A small town girl from Robinson, Illinois. A little less jaded and a lot more naïve back then. Although, it didn’t take me long to see why you, Lewis, and Chamblin got along so well : ) When I came to Springfield for the Dunn Fellowship Program I was told specifically by one of your Robinson pals that I had to meet Steve.

    You were the Budget Director then and I had yet to meet you, but I kept hearing from the Dunn Fellow that worked for you that she got to go with you to the budget meetings with the leaders. I was so envious. Knowing what I know about you now I am not surprised. No BS. You want to see how government works…this is about as real as it gets. Most individuals would never let an intern attend a meeting like that, but that’s not how you operate. You were always more than willing to introduce me to people and invite me to work dinners. I look back on a lot of those moments and am so grateful for those times, but those days are gone. You taught me the inner-workings of state government. Thank you so much for that.

    Thank you for believing in the girl from Robinson, Illinois. Thank you for being a mentor, and more importantly, my friend. You are and will always be one of the smartest yet humble people I know. Thank you for your years of service and contributions to this state.


  145. - cc - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 4:04 pm:

    We rarely crossed paths in person but your integrity was an example to all of us working in the agencies and I thank you for that with all my heart. May the Lord bless you and your family and give you peace.

  146. - Cassandra - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 4:04 pm:

    I was truly shocked to read this. Thanks so much for your state service and all the great blog posts here over the years. As others have said, I always read them, every one.

  147. - Statesmart - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 4:09 pm:

    Steve, thank you for being the consummate public servant and all around awesome person. You’re expertise has been essential to the State of Illinois. God Bless and my prayers are with you and your family.

  148. - Mark Lewis - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 4:30 pm:

    I knew of and had the privilege of working with Mr. Schnorf going back to my days in the Edgar administration, on staff with Ryan, and also when I was with the Liquor Control Commission. Steve was and always will be considered the epitome of public service and the go-to guy on all things state budget. God Bless You, Mr. Schnorf!

  149. - Ann - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 4:35 pm:

    What awful news and what a loss to all of us. Steve, I met you only once, so many decades ago that I can’t even remember what the issue was, but it was probably some corner of the Medicaid program. We spent maybe 45 minutes max with you, and in those 45 minutes I learned more about how Medicaid interacts with the overall state budget than in all the years before or since. Since then, like others have noted, I take particular notice of any of your comments in this space. Wishing you the easiest journey possible and all my love to your family.

  150. - Craig Bazzani/Illini - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 4:43 pm:

    Steve — just a reminder about all of the contributions you made to the University of Illinois and the citizens of the state. Your early support for the largest research MRI in the world (at the University’s Chicago campus) continues to make strides in looking deeply into the brain to help solve Alzheimer’s for adults and ADHD and Autism for kids. Your fingerprints will be everlasting.

  151. - Linus - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 4:43 pm:

    I haven’t crossed paths with the man in years, but I’ll always remember and value Steve’s kindness, wisdom, and stable approach to things. Holding you in good thoughts and prayers, Steve! Keep the faith, friend.

  152. - Wylie Coyote - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 4:47 pm:

    I’ve had the chance to wear many hats and work with and against Steve in many a situation. But every time I respected his knowledge and fair play in this game of government. His institutional knowledge shadows over just about everyone. Prayers to you and your family on this life journey.

  153. - Jeff Schoenberg - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 4:50 pm:

    Steve, Your selfless public service and shared wisdom always reflected a deep and abiding faith in the ability to improve the lives of those in need and for whom government plays a critical role. Even on those occasions when we periodically skirmished during our years together under the Capitol dome, I always valued your integrity, your intellect and your uncanny ability to reconcile competing interests in pursuit of a better outcome for all. I’m grateful for all you taught me and so many others, Steve, and I hope and pray that you and your family find comfort and peace in these final precious days ahead.

  154. - frisbee - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 4:51 pm:

    I don’t Steve but i do appreciate very much the community on CapFax. It is people like him and most of the rest of the commenters/contributors that make this unique venue so engaging. I wish Steve and his family all the peace in the world.

