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Illinois Legislature: Senator Heather Steans Wins Senate Approval to Eliminate Chicago Teacher Residency Requirement


(Springfield, IL) — March 25, 2010. The Illinois Senate today today overwhelmingly approved legislation that eliminates the residency requirement for Chicago Public School teachers. The Senate voted 40-7 for the measure, Senate Bill 3522, which also eliminates residency within the district from being considered as a factor in determining compensation, retention, promotion, assignment, or transfer … Continue reading

Illinois Pensions: Madigan, Cullerton Win Swift, Bi-Partisan Approval of Public Pension Reform Plan to Save Illinois $100 Billion


(Springfield, IL) — March 24, 2010. In less than 12 hours, House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) today bulldozed a massive Illinois pension reform bill–which creates a two-tier public employee retirement system–through the Illinois legislature. That’s legislative light-speed. In the unexpected move, Madigan rolled out the legislation, Senate Bill 1946, … Continue reading

Health Care Reform–Illinois: Barack Obama May Have Approved It, But Pat Quinn or Bill Brady Will Have to Implement It


(Chicago, IL) — March 24, 2010. President Barack Obama yesterday approved the new health care reform law, but Governor Pat Quinn or a Governor Bill Brady will be largely responsible for carrying it out in Illinois. In an interview with the Chicago Tribune‘s Judith Graham, Illinois Department of Insurance Director Michael McRaith swatted aside one … Continue reading

Health Care Reform-Poll: More American Support Passage than Oppose


(Chicago, IL) — March 23, 2010. For what the snap reaction to Barack Obama’s newly minted health care reform bill is worth, from Gallup today: “Nearly half of Americans give a thumbs-up to Congress’ passage of a healthcare reform bill last weekend, with 49% calling it “a good thing.” Republicans and Democrats have polar opposite … Continue reading

Illinois Legislature: Senator Don Harmon Wins Approval of Bill to Limit Cable TV Contracts to 2 Years


(Springfield, IL) — March 23, 2010. The Illinois State Senate today approved legislation that limits consumer cable contracts to no more than two years. The Senate ok’d the measure, Senate Bill 107, 52-0. Sponsored by State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), the bill would limit cable and video service contracts to a two-year contract instead … Continue reading

Health Care Reform: Rep John Bradley Wins Approval of Plan to Draw Child Psychiatrists to Southern Illinois


(Springfield, IL) — March 23, 2010. The Illinois House attempted a little health care reform of its own today by approving a bill to help draw child psychiatrists to chronically under-served southern Illinois. The House voted 114-0 for legislation, House Bill 5053 sponsored State Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion), that creates a program in the Illinois … Continue reading

Illinois Legislature: Daily Herald Flashing Red on Senate President John Cullerton’s Red Light Cameras Moves


(Chicago, IL) — March 22, 2010. It was an odd rant. A few days ago, the Daily Herald editorial board was flashing red over Illinois Senate President John Cullerton‘s exposure of a lawmaker’s lie and exposure to information in a routine meeting regarding pending red-light-camera legislation. “Democratic Senate President John Cullerton has turned fixing red-light-camera … Continue reading

Health Care Reform: U.S. Rep. Bill Foster Credits Conversation with Illinois Insurance Commissioner Michael McRaith for “Yes” Vote


(Chicago, IL) — March 22, 2010. U.S. Representative Bill Foster (D-IL), one of the House Democratic hold-outs on President Barack Obama‘s health care reform bill that came before the U.S. House on Sunday, credits consultation with Illinois Insurance Commissioner Michael McRaith in helping him cast a “yes” vote for the plan. “In the last 72 … Continue reading

Illinois Governor 2010: Governor Pat Quinn’s Campaign Stirs


(Chicago, IL) — March 22, 2010. It lives. Governor Pat Quinn‘s idling campaign is showing signs of life. Quinn will attend the Illinois Democratic County Chairs membership meeting at the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Piping Industry Local 137 Hall, 2880 East Cook St., Springfield on March 27. Since he … Continue reading

Illinois Governor 2010: Bill Brady Parties with Karl Rove


(Chicago, IL) — March 21, 2010. State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), the Illinois Republican candidate for governor, apparently thinks that boasting of nights out with Karl Rove is a big selling point in deep-blue Illinois. Brady’s Facebook page this weekend squealed with happiness regarding the candidate’s face-time with George Bush’s brain. “Great events in DuPage, … Continue reading

Illinois Legislature: Tom Cross Opposes Madigan Judicial Reform Amendment


(Chicago, IL) — March 21, 2010. House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) wants House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) to deep-six his constitutional amendment to require Illinois judges to have at least 10 years of experience as a lawyer. Madigan’s plan, Constitutional Amendment 57, would require that a judicial candidate be a licensed attorney for at … Continue reading

Illinois Budget: Rep. Jehan Gordon Dumps on Pat Quinn’s Budget Cut to Cities


State Rep. Jehan Gordon (D-Peoria) is giving Governor Pat Quinn a legislative taste of the difficulties that his budget faces in the Illinois legislature. Continue reading

