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A couple of possible Dem candidates weigh in

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017

* From US Rep. Cheri Bustos, who has floated her name for governor…

“Gov. Rauner’s first two years have been an epic failure that has pushed our state to an unprecedented crisis point. Under his downturn agenda, our state’s most vulnerable citizens are unable to count on services they should be able to take for granted, including domestic violence shelters, home health assistance or child-care assistance for low-income households. More than ever, Illinois needs a leader in the Governor’s Mansion. I urge Gov. Rauner to put aside his ideological war on working families to do the job he was elected to do and pass a budget.”

* And here’s Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers…

As Governor Rauner delivered his State of the State address, there remains more than $11 billion in bills that the state owes to vendors and service providers. There are 1 million people who have lost services, including mental health and substance-abuse treatment, HIV prevention services, and programming for victims of domestic violence. And, our budget deficit will remain $5.3 billion if the Governor continues his stubborn and partisan aversion to compromise. What we heard was nothing more than a campaign speech from a Governor who still hasn’t figured out how to lead. We heard no new ideas, and despite his claims, we have seen no effective attempt to work across the aisle to find solutions. In fact, we have seen our Governor actively work to divide us and enhance the partisan rancor that is preventing any real progress. The people of Illinois are sick and tired of waiting for real leadership.

Governor Rauner: You said you’re frustrated. Well, we are too. In these past 18 months, you have consistently treated the black, brown, poor, and working class people of Illinois as acceptable collateral damage. You had an opportunity to be a bipartisan leader, but you have put ideology and your own interests first, while failing to comprehend that your inaction is contributing to a vicious cycle of poverty, violence, and community instability in the places you pretend to be an advocate for - across all Illinois. In order to make real progress, we need leadership that can harness our collective focus on a balanced budget, meaningful education funding reform to fix our schools, and a jobs plan that works for all of us.

* As I said the other day, Sen. Kwame Raoul’s consultant/fundraiser is now working for Raoul’s friend Chris Kennedy, so he may not be in this one, but here’s his statement…

While I appreciate the governor calling attention to some serious issues within our criminal justice system, we need to recognize that real change will only come about if we invest in our neighborhoods. I recently passed legislation in the Senate that offers comprehensive trauma recovery services in communities with high levels of violent crime. If Governor Rauner is serious about ending the cycle of violence, I hope he will approve this measure.

Additionally, the governor has let another year go by without a plan to provide state services to people with disabilities, mental health issues or addiction. Every day without a budget is a day that some of our most vulnerable citizens lack access to the help they need.

As we reflect on the state of our state, we must recognize how much worse our financial situation has become under Governor Rauner’s leadership. Before the governor took office, we had paid down our backlog to a 30-day cycle. We now have an unprecedented $11 billion in unpaid bills. It is not hard to see that the difference between then and now is who is sitting in the governor’s office.

We must make it a priority in the coming days and weeks to end this stalemate. I am ready to work with anyone who comes to the table with real solutions and a willingness to compromise.

* She’s not a gubernatorial candidate, but Comptroller Susana Mendoza defeated Rauner’s hand-picked incumbent last November and is up for reelection in less than two years…

Take all the governor’s “alternative facts” out of his speech and The State of the State is: Leaderless.

He said he’s “offered many proposals to achieve a truly balanced budget.” Where are these proposals? Article 8, Sec: 2 of the state Constitution gives one very clear direction to the governor: He must prepare a balanced budget and submit it to the General Assembly. Because he has failed to do that for two years, people around this state are suffering.

Because my job is to pay the state’s bills — with inadequate funds thanks to his failure to propose a balanced budget — I hear stories every day from child care providers in Chicago, from nursing home operators in Peoria, from state employees in Springfield having their surgeries canceled if they can’t come up with half the cash to cover their own surgeries.

It is obscene that while everyone else in Illinois is suffering, Gov. Rauner has more than tripled his personal income from $58 million to $187 million and funneled more than $50 million into his own re-election campaign; tens of millions more into other political campaigns. I don’t think he can connect with the working-poor college students who had to drop out of state universities because the state has cut MAP grant funding and the university has to cut programs. The high-flying rhetoric in his speech about making the state universities great, doesn’t paper over his proposal to cut spending on higher education by 30 percent.

