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Rauner quietly signs Mendoza’s bill

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018

* Heh…



This was the “off-shoring” bill, which requires the governor to put all of his staff in his office’s budget.

…Adding… Press release…

Gov. Bruce Rauner today signed legislation to bring greater transparency to state government finances, limiting the use of intergovernmental agreements to end the longtime practice of paying employees from one office out of other State agencies’ appropriated funds. At the same time, the Governor called for the provisions of the legislation to be applicable to the offices of all Constitutional officers.

“Transparent governing has been a hallmark of this administration and I support efforts to challenge status quo policies and practices, particularly those that are perceived to undermine the public’s confidence in their government,” Rauner said.

“Unlike previous administrations, we have been transparent in reporting headcount and salaries of all Governor’s Office employees,” Rauner said, “and our administration is spending less on total agency-wide payroll than the previous administration.”

“The same level of transparent accounting ought to apply to all State Constitutional Offices as a necessity for accomplishing their work for taxpayers,” the Governor said urging the General Assembly to extend the truth-in-budgeting principle to the Offices of the Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller, and Treasurer.”

“The taxpayers of Illinois need to know how their money is being spent,” Rauner said. “The state’s constitutional offices have an obligation to be accountable for their spending and this would be a major step toward achieving that goal.”

House Bill 5121 becomes effective upon becoming law, eliminating the use of IGAs with future appropriations enacted. It is anticipated those appropriations will be made in Fiscal Year 2020.

* And…

Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza’s “Truth in Hiring Act,” to bring all “offshored” employees of the Governor’s office back into the Governor’s budget, became law today.

For too long, Illinois governors – Democratic and Republican – have engaged in the deceptive practice of “offshoring” their employees’ salaries to other agencies – for example, paying an education advisor $250,000 from the Department of Human Services; or a deputy chief of staff $140,000 from the Illinois State Police’s budget – to mask the true size of the Governor’s budget.

“Offshoring is wrong. It was wrong when Governor Quinn did it. It was wrong when Governor Blagojevich did it. It was wrong when Governor Ryan did it. And it was still wrong when Governor Rauner did it. But all of that ends today,” Comptroller Mendoza said. “Thank you to the sponsors of this legislation, Representative Christian Mitchell and Senator Andy Manar, and to the lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who voted for it. I’m glad that Governor Rauner recognized the overwhelming bipartisan support behind this bill and signed it into law.”

The Truth in Hiring Act (House Bill 5121) passed unanimously in the Illinois House, and the Senate approved it 46-7. It simply says that if an employee works in the Governor’s office, they will be paid from the Governor’s payroll. Their salary will be counted in the Governor’s budget. Their salary will not be pulled from agencies that are supposed to protect the most vulnerable or put state troopers on the highways.

“Every time a governor shifts a new, unexpected six-figure salary onto a state agency’s plate, dollars that had been prioritized for important purposes – economic development, senior services and child protection, to name a few – are being diverted to a paycheck instead,” Senator Manar, D-Bunker Hill, said. “Governors should understand the importance of being transparent about their expenses. Taxpayers who foot the bill for government, and frankly the lawmakers who determine the appropriations for state agencies, deserve that accountability.”
A recent payroll analysis shows only 47 of Governor Rauner’s 110 staffers are actually paid from the Governor’s budget. MOST of his staff – 63 people – are hidden in other agency payrolls. If the Governor were honestly reporting all the people working in his office, he would have to disclose his office budget is nearly $10 million, instead of the $4.6 million that is budgeted for the current fiscal year.

“This practice subverts the appropriations process. It takes money away from state agencies that protect children, the environment, and public safety,” Representative Mitchell, D-Chicago, said. “This Governor, and any future governors, should present the true cost of their staff in their office’s budget and make the case for why they need that level of funding.”

HB 5121 goes into effect immediately and will apply to appropriations passed after this date.

In addition to having broad bipartisan support in the legislature, the Truth in Hiring Act also has the backing of newspaper editorial boards across the state.

