WBEZ | Springfield http://www.wbez.org/tags/springfield Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Emanuel pushes Springfield for changes to police, fire pensions http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-pushes-springfield-changes-police-fire-pensions-112112 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Rahm.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel has long said a property tax increase for Chicago residents is the &ldquo;last resort&rdquo; to cover a scheduled increase in payments owed to the city&rsquo;s cash-strapped police and fire pensions.</p><p>To avoid a hike, he&rsquo;s asking Illinois state legislators to approve changes to the funding schedule for those two retirement funds - in addition to adding future payments to the pensions from a new source of revenue created by a potential new, city-owned casino.</p><p>Emanuel&rsquo;s administration says that a 5-year-old state law forces the city to pay an extra $600 million this year toward its cash-strapped retirement funds for police officers and firefighters.</p><p>Those pensions are severely under-funded, so Emanuel wants lawmakers to pass a bill that would put off those payments for a few years - in exchange for later adding larger payments and putting the pensions on a better funding schedule over the next 40 years, rather than the current 25-year plan.</p><p>Under the extended schedule, the pensions would be funded at 90 percent in 2055, rather than the current rates of around 25 percent funded. If the bill is not passed, said Steve Koch, Emanuel&rsquo;s deputy mayor, then property taxes could skyrocket.</p><p>&ldquo;I think this is always a matter of, in this sort of situation, of trying to reach a medium,&rdquo; Koch explained, &ldquo;where you protect the funds, which has been an objective of ours and an objective of the mayor since he took office, and equally protect taxpayers.&rdquo;</p><p>But Republicans criticized Emanuel&rsquo;s plan, saying the mayor&rsquo;s office is in a &ldquo;fantasyland,&rdquo; -- because the bill says it would take money from a Chicago casino, or casinos, to pay for pensions. Casinos that, as of yet, have not been approved by state lawmakers.</p><p>&ldquo;You&rsquo;re essentially in a fantasyland here, assuming that you&rsquo;re going to get a casino and all the revenue associated with that casino, with us not even seeing a bill that relates to that,&rdquo; said State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton).</p><p>Lawmakers have been negotiating a gambling expansion bill behind closed doors, which could include a city-run casino; but so far a compromise has not been introduced to lawmakers. Koch said that if a casino is not approved, then the city would rely on cuts to city services or increases in fees or revenues to pay for the administration&rsquo;s proposed pension bill.</p><p>Meantime, the union representing Chicago firefighters, support the administration&rsquo;s pension plan, unlike other labor unions raising recent court challenges over previous efforts to change other city and state funds</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve been pretty conservative with our benefits over the years, so we don&rsquo;t pull no shenanigans in our fund,&rdquo; said Dan Fabrizio, with the Chicago Firefighters Union.</p><p>The measure was approved by the House and Senate with mostly Democratic support. Gov. Bruce Rauner&#39;s office has not commented on his position on the bill.</p><p>Tony Arnold is WBEZ&rsquo;s Illinois state politics reporter. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/tonyjarnold">@tonyjarnold</a>.&nbsp;</p></p> Sat, 30 May 2015 11:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/emanuel-pushes-springfield-changes-police-fire-pensions-112112 Morning Shift: Kimo Williams http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-05-26/morning-shift-kimo-williams-112085 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/USASOC%20News%20Service.jpg" style="height: 401px; width: 600px;" title="Flickr/USASOC News Service" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/207309607&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Springfield update</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">It&rsquo;s the final countdown for Illinois Democrats to work out a deal on several outlying issues with Republican Governor Bruce Rauner. Or - if the two sides don&rsquo;t reach an agreement by Sunday - then we could be in for a long, politically ugly summer. And keep in mind, it&rsquo;s not even an election year this year. WBEZ&rsquo;s state political reporter Tony Arnold is in Springfield to watch the drama unfold. He joins us now to let us in on what issues are still outstanding and what kind of drama we can expect to see.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold">Tony Arnold</a> is WBEZ&#39;s sate politics reporter.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/207309606&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Sheriff Dart pushes investigation into drug house</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">In early April, reporter <a href="https://twitter.com/nanisc99">Adriana Cardona-Maguigad</a> began to unspool <a href="http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/554/not-it">a story</a> about drug addicts sent from Puerto Rico to Chicago by various municipalities on the island. These individuals are promised treatment that will lead to clean living in a spa-like setting. Instead, they&rsquo;re given a one-way ticket to substandard, unlicensed treatment facilities. Many walk away and end up on the streets. Morning Shift reached out for answers to a number of folks at the city, county and state. We&rsquo;ve spoken with the acting director of the Illinois Department of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse and a state senator. Now Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has called for a federal investigation and he joins us to explain.