Thursday, October 19, 2017

Chuck Sweeny: Illinois still lags in creation of manufacturing jobs – Register Star

Despite our superior location, workforce and assets, surrounding states lead Illinois in creating manufacturing jobs

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Chris Kennedy: What Mike Madigan is doing should be illegal – Daily Herald

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Tens of millions of Americans are being left out of the economic recovery — and it’s easier than ever to see who they are – Business Insider

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Illinois pays for poor fiscal decisions with higher interest on bond debt – INN

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First chunk of $6 billion in Illinois paper goes down easy – The Bond Buyer/SourceMedia

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Illinois employers flooded with class-action lawsuits stemming from biometric privacy law – Illinois Policy

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University of Illinois Struggles With Faculty Retention – Associated Press

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Illinois’ pension chief: Taking pensions away from elected county officials is illegal – Northwest Herald

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Bloat expands as enrollment drops, tuition spikes in Illinois higher education – Illinois Policy

Growth in administrative bloat is sucking up money that would otherwise go toward the classroom and tuition grants for low-income students in Illinois’ higher education system.

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Gov. Rauner Earned About $90M in 2016, Paid $23M in Taxes – A.P.

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Opioid crisis: Kentucky’s reforms, Illinois’ problems and overprescription in workers’ comp – Illinois Policy

As opioid abuse ravages Illinois, lawmakers must take action to root out overprescription in the state’s workers’ compensation system.

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Trump says he would support Amazon building headquarters in Indiana – Indy Star

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Illinois sells first $1.5 bln of bonds to pay overdue bills – Reuters

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How ending the state and local tax deduction puts Illinois’ economy at a crossroads – Illinois Policy

One change in federal tax code – and Illinois lawmakers’ response to it – could decide the economic trajectory of the state.

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Madigan’s Illinois chainsaw massacre – Illinois Policy

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Gov race funds top $100 million — due to Rauner, Pritzker deep pockets – Chicago Sun-Times

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Why retail investors may vie for Illinois yields – The Bond Buyer/SourceMedia

The state will test the waters with its first tranche of $1.5 billion of bonds pricing in three series — each for $500 million — as part of a total of $6.75 billion of planned fixed-rate, tax-exempt GO borrowing, which included $6 billion to pay down a backlog of bills that currently stands at $15.4 billion.

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Durbin warns Dems about being too far left – CNN

Comment: A touch late for that. The moonbats are in control.

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Illinois’ richest people – Crain’s

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Creditworthiness Of New York And Illinois: One Is Bankrupt – Seeking Alpha

"The State of Illinois, in my opinion, is past the point of no return. It does not have the ability to raise taxes or cut spending to the degree necessary to reduce the annual cost of bond and retiree benefits from 33% to a sustainable level.... The insolvency is not the result of too much bonded debt, but rather the government promising retirement and other post-employment benefits that aren’t affordable."

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Illinois Sees Teen Traffic Deaths Drop by Half in Decade – A.P.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is crediting a graduated driver's license law with a 51 percent drop in teenage-driver deaths in the past decade.

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Trick or Treat – Eric Allie Cartoon

Madigan: Trick or Treat

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The softer side of Mike Madigan – Editorial – Chicago Tribune

About Madigan's new website: "Enjoy the fairy tails."

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Wave of local tax and fee increases sweeping Illinois – Illinois Policy

Cities and villages across the state are raising taxes or implementing new ones for a variety of functions, from attracting a fast-food restaurant to catching up on rising pension costs.

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Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner: We have the best location for Amazon, bar none – Video – CNBC

Comment: Guv., learn what "cloud" means.

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Brown: State budget impasse over, but not social service agency pain – Opinion – Chicago Sun-Times

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Chicago submits bid for Amazon’s HQ2, accompanying jobs and investment – Chicago Sun-Times

No specifics made public yet.

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Democratic candidates for governor discuss “LaSalle St. tax;” LaSalle St. responds – INN

Comment: In the world of willful ignorance of economics in which progressives live, few ideas are as dumb as the transaction tax they lust for.

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Mike Madigan’s new website

Comment: Don't you especially like the caption, "Standing Up for Our Values"? Heck, he could have saved the effort and just linked to this.

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Opioid crisis: Kentucky’s reforms, Illinois’ problems and overprescription in workers’ comp – Illinois Policy

As opioid abuse ravages Illinois, lawmakers must take action to root out overprescription in the state’s workers’ compensation system.

