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Adventures in data governing

Monday, Jun 18, 2018

Posted by Barton Lorimor

* Here is an example of proactively trying to prevent a data breach and public relations nightmare…

A conference next week in Bloomington featuring local election officials and representatives of the Illinois State Police, Department of Homeland Security and the Election Assistance Commission will educate officials on election security, from recognizing and reporting a threat to how hackers can try to access their networks.

Helping to organize the event is six-term Logan County Clerk Sally Turner.

“Most county clerks have no idea that, when they ran for office, that they would have to be an IT director,” she said. “And so, this is helping us get a basic knowledge of what is all this information that is out there, and how do we decipher it all.”

* And then there is the other side of the spectrum…

Families were sent an email Friday evening from CPS’s Office of Access and Enrollment inviting them to submit supplemental applications to selective enrollment schools. Attached at the bottom of the email was a link to a spreadsheet with the private data of over 3,700 students and families.

The link to the private data was active for several hours after CPS noticed and apologized for the breach. The link was eliminated by Saturday morning.

- Posted by Barton Lorimor   Comment      

Higher ed group to continue working this summer

Monday, Jun 18, 2018

Posted by Barton Lorimor

* Hoping to find a way to keep Illinois youth from flocking to other states, a bi-partisan group of legislators interested in the performance and condition of the state’s public higher education institutions will continue working through the summer.

The group has previously pushed ideas such as four-year MAP grants and a $25 million grant program to provide financial assistance to students based on merit…

“We have a lot of students whose family income is above the threshold for Pell and MAP (grants), so they don’t qualify for any of the need-based financial aid,” Burke said. “But the families also don’t have $20,000 sitting around for them to go to school, so people end up borrowing.”

Though the bulk of the financial aid given by the University is need-based, beginning in 2019, the University will match the amount of state money it receives from AIM HIGH with its own institutional dollars to be distributed, on the basis of merit, to students who are Illinois residents.

“The two main reasons why people don’t end up accepting our admissions officer is because of our cost and lack of financial aid,” said Dan Mann, interim associate provost for enrollment management at the University. “We’re hopeful that this program will help us provide more financial aid that will attract more Illinois students here.”

Next on the group’s agenda, according to state Rep. Dan Brady, is a discussion on “what those universities are capable of doing and what they’re not capable of doing and shouldn’t be doing” and possibly a more formalized funding formula…

The working group plan on later this summer reconvening into what will be the fall veto session and really focusing in now on what is going to be some type of funding formula. I don’t think there’s anyone in Springfield who can explain what is the funding formula for higher education in the state of Illinois. And so, that is going to be something, and I think we’ll probably have some of the ideas that mirror K-12 and the new funding formula there. I think that will be very, very helpful.

Universities have been cut numerous times over the past decade, and neighboring states have diverted some Illinois high school seniors by lowering their tuition rates to what they would charge their own residents. And then the impasse happened…

By (John) Jackson’s analysis, the two-year impasse left SIUC with about 41.5 percent of its normal budget.

“In other words, we lost 58.5 percent in higher ed over that two-year period. No big organization can reduce 58.5 percent of their base budget and not be hurt by it,” Jackson said.

SIU had been allowed $178.8 million in state appropriations for Fiscal Year 2018, a 10 percent decrease from FY15, the last normal year before the budget crisis.

The university system’s state appropriations peaked at just shy of $250 million in 2002 under Republican Gov. George Ryan. After gradual state disinvestment in the 2000s, the FY18 payout was the lowest since 1994.


* State rep. launches petition drive calling for IBHE study of SIU funding: Stuart said she was launching the petition because the SIU Board of Trustees failed to reallocate $5.1 million to SIUE this spring. The board was also split on whether to support her resolution.

- Posted by Barton Lorimor   5 Comments      

State Senate candidate once dressed up in blackface for Halloween

Monday, Jun 18, 2018

By Hannah Meisel

*From the Belleville News-Democrat. Patton is running as a third-party candidate after having been kicked off the GOP primary ballot…

At a Halloween party at his friend’s house at least 10 years ago, state Senate candidate Hal Patton was photographed dressed in an orange football jersey, wearing a black bandana on his head, and his face painted black.

Patton, the Edwardsville mayor who also has been in public office for nearly 20 years holding positions such as City Council member and Madison County Board member, is seeking the seat currently held by state Sen. Bill Haine, D-Alton. Haine is not running for re-election.

In the photo, obtained by the Belleville News Democrat from Democratic operatives, Patton is smiling while holding a drink at the Halloween party.

Patton confirmed the photo is of him, and said it was taken at least 10 years ago. He said he was dressed as a rapper.

“There was never any intention for it to be an act of racism or racial commentary. It was a rapper,” Patton said in an interview. “At the time, Run DMC and others were rappers. That was the look. I hate to say I regret a Halloween costume, in the sense it wasn’t meant to make a statement about anything in politics or anything in race relations or anything in that nature.”

He added, “I’ve certainly live my life above board and with the best principles that you can. I have lots of friends from every race and every country — that is how I’ve always lived my life.”

The rest of the story is here

- Posted by Hannah Meisel   2 Comments      

Brady says GOP leveraged balanced budget from nervous Dems

Monday, Jun 18, 2018

Posted by Barton Lorimor

* Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady was asked by WMBD-TV this weekend if the Governor chose not to hold up the budget process this year on account of the election…

I wouldn’t say the Governor held up the budget process in the past for the Turnaround Agenda. He held it up in the past because it was unbalanced. The Democrats couldn’t put together a balanced budget in the past three years, and the Governor said it had to be balanced. I think because it’s an election year we were able to leverage some points. The Democrats are nervous. They didn’t want to go back and ask for re-election having another unbalanced or state-ordered spending plan. We were able to leverage that to get a balanced budget for the Governor.

J.B. Pritzker is pointing the finger squarely at the Turnaround Agenda for the impasse in a Daily Herald column today…

For the first time since Gov. Bruce Rauner took office three and a half years ago, Illinoisans will begin the next fiscal year with a budget intact.

Social service providers across the state will be able to plan a full year of programming to connect children, families, and seniors with the tools they need to build better lives.

Work crews will be able to arrive on the job site without worrying about whether they will be sent home because there’s no state budget.

Students at our colleges and universities can start the academic year knowing that their MAP scholarships will be funded.

That’s how it is supposed to work. But for years, Bruce Rauner stood in the way of a state budget, holding it hostage for his special interest agenda. Time and again, he didn’t just derail the process, he refused to negotiate and even vetoed a bipartisan budget last summer. This year, lawmakers had to sideline the failed governor in order to get the job done.

* Brady was also asked during the interview about the validity of claims the budget is balanced…

“It’s not unlike business. Businesses put budgets together that are based on assumptions. The assumptions in this budget are solid. They, I believe, are very solid. The economic performance of our state in this economy, would this budget be even better if we had the business reforms that Governor Rauner had pushed in the last several years? Yes, because we’d know that we had a better chance of economic growth enhancement. As the economy grows, revenues increase. But this is based on what realistic projections are for Illinois’s economy based on the current set of laws, policies, and procedures. If the economy under-performs, it’ll be challenging. If it over-performs, it’ll be even easier. There are a few things in here that we’re hoping to happen. One is the sale of the Thompson Center…So it’s pretty real. Anyone can throw stones at it, but the results will prove it out. Like any projections, there are challenges. The Governor’s gonna have to work. It won’t be an easy budget to manage, but it is certainly one that with the right discipline and the right effort can, I believe, come to a balanced nature at the end of the fiscal year.

- Posted by Barton Lorimor   17 Comments      


Monday, Jun 18, 2018

Posted by Barton Lorimor

* We’re still posting updates throughout the day in the ScribbleLive feed. Follow along

- Posted by Barton Lorimor   Comment      

Politifact rates Rauner Legionnaires’ claim ‘False’

Monday, Jun 18, 2018

Posted by Barton Lorimor

* A claim made by Gov. Rauner last week about the origins of Legionella bacteria in the plumbing at the Quincy Veterans Home has been rated ‘False’ by Politifact and the Better Government Association.

Rauner said during an event in Marion Mississippi River flood waters and strong storms in 2015 helped Legionella bacteria reach the Home. From the BGA in explaining the rating…

Former President George W. Bush clearly was powerless to stop Hurricane Katrina from slamming into New Orleans in 2005. The problem for Bush was how slowly his administration reacted to a tragedy with broad and fatal consequences once winds subsided and the devastation became clear.

Similarly, not even Rauner’s harshest critics have suggested he could have prevented the initial Legionnaires’ outbreak in 2015. But lawmakers from both parties and political opponents have blasted his administration for delays in responding to the crisis and possibly making it worse.

Rauner vehemently disagrees, and it’s not our purpose here to weigh in on who is right or wrong on that score. What is significant, however, is whether the trigger for the outbreak in any way affected the response, and the governor has provided no evidence for that being the case.

More background on the remark is here and here.

* This is the third time the Politifact-BGA partnership has stepped in to assess the validity of claims made about QVH. The first instance was a January ‘Half True’ rating of the Governor’s claim that Legionella bacteria can be found in most Illinois water systems. In March, the Pritzker campaign’s attempt to blame the Governor for a stomach virus outbreak at the Home mustered a ‘Mostly False’ rating.

- Posted by Barton Lorimor   13 Comments      

* Adventures in data governing
* Higher ed group to continue working this summer
* State Senate candidate once dressed up in blackface for Halloween
* Brady says GOP leveraged balanced budget from nervous Dems
* Politifact rates Rauner Legionnaires' claim 'False'
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