Today’s headlines — Thursday, Dec. 5

Unions, universities, others analyzing pension change falloutJournal Gazette and Times-CourierIn arguing in favor of the new law, House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, called the current raises “too rich.” Under the new changes, the raises would be calculated only on the first $30,000 of a pension. At the Teachers Retirement System …
 
 
 
State Representative Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) voted in favor of Senate Bill 1—historic pension reform for the state of Illinois.
 
 
State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, issued the following statement Tuesday after the General Assembly approved a landmark conference report aimed at stabilizing  the state’s retirement systems, which is estimated to save the state $160 billion ov
 
 
 
55 minutes ago • THE ASSOCIATED PRESS … BROOKPORT, Ill. • Residents of a small southern Illinois community that’s still recovering from last month’s …
 
 
Wall Street is applauding yesterday’s General Assembly vote to enact comprehensive pension reform, but the reaction so far is well short of ecstatic. In one indication, Fitch Ratings, which has given Illinois’ debt the lowest rating of any American state, released a statement this morning terming the decision “a positive indication of the state’s willingness to take on this complicated issue
 
 
A vendor the Chicago Transit Authority hired to help straighten out its troubled Ventra fare card system has problems of its own to deal with: hundreds of thousands of dollars in liens for back taxes. According to government records, Omicron Technologies Inc., a small Northwest Side software and customer-service provider, allegedly owes $462,000 to the Internal Revenue Service for overdue taxes, i
 
 
Cook County struck a somewhat unusual deal with another government to lease the top floor of its George W. Dunne Building at 69 W. Washington St., which has some of the best mid-Loop views in town but no longer is needed for county use. Under a pact County President Toni Preckwinkle is announcing today, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review
 
 
Public pensions are at risk when a city collapsesUnion bosses who are furious at the Illinois General Assembly for passing pension reform can’t wait to get into court to challenge the new law. They have a contract right, they say. The Illinois Constitution protects that contract right, and no one can touch their benefits.
 
 
This is in response to the Sunday, Dec. 1 column by Scott Reeder. Mr. Reeder says that the biggest problem with the Illinois pension system is “it forces government to predict the future and taxpayers to underwrite these predictions.”
 
 
The new pension deal makes changes to retirees’ annual cost of living raises, ups the retirement age for workers under 46, puts a salary cap on pensionable salary, and asks workers to contribute one-percent less of their salaries toward pension…
 
 
The issue of video gambling in Godfrey continues to be an issue for some in the community.  A group of gambling opponents had hoped the advisory referrendum would have put a halt to the practice, but with less than 30 votes between the two sides…
 
 
The state’s constitution says pension benefits for state workers can’t be reduced. Critics of the latest pension deal say it neglects the law and strips workers of their hard earned benefits. Senator Toi Hutchinson agrees and explains why…
 
 
Things are looking pretty bleak for Erika Harold, the former Miss America trying to win a seat in Congress.  A recent public opinion poll shows she’s lagging behind incumbent Rodney Davis by 48-percentage points in the 13th District race. …
 
 
The candidates for DeWitt County’s march primary elections are in and highlighting the field are the candidates for County Board races for Districts B and D. In District B of the County Board, Republican incumbents Tom Pruser and Keith Koons are see…
 
 
 
Governor Quinn Statement on President Obama’s Call to Increase the Minimum Wage http://ift.tt/1cmP3Pt 
 
 
 
ILGA — Senate Approp Bills report http://ow.ly/r1ExZ  http://ift.tt/IJrBRt 
 
 
ILGA — Senate Approp Bills report http://ow.ly/r1ExZ  http://ift.tt/1hzt23H 
 
 
ILGA — Senate Committee Bill List report http://ow.ly/r1zzW  http://ift.tt/19fNRe4 
 
 
ILGA — House Committee Bill List report http://ow.ly/r1zrm  http://ift.tt/19fNRe4 
 
 
ILGA — House Sponsor Bill List report http://ow.ly/r1z0Q  http://ift.tt/19fNRe4 
 
 
ILGA — House Rules Committee report http://ow.ly/r1Ghc  http://ift.tt/19fNRe4 
 
 
ILGA — Senate Assignments Committee report http://ow.ly/r1Gly  http://ift.tt/19fNRe4 
 
 
ILGA — Senate Bill Sponsor List report http://ow.ly/r1z5s  http://ift.tt/19fNRe4 
 
 
Kane County: Our View: Pension reform bill does not go far enough http://bit.ly/1jp8BGf 
 
 
NW Herald: Our view: Pension bill doesn’t solve state’s problems http://bit.ly/1d08wUD 
 
 
DeKalb: Our View: Pension reform just first step http://bit.ly/1bjay3t 
 
 
 
 
From IL State Rep. Jeanne Ives facebook post: (The only good politician in IL! ) Not Just Any Pension Reform Vote – While I have made statements explaining my vote against Madigan’s revised pension reform bill on both the House floor and via press release, I have been asked repeatedly for further explanation. So for the sake of additional clarity, I offer the following: I refuse to adopt the attitude that any bill will do regardless of its principles and content. Yesterday the Wall Street Journal called out the IL GOP in an article entitled ‘Illinois’ Fake Pension Fix: “GOP leaders who are rounding up votes must be feeling especially charitable this holiday season because they’re making an in-kind contribution to Mr. Quinn, who will claim a bipartisan victory as he runs for re-election… Such me-too thinking is why the Illinois GOP has become a useless minority.” There is no doubt that voting for any legislation dropped on the table is quickly moving us from “super-minority” to “irrelevant.” But, what can we do? We can fight back. We can say, “This isn’t acceptable. This won’t solve the problem. We are selling people a bill of goods by saying this is reform.” Then, vote against it. Apply some pressure to affect the changes we want to see instead of tripping over ourselves to be the first in line to congratulate Mike Madigan on his bi-partisan legislation. I know our party’s stance in the ILGA is to uphold fiscal responsibility and strong policy at every decision-point and with every talking point. Let’s not retreat from this mission. As I have mentioned, I voted for pension reform. I voted, in May, for SB 1, a bill described as imperfect, but a first step. I voted for and have introduced other smaller pension reform bills. I provided the dissenting argument for a pension holiday for the City of Chicago that would have allowed them to skip pension payments for 2 more years. I am also a co-sponsor on a pension reform bill that would truly reform our state’s pension system. During my time in office, this crisis has been one of my main points of focus. Yesterday, legislators voted for marginal reforms that put retiree pensions in jeopardy, are unaffordable for taxpayers, and erode our ability to balance budgets fairly. We do need pension reform immediately, but not just any pension reform – and certainly not this brand of reform. Under Illinois Democrats, the state’s fiscal security, free-market productivity, and our ability to provide necessary services are in a freefall. Republicans who have the political courage to place Illinois back on a sustainable path in those areas currently control neither the House, Senate nor Governor’s Office. Until the people of Illinois find both the wisdom and the will to change that equation, Republicans in the House will struggle to arrest Illinois’ march into insolvency, bankruptcy and constitutional disintegration. It remains my conviction that the People of Illinois will see through the political fog and respond accordingly. Every vote we take affirms or denies our children the liberties we have been afforded.