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Governor’s Report Shows $1.5 Billion Budget Deficit in FY2018 – The Civic Federation

Comment: The title of the report should be "Setting the problem aside, here's how things look." Like everybody else talking about government budgets, these numbers ignore growing pension unfunded liabilities. Those are insurmountable, but we'll continue to pretend they don't exist.

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Illinois May Be The Weakest State, But Watch For Others – Forbes

Comment: This author sure doesn't understand how bad things were before the budget impasse. Yes, the impasse hurt badly, but the path to doom was already set.

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Illinois’ 200th birthday party gets late start, low budget – A.P.

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Illinois joins 18 other states suing over Trump’s health care order – Associated Press

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Illinois Drivers Urged to Beware During Deer-Mating Season – A.P.

No tight blouses, short skirts, etc.

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Illinois’ new budget already falling apart – Illinois Policy

Comment: Read the specifics in this article and you'll see that the budget was one big fabrication. And not mentioned here is that the budget doesn't include losses in the pensions, which dwarf the imbalance.

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Brown: Illinois taxpayers might find Trump tax cut costly – Chicago Sun-Times

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Trump’s plan to end Obamacare subsidies stirs uncertainty in Illinois – Chicago Tribune

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llinois to sell $6B of bonds to a skeptical market – Reuters

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Rauner brings in steady hand after shaky summer – Chicago Sun-Times

Patty Schuh will serve as Rauner’s deputy chief of staff for communications after having served as spokeswoman and press secretary for four Republican leaders, Senate President James “Pate” Philip and Senate Republican Leaders Frank Watson, Christine Radogno and Bill Brady.

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Top labor leader rapped for ‘sexist mindset’ in fundraiser criticism – Chicago Sun-Times

Leaders of one of the most politically active labor unions in the state blasted the president of the Illinois AFL-CIO on Friday for what they called “unwarranted attacks” on a longtime Democratic consultant.

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Amazon to hire 10,000 seasonal workers in Illinois – Chicago Sun-Times

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State taxpayers will be paying for CPS’ underutilized schools

Under Illinois’ new education funding formula, the wildly mismanaged Chicago school district won’t lose a dime in state funding, no matter how many students it loses.

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Abundance of governments is one driver of collar county property taxes – Illinois Policy

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University of Illinois to Create Free-Speech Task Force – Associated Press

Comment: That such a thing is even needed at any "university" should truly trigger everybody.

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Illinois Circling The Toilet Bowl? This Boom Town Begs To Differ – Better Government Association

Comment: Man, what a stupid article. More on that later.

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Taxpayers should flex their muscle, pick their punches – Illinois Policy

If aggrieved taxpayers don’t also demand fixes to underlying spending problems, calls for additional tax hikes will return. And they’ll be stronger than ever.

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Jim Nowlan: Will Rauner win in 2018? – MyWebTimes

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Illinois’ pensions debt grew more in one year than half of states’ entire budgets – INN

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Ald. Ameya Pawar Ends Campaign for Illinois Governor – NBC Chicago

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Illinois Issues: Land of Lincoln, New Jersey Compete For Worst Fiscal Condition – NPR IL

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Bill introduced would restructure higher education system – The Daily Illini

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Some downstate school districts consider combining. Here’s what it could mean – Belleville News-Democrat

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Attorneys: IDOC Inmate Psychiatric Care in ‘State of Emergency’ – WTTW

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Fitch says rates $6 bln Illinois GOs ‘BBB’ outlook negative​ – Reuters

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Some Republicans may change their votes on bills governor vetoed – INN

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As Cook County rescinds soda tax, statewide push continues to prevent similar sin taxes – INN

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Illinois Debt Crisis Deepens As Comptroller Admits No Idea What True Balance Of Outstanding Bills Is – ZeroHedge

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Out of all 50 states, Illinois ranked 46th per capita in housing starts in the month of August, according to data from the National Association of Home Builders. – Prairie State Wire

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Illinois borrows $1.5B as S&P confirms rating is one notch above junk – Illinois Policy

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Legal Climate Rankings by State – U.S. Chamber Inst. for Legal Reform

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The real reason Foxconn picked Wisconsin – Opinion – Crain’s

EPA While Foxconn might not share many details with the public about its reasons for choosing the site in Wisconsin it did, it stands to reason that access to water and the rules of the Great Lakes Compact were major factors in that decision. The company selected a place where it can source water with relative ease — though there's some construction ahead to physically get it to the factory — and where the compact-related environmental exemptions in the state's incentives package will help it the most.

