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Articles Archive for November 2014

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[22 Nov 2014 | No Comment | ]

Alas, the CTA board—at the urging of president Forrest Claypool, a mayoral appointee—cut the Western-to-Fullerton leg in 2012. Presumably, the CTA, having conducted a demographic study, concluded that no one lives and/or shops in that three-or-so …

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[21 Nov 2014 | No Comment | ]

The Chicago Tribune reports:

A Springfield judge on Friday struck down a landmark state law aimed at fixing Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation $100 billion government worker pension system, putting a union-led legal challenge on track for a likely showdown in the Illinois Supreme Court.

Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge John Belz agreed with public employee unions and retirees who challenged the December 2013 law and issued a summary judgment ruling it violated the Illinois Constitution’s pension protection clause.

Belz wrote that the law was “unconstitutional and void in its entirety.”

Under the state constitution, public employee pension benefits are a contractual obligation that cannot be “diminished or impaired.”

Illinois might have to privatize its’ universities to freeze the long term benefits of government workers.

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[21 Nov 2014 | No Comment | ]

Sometimes, the press gives away its own bias in subtle ways. That’s certainly the case with a Crain’s Chicago Business story headlined, “Business has Obama’s back on immigration.” From the headline, you would think that every one of  Chicago’s business leaders called by the business broadsheet are in favor of the program outlined by the president to the nation Thursday night. But the text tells a very different story than the headline. In fact, Crain’s says as much in the opening paragraph….

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[21 Nov 2014 | No Comment | ]

The L.A. Times reports:The Los Angeles Unified School District will pay out $139 million in settlements in the Miramonte Elementary School child abuse scandal, bringing nearer to a close the costly and lengthy case that led to changes in state law and …

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[21 Nov 2014 | No Comment | ]

Sometimes you have to take what you can get and call it progress. That’s what we’re doing with the front-page story in today’s Chicago Tribune on Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner and the Illinois pension crisis. The piece is mostly an even-handed look at the fact that a key ruling — albeit from a lower court — is due today. Making his first post-election appearance at the Capitol on Thursday, Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner said he hopes the Illinois Supreme Court eventually will…

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[21 Nov 2014 | No Comment | ]

Crain’s New York reports:

In a 5-to-2 vote on Thursday, the state’s Court of Appeals said that a rent-stabilized lease was exempted from a bankruptcy estate as a public-assistance benefit, just like disability or unemployment benefits, according to The New York Times. The ruling has implications for the nearly 1 million New Yorkers who live in rent-regulated apartments. The decision makes it clear that they can file for bankruptcy without fearing that they could lose their homes.

Do you love that phrase “their homes”? What ever happened to property rights in America? Check this amazing comment from the tenant :

In the two-bedroom, $703-a-month apartment where she has lived for more than 50 years, Mrs. Santiago burst into tears when she heard about the decision from her bankruptcy lawyer, Kathleen G. Cully.

“It’s such a big relief,” she said in a phone interview. “I don’t have to worry about my landlord anymore.”

The dissenting opinion explains new legal ground:

In a dissenting opinion, Judge Robert S. Smith argued that the majority “grossly misreads” the law by treating rent regulation as public assistance. He was joined by Judge Susan Phillips Read.

“I would like to try asking every rent-controlled or rent-stabilized tenant in New York: ’Do you receive public assistance?’ ” Judge Smith wrote. “I would be surprised to find even one (apart from those receiving government subsidies from other programs) who answered yes.”

Imagine that.