 
 
 
 
Wealthy Republican candidate Bruce Rauner blasted Springfield lawmakers today for “patting themselves on the back” for passing a controversial pension bill, arg
 
 
Did you know that felons can run for elected office in Illinois after they have served their time in person? A l Sanchez and Ike Carothers are just two recent examples of this.
 
 
 
Sen. Steve Stadelman: (phone) 815-987-7557; (mail) 200 S. Wyman St., Room 301, Rockford, IL 61101; (email) stadelman@senatedem.ilga.gov · Discuss; Print.
 
 
If you think you own your own home, you’d better check the deed on file with …Medill Reports: ChicagoJack Franks, a Democrat who represents a northwest suburban district, agrees. “We shouldn’t be locking people up for a non-violent offense like this.” Franks believes the fraud should be curbed, but thinks that prison is not the answer. “I don’t think …
 
 
 
Local representative Norine Hammond weighs in on pension voteWGEMPhones were ringing off the hook in the office of State Representative Norine Hammond as constituents dialed her to let her know how they feel about the pension reform proposal on the table. A possible solution to an issue that has plagued Springfield …
 
 
Local legislators question planGalesburg Register-MailNorine Hammond, R-Macomb, also said she would not be supporting the pension reform bill this week. “I will definitely be a ‘no,’” Hammond said. “It’s curious (to me) because we have hundreds of calls coming in and not one person has called and asked me …
 
 
GOP candidate for 94th House seat visits QuincyQuincy JournalHe is running against former Adams County Circuit Clerk Randy Frese for the Republican nomination in the March primary to fill the seat being vacated by Rep. Jil Tracy of Quincy. She is running for Lt. Governor. This was Schrader’s first public …Monmouth Man Running For Illinois House
 
 
An assignment sent home from an Oak Forest, Ill., high school government class is raising eyebrows among parents who are shocked by the questionnaire they …
 
 
She said that the ETA is backing the Illinois Education Association’s … Val Dranias, president of Aurora-based Indian Prairie Education Association, said workers …
 
 
Ex-State’s Attorney to run in primary for County BoardDekalb Daily ChronicleDeKalb County is paying more than $1 million a year to house jail inmates outside DeKalb County, but Campbell doesn’t think the proposed DeKalb County Jail expansion is feasible, so he wants leaders to discuss other solutions. “That’s going to take the …
 
 
The Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) plans to join other union partners in an “aggressive challenge” to the bill in court, according to a statement written by IFT …
 
 
Forum: Little to like about state’s issuance of a license to pollutePeoria Journal StarDynegy applied for this variance for five Illinois coal-fired power plants it plans to purchase from Ameren: Duck Creek in Fulton County, E.D. Edwards in Peoria County, Coffeen in Montgomery County, Newton in Jasper County and Joppa in Massac County …
 
 
Illinois’ retailers collect more than $12 billion each year from their customers in state and … What do retailers need in return for the efforts that are required in this …
 
 
ABC7Chicago.comGovernor Quinn Launches Annual Holiday Card Drive for Wounded TroopseNews Park ForestCHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–December 2, 2013. Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by local students to light the state of Illinois’ Christmas tree and launch the annual Illinois Heroes Holiday Card Drive. The Governor encouraged students from across the state …Quinn launches annual holiday card drive for
 
 
 
Alabama ranked fourth in the nation for cuts to higher education from 2008 to 2013, … according to a study by the Grapevine project at Illinois State University.
 
 
So now we have state Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth’s explanation for why she was the only member of the Illinois House on Tuesday to vote “present” on the …
 
 
Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) voted to support it. READ: Illinois Passes Historic Pension Reform The legislation, officials say, will save $160 billion over the next 30 …
 
 
A Tribune investigation of U.S. Rep. Danny Davis’ campaign finances has prompted the Chicago Democrat to correct a $25,000 error in a federal disclosure, but …
 
 
By Monique Garcia, Chicago Tribune reporter … workers, public university employees and teachers outside Chicago haven’t sued, but that’s only because Gov.
 
 
 
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — A bill aimed at fixing Illinois’ hundred billion pension … A spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton said Wednesday that the …
 
 
SPRINGFIELD — On Tuesday, the Illinois General Assembly passed a measure they contend will solve the state’s pension crisis. If only it would. The reality is it …
 
 
The Illinois Senate approved a bill that would offer tax breaks to the recent OfficeMax/Office Depot merger, but the Illinois House adjourned without calling a vote.
 
 
On Tuesday, the Illinois state legislature passed a bill slashing pensions and angering unions. Gov. Pat Quinn has signaled he will sign it — a move lik…
 
 
Vice President-External Carey Ash made note at the Illinois Student Senate’s Wednesday meeting that the senate lacks a formal statement of principles to …
 
 
The pension reform that passed both houses of the General Assembly on Tuesday, and has the promise of both Gov. Pat Quinn’s signature and a lawsuit calling …
 
 
Springfield Ward 3 Ald. DORIS TURNER, who chairs the Sangamon County Democratic Party, says good things about the state of the political organization even …
 
 
Kadner: Dems break ranks on pension reformSouthtownStar“But I don’t want anything I say to be interpreted as criticism of those who worked on this bill. I know they worked long and hard to get this done. (State Rep.) Elaine Nekritz, D-Northbrook, sits right in front of me in the House, and I know how hard …
 
 
The move to retain the world headquarters of Archer Daniels Midland Co. in Illinois and to hand jobs in Decatur is in limbo. That’s not necessarily bad news.
 
 
30-24 vote in the Senate, the Illinois General Assembly approved Senate Bill 1 on … Bost was referring to House Bill 6204, which was floated by state Rep.
 
 
If the pension reform bill passed Tuesday by the Illinois General Assembly was a first step in a series of reform measures still to come, we’d hail it as a small victory for taxpayers and the state.
 
 
Northwest Herald – Found 15 minutes ago… the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reported, Quinn’s uncollected paychecks remain in Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka’s office.
 
 
(AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn stopped accepting his own paychecks this summer when he tried to halt legislators’ salaries over pension crisis inaction.
 
