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Birth, death, life: Personal reflection on rebooting Illinois

BIRTH, DEATH, LIFE, REBOOTING "Last fall, I told my mom I was worried about Illinois. I told her I was going to take a leap of faith, leave my beloved Daily Herald and try to do something about it... I don’t know how much of all that my mom followed as she neared the end of her days here. But she smiled at me and told me I seemed happy and excited." Madeleine Doubek joined Reboot Illinois a year ago and gets introspective on her one-year anniversary. It's a year that saw her saying goodbye to her mother and hello to new members of her family, all while getting Reboot Illinois off the ground. That's quite a year! Read about it here.

GEARING UP Four of Illinois' biggest public employee unions have put more than $500,000 into the campaign accounts of lawmakers who opposed House Speaker Michael Madigan's pension reform bill -- a bill the unions despised. It's part of an effort to rally support for a labor-friendly pension reform bill as pension reform, again, becomes Issue No. 1 in Springfield. David Ormsby of The Illinois Observer breaks down who's giving what to whom and why in this post. 

"EMPTY NOGGINS" Blogger and Chicago Tribune op-ed contributor Dennis Byrne is among the more outspoken and entertaining voices in the Illinois conservative blogosphere. His reaction to Senate President John Cullerton's statement this week that the pension crisis isn't really a crisis is a prime example of that outspokenness in action: "Cullerton's assertion is a rare look into the empty noggins of the folks responsible for this mess..." There's plenty more. Even if you disagree, Byrne's vitriol makes a good read, and we've got it here.

ADM: TO STAY OR GO? Archer Daniels Midland is the biggest company in Illinois. Does it deserve tax breaks to keep its top executives in Illinois? There's a hearing on that topic today in Springfield. Check out our handy timeline of this issue and decide for yourself. Click here for all the ADM background.

BLAST FROM THE PENSION PAST Chicago Tribune cartoonist Scott Stantis has assembled quite a portfolio of pension-related cartoons. This one, which came out during the spring legislative session, is one of the best. And it remains amazingly timely and accurate. Click to see the whole thing.

AROUND THE STATE A new week brings a new batch of Illinois news. Here's the best:

  • 5. Bruce Rauner’s "outsider" stance is amusing to one of his GOP opponents. (Chicago Tribune)
    4. Contrary to what John Cullerton is saying, Pat Quinn says the pension crisis is an “extreme emergency.” (Associated Press)
    3. Opinion: Legislators are likely to ignore pensions during the fall session with elections looming. (Pantagraph)
    2. Rahm Emanuel is using a “boatload of ways” to try to balance the city’s budget. (Chicago Tribune)
    1. A Daily Herald analysis reveals that sin taxes aren’t as profitable as they used to be. (Daily Herald)

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Scott Zuhr October 24, 2013 at 07:49 PM
I feel you are not being fair and unbiased about the situation in Illinois and the nation. Your article seems to complain about labor unions, that have placed their money behind people that oppose Madigan's plan. How much money have the Conservatives placed in the pockets willing to take any hope of a future away, for individuals that have served the people of Illinois? The majority of Illinois workers hoping to receive a full state regulated pension will not get any Social Security benefits, because the state mandated an alternative program. Had that pension program not been in place, these Government employees would receive SS benefits and the money required to support SS would have been paid to the Feds. It appears you, Madigan, and the Conservatives are dead set on placing the blame and burden of the financial short fall totally on workers who provided their services to the people of this State. Workers that completed their obligation and want what was not only promise but contracted. Does any responsible person feel they can receive services or products for years, and not pay? Would any business be able to stay open if its customers could come back any time and demand a refund, plus not give the product back? Why should our State Government be able to do so with these workers? While many may not like Cullerton's plan, it is more balanced than some claim. It asks for something more from current and past workers, an an increased obligation from taxing bodies. Everyone shares in the burden of getting us out of this hole. Many in the State have no problem in cutting benefits for workers past and present. More see no problem in supporting corporations that have taken Government money, who then pay large bonuses to the upper management for their success. Illinois is in trouble, everyone should burden the responsibility of getting us back on track.

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