Today’s headlines — Wednesday, Dec. 11

A year after the shooting, we invite you to send good thoughts Newtown’s way.
 
 
 
Illinois: Bullet Tax Eyed in Bid to Curb Chicago Crime Cam Edwards talks to NRA Illinois Lobbyist Todd Vandermyde about this article: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57534804/bullet-tax-to-be-sought-to-help-c… From: news flash Views: 0 0 ratings Time: 08:23 More in Gaming
 
 
Ring in the New Year with 2014, the Illinois Lottery’s Happy New Year instant ticket. This celebratory $1 game offers players the chance to win up to $2,014. When players reveal a star symbol, they win the prize shown below it. Overall odds of …
 
 
ILGA — House Committee Bill List report http://ow.ly/r1zrm  http://ift.tt/19fNRe4 
 
 
ILGA — Senate Committee Bill List report http://ow.ly/r1zzW  http://ift.tt/19fNRe4 
 
 
ILGA — Senate Bill Sponsor List report http://ow.ly/r1z5s  http://ift.tt/19fNRe4 
 
 
ILGA — Senate Assignments Committee report http://ow.ly/r1Gly  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 Bills in House.pdf http://ift.tt/1aUDuKX 
 
 
ILGA — House Bills in Senate.pdf http://ift.tt/1bDg0ye 
 
 
ILGA — Bills In Opposite Chamber-with Synopsis-House.pdf http://ift.tt/1aUDv1v 
 
 
ILGA — Conference Committee History-Senate.pdf http://ift.tt/1bvBRU4 
 
 
ILGA — Conference Committee History-house.pdf http://ift.tt/1cANFJ7 
 
 
Four new Illinois state scientists namedThe State Journal-RegisterThomas E. Emerson of the Illinois State Archaeological Survey will be the first state archaeologist, while Brian Anderson from the Illinois Natural History Survey becomes Illinois’ first state biologist. Illinois’ first state hydrologist will be …
 
 
 
The Illinois Department of Transporation is announcing the first phase of plans for the high speed rail project in Springfield. At a public forum Tuesday night, dozens of Springfield residents learned of the changes and had a chance to express concerns. …
 
 
The Wilmington City Council is scheduled to approve its annual property tax levy request next week, and is asking to collect 9 percent more for general corporate and special purposes in 2014 than it collected in 2013.
 
 
 
After a months-long national search, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has a new executive director.
 
 
KIRKLAND – Hiawatha Elementary students learned Tuesday afternoon there’s more to Staley Da Bear than his antics at Soldier Field.
 
 
By STATE SEN. KWAME RAOUL (D-13) A legislator’s test of courage is not the 90 percent of votes that are easy, but the 10 percent that are not. The solvency of our pension funds, our declining bond rating, the quality of public education, essential state services and yes, the promises Illinois has made to its public employees, were all at stake when the legislature voted on pension reform last week
 
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Grundy County was represented at the nation’s first Veteran’s Court Conference last week in Washington, D.C.
 
 
MORRIS – Now that the concealed-carry law has passed in Illinois, Devon McKeown may quit his day job.
 
 
In just a few weeks the state of Illinois will join more than a dozen other states in a statewide cell phone driving ban. The cell phone ban was signed into law by Governor Pat Quinn this August, which means absolutely no using any handheld devices while driving or else you may face stiff penalties and fines. …
 
 
Cigarette smokers get ready to face big penalties if caught tossing your cigarette on the ground in Illinois.
 
 
Chicago’s new bicycle-sharing program is asking city residents where the next 175 sidewalk docking stations should be located.The Divvy program with its bright blue bikes currently has 300 stations across Chicago. Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday that a new website — Suggest.Divvybikes.com — is collecting feedback on where the next stations should be installed in 2014.Residents and visitors
 
 
Illinois is heading in the wrong direction. We need to cut tax rates across the… http://ift.tt/19BaKXZ 
 
 
Illinois begins license exams for immigrants. http://bit.ly/IKMUme 
 
 
Illinois looks for reasons behind rise in child deaths. http://ow.ly/rEzTh 
 
 
Ex-gynecologist in Chicago gets 18 years for raping pregnant patient http://bit.ly/1fjutjs 
 
 
 
I’ll cover the QC Chamber’s IL Gubernatorial Forum this morning. I had no chance to cover early morning news before Jay Pearce started co-hosting Morning Edition last March! “Candidates vying for the position of Governor of Illinois will discuss the most pressing issues impacting businesses at Morning Network on Wednesday, December 11 at the iWireless Center. Conversation will focus on the state budget, business climate, pension reform, education and workforce, transportation and infrastructure, taxes and regulations, and economic development. Dan Rutherford – Illinois State Treasurer, Kirk Dillard – Illinois State Senator, Bill Brady – Illinois State Senator, & Bruce Rauner – Illinois businessman have confirmed. Gov. Quinn has been invited, but did not confirm. The moderator will be Jim Mertens.”

