Statewide Update—Feb. 17, 2012

Northwest HeraldEditorial: Our taxes hard at work, “[McHenry] County is spending taxpayer dollars for membership in Metro Counties of Illinois, a lobbying group working in Springfield to add more exceptions to the state’s Freedom of Information Act. Specifically, a measure supported by the Metro Counties is House Bill 3137, which would exempt drafts of speeches and presentations, government job applications, recommendations and opinions on applicants for government jobs, among other information.”

  • (AP) State Journal-RegisterQuinn’s budget plan to include more state facility closures, “Gov. Pat Quinn says he’ll propose closing ‘quite a few’ state facilities in his budget address next week. The Democrat told The Associated Press Thursday that the closures are necessary for a better budget. He declined to give any specifics on the closures, saying details would come during his budget address Wednesday.”
  • Chicago Sun-TimesBlagojevich to serve sentence at Denver-area prison, “Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich will serve his prison sentence for corruption at a low-security federal prison for male prisoners near Denver, as he had requested and a judge had recommended, sources said.”
  • Daily HeraldOTB plans on track in Hoffman Estates, “After years of talks, an off-track betting facility may finally land in Hoffman Estates by the fall…[Senior village planner Jim Donahue] said the village and Cook County will each receive 1 percent of the ‘handle,’ or dollars wagered at the facility. He said the owner expects to bring in about $14 million in handle per year once the facility is operational, generating $140,000 annually for both the village and county.”
  • SouthtownStarRahm Emanuel finds ally in new fire chief Jose Santiago, “Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday appointed 33-year veteran Chicago firefighter Jose Santiago as Chicago’s new fire commissioner — and found an ally in his plan to wring millions of dollars in savings out of the city’s second-largest department.”
  • Bloomington PantagraphLittle room left to waste: County urges restraint as landfill approaches limit, “Bloomington, Normal, McLean County and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency all would play roles in the approval process [to expand the current site.] Several years ago, the IEPA set state recycling goals in an effort to reduce the amount of solid waste going to landfills. The Illinois Solid Waste Planning and Recycling Act required larger municipalities to create solid waste management plans that include recycling.”
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