“Truth in Hiring is pro-transparency legislation that empowers the General Assembly to better its oversight of agency spending,” Quad-City Times editorial board editor Jon Alexander wrote.

“Governors, both Republicans and Democrats, have engaged in this practice – which they call ‘offshoring’ – at least since the days of former Gov. George Ryan. Now is a good time to stop,” the Quincy Herald-Whig editorial board wrote. “A state budget is all about setting priorities. Concealing things from the public shouldn’t be one of them.”

The Truth in Hiring Act follows Comptroller Mendoza’s Debt Transparency Act, which passed last year with unanimous or near-unanimous overrides. The state is already seeing the benefits of that reform as legislators on both sides of the aisle have more up-to-date numbers to craft a budget with and regular citizens have a clearer picture of the state’s finances.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      


Arlington Heights trustee just spent way too much time on the Board of Elections website

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018

* I usually don’t bother with stuff like this, but I just couldn’t resist because it’s so weird and unusual. As of 4:08 this afternoon, Friends for John Scaletta had filed 29 amended D-2 forms. This feed caught my eye…


Scaletta is an Arlington Heights Village Trustee.

* The explanation today on his committee’s State Board of Elections page

DUPLICATE CHECK WAS INADVERTENTLY ENTERED IN MARCH 2011 AND FEE UNDER $10.00 WAS INADVERTENTLY ENTERED IN DECEMBER 2015

Scaletta originally reported raising $2,122 in the first quarter of 2011, but today’s amended D-2 has him raising $2,622. He originally reported spending $1,323.40, then amended that today to $1,342.90, after adding $19.50 in not-itemized expenditures (how he figured that one out is anyone’s guess). He originally reported ending the quarter with $3,220.02, but his amended report put the amount at $3,700.52.

So, adding in the “inadvertent fee under $10″ he paid in 2015, he had to file amended reports for every quarter since the beginning of 2011 because his amount available had changed.

* But, wait. There’s more.

Scaletta filed a slew of amended returns earlier this month and provided this reason

Expenditures were inadvertently omitted from original report filings.

These appear to be $5 not-itemized expenditures each quarter, which, of course, lowered his available funds and necessitated re-dos of every quarterly report.

So, today’s filings were actually corrections to a correction.

* And then at 4:14 this afternoon, Scaletta filed this explanation attached to his second quarter report for 2018…

DUPLICATE CHECK WAS INADVERTENTLY ENTERED IN MARCH 2011 AND FEE UNDER $10.00 WAS INADVERTENTLY ENTERED IN DECEMBER 2015. BANK VOIDED AN UNCASHED CASHIER CHECK WHICH WAS WRITTEN BY THE COMMITTEE AND THEN REDEPOSITED THE FUNDS TO THE COMMITTEE MAY 11 2018

The first time he filed his 2018 second quarter report, on July 5th, he had $5,085.85 in his account. The second time he filed his quarterly report, on July 18th, he had $42.56 in his account. The third time he filed his quarterly report, which was today, he had $654.51 in his account.

Somebody is going to be drinking heavily this evening, methinks.

- Posted by Rich Miller   4 Comments      


“Pigeon-Feeding Woman Curses Out State Rep On Facebook Live After Being Asked To Stop”

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018

* Just go read it.

Apparently, that Blue Line stop has a real filth problem that Rep. Andrade is attempting to address. But, man, he really went above and beyond.

- Posted by Rich Miller   29 Comments      


It’s just a bill

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018

* Chicago Coalition for the Homeless…

An estimated 40,000 low-income community college students in Illinois are now assured access to food security through SNAP, thanks to Senate Bill 351, which was signed into law July 20 by Gov. Bruce Rauner. CCH advocated for this eligibility for more than five years, through its statewide No Youth Alone campaign. CCH worked with Heartland Alliance and the Sargent Shriver National Poverty Law Center through two legislative sessions to enact the College Hunger Bill.

* Illinois News Network

A state lawmaker is pushing for the governor to sign a bill that some worry would open small employers to frivolous discrimination lawsuits.

State Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, said there’s a problem in state law.

In “most small businesses around the state of Illinois, it is perfectly legal to discriminate against employees on the basis of age or gender or disability status, or religion,” Guzzardi said.

House Bill 4572, on the governor’s desk, would open up businesses of 15 or fewer employees to be investigated for various wrongful termination cases involving allegations of discrimination.

“We have the discriminator-in-chief in the White House who’s trying to ban Muslims from entering our country, who has a long track record of harassment and discrimination against women,” Guzzardi said. “We have an opportunity in the state of Illinois to stand up against those kinds of behaviors.”

National Federation of Independent Business Illinois State Director Mark Grant urged Gov. Bruce Rauner to veto the bill. Grant said many small business owners treat employees like family and don’t have the resources to handle additional regulations.

* Other bills…

* Zorn: Illinois lawmakers should allow secret recordings of conversations

* Rep. Jeanne Ives: Failing Bridget: How bureaucracy harms vulnerable Illinoisans

* New lottery game to benefit families of fallen police officers

* New automatic voter registration law won’t slow efforts to reach out to potential new voters face-to-face

* It’s unanimous; governor joins Legislature in protecting DCFS: Enactment of Senate Bill 3105 is a small, first step toward greater protection for DCFS workers. Let tougher penalties also be placed on the books, and widely publicized, to deter potential offenders from acts of violence.

- Posted by Rich Miller   5 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Afternoon Update: Poll; Wheeler; Wojcicki Jimenez; Bivins

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018

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IPHCA called out for not issuing an apology

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018

* Background is here and here. From the Illinois Collaboration on Youth

The Illinois Collaboration on Youth learned with dismay about the racist remarks made by the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Illinois Primary Health Care Association (IPHCA) against one of our own Board members, Raul Garza. We are even more concerned to learn that the IPHCA has yet to issue an apology despite the acknowledgment by the former executive that he did make those remarks.

Like the IPHCA, ICOY members serve a disproportionate number of people of color in our work. People of color are our clients, our staff, our volunteers, our executives, and our Board members. It is disheartening to realize in 2018 that a racist remark would be made by a leader in our industry and that our peers would not immediately understand that an apology and full investigation would be needed as a result. We all must do better, as leaders in our communities, to recognize and respect the common bonds of humanity which unite us all, and to reject and repudiate racist stereotypes, remarks, and behavior whenever they occur.

* From Sen. Martin Sandoval

Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago), Co-Chairman of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus, this week called for legislative hearings to investigate the trail of racism surrounding the resignation of Illinois Primary Health Care Association (IPHCA) President and CEO Bruce Johnson.

Johnson resigned Monday, July 16 after he admitted to making racist remarks during a meeting with an IPHCA member organization. Just four days later, six members of the IPHCA’s Executive Committee resigned.

“This isn’t just one incident of a racist comment. This was a sustained campaign of intimidation by not just Bruce Johnson but several members of the executive board,” Sandoval said. “I call for these hearings because we have an obligation to stand up for one another and what is right to ensure that racist conduct—no matter who engages in it—will not be tolerated.”

An official complaint of discrimination against Bruce Johnson and the IPHCA Executive Committee was filed last week by Raul Garza, President and CEO of Aunt Martha’s Health & Wellness. Garza is a U.S.-born citizen and 12-year veteran of the United States Air Force. Johnson allegedly made disparaging comments to Garza about his re-entry into the country after a recent visit to Mexico.

“The executive committee clearly failed in their duty to investigate these disgusting comments and it is disturbing that a handful of IPHCA members are now speaking in defense of the individuals who have rightfully resigned,” Sandoval said. “Their protest reflects poorly on the Association’s entire membership.”

Sandoval said a committee should investigate:

    • Why Mr. Johnson was allowed to behave as he did

    • Why it took so long for the Executive Committee to conduct an investigation

    • Why the Association has not issued an apology for either Johnson’s behavior or its failure to properly investigate the matter

Sandoval said he also plans to file a resolution to conduct an audit of the IPHCA’s adherence to its contracts with the State of Illinois.