 
 
 
The 2014 Illinois gubernatorial primary is well under way with Republican candidates state Sen. Kirk Dillard and Bruce Rauner exchanging barbs e…
 
 
Last week Juan Rangel resigned as head of the United Neighborhood Organization, the largest charter school operator in Illinois. Dan Mihalopoulos of the Sun-Times reported: Juan Rangel, longtime le…
 
 
Illinois is heading in the wrong direction. We need to cut tax rates across the board and build a better environment for creating jobs.Better (business) climate: Office Depot picks FL over IL for new headquarterswatchdog.orgBy Benjamin Yount | Illinois Watchdog SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Office Depot chose Florida for its new corporate headquar
 
 
Join me and Steve Kim Thursday, December 12, 5:30-7pm for a fundraising reception in #Chicago at The Parthenon Restaurant, 314 S. Halsted Street. Tickets and Info: http://www.danrutherford.org/calendar/event/124/EventDetails.aspxDan Rutherford | For Governor Of Illinois | Eventswww.danrutherford.orgAs State Treasurer, the Dan Rutherford Campaign Committee is precluded from accepting donations fro
 
 
“All of this doesn’t begin to match the magnitude of America’s fiscal challenges, but it is probably the best that the GOP could get considering Washington’s current array of political forces.”A Least Bad Budget Dealonline.wsj.comMore spending now for some genuine, if modest, reforms.
 
 
 
State prisoners help remove tornado debris in DiamondSouthtownStarMore than 20 tornadoes touched ground across Illinois during a severe weather outbreak on Nov. 17, according to the National Weather Service. Locally, parts of Coal City, Diamond, Manhattan Township and Frankfort bore the brunt of the storm damage.
 
 
TODAY
 
Guest Column: Fracking in Illinois under proposed rules is unacceptableThe Rock River TimesThe Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is taking public comment on the proposed rules for fracking in Illinois through Jan. 3, 2014. It is important that the people of Illinois let them know fracking in Illinois under the proposed rules is …“Fracking” rules are too liberal
 
 
On August 1, 2013, Illinois joined a growing list of states—now 20—allowing the use of medical marijuana when Governor Pat Quinn signed the Compassionate …
 
 
DCFS investigates potential abuse at Hope InstituteThe State Journal-RegisterChild-welfare officials are investigating allegations of abuse and neglect at Springfield’s Hope Institute for Children and Families, a state spokeswoman said Monday. “Our work there is pending, and due to the ongoing investigation, we have increased …
 
 
Enjoyment apparent in lawmakers’ smiles. Hopefully, many voters noticed the photo on page 4 in Friday’s SJ-R. The governor and six onlookers were laughing …
 
 
Pat Quinn both stole the pension money from us over the last 20 years — not that they care what happens in Illinois or to the teachers or to the state workers.
 
 
Teachers in the Mount Olive School District are on strike for a second day, and it is unclear as to when the walkout may come to an end.School district officials …
 
 
In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said last month he hopes to double the number … In Chicago, there is no central program that oversees all STEM education, …
 
 
The Online College Database recently revealed its list of the top Illinois colleges for the fields of education and teaching, and SIU Carbondale is ranked 17th out …
 
 
Our View: Breakups need not be bitterNorthwest HeraldQuinn found one in Sheila Simon, a law professor at Southern Illinois University and the daughter of the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, a popular, longtime politician. In a close race, the Quinn-Simon ticket prevailed. In harmony with her new boss, Simon …
 
 
DECATUR — Computer science teacher Faith Carr spends time every week reading about her field and talking with other educators to keep up with new ideas.
 
 
Koch brothers complete Molex purchaseCrain’s Chicago Business(AP) — Koch Industries Inc. completed its $7.2 billion purchase of Lisle-based electronic components and cable maker Molex Inc. Koch is paying $38.50 per Molex share in cash, plus 18 cents per share, representing a pro-rata portion of the regular …
 
 
Raoul, Currie weigh in on controversial pension bill they helped to passHyde Park HeraldAmong the latter were Hyde Park legislators state Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-25) and state Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-16), who played a key role in negotiating a solution as the chair of Gov. Quinn’s ad hoc Pension Reform Conference Committee formed last …
 
 
Kadner: Crisis Center needs Santa’s helpSouthtownStarKadner: Crisis Center needs Santa’s help. By Phil Kadner pkadner@southtownstar.com December 10, 2013 10:52PM. A mother who escaped domestic abuse stands front Christmas tree Crisis Center for South Suburbishelter Tinley. A mother who escaped …
 
 
The Springfield District 186 school board has narrowed the finalists for school superintendent to two, and the community will have a chance to meet them during …
 
 
By Jim Anderson – Illinois Radio Network. How much is … Illinois Farm Bureau outgoing President Phillip Nelson articulates other concerns. “Whose data is it, …
 
 
Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, said he wants to take up the issue “as soon as we can when we come back next year.” Lawmakers are …
 
 
By Dave Dahl – Illinois Radio Network. The Common Core is coming along, says Illinois State Board of Education spokeswoman Mary Fergus. One of the goals …
 
 
I cannot tell you how disappointed and angry I feel in the aftermath of the passing of Senate Bill 1 and the governor’s signing of the bill. The result is a drastic …
 
 
Local taxpayers, through local property taxes, pay $12 billion of the $20 billion it costs to educate kids in the state each year. State government chips in about $6 …
 
 
If you relied on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ former … the sale of this calendar will support youth conservation education programs in Illinois.
 
