Madigan’s pension-reform package goes down in flames A pension-reform package crafted by House Speaker Michael Madigan went down to spectacular defeat in the state Senate Thursday, thrusting the search for a solution to Illinois’ nearly $100 million pension crisis into legislative chaos.
Illinois Senate Rejects House Pension Reform Bill
(Chicago Press Release Service © 05/31/2013) Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan spoke with the press briefly after a meeting on Pension reform Saturday afternoon. The Illinois Senate has rejected a plan pushed by the House to solve the state’s pension crisis. The proposal pushed by House Speaker Michael Madigan — SB1 — failed Thursday evening, with 16 voting “yes” and 42 voting “no” …
Illinois Senate defeats sweeping pension reform bill
(Chicago Tribune © 05/31/2013) SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (Reuters) – The Illinois Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly defeated a sweeping reform of the state’s sinking public pension system, leaving scant time for maneuvering with the Democrat-controlled legislature set to adjourn late on Friday. Senators voted 16-42 against the measure, which was approved by the House of Representatives this month.
Illinois Senate rejects House pension-reform bill
(Alton Telegraph © 05/31/2013) SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – The Illinois Senate has rejected a plan pushed by the House to solve the state’s pension crisis. The proposal pushed by House Speaker Michael Madigan failed Thursday evening, with 16 voting “yes” and 42 voting “no.” The vote left lawmakers without a solution to the pension issue with only one day left before the Legislature’s scheduled adjournment. The House-backed …
Pension Standoff Remains Heading Into Last Day Of Session | WUIS – My Source for News
(WUIS 91.9 PBR (Springfield) © 05/31/2013) The Illinois Senate overwhelmingly rejected legislation on Thursday that would curtail government employees’ and teachers’ retirement benefits. It raises the question of whether lawmakers will do anything to address Illinois’ indebted retirement systems before they adjourn Friday night.
Illinois Senate rejects one of two pension reform bills
(WBEZ 91.5 (Chicago) © 05/31/2013) As Illinois lawmakers prepare Friday for their final day of the Spring session, the issue most say should be top priority received a blow Thursday evening. The full state Senate overwhelmingly rejected a pension reform plan supported by the House of Representatives but panned by several labor unions. Just 17 senators, mostly Republicans, voted in favor of the bill. “How do you breach a …
House, Senate do pension reform dance in session’s final hours
(Decatur Herald and Review © 05/31/2013) A plan to slowly shift employee retirement costs from the state to universities and community colleges won approval in the Illinois House on Thursday as part of a last-minute push by lawmakers to find a solution to the state’s pension mess. The move came as Democrats in the Senate killed off a pension reform proposal that had won earlier approval in the House.
Gov disappointed in Senate rejecting pension bill
(Bloomington Pantagraph © 05/31/2013) Gov. Pat Quinn says the people of Illinois have been let down after the Senate rejected a pension overhaul that would have cut benefits across the board. Quinn said in a Thursday statement that the legislation would get the job done. It’s sponsored by House Speaker Michael Madigan. Illinois has a nearly $100 billion pension crisis. Quinn says that costs taxpayers $17 million a day.
Editorial – Illinois state senators, pass SB1, by far the best pension reform bill for taxpayers and workers
(Chicago Tribune © 05/31/2013) Nearly seven years after the first warning that state pension funds are hurtling toward insolvency, the Illinois Senate took a few minutes Thursday to raise the likelihood of that doomsday. With their vote to kill this year’s best pension reform bill, the senators deserve to spend the summer trying to explain why they spiked a plan projected to save taxpayers $187 billion
Our Opinion: Cullerton’s pension plan still the best option for Illinois
(Springfield State Journal Register © 05/31/2013) By now, casual observers of Illinois government may be feeling baffled, bewildered or downright confused by all the late-breaking twists and turns at the capitol in the waning hours of the legislative session. We feel their pain. It’s not unusual for so much to occur in the final week and hours, but it can be tough to keep up. Pension reform, the most-pressing problem that requires…
Our View: Session can’t end without pension reform
(Freeport Journal Standard © 05/31/2013) Education was spared a $400 million cut in the Illinois budget because of an April surprise of $1.3 billion in additional tax revenue. However, other services provided by the state weren’t as lucky. Scholarships, public safety, help for the disabled and other services are taking a hit because the state doesn’t have enough money.