 
 
NewsweekStates and cities grapple with cuts to pensions that workers have already earnedPBSELAINE NEKRITZ, D-Ill.: This is hard for a lot of people in our state, and there’s — it’s not something that I feel joy about. JUDY WOODRUFF: The measure cuts cost-of-living increases for current and future retirees and raises the retirement age for …Ill. pension fight could create deeper fiscal hole
 
 
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fitch views the passage of pension reform legislation in Illinois yesterday as a positive indication of the state’s willingness to …
 
 
Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, sponsor of a bill to repeal the offset and a member of the … that could clear the Legislature next spring in time to take effect in 2015.
 
 
CHICAGO – Governor Quinn today issued the below statement regarding President Obama’s call to increase the national minimum wage:
 
 
Rockford Register Star – Found 1 hour agoRemember that Amtrak train Gov. Pat Quinn promised northwest Illinois? … “The governor says he’s disappointed that the cost has skyrocketed.
 
 
 
 
DU QUION — John Rednour, Sr. was laid to rest Wednesday in the town where he served as mayor for more than two decades.
 
 
Big changes are coming to GED testing in the new year, and local agencies are encouraging people to get their exams done now.
 
 
Forby, Phelps hold seminar for retireesHarrisburg Daily RegisterState Senator Gary Forby and State Representative Brandon Phelps are sponsoring two seminar sessions at Southeastern Illinois College 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 5. The sessions are in the Visual and Performing Arts Center. Also attending is …
 
 
Rep. Meier: Deadlines for State Retirees on Medicare Advantage fast approaching http://ift.tt/1iAyWmH 
 
 
Sen. Murphy will be on Chicago Tonight WTTW tonight at 7:00 p.m. to discuss the… http://ift.tt/1cmwHhy 
 
 
VIDEO: Senger on restoring stability to state pension systems http://ift.tt/IOYbSu 
 
 
[ooyala code=”MzZzA1aToXXJReOUSO3Evx05HGkj0wem” player_id=”c660b791c3704ff69d4162d7adb7c4a1″] (KTVI)– According to a new report, the five Illinois public employee pension plans are $97.5 billion short of having enough money to pay out benefits to current and future Illinois retirees. This comes one day after the Illinois legislature okayed pension reforms that are supposed to h
 
 
Governor has received #Pension bill, I’m told he will sign it tomorrow without media or fanfare. #twill
 
 
Check out Channel 11, Chicago Tonight now. Pension reform is the topic.
 
 
Gurnee has placed a one-year moratorium on the question of whether to occupy a medical marijuana facility within the community. Officials said it will to figure out how best to implement such a complex and controversial law.
 
 
WGEM.com – Found 26 minutes agoGovernor Pat Quinn plans to sign the bill, but unions plan to challenge it in court. Candidate Dillard talks pension deal in Quincy – KHQA 7 Online DeKalb County lawmakers split on pension reform bill – DeKalb Daily Chronicle Lawmakers -Politicians React to Pension Reform Passage – WYZZ-TV DeKalb County legislators split on pension reform bill – DeKalb Daily Chronicl
 
 
A Cook County jury awarded $4.7M to the family of a woman who died at a suburban hospital after an asthma attack. http://chicagolawbulletin.com/Articles/2013/12/04/Verdict-12-4.aspx …
 
 
Separately, the Illinois General Assembly yesterday approved a $160 billion overhaul and rescue plan for the state’s beleaguered pension plan, which will cut …
 
 
Liberal government employee unions hate it. Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery called the bill “unfair, unconstitutional pension theft” and …
 
 
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White (D) announced that a Springfield, Ill., financial adviser was arrested Dec. 4 for allegedly defrauding …
 
 
David Harris, Arlington Heights Republican; Rep. Jeanne Ives, Wheaton Republican; Rep. Rita Mayfield, Waukegan Democrat; David McSweeney, Barrington Hills Republican; Rep. Tom Morrison, Palatine Republican; Sandra Pihos, Glen Ellyn Republican …
 
 
NBC ChicagoMadigan: Courts Could Pick And Choose On Pension PlanWUIS 91.9Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan presents the conference committee report on Senate Bill 1, the legislation overhauling Illinois pensions. Madigan says “hopefully the Court will rule in favor of the constitutionality of the bill.” Illinois …Pension Vote Crowds Out House Incentive Bill, For NowOne state retir
 
 
Liked Sanchez, not Carothers Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said Wednesday she won’t be backing either of the two ex-felons running for commissioner seats in the March Democratic primary.    
 
 
Teachers, welfare specialists and other public employees in Illinois are nervous about pension changes that lawmakers approved Tuesday in an attempt to resolve the state’s worst-in-the-nation pension crisis.
 
 
It’s sometimes called “highway hypnosis” or “white-line fever,” and it’s familiar to anyone who has ever driven long distances along a monotonous route.
 
 
Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen expressed grief Wednesday about the black eye the county took when a freezer in the coroner’s office failed on Thanksgiving. The accompanying partial meltdown of the bodies inside made headlines in print, radio and TV. Lauzen said there should be a full inventory of the facility needs in Coroner Rob Russell’s office, and he pointed out Russell has had a full
 
 
Carpentersville leaders eliminated the village’s vehicle sticker program Tuesday and replaced it with a one-half percent hike in the sales tax, a raise that retires in three years. The increase brings Carpentersville’s sales tax to 9 percent, which officials won’t begin collecting until July 1, 2014. Locally, that figure ties Carpentersville with most of East Dundee, which charges the same tax in
 
 
The Mundelein Police Academy Alumni Association hosts its fifth annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser on Friday, Dec. 6, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Mundelein Police Department, 221 North Lake St.
 
 
“Illinois pension systems are just too rich to be afforded,” Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan said Tuesday as lawmakers began on a path to pension …
 
 
Wondering if @SenatorDurbin appreciates Sen. Warren waiting a day after his fundraiser to say she’s not interested in the presidency.
 