“The IPHCA has multiple contracts with the State, and those contracts require the Association to comply with all civil rights laws prohibiting discrimination in any form,” Sandoval said. “We have to send an example that while increasingly common, this type of discourse will no longer be tolerated.”

An IPHCA spokesperson says the group’s new executive director (who is black) has talked with members of the Latino Caucus, but hasn’t yet spoken with Sandoval.

I’ve asked if the group plans to issue a public apology.

- Posted by Rich Miller   5 Comments      


Question of the day

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018

* AP

Two California residents are suing a state senator for blocking them from a social media account in a case similar to a successful lawsuit that barred President Trump from blocking critics on his Twitter account.

Suzanne Rummel and Marlene Burkitt sued Democratic Sen. Richard Pan of Sacramento alleging that barring them from his Twitter account violates their First Amendment free speech rights.

Pan is a physician and both women’s accounts show they oppose his efforts to promote universal vaccinations of children.

Burkitt says in the lawsuit filed last week in federal court in Sacramento that she was blocked after using Pan’s Twitter site to discuss his efforts “to reduce medical freedom, parental decision-making rights, and other issues.”

I bet they were a real treat to deal with.

* The Question: Should elected officials be prohibited from blocking their constituents on social media? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


bike trails

- Posted by Rich Miller   50 Comments      


Nazi tries to rehabilitate his image

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018

* Ted Slowik at the Daily Southtown

Arthur Jones, the Republican nominee for 3rd Congressional District, tries to downplay his past affiliations with Nazis. […]

“I’ve got a winning platform,” said Jones, 70, of Lyons. “If (the GOP) would get behind me we would beat Lipinski.”

Jones mirrors the Republican platform on many issues. He holds a hardline view on immigration. He supports 2nd Amendment gun-ownership rights. He has a conservative view of gay rights and believes Congress should repeal Obamacare. […]

In many respects, Jones resembles the populist and nationalist views of President Donald Trump. Both seem to appeal to voters who feel grievance and resentment.

“I support 90 percent of what he’s trying to do,” Jones said of Trump. “We’re both getting attacked by radical leftists.”

* But he reminds me a little of the LaRouchies who ran as Democrats

I reached out the league’s Chicago chapter to ask about Jones and his attempts to distance himself from his Nazi affiliations.

“Arthur Jones, who proudly displays Holocaust denial, xenophobia and racism on his blog and website, has a long history of hateful, extremist and anti-Semitic views,” ADL Midwest Regional Director Lonnie Nasatir replied in a statement.

“For example, in 2009, he protested the opening of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center and continues to espouse absurd conspiracy theories questioning the deaths of millions of Jews. He has spoken publicly at numerous neo-Nazi rallies and events, expressing xenophobic policies based in racial and religious hatred. He is by every definition an anti-Semite and unrepentant bigot.”

- Posted by Rich Miller   33 Comments      


Fairgrounds Foundation chairman blames fund sweeps, mansion renovation for horrible fundraising

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018

* As we discussed yesterday, the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation is basically a joke - raising just $32,000 last year after promising to raise millions. AP

People have raised concerns about whether the money could be put other uses, [Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation Chairman John Slayton] said. Lawmakers have taken funds out of special state funds to balance the budget. But the foundation money is separate from those state accounts and cannot be swept by lawmakers.

“You have to walk them through the process,” said Slayton.

He said that some donors, including companies like John Deere, Caterpillar and State Farm, already contributed to the governor’s mansion.

“So the well’s kind of dry there for a few years,” said Slayton. “I think we’ll have to wait. That’s fine because they both had to be renovated.”

Sigh.

By the way, Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) told the AP that Gov. Rauner himself should ante up.

- Posted by Rich Miller   40 Comments      


Charles Thomas leaves WVON

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018

* WVON press release from yesterday…

Veteran journalist Charles Thomas stepped down as co-host of the popular morning drive talk show The WVON Morning Show with Maze Jackson featuring Charles Thomas over the weekend.