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CME, Linchpin of Chicago Finance, Says It’s Not Tied to the City – Bloomberg

CME Group Inc. has a message for Illinois legislators who see the $47 billion global derivatives trading giant as a piggy bank to help solve the state’s fiscal woes.

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‘Now we’re hoping he seriously considers not running’; conservative groups band together to end Rauner support – Prairie State Wire

Comment: It's not just pro-lifers.

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The Ticking Time Bomb Faced by Next NJ Governor – WYNC

Commented. Posted on the assumption that misery loves company. Lots that Illinois readers will find familiar in this article.

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Bill seeks to pay reparations to cities stuck with nuclear waste – INN

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Billions in Illinois Bills Not Sent for Payment – Associated Press

Illinois is chasing a moving target as it tries to dig out of the nation's worst budget crisis, and $7.5 billion worth of unpaid bills hadn't even been sent to the official who writes the checks by the end of June.

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Illinois Clings to Investment Grade Rating – Barron’s

With a $6 billion bond sale looming, S&P Global Ratings assigned a triple-B-minus rating to Illinois on Monday. That's the lowest rating before junk status. Illinois has by far the lowest credit rating of any U.S. state.

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Janus v. AFSCME could mean more freedom for Illinois’ government workers – Illinois Policy

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Decatur is Illinois’ fastest-shrinking city since 2010 – Illinois Policy

Decatur lost 3,400 residents from 2010 to 2016, or about 4.5 percent of its population.

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School Districts and Property Taxes in Illinois – The Civic Federation

Lots of good data here, including this: Illinois has the third highest Census-reported number of school systems in the nation with a total of 905. Only California and Texas have a slightly higher number of school systems than Illinois, but the population of those states is more than double that of Illinois. Midwest states with similar populations, such as Michigan and Ohio, both have more than 200 fewer school systems than Illinois.

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Democratic candidates for governor face off in progressive forum – Chicago Sun-Times

Comment: It appears no questions of any real substance were asked about our fiscal crisis, which is no surprise since the moderator was Mary Ann Ahern.

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Still no meetings held to balance budget governor says is $1.7 billion out of balance – INN

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Illinois small-business retirement plan faces resistance – Chicago Tribune

As Illinois moves toward becoming a national model in retirement savings for small-business workers, the designers of the state's new Secure Choice IRA plan were warned this week that if they don't get the plan right, it could be doomed from the start. At an Aspen Institute forum in Chicago, the state board planning the new program was warned repeatedly that the project could flop if small businesses are overwhelmed with bureaucratic paperwork and if low-income workers feel nervous about saving too much for retirement when paychecks already are stretched thin.

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Rep. Jeanne Ives Inching Closer to Run for Governor – WTTW

(State Rep. Jeanne Ives / Facebook)

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The buck stops somewhere else – Eric Allie Cartoon

Rauner: Buck stops somewhere else

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Illinois sets date for first piece of $6 billion in borrowing – The Bond Buyer/SourceMedia

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A trailblazing new law in Illinois will dramatically expand temp workers’ rights – Salon

Comment: This law appears to be far more onerous than has been noticed. It must be if Salon likes it.

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Durkin: Purveyor Of Debt In State Drowning In Debt – Audio – Upstream Ideas

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Rauner’s chief of staff out after 88 days, ‘turbulence,’ ‘wild times’ – Chicago Sun-Times

Comment: Note John Tillman's comment. He's a bit more subtle than we have been about a key problem -- Diana: “Regarding the governor’s office, organizational culture starts at the top and it is my hope that the governor reflects on the events of the last two years, is self accountable and finally has found a chief of staff that can work within the rather unusual dynamics he and his wife create,” Tillman wrote on Facebook.

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Gov. Rauner names fourth chief of staff in three years – INN

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Welcome to the dysfunction of Illinois government – Opinion – Chicago Tribune

Diana Sroka Rickert reflects on her time working for the state. She formerly worked for the libertarian-to-conservative Illinois Policy Institute and recently headed Gov. Bruce Rauner’s communications team.

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Legislative leaders consider using state tax dollars meant for roads to help pay for Obama museum – INN

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Governor Bruce Rauner Announces New Chief of Staff – NBC Chicago

See our quicktake on Rasumussen's departure linked here.

