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  • Tuesday, August 22, 2017
    In Carterville, Prince of Darkness Ozzy Osbourne takes the stage as sun enters total eclipse
    Parks, Recreation Fowler, Dale--State Senate, 59

    CARTERVILLE — As the first diamond ring of the eclipse appeared, Ozzy Osbourne walked on stage at Walker’s Bluff and began to sing “Bark at the Moon” as the shadow of the moon swept across the crowd.

    The crowd welcomed the cooler temperature and breeze that accompanied totality.

    “I don’t think I’ve ever been in this part of the world...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, August 22, 2017
    Morning Spin for Tuesday, August 22, 2017
    Education Funding (36a)

    Illinois' legislative leaders are set to meet again Tuesday about the state's continuing inability to send money to schools.

    read more >

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  • Tuesday, August 22, 2017
    Rauner misses opportunities with veto of debt-transparency law
    Rauner, Bruce

    We can understand why Gov. Bruce Rauner senses a whiff of political partisanship around a bill that would enable more of a real-time look at the state's debt picture. But his decision to veto the law is an unfortunate overreaction that misses two not-insignificant opportunities.

    One is the chance to demonstrate some spirit of collaboration on a significant bill that, a...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, August 22, 2017
    Businesses hope for eclipse payday
    Business (10) , Economy (34)

    It’s no secret that hotels in southern Illinois have few if any vacancies left ahead of Monday’s total solar eclipse. But for $1,200 a night between Sunday and Tuesday, you can rent a four-bedroom house in Salem, about 45 miles south of Effingham.

    Salem, like Effingham, is outside the path of totality in Illinois. But Mistie Urdaneta, who owns a wedding business call...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, August 22, 2017
    A budget surplus? MHS could be in the black this year
    Education Funding (36a)

    MENDOTA — If the Illinois House of Representatives overrides Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 1, then Mendota High School might have its first year in the black since Jeff Prusator became superintendent.

    “Hopefully this is the last year of this guessing,” he said to the school board Monday night.

    Prusator said SB1 could bring an add...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, August 22, 2017
    State owes PC schools nearly $300,000 for last fiscal year
    Education Funding (36a)

    GRANVILLE — The state of Illinois still owes $294,418.64 to Putnam County schools from the last fiscal year.

    “It is really complicated right now; it is really a mess,” said superintendent Carl Carlson. The district received the third categorical payment for last fiscal year, but the district hasn’t received the fourth payment.

    Carlson said he’s...   read more >

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  • Monday, August 21, 2017
    On Illinois farms, where labor is tight, foreign workers are welcomed
    Employment, Jobs (40) , Labor (55)

    Wayne Sirles parks his dusty pickup amid rows of peach trees, where Mexican pickers pluck fruit that a few years ago dropped to the ground to rot for lack of hands to harvest it.

     

    Not this year. Sirles, whose great-great-grandfather founded Rendleman Orchards in the tiny town of Alto Pass in southern Illinois, has for the second season hired temporary foreign workers throu...   read more >

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  • Monday, August 21, 2017
    The Illinois Eclipse: It's not about Aug. 21. It's every day.

    Starting at 1:20 p.m. Monday, people in downstate Illinois will watch as their view of the sun is obliterated for 2 minutes and 43 seconds. Astronomy buffs have plotted a journey to Carbondale and other points to stand in the path of the first total eclipse to sweep across the continental U.S. since 1918.

    We’re sure that will be a thrilling sight. But there’s another ...   read more >

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  • Monday, August 21, 2017
    Letter: Illinois residents held hostage
    Budget--State (8) Madigan, Michael--State House, 22

    To the Editor:

    We are being held hostages by our own representatives, who are sworn in to do as the people wish.

    For two years, we are still without a balanced budget and are going deeper in debt. It’s time these fat cats get off their behinds and start working for the people or resign and let the honest people run for office.

    These lifers are only looking ou...   read more >

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  • Monday, August 21, 2017
    McDermed, Will County continue push for Lewis Airport tower
    Airports (4)

    The Will County Board is continuing its push for a permanent air traffic control tower at Lewis University Airport in Romeoville.

    State Rep. Margo McDermed, R-Mokena, presented the board with a resolution Thursday in support of the permanent tower, which offic...   read more >

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  • Monday, August 21, 2017
    Mendota grade school district banks on state funds
    Education Funding (36a)

    MENDOTA — This is the month when school districts are required to present a budget to the taxpayers and this is the year when the legislature has again made that job nearly impossible.

    Mendota Grade School superintendent Kristen School told her board the district could receive almost $200,000 more this year if state representatives can override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s am...   read more >

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  • Monday, August 21, 2017
    Congressman says leadership needed
    President (73) Rezin, Sue--State Senate 38

    U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger on Thursday accused President Donald Trump of worsening the nation's divisions by downplaying "the morally repugnant ...   read more >

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  • Monday, August 21, 2017
    Illinois Sen. Daniel Biss brings gubernatorial campaign to Moline
    Candidates--Statewide (12) Biss, Daniel--State Senate, 9

    Illinois gubernatorial candidate and Illinois State Senator Daniel Biss said his idea for funding schools while reducing burdensome property taxes will be to institute a progressive income tax in the state and do away with the flat tax.

