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  • Tuesday, July 17, 2018
    University president’s resignation will heal rift? Guess again
    Education--Higher (37) , Governor (44) Hoffman, Jay--State House, 113
    So are we to now expect Southern Illinois University’s entrenched constituencies and wounded feelings to all fall away as they join hands and sing “Kumbaya?”

    Unlikely.

    SIU President Randy Dunn fell on his sword — with his crash softened by a $215,000 6-month s...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, July 17, 2018
    SIU board approves Dunn's termination, calls for new chapter
    Education--Higher (37)

    EDWARDSVILLE — After months of controversy, the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees has unanimously approved a separation agreement ending the tenure of Randy Dunn as president of the SIU System.

    At a special meeting on Monday on the SIU Edwardsville campus, the board also unanimously approved the hiring of J. Kevin Dorsey, a former dean of SIU School of Medicine...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, July 17, 2018
    Madigan asks court to declare 'sanctuary state' law in compliance with feds
    Attorney General (6) , Governor (44) , Immigration (99a) Skillicorn, Allen--State House, 66
    Illinois’ attorney general is asking the courts to rule that a controversial Illinois law about immigration policies complies with federal law.

    Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice. She said DOJ is improperly withholding $6.5 million in law enforcement grants from Illinois.

    “Byrne JAG funds allow Illinois law enforcement ...   read more >

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  • Monday, July 16, 2018
    Elections board says voters should have confidence in election security, despite claims of Russian hack
    Election Issues (not candidates) (39)
    After 12 Russians were charged with hacking efforts designed to interfere with the 2016 Presidential election, Illinois officials said voters should have confidence in the state system despite the breach.

    Friday U.S. Department of Justice Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced an indictment of Russian hackers for breaking into the servers of political organizations and politicia...   read more >

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  • Monday, July 16, 2018
    Illinois governor signs gun-violence restraining order law
    Governor (44) , Guns and Gun Control, FOID, Concealed Carry (46) Willis, Kathleen--State House, 77
    Illinois lawmakers say the state's newest gun control law could stop a mentally ill or violent person from going on a shooting rampage. 

    After a central Illinois man shot four people at a Nashville, Tenn., Waffle House in April, a lot of neighbors and police officers said they had feared the day was coming. 

    Travis Reinking, the suspect in the shooting, had a history of ...   read more >

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  • Monday, July 16, 2018
    Political in-fighting, sluggish growth seen as serious concerns for Illinois' credit rating
    Bonds, Bonding, Borrowing, Debt, Credit Rating , Budget--State (8) , Economy (34)
    Of the forty-six states whose budgets started this month, Illinois and four others are on a credit agency’s “watch list” due to potential instability. Uniquely, analysts say Illinois’ instability is largely due to its politicians.

    Credit agency Fitch’s annual budget update lists Illinois as a “state to watch” as a signal to potential bond buyers t...   read more >

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  • Saturday, July 14, 2018
    Dunn to be removed as SIU President after attempt in dissolving university system
    Education--Higher (37)
    Randy Dunn has been removed as Southern Illinois University’s president pending confirmation by the SIU Board of Trustees.

    The board will meet on Monday in Edwardsville to finalize Dunn’s removal and appoint J. Kevin Dorsey, former dean and provost of the SIU School of Medicine, as acting president for a one-year while the board launches a search for a new presiden...   read more >

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  • Saturday, July 14, 2018
    Illinois elections officials suspect Russians targeted voter database after federal hack indictment
    Election Issues (not candidates) (39)
    The 12 Russian intelligence officials indicted for crimes related to hacking during the 2016 election may have been responsible for a breach of Illinois' voter data, state officials said Friday.

    The Department of Justice announced that a grand jury had indicted the Russian nationals for federal crimes that were intended to interfere with the presidential election. All 12 are members of th...   read more >

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  • Friday, July 13, 2018
    Op-Ed: If Frank Mautino didn’t break the rules, the rules are broken
    Auditor General (21) , Election Issues (not candidates) (39) , Ethics, Campaign Reform, Transparency (12a)
    When it comes to political graft, paying people under the table isn’t too complicated – as long as you have some blurred lines to hide in.