 
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS … QUINCY, Illinois — The Mississippi River city of Quincy is moving forward with a push to snuff out cigarette butts discarded in …
 
 
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (CBS) – Now that it has raised the money to finance its trip to the Pop Warner championships, a team of 7th and 8th graders from Hoffman Estates is doing well in the tournament. A $5,000 donation from the Omron Foundation put the Hoffman Estates Redhawks’ fundraising effort over the top. Spokesman Kevin Bulatek said the Omron Foundation does not normally underwrite athletic c
 
 
The party today is formally unveiling a group of 18 candidates for the Illinois Legislature who have filed nominating petitions to run in one Senate and 15 House …
 
 
MORRIS – Grundy County could lose as much as $1.8 million in future revenue if the Illinois legislature redefines the state’s current point of sale tax laws.
 
 
(CBS) If the stories below are any indication, 2013 was a wild year. Before we turn the calendar to 2014, let’s recount some of the most outrageous stories from Chicago in 2013, in no particular order. – 18 Human Heads Discovered At O’Hare: A shipment of 18 human heads was intercepted by customs officials at O’Hare International Airport. – Video Captures Flash Mob Robberies: Unbelievable surveilla
 
 
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — Education consultant James Applegate will be the next director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Applegate replaces Harry J.
 
 
 
This spin on a classic grilled cheese sandwich is the perfect lunch or quick weeknight meal.
 
 
 
* Sen. Kirk Dillard’s gubernatorial campaign just reported receiving $44,400 from his running mate Jil Tracy’s lt. governor campaign fund. Dillard also recently transferred $40K from his Senate fund to his gubernatorial fund. Aside from those contributions, Dillard and Tracy have reported raising a combined $121,870 since November 1st. Treasurer Dan Rutherford’s campaign has […]
 
 
* React is starting to come in regarding the loss of the OfficeMax headquarters to Florida. From state Sen. Bill Brady… State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) is calling on Governor Pat Quinn to bring the House back to Springfield to pass an incentive package to keep multinational agricultural product processor Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) in […]
 
 
Residents spoke up at a Dec. 9 board meeting, demanding more answers from Lemont Mayor Brian Reaves on the status of a proposed $21 million sports complex in Lemont.
 
 
A part-time Blue Island firefighter is suing the city, contending that it withdrew an offer to him for a full-time job without justification. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, alleges that the city committed breach of contract in not hiring Harry O’Hagan as a full-time firefighter, and it seeks more than $100,000 in damages. O’Hagan was hired as a part-time firefigh
 
 
ILGA — House Sponsor Bill List report http://ow.ly/r1z0Q  http://ift.tt/19fNRe4 
 
 
ILGA — Conference Committee History-house.pdf http://ift.tt/1bC68F6 
 
 
ILGA — Bills in Conference Committee Stage.pdf http://ift.tt/19AKFYQ 
 
 
ILGA — Senate Bills in House.pdf http://ift.tt/1bC6b3I 
 
 
ILGA — House Bills in Senate.pdf http://ift.tt/19AKFYZ 
 
 
ILGA — Conference Committee History-Senate.pdf http://ift.tt/1bC6bAA 
 
 
ILGA — Bills In Opposite Chamber-with Synopsis-House.pdf http://ift.tt/19AKH3b 
 
 
ILGA — Bills In Opposite Chamber-with Synopsis-Senate.pdf http://ift.tt/1bC6bAI 
 
 
ILGA — House Bills in Senate.pdf http://ift.tt/19AKFZ9 
 
 
ILGA — Senate Bills in House.pdf http://ift.tt/1bC6bkf 
 
 
 
 
But why would our Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recently … Or, the term “competitive value” is not defined but affords fracking operations the …
 
 
SPRINGFIELD – The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) reminds residents to use caution as certain holiday lights and other decorations with line voltage can be directly linked to fires.
 
 
Good morning Illinois! Here is today’s In the Know…Reforming Medicaid, Illinois Lottery, Kirk’s recovery and more!www.intheknowillinois.com
 
 
“Twenty-five years ago, amidst the struggle against Apartheid, I volunteered as a high school teacher in South Africa. Nelson Mandela was still in prison, and black South Africans were still denied the right to vote. I taught English, math, history and science to my students, but I knew my true work was in educating the next generation of black South African women to be ready to lead in a new Sout
 
 
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed suit against a former state vendor alleging he illegally misspent more than $8 million in taxpayer grant funding intended for at-risk children and their families. “George Smith enriched himself at the expense of taxpayers and children who were supposed to receive the critical services he was obligated to provide,” Madigan said.Madigan sues state ven
 
 
“I did everything I could to bring these jobs to our state, Illinois needs a better approach to business retention,” Cullerton said.     State Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) expressed disappointment upon getting word that Office Depot Inc. intends to locate its new corporate headquarters in Boca Raton, FL. Cullerton recently sponsored and won initial approval of an incentive package that would
 
 
REMINDER: Upcoming event this Thursday on the proposed changes to Illinois’ taxing methodology from a flat income tax to a progressive or graduated income tax. Find out what the proposal really means to taxpayers.Timeline PhotosThere are many seeking to change Illinois' taxing methodology from a flat income tax to a progressive or graduated income tax. What does this proposal really mean
 
 
“I did everything I could to bring these jobs to our state, Illinois needs a better approach to business retention,” Cullerton said.     State Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) expressed disappointment upon getting word that Office Depot Inc. intends to locate its new corporate headquarters in Boca Raton, FL. Cullerton recently sponsored and won initial approval of an incentive package that would
 
 
Policy has the ability to lift people up or hold them down – both content and principles matter. http://www.nytimes.com/projects/2013/invisible-child/?smid=tw-nytimes#/?chapt=1Invisible Child: Dasani’s Homeless Lifewww.nytimes.comThere are more than 22,000 homeless children in New York, the highest number since the Great Depression. This is one of their stories.
 