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Soda Tax: The Budget Reckoning – Stump

The perspective of actuary and numbers wonk Mary Pat Campbell.

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The racist roots of the right-wing agenda gripping Illinois – Chicago Reporter

Comment: Utter bullshit. It's beyond infuriating reading these charges of racism from the left, which has brought nothing but poverty and despair to racial minorities and stoked division with their identity politics.

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GOP State Rep: “We’re all free agents now.” – INN

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Illinois Cuba Working Group wants Illinois to bypass D.C. on normalizing relations – INN

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Rauner Expresses Doubt on State Funds for Obama Library – Associated Press

Comment: Let us help you with your doubts, Diana, Bruce, or whoever is governor. The answer is No.

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Rauner boasts of education reform law; draws Dem complaints – Quad Cities Times

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's new television ad touting the state's education reform law drew complaints from Democrats on Thursday that the Republican governor is claiming credit for something he actually opposed for months. Comment: As well they should complain.

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Berg: Lawmaker turned lobbyist turns the tables on taxpayers – INN

Brandon Phelps resigned from his Illinois House seat on Sept. 1. In a statement, he said he did so “in the interest of [his] personal health.” But on Sept. 14, Phelps registered as a lobbyist with the Illinois secretary of state’s office. He is risen, indeed.

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How Unions Are Already Gearing Up for a Supreme Court Loss – Governing

Public-sector unions are already preparing for a potential exodus of members and a loss of revenue. Can they survive without charging mandatory fees?

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Illinois investigator in coma after attack while trying to rescue child – Fox News

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Foxconn factory to be built in Mount Pleasant; announcement set for Wednesday morning – Journal-Sentinel

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Illinois: Be Seein Ya! – Stump

Ouch.

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ACLU of Illinois latest to sue for federal oversight of CPD – Chicago Sun-Times

Comment: Somebody needs to put together the total cost for Chicago of all its litigation.

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Doomed by delay: How Illinois bureaucracy robbed parents of a chance to save their children from a deadly disease – Chicago Tribune

But the pension checks go out like clockwork.

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The GOP Governor Will Pay a Price for Taxpayer-Funded Abortion in Illinois – National Review

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Illinois police chiefs’ not surprised departments are dropping body cameras – INN

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No federal money for abortion, but Illinois can and will pay – INN

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GOP upset with Rauner, unlikely to replace him – Opinion – News-Gazette

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Illinois public universities are in recovery mode – The Bond Buyer/Source Media

Illinois public universities face obstacles, from ongoing state political dysfunction to poor enrollment trends, as they begin the long slog back to what they hope is fiscal health after the end of the state’s historic budget impasse.

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AFT’s Bleak Future – Droupout Nation

The American Federation of Teachers knows how to spend well. Especially on its leaders and staff.

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Business groups: IL geolocations privacy bill ups lawsuit risk against ‘businesses of all sizes’ – Cook County Record

Already facing a surge of lawsuits under a state technology privacy law, business groups have expressed relief at Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s decision to veto a new state technology privacy law regulating how and when smartphone apps and the businesses that develop and deploy them must notify users their physical locations are being logged – a law the business groups say will only offer the same trial lawyers another avenue to sue them.

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Your state is probably facing a new dawn of public finance problems – Opinion – The Hill

Comment: The S&P Global Ratings guy says "We now see a profound shift unfolding in states such as Illinois, Kentucky, and New Jersey, whose pension systems are funded at distressed levels." My, what an insight.

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Trump says Puerto Rico’s debt will have to be wiped out – CNBC

Comment: That should be obvious. It should be likewise obvious that Illinois is a lesser case of the same principle. Part of our debt, including a portion of unfunded pension liabilities, has to be wiped out.

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Appeals panel: Chicago, Skokie OK to continue lawsuit vs Kankakee, Channahon over sales tax scheme – Cook County Record

A state appeals panel has reversed a Cook County judge’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit in which Chicago and Skokie claimed Kankakee and Channahon ran schemes to divert into their treasuries tax revenue from out-of-state retailers.

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David Harris Joins List of Illinois Lawmakers Calling it Quits – NBC Chicago

The Arlington Heights Republican voted for the tax-increase-with-no-reforms budget.

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Gov. Rauner Still Won’t Officially Say He’s Running for Re-election – NBC Chicago

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Illinois GOP congressmen: Rauner ‘let down’ state on abortion bill – Chicago Sun-Times

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Report: 1,300 Issues Found at 2 Cairo, Illinois Housing Complexes – A.P.

