Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » 2017 » February
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Quick session day roundup

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017

* A handful of the grand bargain bills passed today, including an appropriations bill, the gaming bill, a bill to give CPS its pension parity cash, a procurement reform bill and a local government consolidation bill. But the pension reform bill came up short and will have to be voted on again tomorrow. Another bill (click here for background) was pulled out of the record.

The tax hike is up tomorrow, which is the biggie.

* Sun-Times

Soon after, senators failed to pass the pension reform bill, once again, with a 26-27 vote. A motion to reconsider allows the bill to be called for a vote once again. On Feb. 8, the pension reform bill garnered just 18 votes — showing there’s a clear effort to garner the votes needed to pass the bill.

The bill would create savings by allowing public sector employees to choose whether their benefits are related to raises they may get or to annual cost of living adjustments to their pensions during retirement. It covers university employees, public school teachers, General Assembly members and Chicago teachers. Retirees and judges are not covered. And other state employees are currently not part of the plan because of ongoing legal action with their contract. It also eliminates the retirement system for future for future lawmakers.

“It’s just a matter of convincing people that it’s part of the grand bargain. If they are reluctant to vote for this individual bill, they should have gotten a broader view of it,” Cullerton said after session. “They all go down if this goes down.”

The Senate president blamed union opposition for some Democratic no votes. But he still posed some optimism about the package.

“People just have to understand this is the classic compromise. So you get as much as you can and you don’t overestimate how much you think you’re entitled to,” Cullerton said. “And that’s what we’re trying to do.”

* Illinois Policy Institute’s news service

Cullerton appealed for support on the pension bill.

“If you don’t like a bill that’s in the package, then vote ‘no.’ If you like a bill in the package, then vote ‘yes’. It’s not that complicated,” he said. “Sure, if one of them doesn’t pass then they all fail. You would win then, if that’s what you wanted to do.”

State Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, said before the session that the total package of bills isn’t a good deal for taxpayers.

“There’s too much increasing in taxes and not enough true reforms and spending cuts,” he said. “It’s important that we have enough spending cuts to say to the taxpayers of Illinois, ‘If we’re going to have to accept a tax increase, there’s a reasonable justification for it.”

More tomorrow.

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      


ISBE says CPS early closure could cost it half its projected savings

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017

* You may recall this development from yesterday

Chicago Public Schools upped the stakes of its legal challenge to state education funding on Monday, warning that the school year could end nearly three weeks early and summer school programs could be cut if the district doesn’t get a quick and favorable ruling.

* However

But shortening the school year on top of four previously imposed furlough days may not even fully close the budget gap. In court documents, CPS estimated saving $91 million, and an additional $5 million from canceling summer school for elementary and middle-school general education students. Claypool called those estimates “conservative.”

Chopping off 13 days will push CPS’ school year below the state’s legal threshold, meaning that some state aid will be jeopardized, too. ISBE requires 180 class days for full funding and counts CPS as having four more days than required.

Claypool said CPS attorneys believe they have even more wiggle room.

Do they really have wiggle room and how much will shutting down early cost CPS?

* From the Illinois State Board of Education…

School districts need to code in 185 days to ensure they get a minimum of 176 student attendance days, which can include two full-day parent teacher conferences. (The 185 days will include 4 Teacher Institutes and 5 emergency days. Districts can lower the student attendance days to 174 by adding a max of 2 Full Day Parent Teacher Conferences.)

    (105 ILCS 5/10-19) (from Ch. 122, par. 10-19)
    Sec. 10-19. Length of school term - experimental programs. Each school board shall annually prepare a calendar for the school term, specifying the opening and closing dates and providing a minimum term of at least 185 days to insure 176 days of actual pupil attendance,

If a district decides to have fewer days than the required minimum, then for every day below the minimum, their General State Aid would decrease by 1/176. The GSA reduction would be based on and assessed on the Fiscal Year 2018 GSA claim.

From the School Code:

    Except as otherwise provided in this Section, if any school district fails to provide the minimum school term specified in Section 10-19, the State aid claim for that year shall be reduced by the State Superintendent of Education in an amount equivalent to 1/176 or .56818% for each day less than the number of days required by this Code.

Districts can petition the General Assembly for a waiver from the minimum number of attendance days. However, historically, the General Assembly has not approved such requests. The General Assembly received the Spring waiver report today. Therefore, the next opportunity for a district to apply for a waiver would be in August 2017 for consideration in October 2017.

So, it may be too late for CPS to get a waiver. They’d better try, though. Read on.