 
Those affected by the tornadoes that hit Illinois on Nov. 17 may be eligible for food assistance under the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Follow the link below for more information.DHS: Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP)www.dhs.state.il.usA Presidential Declaration has been granted for individual assistance for 15 counties in Illinois as the result of s
 
 
Don’t forget to join me and Toni Preckwinkle tonight in Chicago!
 
 
The Office of the Illinois State fire Marshall is reminding Illinois residents to be careful when decorating this holiday season. Certain safety precautions should be taken when decorating Christmas trees, hanging holiday lights, and burning candles to avoid potentially dangerous situations. Follow the link to read more about how to make sure your holiday season is a safe one!THE OFFICE OF THE ILL
 
 
Had a great time last night at the holiday party hosted by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.
 
 
CHICAGO HEIGHTS – Governor Pat Quinn today announced a capital investment of more than $145,000 for a construction project at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights. The project is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.
 
 
This fall’s veto session brought a good faith discussion of the difference between tough on crime and smart on crime. Here’s my attempt at bridging those two concepts.
 
 
Dear Neighbor, Below is a list of donation opportunities for non-profit organizations that serve people in need throughout the year in our community.  While you are doing your holiday shopping or clearing out your closets, please remember these organizations so they can help as many people as possible during this holiday season. Feel free to forward me any local organizations I may have missed by
 
 
In the District: Saturday~Breakfast with Santa in Emden!LDN – Top Storiesarchives.lincolndailynews.comEMDEN — On Saturday, the Hartem Athletic Boosters Club will serve Breakfast with Santa from 7 to 10 a.m. at the Emden Grade School. The menu will include biscuits with gravy, scrambled eggs, fresh pork sausage, Mel-O-Cream doughnuts, coffee, orange juice and hot chocolate.
 
 
Representative Christian Mitchell addressing his community member’s concerns.
 
 
A new website allows Chicagoans to suggest where new Divvy stations should go.Divvy Launches Website to Get Suggestions for New Stations – Downtown – DNAinfo.com Chicagowww.dnainfo.comA new website allows Chicagoans to suggest where new Divvy stations should go.
 
 
Two legislative aides from Sen. Rezin’s district office will be at Morris City Hall on Thursday, December 12 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to assist with enrollment. Deadline for enrollment is Friday, December 13.
 
 
While living in The Republic of South Africa from 1994-1996 I will never forget the day I met President Nelson and Winnie Mandela while visiting Parliament. The excitement and electricity ran through my body as we greeted another with a hand shake. It was a short amount of time, but I will always cherish that moment. I was in the country on invitation by the South African National Council on Alcoh
 
 
I am pleased the ratings agencies are recognizing that Illinois is moving in the right direction. As I’ve always made clear, one of the many reasons to resolve Illinois’ pension crisis was the negative impact it had on our bond rating, which cost taxpayers more money to finance critical repairs and improvements to roads, bridges and schools. This improved outlook will be the first of many positive
 
 
CHICAGO – Governor Quinn issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement that Standard & Poor’s ratings agency has improved its outlook on the state of Illinois’ bonds from “negative” to “developing.”
 
 
The biggest misconception of Senate Bill 1 is there will be a reduction in the pensionable salary. Those who have called my office seem to think that their annual pension will be reduced when the change is only with the COLA. Please visit my legislative website for more information regarding the recently passed pension reform. Also, please feel free to call my district office if you wish to speak
 
 
Spoke to members of the Illinois Farm Bureau at their annual meeting.
 
 
Thanks to Bureau County GOP Chairman Barry Welbers for the kind introduction at our event in Princeton.
 
 
From meet and greets in Lake Bluff and Kankakee to the TWP holiday party in Wheeling, last week was a great week. We hope to see you on the trail soon! Find out when we’ll be in your area by visiting our Eventbrite page: http://www.eventbrite.com/o/the-dillard-tracy-campaign-434277108115 Weeks to Go!
 
 
The new generation of leaders working accross the aisle…Timeline PhotosRep. Davidsmeyer, Jeff Hurrelbrink, Rep. Art Turner, and Chris Smith at IFB Annual Meeting. — with Chris Smith and 3 others.
 
 
PMSA students gave a great presentation at The Maywood Library Advisory Committee meeting on Saturday!
 
 
Tonight I met with my 2013-2014 Student Advisory Council. These sharp juniors and seniors are from Crystal Lake South, Crystal Lake Central, Huntley, Jacobs and Dundee Crown high schools. We discussed recent events in Springfield and talked about a bill that we might work on together and that I might file on their behalf. This is a really great group of students.
 