Illinois Budget: Progress Illinois Exposes Illinois Policy Institute’s Junk Policy Research


(Chicago, IL) — March 18, 2010. The Illinois ‘Policy Institute’–a thinly disguised propaganda arm of the Illinois Republican Party–has been peddling its gussied up junk policy research on the Illinois budget as the real thing and plenty of media outlets have been falling for it–except Progress Illinois. In the latest installment of party propaganda masquerading … Continue reading

Illinois Legislature: New Day, New Sex Offender Bill Approved


If Governor Pat Quinn were to propose an income tax surcharge on sex offenders, he would likely score an easily victory. Continue reading

Illinois Governor 2010 Election: Pat Quinn Brushes Aside Art Turner’s Illinois Lt. Governor Bid


(Chicago, IL) — March 16, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn appeared on Chicago WTTW-TV on Monday night and brushed aside the House Deputy Majority Leader Art Turner‘s candidacy to be Quinn’s running mate. During the interview with Carol Marin and Phil Ponce Quinn breezily overlooked Chicago Mayor Richard Daley‘s recent public backing of Turner. The 30-year … Continue reading

Illinois Legislature: Senator Kwame Raoul Picks Up Bill to Fuse Governor-Lt. Governor Campaigns


(Springfield, IL) — March 17, 2010. State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) has snagged chief sponsorship of a House bill that requires candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor to run as a team during the primary election. The legislation, House Bill 5820, initiated by House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie), which maintains the controversial office … Continue reading

Illinois Legislature: Sex Offender Bills Pile Up; Illinois Senate Votes to Prohibit Sex Offenders form Public Parks


(Springfield, IL) — March 17, 2010. The Illinois State Senate yesterday voted unanimously for legislation to ban sex offenders from Illinois public parks and from loitering on side walks near parks. The Senate’s 54-0 vote on the bi-partisan measure, Senate Bill 2824, sponsored by State Senate Pam Althoff (R-Crystal Lake), comes on the heels of … Continue reading

Illinois Budget: Illinois Policy Institute’s Fantasy Machine Churns Out Illinois Budget Proposal


(Chicago, IL) — March 17, 2010. The Illinois Policy Institute today released a detailed alternative Illinois budget that cuts $4.6 billion from the state budget, raises no taxes or loans, and still leaves the budget unbalanced by nearly $8.4 billion, kicking the can down the road. “It will take the state a few years to … Continue reading

Illinois Budget: Tom Cross, Christine Radogno Say Obama-Backed Health Reform Will Add to Illinois Budget Crisis


(Chicago, IL) — March 17, 2010. The federal health care legislation pending before Congress will aggravate the Illinois budget crisis Illinois State Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) said today. “It’s a cruel irony to promise people health care and then they can’t get treatment because doctors don’t … Continue reading

Illinois Budget: Despite Illinois Constitution, Pat Quinn’s Budget Eliminates Lt. Governor’s $139,200 Salary


(Springfield, IL) — March 17, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn‘s budget is not doing anything to make Illinois’ odd situation with the lieutenant governor’s office any less odd. Quinn has said since the debacle with Scott Lee Cohen — which left the Democrats without a lieutenant governor candidate – that he supports keeping the position.  However, … Continue reading

Bits: State Rep Sara Feigenholtz Gets “Visionary Award” at the “Eye Ball”


(Chicago, IL) — March 16, 2010. The Illinois Eye Institute Foundation honored State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) at the Four Seasons hotel on Saturday night. The foundation bestowed the organization’s “Visionary Award” at its annual “Eye Ball”. Cute. Feigenholtz, a 16-year veteran of the Illinois General Assembly, is the chair of the House Human Services … Continue reading

Illinois Budget: Democratic Women Call on Quinn, Cross, Cullerton, Madigan, Radogno to Pass “Comprehensive Tax Reform”


(Springfield, IL) — March 16, 2010. From the Department of Wishful Thinking, more than 200 mostly Democratic women have sent a letter to Governor Pat Quinn, House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego), and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) demanding that they pass a “comprehensive tax reform” package. In the … Continue reading

Illinois Budget: Greg Hinz Notes that Pat Quinn’s 1% Tax Hike Raises $2.8 Billion–$1.5 Billion More than Needed to Avoid School Cuts


(Chicago, IL) — March 11, 2010. Only in Springfield do you find this kind of “new math”. Governor Pat Quinn is proposing a 1% Illinois income tax increase surcharge to avoid $1.3 billion in cuts to local schools. What the Governor neglected yesterday to mention in his budget address is that 1% would raise $2.8 … Continue reading

Illinois Budget: GOP State Rep. Jim Sacia Says Pat Quinn’s 33% Income Tax Increase Not Big Enough; Other Lawmakers Respond


(Springfield, IL) — March 11, 2010. The state faces a staggering $13 billion deficit and Governor Pat Quinn’s budget plan calls for $2 billion in cuts, $4 billion in short-term borrowing and a 33 percent increase in the state income tax rate to cover state costs. Illinois’ current income tax rate stands at a flat … Continue reading