* Being nine days short of the state minimum would cost CPS about 5 percent of its GSA entitlement claim (.56818% x 9 days = 5.11%).

According to the Illinois State Board of Education, CPS’ FY17 GSA entitlement claim was $890,528,630. That’s based on its 2015-2016 attendance. They don’t know what the current year’s attendance will be, of course, but assuming it’s the same as last year then CPS would lose a bit under $5.1 million for each of those nine days, for a total of around $45.5 million, which is about half of what CPS says it’ll save by closing schools early.

That reduction to CPS funding won’t come until next fiscal year, but that means next year’s hole just got bigger.

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      


Question of the day

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017

* Gov. Rauner was at the Polish American Association for Paczki Day

* The Question: Caption?

Keep it clean, people.

- Posted by Rich Miller   71 Comments      


AG Madigan’s turn to snub Trump

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017

* Mary Ann Ahern

President Donald Trump met Tuesday with a group of states’ attorneys general at the White House.
In all, about two dozen attended, but Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan declined the president’s invitation.

In a statement, Madigan told NBC 5, she “declined his invitation on behalf of the many Americans harmed by his actions.”

“This President has threatened our civil rights and civil liberties in a way we haven’t seen in decades,” the statement read. “He has put Wall Street bankers in the administration to protect the greed that brought our country to financial collapse.”

The president posed for a group photo with the attorneys general calling them “great people.” Those attending the White House meeting included Florida, Idaho and Georgia’s Attorney General.

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      


Vaporware lobbies up

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017

* Bob Reed

Champions of self-driving cars are embarking on a journey through one of the state’s most winding and hazardous passageways — the Illinois General Assembly.

Recently, state legislation was introduced that seeks to regulate use of this emerging technology by imposing tighter auto safety standards on cars using automated driving systems. It argues this is best accomplished by restricting the operation of self-driving cars to companies that make their own vehicles and have a track record for safety.

It’s a controversial bill that’s perceived as a sop to legacy automaker General Motors, which was instrumental in pushing the measure introduced this month by Rep. Mike Zalewski, D-Riverside. It’s strongly opposed by a coalition of driverless technology players, including Google, Uber Technologies, Ford and Volvo; the companies claim GM wants to ace them out of the self-driving auto market or, at the very least, slow them down.

Yet while this impending legislative fight is being framed as a marketplace tussle of old versus new ideas, Zalewski’s bill does raise another important question: Are these new self-driving vehicles being properly tested and will the public be safe in them once these vehicles are marketed en masse?

* Public safety and proper testing are definitely big issues

Last December, Uber’s self-driving cars hit the rain-slicked streets of San Francisco with much fanfare. It was meant to be a watershed moment — the upstart ride-hail company bringing autonomous driving to its city of origin, years before most experts predicted we’d begin to see self-driving cars en masse.

But it turned out to be a total flop. A week after Uber’s fleet of 16 luxury Volvo XC90 SUVs started picking up passengers, the program was brought to a grinding halt. The California Department of Motor Vehicles revoked Uber’s vehicle registrations after Uber refused to obtain a $150 permit authorizing it to test driverless cars in the state. And rather than correct what on the surface seemed like a clerical error, Uber refused to get licensed, instead shipping its autonomous fleet to Arizona where it could test its self-driving cars with less public scrutiny. […]

Why did Uber launch the self-driving in pilot in San Francisco if it knew it was in violation of the law? A likely scenario was that Uber didn’t want to disclose its disengagement rate — the number of times the vehicle forced the human driver to take control because it couldn’t safely navigate the conditions on the road — or any accidents to the DMV, and by extension the public. […]

A few days after it launched its unauthorized experiment in San Francisco, a self-driving Uber was caught on video running a red light. Uber claimed the car was under manual control at the time. “These incidents were due to human error,” a spokesperson told The Verge.

But that turned out to be false: the car had actually driven itself through the light, sources told The New York Times. In fact, Uber’s self-driving cars failed to recognize five other traffic lights around the city. Had it signed up for the permit, Uber would have had to report that infraction to the DMV.

We don’t want people testing cars that are going through red lights on public streets. And we shouldn’t be dedicating infrastructure spending to these vehicles. If they’re self-driving, then they should be using the roads with everyone else. If that can’t be done, why should we create special lanes or zones for them? Isn’t traffic already a big enough problem in places like Cook County?

* Back to the bill

After falling behind in self-driving cars, GM has unleashed its powerful lobbying team to cultivate relationships with statehouses. The largest U.S. vehicle maker by sales has a long history of backing legislation to preserve its interests, including a bill in Indiana last year that would stop electric-vehicle maker Tesla Inc. (TSLA) from operating its own stores there.

