Statewide update—March 15, 2011

ChrisEaves.com/Flickr

The SouthernQuinn vetoes two clean-coal plants, “In a veto message, Quinn said plans to build the synthetic natural gas facilities in southwest Jefferson County and in Chicago’s south suburbs would result in higher utility bills for Illinoisans.”

  • Peoria Journal StarFOIA changes get mixed reviews, “The revisions were enacted to increase transparency and accountability of government at all levels. And the revised law created a permanent Public Access Officer to assist local officials by offering opinions and answers to questions from the field and to mediate disputes, among other responsibilities.
  • Sun-TimesEmanuel and new aldermen to tackle city’s TIF subsidies, “Over the years, it’s kind of morphed from a tool for blighted economic communities into an all-purpose vehicle,” Emanuel told the Sun-Times. “We need to return it to its original purpose — it should not be used for high-rent areas.”
  • SouthtownStarEarly voters spring to action in the Southland, “The mayoral election in Chicago Heights likely spurred Monday’s turnout. David Gonzalez and Joe Faso are running to replace interim mayor Vincent Zaranti, who was appointed after Alex Lopez died in August. The 264 voters Monday more than doubled the number at any other polling place in suburban Cook County, a turnout Orr called “off the charts.”
  • SouthtownStarEditorial: Sunshine’s good for budget health as well, “[W]e found many elected officials frustrated by the time and cost of providing FOIA documents. During a time when municipalities and school districts are facing severe budget cuts, it is difficult to adequately address piles of such requests.  We understand. But we also firmly believe the energy spent is worth the pain. The public deserves access to public documents, records and reports compiled by the governments we fund through our tax dollars.”
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