     

    “Ours is the most regressive income tax of any state in the union,” Bliss said Saturday during a town hall meeting at Black H...   read more >

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  • Monday, August 21, 2017
    General Assembly needs to override veto of Debt Transparency Act
    Comptroller (21)

    The state of Illinois, as of Friday, owed its vendors about $14.7 billion.

    At least, Comptroller Susana Mendoza thinks that’s what the debt is, based on the bills in her office and the ones she is aware of at state agencies.

    Ridiculously, state agencies are only required to annually report in October the aggregate amount of bills being held as of June 30. By that poi...   read more >

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  • Monday, August 21, 2017
    Rauner signs law to eliminate township collector in Sangamon County
    Rauner, Bruce

    Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation Friday to eliminate, eventually, the position of township collector in Sangamon County.

    House Bill 3521, which does away with the position in 2022, was sponsored by Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield.

    Butler could not be reached Friday. However, he previously issued a statement that the position of township collector “has become outdated...   read more >

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  • Monday, August 21, 2017
    Statehouse Insider: Rauner tells reporters to not question wife’s role in the administration
    Rauner, Bruce

    You could say Gov. BRUCE RAUNER was not a happy man last week.

    A couple of media outlets filed open records requests to get emails sent by first lady DIANA RAUNER on a state email account. It was not a question of trying to get emails sent on a personal account. One reason was to determine if the first lady had a hand in all of the recent staff ch...   read more >

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  • Monday, August 21, 2017
    Rauner vetoes plan requiring overdue bill reporting
    Comptroller (21) , Rauner, Bruce

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed legislation that the Democratic comptroller says would help the state manage overdue bills.

    The Republican governor rejected on Friday a plan pushed by Comptroller Susana Mendoza. It would require state agencies to regularly report the bills they’ve not yet sent the comptroller for payment.

    Mendoza ar...   read more >

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  • Sunday, August 20, 2017
    Condemn racism and bigotry
    Racism, Bigotry

    Racism, hate and bigotry are evil and wicked no matter how you try to rationalize it. As a citizen of our great nation, I cherish our nation’s freedoms, equality for all. We — as a nation, a state, a town, a city or a village — must work tireless to ensure racism, hatred and bigotry are not tolerated.

    You and me, we must build on the positives and not the negati...   read more >

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  • Sunday, August 20, 2017
    Governor’s actions on school funding appalling
    Education Funding (36a) , Rauner, Bruce

    Again we see the governor doing the know-it-all shuffle. After two years of no budget and having his veto overridden, the governor is attacking schools (again). His cutting of parts of the school budget specifically targeting the pensions of Chicago teachers is appalling and small-minded, short-sighted and possibly just mean-spirited.

    It is well known that the mayor of Chicago ...   read more >

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  • Sunday, August 20, 2017
    Kennedy gets poetic at Democrat Day brunch
    Candidates--Statewide (12)

    The nine Democratic candidates for governor — some better known than others — had a great audience of 1,800 party faithful at the Democratic County Chairmen’s Association at the Crowne Plaza on the State Fair’s Democrat Day last week.

    In his speech, one of them, CHRIS KENNEDY, didn’t take the usual tack — he didn’t mention...   read more >

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  • Sunday, August 20, 2017
    Rauner should support reproductive rights in Illinois
    Legislature (56) , Rauner, Bruce

    Bernard Schoenburg’s story in the Aug. 17 edition of the SJ-R on Governor’s Day at the Illinois State Fair identifies me as one of the women dressed as the Handmaids, characters from the book “The Handmaids Tale,” a novel about a future where w...   read more >

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  • Saturday, August 19, 2017
    Governor, that sales pitch needs some work
    Rauner, Bruce

    "I am actually heading over to Asia in a few weeks to recruit companies from China and Japan," Gov. Bruce Rauner told WTTW-TV's Amanda Vinicky on Aug. 14.

     

    Rauner often describes himself as a salesman. For instance, when differentiating himself from failed presidential candidate and fellow kabillionaire Mitt Romney during the 2014 campaign, Rauner said, "I am a very differ...   read more >

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  • Saturday, August 19, 2017
    Governor Rauner Vetoes Bill Pushed by Comptroller Mendoza
    Comptroller (21) , Rauner, Bruce

    Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed legislation Friday to require regular reporting of bill backlogs by his Cabinet, calling it an attempt by Democratic Comptroller Susana Mendoza "to micromanage executive agencies."

    Mendoza pushed the legislation last spring, saying it would provide a better picture of the state's liabilities. She said the $14.7 billion pile of...   read more >

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  • Saturday, August 19, 2017
    New pharmacy rules in Illinois aim to improve patient safety
    Professional Regulation. Licensure , Rauner, Bruce

    Gov. Bruce Rauner has approved regulations that require pharmacists to counsel customers who seek to fill prescriptions for new medications or need changes to longtime prescriptions.

    The higher counseling standard comes after a Chicago Tribune investigation in December revealed pharmacies frequently failed to warn customers about severe drug interactions. Pharmacies have been r...   read more >

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  • Saturday, August 19, 2017
    Rauner pays for private helicopter to public event in northern Illinois
    Rauner, Bruce

    Gov. Bruce Rauner used a helicopter, apparently owned by a campaign donor, to get him to a public event on Friday.

    “He covered the cost personally, so it would not be at the taxpayers’ expense,” said Rauner spokeswoman Laurel Patrick.

    The helicopter landed at Aurora University so Rauner could go to an assessment of flood damaged areas in nearby Lake County. ...   read more >

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