GM denied it is trying to keep tech companies out of the market for autonomous vehicles, noting that ultimately the lawmakers make the decision on what’s filed and that the company has worked with policy makers who have different views on the degree of legislation they want to support. On Thursday, the auto maker said it has been having discussions with Uber and Waymo, a unit of Google owner Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL), on language that everyone can support.

And we shouldn’t be passing legislation to favor one company over others in this early stage of the game.

- Posted by Rich Miller   11 Comments      


Pawar hires Trippi as chief strategist

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017

* Greg Hinz

Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar hasn’t generated much media respect or money in his long-shot bid for governor. But the North Side Democrat may be about to change that with a very interesting hire.

Joining Pawar’s campaign as chief strategist will be Washington-based consultant Joe Trippi, Pawar’s campaign tells me. Team Pawar also has begun using the slogan “a new deal for Illinois,” a clear reference to Franklin D. Roosevelt and his national leadership during the Depression and World War II.

Trippi is on anyone’s national A list of advisers a candidate would want on their side.

Best known for being former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s campaign manager for president in 2004—Dean actually led for a while, until sort of imploding on TV—Trippi also ran Jerry Brown’s comeback bid to again be elected governor of California and a variety of successful congressional campaigns.

Pawar has reported raising $30K for both of his campaign committees since the start of the new year.

- Posted by Rich Miller   24 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** Both sides of proposed shoplifting penalty reduction

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017

* From WGEM TV

A new proposal by the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform has been met with multiple opponents.

Right now, any theft valuing over $300 will land you a felony charge in Illinois. An Illinois criminal justice reform group has asked lawmakers to raise that thievery threshold to $2,000, in an attempt to combat prison overcrowding.

Executive Director Amy Looten of the Quincy Chamber of Commerce said on Monday that there are many reasons to oppose it. […]

“This sends a message to potential shoplifters that well you know it’s not that big of a deal.” Looten said. “The punishment’s not going to be that big, and we just think that’s the wrong message to send.” […]

“If you take away the punishment side of it, and you’re just going to slap them on the hand, they’re more likely to come back, and there’s more people that are going to try it for the first time.” [Quincy Menard’s Assistant General Manager Scott Warner] said.

* From the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform report

Rationale

Under current law, a theft where the property was not taken from a person is a felony if any of the following conditions are present:

    * Theft of goods worth more than $500 is a Class 3 Felony. If the goods are worth $500 or less the defendant is guilty of a Class 4 felony if he has previously been convicted of any type of theft.

    * Theft from a school or a place of worship, or theft of government property, is a Class 2 felony if the value of the items taken is more than $500. If the value of the goods taken from these places is worth less than $500, it is a Class 4 felony.

    * Retail theft where the value of the items taken is greater than $300 is a Class 3 felony. If the stolen items are worth $300 or less, the defendant is guilty of a Class 4 felony if he has previously been convicted of any type of theft.

Processing non-violent theft offenders puts a significant strain on the prison system. In 2015, for example, there were 2,630 offenders sentenced to IDOC for the Class 3 or Class 4 felonies of retail theft or theft not from a person. Typically these inmates have short and unproductive terms of incarceration; in 2015, nearly half (49 percent) of those who were sentenced to prison for a Class 3 felony theft received the minimum sentence of two years.

Theft of all types is a serious problem, but treating those who steal relatively small amounts (a single laptop or smartphone, for example) the same as those who steal on a large scale seems disproportionate, and does not make the best use of prison resources. Before theft not from a person becomes a Class 3 felony, the value of property taken should be greater than $2,000. Theft of items worth less than $2,000 should be a Class A misdemeanor. Similarly, before retail theft becomes a Class 3 felony, the value of the property taken should be greater than $2,000. Retail theft of property worth less than this amount should be a Class A misdemeanor.

Thoughts?

*** UPDATE ***  From Rob Karr, president and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association…

“We can all agree that non-violent offenders, particularly first-time offenders, should not necessarily be sitting in prison. That is why IRMA has proudly been a part of solutions already enacted to address those situations. But the answer is not to diminish the seriousness of retail theft and erode the sales tax base. Any suggestion that retail theft is a victimless crime is simply wrong — $2 billion in losses to business and government has consequences.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 *** Senate session coverage

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017

*** UPDATE ***  We’re having a bit of trouble with the ScribbleLive feeds today, but hopefully it’ll be fixed soon. I’m working on it. Here’s a temporary feed…

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      


Help or hindrance?