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/TomDart">Tom Dart</a> is the Sheriff of Cook County.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/207309604&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Sports update</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">The Blackhawks are on the edge of elimination in the Stanley Cup playoffs after losing in Anaheim last night 5 to 4, and the Bears gambled and lost. Here with more on those stories and more is WBEZ&rsquo;s sports contributor Cheryl Raye Stout.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">Cheryl Raye Stout</a> is WBEZ&#39;s sports contributor.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/207309601&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Poverty art</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">According to 2013 Census numbers, there were over 45 million Americans living in poverty at the time. Poverty occurs in big cities, suburbs, small towns, Indian reservations. Scratch away at the numbers and you&rsquo;ll find individuals. Each person experiences deprivation in their own unique way. Artists taking part in a newly opened exhibition presented by David Weinberg Photography are exploring that diversity and reveal the issue&#39;s core complexity. It&rsquo;s called <a href="http://t.co/PXIECcX7QM">An Invisible Hand</a>, and it combines sculpture, photography, video and audio pieces by nine artists who&#39;ve worked to convey poverty in all of its intricacies and disparities. It&rsquo;s up through July 25 and we&rsquo;re joined by the space&#39;s owner David Weinberg and the exhibit&#39;s curator Meg Noe.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guests:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/DWeinbergPhoto">David Weinberg</a> is the owner of David Wenberg Photography in Lincoln Park. </em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><em><a href="http://www.megtnoe.com/">Meg Noe</a> is the curator of An Invisible Hand.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/207309598&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Kimo Williams</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">As a kid, Kimo Williams taught himself guitar as an escape from difficult circumstances. He served in Vietnam and in addition to his regular duties, brought music to his fellow troops in the middle of the jungle, often under fire. After his tour he enrolled in the Berklee College of Music, even though he could barely read music. By graduation, he was a full-fledged composer employing his own innovative techniques writing for orchestra. Williams continued his association with the military both personally and professionally, serving and writing pieces based on his experiences. Outside the symphonic world he&rsquo;s well known for his work in the Lt. Dan Band for nearly a decade with actor Gary Sinise. On June 6 and 8, the <a href="http://www.chicagosinfonietta.org/">Chicago Sinfonietta</a> will be performing two of his works as part of a program paying tribute to service members. Kimo Williams joins us and we play selections from the work.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/kimowilliams">Kimo Williams</a>&nbsp;is a composer, musician, veteran and professor of music.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Tue, 26 May 2015 08:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-05-26/morning-shift-kimo-williams-112085 Illinois justices overturn state's landmark 2013 pension law http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-justices-overturn-states-landmark-2013-pension-law-112005 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Illinois-Supreme-Court-1_WBEZ_Tim-Akimoff.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that state lawmakers lack the constitutional authority to solve the state&rsquo;s pension problems by reformatting -- and reducing -- retirement benefits of state workers in a law that was passed in 2013. The unanimous ruling means state legislators will have to return to the drawing board, under a new governor.</p><p>Illinois state lawmakers hoped to save the state more than $100 billion over the next several decades by raising the retirement age of workers and tying the cost-of-living increases retirees receive to inflation, rather than a set percentage, among other changes. But the court said the state constitution trumps their plan.</p><p>Friday&rsquo;s ruling rejects the controversial, and much-debated, pension law that was approved and signed by then-Gov. Pat Quinn. The measure was passed as a way to eat away at the state&rsquo;s $100 billion pension debt, which is considered to be so large that it puts the funding of basic functions of state government in jeopardy.</p><p>Attorneys for the State of Illinois, in defending the law, argued that the pension crisis gives the state police powers to enact the law. But, the Supreme Court said, in its decision, that the General Assembly cannot exercise a higher power than the state constitution itself.</p><p>&ldquo;Crisis is not an excuse to abandon the rule of law. It is a summons to defend it,&rdquo; Justice Lloyd Karmeier wrote in the decision.