His administration was able to find $4 million dollars to give bonuses to higher-level non-union employees in October just before the election, but they can’t find money to fund social service agencies around the state that care for our most vulnerable residents.

He seems to be living in an alternative reality where his lack of leadership is helping the state move forward and people aren’t suffering.

In the last two years, the state’s backlog of bills grew from $6 billion to $11 billion. When we finally pay those bills, we have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars of interest on them.

Our bond ratings have dropped on the governor’s watch. Last week, bond rating agency Moody’s identified the lack of a budget as the biggest threat to growth in Illinois – the single biggest drag on the state’s economy.

The state of our state does not begin to get better until the governor fulfills his constitutional duty to propose a balanced budget. He didn’t even list it as a priority in today’s speech. It’s good he thanked the leaders of the state senate. They’re doing his job for him.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      


“Boss Madigan” wins

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017

* If you’ve been watching Twitter closely the past couple of weeks, you know that two competing parody accounts have started attracting followers, @BossMadiganIL and @BossRaunerIL.

The person(s) behind Boss Rauner just lost a big round…


Yep. He gone. Not sure what happened there.

* Speaking of Speaker Madigan, this is from Steve Brown…

The leadership selected for the 100th General Assembly will be:

Representative Barbara Flynn Currie, Majority Leader
Representative Louis Lang, Deputy Majority Leader
Representative Arthur Turner, Deputy Majority Leader
Representative Luis Arroyo, Assistant Majority Leader
Representative Dan Burke, Assistant Majority Leader
Representative Sara Feigenholtz, Assistant Majority Leader
Representative Mary Flowers, Assistant Majority Leader
Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth, Assistant Majority Leader
Representative Elaine Nekritz, Assistant Majority Leader
Representative Greg Harris, Conference Chairman
Representative Jay Hoffman, Assistant Majority Leader, non-compensated

Jay Hoffman in leadership? Man, Punkin Haid has really come a long way since Madigan stripped him of his committee chairmanship for working too closely with Rod Blagojevich.

Hey, maybe Scott Drury can one day work himself back into Madigan’s good graces, too. /s

…Adding… When Pat Quinn became governor, he continued using his lt. governor business cards and just crossed out the “Lt.” Did he get the House signage contract?…

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      


What was up with that football stuff yesterday?

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017

* Tribune

Meanwhile, some details buried in the far-reaching proposal emerged as surprises, an example of legislators’ willingness to throw in anything but the kitchen sink if it means there’s a possibility the budget impasse that’s hampered universities and social service providers could come to an end.

One such “throw in,” as it was called by Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, is an idea backed by the Chicago Bears aimed at cutting the amount of pay they have to dole out for injured players. Current law means they often have to cover injuries until a player is 67; they want that lowered to 35, contending most healthy players don’t play much longer than that.

Opponents, including players’ attorneys, argued that change would create a two-tier system. Supporters said the idea was to limit high-dollar payouts for players with expensive contracts, but conceded some work may still need to be done on the issue.

* From a group called the Illinois Sports Workers Compensation Task Force

Professional athletes employed by sports teams in Illinois are among the highest paid employees in the state, but they are entitled to the same workers’ compensation rights as every other employee. Professional athletes file a sizable number of Illinois workers’ compensation claims. These claims inequitably compensate professional athletes and impose significant costs on the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission. Additionally, professional athletes abuse the workers’ compensation system by forum shopping. Several other states’ workers’ compensation laws exclude or reduce the workers’ compensation rights of professional athletes and prohibit professional athletes from forum shopping. Illinois should consider similar amendments to its workers’ compensation laws for professional athletes.

A Google search turned up nothing for the group, but I can’t help but wonder if its address might be 1410 Museum Campus Drive.

* The group distributed its full analysis (click here) to some legislators, but it has no real numbers or specific examples with names attached to them. They do cite this case

Professional athletes employed by sports teams based outside of Illinois, forum shop by filing claims in Illinois in order to take advantage of Illinois’ favorable workers’ compensation laws. For example, several years ago, a professional football player employed by the Cleveland Browns filed an Illinois workers’ compensation claim based on a specific injury he suffered while playing in a football game in Illinois. This player chose to file a claim in Illinois instead of Ohio because he determined that he will receive a greater award under Illinois law. These types of claims show the inequities of Illinois’ workers’ compensation system, and waste the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission’s resources. Unless Illinois amends its workers’ compensation laws, Illinois may challenge California as the trendy state in which professional athletes file their workers’ compensation claims, regardless of the home state of the professional athletes’ employers.

