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[31 May 2018 | No Comment | ]

Illinois wasted time on an amendment that expired…History was made on the Illinois House floor Wednesday as the House passed the Equal Rights Amendment. https://t.co/zrWhhK7H4y— CBS Chicago (@cbschicago) May 31, 2018

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[31 May 2018 | No Comment | ]

Ben Rhodes’ meltdown to Titanic music pic.twitter.com/2vgftFPS2F

— Ben McDonald (@Bmac0507) May 30, 2018

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[31 May 2018 | No Comment | ]

So this Twitter verified journalist called a Black Presidential candidate a porch monkey with zero consequences from either Twitter or her employer. Weird, right? pic.twitter.com/FdlpGXDEiV— Far Left Watch (@FarLeftWatch) May 30, 2018

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[31 May 2018 | No Comment | ]

By Hannah Meisel
* In a surprising move, House GOP Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) helped give the Equal Rights Amendment the extra boost needed to pass the House. Durkin is a pro-life Catholic, and one of the loudest arguments against the ERA i…

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[30 May 2018 | No Comment | ]

Inmates who learn trades are often blocked from jobs. Now something’s being donehttps://t.co/4Kvksu12Wz via @NBCNews

— Institute for Justice (@IJ) May 30, 2018

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[30 May 2018 | No Comment | ]

They won’t start voting until later today, and because it’s Springfield, some last-minute excitement is possible. But barring the unexpected, Illinois will finally get a full on-time budget for the next fiscal year by tomorrow evening’s deadline, one that Gov. Bruce Rauner will sign into law after winning some last-minute prizes and one that GOP lawmakers are imploring him to approve.

“I’m told it’s a done deal,” said state Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, the point person for House Speaker Mike Madigan on budget issues. “But of course things can change at the last minute.”

“Everything’s on track,” said a top Senate Republican source after the four top legislative leaders held one final meeting to review negotiations. “I don’t think anybody’s worried about this blowing up.”

The roughly $38.5 billion spending plan, set for a Senate vote later today, includes no new tax hikes or major fee increases—but of course will utilize revenues from the 33 percent increase in the individual income tax that lawmakers enacted last year over Rauner’s veto. The budget also will benefit from hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues that are rising faster than expected with the national economic recovery, an increase in federal aid and at least $66 million in investments of state cash that are rising faster than expected. It also questionably includes $300 million from the projected sale of the Thompson Center downtown even though Rauner and Mayor Rahm Emanuel still disagree over zoning and how to divide the proceeds.

There are some spending cuts, according to insiders, but not as much as some conservatives want.

For example, trims in the Department of Corrections were part of last-minute negotiations, as were some cuts in Human Services spending. The state will keep 5 percent of revenue-sharing that normally would be passed on to local municipalities and will also keep half of last year’s 10 percent haircut, and the budget will assume a $383 million reduction in pension spending by offering some workers an early and partial buyout option.

There also are some spending increases, chief among them $350 million in extra spending on public grade and high schools under terms of the new formula adopted last year. Also included are $50 million more for early childhood education, a 2 percent across-the-board increase for state universities and community colleges and $63 million in back pay for state workers represented by AFSCME.

In one item of particular interest to Chicago and the tech community, it looks like Rauner will get the $500 million in authority for the University of Illinois’ proposed new satellite campus in the South Loop, known as the Discovery Institute. But when and how that money might be released—and whether Rauner had lined up private investment partners—isn’t clear.

I hear different things as to whether the spending plan includes money needed to pay for roadwork in Jackson Park related to the proposed Barack Obama Presidential Center.

Anyhow, assuming the budget clears the Senate later today, it will go to the House for action likely tomorrow, and then to Rauner. With more than $135 billion in unfunded pension liabilities, it won’t be heralded as a fiscal breakthrough. But it will keep the government open and leave the real decisions until after the November gubernatorial election.

Quick action also will get everyone out of town before a news conference scheduled for tomorrow at which a top lawmaker reportedly will be accused of sexual harassment.

Earlier:

Who wins, who loses with graduated Illinois tax? Study spells it out.

‘Road warrior tax’ shows signs of life in Springfield

In Amazon race, Illinois’ trump card is its university system

Update, 4:45 p.m.—The pending budget deal has been posted on the General Assembly’s website. Click on the link and you can read it—all lovely 1,245-pages worth.

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[30 May 2018 | No Comment | ]

* Background is here. From Denise Rotheimer’s Facebook page…
Big news! The allegation that is coming out on Thursday is a game changer. When his name is mentioned…time is up. I am so grateful for the courage that she has to go public. She’s relying on me for moral support because she is terrified about […]

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[30 May 2018 | No Comment | ]

Is the Sun Time really independent from the Emanuel Campaign?
Piecing this together
Michael Sacks is a Florida Resident who is regarded as Rahm Emanuel’s money-man and leads GCM Grosvenor Capital.
Chicago Federation of Labor President Jorge Ramirez is part of the buyout group which has purchased the Chicago Sun-Times.

Michael Sacks has hired former Chicago Federation of Labor President Jorge Ramirez as Managing Director of GCM Grosvenor.
John Kass is beginning to ask questions

I’m amazed that no one else writes about the political conflict, Rahm’s money guy and the Sun Times chairman. Media critics silent. Except for …

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[30 May 2018 | No Comment | ]

I guess it’s only fair for @ErinBurnett to be blackballed for comparing George W. Bush to an ape. pic.twitter.com/MdIvBk2naN

— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) May 30, 2018