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/politics-behind-pension-vote-109301">The politics behind the pension vote</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>In delivering the decision, justices handed labor unions a legal victory in their challenge of the pension law. Five separate challenges to the law were consolidated in the circuit court to expedite proceedings. The Supreme Court ultimately upheld the lower court&rsquo;s decision.</p><p>Dan Montgomery heads the Illinois Federation of Teachers, a union representing suburban and downstate teachers. He said his members felt great joy and relief when they learned of the court&rsquo;s decision--but that they&rsquo;d always been confident that the Justices would rule in their favor.</p><p>&ldquo;Can you imagine a state where when it&rsquo;s not convenient anymore, to hold up constitutional obligations, the lawmakers just ignore them?&rdquo; Montgomery said on WBEZ&rsquo;s Afternoon Shift.</p><p>Still, he said some of his members were in tears waiting for the decision--he explained they were very afraid of losing their life savings.</p><p>&ldquo;State pensions are still modest pensions that they paid for their whole careers,&rdquo; Montgomery said. &ldquo;They were afraid they were going to lose a significant chunk of 20, 25, 30 percent that bill would&rsquo;ve cut their pensions by.&rdquo;</p><p>The Justices also found that the pension protection clause from Illinois Constitution of 1970 was clear on the point. Their decision leaves questions about how lawmakers will next try to restructure the state&rsquo;s pension systems and any impact it might have on local governments across Illinois that are working to reduce their own pension obligations. Including the City of Chicago, where last year lawmakers approved changes to two of Chicago&rsquo;s underfunded pension systems. Those pensions were not included in Friday&rsquo;s Supreme Court ruling, but the city&rsquo;s adjustments argued for similar benefit changes. Teachers, police and fire pensions were not included in those changes but remain a pressing issue for the city.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">The stakes</span></p><p>The State of Illinois owes more than $100 billion in pension debt. Much of which is the result of decades of the state skipping out on pension payments to pay for other services. Over the past few years, money from an increase in the statewide income tax rate was used to make some pension payments, but that tax rate dropped in January with the election of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has said the state&rsquo;s taxes are too high. Meantime, bond rating agencies continue to watch the action around Illinois&rsquo; pensions, as they determine the state&rsquo;s bond rating and its ability to borrow money.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">What&rsquo;s next</span></p><p>Reactions to the Supreme Court&rsquo;s decision continue to come in. Here&rsquo;s a compilation of some of what politicians and financial analysts make of what&rsquo;s to come.</p><p><strong>Michael Carrigan, Illinois AFL-CIO President:</strong></p><p>&ldquo;The Court&rsquo;s ruling confirms that the Illinois Constitution ensures against the government&rsquo;s unilateral diminishment or impairment of public pensions. Because most public employees aren&rsquo;t eligible for Social Security, their modest pension&mdash;just $32,000 a year on average&mdash;is the primary source of retirement income for hundreds of thousands of Illinois families. While workers always paid their share, politicians caused the debt by failing to make adequate contributions to the pension funds.</p><p>Public service workers are helpers and problem solvers by trade. With the Supreme Court&rsquo;s unanimous ruling, we urge lawmakers to join us in developing a fair and constitutional solution to pension funding, and we remain ready to work with anyone of good faith to do so.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Democratic Senate President John Cullerton, who voted in favor of the pension law that has been struck down, but also advocated for a rival pension plan:</strong></p><p>&ldquo;From the beginning of our pension reform debates, I expressed concern about the constitutionality of the plan that we ultimately advanced as a test case for the court.&nbsp; Today, the Illinois Supreme Court declared that regardless of political considerations or fiscal circumstances, state leaders cannot renege on pension obligations. This ruling is a victory for retirees, public employees and everyone who respects the plain language of our Constitution.</p><p>That victory, however, should be balanced against the grave financial realities we will continue to face without true reforms. If there are to be any lasting savings in pension reform, we must face this reality within the confines of the Pension Clause. I stand ready to work with all parties to advance a real solution that adheres to the Illinois Constitution.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p><strong>State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Buffalo Grove, who was instrumental in developing and negotiating the pension law that was struck down:</strong></p><p>&ldquo;Our goal from the beginning of our work on pension reform has been to strike a very careful, very important balance between protecting the hard-earned investments of state workers and retirees and the equally important investments of all taxpayers in education, human and social services, health care and other vital state priorities. In its ruling today, the Supreme Court struck down not only the law but the core of that balance. Now our already dire pension problem will get that much worse and our options in striking that balance are limited. Our path forward from here is now much more difficult, and every direction will be more painful than the balance we struck in Senate Bill 1.