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Rauner, Dems Make Progress; Newspapers Seek to Shame IL Leaders; Judge Acts on Medical Pot

Rauner, Dems Make Progress; Newspapers Seek to Shame IL Leaders; Judge Acts on Medical Pot

House and Senate Minority Leaders Jim Durkin and Christine Radogno speak to reporters in Springfield on Tuesday after meeting with Democratic leaders.

House and Senate Minority Leaders Jim Durkin and Christine Radogno speak to reporters in Springfield on Tuesday after meeting with Democratic leaders.

(Chicago) – As Governor Bruce Rauner and Illinois lawmakers have exhausted the patience of Illinois editorial boards across the state, state leaders indicated on Tuesday that they’ve made “progress” on budget talks.

MADIGAN: “GOOD, PRODUCTIVE DAY”: Doug Finke, State Journal-Register… “Illinois legislative leaders said Tuesday they are making progress on an agreement for a stopgap state budget bill and funding for K-12 education.

The four leaders and Gov. Bruce Rauner met for nearly three hours Tuesday evening trying to hammer out a deal just days before the state would start another fiscal year with no permanent budget in place. The state already has gone all of fiscal 2016 without a budget.

House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, left the meeting saying it was a “good, productive day.”
“It appears to me that everybody who is in the negotiation is negotiating in good faith,” Madigan said. “There are a lot of proposals on the table, a lot of good ideas.” … Read more here…


House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs called the meeting a “very healthy discussion.”
“Matters are fluid. We’re going to reconvene (Wednesday) morning,” Durkin said. “We made progress.”

DAILY HERALD EDITORIAL BOARD BLASTS MADIGAN, RAUNER… “For two years in a row, rather than produce a balanced budget that will require real, practical spending restraints and let his party members stand accountable for them, House Speaker Michael Madigan has delivered a budget calling for billions of dollars more in spending than revenues will support. This year the deficit is $7 billion.


Our Republican governor campaigned on a promise of economic competency, relationship building and compromise “to focus like a laser” — as he repeatedly vowed — to repair Illinois’ fractured financial condition. Yet today we find ourselves in even worse shape than when he took office 18 months ago.” … Read more here…

STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER, OTHER NEWSPAPERS PUBLISH FRONT PAGE EDITORIALS PUSHING RAUNER, LAWMAKERS TO END IMPASSE… “On Wednesday, The State Journal-Register takes a possibly unprecedented step — at least one that hasn’t been done in several decades, possibly ever. We’ve turned the entire front page of our print edition over to an editorial, our call for Gov. Bruce Rauner and the legislature to pass a budget for the state of Illinois.

But Illinois finds itself in an unprecedented state, a calamity that didn’t have to happen. Desperate times, we feel, call for attention-grabbing measures.

On Wednesday, more than 60 other newspapers throughout Illinois, from Carbondale to Cook County, are joining the SJ-R editorial board in the same plea: Enough.

Many will publish the editorial that you read on Wednesday’s front page, while other newspapers opted to write their own editorials, but with the same theme: Enough.

Dozens of other newspapers also chose to run the editorial on their front pages.” … Read more here…

BUDGET IMPASSE: CPS FUNDING KEY: Paris Schutz, WTTW-TV… “Gov. Bruce Rauner met with top legislative leaders on Tuesday, including House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton. This in advance of a special session Wednesday, in which lawmakers are expected to take up a stopgap budget and funding for education, including Chicago Public Schools.

That last item is where the dispute lies – how much money Chicago Public Schools should get from the state to solve its $1 billion deficit. The governor maintained again Tuesday that CPS should receive the same amount of dollar funding as last year; that any more would be a bailout.” … Read more here…

WHAT IF THERE IS NO BUDGET – AGAIN?: Ivan Moreno, Associated Press… “If Illinois enters a second year without a budget this week, cash will stop flowing to local 911 centers, preventive health screenings and tuition grants for low-income college students — and the situation will only get direr from there.

Not approving a new spending plan by the start of the new fiscal year on Friday means schools won’t know whether they’ll stay open through the academic year, the state could lose billions in federal dollars for various programs, and vendors that have provided services without payments could file more lawsuits.

Entering a second fiscal year without a budget is unprecedented, so officials will have no roadmap for all the harmful situations Illinois could face.” … Read more here…

JUDGE REBUKES RAUNER ADMINISTRATION OVER MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROGRAM, ORDERS PTSD TO ELIGIBLE TREATMENT LIST: Carla Johnson, Associated Press… “Illinois must add post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of diseases eligible for medical marijuana treatment, a Cook County judge ordered Tuesday in a sternly worded ruling that also said the state’s public health director engaged in a “private investigation” that was “constitutionally inappropriate.”

In a lawsuit filed by an Iraq war veteran, Judge Neil Cohen ordered Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav Shah to add PTSD within 30 days. It’s the first decision among eight lawsuits filed by patients disappointed with across-the-board rejections by Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration of recommendations from an advisory board on medical marijuana.” … Read more here…

NEW TRAINING CENTER: Stephanie Lulay, DNAinfo… “Three of the state’s most influential politicians were in the West Loop Tuesday to break ground on a new union training center.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Illinois Senate President John Cullerton — along with a host of aldermen — were on hand to celebrate the groundbreaking of the new Plumbers Local 130 training center in the West Loop Tuesday. When complete, the training center will serve the union’s more than 4,000 journeymen and apprentice plumbers.

The 50,000-square-foot, three-story building at 1400 W. Washington Boulevard is expected to open in July 2017 and will offer technology-related, “green” and traditional plumbing skills courses.” … Read more here…

$15 HOUR RALLY: Virginia Barreda, Chicago Sun-Times… “Northwestern Memorial Hospital health care workers called on the hospital Tuesday to raise their wages to a minimum of $15 per hour.

“I don’t feel it’s appropriate for my members and my co-workers not to be able to make a livable wage,” said Kimberly Smith, a patient care technician at Northwestern Memorial and member of the SEIU executive board. “So here we are as hospital workers letting [Northwestern] know that we want $15 an hour.” … Read more here…



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