Illinois Budget: In Response to Pat Quinn Budget Proposal, Bill Brady Sticks to His 10% Cut, Despite Jim Edgar Calling it “Naive”


(Springfield, IL) — March 11, 2010. Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady on Wednesday called Governor Pat Quinn’s fiscal year 2011 budget a “catastrophe,” insisting his own plan for a 10 percent across-the-board cut would balance the budget and dig the state out of its $13 billion hole. His comments came after Quinn’s budget speech to … Continue reading

Illinois Budget: Governor Pat Quinn Slashes $90 Million from Illinois Community Mental Health


(Springfield, IL) — March 10, 2010. The brunt of the $276 million cut from the Illinois Department of Human Services by Governor Pat Quinn in the new Illinois budget has fallen on Illinois’ community mental health system, losing $90 million. Quinn’s proposed budget eliminates non-Medicaid community-based services and significantly reduce capacity grants. The $90 million … Continue reading

Illinois Budget: Pat Quinn Wants 1% Education Income Tax Surcharge: Dan Rutherford Wants to Hit “Reset Button” on Priorities


(Springfield, IL) — March 10, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today unveiled a proposed Illinois budget that cuts $1.3 billion from local education, but also calls for a 1% education income tax surcharge to reverse the proposed cuts. In addition to the education cuts, Quinn proposed cutting another $1 billion, borrowing $4.7 billion, and deferring another … Continue reading

Illinois Budget: Jim Edgar on Bill Brady’s Budget Proposal-“Naive”


(Chicago, IL) — March 10, 2010. Former Republican Governor Jim Edgar took a not-too-subtle swipe at GOP gubernatorial nominee Bill Brady‘s 10% cut across-the-board proposal to fill the Illinois budget’s $12 billion hole, calling it “naive”. Ouch. During an interview with Chicago WBEZ radio, which Progress Illinois overhead, Edgar said: “I don’t agree with across-the-board. … Continue reading

Illinois Governor 2010: State Rep Art Turner or Sheila Simon for Lt. Governor?


(Chicago, IL) — March 9, 2010. House Deputy Majority Leader Art Turner or Sheila Simon for the Democrats’ Lt. Governor nominee? Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed is reporting that former U.S. Senator Paul Simon‘s daughter, Sheila, who wants to be Governor Pat Quinn‘s running mate–her and about 200 people–is also on Quinn’s short list. And … Continue reading

Illinois Budget: House GOP Leader Tom Cross Gives Jobs, Budget Plan a Swift Kick in the Can


(Springfield, IL) — March 4, 2010. The Illinois budget is a game of kick-the-can for grown ups. In advance of Governor Pat Quinn’s budget address next week, House Republican Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) teamed-up with ultra-conservative Illinois Policy Institute President John Tillman to outline a familiar-looking agenda on jobs, spending, and accountability at a Springfield … Continue reading

Illinois Budget: State Senator Bill Brady Gets What He Wished For


(Springfield, IL) — March 4, 2010. The latest proposal from Democratic state senators to fix the budget looks a lot like an idea from the presumptive GOP gubernatorial candidate, State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington). In a committee on Wednesday, state senators discussed a proposed 10 percent cut to some of the state’s most expensive programs, … Continue reading

Illinois Pensions: State Sentor Pamela Althoff Says Illinois Pension Solution “Long-Term”


(Springfield, IL) — March 3, 2010. As Illinois lawmakers weigh how to fill in a budget deficit as deep as $12 billion, they may also consider changes to how retirement payments are made to state employees. For years the state has underfunded its public employee pension systems. Recent estimates have put the debt owed to … Continue reading

Illinois Budget: State Rep Mike Tyron Pushes Bill to Add Future Debt, Unpaid Bills to Budget


(Springfield, IL) – March 2, 2010. As Governor Pat Quinn prepares to unveil his solution to the state’s $13 billion budget deficit, one suburban Republican is working to change the state’s accounting practices. State Rep. Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake) wants lawmakers to account for future debt along with unpaid bills in any budget they pass. … Continue reading

Illinois Media–Carol Marin: Scott Lee Cohen Had Prostitute Problem; Jason Plummer Has Platitude Problem


(Chicago, IL) — March 1, 2010. Scott Lee Cohen had prostitutes and Jason Plummer has platitudes. Neither is helpful to a political candidate. Chicago Sun-Times columnist Carolin Marin filleted the 27-year old GOP Lt. Governor candidate in her recent column for dodging details and pushing platitudes. Referring Plummer’s sub-par interview with WTTW-TV host Phil Ponce, … Continue reading

Illinois Cemeteries: Pat Quinn Announces New Cemetery Protections Begin March 1; But Regulations, Fees May Doom Hundreds of Cemeteries


(Chicago, IL) — March 1, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn yesterday announced that a series of protections for consumers provided by the new Cemetery Oversight Act take effect on March 1, but the new regulatory beast created by the law may force hundred of small cemeteries out of business. The Act, which Quinn signed into law … Continue reading

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