&quot;</p><p><strong>State Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Skokie, who also was instrumental in developing and negotiating the pension law:</strong><br />&quot;Today the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that Senate Bill 1 is unconstitutional. While this is not the opinion the authors of SB1 had hoped for, we must respect the Court and strictly adhere to this ruling. The Pension Clause of the Illinois Constitution provides important protections, and today&#39;s ruling proves the depth of those protections.</p><p>The state of Illinois and many of its local governments are still facing serious fiscal problems, including significant pension debt. I look forward to working with all parties to find ways to ensure that adequate resources are available to properly fund our pension systems, in the context of a responsible budget that funds crucial services. Our public employees, our government bodies and our taxpayers deserve nothing less.&quot;</p><p>State Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Skokie, who also was instrumental in developing and negotiating the pension law:<br />&quot;Today the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that Senate Bill 1 is unconstitutional. While this is not the opinion the authors of SB1 had hoped for, we must respect the Court and strictly adhere to this ruling. The Pension Clause of the Illinois Constitution provides important protections, and today&#39;s ruling proves the depth of those protections.</p><p>The state of Illinois and many of its local governments are still facing serious fiscal problems, including significant pension debt. I look forward to working with all parties to find ways to ensure that adequate resources are available to properly fund our pension systems, in the context of a responsible budget that funds crucial services. Our public employees, our government bodies and our taxpayers deserve nothing less.&quot;</p><p><strong>State Rep. Jim Durkin, R-Burr Ridge, who&rsquo;s the House Republican Leader:</strong><br />&ldquo;I respect the Illinois Supreme Court, but disagree with the ruling.&nbsp; I am prepared to continue working on meaningful legislative reforms to save our public pension systems.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Gov. Bruce Rauner:</strong><br />&ldquo;The Supreme Court&rsquo;s decision confirms that benefits earned cannot be reduced. That&rsquo;s fair and right, and why the governor long maintained that SB 1 is unconstitutional. What is now clear is that a Constitutional Amendment clarifying the distinction between currently earned benefits and future benefits not yet earned, which would allow the state to move forward on common-sense pension reforms, should be part of any solution.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is also facing a big pension debt:</strong><br />&ldquo;Since taking office, our goal has been to find a solution to Chicago&rsquo;s pension crisis that protects taxpayers while ensuring the retirements of our workers are preserved -- something we achieved with Chicago&rsquo;s pension reform for the Municipal and Laborers funds.&nbsp; That reform is not affected by today&rsquo;s ruling, as we believe our plan fully complies with the State constitution because it fundamentally preserves and protects worker pensions rather than diminishing or impairing them.&nbsp; While the State plan only reduced benefits, the City&rsquo;s plan substantially increases City funding which will save both funds from certain insolvency within the next ten to fifteen years and ensure they are secured over the long-term.&nbsp; Further, unlike the State plan, the City&rsquo;s plan was the result of negotiation and partnership with 28 impacted unions to protect the retirements of the 61,000 city workers and retirees in these funds and ensure they will receive the pensions promised to them.&rdquo;</p></p> Fri, 08 May 2015 11:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-justices-overturn-states-landmark-2013-pension-law-112005 'Right to Try' measure passes Illinois House http://www.wbez.org/news/right-try-measure-passes-illinois-house-111878 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/medicine_flickr_epSos .de_.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>SPRINGFIELD, Ill. &mdash; The Illinois House has approved a measure that would grant greater access to experimental drugs for terminally-ill patients.</p><p>Rep. Greg Harris is the chief sponsor of the legislation. The Chicago Democrat and other backers of establishing a &quot;Right to Try&quot; Act in Illinois say it gives those who have exhausted conventional treatments a chance at drugs that have only passed the first phase of federal testing and increases patient choice.</p><p>The measure passed with a vote of 114-1. It now moves to the Illinois Senate.</p><p>The lone &quot;no&quot; vote was Rep. Al Riley. The Democrat from suburban Olympia Fields says that he agrees with the concept of allowing more options for the terminally-ill but had concerns about safety.</p></p> Wed, 15 Apr 2015 15:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/right-try-measure-passes-illinois-house-111878 Morning Shift: Where comedy meets radio http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-03-20/morning-shift-where-comedy-meets-radio-111738 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/France1978.