Statewide update—May 5, 2011

Chicago Sun-TimesAnita Alvarez blocks probe of her office on David Koschman case, “After calling for an investigation of how the Chicago Police Department handled David Kosch­man’s homicide, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez now is blocking county Inspector General Patrick Blanchard from investigating how her office handled the case involving Richard J. ‘R.J.’ Vanecko, a nephew of Mayor Daley and William Daley, President Obama’s chief of staff.”

  • Chicago TribuneEditorial: Tame the pension beast, “The best rescue plan we’ve seen in bill form comes from House Republican Leader Tom Cross. Madigan hasn’t publicly endorsed the proposal, but we hope he sees it — or a pension scheme even more economical — as a gotta-do. His spokesman assured us Wednesday that, yes, Madigan, Cross and a working group of legislators do hope to see a bill passed this session.”
  • The SouthernDespite more money, state still stymied on budget, “A 67 percent income tax increase helped pump up state revenues in April, but it’s still not doing much to help lawmakers fix next year’s budget… Even with the added tax dollars, the budget proposals are likely to include cuts to education, human service programs and government operations. That’s because the state still owes billions of dollars to vendors, schools, universities and social service agencies.”
  • State Journal RegisterQuinn seems to back key workers’ comp provision, “Gov. Pat Quinn’s plan to reform Illinois’ workers’ compensation system appears to include some form of a key provision wanted by Republicans and business interests.”
  • (AP) Belleville News DemocratEPA announces Chicago hearing on mercury pollution, “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it will hold a public hearing in Chicago on a proposal to limit the amount of mercury emitted by power plants.  Coal-fired power plants are a major source of mercury emissions, and proposed new standards would require many of them to install technologies to cut the amount of mercury and several other pollutants they release.”
  • Southtown StarEditorial: Principal move begs questions, “Bremen High School District 228 Supt. Bill Kendall put Wilson on leave April 28 because of what Kendall said was a personnel-related incident that took place on school property… We understand personnel privacy restrictions. But when it comes to who is counseling and guiding their children, parents have a right to ask and wonder. Parents have a right to be concerned whether this undisclosed behavior, deemed inappropriate with an adult or adults, should preclude him from a role so sensitive as a school social worker.”
  • Bloomington PantagraphStearns’ timing in paying taxes spurs questions, “Alderman Judy Stearns has paid $1,456 to the city in back taxes, but questions are being raised about whether it was done in time for her to keep her City Council seat. City attorney Todd Greenburg said a recent appellate court ruling states a candidate owes a city money if he or she has underpaid property taxes because of multiple homestead exemptions. The ruling further states all money owed to a city must be paid by the time candidates file their petitions to run for office.”
  • Trib Local (Downers Grove)Downers Grove makes term limits official, “The Downers Grove Village Council made term limits official this week, subjecting all elected officials in Downers Grove – a final step needed to put the voter-approved restrictions in place.”
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