Thomas joined the morning show 13 months ago with the intent of only staying a few weeks after retiring from ABC-7 following a 45-year career in journalism. Thomas tendered his resignation to Midway Broadcasting Corporation’s Chairman, Melody Spann Cooper. Spann Cooper states, “I thanked Charles for his tremendous commitment and contribution to the station and the community. We were honored to have him for such a short stay and look forward to assisting him in his future endeavors of building his brand in the Black media landscape. We know there are big things on the horizon for him.”

Thomas’ departure is the first of several major personality changes that will be taking place before the end of the year.

* Politico

Esteemed journalist Charles Thomas has stepped down as co-host of WVON’s Morning Show. The move comes a few days after POLITICO published the ties his co-host Maze Jackson had to Republican candidates.

* Robert Feder

Thomas, who joined WVON in April 2017 after he retired as political reporter from ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7, cited the difficult hours of morning drive for suddenly walking away from the 6 to 9 a.m. weekday gig. He would not comment on the Politico story or say whether it figured into his decision to leave.

“I’m getting my life back,” he told me Monday. “When I retired [from ABC 7], I did not envision getting up at 3 o’clock in the morning every day and then having to go to bed every night at 7 or 8 o’clock. So it’s a good thing for me.” […]

WVON is looking to add a new morning co-host “in the very near future,” according to program director Todd Ronczkowski.

* Maze Jackson defended himself on Facebook the other day. Excerpt

This story is a one-sided attempt to paint me as a Republican and to attempt to compromise who I am and my intentions. So instead playing their game I’ll share with my audience. Let’s FACT CHECK:

Chauncey Colquitt does not have a job and never had the job of booking guests for WVON. As many community and PR people do, Chauncey HAS scheduled HIS clients on the show. Additionally he is a 30 year friend and fraternity brother. He has worked with and for me on campaigns for 20 plus years. He is family…I would help him until it hurt me.

- Posted by Rich Miller   25 Comments      


Fun with numbers

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018

* Greg Hinz

One study released each month is based on a survey of households. Known as the current population survey, it’s best known as being the basis for the unemployment rates that come out 12 times a year. The study also includes figures on local employment, and in the case of metropolitan Chicago the news is bad.

Specifically, the latest monthly survey indicated that compared to a year ago—click on Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights seasonally adjusted data to get an Excel file containing the numbers—the metro area has lost jobs, with employment dipping from an estimated 3,594,100 to 3,589,700. Given national growth of about 1.5 percent in that period, the drop here is awful.

However, BLS does another report each month that IDES uses to compile its metro employment report. In June, according to that report, employment in the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights area grew 42,300, almost 1.2 percent, to 3.829 million.

So, Chicago lost 4,000-plus jobs. Or it gained more than 42,000. Both can’t be right, can they? […]

A BLS spokesman emphasizes that the household survey uses a significantly smaller sample than the employer survey, so its margin of error is larger. With a current margin of error in metro Chicago of plus or minus 63,000, the finding that the region lost more than 4,000 jobs is compatible with the region also being found to have gained 42,000 jobs.

Emphasis added.

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      


More than half the state’s counties are on a poverty watch list

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018

* One Illinois

A study released this week by the Social IMPACT Research Center at Heartland Alliance placed more than half of the state’s 102 counties on a poverty watch list.

Considered an update to the organization’s poverty report issued last year, it placed 52 of Illinois’s 102 counties on a poverty watch list, up from 30 last year, while finding that almost a third of state residents are below the poverty line or considered low-income.

Using 2016 census data, the alliance issued a statewide map showing poverty widespread by county. The study found that poverty was increasing in Chicago suburbs, and that while all the collar counties are considered relatively healthy, with poverty rates below 12 percent, all had more than 20,000 people below the poverty line.

According to the alliance, its County Well-Being Index “highlights counties that are experiencing particularly negative conditions and trends on four key indicators: poverty, unemployment, teen births, and high-school graduation.”

* The map

An interactive map and more info is here. The full report is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   43 Comments      


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Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018

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Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018

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