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="Flickr/France1978" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/196833505&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Springfield Week in Review</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">There&rsquo;s one week left before Illinois lawmakers take their two week spring break and there&rsquo;s still work to be done. In the meantime, governor Bruce Rauner is having a hard time convincing democrats to pass his budget proposals. And, it looks like gun rights advocates are renewing their call for expanded conceal carry. Illinois Public Radio Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky joins us with a look back at the week in Springfield and what we can expect next week.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em>&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/AmandaVinicky">Amanda Vinicky</a> is an Illinois Public Radio reporter.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/196833498&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Cook County Forest Preserves unveil master plan for restoration</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">We&rsquo;ve all seen him. That jogger wearing nothing but running shorts as soon as it gets above 36 degrees. The rest of us might wait a bit longer to strip down, but we&rsquo;re still dying to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. One of the favorite places folks in the Chicago area make that happen is the Cook County Forest Preserves. Last week, the Forest Preserves and the Prairie Research Institute unveiled&nbsp;<a href="http://fpdcc.com/preserves-and-trails/plans-and-projects/natural-and-cultural-resources-master-plan/">a plan</a> to restore and expand tens of thousands of acres of green space. Arnold Randall, the General Superintendent of the Cook County Forest Preserves joins us to talk about the plan.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em>&nbsp;Arnold Randall is the General Superintendent of the <a href="https://twitter.com/FPDCC">Cook County Forest Preserves</a>.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/196833493&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">March Madness arrives</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">It&rsquo;s the first official day of spring. It&#39;s also the first full weekend of the NCAA men&rsquo;s basketball tournament. Brackets will be busted and hearts will be broken. And WBEZ&rsquo;s Katie O&rsquo;Brien says it&rsquo;s time to unravel claims that March Madness is a drain on workplace productivity.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em>&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/katieobez">Katie O&#39;Brien</a> is a WBEZ reporter.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/196833484&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Where comedy meets radio</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">When comedian and radio host Tom Scharpling and Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster teamed up to create a radio show, it wasn&rsquo;t an immediate success - despite being called &ldquo;The Best Show on WFMU.&rdquo; But the cult show found a long life and the duo&rsquo;s comedic stylings continued to gain fervent fans. The duo has been on the road and came through Chicago on Thursday. They share the secret to their success together on the Morning Shift.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guests:&nbsp;</strong><em>&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/scharpling">Tom Scharpling</a> is a comedian/writer/director and former host of the Best Show on <a href="https://twitter.com/WFMU">WFMU</a>.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><em><a href="https://twitter.com/jonwurster">Jon Wurster</a> is the drummer of the band Superchunk and former host of the Best Show on <a href="https://twitter.com/WFMU">WFMU</a>.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/196833479&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Cristina Pato brings bagpipes into an orchestral setting</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">The bagpipes aren&rsquo;t only for men in kilts. And they&rsquo;re not just from the British Isles. Cristina Pato has been wowing the world for years with her gaita-a small version of the bagpipes from the region of northwest Spain called Galicia. Pato is in town to play with the Chicago Sinfonietta, including a U.S. premier of a jazz and tango-inspired work she commissioned for gaita, piano, and orchestra. She joins the Morning Shift to blow the bagpipe and break musical barriers.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em>&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/CristinaPato">Cristina Pato</a> is New York based musician.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Fri, 20 Mar 2015 07:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-03-20/morning-shift-where-comedy-meets-radio-111738 What Rauner faces as he takes the oath of the Governor's office http://www.wbez.org/news/what-rauner-faces-he-takes-oath-governors-office-111378 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP657471973521.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Bruce Rauner gets to show Illinois what he&rsquo;s got starting Monday. He&rsquo;s taking the oath of office as the state&rsquo;s next governor with many big challenges facing Illinois. Here are some key questions and answers about what&rsquo;s been going on in Illinois politics since November&rsquo;s election.</p><p><strong>What&rsquo;s Rauner been up to since he won election?