 
Happy to join the Associated General Contractors of IL this morning on their legislative panel to talk state problems & possible solutions.
 
 
Our friends at TRIP – The Residents of Irving Park are having a meeting next Wednesday. Check it out!
 
 
Had a great time with Toni Preckwinkle tonight and with the Teamsters this afternoon.
 
 
 
 
An insurance agent in central Illinois says he’s noticing an increase in the number of inquiries about renters’ insurance following the deadly November tornadoes.
 
 
Here is the transcript of Robin Ventura’s formal media session at the winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. From FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports Q. As you sit here right now with Kenny talking this morning, is it hard for you to really ‑‑ you know certain spots that are locked down, but it’s Continue reading →
 
 
Municipalities around Cook County have opened warming centers for area residents as temperatures dip to dangerous levels: Township Hours of Operation Address City Office # After Hours Barrington Township Sun-Th: 7 am-11pm                              F-Sat: 24 hours 201 Spring St. Barrington (847) 304-3300 (847) 270-9111 (PD) Berwyn Township M-F: 9 am-9 pm       Sat-Sun: 9 am-5 pm 2700 S. H
 
 
There’s good news for exercise enthusiasts traveling through O’Hare Airport.
 
 
The city of Carbondale has a city ordinance that states that after a snowfall businesses have 48 hours to clear at least 30 inches wide of snow and ice off their portion of the sidewalk.
 
 
A Cook County judge Tuesday overturned the conviction of a South Side man who spent the last three decades behind bars for a brutal gang rape.
 
 
The Cubs received preliminary backing from aldermen to push back the exterior outfield walls at Wrigley Field onto Waveland and Sheffield Avenues. It’s all part of the team’s $300 million dollar renovation plans. Pushing out the exterior walls would mean eliminating parking on the streets but would still allow for two-way traffic. The plan was recommended today by the City Council Transportation C
 
 
Kane County authorities and other groups are stepping up awareness for people to report child abuse and neglect. Officials from CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, plan a greater push in 2014 at churches, schools and other community organizations as cases of abuse and neglect have risen during the recession.
 
 
Lake Villa was incorporated in 1901 but has never had a village administrator. In a historic move, Gurnee resident Karl Warwick will become the first to hold that post. “The timing is perfect,” said Mayor Frank Loffredo.
 
 
A member of the Illinois General Assembly who is facing corruption charges wants the case against him tossed out because it is too “vague.”
 
 
 
 
The state’s attorney general is suing a former state vendor over claims that they mis-spent more than $8 million in taxpayer grant funding intended for at-risk children and their families.The lawsuit alleges the misuse of grant funding by George E. Smith took place between 2005 and 2011 through his nonprofit organization Diversified Behavioral Comprehensive Care. …
 
 
Sysco’s $8.2 billion purchase of Rosemont-based U.S. Foods provides a big profit for its private-equity owners. But some employees likely will pay with their jobs.
 
 
(AP) — The president of DVD rental kiosk business
 
 
The Duchossois family is forming a new entity to separate investment activities from business operations, allowing the clan best-known for its horse racetrack holdings to further diversify its investments.
 
 
IDOT crews have had their hands full battling the ice-plagued roadways. 
 
 
State has funded research in which suitable habitat models have been developed for these speciesThe Illinois Department of Natural Resources has been preparing for the time when mountain lions, wolves and black bears may once again establish populations in the state.    
 
 
The number of children who died from abuse or neglect over the past five years in Illinois is higher than the state’s child-welfare agency has reported, according to new figures from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. DCFS officials blamed errors in “the department’s tracking and reporting system,” including counting as a single death some cases in which more than one ch
 
 
A South Side man who burned his girlfriend with a cigarette, and punched and choked her in a pair of attacks after he was mistakenly released from the Cook County Jail last summer was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday.
 
 
A newly merged Office Depot chose to locate its headquarters in Florida, instead of Illinois.  A Republican candidate for governor says Illinois needs to hurry if it doesn’t want a similar fate with ADM.
 
 
MOLINE — Four Republican candidates for Illinois governor will speak at the iWireless Center in Moline today at a forum organized by the Quad Cities Chamber. “We feel it’s important for the candidates to hear the concerns
 
 
The Bears could have moped around in the week after they lost in overtime to the Vikings and saw their playoff hopes take a turn for the worse. But they didn’t, showing coach Marc Trestman the character that he’s witnessed all season.
 
 
I cannot tell you how disappointed and angry I feel in the aftermath of the passing of Senate Bill 1 and the governor’s signing of the bill.  Read More…
 
 
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts doesn’t know when construction will start on the revenue-producing Wrigley Field renovations – already delayed years from the original plan. He declined Tuesday to give an update on TV-rights negotiations many in the organization consider critical for the team’s short- and mid-term ability to spend enough Continue reading →
 
 
Just one year after being elected, Cook County Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough is being accused by a federal court monitor of turning her office into a dumping ground for friends, family and those with political clout.
 
 
The Regional Transportation Authority’s top administrator, one of two agency executives facing a state harassment probe, announced his retirement Tuesday.
 