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017

* From the Illinois Policy Institute’s news service

One portion of the state senate’s “grand bargain” would force many Illinois cities to place banks ahead of vital local services should an Illinois city go bankrupt.

Senate President John Cullerton introduced Senate Bill 10 as something to help cities borrow more for less.

“It’ll allow them to borrow at lower interest rates and help them save money,” Cullerton said.

But Mark Glennon, founder of the Illinois financial news service website WirePoints, warned that the bill forces any home-rule municipality to give lenders priority on any money it has, or will receive from the state, should it become insolvent.

A number of Illinois cities, including Chicago, are very close to insolvency due to out of control pension contributions, Glennon said. The bill would put banks ahead of the vital local services that are meant to be protected in the event that a city goes bankrupt. he said.

“This is like going to your bank and saying ‘Give me a bigger home loan at a lower rate, and I will give you ownership of all my future income,’” Glennon said.

If you’re in favor of squeezing Chicago and changing the law to allow municipal bankruptcies, then you’re definitely opposed to the bill. But if you think ratings agencies may be going overboard with downgrades of entities that can’t declare bankruptcy without special permission and you believe creditors should be paid, then you support it.

The state itself does this with Build Illinois bonds, which are directly tied to the sales tax and have therefore avoided some of the nasty downgrades suffered by general obligation bonds.

* From the Bond Buyer’s Yvette Shields

Under the legislation, a home rule municipality could enter into an agreement assigning a set amount of revenue it receives from the state to a special entity such as a public corporation or trust-like fund established for the “limited purpose of issuing obligations” for the municipality. The dedicated revenue would bypass a municipality’s general fund.

For example, the home rule municipality and an issuing entity would enter an assignment agreement for, say 0.25% of that municipality’s share of sales tax revenues. The home rule municipality would need to approve the agreement by ordinance. Bonds would be sold and all revenue from the 0.25% of dedicated sales tax revenues would go directly to special purpose entity for bond repayment.

The structure, by making the revenues owned by a special entity, is designed to shield the bonds from the threat of being dragged into a bankruptcy proceeding, and insulate them from a municipality’s general credit to obtain better ratings.

“It provides another mechanism of structured financing for a municipality which is intended to remove any bankruptcy risks as other states have provided,” said James Spiotto, a municipal restructuring expert and co-publisher of MuniNet Guide. “This type of securitization-like structure has had the effect of providing greater liquidity and better credit acceptance so you can reduce borrowing costs.” […]

Variations are in place in California, New York, and Rhode Island. It’s also a similar concept to Michigan’s state aid-backed bonds. Revenues used to repay debt issued under the program flow to the Michigan Finance Authority, not the municipality.

- Posted by Rich Miller   23 Comments      


IDOC blames Cook sheriff for accidental inmate release

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017

* Press release…

Earlier today, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office was notified that inmate Garrett Glover, DOB 12/13/1987, had been released from the Illinois Department of Corrections (”IDOC”). Glover was sentenced on February 23, 2017 to four years IDOC on a 2014 attempted armed robbery case. In 2015, Glover was charged with murder in connection with a September 5, 2012 shooting that occurred on southbound I-94. Glover should have been returned to custody of the Cook County Jail on the other case.

The Sheriff’s Office is investigating the circumstances surrounding his release, and all efforts are being made to secure his apprehension.

Anyone with information about Glover’s whereabouts should immediately contact the Cook County Sheriff’s Command Center at 773-674-0169. The public is reminded that aiding a fugitive is a Class 4 felony, punishable by 1-3 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

* AP

The Illinois Department of Corrections says a man accused in a 2012 Chicago expressway killing was released on parole in an unrelated case because the department wasn’t informed he should be held.

The Department of Corrections released Garrett Glover on Friday after he was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison for an attempted armed robbery in 2014. Glover had been in custody since 2014.

Glover was supposed to be returned to the custody of the Cook County sheriff’s department, but the Department of Corrections says it didn’t get documentation from Cook County saying he should be held.

- Posted by Rich Miller   19 Comments      


What to expect today

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017

* From Senate President John Cullerton’s press secretary John Patterson…

The Senate convenes at noon.

My understanding is each caucus intends to caucus for an hour.

At the moment, the plan is to return to the Senate floor and start calling budget/reform/grand bargain proposals for final votes after caucus.

That’s the plan, at the moment.

- Posted by Rich Miller   32 Comments      


“Right to work” case appealed, oral arguments tomorrow

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017

* Press release…

Two Illinois government employees have filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit to continue their case challenging the constitutionality of government union officials forced-dues privileges. The workers, all employed by the State of Illinois are currently required to pay union dues or fees to a union as a condition of their employment.