    That’s the lesson underlying the tragi-comic saga of Frank Mautino.

    In the eyes of the law, Mautino is not yet guilty of corruption, though he is under federal investigation. On July 10, the Illinois State Board of Elections r...   read more >

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  • Friday, July 13, 2018
    Right-to-work nonprofit threatens lawsuits against officials still collecting “fair-share fees” for unions
    Comptroller (21) , Labor (55) , Right to work , Unions, labor (55)
    A nonprofit legal foundation that helped in the Supreme Court case against forced public union dues is threatening comptrollers and public payroll departments across the nation with lawsuits if they continue to take union dues from the paychecks of non-union members.

    Last month’s Supreme Court ruling in the Janus v. AFSCME case made it illegal for public unions to take whatR...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, July 11, 2018
    Dunn coordinates with legislators, SIU Edwardsville administration in attempt to dissolve system
    Education--Higher (37) Bryant, Terri--State House, 115 , Greenwood, LaToya--State House, 114 , Hoffman, Jay--State House, 113 , Stuart, Katie--State House, 112
    SIU President Randy Dunn has coordinated with Edwardsville administration and Metro-East lawmakers to create legislation in order to dissolve the SIU system, according to documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

    He took those steps while claiming publicly to be neutral on the issue.

    The SIU Board of Trustees voted on June 21 to release&nbs...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, July 11, 2018
    Elections board deadlocked over complaint against top Illinois auditor
    Auditor General (21) Wehrli, Grant--State House, 41
    Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino is under federal investigation, won’t testify to the elections board and can’t run for office again because his now defunct campaign committee hasn’t paid a fine for wrong doing.

    The taxpayer complaint against Mautino is likely headed back to court after the Illinois State Board of Elections deadlocked Tuesday on whether the ...   read more >
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  • Wednesday, July 11, 2018
    Abortion advocates blast Rauner for not signing pledge to protect taxpayer-funded abortion
    Abortion (1) , Governor (44)
    Abortion advocates blasted Gov. Bruce Rauner at a news conference Tuesday morning for failing to sign a pledge to protect a controversial bill that allows taxpayer money to be used for abortions.

    Personal PAC President Terry Cosgrove took Rauner to task at the event in Chicago, the morning after President Donald Trump announced his latest Supreme Court pick. Personal PAC is a polit...   read more >
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  • Wednesday, July 11, 2018
    Split in Mautino spending decision is defeat for challenger, but earlier ruling means auditor general can’t run again
    CHICAGO – Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino’s former campaign committee violated no laws by identifying a garage and a bank as recipients of payments that others received, the state election board decided on July 10. 

    In a vote among eight members of a board that is split equally with Republican and Democrat members, four favored a motion to find that Mautino’s...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, July 10, 2018
    Illinois lottery director leaving for more money in Connecticut ahead of election
    Lottery (61) McSweeney, David--State House, 52 , Zalewski, Michael--State House, 23
    The top state official at the Illinois Lottery is leaving to take a higher paying job running Connecticut's lottery.

    One Illinois state Representative said it’s good news Illinois is set to get a new lottery director. The open position comes amid changes at the lottery and months before what is predicted to be one of the most expensive gubernatorial races in the nation.

    The ...   read more >

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  • Monday, July 9, 2018
    Stick to your guns, but don't stick out your tongue at rule of law
    Constitutions (24) , Guns and Gun Control, FOID, Concealed Carry (46)
    We totally get and sympathize with the "gun sanctuary" movement — Springfield lawmakers need to get the message about tinkering with Second Amendment rights.

    But just like the "sanctuary city" movement in which municipal authorities refuse to help federal immigration authorities, leaders in "gun sanct...   read more >

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  • Monday, July 9, 2018
    Illinois taxpayer-funded abortions increase at least 274 percent in first six months of 2018
    Abortion (1) , Governor (44) Breen, Peter--State House, 48
    Illinois taxpayers paid for nearly four times more abortions in the first six months of 2018 than the year before and one state lawmakers expects the total number to eventually be much larger.