 
Yesterday I voted for the pension reform bill. We arrived at the crushing $100 billion liability facing our state not through the fault of our employees, but because of the irresponsible actions of state politicians, Republican and Democratic, who increased pension benefits without paying for them. Illinois has come to this place because we chose to forgo our pension payments and use them as a lin
 
 
CIproud.comLocal Lawmakers Share Concerns About Newly Approved Pension PlanCIproud.comSenator Dave Koehler and Representative Mike Unes said they have concerns with the bill. They said the biggest issue is whether or not the plan is unconstitutional. Koehler said, “I know why I voted no. I voted no because I felt number 1, it was not …
 
 
Kass: Pets should not be allowed on Metra Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass and reporter Jenniffer Weigel share their opinions on a petition calling for the metro to allow pets on board. For more v… From: Chicago Tribune Views: 1 0 ratings Time: 02:07 More in News & Politics
 
 
Kass tells George Clooney to grow up Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass and reporter Jenniffer Weigel discuss George Clooney’s statement that he has not yet found the love of his life. For more… From: Chicago Tribune Views: 1 0 ratings Time: 01:20 More in News & Politics
 
 
25, will speak to the media for the first time after the Thursday afternoon shootaround, but won’t start any sort of physical rehab … Email: jcowley@suntimes.com …
 
 
WBEZThe politics behind the pension voteWBEZMeantime, House Republican Leader Durkin said he’ll work with Mayor Emanuel, even though he’s with the opposing political party. Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him @tonyjarnold. Illinois Public Radio’s Amanda Vinicky contributed …
 
 
The Dan Rutherford for Governor campaign has been gaining momentum and it is a direct result of your continued support. Dan has been traveling the state at an extremely aggressive pace. We have strengthened our field operation by adding additional coordinators, while significantly increasing our volunteer support base as well. We filed the maximum number, allowed by law, of signatures on our petit
 
 
The DePaul women’s basketball team is joining the ranks of those helping the victims of the Nov. 17 tornadoes in Central Illinois as well as needy local children for Christmas. The team will conduct a toy drive on Saturday when they host rival Loyola at McGrath-Phillips Arena at 7 p.m. and again on Dec. 12 Continue reading →
 
 
HIGHLAND – State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) is urging state retirees and retired teachers to pay close attention to fast approaching deadlines to file appropriate paperwork related to their healthcare through Medicare Advantage. “Deadlines are coming up very soon, some as early as December 13.  We don’t want to have folks kicked out of their healthcare plans because they missed the
 
 
REP. DEMMER, SB1 ALLOWS FOR BETTER REASSURANCE GOING FORWARD http://ift.tt/1cmiqRU 
 
 
My pen-pal Jackson continues his incredible stroke recovery. I’m thankful for his friendship. #NeverGiveUp http://www.commercial-news.com/local/x517507317/Friendship-tops-gratitude-list …
 
 
So while it wasn’t perfect pension reform bill, it was certainly a positive step in the right direction. http://voices.suntimes.com/early-and-often/politics/bond-rating-agency-calls-passage-of-pension-reform-deal-a-positive-development-for-illinois/ …
 
 
There are smiles on many faces in Gurnee, now that Mayor Kristina Kovarik announced this week that Mariano’s, a quality grocery market chain, will soon replace a distressed Dominick’s store at 6655 Grand Ave.
 
 
We Are One – The Illinois legislature passed pension-slashing Senate Bill 1 ….. It was a normal day of learning for students at Whittier Elementary in Peoria …
 
 
“Destination: Chief Justice” http://chicagolawyermagazine.com/Articles/2013/12/Person-of-the-Year-Rita-Garman.aspx … @RoyWStrom’s profile of Rita Garman, Chicago Lawyer’s Person of the Year.
 
 
SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) yesterday voted No on a proposal to reduce future pension benefits to state employees and retirees. The bill passed the House by a 62-53 vote.
 
 
The Mark Beaubien Lifetime Service award for the Illinois House: Rep. Skip Saviano, Rep. Joe Lyons (tie) * The John Millner Lifetime Service award for the Illinois Senate: Sen. Susan Garrett (Sen. Tom Johnson) * Best Illinois State Senator – Republican …
 
 
Big changes are coming to GED testing in the new year, and local agencies are encouraging people to get their exams done now.
 
 
VICTORY FOR A DAY No denying that Tuesday’s pension reform vote in Springfield was historic. It’s a start, but not the solution, for addressing the state’s financial dysfunction.
 
 
“They have never seen a representative push a reform platform to bring honest government to Illinois in such a short period of time as I did.” Drury holds a law …
 
 
State Rep. Darlene Senger believes SB 1 will bring stabilization to Illinios From: ilhousegop1 Views: 2 0 ratings Time: 02:15 More in News & Politics
 
 
Former NBA player Keon Clark has received an eight-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to two charges.
 
 
Conference Committee Pension Reform Proposal (SB 1) Executive Summary   The Conference Committee on Pension Reform was created to address the growing $97 billion unfunded pension liability, the ever increasing General Revenue funds that must be used to meet pension obligations, and the “crowding out” effect that it was having on funding for other state services. After months of negotiations the Co
 
 
Springfield’s acting corporation counsel John Mehlick is resigning, the mayor’s office announced. Details to come.
 
 
Hackers have stolen usernames and passwords for nearly two million accounts at Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo and others, according to a report released this week. The massive data breach was a result of keylogging software maliciously installed on an untold number of computers around the world, researchers at cybersecurity firm Trustwave said. The virus was capturing login credentials for key w
 
 
Illinois lawmakers narrowly approved a bill Tuesday intended to fix the state’s pension crisis by providing $160 billion in savings over the next 30 years
 
 
CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn declared today “Chad Pregracke Day” to salute the East Moline man who was named “CNN Hero of the Year” for his efforts to clean up America’s waterways. Chad Pregracke will be honored in a CNN broadcast hosted by Anderson Cooper tonight at 7:00 p.m.
 
 
SPRINGFIELD –The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), in conjunction with the Association for State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and 20 development partners, today announced the release of the National Health Security Preparedness Index™ (NHSPI™), a new way to measure and advance the nation’s readiness to protect people dur
 
 
NEWS RELEASE Nicoud forms alliance with Mesirowhttp://www.springfieldbusinessjournal.com/releases/Nicoud1204.pdfwww.springfieldbusinessjournal.com
 
 
NEWS RELEASE Traffic signals out at Sangamon and Dirksenhttp://www.springfieldbusinessjournal.com/releases/CWLP1204.pdfwww.springfieldbusinessjournal.com
 
 
For Immediate Release Ives’ Statement on Pension Reform Vote December 4, 2013 – Wheaton, Illinois – I voted for pension reform. I voted in May for SB 1, a bill described as imperfect, but a first step. I voted for and have introduced other smaller pension reform bills. I provided the dissenting argument for a pension holiday for the City of Chicago that would have allowed them to skip pension p
 
 
Spoke with News-Talk 1400 WDWS this morning about yesterday’s pension vote, Gifford tornado recovery, and the ongoing resolution I’m working on regarding Health Alliance coverage. Take a listen.State Senator Mike Frerichs 12/4/2013 | NewsTalk 1400 WDWS-AMwww.wdws.comDave Gentry and Elizabeth Hess talk to State Senator Mike Frerichs about the Illinois pension plan
 
 
“If this vote were easy, we would have taken it long ago,” said Senator Kwame Raoul (D – Chicago), chair of the pension reform conference committee. “If this issue were simple, it already would have been resolved. If the prospect of altering pension benefits were unproblematic, we would not be standing here today, still wrestling with the question of what justice and fairness demand. But there is
 
 
Senator Melinda Bush’s statement on Tuesday’s pension vote:Melinda Bush, State Senator of Illinois District 31senatormelindabush.com
 
 
https://fbcdn-profile-a.akamaihd.net/hprofile-ak-ash1/373241_64563365860_829126829_s.jpgMichael E. HastingsHastings on pension proposal SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois General Assembly passed major changes to the state’s pension systems earlier today to address the state’s more than $100 billion pension debt. State Senator Michael Hastings (D–Orland Park), one of 27 senators who did not support the mea
 
 
 
Timeline PhotosBelow is a statement I released earlier today following the General Assembly's action on pension reform.
 
