Saturday, December 22, 2012
The bad news: Job growth in Illinois is too slow, and prison inmates probably watch better TV than you. The good news: Your lawmaker is one of the highest paid in the nation.
Feeling all warm and full of good cheer? Bah! Here's a little something to satisfy the Scrooge in you before the spirit of Christmas takes hold. We Need More Jobs: At 8.7 percent, the Illinois unemployment rate is 1 percent above the national rate. And job creation is improving at a faster clip all around us, in Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Iowa and Missouri, on average, according to Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner at the Illinois Policy Institute. "The reality is Illinois’ poor policies aren't allowing the state to participate fully in the national recovery. If only Illinois’ unemployment rate were equal to the average of its neighbors, 100,000 more Illinoisans would be working. Yes, jobs are slowly returning to the state, but that’s …
Saturday, December 15, 2012
The representatives and senators leaving office in January 2013 will see millions of dollars in pension payments, figures far more sizable than they would've seen in the private sector.
Are you worried about your own retirement? With the downturn in the economy, did your 401k and savings take a big hit? If so, you're like millions of other Americans forced to confront a dramatically different outlook for their post-work years. But one group of pensioners is largely insulated from such concerns — outgoing Illinois lawmakers. The retirement benefits Illinois legislators receive are far more generous than those most of their constituents could collect working full-time jobs, reports Scott Reeder of the Reeder Report, using data from an Illinois Policy Institute analysis in a piece published on Watchdog.org. The anticipated pension benefits of the 34 lawmakers who will depart the state legislature in January show these …
Friday, November 2, 2012
The Republican candidate for the 35th State House District shares the challenges he has faced just to get on the ballot and campaign for the seat.
Friday, November 2, 2012
Dear Editor, The Republican leadership was faced with an empty seat upon Steve Williams' withdrawal from the State Representative race in the 35th District on July 16th. Orland Township Committeeman Liz Gorman, Palos Township Committeeman Sean Morrison, Worth Township Committeeman Shawn Murphy, and 19th Ward Committeeman Jim Parrilli decided to perform a search to find a replacement. I was interviewed by Shawn Murphy and Sean Morrison and was subsequently offered the opportunity to represent the 35th District on the Republican ticket. After considerable reflection, soul-searching, research, and consultation with friends, I decided it was time to take a stand. I signed the paperwork and filed with the Board of …
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Candidates running for the 18th Illinois Senate district and hopefuls for the 31st and 36th Illinois House districts answered questions at a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters Wednesday night. Read our live blog transcript for a recap.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
We look back at a week of the National Night Out Against Crime, ending a commute, arguing validity of arrests, Dunkin Donuts theft and a not-so-special session.
MONDAY D135 Board Assembles Superintendent Requirements (Live Blog Transcript) The Orland School District 135 Board of Education also approved a joint-food service agreement with District 146, and read a full policy on showing movies in classrooms. Read the live blog transcript. Comings & Goings: Tinley Repair Shop Serves 100,000th Customer Foundation dedicated to comforting children and teens fighting cancer moves into a new location in Orland Park. End of the Line for Metra Commuter after 40 Years Orland Park woman takes last ride home after 40 years of riding the rails. TUESDAY Adopt Me: Shadow Knows ... a Few Tricks This pitbull and labrador mix is just waiting to be adopted. WEDNESDAY Ashford House 5 Lawyers Call Arrest 'Invalid' …
Friday, December 30, 2011
More than 200 new state laws go into effect on Jan. 1. We spotlight the substantial ones and point you to some of the more unusual pieces of legislation.
- Joe Vince
Friday, December 30, 2011
We received an early Christmas present from State Sen. Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and the General Assembly. Radogno's office sent a press release Dec. 19 detailing the new laws that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2012. While most people were busy spending time with their relatives over the holidays, we were going through the 214 laws, figuring out what lifestyle changes we were going to need to make. We've highlighted the most signficant—and in some cases, most interesting—of these new laws, so you don't have to spend the beginning of the new year wondering why you're chilling your heels in the local pokey. Seat Belts for the Back Seat: Adults riding in the back seat of a vehicle must wear a seat belt. Offenders could face a $25 fine. "…
State Sen. Maggie Crotty (D-Oak Forest) wants to spend more time with her family, report says.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
In the last hearing to be held on a plan to close the facility, concerned family members, hospital officials and state politicians expressed doubt and fear over the lack of alternatives to the Tinley Park Mental Health Center.
As of Tuesday morning, Nancy Jones' 42-year-old mentally ill son was out on the street. And there's really nothing she could do about it. "We're just in agony right now because we love him and we want to help him and there's no help," said the Shorewood resident Tuesday. "Nobody cares in this state. It's just heartbreaking for us." Jones was among several hundred people gathered in Orland Park Tuesday at a hearing on Gov. Pat Quinn's decision to close the Tinley Park Mental Health Center. READ: Public Hearing: Weigh in Next Week on Quinn's Plan to Close the Mental Health Center Many in attendence at the Georgios Banquets hall wore bright orange "Save the Tinley Park Mental Health Center" T-shirts. About 50 people from advocacy groups, …
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Opposition to state legislation that would combine school districts grows among parents and school officials.
Update, 8:11 a.m. Friday, March 4th: HB 1886 is not being read, but the issue is far from over. Parents and school officials are still planning town hall meetings to address school consolidation, and are also communicating with legislators. The group now has 1,064 members. Update, 2:37 p.m. Wednesday, March 2nd: After Rep. Robert Rita (D-Blue Island) opted not to read HB 1886, the group has 941 members. Update, 2:37 p.m. Wednesday, March 2nd: As of Wednesday afternoon, the group has 806 members voicing opposition to HB 1886, and the consolidation of school districts throughout Illinois, except for within Chicago. Update, 12:45 a.m. Wednesday, March 2nd: Less than five days after Say NO to House Bill 1886 began, 711 members have joineed. …
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
State Rep. Renee Kosel, of New Lenox, secured money for Route 30 earlier this year.
State Rep. Renee Kosel cruised to an election victory Tuesday night, garnering about 75 percent of the vote en route to her seventh term in Springfield. Kosel represents the 81st Illinois House district, which includes New Lenox and all or some of Frankfort, Homer Glen, Joliet, Mokena, Orland Park and Tinley Park. "I'm deeply honored," Kosel said Tuesday night at a Republican watch party in New Lenox. "It's an awesome responsibility and very humbling to get such a large percentage of the vote." Kosel, of New Lenox, serves as Assistant Republican Leader in the House and defeated Democratic challenger John Unhoch of Orland Park. Unhoch could not be reached for comment, but said on his website that he would be a good change over the current …