Springfield

Fri, 02/24/2012
Lawmakers in the Illinois House earned an extra $661,000 last year for serving as committee officers, even though some committees met fewer than five times and a handful met once, a Chicago News Cooperative analysis found. The House paid members who serve as committee chairmen and spokesmen (Springfield’s term for ranking minority members) $10,326...
Thu, 02/23/2012
Following Republican criticism he didn’t announce budget cuts during his Feb. 1 State of the State address, Gov. Pat Quinn proposed chopping $420 million from agency budgets Wednesday through state facility closures and consolidations. Delivering his annual budget address to an attentive, quiet chamber of lawmakers that did not interrupt his...
Mon, 01/30/2012
Illinois’ financial outlook could go from bad to catastrophic, according to a new analysis of state budget figures from a government watchdog group. The report from the non-partisan Civic Federation comes two days before Gov. Pat Quinn is scheduled to deliver his State of the State address, traditionally a chance to tout the health of the state....
Mon, 01/16/2012
Lobbying by Illinois lawmakers would be barred under a bill proposed by the Legislature’s inspector general, who monitors ethical conduct by state representatives and senators. “Legislators should not be allowed to be paid to lobby on behalf of clients before any public body,” said the inspector general, Thomas J. Homer, who plans to introduce the...
Wed, 01/11/2012
Gov. Pat Quinn called for a “rendezvous with pension reality” and said the state must get its pension debt under control this year. At a news conference Tuesday, Quinn said pension reform would be one of his top priorities for the legislative session that starts January 31st. The state’s chronic inability to address its pension shortfall was a...
Tue, 11/29/2011
Lawmakers demonstrated their irritation toward a handful of union leaders who took advantage of pension loopholes by passing a bill Tuesday that would end the practice. The bill, which Gov. Pat Quinn said he will sign, does not address Illinois’ more than $80 billion unfunded pension liability, which some economists consider the worst in the...
Mon, 10/17/2011
After months of indecision, Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday came out against a statewide gambling expansion bill, sending lawmakers scrambling to rework the controversial legislation. The governor did not reject the legislation outright, instead offering what he called a “framework” for a smaller expansion of gambling that he finds acceptable. Quinn’s...
Fri, 10/07/2011
A cultural anthropologist should stick inside a vault the tape of Forrest Claypool, head of the Chicago Transit Authority, addressing a sea of dark suits at the City Club of Chicago breakfast on Tuesday. Mr. Claypool offered what the French call a tour d’horizon of a decaying transit system. In 25 years, researchers can find a reality about our...
Wed, 08/24/2011
Less than two days after negotiations between the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union stalled, a new offer is on the table presenting the possibility of a teacher raise and a longer school day as early as January. Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard first offered to pay elementary school teachers 2 percent more to work an additional...
Mon, 08/08/2011
Former Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis joined the chorus of opposition to the state’s gambling expansion bill last week, warning that if it is implemented, “political corruption and crime syndicate infiltration will follow.” Yet the concerns of Weis and other critics are largely addressed in the actual text of the legislation, a Chicago News...