 
Senator Don Harmon’s statement on pension vote:Pension reforms: Fiscal stability and a promise (we hope) fulfilledwww.oakpark.comI’ve been assuring friends, neighbors and readers of Wednesday Journal for months that the General Assembly would soon tackle pension reform in a meaningful way. 
 
 
* The very same columnist who broke the story about the expensive Statehouse copper doors wrote this without irony today… For 30 years, I have seen the same old, same old in Springfield. At this time of year, workers climb onto the roof of the Capitol and string those multi-colored holiday lights. […]
 
 
IEA President Cinda Klickna on passage of SB1 IEA President Cinda Klickna comments on Tuesday’s vote in the General Assembly, passing Senate Bill 1, a pension-cutting bill. Here is the statement released by the We Are One Illinois labor… From: ieanea Views: 0 0 ratings Time: 01:17 More in News & Politics
 
 
Text from former intern says he “nearly spat out my breakfast” reading last night’s big roll call. Too busy at dinner to follow along live?
 
 
Report on trafficking in Illinois. Striking difference in numbers of prostitution arrests vs solicitation arrests. http://www.icjia.state.il.us/public/pdf/Bulletins/Trafficking_Laws_Nov_2013.pdf …
 
 
NEWS: Hunter honors Red Hatters, retired nurses and teachers at senior luncheon http://bit.ly/1bIqj5J 
 
 
Wall Street likes Illinois pension vote, but withholds love for now http://fw.to/6f3W6nV  via @GregHinz #Twill
 
 
I’ve filed my petitions with the state of Illinois: I’m running for re-election to the United States Senate. Are you with me? #ILSen
 
 
Headed to #Rockford tonight for an event with supporters. Email sdeguilio@kohnconsulting.com for details. #twill pic.twitter.com/WnJyHcUy6Y
 
 
Internal Poll: Erika Harold Trails Rodney Davis in IL-13 | At the Races http://atr.rollcall.com/internal-poll-former-miss-america-trails-freshman-republican-in-illinois/ …
 
 
* The AP published some pension reform bill impact numbers from the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability… Employee 1 Retired teacher, 30 years of service Initial annual benefit: $67,000 Annual pension benefit after 20 years of retirement: $121,009 a year under the current […]
 
 
Yesterday the General Assembly passed and sent to the Governor legislation dealing with the unfunded liabilities of the 4 state pension systems (TRS, SURS, SERS and General Assembly). The Governor has indicated he will sign this legislation into law. It would not take effect until July 1, 2014. In addition, there will undoubtedly be court […]
 
 
Congratulations to Naperville Central’s State Championship Football Team!Naperville Central crowned Class 8A champnapervillesun.suntimes.comThe Naperville Central Redhawks defeated the Loyola Academy Ramblers 13-10 at Huskie Stadium on Saturday to win the IHSA 8A State Championship, behind a huge effort from their special teams.
 
 
 
 
Following the passage of SB1, State Representative Brown issued the following open letter to public sector employees impacted by the vote.
 
 
On December 3rd, the Illinois General Assembly passed a pension reform bill during a special session. The bill can be viewed here. The roll call can be viewed here. Below, you can view the floor speech, statement on the bill and a summary of the provisions. If you have any questions, please contact repcassidy@gmail.com or 773-784-2002. Statement on Bill Passage On December 3rd, the Illinois Gener
 
 
PoliticoSchakowsky Named to Leadership of Top House Democratic CommitteePatch.comJan Schakowsky was appointed Tuesday as vice chair of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, a key group within the party, according to the Chicago Tribune. The committee suggests which Democrats should serve on different committees …Lawmakers sought ban on ‘signature’ drone strikesHouse Committee Refus
 
 
The 15th annual Toy Parade sponsored by the Chicago Firefighters Union takes place on Saturday. Preparations are underway on the South Side, and FOX 32 News has your sneak peek!
 
 
Wealthy Republican candidate Bruce Rauner blasted Springfield lawmakers today for “patting themselves on the back” for passing a controversial pension bill, arguing that the legislation does “far too little to fix our pension mess.” The remarks, made through a spokesman to the Chicago Sun-Times, ratchets up the rhetoric on what’s promising to be an ongoing Continue reading →
 
 
URBANA — An Urbana teen who admitted his role in trying to plan a robbery has been sentenced to three years in prison. Jamarri D. Walker , 18, of the 600 block of East Washington Street, Urbana, pleaded guilty Wednesday to attempted aggravated robbery for steps he took on Oct. 22 to rob a pizza delivery man at an apartment complex in the 900 block of Colorado Avenue in Urbana. read more
 
 
Pension reform might happen in Illinois after all. After years of posturing, inertia and debate, the Illinois House and Senate each passed a controversial reform bill in a lightning fast one-two punch Tuesday afternoon. Gov. Quinn says he’ll sign the pension deal once it hits his desk.
 
 
A nanny and a marketing manager from Chicago as well as an interior designer from Rockford are the three Illinois women hoping to move to Miami and be Mrs. Juan Pablo Galavis in the upcoming season of “The Bachelor.” The 18th installment of ABC’s romance reality series will be spread over two nights, beginning Sunday, Continue reading →
 
 
Derrick Rose is just over a week into recovering from his second knee surgery in 19 months. The Bulls point guard underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair the torn medial meniscus in his right knee after suffering the injury against the Portland Trailblazers on Nov. 22. Team doctors and members of the front office have said that Rose is expected to make a complete recovery although he has been rul
 
 
Move over, deep-dish pizza. Chicago is being hailed for a different mouth-watering treat—the doughnut. Chicago dominated the Daily Meal’s latest list of America’s top 25 doughnuts, with a plain glazed sensation at the Doughnut Vault in the River North neighborhood ranked as the top doughnut in the country. The Doughnut Vault’s tasty treat was followed by a plain glazed doughnut from Round Rock Dou
 
 
U.S. Reps. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., and Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, both proposed Wednesday to expand and extend soon-to-expire tax incentives aimed at encouraging the hiring of veterans.
 