 
A former Chicago Police officer who has emerged as one of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s most trusted advisers was chosen Tuesday to lead Chicago’s scandal-plagued Department of Buildings. Felicia Davis replaces attorney Michael Merchant, who was promoted to the job of Chicago Housing Authority CEO after Charles Woodyard was forced out.
 
 
Chicago would become the nation’s fourth major city to establish an independent budget office to advise the City Council — and the first city to do so without a voter referendum — under a $485,000 plan advanced Tuesday that satisifed no one. On one side is Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), who wants to bankroll the new office on an hourly, “pay-as-you-go” basis instead of asking all 50 aldermen to fo
 
 
Photo Insight: Crime photos reveal 1930 reporter murder Chicago Tribune photo editors Erin Mystkowski and Marianne Mather talk about the 1930 Jake Lingle murder case, after discovering related crime photos from Tribune archives. For more video,… From: Chicago Tribune Views: 0 0 ratings Time: 02:58 More in News & Politics
 
 
Illinois, and the suburbs, lose another major employer. http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20131210/business/712109889/ …
 
 
Just finished talking to a tired but moved @aaronschock about his experiences at #Mandela funeral. Details soon @pjstar
 
 
On ballot position day, hats off to all the candidates. Takes guts to run for public office. #election2014 pic.twitter.com/9GWDueIBeh
 
 
CHICAGO – Governor Quinn issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement that Standard & Poor’s… http://fb.me/6kOvBY72H 
 
 
Men hired through FDR’s New Deal WPA install sidewalks on N. Walnut, Dec.1935. #spihistory #greatdepression #FDR pic.twitter.com/37LRzBGKFq
 
 
Positive news for Illinois’ credit rating: http://tinyurl.com/pa2md48 
 
 
#Pension deal does#Illinois some good,as S&P boosts state’s credut outlook http://tinyurl.com/q586sgr 
 
 
Job opportunities at Illinois Tollway – Deadline to apply is December 18 – Please RT http://conta.cc/1czd85J 
 
 
Reminder for Property Tax Assessment Appeal Forum – December 11 at 6:30 in Country Club Hills http://conta.cc/19fxGzz 
 
 
Spoke to members of the #Illinois Farm Bureau at their annual meeting. @ILFarmBureau #Twill pic.twitter.com/RJuxV7hj7g
 
 
Employers like Office Max get headlines when they leave IL, but small employers are also quietly moving to IN, WIS & IA. #pricewepay4failure
 
 
Amazing program in Danville teaming high schools with community college and local manufacturers to fill needed jobs pic.twitter.com/TSM1Jx5FKp
 
 
Thanks Teamsters Joint Council 25 for having me at your Holiday Celebration today. Great catching up with everyone! pic.twitter.com/PguCq6mlOo
 
 
In #Illinois, we share a vision where all children are prepared to succeed. Anything is possible when it comes to education. #InvestInKids
 
 
Thanks to Bureau County #GOP Chairman Barry Welbers for introducing me at our event in @cityofprinceton. #twill pic.twitter.com/EEB2gIj5A8
 
 
Headed to #Sandwich this evening for a town hall meeting on the proposed changes to Route 34 through downtown.
 
 
There is more dangerously cold weather coming. Click http://goo.gl/526vdZ  for a list of county warming centers.
 
 
my team packed my schedule during #hammerandshake launch w/campaign events so I haven’t been able to read/respond as much as I would like to
 
 
…but that will change tonight! so keep the feedback/discussion coming as it is both insightful, helpful and fun — thanks again!
 
 
RT: 2013 a big year for IPOs in Illinois, U.S. http://fw.to/eF5meZc  via @johnpletz @CrainsChicago
 
 
U.S. Reps. Davis, Roskam Discuss The Future Of Medicare (VIDEO) http://ow.ly/2C0LLs 
 
 
Bruce Rauner sits down with Jay Levine. In Danville. 6p on CBS2 News.
 
 
Editorial: Aldermen, vote yes for indep. finance office on Wed. (& help Chgo avoid another parking meter fiasco) http://www.suntimes.com/opinions/24298177-474/council-vote-yes-for-finance-office.html …
 
 
Illinois trying to lure Boeing plant http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-illinois-tries-to-lure-boeing-plant-20131210,0,6797149.story … And who wants to rate those odds?
 
 
Barrington Township Republicans Endorse Tom Cross for TreasurerChicago TribuneBarrington – The Barrington Township Republican Organization endorsed Tom Cross for State Treasurer at their recent endorsement session. Cross said the support shows that he is the right candidate to help fix the fiscal problems being faced by Illinois.
 
 
CHICAGO, Dec. 10, 2013 — /PRNewswire/ — Inside The Minds™ recently released the legal primer, Strategies for Family Law in Illinois, providing insightful …
 
 
On Tuesday December 3rd, both the Illinois House & Illinois Senate passed SB114, which is a trailer bill to the Illinois Concealed Carry Act HB0183, debate …
 
 
The Illinois Education Labor Relations Board posted the each side’s last offer to its website Monday, a first step after both sides declared an impasse in contract …
 
 
Washington PostSenate Confirms Millett For DC Circuit Court Of AppealsProgress IllinoisThe U.S. Senate confirmed Patricia Millett for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by a 56-38 vote Tuesday. The move means the second-most powerful panel of judges behind the U.S. Supreme Court will have a …Filibusters weakened, Senate Dems move Obama picksGOP, Dems now fac
 
 
E15 fuel (15%) made its first appearance in northern Illinois in late November at … of E15 is an example of local businesses coming together to help consumers.
 