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Dem leaders want state to pay for Obama Center-related road projects – Chicago Sun-Times

A source told the Sun-Times that over time, the state could be asked for more than $100 million for transportation improvement projects triggered by construction of the Center.

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More than a third of Illinois’ largest cities shrinking in population – Illinois Policy

Twelve of the 29 Illinois cities with over 50,000 in population are losing residents.

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Why Give Public Sector Unions So Much Bargaining Power? – RealClear Markets

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IML Statehouse Briefing – Illinois Municipal League

Their summary of current Springfield doings.

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Republicans rage at Rauner – Politico

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Illinois among most expensive states for college tuition – WICS

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U of I Economic Index: Illinois Economy Continues Slow Growth – Illinois Public Media

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U.S. Senate committee wants answers about Illinois Medicaid explosion – INN

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Lincoln-Way superintendent’s indictment raises new fiscal concerns – INN

A former school district superintendent pleaded not guilty last week to multiple charges of using public funds for personal gain in a case that raises new questions about fiscal accountability in Illinois local governments

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Tempest in an Academic Teacup: The Problem with Illinois is Not Complicated Math – Stump

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Illinois pumpkin crops make healthy return after shortage – Associated Press

Comment: The best we could come up with for good news on this sad day.

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Governor Rauner Touts School Funding Law at Rockford Charter School – MyStateLine

Comment: Um Guv, I thought you line-item vetoed it, which got overridden. General Assembly and Guv, let us know when you identify where we get the $300 million each year for ten years to fund this.

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How will fallout from Rauner’s abortion bill decision affect veto session? – INN

Potential vetoes that could be called for override votes in October include plenty of important issues.

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Governor Reaches Out to Puerto Rico – Press Release

Rauner: "I am ready to send our Guardsmen on a mission to make sure the people of Puerto Rico are safe and healthy as...

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Illinois-Based Companies and Crews to Help in Puerto Rico – A.P.

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Temp Workers Gain Protections Under New Act – NPR Illinois

Temp agencies must now give their workers information about equipment, protective clothing and training before sending them to a work place. And if the agency offers transportation to and from work, the service should be free of charge.

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Getting out: Many students leaving Illinois to attend college – JournalStar

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“Horrible Conflict of Interest” for House Republican Leader Durkin – Prairie State Wire

Comment: And Durkin just drew a Republican primary challenger. See press release linked here.

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Conservatives threaten Rauner with primary over abortion law – Chicago Tribune

The new House Republican floor leader, Rep. Peter Breen of Lombard, called a primary "inevitable" after Rauner agreed Thursday to enhanced medical coverage for abortion, reversing the position he articulated months earlier. "This guy is done," Breen said Friday. "No matter that he writes big checks."

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New legislation would provide assistance to Zion, other towns with nuclear waste – Daily Herald

In addition to providing compensation, the STRANDED Act would offer tax incentives to encourage private investment in the affected communities, according to Schneider's office. It also allows those towns to be eligible for New Markets tax credits.   Comment: So, taxpayers will have to cough up because of the deal Obama made to kill the Yucca Mountain waste facility in Nevada in exchange for Harry Reid's support for candidate Obama.

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Rich Miller: Rauner’s credibility takes yet another hit – News Gazette

Comment: We rarely link to Rich Miller because we regard him as the most diabolic spin artist for union Dems in the Illinois press. But he's right on this. The blow to Rauner's credibility is irreparable. He lied to his own legislative caucus and to Cardinal Cupich on SB40. That loss of credibility just might be more damaging to him than the loss of his support over the substance of the bill.

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New state employee pension plan coming, but not soon – JournalStar

Comment: But this article misses the real point, which is that the supposed budget savings of $500 million this year are phony. See our quicktake comments on this linked here. And the savings for next year are highly suspect, too.

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Are gov hopeful Biss’s claims of math prowess pi in the sky? – Chicago Sun-Times

Comment: I've talked to Biss about the budget and pensions a number of times. The problem isn't that he doesn't understand those things or the math. It's that he's a liar and a fraud. He knows full well the positions he advocates are quack demagoguery -- designed to exploit the economic ignorance and innumeracy of the far left.

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Mark Janus: Workers should have the right to choose on union dues fees – Opinion – State Journal-Register

By the Illinois plaintiff about the case going to the United States Supreme Court.

