Statewide update—June 2, 2011

Chicago TribuneEx-secretary of state employee sentenced for phony-license scheme, “Howell was one of two secretary of state employees snared in an investigation into a Chinatown phony-licensing ring that has led to 19 convictions so far. Howell, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit extortion, apologized Wednesday, saying, ‘I did it out of ignorance and greed.’

  • Daily HeraldWorkers’ comp bill: Businesses gain, doctors lose, “The bill, which Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign into law, will slash the medical fee schedule by 30 percent, thus reducing medical costs paid out for workers’ compensation claims and leading to lower insurance premiums. It’s estimated to save Illinois businesses $500 million a year
  • Chicago Sun-TimesEx-Mayor Daley’s new job is with law firm involved in city deals, “Former Mayor Richard M. Daley is joining a Chicago law firm that took in $822,760 in legal fees from City Hall in Daley-engineered deals that privatized the Chicago Skyway, the city’s downtown parking garages and Chicago’s parking meters.”
  • (AP) Bloomington PantagraphQuinn’s wins, losses raise questions of influence, “Lawmakers ignored Quinn’s budget ideas and slashed his proposed spending plan by about $2 billion. They also overwhelmingly rejected his plan to borrow to cover $6 billion in unpaid state bills. Quinn’s veto threat also didn’t stop lawmakers from passing a measure that will mean higher electric rates. His proposal requiring hundreds of small Illinois school districts to consolidate didn’t go anywhere either, although major education reforms he supported were approved.”
  • Chicago TribuneEditorial: Rock’em sock’em Senate, “McCarter observed aloud that Jacobs, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee and sponsor of a controversial utility-backed bill, is the son of former Sen. Denny Jacobs, a ComEd lobbyist. The 150-page bill came up for a vote in the last hours of the session after a six-minute committee hearing, McCarter said. Jacobs’ statesmanlike response was to walk across the aisle and punch McCarter in the chest. He accused McCarter of attacking his family and violating Senate rules about civil debate.”
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