Statewide update—May 3, 2011

Herald-ReviewEditorial: Less politics, more responsibility for budget, “Too many times in the past, Illinois residents have been ill-served by last minute budget deals made in secret. Budget debates and votes should be handled as part of a transparent process. That requires a fair process, not a political trap…The important issue is the financial health of the state, not the next election. The goal for the state budget should be to fully fund its pension obligations, have a plan to pay off the money the state owes and retire the income tax increase when it expires in four years.”

  • Daily HeraldBoth sides try to keep Blagojevich retrial simple, “The prosecutor used visual aids to help strip down the complicated corruption charges and explain the legal definitions of words like extortion and bribery, while the defense attorney told jurors all the evidence would amount to nothing but talk.”
  • Chicago Sun-TimesEditorial: No automatic rate hikes for utilities, “Under a bill legislators will weigh this week at a joint House-Senate hearing, the century-old system of utilities asking the Illinois Commerce Commission for rate increases when they need them would be replaced by the automatic annual boost.”
  • The SouthernSuccessful meth treatment program in jeopardy, “Uncertainty about state funding is placing a nationally recognized juvenile methamphetamine treatment program in jeopardy. The treatment program, which serves juveniles in 46 counties but is based at Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center in Benton, is usually the recipient of a grant via a line item in the state budget. Not so in the proposed budget this year.”
  • The TelegraphGroup calls for workers’ compensation reform, “Along with the state’s reputation for having a litigious environment for business, Illinois’ workers’ compensation costs serve as a disincentive for business creation and expansion…The biggest problem with the state’s system as it stands is the way it deals with causation, or how the arbiter decides what percentage of a worker’s injury is the worker’s own responsibility, as compared to the employer’s responsibility.”
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