  155. - Capitol View - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 4:51 pm:

    You’ve had an incredibly productive and influential life, Steve. I’ve sat across the table from you and worked with you on the CTBA board - you were always a straight up guy. I hope you have mentored enough people to follow your style and professionalism after you are gone. You have done enough - focus on family now in the remaining time you have.

  156. - Bogey Golfer - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 4:52 pm:

    Although I have never met you personally, I always read your posts in this blog as I found your comments to be well thought and never was critical of other posters. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

  157. - Six Degrees of Separation - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 4:55 pm:

    If only the state worked as well now as it did back in the day when Steve Schnorf was one of the key people entrusted with its care. My mom and dad both had a similar fight, they were in relatively good health, had a short and steep decline, and then they left us in an instant. If you have the fight in you, miracles are rare but possible. But if you know your time has come as my parents did, Godspeed and congratulations on a life well lived. You’ll be remembered and missed around here.

  158. - Demoralized - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 4:59 pm:

    I worked for Mr Schnorf at BoB. I learned a great deal from him while he was there and have used that knowledge throughout my long career in state government. I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor at the start of my career. God bless you sir. I’ll be praying for you.

  159. - yvette at the bond buyer - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 5:08 pm:

    something else comes to mind Steve…After Blago came in, i called John Filan. Flak calls back, says I have to go through her and says “you mean in the past you could call a cabinet member directly.” I said, “yes, i could always call Steve Schnorf directly and he always returned the call. He wants us to get it RIGHT.”

  160. - CrazyHorse - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 5:09 pm:

    My prayers are with you and your family Steve. I am the poster Rich describes when he says you have forgotten more about government than I will ever know. It’s very true. I honestly did not know your background. That is a testament to you as I never detected a partisan slant in any of your comments, just concise statements containing concrete information.

    I think if everyone was a little bit more Schnorfian we’d have a better, more honest discussion. You sir will be greatly missed.

  161. - Nanc - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 5:09 pm:

    I’m shocked hearing the news. He is the rock everybody leaned on and took their troubles to. He is a master problem solver, whether professional or personal. We will all miss his voice of reason.

  162. - West Side the Best Side - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 5:14 pm:

    Lot of real names today of people who knew and worked with Mr. Schnorf over the years. I only know him by his words on this blog. In addition to being very knowlegeable, people who know him paint him as a real gentleman and someone who could work with people on all sides. Such persons seem to be a vanishing breed in today’s political life. May God bless him and his family. And while no one will be another Steve Schnorf, maybe reflecting on his life some people in government, and life in general, could become more like him for the betterment of all of us.

  163. - Mike Chamness - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 5:24 pm:

    I worked in the same administration with Mr. Schnorf for a while and have the greatest admiration for his commitment to public service and doing things the right way.
    And, in this forum, where anonymity is the norm, I not only admired the fact he posted using his name but his name made his posts a must read for me.
    Prayers and best wishes go out to you and your family, Steve.

  164. - John Millner - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 5:24 pm:

    Steve, thank you for your service and your kindness to so many people. I’m sending positive thoughts, vibes and prayers to you and your family. As you know every case is different and I hope yours resolves the best way it can. I pray you feel the love that your fans and friends are sending your way.

  165. - Kirk Dillard - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 5:26 pm:

    Steve, you are the most competent person in state government with whom I ever worked. Best at budgets and best at implementation…bar none. No one could be a better or more trusted counselor and I so love your loyalty to your Governors, EIU and the State of Illinois. Your demeanor and the way you put it all in perspective is something we should all try to copy. I looked up to you in every spot I have had in government and your advice was always right on…….. hang in there! You are the best that ever served in Illinois government and a tribute to EVERY state elected official and employee. Thoughts and prayers being said in all corners of the Capital and Howlett Bldgs. for you and your family!!!!!!

  166. - Bill McCarty - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 5:49 pm:

    My first position in government was working for Steve at the Bureau of the Budget. Under his guidance (along with Mike and George), I learned a tremendous amount and grew to love working in public finance. Steve, thank you ever so much for that experience. It was truly a pleasure working for you. God bless you and your family.

  167. - Dead Head - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 5:58 pm:

    Get well soon, Steve, we need to get together with Rich and Oscar again. Good Karma coming your way.

  168. - Greg Cox - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 6:17 pm:

    Steve, I first learned the budget process in your shop. While it was only a short time before Bass & Nuding stole me away, my time doing shadow budgets was great experience. I had the privilege of working with you on some bill reviews in my Dunn Fellowship before joining the elite training grounds that was the BoB. Rest assured that Nuding and Harry have committed themselves to rebuilding that agency to its old glory; a glory which you had a large part in creating. I will never forget my shadow budget presentation to you before I left the Bureau. You knew I was departing and for some reason my shadow budget defense of Vets Affairs turned into almost 2 hours of discussion. This included a brief discussion of one of the oddest named lines in the budget colloquially known as “cartage and erection”. I always suspected I received a little extra grilling because you knew of my departure to the SR staff. But I appreciated the little extra scrutiny. You have a valuable legacy of training the next generation.

    I am sorry that your procedure at the University of Chicago was not successful. My wife had a pancreatic condition and went there for surgery. Hers was difficult, but successful. I thank God for that procedure and those physicians. I am sorry you did not see a similar result. God Bless you and your family Steve in this time of trial and reflection. Thank you for your service to Illinois and its people.

  169. - Andy Raucci - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 6:17 pm:

    The Lord broke the mold after he made you, Steve. I wish you the best!

  170. - Abdon - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 6:52 pm:

    Y’know, Steve, if you stop posting here, Rich & RNUG & Oswego Willy & the gang can try to up their game, but it won’t be the same. Thank you for your insights and analyses and your public service. You had a some thankless job at the state and it’s great you’re able to get some well-deserved thanks here now. Thank you.

  171. - Ksronce - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 7:13 pm:

    Steve….. thank you for being a friend! You are the best.

  172. - Outsider - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 7:33 pm:

    I was a Dunn Fellow under Ryan and stayed on in the office through the end of his term. The thing I remembered most about Steve was that he treated us as a full fledged member of the team. He imparted wisdom whenever and wherever. It always stuck with me as to how I wanted to treat people in my own career. We need more Steves in government now, not less. You and your family have my continued prayers!

  173. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 7:46 pm:

    Thank you for providing such an excellent example of what our political leaders can do.

  174. - Mike Haley - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 8:28 pm:

    Hey Boss, You are the best and smartest person that I ever met in State government. You made me what I am. Susan and I are praying for you and your family. God bless you.

  175. - Kathy Sommers - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 8:35 pm:

    Steve, you were a big influence and certainly helpful during my “Edgar” years. You are one of a kind! In all good ways. Thank you for everything. You are a campaign mastermind and your input was priceless. Good thing since you weren’t paid for your expertise back then! I have no doubt that you are going to a much better place, so I am sad for me and others left behind but am hopeful for seeing you again. Where we don’t need rock n rye to feel good! Or whatever that was we drank at that country bar in downtown Chicago. Mostly I remember your incredible brain and your exceptionally good heart. Godspeed.

  176. - Gooner - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 8:51 pm:

    So sorry to hear the news.

    Steve, we appreciate your insight here and your great service to this state. Best wishes as you continue this battle.

  177. - sal-says - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 9:03 pm:

    Thank you Mr Schnorf.

    Thank you for your service to IL and thereby to America.

    Worked for the State for 36 years, but I’m nobody.

    Very few, if any, are Statesmen today. I don’t know you personnaly, but you sound like one. Just worked up a post elsewhere about our current lack of Statesmen.

    Thank you & God speed. Folks like you make IL worthwhile.

    And just finished the tributes thru 5:14. An alter ego does some twitter. Am twitting this link to IL gov and potus w/ suggesting to read and LEARN. Thank you again for your service.


  178. - facts are stubborn things - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 9:17 pm:

    I had the distinct honor and pleasure of serving Steve for many years as a pilot with the division of aeronautics. I flew Steve on many occasions on business mostly between Chicago and Springfield. He was always a gentlemen and treated me and the other pilots with the utmost of respect and kindness. I got to see Steve behind the scenes, so to speak, and he was always kind, wise, and very genuine. I served all passengers to the best of my ability for 30 years, however, there were some I enjoyed more then others and I would place Steve — without hesitation — in the “more then other” camp! May you feel the presence of God and the peace he can bring….I pray for your cup to runnith over. Thank you Steve for your wonderful note (Rich posted)that I just read. Take care and comfort that you did it your way and it was GOOD.