House Gives Boost to Peotone Airport, McCormick Place Projects
(Chicago WMAQ (NBC) 5 © 05/31/2013) The Illinois House has passed a measure that will allow for the construction and operation of a third Chicago-area airport. …
Kadner: Quinn behind move on third airport
(Chicago Daily Southtown © 05/30/2013) After 40 years of double dealing, backstabbing, bickering, inertia and gross negligence, it looks like a south suburban airport might actually get built. Gov. Pat Quinn apparently has brokered a deal that would allow the Illinois Department of Transportation to become the development authority for the planned airport near Peotone. …
Fixing the unintended consequences of political ‘reform’
(Crains Chicago Business © 05/31/2013) As the 98th General Assembly adjourns today, Illinoisans are left to ponder whether we will ever escape the problems plaguing our state government. While horse-trading and finger-pointing have stalled the Legislature — on issues including the pension disaster, marriage equality, concealed-carry gun legislation and the expansion of gambling — there have been at least a few victories
Lawmakers begin sending $35B budget to governor
(Bloomington Pantagraph © 05/31/2013) The Illinois Senate has given final approval to parts of a new state budget, sending the legislation to Gov. Pat Quinn. The proposed $35.4 billion general revenue fund budget avoids cuts to education for the first time in at least four years. Democrats who control the House and Senate drafted the document. Republicans have criticized it, saying the proposal increases spending when the state
Editorial: Illinois Legislature keeps spending more money
(Chicago Tribune © 05/31/2013) Lawmakers got closer to passing a $35.4 billion state budget on Thursday, one day before they’re scheduled to head home. By the numbers: The 2013-14 operating budget will include about $2 billion more in spending than this year’s budget and will still leave a pile of nearly $6 billion in unpaid bills. Including bricks-and-mortar projects and debt repayment, the state’s overall budget
Gambling expansion still up in the air A plan to expand gambling in Illinois is still being negotiated and it’s unclear if lawmakers will take it up, with just hours left in the session to deal with other major issues.
2 sides of gambling: Addicted mom attempts suicide, retiree seeks harmless fun
(Chicago Sun Times © 05/31/2013) The northwest suburban mother of three always knew what she would do if her secret was found out. So when that day came, she carried out her plan, calmly standing in line at the pharmacy, filling two bottles with anti-hypertension medication. She went home and downed both. A divorce, a lost job, thousands of dollars in debt
Fast paced and loud, legislators rise above fray
(Morton Grove Champion © 05/31/2013) The deafening, unrelenting chants of “SEIU! SEIU!” filled the Illinois State Capital building up to the stained glass dome, plaster friezes and corbel statues. More than 200 members of the Service Employees International Union were in Springfield Thursday, protesting low wages. Legislators, tourists and state security guards peered over the second-and third-floor railings to
Back pay for union state workers unresolved
(Peoria Journal Star © 05/31/2013) SPRINGFIELD – Back pay for thousands of unionized state workers remained in limbo Thursday as lawmakers scrambled to grapple with a lengthy list of issues before Friday’s scheduled adjournment. Even as the Illinois House and Senate approved major parts of next year’s state budget, they still hadn’t addressed how to pay about $140 million due to workers under a previous labor agree…
Editorial: Important state issues deserve better
(Quad Cities Dispatch Argus Leader © 05/31/2013) Once again the Illinois legislature is dillying and dallying down to the very last minute when it comes to taking action on important legislation prior to tonight’s deadline for adjournment. Apparently still floundering for political traction, among other less important issues, are pension reform, concealed carry and gambling expansion. All deserve not to be flushed through at the last minute …
House gives boost to third Chicago-area airport
(Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 05/31/2013) SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois House has passed a measure that will allow for the construction and operation of a third Chicago-area airport. The legislation approved Thursday allows the Illinois Department of Transportation to enter into a public-private partnership to develop the South Suburban Airport in Peotone. Gov. Pat Quinn calls the House vote a breakthrough.
House OKs bill to regulate fracking
(Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 05/31/2013) The Illinois House overwhelmingly approved a plan Thursday that would regulate high-volume oil and gas drilling in the state, hoping to kick-start an industry that proponents say could bring thousands of jobs to economically struggling southern Illinois. The measure passed 108-9 and headed to the Senate, where it was expected to pass.
Rutherford to announce gubernatorial bid this weekend
(Arlington Heights Daily Herald © 05/31/2013) State Treasurer Dan Rutherford says he’ll announce this weekend that he’s seeking the Republican nomination for Illinois governor. He told The Associated Press on Thursday that he’ll make it official Sunday. That’s when he launches a three-day tour with stops including Chicago, Pontiac, Springfield and Rockford.
Lawmakers vote to lower mandatory school age to 6 from 7
(Chicago Tribune © 05/31/2013)
Illinois children would have to be in school at age 6 instead of 7 starting in September 2014 under a bill that cleared the legislature Thursday in Springfield, giving education officials a tool to fight a truancy crisis that reaches into the earliest grades. If signed by Gov. Pat Quinn, who said he supports the measure, the law would put Illinois on par with the majority of states.
Teacher contract teams to meet
(Danville Commercial-News © 05/31/2013) DANVILLE — The Danville School District 118’s negotiating teams and the Danville Education Association plan to sit down with a federal mediator Saturday morning to continue hammering out contracts for the district’s teachers, secretaries and learning resource clerks.