</strong></p><p>One of the best ways to see what kind of governor Rauner will be is to see who he&rsquo;s hiring. For instance, Rauner is appointing Leslie Munger to be the state&rsquo;s comptroller, after the death of Judy Baar Topinka. Munger is a former executive at Unilever who ran a failed campaign for state representative last year. Rauner also hired the former attorney for Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, someone whom Rauner says he intends to model as Illinois governor. During the campaign, Rauner, a Republican, frequently talked about having to be the state&rsquo;s best recruiter for hiring people to manage state government.</p><p><strong>What challenges will Rauner face from day one?</strong></p><p>Right off the bat, Illinois has a budget hole. Rauner has said that hole was created by Democrats who have used accounting gimmicks. Despite the lack of resources, Rauner has insisted the state could get by with lower income taxes. Those tax rates dropped on Jan. 1, meaning cash is staying in workers&rsquo; paychecks - and not going toward the state budget.</p><p>Agencies that have been in the headlines recently that have an impact on child welfare or overcrowded prisons rely on that budget, and directors at those agencies have highlighted the cuts that would have to happen if the lower tax rate continues.</p><p>That&rsquo;s all on top of an ongoing pension obligation debt that Gov. Pat Quinn&rsquo;s office has estimated tops $100 billion. Labor unions filed a lawsuit over a measure that saves the state money, but reduces retirement benefits of state workers. That lawsuit is still pending before the state Supreme Court. The justices&rsquo; decision could have a major impact on state spending for the foreseeable future.</p><p><strong>How will Rauner&rsquo;s management style fit in with the political culture in Springfield?</strong></p><p>Rauner&rsquo;s tagline throughout his campaign was to &ldquo;Shake up Springfield.&rdquo; But it&rsquo;s not yet clear how far he will take that phrase - or if he will recruit people with government experience in Springfield to be leaders in his administration. Republicans have taken a liking to Rauner since he&rsquo;s brought the state party money, organization, messaging and now power.</p><p>Several Democratic lawmakers have said they&rsquo;re still trying to get a grasp of what kind of governor Rauner is going to be, but seem open to working with him. If much legislation is to get passed, they&rsquo;ll have to work with Rauner: Democrats have a supermajority in both the House and Senate, meaning they could override a potential veto on a bill.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics. Follow him <a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold" target="_blank">@tonyjarnold</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 09 Jan 2015 16:27:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/what-rauner-faces-he-takes-oath-governors-office-111378 Can new GOP Illinois governor deliver on the hype? http://www.wbez.org/news/can-new-gop-illinois-governor-deliver-hype-111335 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP586490258547.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Bruce Rauner became a Republican rock star when he unseated a Democratic governor in left-leaning Illinois, pledging to run Barack Obama&#39;s home state in the mold of GOP darlings Scott Walker and Mitch Daniels. But as he takes office this month, many are wondering: Can he deliver on the hype?</p><p>There are reasons to believe the answer is no, and that Rauner&#39;s victories may have ended on Election Day. Unlike Walker in Wisconsin and Daniels in Indiana &mdash; governors Rauner has called his role models &mdash; he inherits a state with deep financial problems and a Legislature that&#39;s overwhelmingly Democratic. That could make achieving his top priorities, such as closing the state&#39;s multibillion-dollar budget hole and switching public employees to a 401k-style retirement system, far more difficult.</p><p>But Rauner and others insist that Illinois&#39; first divided government in more than a decade won&#39;t mean four years of gridlock, but rather produce the kind of chemistry needed to end years of legislative near-paralysis.</p><p>If so, Illinois could be a notable outlier in an increasingly polarized nation of red and blue states, and could also help Republicans solve the mystery of how to become relevant again in a place that&#39;s been trending strongly Democratic.</p><p>&quot;People have cherry picked (businesses) from us and laughed at us for many years,&quot; said Republican state Sen. Bill Brady. &quot;I think now people are looking at us with a cautious but also optimistic eye.&quot;</p><p>Heightening Rauner&#39;s predicament is Illinois&#39; history of putting off major issues that other states tackled during the recession. Thus, the state now has the nation&#39;s worst-funded public pension system, slower-than-average job growth, billions in unpaid bills and the worst credit rating.</p><p>The political dynamic is now changed, either for better or worse.</p><p>With a Republican in the governor&#39;s office, GOP lawmakers will at least have an incentive &mdash; some would say mandate &mdash; to put &quot;yes&quot; votes on major initiatives rather than just uniformly opposing, and Democrats may have to compromise more.</p><p>&quot;I think they&#39;ll be very productive,&quot; said former Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady.</p><p>But first, Rauner has fences to mend. The multimillionaire private equity investor spent the year-long campaign ripping Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and the powerful leaders of the Illinois House and Senate, calling them &quot;career politicians&quot; who drove the state into a &quot;death spiral.