A District Judge recently dismissed the case, Janus v. AFSCME, and the two employees, who are receiving free legal assistance from staff attorneys with the National Right to Work Foundation and the Illinois Policy Institute’s Liberty Justice Center, have now formally filed their appeal of that dismissal.

National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix issued the following statement regarding the latest development in the case:

    “No citizen should be forced to pay union dues or fees just to work for their own government. This is a fundamental violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and the violation is especially egregious for public servants who are currently required to pay dues to a private organization just to work for their own government. We are hopeful that the United States Supreme Court will soon outlaw this unjust practice for every public employee across the country.”

You gotta wonder if the Illinois Policy Institute would support a bill allowing all customers to eat at restaurants without paying a dime.

…Adding… OK, so, I misread an e-mail with the above press release attached. The case was appealed a few months ago and oral arguments are tomorrow. Sorry for any confusion.

- Posted by Rich Miller   75 Comments      


Is Rauner betting on “Little Trump”?

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017

* Reporters asked Gov. Rauner yesterday why he skipped a White House gathering attended by 46 other governors and who he’s met with in the Trump administration

On Monday, the most Rauner revealed is he’s been in “communication” with members of the “Trump administration” on “violence issues.”

“The folks who are developing the policy — different from, you know, media discussion — the policy that we’re actually going to implement, we’re in conversations, I’m personally in conversations with folks developing that,” Rauner told reporters Monday when asked to respond to the perception that he’s been distancing himself from Trump.

The governor did not give specifics about what policy was being considered, nor did he say whom he was talking with from Trump’s administration. Pressed on whether he was avoiding Trump, Rauner said he’d “meet with the president any time.”

* More

On Monday — as governors met with Trump at the White House — Rauner was asked several times why he hasn’t met personally with Trump. The two have only shared a private phone conversation shortly after the election.

Rauner said he spent his weekend speaking with governors and members of the Trump administration about Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act — saying he pushed for “moving slowly and thoughtfully” and fixing the “broken” insurance market on the exchange. He said he also spoke to the Trump administration about coordinating to help deal with Chicago’s gun violence problem.

The governor said he met with members of Trump’s administration — “the folks that are developing the policy” — about a federal policy dealing with violent crime across the country. He declined to discuss specifics of that potential policy change.

“It’s different from, you know, media discussion. A policy that we’re actually going to implement. We’re in conversations,” he said.

Let’s stipulate right up front that there is zero doubt that much of this is about that horribly over-used word “optics.” He has to win the suburbs to be reelected, and Trump did horribly in the ‘burbs.

* But the governor also said this yesterday…

The folks who are driving the policy are the folks who are going to make the difference.

Which seems to indicate that he doesn’t believe that talking to the president will make much difference.

* And that’s part of the same point made in The Atlantic about the stock market’s rise since the election

(T)he stock market might be rising because investors are paying more attention to the people surrounding Trump than to the president, himself. The federal government looks mostly like a conventionally conservative pro-business institution, if you ignore the idiosyncrasies of the Oval Office. Republicans have promised to cut taxes, particularly for rich Americans and business, and there is broad agreement among the GOP to deregulate the financial and energy industries, including rolling back Dodd-Frank. […]

To oversimplify slightly, you could say that the divide between the apoplectic Main Street and cheery Wall Street is the difference between a Big Trump hypothesis and a Little Trump hypothesis. The Big Trump hypothesis says that the president is a vindictive demagogue and a unique threat to Americans norms and institutions, with the potential to wreak havoc on the country’s politics, economics, and culture.

The Little Trump hypothesis regards these fears and declares: “meh.” Instead, it posits that the president will be a loud yet minor figure, sound and fury signifying nothing; a wannabe superhero hemmed in by the limited powers of the executive branch. Rather than rule like a populist demagogue, he will mostly sign bills written by his pro-business staffers and approved by a pro-business Congress. There are extremely smart people who believe in each hypothesis. But the theories are mutually exclusive. They cannot both be true. No matter what happens in the next few years, a lot of people are already wrong about Donald Trump.

* Related…

* Alexander: Rauner can’t dodge Trump forever

* Governor Says He’ll Meet Trump ‘Any Time’

* Gov. Rauner no-show at Trump’s governors’ events

- Posted by Rich Miller   18 Comments      


Steve Schnorf

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017

* Our good friend Steve Schnorf passed away last night. This is from his official biography

In his distinguished governmental career, he has held the positions of:

    * Director, Illinois Bureau of the Budget (1997-2002);
    * Director of Policy for Governor Jim Edgar (1994-1997);
    * Director, Illinois Department of Central Management Services (1991-1994, 2002);
    * Director of Drivers Services, Office of the Secretary of State (1983-1990); and
    * Administrator of the Senior Citizens Division, Office of the Secretary of State (1981-1983).