  179. - downstate commissioner - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 9:44 pm:

    Don’t know you personally, but you will be missed on this forum as a “must read.” Just lost a friend in a similar situation; my sympathies to your family and friends…

  180. - Lainie - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 9:44 pm:

    My dear Chairman, I don’t know how to say goodbye. To me, you are larger than this life. Thank you for the candid advice, unwavering friendship and generous humor. You will remain in my heart until we meet again. Godspeed my cherished friend.

  181. - Former Merit Comp - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 10:32 pm:

    There are no words to express my appreciation for your many years of service but more than that, your insight and wisdom in all things Illinois government. I think I speak for many, you had an incredible positive impact and influence on so many and brought many knowing smiles to my face. Called em like you saw them and were almost always right! We will keep you and your family on our prayers.

  182. - Jon Bauman - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 10:58 pm:

    Steve, you’re one of a kind, and I say that in the nicest way possible. You restored morale at CMS when it was badly needed, and many of our mutual friends from those days consider you to be the best CMS director ever. I would fully agree. The Edgar-Ryan years, once we got some budget-related pain out of the way, was part of a great period in State Government. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the reaction of the infamous “Edgar Pension Ramp” which caused billions of overspending, and not on pensions. I’m taking to the great afterworld exactly who put that together, as you know, and I hope you do the same. I’ll also remember fondly our SWIDA meetings. You really had no skin in the game but rarely missed a meeting, I didn’t have much but would do anything to get out of the office and away from the “hiring error,” as Belletire called him.
    Thank you for supporting me, in several cases when you had nothing to be gained by doing so.
    Take care and see you on the other side, my friend.

  183. - Jay Dee - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:11 pm:

    Steve, your comments are always enlightening, and I admire you for posting with your true identity. When I skim the comment section during my breaks at work, yours are the ones I keep an eye out for. Thank you for your service to our state, and I will be praying for you and your family.

  184. - Tom Frederick - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:32 pm:

    I worked for Steve at CCAR in Charleston in his human services life before his move to state work and politics. It was my first job out of college, knowing nothing. Even then he was the person who showed how much there was to learn in how to work with people and he did it so effortlessly. While there have been many other bosses along the way, very few hit his level. There are lots of stories from that time to make you smile, more importantly you’ve shown how to do it all well in the long haul.

  185. - Mike Colsch - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:37 pm:

    Steve, Karen and I are keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. Working for you at the Bureau was a privilege. Your patience, kindness, knowledge and friendship will not be forgotten.

  186. - Kevin Schoeben - Friday, Jan 27, 17 @ 11:47 pm:

    Steve, thank you for teaching us that its okay to be bipartisan as we work toward common shared goals for the good of all Illinoians. My fondest memory: I still recall (cringe actually) at those hours long approp hearings when you were CMS Driector warning us about the liabilities of group insurance back in the early 90’s. God Speed my friend!

  187. - Southside Markie - Saturday, Jan 28, 17 @ 1:38 am:

    I don’t know you personally. If we’ve met, it’s only been in passing. I’ve only known you by reputation. That’s why I know you well, if not huge. You’re reputation, so well deserved, lives on so far beyond anything you could have done to extend with a more conscious effort. And will continue to do so. Thanks so much for that and for enriching the lives of our State and its people.

  188. - vic samaan misterchicago - Saturday, Jan 28, 17 @ 7:49 am:

    Mr. Schnorf, it was a real privilege and honor working under you with CMS. may the good lord heal your illness, I will have keep you in my prayers and have a mass in your honor tomorrow.

  189. - Elizabeth Austin - Saturday, Jan 28, 17 @ 7:57 am:

    Steve, you cannot know how much of an inspiration you have been to me. Your intelligence, decency, kindness, and commitment to public service give us an example of a life well lived.

    I have so much more I want to say, but I am beyond words.

  190. - William Perkins - Saturday, Jan 28, 17 @ 8:07 am:

    Will sit with you in mind each day now wishing you well-being. May you be free from suffering… may you be at ease.