&quot;</p><p>Rauner, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton made nice during a two-hour meeting shortly after Election Day. Rauner also been calling every member of the Legislature, saying he wants to get to know each one personally.</p><p>Many are skeptical. Among them are labor leaders, several of whom Rauner singled out by name during the campaign as contributing to the state&#39;s financial ruin. The unions are gearing up for a fight should Rauner move to weaken their bargaining power, as Daniels and Walker did in Indiana and Wisconsin.</p><p>&quot;Bruce Rauner has made it very clear he&#39;s very hostile to organized labor,&quot; said Tom Balanoff, president of the Service Employees International Union Local 1.</p><p>Yet Balanoff, who was one of those Rauner accused of &quot;owning&quot; state government and the Democratic Party, said his union has worked with GOP governors in the past.</p><p>Rauner himself has seemed to be lowering expectations. After telling voters during the campaign he had a plan to simultaneously lower taxes and increase spending for education, he now says the state&#39;s finances are far worse than he was led to believe. It could be a way to give himself some wiggle room while pinning blame for unkept promises on the Democrats who preceded him.</p><p>Kirk Dillard, a former top GOP state senator, said Rauner could also benefit from his friendship with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a relationship nurtured during Emanuel&#39;s pre-mayoral days as an investment banker.</p><p>The state&#39;s biggest city controls &quot;a huge block of (Democratic) votes&quot; in the General Assembly, noted Dillard, who added that Quinn and his Democratic predecessor, now-imprisoned ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, had rockier relationships with City Hall.</p><p>&quot;That&#39;s a huge plus&quot; for Rauner, Dillard said.</p><p>And while both Democrats and Republicans wonder if Rauner will be in over his head because he&#39;s never held public office before, supporters say he&#39;s navigated state and local government in pushing education reform, working sometimes with Emanuel on the issue. After a recent governors&#39; session at the White House, Rauner noted that it wasn&#39;t his first visit, telling reporters he&#39;s &quot;known a number of presidents.&quot;</p><p>Dillard says he is realistic about what Rauner can accomplish.</p><p>&quot;Gov. Rauner needs to keep his commitments to voters,&quot; Dillard said. &quot;And if he can&#39;t deliver on all of them, he needs to make it clear that it&#39;s the Democrats that are preventing him from doing so.&quot;</p></p> Mon, 05 Jan 2015 11:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/can-new-gop-illinois-governor-deliver-hype-111335 Unions sue to stop Chicago pension overhaul http://www.wbez.org/news/unions-sue-stop-chicago-pension-overhaul-111239 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/city hall chicago flickr daniel x o nell.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>Current and retired city workers and their labor unions have filed a lawsuit arguing a law overhauling Chicago&#39;s pension systems is unconstitutional.</p><p>The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court also asks a judge to stop the law from taking effect Jan. 1.</p><p>Chicago has the worst-funded pension system of any major U.S. city.</p><p>Legislation approved last year seeks to eliminate a $9.4 billion unfunded liability in two pension systems by increasing contributions and cutting benefits. It would affect about 57,000 laborers and municipal employees.</p><p>The plaintiffs are 12 current and former workers and four unions, including AFSCME Council 31 and the Illinois Nurses Association.</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the law is constitutional. He says the changes are needed to ensure pension funds remain solvent and retirees receive benefits.</p></p> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 13:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/unions-sue-stop-chicago-pension-overhaul-111239 Rauner declares victory, Quinn concedes http://www.wbez.org/news/rauner-declares-victory-quinn-concedes-111047 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/rauner-celebration_0.png" alt="" /><p><style type="text/css"> <!-- .audio { color: #000000; font: 11px Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif } .body { color: #000000; font: 13px Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif } .byline { color: #003366; font: 12px Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif } .bytitle { color: #003366; font: 10px Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif } .byttl { color: #003366; font: bold 10px/12px Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif } .headline { color: #000000; font: bold 20px Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif } .newlinkcolor { color: white } .photo { color: #696969; font: 9px Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif } .storylink { color: #003366; font: bold 12px Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif } .tabletitle { color: #663333; font: bold 11px Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif } .textlabel { color: #663333; font: bold 11px Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif } .video { color: #000000; font: 11px Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif } p { color: #000000; font: 13px Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif }--> .eln-subhed-table { background-color: #fff; color:#333; font-family: "Raleway",Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-weight: bold; } .eln-state { display:none; } .eln-bodyregular, .eln-bodyreg-bar { color:#333; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; } .eln-bodyreg-bar { background-color: #f8f8f8; } .eln-office-name { font-family: "Raleway",Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; color:#444444; } .eln-date { color:#999; font-family: "Raleway",Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; } span.eln-bodyregular { font-size: 12px; }</style> <p><em>UPDATED Nov. 5, 3:38 p.m.