…In his various capacities in Illinois state government, Schnorf played lead negotiating roles on many key legislative initiatives, including: Illinois welfare reform (1995); Chicago school reform (1996); reorganization of the Department of Human Services (1997); Illinois FIRST (1999); and Soldiers Field renovations (2001).

He participated in all meetings of the Governor and four legislative leaders for five years, affording him broad exposure to the interactions between the executive and legislative branches. Schnorf’s governmental experience includes:

    * contract negotiations with the state’s largest employee union;
    * developing five state budgets, each totaling approximately $50 billion;
    * supervising all state bond sales for five years (consisting of some 40–50 sales totaling more than $10 billion); and
    * serving as the Governor’s key liaison, on a variety of issues, with business and labor interest groups, as well as political leaders.

He also chaired the Procurement Policy Board of Illinois (1997-2002); chaired the Illinois Debt Collection Board (1991-1994, 2002); and served as a member of the State Employee Retirement Systems Board of Trustees (1997-2002).

Prior to beginning his state governmental career, Schnorf served people with disabilities on behalf of several not-for-profit organizations and associations (1969-1981) and taught History and Social Studies at Robinson High School (1966-1969).

Schnorf received his Bachelor’s and Masters degrees in Education from Eastern Illinois University. Schnorf resides in Springfield, Illinois.

He was also instrumental in passing landmark legislation to reform the state’s adoption process. He and his wife Jane are adoptive parents.

Steve was my friend, but he was also one of my most valued mentors and advisors. And a lot of folks can say the very same thing about him. We’re all better off for having known that man.

* From his daughter Rebecca…

Last night I had to say goodbye to the man who has been the most constant presence in my life over the past 32.5 years; to the man who has stood by me and supported me through every struggle and who has been there to celebrate every success; and to the man who, when we started the wild ride called parenthood 8.5 years ago, completely rearranged his life, without being asked, to step in as another primary caregiver for our kids. My family’s grief over the past 2.5 months since this terrible disease called cancer entered our lives has been immense, but today it feels particularly overwhelming. My kids miss their pop pop.

He was a heck of a good grandfather and he loved being involved in their lives. I wish I was half the man he was.

* One last photo before we say our goodbyes to one of our most valued and respected commenters…

Steve didn’t want a funeral, but he did want a “celebration of life.” He and I talked about it for a while, and it’ll probably be held later this month or early April, depending on family schedules. I’ll make sure you know as soon as I know.

- Posted by Rich Miller   66 Comments      


*** UPDATED x1 - AFSCME responds *** Rauner admin has new website for potential strike breakers

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017

* Press release…

The Rauner Administration announced today as part of its ongoing AFSCME strike preparation that it has launched a new website called Working for a Better Illinois. The website is a simple way for job seekers to apply for jobs in Illinois government.

“We genuinely hope AFSCME leadership will choose not to strike against taxpayers and work with us on implementing common-sense proposals like overtime after 40 hours, not 37.5,” Rauner General Counsel Dennis Murashko said. “However, we must be prepared to continue government operations and provide services that citizens deserve and expect,” Murashko said.

Every year the state receives tens of thousands of applications from Illinois residents interested in state government. This website streamlines the job application process by allowing citizens to provide basic information about the location and type of work they would be interested in performing. For citizens interested in applying for specific job titles, the existing job application process remains in place.

This website is part of the Rauner Administration’s on-going attempt to modernize the state’s technology services to better serve taxpayers, as well as to prepare for a possible strike against taxpayers by AFSCME.

Submissions to the website would provide a way for state agencies to efficiently identify those who could work on a temporary basis. Although individuals would be hired on a temporary basis in response to the strike, the State would then begin taking the steps necessary to fill positions permanently.

The Rauner Administration has signed labor agreements with 20 unions. The Administration’s proposal includes earning overtime after 40 hours instead of 37.5, pay based on performance rather than seniority, reasonable testing of drug and alcohol use if suspected on the job and allowing volunteerism at state facilities like state parks.

Illinois citizens interested in working for the State should visit: https://statejobs.illinois.gov.

* SJ-R

The website, statejobs.illinois.gov, is basic. It only asks for contact information, a preference for what counties a person wants to work in and what job category they’d be interested in filling. It also asks if applicants are interested in temporary work, permanent jobs or both. People who want to apply for specific state jobs should continue to use the existing job application process, which includes listings at work.illinois.gov.