    Records of the number of abortion reimbursement requests Illinois News Network obtained through an open records request from the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services showed 84 abortions...   read more >

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  • Saturday, July 7, 2018
    One year, $5 billion later, are Illinois finances better off?
    Governor (44) , Taxes, income (86)
    We are three days past Independence Day, which our calendar tells us is the first anniversary of Illinois Tax Dependency Day.

    One year ago today, Illinois lawmakers overturned Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto and created a permanent state income tax hike. Instead of taking 3.75 percent of your income, Illinois rais...   read more >

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  • Friday, July 6, 2018
    Springtime in Springfield; Bruce Rauner discovers bipartisanship
    Candidates--Statewide (12) , Governor (44)
    It may be too little, too late for the governor of Illinois

    CHICAGO - 

    BY HIS own admission Governor Bruce Rauner has not ticked off many of the 44 points on the “turnaround agenda” that four years ago the voters of Illinois, in their wisdom, elected him to pursue. If he were to give himself a grade for his first term in office, it would be “...   read more >

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  • Friday, July 6, 2018
    Foxconn plant's watershed impacts concern Illinois towns; project supporters say don't worry
    Environment (41) , Rivers (23)
    With flooding along the Des Plaines River watershed already a concern for a number of suburban Chicago communities, Foxconn's $10 billion LCD display panel manufacturing plant being built across the border in Racine County, Wis., is raising alarm bells.

    The Taiwanese manufacturer of TV screens and computer monitors for companies such as Apple plans to bring as many as 13,000 well-paying m...   read more >

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  • Thursday, July 5, 2018
    90 percent of life is showing up, unless you're a politician?
    Candidates--Legislative (11) Costello II, Jerry--State House, 116
    David Friess was apparently energized about being a Red Bud alderman back in 2015. He missed only two meetings all year.

    But the next year he missed 18. And last year he missed more than half of the meetings — 28.

    "I had a number of unavoidable family and business commitments in 2017 that conf...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, July 3, 2018
    No one objected to his candidacy, so Edwardsville mayor will be on the ballot
    Candidates--Legislative (11)
    No one objected to signatures gathered by Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton by a Monday deadline, meaning his name will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot in the race for state senator.

    Opponents could have filed objections by 5 p.m. Monday to the legitimacy of signatures Patton gathered, but no one did, according to Matt Dietrich, a spokesman for the Illinois State Board of Elections.

    Patto...   read more >

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  • Monday, July 2, 2018
    Post-Janus Landscape: Decision will impact union coffers, membership; more litigation on its way, say lawyers
    Labor (55) , Unions, labor (55)
    In the wake of the U.S Supreme Court’s landmark decision to declare unconstitutional the fees Illinois and other states forced non-union public sector workers to pay to unions, ostensibly to cover the costs of representing them, lawyers who focus their practice on contract negotiations and other labor issues said the legal and political landscape will undoubtedly change.

    But precise...   read more >

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  • Monday, July 2, 2018
    Foundation: Janus decision could prompt refund of ‘billions’ in forced union fees
    Labor (55) , Unions, labor (55)
    Another Illinois case dealing with mandatory union fees is getting the go-ahead for reconsideration from the U.S. Supreme Court, and it could mean a refund of billions of dollars in fees unconstitutionally forced from government workers.

    The nation’s highest court Thursday granted a request to take up the Illinois case Riffey v. Rauner, which seeks a refund of $32 million in agency ...   read more >

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  • Saturday, June 30, 2018
    Illinois: Where politicians say 'middle class' and mean 'state workers'
    Labor (55) , Pensions (70) , Unions, labor (55)
    A long-time, activist member of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees called from Granite City to decry the Janus versus AFSCME decision. She said Janus needed to be exposed as a shill for Rauner, and then she went on to worry that the younger union members would not protect her pensi...   read more >
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