Matt Dietrich Executive editor
DIGGING IN With lawmakers returning to Springfield on Wednesday, here’s where we stand on pension reform: The unions have said changing so much as a letter on their bill will land the state in court. House Speaker Michael Madigan has so little interest in their bill that he has gutted it, replacing the original language with his own. Not a lot of room for compromise here, which doesn’t really matter when neither side is interested in it. We lay it out in today’s editorial.
FAST AND SHINY In cartoonist Scott Stantis’ vision of the Republican gubernatorial field car lot, the all-new, turbocharged 2014 Rauner looks mighty tempting next to the dependable favorites. But can it carry the groceries and get the kids to soccer practice? How does it handle in snow? Click the image to see all the models at the GOP dealership.
BUZZ VS. ZZZZZ’s Speaking of the 2014 race for governor, political consultant and former Illinois Democratic Party press secretary David Ormsby has a piece on Huffington Post this week remarking on how little excitement Bill Daley’s entry into the Democratic race for governor has generated. We’ve re-posted the whole thing on our Campaign 2014 running scorecard today. Sample excerpt: “‘I think in the Chicago area, the Daley name is still a great asset with all the bumps and bruises along the way,’ said (David) Axelrod.” Read the whole thing here.
SMALL BUSINESS, BIG FRUSTRATION The head of the Small Business Advocacy Council has had it with the gamesmanship that has wrecked the state’s business climate and made things harder for his members: “For the Illinois small business community, politics is not a sport and our legislature’s handling of the economy is no game. A dysfunctional government in Springfield causes uncertainly for small business owners and costs people jobs,” Elliot Richardson writes in an op-ed today. (It’s no coincidence that Illinois’ jobless rate of 9.3 percent is second highest in the nation.) Read it here!
WE NEED JOBS If you agree with Richardson that Illinois needs to make itself more business/jobs-friendly, help us send that message to Springfield. Sign on here..
A NEW VOICE Today we welcome blogger Celina Villanueva to Reboot Illinois. In her first post, she’s writing about the frustration of being a “guinea pig” for education reform experiments as she attended public schools growing up in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago. The recent corruption scandal at top levels of the politically connected UNO charter school organization is a prime example, she writes today. Welcome to the discussion, Celina!
TWEET OF THE DAY Illinois treasurer and gubernatorial candidate Dan Rutherford is an avid user of social media. Too avid for some of his followers apparently:
TOP 5 In case you missed anything, these were the most viewed items on rebootillinois.com for the past week:
- Video: ABC 7 tracks Madigan to home, office
- Reboot editorial: New “fair tax” proposals, same old questions
- Campaign 2014 blog: A scorecard for the 2014 race for governor
- Blog: Does perception = reality in “two-state” Illinois?
- Reboot petition: Join us to end the Illinois pension crisis
DAILY TIP-OFF Here’s a rundown of what’s happening in Illinois news today. We’ve got a whole lot more links in the Daily Tip-Off section of our website.
- With a special legislative session looming, leaders in the General Assembly have moved farther apart on pension reform (Reuters)
- Officials cite $96 billion as the state’s pension debt, but the real figure is much higher (Dennis Byrne/Chicago Now)
- Phasing out the 2011 state income tax increase would be a disaster (Crain’s Chicago Business)
- State officials last year promised better oversight of millions of dollars in state grants for job training. The promise has gone unfulfilled (Chicago Tribune)
- Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said a property tax increase may be needed to fix Chicago Public Schools’ budget. How did the school district get into this shape? (Chicago Sun-Times)
- Abraham Lincoln said, “Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.” Lawmakers in Springfield need to apply that thought to pension reform. (Chicago Tribune)
- Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, is an example of the lawmakers who are “sinking Illinois” with the stands on pension reform (Chicago Tribune)