*** UPDATE ***  AFSCME Council 31…

“Governor Rauner’s refusal to negotiate has left public service workers with no choice but to consider a strike. Rauner’s unreasonable demands include a 100% hike in employee costs for health care that would cut worker pay by $10,000, and an end to safeguards against reckless privatization.

“AFSCME members investigate child abuse, care for veterans and the disabled, respond to emergencies and more. These jobs require years of experience and training. For Governor Rauner to seek temporary strikebreakers in place of skilled and dedicated professionals is a recipe for disaster for the people of Illinois.

“Instead of trying to intimidate workers with illegal threats, Bruce Rauner should simply do his job: Negotiate with us toward a compromise that’s fair to all.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   165 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2017

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Reader comments closed until Sunday afternoon
* Pritzker attacks Rauner property tax freeze as "political stunt," outlines his own idea
* Et tu, Diana?
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Rauner claims SDems "caved" to Madigan, Cullerton's office responds
* Question of the day
* Bost pot, meet Bost kettle
* *** UPDATED x2 *** SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - This just in...
* Another hostage goes down
* Firefighters endorse Pritzker
* Dueling press releases: Rauner vs. DGA
* New Rauner video uses TV talking heads to help make his points
* Some suburbs and college towns are shrinking, too
* Today's must-read
* Kennedy's "next phase"
* Pritzker borrows yet another move from Rauner playbook
* *** UPDATED x4 - Civic Committee: Work it out - Rauner: Madigan "intentionally misleading," SDems "caved" to Madigan on grand bargain*** Madigan lays out progress to Civic Committee, asks for help dealing with Rauner
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............
<


Loading


* Work Comp Reform Really Reform? - Alton Daily News..
* Bernard Schoenburg: Taking heat, but is a chari.....
* Our View: It’s time for the Illinois House to p.....
* Ralph Martire: Raising taxes key to getting Ill.....
* Letter: Rauner is to blame for budget impasse -.....
* Frerichs pushing for tax legislation - Carmi Times..


* EXCHANGE: Son's cancer helps Ursa man see good of humanity
* EXCHANGE: Indian immigrants find home in Forsyth
* Report: Illinois office had contest to close family cases
* Kids age 11 and under may ride Metra for free this summer
* Army veteran receives Bronze Star 64 years after discharge
* Chicago police arrest 30 to curb holiday weekend violence
* Report: DCFS Joliet office had contest to close most cases
* Severe storms packing hail, strong wind likely in central US
* Holocaust survivor, 89, to celebrate bar mitzvah
* WWII bomber plane to appear at Scott Air Force Base show

* Big retirement payouts tiny part of big pension mess
* Big pensions tiny part of big pension mess
* Senate approves workers' comp changes
* Push for downtown Springfield casino taking shape
* Push for Springfield casino taking shape
* Push for smaller Springfield casino taking shape
* Census: Springfield population drops below 2010 levels
* Census: Springfield-Sangamon Co. population drops below 2010 levels
* Senate panel questions state warehouse leasing process
* Senate committee questions the leasing process in which Illinois acquires warehouses

* Like our roundup? Share it around.
* The place where media pain hurts most: Springfield
* For the GOP, it's all about the Benjamins
* Online lender Avant's reboot still hasn't yielded profit
* Mike Keiser knows where golf is alive and well. (It's not Illinois)


* Man, 19, shot in Lawndale
* Dear Abby: I’m trying to walk, not stop and talk
* Georgia Nicols horoscopes for May 28, 2017
* 5 injured in police chase leading to Humboldt Park crash
* 13-year-old girl missing from Lawndale after argument with family
* 2 charged with Riverside burglary
* L.A. consequential: Kershaw next as Cubs try to avoid scoreless series
* Person injured in motorcycle crash in unincorporated Naperville
* For second consecutive night, Cubs were shut out by Dodgers
* Partially blind man with dementia missing from Austin


* All aboard: Joliet Rocket steamin' into town
* Cheap out: Five fun things to do for free
* Quigley says Russia probe is 'in its infancy'
* Chicago in epicenter of charter school teacher contract disputes
* Local veterans sought for Library of Congress oral history project
* White Sox announcer Ed Farmer doesn't let kidney disease slow him down
* Mother of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick killed in boat accident
* 4 wounded in Saturday afternoon shootings on South, West sides
* Portland mayor: 'Heroes' died protecting women from anti-Muslim rant
* Gregg Allman, Southern rock trailblazer who led Allman Brothers Band, dies at 69