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Republicans say they’re united, just not with Gov. Rauner – INN

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Bruce Rauner was courageous — and right — when he signed the Illinois abortion bill – Opinion – Chicago Tribune

Comment: The irony is that Rauner probably did act on conviction and not politics in signing the bill for taxpayer funded abortions, and that's his problem. Just one of his problems, actually. Socially moderate fiscal conservatives were already fed up with him.

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Judge dismisses Trust Act lawsuit against McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim – Northwest Herald

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Illinois’ next tax hike could mean pain at the pump – Illinois Policy

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Rauner vetoes protection of union-employer agreement details – Associated Press

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Rauner Becomes First Governor to Begin Taxpayer Funding of Abortion – National Review

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Amazon forces Illinois, Missouri to work together to attract new headquarters – Belleville News-Democrat

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Fed-up Illinois homeowners consider moving: ‘It’s not just the property taxes on my home; it’s all of them’ – Chicago Tribune

"The day after the Illinois legislature voted to raise the individual income tax rate from 3.75 to 4.95 percent, Northfield-based financial planner Ellen Rogin said she started getting phone calls from clients who are residents of Chicago with second homes in Florida."

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Where Rauner stands – Scott Stantis Cartoon

Where Rauner STands

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Abortion bill fallout no picnic for ‘Benedict Rauner’ – Chicago Sun-Times

Comment: The biggest part of this story are the comments about Rauner by John Tillman, head of Illinois Policy Institute, formerly Rauner's key ally....

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Rauner’s stunning betrayal of his conservative base – Commentary – Chicago Tribune

Comment: Perfectly written by Kristen McQueary. Rauner is toast.

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Rauner broke his promise by signing abortion coverage bill, Cardinal Cupich says – Chicago Tribune

Memo to file: Don't lie to the Cardinal.

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Chicago PMI Explodes Higher, Beats By 5 Standard Deviations – ZeroHedge

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Steinberg: Gov. Rauner not only acts, but does the right thing – Opinoin – Chicago Sun-Times

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John Kass: GOP backers abandon Rauner after broken promise on abortion – Opinion – Chicago Tribune

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Gov Rauner’s Full Statement on Why He’s Signing the HB-40 Abortion Bill – Video – YouTube

video
You decide.

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Republican lawmakers blast Gov. Rauner after abortion decision – INN

Brutal.

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Illinois lawmakers stampede for the exit – Illinois Policy

The most likely driver is pretty obvious to most Illinoisans: the rage of constituents.

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Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that would provide state health insurance and Medicaid coverage for abortions – CBS Chicago

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U.S. Supreme Court to Scrutinize Mandatory Union Fees Again – Bloomberg

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U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear Illinois’ forced union fees case – INN

In a decision announced Thursday morning, the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in Janus vs. AFSCME, which challenges a 40-year-old precedent that has allowed state and local governments to require their employees to pay a portion of their salaries to a union whether they want to or not.

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Tax Foundation: IL would still have to compete with other states if federal tax reform happens – INN

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Illinois Issues: Coming Up In The Veto Session – NPR Illinois

When Illinois lawmakers return for their fall session next month, they, and by extension, taxpayers, will face tantalizing questions.

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Tax Foundation: IL would still have to compete with other states if federal tax reform happens – INN

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Cops at So. IL U. tell activists their ‘free speech ball’ ‘scared’ students – Campus Reform

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With governor’s signature, Illinois the 25th state to pass civil forfeiture reform – Inst, for Civil Justice

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Depressed grain prices hurting small-town Illinois incomes – INN

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U.S. Senate panel investigating ‘soaring’ Medicaid costs in Illinois, 7 other states – INN

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Illinois’ metro jobs report: Slow growth continues – Illinois Policy

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Pollution could increase as Rauner EPA moves to rescue coal plants – Chicago Tribune

Proposed amendments to state rules would scrap limits on the rate of pollution from a fleet of eight coal plants in central and southern Illinois owned by Dynegy Inc. Instead, the state would impose annual caps on tons of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emitted by the fleet — a subtle but significant change that could stall or reverse efforts to reduce Dynegy's contributions to smog, soot and acid rain

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Business, tech leaders applaud Gov. Rauner veto of geolocation privacy bill – INN

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Knee-high weeds and trash have overtaken Cairo’s public housing complexes managed by HUD – The Southern

Comment: Can't the residents pick up the garbage and cut the grass?