- Posted by Rich Miller   13 Comments      


Cullerton remains optimistic, but challenges remain

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017

* Senate President John Cullerton on the governor’s State of the State address…

“The Senate is well aware of the state of our state. That’s why we are working together to put an end to the budget impasse and restore economic stability to Illinois. Our state is filled with wonderful people and places. It is state government that has failed and fallen behind. Our efforts continue in the Senate to turn this around and I remain optimistic that we are near an agreement.”

That’s the best response I’ve seen today.

But optimism alone isn’t gonna pass that grand bargain.

* Tribune

The complex package, including tax increases, as well as workers’ compensation changes aimed at helping business and a new plan to alter state worker pensions, met with heavy opposition from an alliance of business and unions.

Democratic senators said privately they were fearful that Republicans could not deliver the votes needed to reflect the bipartisan nature of the compromise plan.

They don’t need many. And Cullerton has come a long way since veto session, when he once again demand that Rauner set the tax hike level himself. And while he’s been saying for months that Republicans need to put a bunch of votes on any tax hike roll call, I’m pretty sure he’ll accept a fraction of that now.

* Meanwhile

(T)he Illinois Policy Institute, a libertarian group that usually backs the governor, said that while he “has been able to make significant progress” in some ways, “he cannot do it alone.” To help out, the group adds that it intends next week to release its own plan to balance the budget without a penny of tax hikes.

That’ll be fun.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      


Question of the day

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017

* Mayor Emanuel said this on WTTW last night

Emanuel says Rauner has “abdicated” his leadership responsibility, by delegating negotiations on a resolution to the 18-month [impasse] to Senate President John Cullerton and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, and then sending “underlings” to undermine their bipartisan compromise framework.

* Today, the governor went “off script” in his State of the State address to say this…


* The Question: Do you believe the governor is finally ready to end this impasse and get to a deal? Make sure to explain your answer. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller   72 Comments      


Madigan: House to begin “thorough vetting process of proposals” to create jobs, help middle class

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017

* Press release…

House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, D-Chicago, issued the following statement Wednesday after Gov. Bruce Rauner’s State of the State address:

“As we chart a course for Illinois in the coming year, we should begin by focusing on where we can all agree. We all agree the state cannot continue to operate without a budget. Passing a balanced budget remains Illinois’ top priority, and a top priority of the House Democratic Caucus.

“We can also agree that Illinois must take serious steps to improve our business climate and create new job opportunities. But House Democrats reject the idea that the only way to create jobs in Illinois is to cut wages and strip away workplace protections in order to pad the profits of big corporations. Instead, we will work to advance an agenda of positive economic reforms that improve the business climate without hurting the middle class.

“We believe we can grow our economy and create jobs without hurting middle-class families. We can provide good jobs for working families while also passing policies that help businesses grow – those two ideas are not mutually exclusive to one another. Under my direction, the House will begin a thorough vetting process of proposals that will enable us to create jobs while also lifting up and helping the middle class and struggling families around our state.”

Pretty vague, but at least he’s talking about eventually talking about something.

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      


SOTS open thread

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017

* I have to go do some teevee, so monitor the address on our live coverage post and watch/listen on the House’s page or check your local listings.

- Posted by Rich Miller   53 Comments      


Deal reached for “substantial” protections of parolee rights

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017

* Press release…

A federal class action lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Illinois’ parole revocation process has been resolved with a guarantee that attorneys will be provided to eligible parolees and an agreement the state will take additional steps to bring fairness to the process of determining whether a parolee must return to prison due to a parole violation.

U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve approved the settlement agreement reached with the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) and the Illinois Prisoner Review Board (IPRB). Plaintiffs were represented by the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center and the Uptown People’s Law Center.

“The terms of the settlement, if implemented correctly, will guarantee that many parolees throughout the Illinois will receive state-funded attorneys to represent them throughout the revocation process,” said Alexa Van Brunt, an attorney with the MacArthur Justice Center and Clinical Assistant Professor of Law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

“In addition, all parolees will receive key due process protections, including being informed of the evidence being used against them, the right to present a defense on their behalf and written findings at each stage of the process,” Van Brunt said. “Timelines will be set to speed the process and ensure that parolees do not languish in prison cells before IPRB determines whether they actually have violated terms of their parole.”

“The parole revocation process in Illinois has robbed parolees of their right to due process,” said Alan Mills, Executive Director of Uptown People’s Law Center. “They have been unable to speak on their own behalf at phony hearings, unable to present evidence in their defense, and unable to cross-examine adverse witnesses. In short, they have not received substantive hearings before a fair and unbiased decision-maker.”

Attorneys for the plaintiffs said the settlement, while not perfect, would allow changes to happen rapidly and not require a protracted trial on the allegations.

“The protections for parolees are substantial and if implemented effectively this agreement should end the revolving door between prison and our communities and reduce the number of people held behind bars throughout the state,” said Sheila A. Bedi, Associate Clinical Professor of Law at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and an attorney with the MacArthur Justice Center. “An independent monitor will be appointed to assist with the implementation of the changes and compliance with the settlement. If, for instance, a lack of state budget should cause the state to fail to uphold its end of the settlement, we can and most definitely will terminate the agreement and return to court.”

Terms of the settlement reached with IDOC and IPRB include:

    • At preliminary and final hearings, many parolees will be represented by legal counsel provided by the state, if they meet certain criteria.

    • Parolees will receive written notice of any alleged parole violation leading to revocation and written findings at each stage of the process.

    • Parolees will be able to explain their side at a preliminary hearing before a hearing officer or an IPRB member. If determination is made that a parole violation did not occur, the parolee will be released. Previously, preliminary hearings were rarely held, and people sat for months before anyone heard their defense.

    • If the preliminary hearing results in a determination that probable cause exists to believe a violation occurred, the parolee will be able to present his/her case for release at a final revocation hearing, conducted by members of the IPRB.

    • IDOC and IPRB will adhere to deadlines for prompt hearings and final decisions.

    • An independent monitor will be appointed to help IDOC and IPRB comply with the settlement agreement and report on the status of compliance.

Pretty interesting in light of the furor over the POTUS tweet on Chicago violence.

More background is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      


More react to Trump tweet

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017

* Fran Spielman

Nobody knows precisely what President Donald Trump meant by his threat to “send in the feds.” But if it means National Guard troops patrolling the streets of Chicago, African-American aldermen and community leaders want no part of it.

That includes Gov. Bruce Rauner, who discounted the idea on a morning radio appearance, and Cardinal Blase Cupich — who said we “should all welcome the help of everyone” to deal with violence, but still fell short of endorsing the use of the Guard. […]

Rauner, appearing on Steve Cochran’s morning show on WGN-AM (720) was asked whether Trump has reached out to him about Chicago violence. He said no. But he said his administration has been in conversation with the DEA and the FBI, as well as other experts.

“We continue to believe it’s not the right thing for us to send in the National Guard. That would be a mistake. But we are working, the Illinois State Police, we put a surge in there. We put more State Police up there to control the expressways. We’ve also have our State Police helping with the forensics and lab work and the investigation work that’s going on with CPD. I continue to try to do everything we can at the state level to help the city of Chicago deal with the violence.”

Rauner said he supports more equitable school funding, and adding vocational training to high schools to help young people get careers instead of joining gangs.

More money for crime prevention/disruption efforts would be nice.

There’s lots more react in that Sun-Times piece, so go read the whole thing.

It would be helpful if the President clarified his remark, but I’m not holding my breath.

* Tribune

Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Wednesday he’s baffled by the meaning of President Donald Trump’s latest tweet on Chicago violence but said he would oppose bringing in the National Guard if that is what the president is considering.

“The statement is so broad. I have no idea what he’s talking about,” Johnson said of Trump’s tweet Tuesday night threatening to “send in the Feds!” if Chicago “doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage.’ “

In a telephone interview, Johnson told the Tribune he hasn’t been contacted by the Trump administration and didn’t believe Mayor Rahm Emanuel or other city officials had been either.

If Trump meant in his tweet that he might bring in the National Guard to help quell the city’s violence, Johnson said he would be opposed to that.

* Tribune

Cardinal Blase Cupich, who was at City Hall to be honored for his recent elevation to cardinal, said the situation is “more complex” than one that can be dealt with simply by posting federal troops on Chicago streets. “The problem is surely much more complex than that type of a solution,”‘ he said. “I surely would welcome, and I think a lot of people would welcome, assistance on a multi-level basis, simply because the problem is not simple. It is complex and it can be improved if we all pull together.”

* ABC 7

Deputy Mayor and Chief Neighborhood Development Officer Andrea Zopp sat down with ABC7 News This Morning to talk about the president’s tweet.

“We’ve talked long and hard that policing is not the sole answer here. If they are going to have help, certainly federal support and prosecution. But also making sure that we have jobs programs, that we have infrastructure investment to create jobs. Those are the kinds of things that are really going to help on this issue,” Zopp said Wednesday.

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      


A quick look at the revenue angle

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017

* A few people have sent me the Illinois Chamber’s list of the Senate’s revenue-related proposals with questions of their own…

* Removal of the soda tax and is replaced by the Business Opportunity Tax Act. This tax is a tax imposed on businesses based on the number of Illinois employees of the business.
* Raises corporate income tax rate to 7% and personal income tax rate to 4.99%.
* Establishes the following service taxes; storage services, amusements, repair and maintenance services, landscaping services, and laundry and dry-cleaning services.
* Establish a tax on cable television services and direct broadcast satellite services.
* Decouples from the Domestic Production Activities Deduction.
* Eliminates the unitary business noncombination rule.
* Makes the research and development credit permanent.
* Redefines manufacturing to include graphic arts production and includes items formerly included in the manufacturers purchase credit in the manufacturing machinery and equipment exemption.
* Provides that False Claims Act cases may not be brought with respect to any taxes imposed, collected, or administered by the State of Illinois.
* Repeals the Adult Entertainment Tax effective January 1, 2018.
* Modifies pollution control facilities valuation under the Property Tax Code.

The Chicagoland Chamber made the same mistake as the Illinois Chamber by referring to the “Opportunity Tax” as a “head tax.” As we discussed yesterday, the tax isn’t based on the number of employees, but rather on the amount of a company’s annual payroll.

And while it’s true that the Adult Entertainment Tax (often referred to as the “pole tax” when it passed) is repealed, those strip clubs are now covered under the new service tax on “amusement” businesses. And the sexual violence programs funded under that previous tax will still receive funding from the service tax.

* Even after using the Google, I still don’t understand some of the other stuff in the bill, but it looks like business got some wins with its losses.

Any help out there?

By the way, the full legislation as most recently amended is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   34 Comments      


A straight uphill climb

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017

* From the Illinois Policy Institute’s news service

The Illinois Senate has begun the process to pass what leaders call a grand budget compromise, but is facing opposition from nearly all sides.

Senate President John Cullerton and Minority Leader Christine Radogno presented 13 bills that they hope will break the years-long budget stalemate. One of the proposed bills made changes to the workers’ compensation laws in the state. It drew opposition from both business organizations and workers rights groups alike. Radogno said the bill, like the others, is a middle-of-the-road approach.

“At the end of the day not everyone is going to love this,” Ragodno said.

That’s an understatement.

* But Radogno is completely determined to get this done

“We have generally utilized the ideas that have come from our members, from the working groups, from stakeholders,” Radogno said during Tuesday’s committee meeting. “I think while we certainly would like to get something done, we are both very humble and willing to accept further additions, refinements and so on.”

“This is a huge package with many, many moving parts and I can’t stress enough how much we are interested in constructive feedback to make this thing work,” she added.

* And even Sen. Bill Brady, no fan of tax hikes, is pushing forward

Meanwhile, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, a close ally of Rauner, is opposing the entire package because of the way all the pieces are linked together, President Todd Maisch said.

While there are some positive aspects, Maisch said, “Our assessment is the package on the whole is very much a net negative for the business community.”

One concern for the Chamber of Commerce is the proposed business opportunity tax, which would range from $225 annually for businesses with Illinois payrolls of less than $100,000 to $15,000 for businesses with payrolls of $1.5 million or more.

State Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, said it’s important to continue having these discussions to arrive at an agreement that everyone can live with.

“This is still fluid,” Brady said. “It’s still our hope that … we will get to a point where the business community believes there’s more benefit than negative.”

* Sen. Nybo is another one to watch

But the strike-fast-and-heavy approach has yet to materialize. Republicans balked at a quick vote to send a statement earlier this month; Tuesday, there were jitters on both sides. Hutchinson defended her measure, which drew 112 separate notices of interest-group opposition to the Revenue Committee, against criticism that it’s “rushed.” And Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) whose support for cost-saving changes to the workers’ compensation system is crucial, complained about making difficult decisions while Rauner has lawmakers “under the gun.”

“It’s not so much that the administration has us under the gun as that we have no budget,” replied Sen. Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst), the committee’s ranking Republican. “We owe more than we spend and businesses are leaving in droves. That’s the gun that I see were under.”

* Tribune

Cullerton and others tried to paint the widespread opposition as a good thing, saying all sides must sacrifice to get a fair agreement.

“These individuals are special interests. They don’t have the obligation that we have of trying to pass a budget,” Cullerton said. “We’re not offended by that. It just proves that what we’re putting together is a true compromise.”

That argument fell flat for many lawmakers who worried about casting votes for major tax increases with no guarantee they would erase the state’s persistent money woes, saying changes designed to ease the pain by spurring job growth don’t go far enough.

Some pointed to a provision that tied the various proposals together. The idea being that if one piece of the puzzle failed, none of the bills could become law. But some have interpreted that to mean that even if they don’t vote for a tax increase, they would be cast as enablers should they choose to support other measures. Radogno said that line of thinking was “a huge stretch.”

Cullerton and Radogno are both right, of course. But heavy opposition from all sides is never easy to overcome. And while it is a huge stretch to tie members to all the bills with even a single vote for one of them, we’ve all seen much larger stretches used in campaigns.

* From a pal…

Anyone from either party expecting a ticker tape parade for voting to get us out of this mess needs to get their head out of their posterior. There will not be any celebrations with business leaders or union leaders. If that is their standard, there won’t be a deal.

Agreed.

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      


Emanuel and Rauner lash out at each other as POTUS jumps into the fray

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017

* Sun-Times

In an interview on WTTW-Chicago Tuesday night, Emanuel launched an attack on the governor for a two-year budget impasse, criticizing him as a man who has left the state “rudderless” due to a “rigid ideology and a rigid style.”

“He’s never proposed a balanced budget in two years. I think tomorrow morning when he gets up to speak at the State of the State, he owes the people of Illinois. Start, ‘I am sorry.’ Start with an apology,” Emanuel said.

Emanuel said the governor has “abdicated” his gubernatorial responsibilities and should be offering up solutions “not gum up the works with ideological things that are ancillary.”

“The State of Illinois is rudderless under Rauner,” Emanuel said.

* Politico

“What I don’t support is what the governor has done. The state of Illinois is rudderless under Rauner. You’re the governor. If I went two weeks without a budget, would you be blaming Ald. Carrie Austin, the chair of the budget committee, or me?” […]

“The governor is treating the kids of Chicago as if they’re not part of the state. And he’s treating taxpayers as if they’re second class citizens,” Emanuel said. “What is he doing? Rather than making progress, he is standing in the way. I think he has taken these rigid ideological positions, a rigid style, and Springfield and now Illinois have ground to a halt because of the approach he’s had.”

Rauner’s office fired back in a statement.

“A partisan rant coming from Madigan’s mayor is unhelpful to progress in Springfield,” spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said in a statement. “Madigan’s mayor should focus less on alliteration and more on getting his murder capital city under control.”

“Murder capital city”? He does realize that Chicago is in Illinois, right? And criticizing alliteration in a statement full of the same is a bit odd.

* And then this happened…


* CNN thinks it has that one figured out

Shortly after 8 p.m. on Tuesday night, Fox’s “O’Reilly Factor” ran a segment about violence in Chicago that included the following statistics: “228 shootings in 2017 (up 5.5% from last year” and “42 homicides in 2017 (up 24% from last year).”

One of the show’s guests, Horace Cooper, an adjunct fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank, said, “I don’t know another word besides ‘carnage’ to describe the devastation that’s been taking place.”

Just over an hour later, at 9:25 p.m. ET, Trump took to Twitter using the same statistics Fox News had used and the same language as Cooper.