» 17-Month Old Semaj Crosby’s Death Linked To Systemic, Family Failures
» 17-Month-Old Semaj Crosby’s Death Linked To Systemic, Family Failures
» Senate Passes Workers' Compensation Bills — Most Republicans Reject It
» State Week: Tax Hike Getting Cold Shoulder
» Popular Music Store Finds New Home On Navy Pier
» For West Side Students, Playing Outside Is Protesting Against Gun Violence
» Offline And On Paper: Chicago Teens Make Zines In An Ephemeral World
» Judge Refuses To Dismiss Murder Case Against Chicago Cop Who Shot Laquan McDonald
» Chicago Firm Will Run $1 Billion Overhaul Of Union Station
» State Committee Approves Tougher Sentences For Repeat Gun Offenders


* Big retirement payouts tiny part of big pension mess
* Statehouse Insider: Seems like we've been this way before
* Ralph Martire: Raising taxes key to getting Illinois' finances in shape
* Bernard Schoenburg: Taking heat, but is a charity announcement so bad?
* Our View: It’s time for the Illinois House to put the people first
* Big pensions tiny part of big pension mess
* Kathleen Murphy: Support your cause through #ILGiveCommunity
* United Way: Addressing education in our community
* Support your cause through #ILGiveCommunity
* Senate approves workers' comp changes


* One arrested in Carbondale stabbing
* Carbondale Police investigating aggravated robbery
* Pending Arrangements
* DAILY RECORD: births, fire calls, marriages
* Hawks fall in sectional final
* Rochman weighs in on the Illinois Star Centre Mall
* Rocket relay strikes gold
* Holding your breath underwater can lead to death, advocates warn
* Early May flooding cost Illinois $5.8 million in damages
* Valmeyer man charged in connection with Carbondale stabbing


* Jet owned by Elvis auctioned after sitting 35 years
* Mother of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick killed in boat accident
* Chicago Cubs hitters going through period of adjustment
* Sri Lanka mudslide, flood deaths rise to 126; 97 missing
* Police: Three men charged with attempted hijacking, robbery in Elgin

* Teacher raised in Yorkville running agains...
* Protesters continue die-in at U.S. Rep. Ra...
* PHOTOS: Protesters stage die-in at Randy H...
* Jim Walz Will Challenge Randy Hultgren for...
* U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren's office the scen...
* Second Democrat announces bid to unseat Hu...
* Sweet: Hultgren, Roskam, Kinzinger avoid b...
* Local Republicans, Democrats praise appoin...
* Greg Hinz on Politics For the GOP, it's al...
* Dems shift financial debate to spotlight T...

* 'Inexcusable:' Durbin, Duckworth slam HUD ......

* 'Inexcusable:' Durbin, Duckworth slam HUD ......
* Program in Illinois that serves the poor g......

* Volunteers Needed For Windy City RibFest Beer Tents
* Broadway & Wilson Payless Shoesource To Close
* Fresh Harvest Market Opening Soon?
* Pivot Arts Festival: 10 Days of Innovative Performances In Uptown & Edgewater
* Sheridan Park's Dick Uyvari Honored With a Memorial Bowling Tournament On Saturday, June 3rd
* New Business Alert: Ora Oral Surgery & Implant Studio
* Weezie and Her Goslings Do the "Weiss Waddle" To Montrose Harbor
* Free Tours of Hutchinson And Entertainment District As Part of Uptown Saturday Night (June 3)
* Wilson L Construction Update -- Next: The Station Houses
* Uptown Saturday Night Presents Salsa Music and Dancing (June 3)


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

  
* 24 hours with the HTC U11!
* iPhone 8 issues found a fix, Essential Products has a date & more – Pocketnow Daily
* T-Mobile portfolio now includes Kyocera DuraForce Pro and Alcatel Go Flip
* Convertibles, Project Treble and Fear China! | #PNWeekly 254
* OnePlus 5 spec claims, Galaxy S8 Iris scanner update & more – Pocketnow Daily
* Ever bought a OnePlus phone? Refer your peeps, share the benefits
* Wireless industry veteran is out as Tidal CEO

* Engel relishes whirlwind Saturday in Chicago
* White Sox rally comes up short vs. Tigers
* Gonzalez aiming to get back on winning track
* White Sox rally comes up short vs. Tigers
* Danish, Sox blank Tigers for DH-opening win
* Danish, Sox blank Tigers for DH-opening win
* White Sox sign Cuban OF prospect Robert


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller