As state lawmakers find themselves in their typical late May posture of trying to pass a budget, a new political dynamic hovers over the proceedings: more than $34 million in campaign cash under the control of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and his allies.
Rauner already has sprinkled a total of $400,000 in contributions to every Republican legislator as he talks about the need for the GOP to "stay unified" at the end of session. Democrats have made those campaign donations an issue, citing what they say are the bad optics of Rauner doling out money at the same time he's asking Republicans to take tough votes for what he calls his "Turnaround Agenda."
Categories: State Issues
Glenbard Township High School District 87 made a little-noticed wire transfer to the state two years ago, $164,198 that was never discussed in public.
What taxpayers weren't told was that the payment was required by state law because the west suburban district had given hefty pay hikes to two retiring educators, helping fatten their pensions.
A 2005 pension law was intended to rein in big salary spikes that boost retiree benefits and pension costs statewide, imposing cash penalties on districts that gave raises larger than 6 percent to outgoing educators.
Tags: Pensions, Education issues
Gov. Bruce Rauner says his plan to privatize the state's economic development agency will improve job creation in Illinois. But similar plans in other states and even in Chicago have sometimes raised concerns about transparency and oversight, with taxpayers not always knowing how their money was being spent.
Rauner's plan, currently being considered by the Illinois General Assembly, would turn much of the development work of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity over to a new not-for-profit corporation.
Tags: Bruce Rauner, Economy
State employee unions on Thursday sued to block Gov. Bruce Rauner’s attempt to withhold fees unions receive from nonmembers, calling his executive order a “patently illegal” attempt to weaken organized labor ahead of new contract negotiations.
The group of 26 labor unions — representing employees ranging from police officers to painters — alleges that Rauner’s order violates state law, goes against numerous collective bargaining agreements and is beyond the scope of his executive authority. The unions asked a judge in Downstate St. Clair County to put a stop to the decree and allow unions access to the fees while the legal process plays out.
“We’re asking the court to restore the integrity of our democratic process and make clear that no one, not Gov. Rauner or anyone else, can place themselves above the law,” Illinois AFL-CIO President Michael Carrigan said in a statement.
Tags: Organized Labor, Bruce Rauner
Longtime Bolingbrook resident Bob Jaskiewicz plainly states that he does not expect to be able to affect much policy if he is elected to one of the Bolingbrook Village Board seats up for grabs in April.
But he says the current board votes in lock step with longtime Mayor Roger Claar and he wants to show that someone new can successfully become a Bolingbrook trustee.
Categories: Local Issues