- Posted by Rich Miller   57 Comments      


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Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


SOTS preview

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017

* From the governor’s office…

In the State of the State, the Governor will say that he is optimistic about the future of Illinois and use the opportunity to talk about Illinois’ accomplishments, as well as the work that still lies ahead. He is optimistic because of recent bipartisan agreement that we need to make changes to the system with passing a truly balanced budget

Another element to that optimism comes from a look at what we’ve already accomplished, like ethics reform, record education funding, job creation and making government more efficient. He will also encourage the General Assembly to pass legislation allowing voters to weigh-in on fair maps and term limits. The Governor believes that by working together we can build on these changes and address the problems facing our state.

Additionally, he will be highlighting a family from Clinton as he discusses the Future Energy Jobs Bill in the speech.

Speech Excerpts:

“Clearly we’re excited about the achievements we’ve made and the opportunities left to seize. But we still face significant challenges.”

“Through bipartisan cooperation, Illinois can once again be the economic engine of the Midwest and the home of innovation and prosperity.”

“We – Republicans, Democrats, and everyone in between – have a moral obligation to work together to bring change. We, together, can return Illinois to a place of hope, opportunity, and prosperity.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   37 Comments      


*** LIVE *** Session & State Of The State Coverage

Wednesday, Jan 25, 2017

* Follow along with ScribbleLive


- Posted by Rich Miller   1 Comment      


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* Wildlife Prairie Park to add 14 new cabins
* Winner of karaoke contest to perform at Illinois State Fair
* U of I performing arts center to mark 50th anniversary

* Illinois GOP chairman re-elected; Republicans display unity
* GoFundMe makes saving Lincoln artifacts modern, accessible
* Gov. Rauner ally Ken Dunkin given $70K Chicago post
* Madigan wants information on governor's Legionnaires' fix
* State lawmaker to SIU president: 'Go to hell, sir'
* Bill permitting medical marijuana use in schools goes to Rauner
* Madigan: Rauner's death penalty proposal to get hearing Monday
* Illinois Senate approves $40,000 minimum salary for teachers
* Justice Charles Freeman announces retirement from Illinois Supreme Court
* Under the Dome Podcast: Death penalty. Guns. ERA. GOP unity.

* Fifth Third to buy MB Financial
*
* Trump taps Ron Gidwitz to be Belgian ambassador
* Art Institute uses data to give visitors what they want
* Crain's wins 4 Chicago journalism awards


* Minimum-wage protesters take Fight for $15 to McDonald’s West Loop headquarters
* Divided Supreme Court rules for businesses over workers
* Orioles, Isle Royale wolves, wild flowers, MOTW: Notes around Chicago outdoors
* 18 shot Sunday in Chicago; body part found in Chicago River | May 21, 2018
* Pompeo threatens Iran with ‘strongest sanctions in history’
* Why Millennials are going braless (the reasons might surprise you)
* Trump defends US trade dealings with China
* 3 burglaries hit near same block in Bridgeport
* Top baby names in Illinois include Noah, Olivia
* Fifth Third spends $4.7 billion for Chicago’s MB Financial


* Divided Supreme Court rules for businesses over workers
* Pompeo issues steep demands for nuclear treaty with Iran
* Hearing impairment does not deter Lake County Citizen Police Academy graduate
* School shootings, Ritalin and the NRA's culture of convenient excuses
* What happened to that 'Blackish' episode? Last week, TV networks faced uncomfortable questions
* Vegas Golden Knights are four wins from the NHL’s 'Miracle On Ice'
* Yes, President Trump, there is a difference between HIV and HPV. Here's a handy tipsheet
* Chicago baseball saw four exciting starts this weekend, but Yu Darvish's meant the most
* Play ball! Dutch & Doc's opens Thursday in Wrigleyville
* NYPD probing sex allegations against celebrity chef Mario Batali


» Sports Betting Negotiations Jump-Started In Illinois
» The Quandary Behind A Quincy Legionnaires’ Victim’s Death: ‘Where The Heck Was She?’
» State Week: Gun Bills And The Death Penalty, GOP Leadership Fight
» Web Extra, The Week in Review: Biss Endorses Pritzker
» The Week in Review: Obama Presidential Center Gets City’s Approval
» Should The Voting Age Be Lowered?; ‘Hamilton: The Exhibition’; Food As Medicine; Rescuing Tortoises
» Voices Of Chicagoland's Opioid Crisis: Nick Kanehl And Marty Cook
» How To Stop Gun Violence? Just Ask
» #651 John Prine, Opinions on Courtney Barnett & Scott Hutchison
» May 17, 2018 - Full Show