Batavia School District approves amended budget with larger surplus
(Geneva Kane County Chronicle © 05/31/2013) BATAVIA – Batavia School District 101’s operating fund budget for 2012-13 will have a slightly bigger surplus than originally anticipated. Batavia School Board members on Tuesday approved an amended budget that shows a surplus of $120,000 in the operating fund, which includes the education fund, the operations and maintenance fund, the transportation fund and the working
Michelle Rhee talks education at Mackinac: ‘We are facing crisis as nation’
(Detroit Free Press © 05/31/2013) MACKINAC ISLAND — At a time when the nation is spending a record amount of money on public education, the results in student achievement are disappointing at best, said education reformer Michelle Rhee Thursday at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference. “We are facing a crisis as a nation,” she said. “The children who are in school today will be the first generation
School District education union looks to split from parent organizations
(Las Vegas Review Journal © 05/31/2013) Not even an air horn could squelch the angry chant of “no” that spread among hundreds of Clark County School District support staff members who were asked to consider cutting ties to their parent unions Thursday. “This was sprung on us for a reason, to railroad it through,” said 15-year school janitor John Bailey,
A condominium association representing residents of a high-rise across the river has sued the city of Chicago, alleging that the process by which it approved the three-tower plan was unconstitutional. Read Crain’s story
Who’s made this year’s annual list of the area’s 50 fastest-growing companies? Hear from the founder of the No. 1 company in this Crain’s video. Check back to see the whole list, available online and on Crain’s iPad app, tomorrow afternoon.
Crain’s Joe Cahill considers the theory being pushed by Exelon Corp. CEO Christopher Crane that new environmental regulations taking effect in 2015 will force coal-fired power plants to close, cutting electricity supply and lifting prices. Should shareholders buy it? Read Mr. Cahill’s take here.
MillerCoors is halting production of beer cans marked with the Puerto Rican flag after the idea did nothing but cause a stir. But now the New York attorney general’s office wants to know how the beer brand is using the popular National Puerto Rican Day Parade to market its suds, according to the New York Daily News.
Archer Daniels Midland Co. plans to retain ports owned by GrainCorp Ltd. after it completes a $3.3 billion takeover of the Australian company — a prospect that worries some Australian farmers. Though Decatur-based ADM says farmers would benefit from the deal, farmers worry the takeover would instead lock them out of vital export infrastructure and reduce their influence in the supply chain, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Mondelez International has struck its first mobile-only media deal with Google as the marketer looks to drive more impulse purchases of brands such as Oreo and Trident across the globe. The deal lends more proof that consumer packaged-goods companies, which have been slow to adopt mobile advertising, are finally starting to get serious. AdAge takes a look.
Legislation that would regulate fracking in Illinois now moves on to the state Senate after passing the House last night. Under the legislation, companies that wish to “frack” for oil and gas in Illinois will be subjected to some of the toughest disclosure laws in the country, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Starting today, the intersection of State Street and Jackson Boulevard will be the testing ground for a new pedestrian crossing pattern, called the “pedestrian scramble.” It is aimed at providing a little extra breathing room between vehicles and pedestrians. The Chicago Tribune explains how it works.
To fix our broken political system, Illinois should adopt a small-donor public financing system such as one that exists in New York, according to the leaders of Common Cause Illinois. That system provides a six-to-one match for every dollar spent up to $175, and corporate interests don’t dominate the system as they do here.
Those new graduates landing coveted jobs on Wall Street may have impressive resumes and sought-after references, but many lack the less impressive, but essential nuts-and-bolts skills like spreadsheet building and database extraction that are not part of university curriculums. The New York Times looks at the boot camps run to make sure corporation’s new hires have those basic skills
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|Viewpoint: With Oprah’s Speech, Harvard Endorses Phony Science|
|Selecting her as commencement speaker is a tacit embrace of the quack science she has backed, say Erika and Nicholas A. Christakis|
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The Washington Post
The decision on whether to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline is a political headache for President Obama. But to five of his former aides, it represents a business opportunity.
Tea party groups mobilizing against Common Core education overhaul
Tea party groups over the past few weeks have suddenly and successfully pressured Republican governors to reassess their support for a rare bipartisan initiative backed by President Obama to overhaul the nation’s public schools.
In Scripps National Spelling Bee, one emerges victorious with dough
The definition was a light-colored Roman marble. The language of origin was from Latin-derived Italian. Part of speech: noun.
Syamantak Payra, a 12-year-old seventh-grader from Friendswood, Tex., asked Scripps National Spelling Bee pronouncer Jacques Bailly to use the word in a sentence.
Unapproved genetically modified wheat from Monsanto found in Oregon field
Japan, the largest market for U.S. wheat exports, suspended imports from the United States and canceled a major purchase of white wheat on Thursday after the recent discovery of unapproved genetically modified wheat in an 80-acre field in Oregon.
In Smithfield, residents digest news of sale
SMITHFIELD, Va. — The pig is many things in this riverside town in southeastern Virginia. Happy porcine images are everywhere: There’s a pig in a chef’s hat holding a beer outside a neighborhood grill. Down the road, a cartoon pig is serving pie and another is hawking children’s clothes. A blue-and-pink pig statue is painted with a platter of ham and biscuits.
Word of the Day for Friday, May 31, 2013
de profundis \dey proh-FOON-dis\, adverb:
out of the depths (of sorrow, despair, etc.).