 
Online car service Uber and Home Depot are teaming up to deliver Christmas trees to Chicagoans who don’t have a car to tie one on. (Or those who’d just rather not bother.)
 
 
All eight of the metro-east lawmakers who were in Springfield on Tuesday voted against adopting a pension reform bill.Click to Continue »
 
 
 
Mark Brown says the IL Supreme Court is a political sensitive body and might uphold the constitutionality of the pension reduction legislation rather than look at the fine points of the contract…what we might add is that the state-wide Judicial Pension Fund was EXCLUDED from this legislation… Illi­nois’ fi­nan­cial prob­lems are far from over MARK BROWN Email: mark­brown@sun­times.com Twit­ter: @MarkBrownCST Chicago Sun-Times.com December 4, 2013 SPRINGFIELD — Oh, how I wish I could tell you that the long fight to fix Illinois’ grossly underfunded public pension plans was at an end with Tuesday’s historic votes by the state Legislature. But that wouldn’t be true. First, there will be a court challenge — or more likely challenges — brought by state workers, teachers and their retirees, along with the unions that represent them. And before those cases can even work their way through the system, state lawmakers will have to decide in early 2014 how they are going to handle Chicago’s pension problems — beginning with those of city teachers. Other local officials, including Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle are clamoring for pension relief as well, which will combine with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s priorities to keep the issue on the front burner. If the courts strike down the pension reform plan approved Tuesday on narrow votes by both chambers, or even if they rule out parts of it, we could be back here within a year or two to start over. I’m not predicting the courts will find the new pension law unconstitutional, mind you, unlike many of those happy to use that as an excuse to vote against the most comprehensive pension fix ever brought forward by all four legislative leaders and a governor, in this case Pat Quinn. I figure it could go either way, leaning slightly toward being upheld, based more on my perception of the Illinois Supreme Court as a politically sensitive body than on the fine points of contract law. That very specific provision in the Illinois Constitution protecting public employee pensions has always appeared difficult to overcome, but Quinn and three of the four legislative leaders were not shy in asserting that this bill will pass legal muster. That notably left out a grumpy Senate President John Cullerton, a Democrat who shared in the plaudits for passing a piece of legislation that he never truly liked and came to support only reluctantly to get something to the courts. “I think the bill has serious constitutional problems. I’ve made that clear from the start,” said Cullerton, who preferred a less severe approach favored by the unions that would have required the state to make more of a trade-off with pension plan participants in return for the benefit reductions sought. But Cullerton said he decided it was important to pass the legislation because “until the court rules, you don’t know for sure.” Unintentionally, Cullerton’s comments helped give cover to many Republicans, including two candidates for governor — Dan Rutherford and Kirk Dillard — who used the constitutional concerns as an excuse to oppose the bill. Only Dillard had a vote, but his reasoning came across like a guy trying to justify a strategic political decision instead of as the bipartisan statesman he has long held himself out to be. It was especially inexplicable considering that his lieutenant governor running mate, Jill Tracy, supported the measure. This was a day where you could see who was interested in standing up and being counted as a truly serious legislator. That’s not to say I don’t understand why many lawmakers, especially Democrats, would be loath to take away pension benefits promised and earned, especially for those who are already retired. It’s a desperate move to be reserved for dire circumstances. But keep in mind that no retiree will receive any less money than they currently are receiving. The difference is that those pension payments won’t increase in the future as fast as they would otherwise. This was one of those situations where if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. That’s why I give credit to everybody who stuck their necks out to make it happen, starting with Quinn, who continues to make a strong case for himself as somebody willing to doggedly deal with difficult issues. House Speaker Mike Madigan wasn’t shy about letting everyone know that he came up with the compromise proposals that helped get all the legislative leaders to agree, and I never doubted for a minute that he’d be the one to finally make it happen — if he so desired. Republicans leaders Christine Radogno in the Senate and Jim Durkin in the House also showed themselves as individuals willing to take risks for the good of the public — even as their party’s rising star, mega millionaire Bruce Rauner, was undercutting them by throwing everything against the pension deal in a calculated effort to keep the state in disarray. Rauner is correct that the state’s financial problems are far from over, including its pensions, but Tuesday’s votes brought us a major step closer, no thanks to him. © Copyright Sun-Times Media, LLC

 
 
 
Pat Quinn is asking you to help make the holidays bright for injured service men and women. This is the ninth year for the Illinois Heroes Holiday Card Drive.
 
 
WJOL Guest Says Pension Deal Will Make Things Worse1340 WJOLThe pension agreement in Springfield made things worse; according to Paul Kersey, director of labor relations with the Illinois Policy Institute. Kersey says the deal ALLOWS for the “pension guarantee,” at the EXPENSE of Illinois’ infrastructure and …
 
 
Interstate speed limits that are too low are dangerous and the speed limits on metro Chicago Tollways like I-88, I-294 and I-355 fit this description.
 
 
Today the Illinois General Assembly sent a pension bill to Gov. Pat Quinn. It is important to be clear about what this bill is and is not. Let’s start with what this bill …
 
 
Today Illinois celebrates the 195th anniversary of its statehood?the ?Prairie State? was admitted into the Union on 3 December 1818 as the 21st state. The.
 
 
Pat Quinn, officials with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services and several state legislators over the rule, which was included in a massive …
 
 
Chicago is a major city, but it does not have many national celebrities. Its comedians and community organizers — and even Oprah — tend to leave for the coasts, …
 
 
Obstetrician to challenge Drury for Illinois 58th Dist. in NovemberDeerfield Review… and transparency to state government by eliminating budgeting gimmicks and reforming lobbying and ethics laws and criminal justice procedures. One month into the office, he unveiled a platform of two dozen proposals under the banner “REBOOT Illinois”.
 