 
“The new Illinois Learning Standards are meant to be challenging and rigorous as we all work together to better prepare students to compete and collaborate in …
 
 
Sampling — which involves removing and testing the brain stem and lymph … heaviest in northeast Iowa, after Wisconsin and Illinois yielded positive cases in …
 
 
New York Daily NewsOn gun control, states are where the action isSunlight Foundation Reporting Group (blog)Maryland: Gov. Martin O’Malley, who is being mentioned as a potential Democratic presidential contender in 2016, signed into law provisions that limit gun magazines, bans 45 types of assault weapons and gives the Maryland State Police authority to …The Sandy Hook parents’ dedication to keep
 
 
Standard & Poor’s shifted its outlook on Illinois’ general obligation outlook to “developing” from “negative” Tuesday following passage of a sweeping pension …
 
 
If we do not do pension reform soon, not only may we not have a pension system, we may not … Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross, November 2012.
 
 
By Wes Venteicher, Chicago Tribune reporter … “We’re kind of coming to a … critical point, so that we need to investigate new things that will help us fund …
 
 
CHICAGO – As Illinois girds for the promised legal challenge to its newly minted pension overhaul, backers say the restructuring can pass constitutional muster …
 
 
By Jim Anderson – Illinois Radio Network … Illinois Farm Bureau President Phillip Nelson says the industry would be better off with new farm legislation in place.
 
 
Glenn Poshard, now SIU president, was one of 31 senators who voted to pass House Bill No. 2630, which, in part, divested Illinois from all business interests …
 
 
By Jane M. Orient, M.D. – Even as ObamaCare is trying to self destruct, its advocates suggest a détente in which “Republicans recognize the conservative nature of the law,” in the words of Austin Frakt in Bloomberg News. The Affordable…
 
 
Direct general obligation, full faith and credit of the state of Illinois. … BUDGET TEMPORARILY STABILIZED WITH TAX INCREASE: Temporary increases in both …
 
 
* The company had asked for a state tax incentive, but legislators took no action. Most believed the company was going to Florida anyway. From a press release… Office Depot, Inc. (ODP), a leading global provider of office products, services, and solutions formed by the merger of Office Depot and OfficeMax, today announced that […]
 
 
* Regarding the pension reform bill… “This bill continues to pay cost-of-living adjustments, or COLAs, to five- and six-figure pensioners,” [Ben VanMetre, a senior budget and policy analyst with the conservative-leaning Illinois Policy Institute] wrote. Wow. Imagine that. Retirees with a $10,000 a year pension are still getting some form of cost of living increase? How […]
 
 
 
Meh

 
* Yesterday morning, Gov. Pat Quinn’s campaign sent this e-mail to supporters… Dear Friend, Last week, we achieved an important victory in Springfield that will ensure a brighter economic future in Illinois. Since taking office, I have pushed for comprehensive pension reform to restore fiscal stability to our state. While there were no easy solutions to a fiscal crisis […]
 
 
* The Golden Horseshoe Award for Best State House Staffer – Non Political goes to Heather Weir Vaught… There were a number of staffers who had their hands in landmark pieces of legislation passing the House this year, but just one who had a vital role in all of them. Heather Weir Vaught has been at […]
 
 
* Somebody must have one heckuva sponsor… A $110,000-a-year Illinois prison official with a lengthy criminal history returned to the state payroll despite “writing and responding to hundreds of lewd and inappropriate emails” on the taxpayers’ dime and “falsifying” his application for a previous state job, records show. Xadrian R. McCraven’s “state email account revealed hundreds of […]
 
 
* From a press release… Renewing his efforts to help Illinois get smart on crime, State Rep. Mike Zalewski has introduced a larger package of bills to address shortcomings in Illinois’ criminal laws from juvenile sentencing and theft to gun and drug crimes. Zalewski, D-Riverside, fervently worked through a number of concerns about Senate Bill 1342, known […]
 
 
* From S&P… Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services revised its outlook on Illinois to developing from negative. In addition, we affirmed our ‘A-’ rating on the state’s general obligation (GO) bonds outstanding. A developing outlook indicates that we could raise or lower the rating during the two-year outlook horizon. “The change reflects the consensus reached on […]
 
 
 
* Sen. Kirk Dillard’s gubernatorial campaign just reported receiving $44,400 from his running mate Jil Tracy’s lt. governor campaign fund. Dillard also recently transferred $40K from his Senate fund to his gubernatorial fund. Aside from those contributions, Dillard and Tracy have reported raising a combined $121,870 since November 1st. Treasurer Dan Rutherford’s campaign has […]
 
 
* React is starting to come in regarding the loss of the OfficeMax headquarters to Florida. From state Sen. Bill Brady… State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) is calling on Governor Pat Quinn to bring the House back to Springfield to pass an incentive package to keep multinational agricultural product processor Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) in […]
 
 
* I was contacted by an agency the other day about advertising here on the blog. The agency rep. wouldn’t say who his client was, but I got the feeling when talking to him that my site might not be right for him. We’re just a little ol’ highly targeted website. I […]
 
 
Pat Quinn (D). “This improved outlook will be the first of many positive developments toward a revitalized and stronger Illinois.” Last week, the General Assembly …
 
 
State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) is calling on Governor Pat Quinn to bring the House back to Springfield to pass an incentive package to keep …
 
 
CHICAGO – Miss America 2002 Erika Harold took a ride with Morning Commute’s Charlie Stone recently to talk about her GOP primary bid in the 13th Congressional district.
 