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53rd (& 54th) Cranes Set Record Amid City Building Boom, Rahm Says – DNAinfo

Comment: The Tale of Two Cities Continues.

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Peoria council approves employee buyout plan – JournalStar

The city of Peoria will try to trim its workforce through buyouts before implementing layoffs. Council members agreed on a 7-3 vote Tuesday night to an incentive plan that would offer non-police and firefighting employees $30,000 in continued city health care coverage to leave city employment.  

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New Group Promotes Hunting’s Impact On Illinois Economy – No Public Radio

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Kankakee County joins the “Amazon Headquarters” race – INN

Comment: "One of the main drawbacks of Illinois as a whole is our unfunded pension system," said their state rep. "This is something that, if we're going to move forward as a state, we have to fix." Why, yes, it would seem to be.

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Manufacturers want reforms to take priority with budget talks – INN

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Illinois temp workers win new protections – Reveal

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Health costs haunt the state – News-Gazette

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College Diploma Out-Of-Reach For Growing Number Of Low-Income Illinois Students – WBEZ|

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Abortion bill on Rauner’s desk, question mark on his plans – Sun-Times

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CEOs: Illinois is a bad place to do business – INN

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The Next Big Technology to Transform Government – Governing

May be bigger than the internet, some say. Illinois officials are acutely aware that theyare exploring unchartered territory. The upside, says Michael Wons, the state’s chief technology officer, is an opportunity to transact business seamlessly and for less money.

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Gov. Rauner: Protesting NFL players are ‘disrespecting the foundations of our country’ – The Hill

Comment: Rauner finally gets balls off the fence on something.

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New Illinois law could mean the nurse will see you now – NPR IL

A new Illinois law is expected to improve access to health care by giving nurses more authority.

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New Accounting Reveals Another Empty Pension Promise – Palisades Hudson Fin. Group

Who pays pensioner healthcare and at what cost? Usually, the answers are A) local and state taxpayers and B) nobody really knows. But the answer to B, at least, is starting to change. When Aurora, Illinois, changed its budgeting to adhere to the new guideline, it recognized about $150 million in costs that had previously gone unreported. In New York state, reported health care liabilities will rise to about $72 billion, compared to $17 billion, once the new accounting standards are implemented.

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Illinois health insurance rates to increase double digits again next year – INN

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Illinois state budget already in deficit despite record $5 billion tax hike – Illinois Policy

With the 2018 budget set to spend at least $1.3 billion more than it takes in, members of the General Assembly have hoodwinked Illinoisans once again.

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Illinois Left panics over Graham-Cassidy; ignores state’s shrinking insurer numbers – Chicago Sun-Times

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Illinois in dire need of comprehensive fiscal, economic policy reform, experts say – INN

Comment: Should have been the headline on every paper fifteen years ago.

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Another township may die, but tax savings could be much greater – Belleville News Democrat

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Detroit pitch for Amazon: We’ve already been to bankruptcy court – Crain’s Detroit

See our quicktake comments on this linked here.

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Post-It Note Window War Wages Between River North Office Buildings – DNAinfo

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Illinois plans to sell $6 billion for bill relief in October – The Bond Buyer/Source Media

But the new budget accounts for debt service payments on only $3 billion of borrowing in the form of a projected ending balance.

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Bill backlog hits all-time high – Illinois Homepage

But but but the new budget and tax increase "saved the state," we were told.

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Illinois’ Kamikaze Bondholders Cheer Massive New $6 Billion Bond Deal: “It Has Turnaround Potential” – ZeroHedge

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Illinois lawmakers quitting before voters get to fire them – Belleville News-Democrat

Comment: Pretty much everything that can be looted has been, so time to move along.

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Jim Nowlan: Illinois best place by far to build Toyota-Mazda plant – Daily Journal

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This hero teacher took down a gunman in a high school cafeteria – CNN

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Gov. Rauner sets timeline for $6B bond sale to pay down bill backlog – Chicago Sun-Times

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Rauner vetoes bill to restrict collection, use of geolocation data – Illinois Policy

The governor has vetoed a bill that opponents warned would encourage lawsuits, burden businesses and suppress innovation, without meaningfully strengthening privacy protections for mobile device users.