</em></p><p>Republican businessman Bruce Rauner has unseated Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, ending Democrats&#39; 12-year grip on the state.</p><p>The matchup between the Winnetka venture capitalist and the Chicago Democrat was among the most competitive and costly nationwide. Rauner&#39;s win helps the GOP complete a near-sweep of Midwest governorships.</p><p>With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Rauner had a nearly 5 percentage point lead over Quinn. Rauner declared victory on election night, but Quinn said Tuesday night he&#39;d wait for all votes to be counted.</p><p>On Wednesday, Quinn conceded the race and said it was clear his campaign didn&#39;t have the votes to overcome Rauner&#39;s lead.</p><p>Quinn first became Illinois governor in 2009 in the wake of ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich&#39;s corruption scandal. He narrowly won in 2010 over Republican state Sen. Bill Brady.</p><p><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/calls-aimed-election-judges-dissuade-attendance-111061">Dirty trick&#39; robocalls dissuaded Chicago election judges from polls</a></strong></p><p>Quinn had pushed issues affecting everyday people. He also reminded voters how he navigated Illinois out of crisis after the two previous governors went to prison. He tried to paint Rauner as an out-of-touch multimillionaire.</p><p>Rauner countered by saying a vote for Quinn would support politics as usual.</p><p>He began his run with a statewide push for term limits, then focused on a federal lawsuit scrutinizing hiring under Quinn and the incumbent&#39;s support for make a tax increase permanent.</p><p>The Winnetka businessman on Wednesday named the leaders of his transition team. He says his running mate, Wheaton City Council member Evelyn Sanguinetti, will serve as chairwoman. The team also includes several senior campaign staff.</p><p>In an emailed statement Rauner says he&#39;s &quot;committed to assembling a diverse and talented team to drive results&quot; for Illinois.</p><p>Rauner spent Wednesday in meetings and didn&#39;t have any public appearances planned.</p><p>Spokesman Mike Schrimpf says the lack of a public schedule was out of respect for Quinn and because Rauner wants to take &quot;a methodical, thoughtful approach.&quot;</p><p><strong style="font-size: 18.3999996185303px; text-align: center;">Election results</strong></p><script language="JavaScript" src="http://hosted.ap.org/elections/2014/general/by_race/IL_15989.js?SITE=WBEZFMELN&SECTION=POLITICS"></script></p> Mon, 03 Nov 2014 11:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/rauner-declares-victory-quinn-concedes-111047 Midterm 2014 Illinois election results http://www.wbez.org/news/midterm-2014-illinois-election-results-111012 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/vote_0.PNG" alt="" /><p><p><a href="#governor">Governor</a> | <a href="#senate">Senate</a> | <a href="#house">House</a> | <a href="#statewide">Statewide</a> | <a href="#general-assembly">General Assembly</a> | <a href="#local">Local</a></p><div id="gov"><a name="governor"></a><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Governor</span></p></div><div id="senate"><a name="senate"></a><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Senate</span></p></div><br /><div id="house"><a name="house"></a><p><span style="font-size:22px;">House</span></p></div><br /><div id="statewide"><a name="statewide"></a><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Statewide elections</span></p></div><br /><div id="stateleg"><a name="general-assembly"></a><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Illinois General Assembly</span></p></div><br /><div id="local"><a name="local"></a><p><span id="cke_bm_239S" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size:22px;">Illinois local elections</span><span id="cke_bm_239E" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span></p></div><script type="text/javascript" src="https://s3.amazonaws.com/wbez-assets/scripts/pym.js"></script><script> var pymGov = new pym.Parent('gov', 'http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/elections/2014/general/by_state/gov/IL.html?SITE=WBEZFMELN&SECTION=POLITICS', {}); var pymSenate = new pym.Parent('senate', 'http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/elections/2014/general/by_state/us_senate/IL.html?SITE=WBEZFMELN&SECTION=POLITICS', {}); var pymHouse = new pym.Parent('house', 'http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/elections/2014/general/by_state/us_house/IL.html?SITE=WBEZFMELN&SECTION=POLITICS', {}); var pymStatewide = new pym.Parent('statewide', 'http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/elections/2014/general/by_state/statewide/IL.html?SITE=WBEZFMELN&SECTION=POLITICS', {}); var pymStateleg = new pym.Parent('stateleg', 'http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/elections/2014/general/by_state/state_sen_house/IL.html?SITE=WBEZFMELN&SECTION=POLITICS', {}); var pymLocal = new pym.Parent('local', 'http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/files/elections/2014/general/by_state/local/IL.html?SITE=WBEZFMELN&SECTION=POLITICS', {}); </script></p> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/midterm-2014-illinois-election-results-111012