  191. - Commonsense in Illinois - Saturday, Jan 28, 17 @ 8:41 am:

    There was a line in a movie once upon a time that said in part, “A life is not measured by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.”

    The outpouring you see above me…and those that follow are indicative of a life well lived…of being contributive to your community and state, and the high regard by which we all hold you.

    Please accept our prayers and best wishes in these challenging days, and know that you are indeed cared about.

  192. - BKE Alum/EIU 1971 - Saturday, Jan 28, 17 @ 6:23 pm:

    Steve, i was deeply saddened to learn of your illness. Becky
    And I are praying for you you and your family as you face
    This challenge. Our hearts go out to you for the strength to
    Confront the days ahead.

    Steve and I go way back. Well over 40 years during our days
    At Eastern Illinois University. Our social club, the Black Knights
    Of the Embrass River took on a life of its own. What a great
    Group of guys enjoying college and friendship at its best.
    Those friendships lasted many years and it wasn’t until the
    Late 80’s that I saw Steve again.
    This time it was in Springfield as a freshman State Rep. From the Kankakee area. It was satisfying to watch you grow into
    Many important positions in state government, especially at
    CMS when you provided so much assistance to me when we
    We’re rewriting the Veterans Preference Act and other related
    Bills in 1991.
    The brothers at BKE are sending heartfelt thoughts to you and
    Your family. May God Bless You.

    Philip Novak, Retired State Rep. 1987-2003

  193. - Anonymous - Sunday, Jan 29, 17 @ 10:23 am:

    Steve, when I was counsel to Governor Edgar, you were the most competent administrative person in the administration. I relied upon you for common sense advice and counsel. But mostly I will cherish your caring concern for others, your great sense of humor and your friendship.. You made my job easier. Your contributions to the State were immeasurable and all of us owe you a wealth of gratitude. You are in the hearts and prayers of Lori and me. God bless you. Jim and Lori Montana.

  194. - Joe Calomino - Sunday, Jan 29, 17 @ 10:35 am:

    Steve, as a previous member of several constitutional officers from 1994 through 2004 please know that your work, your honesty, your knowledge, and your pragmatic perspective have always been an inspiration for me and others. My prayers for you and yours as you enter this most difficult journey.

  195. - Carson - Monday, Jan 30, 17 @ 3:37 pm:

    Chairman, with your gravitas and experience, you are truly someone I will always will remember for being kind and wise, with a hearty sense of humor. You have been an incredible mentor, friend and advising fatherly figure to many, including myself. I know I am more than lucky to have met you. Really and truly, you will be missed.

  196. - Tired - Monday, Jan 30, 17 @ 5:28 pm:

    One of the best!

  197. - Deb Hagan - Tuesday, Jan 31, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    Dear Steve:
    Keith Taylor was my husband. He talked frequently about how much he liked and respected you. Just wanted you to know even though I don’t know you personally.

  198. - Tom Dart - Wednesday, Feb 1, 17 @ 3:56 pm:

    You are an amazing person. Without your intervention none of the major child welfare changes of the 90’s would have occurred. Your passion combined with pragmatism made the difference in helping the forgotten children. I will never forget the days and nights working with you on these issues. You have made countless children’s lives better. The impact of your work will be felt forever. Take care and be well.
    Tom Dart

  199. - Teresa Bartels - Thursday, Feb 2, 17 @ 2:32 pm:

    We have only been colleagues on EEC for a short time. I value your experience and appreciate your candor. As you know, my “day job” is raising funds to support clinical cancer research through Gateway for Cancer Research. We do have some pancreatic studies currently underway if you have an interest in exploring them. I honor your courage and respect your decisions. And I know that your family is really challenged right now…so please let them know that I am a resource if they need someone to listen. Thank you for all that you have done to improve the lives of countless people in Illinois, many of whom will never know you. God bless you and your wonderful family. Teresa

  200. - oxfordcook - Monday, Feb 13, 17 @ 11:46 am:

    Worked with Steve at Driver’s Services and then at CMS. Steve was extremely helpful to me in state government. Steve was always fair and you knew where he stood. A rarity in government. One of the best for whom anyone could work. He will be sorely missed. Prayers for Steve and his family.

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