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Rauner vetoes smartphone location tracking privacy bill – Chicago Sun-Times

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Another state rep retires – Reggie Phillips – Journal Gazette

State Rep. Reggie Phillips, R-Charleston, will not be running for a third term.

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Health Insurers in Illinois Request Premium Rate Hikes Averaging 35% – Washington Free Beacon

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Illinois Receives $110M in Emergency Preparedness Grants – A.P.

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Gubernatorial policy team is re-arranging the seating chart – INN

They'll all report to Rauner's Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Michael Lucci.

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Languishing contract negotiations show need for labor law reforms in Illinois – Illinois Policy

Government-worker unions can negotiate for months or even years without reaching a new contract, and can use negotiations to push for even cushier perks from pricier health insurance to paid time off for birthdays.

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New forfeiture rules welcome – The News Gazette

"This country has a long history of limiting the authority of government to push people around. It's about time the state's forfeiture law recognized that important ingredient in maintaining liberty." A rare bipartisan victory.

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Krug: FOIA lawsuits a threat to our democracy, insult to our time – Opinion – INN

"When I see stories such as the one published this week by The Associated Press about governments suing people who file Freedom of Information Act requests as a means of cloaking their activity, it sends shivers down my spine."

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Despite New Funding Formula, Some Schools Lose – Illinois Public Media

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Watchdog group gets the story, media take the credit – Dupage Policy Journal

A pair of crusaders battling waste and fraud on the local government level have exposed dozens of corrupt officials and saved millions in taxpayer dollars, but they rarely get noticed in the press for their investigative work,

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How Illinois is working toward a cleaner, more equitable energy future – Environmental Defense Fund

Comment: And never mind that neighboring states rejected legislation similar to our "Future Energy Jobs Act" because of the multi-billion dollar cost.

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Illinois expands child care program to cover 16,000 more children – Chicago City Wire

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In Illinois, beware of pork disguised as ‘capital’ – Opinion – Chicago Tribune

Comment: Kristen McQueary is exactly right on this, as usual. Any new capital bill must not repeat the last one in 2009, which had bipartisan support but was loaded with pork.

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Illinois Senate Majority Leader Clayborne won’t seek re-election – Belleville News Democrat

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Which states could win and lose from the new ObamaCare repeal bill – The Hill

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Barbara Flynn Currie to receive 6-figure pension after first year of retirement – Illinois Policy

The longtime House majority leader will benefit from a sweetener provision that grants massive pension spikes to career lawmakers after one year of retirement. Comment: Watch the video linked here of the infamous "ditto" performance by Barbara Flynn Currie and you'll understand her repulsive mix of arrogance and incompetence.

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Kadner: A tale of two Madigans in Illinois – Chicago Sun-Times

Good perspective on what motivates the Speaker of the House.

Illinois submits big Obamacare rate increases to the feds – Chicago Tribune

Hundreds of thousands of Illinois consumers who buy health insurance on the state's Obamacare exchange will likely see average rates increase by 16 to 37 percent next year for the lowest-priced plans, according to a new analysis.

Daddy’s little girl won’t be there to look out for his interests – Madison – St. Clair Record

We took note, two years ago, when State Attorney General Lisa Madigan crossed one of those proverbial lines in the sand: She went to court to try to prevent state workers from receiving their paychecks during an expected government shutdown.

Tax Fund Reallocation Pinches Money From Illinois Public Schools – No Public Radio

One promise heard repeatedly during debate over the state's new school funding plan was that no schools would get less funding than before. But lawmakers siphoned $300 million from a fund that schools and local governments rely upon.

State’s economy teeters on edge – News Gazette

"Unfortunately, the Democratic-controlled Legislature, for political reasons, has no interest in hearing what a Republican governor has to say, particularly as the November 2018 election approaches."

New iPhone uses facial data that’s protected under Illinois law – INN

Last week's big iPhone X announcement included news that the phones will allow owners to unlock them by reading facial data when they're looked at. This new technology creates new questions in Illinois, a state with some of the strictest biometric laws in the nation.

States Need $645 Billion to Pay Full Health-Care Costs – Wall Street Journal

When Aurora, Ill., closed its books in December, about $150 million disappeared from the city’s bottom line. The Chicago suburb of 200,000 people hadn’t become poorer. Instead, for the first time it recorded on its balance sheet the full cost of health care promised to public employees once they retire. Commet: And in Illinois, this liability is constitutionally guarantied along with pension benefits thanks to the Kanerva decision by the Illinois Supreme Court.