 
International markets present enormous potential for Illinois agricultural products. However, many producers and processors aren’t taking advantage of this …
 
 
* From a We Are One Illinois press release… “This is no victory for Illinois, but a dark day for its citizens and public servants. “Teachers, caregivers, police, and others stand to lose huge portions of their life savings because politicians chose to threaten their retirement security, rather than pass a much fairer, legal, negotiated solution in […]
 
 
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
 
 
* Sun-Times… [The pension reform vote win] comes on the heels of Illinois in November becoming the 16th state to sign a bill legalizing same-sex marriage after just months earlier the Illinois House didn’t have the votes to even call the matter for a vote. There’s no doubt the “ineffective governor” label once slapped on Quinn is […]
 
 
* The very same columnist who broke the story about the expensive Statehouse copper doors wrote this without irony today… For 30 years, I have seen the same old, same old in Springfield. At this time of year, workers climb onto the roof of the Capitol and string those multi-colored holiday lights. […]
 
 
* Tribune… A Springfield fire official today said tests revealed baby powder was the suspicious white substance that fell out of an envelope in a building across from the Capitol. Springfield Fire Chief Ken Fustin said officials will continue to investigate the matter because a letter also in the envelope indicated criminal intent, though he declined to […]
 
 
By Colleen Kane Tribune reporter. 9:20 a.m. CST, December 4, 2013. Paul Konerko will return for his 16th season with the Chicago White Sox, the team …
 
 
HOMEWOOD (CBS) — It was a tense afternoon for everyone living or working near a Bank of America branch in Homewood following a robbery and manhunt. Charges are pending against three suspects who allegedly staged a takeover robbery at a the bank, but it was the four-hour manhunt for two of the suspects that had the neighborhood on edge. The robbery at the Homewood Bank of America branch and the sub
 
 
* AP… Illinois lawmakers have adjourned without approving bills proposing tax incentives for Archer Daniels Midland Company, chemical distributor Univar and newly-merged OfficeMax and Office Depot. The Senate OK’d two bills Tuesday. One would give ADM up to $30 million in tax breaks. The other calls for roughly $58 million in incentives for Univar and OfficeMax. However, the […]
 
 
* Fox 32 has a pretty funny story about Speaker Michael Madigan’s “Republican” opponent Terrence Goggin, who is running “against” Madigan for the fourth time since 1998, even though local Republican Party officials have never met the man. He’s an obvious plant… Angela Reyes, a circulator for Goggin, said she would be happy to discuss […]
 
 
* From Fitch Ratings… Fitch views the passage of pension reform legislation in Illinois yesterday as a positive indication of the state’s willingness to take action on this complicated issue after many failed attempts. Fitch has stated that pension reform that enhances the funding levels of the pension systems and controls the growing impact of pension […]
 
 
* Here are our 2012 Golden Horseshoe Award winners, with 2011 winners in parentheses… * The Wordslinger Golden Horseshoe Award for Best CapitolFax.com Commenter: Oswego Willy (Michelle Flaherty) * The Mike McClain Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Statehouse Insider: Mike McClain * Best Statewide Officeholder: Auditor General Bill Holland (Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka) * Best “Do-Gooder” Lobbyist:
 
 
* The AP published some pension reform bill impact numbers from the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability… Employee 1 Retired teacher, 30 years of service Initial annual benefit: $67,000 Annual pension benefit after 20 years of retirement: $121,009 a year under the current […]
 
 
Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) all voted to support the pension bill that passed both chambers and now awaits Gov. Pat Quinn’s …
 
 
Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Burr Ridge, right, Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, far left, Illinois Senate Minority Leader …
 
 
This may just be one of the sweetest titles to win. Four Chicago shops made The Daily Meal’s list of America’s 25 Best Donuts. The Doughnut Vault’s plain glaze ranked best in the nation!
 
 
No details on contract released other than an agreement has been reached on “all outstanding issues.”
 
 
The free webinar is part of the seventh annual Continuing Legal Education Series … Conference Center on the DePaul University campus in Chicago, Illinois.
 
 
International markets present enormous potential for Illinois agricultural products. … United States Department of Education under the Business and International …
 
 
* From a We Are One Illinois press release… “This is no victory for Illinois, but a dark day for its citizens and public servants. “Teachers, caregivers, police, and others stand to lose huge portions of their life savings because politicians chose to threaten their retirement security, rather than pass a much fairer, legal, negotiated solution in […]
 
 
Share on Facebook Retweet this Submit this to Stumble this Editorial: In the Illinois pension reform fight, Republican businessman Bruce Rauner ended up as the biggest loser on Tuesday. Since launching his campaign for governor in the spring, Rauner has campaigned or sloganeered on a few calorie-free phrases of “shaking up Springfield”, “taking on government union bosses”, “deli
 
 
WGN Legal Analyst Paul Lisnek talks about the constitutionality of the pension reform bill that Illinois lawmakers recently passed.
 
 
Dillard – Quincy Tea Party – 12-4-13 State Sen. Kirk Dillard speaks to the Quincy Tea Party on 12-4-13. From: Quincy Journal Views: 1 0 ratings Time: 39:45 More in News & Politics
 
 
U.S. Senate Republican primary contender Doug Truax lashed out at state Sen. Jim Oberweis’ “yes” vote on Tuesday’s landmark pension reform bill. Oberweis and Truax are competing for the Republican primary nod in an ultimate attempt to unseat longtime powerful U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill. “Illinois is the worst run state in America Continue reading →
 
 
Advocates for a trauma care center on the South Side were able to take their concerns to the legislators recently. State Sen. Mattie Hunter (D-3) hosted a hearing …
 
 
Today I’m calling for significant and revolutionary change at Illinois Statehouse. http://www.sj-r.com/article/20131202/NEWS/131209853 …
 
 
Boston GlobeQuinn now has 2 legislative wins to fuel re-election effortChicago TribuneFor Gov. Pat Quinn, putting pen to paper on a bill to salvage the nation’s worst-funded state employee pension system will be a signature moment both literally and politically. More than two years of the governor’s repeated calls for action on the …Chicago Tribune political reporter on pension reform vote
 
 
* From a Bruce Rauner press release… “Springfield politicians [yesterday] voted to slap a small bandage on an open wound. While it may help them temporarily feel better, it does little to fix the real problems facing Illinois. The pension system remains broken and badly underfunded. State spending has never been higher, or less productive. Another […]
 
 
* From yesterday’s pension reform debate… Have at it.
 
 
There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.
 
 
The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/1eVA6El ) that the Chicago Democrat says the Gifford residents are “pulling together to get this community …
 
 
We encourage state government, historical groups and county governments to consider ideas and pursue plans now to ensure a successful Illinois Bicentennial …
 
 
Lt. Governor Sheila Simon 12/4/2013: Play now!Dave Gentry and Elizabeth Hess talk to Lt. Governer Sheila Simon about the current pension plan descision. Download Depending on your browser settings, you may have to right click the link below and select “Save Link As…” or “Save Target As…” Download now!
 
 
State Senator Mike Frerichs 12/4/2013: Play now!Dave Gentry and Elizabeth Hess talk to State Senator Mike Frerichs about the Illinois pension plan Download Depending on your browser settings, you may have to right click the link below and select “Save Link As…” or “Save Target As…” Download now!
 
 
Sen Dick Durbin 12/4/2013: Play now!Dave & Elizabeth talk with US Senator Dick Durbin this morning. Download Depending on your browser settings, you may have to right click the link below and select “Save Link As…” or “Save Target As…” Download now!
 