 
3 vote in the legislature to modify a pension system, which was subsequently signed … They are citing Article XIII Section V of the 1970 Illinois Constitution which …
 
 
The Conference Committee Report on Senate Bill 1 makes major changes to the … With $100 billion in pension debt, Illinois has the worst-funded pension …
 
 
CHICAGO – Three law experts discussed how the pension reform plan is likely to fare during an expected constitutionality challenge this week on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight with Carol Marin.
 
 
CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayor Emanuel is signaling that he’s ready for a fight with City Council critics who have stalled a measure he wants to limit the use of electronic cigarettes in Chicago. WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports Mayor Emanuel was receiving and award from a California-based group for championing a ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes to minors, but his mind was on an ordinance
 
 
By State Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Rochelle) – Last week, the General Assembly met in special session to address legislation regarding the state pension systems. Today, the unfunded pension liability in Illinois exceeds $100 billion. From last year to this year,…
 
 
By Jamey DunnThousands of Illinoisans could lose long-term federal unemployment benefits at the start of the new year.Congress is currently trying to work out a budget deal that both parties can live with, and the long-term benefits may be on the chopping block. The benefits kick in after the typical 26 weeks of state benefits run out. Currently, the maximum time frame over which benefits are allo
 
 
Senator Dan Biss is one of the leading pension busters in Illinois. Our S.O.R.E chapter of IEA Retired confronted him at his district office prior to the vote to cut …
 
 
Tammy Duckworth joins Fast4Families movement with one-day fastVoicesU.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill. is the latest to take part in a what’s grown into a national campaign to fast for immigration reform. Duckworth today is fasting today for 24 hours, only drinking water in an attempt to bring attention to the need for …Duckworth fasting for immigration legislation Duckworth fasting for …Congre
 
 
17, after an investigation by the Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ found that more children are dying from abuse and neglect statewide, with a growing number of …
 
 
Keith Matune, District 99 Board member, announced he will challenge state Rep. Ron Sandack to represent the 81st District in the Illinois House. Matune, who …
 
 
When state Sen. Bill Cunningham (D-18th) and state Rep. Kelly Burke (D-36th) visit with constituents at Hardboiled Coffee, 9135 S. Western Ave., on Saturday, …
 
 
By Melissa Jenco, Chicago Tribune reporter … police officer who would work at the FBI’s Chicago Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory for two to three years …
 
 
One panel member, Mattie Hunter, D-Chicago, called for the resignations of top Illinois Department of Children and Family Services administration, including …
 
 
At the hearings, State Senator Mattie Hunter told acting DCFS Director Denise Gonzales she was very concerned about the number of children who died while …
 
 
Pat Quinn’s office says Monday that he’s declared it “Mike Ditka Day” in honor of the former Chicago Bears player and football coach. The Hall of Famer’s No.
 
 
Illinois state Sen. Tom Cullerton backed a bill encouraging the company to consider Illinois in exchange for creating 200 jobs. It passed the Senate but House …
 
 
Residents of House District 62 can talk to State Rep. Sam Yingling, D-Grayslake about issues while getting their morning coffee on Wednesday, Dec. 11, from 8 …
 
 
By JOHN O’CONNOR, AP Political Writer. Updated 2:22 pm, Tuesday, … Contact John O’Connor at http://twitter.com/apoconnor. Printable Version. Email This.
 
 
By Steve Mills, Chicago Tribune reporter … a 1980s rape, concluding that two of disgraced former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge’s top lieutenants had tortured …
 
 
By Richard Wronski, Chicago Tribune reporter … goals for the CTA, Metra and Pace when Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s appointees blocked passage.
 
 
Republican Gov candidate Sen. Bill Brady: … The polling data shows this, we lead in all credible polls– all the candidates—and I am the only candidate who …
 
 
Why did Republicans reject pension reform?Chicago TribuneNever mind that Cross voted for five pension reform bills this year, including a bill he negotiated with House Speaker Michael Madigan. Never mind that Cross has repeatedly called for compromise on pension reform, as he did in the pages of the Tribune …
 
 
NBC ChicagoOffice Depot move ups ante for ADMQuad City TimesHowever, a spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, said the speaker would like to implement a more intensive process to help guide the state through economic development process. “We’re hopeful of putting together some kind of …Office Depot’s HQ move could cost 1600 Illinois jobs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rep. Davis Talks Tornado Relief The town of Gifford is celebrating the fact that power has been restored to most places. But the rebuilding statewide is only just beginning after Sunday’s deadly tornadoes. Rep. Rodney Davis… From: WICS ABC 20 Views: 1 0 ratings Time: 02:30 More in News & Politics
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