* George Will: Battling campus oppression of the freedom of expression
* Our View: Another disappointing lack of transparency in Illinois government
* Ralph Martire: Illinois can't afford Rauner's budget 'savings' rhetoric
* BGA: Redistricting reform can't be blocked forever
* Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln: Forging ahead to serve those who came before us
* Statehouse Insider: Is the happy talk for real?
* Illinois GOP chairman re-elected; Republicans display unity
* GoFundMe makes saving Lincoln artifacts modern, accessible
* Our View: Support legislation that would halt newsprint tariffs
* Guest View: National infrastructure initiative must meet the needs of rural America


* Now hiring in Decatur and Macon County. Recently posted employment opportunities for job seekers
* New adoptables in Decatur and Macon County. Pick your new dog or cat!
* Decatur and Macon County neighbors: Obituaries published today
* Solar farm proposal draws opposition in Woodford
* Volunteers needed to place flags for Memorial Day
* Rick's Six: Rain, more road work, fatal shooting, razor blades, and river search
* These steps can reduce allergy symptoms
* What should you do if your car gets stuck on the RR tracks?
* Local family heirloom unveiled amid royal wedding buzz
* Area Calendar 5/21/18


* Through the Film Magnifier: A new way to see vintage suburbia in old pictures
* The opioid epidemic, a 360 degree view
* Blankenship to seek US Senate seat as 3rd-party candidate
* LGBT community cheers pope's 'God made you like this' remark
* Trump pulls back from brink of trade war with China

* Blockchain Is 'World-Changing', Says US Co...
* Congressional Hearing on UFOs Suggested by...
* How the Public Finance Network will push C...
* Congressional town halls: Old-fashioned an...
* CNN House Key Race alerts: A dozen GOP-hel...
* Valerie books prestigious Edinburgh Festiv...
* Critics call White House plan another 'dom...
* Voters miss Obama because they respect int...
* Voters miss Obama because they respect int...
* Critics call White House plan another 'dom...

* Jewish Voice for Peace, Evanston residents......
* Our View: Support legislation that would h......
* Be Transparent When Advertising Drugs, Sen......
* Dems, Trump Admin Find Common Ground: Help......
* Sunday Extra | War with Iran is a bad idea...

* Spencer Black: Republican Party is awash i......
* Jewish Voice for Peace, Evanston residents......
* Our View: Support legislation that would h......
* Donald Trump nominees delayed by more than......
* Trump claims Democrats 'obstruct' his nomi......

* Coming to Illinois: Allegations of Pot-Related Corruption Hit a California Town
* Illinois Prof says 'wealth redistribution' key to 'sexual fulfillment'
* Planned Parenthood organizes mob to protest Rep. Breen fundraiser
* Thorner: Andrzejewski brings Open Government Movement to City Club event
* Playing the Black Card
* Have any events to share with us?
* Vietnam/Gaza.
* Parents keep the kids home to protest gun violence? These school reformers should just keep their brilliant ideas to themselves for a while. Their record isn’t good.
* 6 Ultra-Sensory Chicago Picnic Spots
* Forsaking great story for politics: HUAC, blacklists and 'High Noon'


* Rend Lake Water Conservancy District Water Main Break
* Statement from Gov. Rauner
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May
* IEMA Highlights Role of Volunteers in Disasters
* Governor Rauner activates State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield

  
* Leading a successful digital transformation
* YubiKey: Protect your Facebook, Google, and other online accounts for as little as $18 with this hardware authentication key
* OnePlus Bullets Wireless review: exceeding expectations
* LG G7 ThinQ gets a $750 FRP and introductory BOGO deal at T-Mobile
* Amazon’s Alexa will be preloaded on Acer’s new laptops
* LG G7 ThinQ: Price, availability, and release date (Update: US price revealed)
* No service? No problem with the personal mobile networking goTenna — and save almost $25

* Most Essential White Sox Vote: Round 2
* Sox fan conquers 2,700 calories of ice cream
* White Sox Minor League Report: May 20, 2018
* Collins homers twice for 1st 3-hit game
* Yaz surprised Hawk during White Sox broadcast
* Abreu's routine leads to consistent results
* Lopez dominates Rangers for 1st win of 2018


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