 
SUN-TIMES EDITORIAL: Long way to go after pension deal http://bit.ly/1jjzzPy 
 
 
 
From today’s Wall Street Journal editorial page: on.wsj.com/1bEMCcs Illinois’s Fake Pension Fix The most dysfunctional state government lives down to its reputation. Democrats in Illinois have dug a $100 billion pension hole, and now they want Republicans to rescue them by voting for a plan that would merely delay the fiscal reckoning while helping to re-elect Governor Pat Quinn. The cuckolded GOP seems happy to oblige on this quarter-baked reform. Legislative leaders plan to vote Tuesday on a bill that Mr. Quinn hails as a great achievement. But the plan merely tinkers around the edges to save a fanciful $155 billion over 30 years, shaves the state’s unfunded liability by at most 20%, and does nothing for Chicago’s $20 billion pension hole. Most of the putative savings would come from trimming benefits for younger workers. The retirement age for current workers would increase on a graduated scale by four months for 45-year-olds to five years for those 30 and under. Teachers now in their 20s would have to wait until the ripe, old age of 60 to retire, but they’d still draw pensions worth 75% of their final salary. Salaries for calculating pensions would also be capped at $109,971, which would increase over time with inflation. Yet Democrats cracked this ceiling by grandfathering in pensions for workers whose salaries currently top or will exceed the cap due to raises in collective-bargaining agreements. Democrats are also offering defined-contribution plans as a sop to Republicans who are desperate to dress up this turkey of a deal. These plans would only be available to 5% of workers hired before 2011. Why only 5%? Because if too many workers opt out of the traditional pension, there might not be enough new workers to fund the overpromises Democrats have made to current pensioners. At private companies, such 401(k)-style plans are private property that workers keep if they move to a new job. But the Illinois version gives the state control over the new defined-contribution plans and lets the legislature raid the individual accounts at anytime. That’s a scam, not a reform. Even under the most optimistic forecasts, these nips and tucks would only slim the state’s pension liability down to $80 billion—which is where it was after Governor Quinn signed de minimis fixes in spring 2010 to get him past that year’s election. Safely elected in January 2011, Democrats then raised the state’s 3% flat income tax rate to 5% and its corporate rate from 7.3% to 9.5%, the fourth highest in the country. All $7 billion a year in new revenues have gone to pension payments, which will leave a huge new hole in the budget when the supposedly temporary tax hikes are phased out in 2015. The truth is that Democrats will never let the tax increases expire, and state Senate President John Cullerton all but admitted as much in October. Mr. Quinn won’t rule out another tax hike, which means round two is a certainty in 2015 if he wins re-election next year. The difference is that this time Democrats will kill the flat income tax and impose a progressive rate scheme that will make future tax hikes politically easier. It’s a sign of their desperation that the state’s business lobbies are supporting the reform as the best they can hope for. Others want special tax breaks to offset the 2011 tax hike. Archer Daniels Midland (Decatur) and Office Max (Naperville) have threatened to move their corporate headquarters if the state doesn’t guarantee $75 million in tax breaks. But Mr. Quinn has refused to approve more gifts for the legislature’s corporate cronies until lawmakers pass something on pensions. Democrats hold comfortable majorities in the legislature and don’t need GOP votes. Yet they are demanding Republican support so they won’t be the only targets of union wrath. Mr. Quinn watered down the reforms to reduce opposition from the teachers and other government unions, but the unions are still promising to go to court to block the changes if they pass. GOP leaders who are rounding up votes must be feeling especially charitable this holiday season because they’re making an in-kind contribution to Mr. Quinn, who will claim a bipartisan victory as he runs for re-election. While GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner has denounced the pension legislation as window-dressing, his Republican primary challengers aren’t as savvy. State Senator Bill Brady, who lost to Mr. Quinn in 2010, is supporting the bill while treasurer Dan Rutherford says it is too hard on unions. Such me-too thinking is why the Illinois GOP has become a useless minority. In return for their votes, Republicans ought to demand durable pension fixes modelled on the reforms that Democrats in Rhode Island passed in 2011, which suspended cost-of-living adjustments and modified future benefits for all current workers. Municipalities including Chicago should also be covered by any reform. Anything less is a guarantee of future fiscal trouble and a gift to Illinois Democrats. ### VISIT US ONLINE CLICK HERE JOIN US CONTRIBUTE UNSUBSCRIBE WEB VERSION PAID FOR BY CITIZENS FOR RAUNER, INC. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website (www.elections.il.gov) or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois.

 
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Special tax incentive bills stall for 3 companiesChicago Tribunebased Office Depot and Naperville-based OfficeMax merged last month. The combined company, called Office Depot, is also seeking incentives from Florida. Tribune reporter Monique Garcia contributed. acancino@tribune.com. Twitter @WriterAlejandra.
 
 
The latest progress report on the CTA’s trouble-plagued Ventra fare card system finds there is indeed progress is fixing some of its problems. Thanks to some software upgrades, virtually all Ventra transactions involving rapid transit riders are now processed in less than three seconds; the average tap at the turnstile takes just half a second. Now Ventra’s operator will focus on improving the exp
 
 
Business owners in Plainfield tell Patch what they’re best known for and when they got started.
 
 
  County Clerk: Delbert A. Lenz, Party: D, and Jessica Fox, Party: D County Treasurer: Debra S. Page, Party: D County Sheriff: Michael A. Miller, Party: D, and Don Koonce, Party: D Supervisor of Assessments: Marlene Waggoner, Party: D Count…
 
 
First Name Last Name Office District or Precinct Jim Vazzi County Sheriff N/A Ronald D. Jenkins County Treasurer N/A Sandy Leitheiser County Clerk N/A Megan I. Beeler County Board  #1 Joseph V. Gasp…
 
 
The candidates for Christian County offices have been announced. Christian County Clerk Linda Curtin tells Regional Radio News who is running for what spot: [audio:curtincccand1120413.mp3]comment here[/audio] Curtin also provides the list of Republ…
 
 
A total of 6 people, 2 Republicans and 4 Democrats will vie for the congressional seat held by Rodney Davis of Taylorville.  The deadline for filing papers for candidacy was Monday.  Congressman Davis tells Regional Radio News it’s a …
 
 
COBDEN — Coach Dick Ruggles and seven members of the 1964 basketball team were honored Tues-day before the game between Cobden and the Vienna Eagles.
 
 
House Speaker Michael Madigan, right, forcefully argued for legislation to … Madigan says the cost of pensions for state workers, university employees, and …
 
 
SPRINGFIELD – During the House floor pension debate Tuesday, State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) challenged Speaker Mike Madigan’s SB 1’s wording concerning the 401k option. The language she questioned reads “the System shall be entitled to recover the amounts in…