In the News for May 15, 2014

Judge halts Illinois pension overhaul until ruling

A Sangamon County judge stopped Illinois’ state pension overhaul law from taking effect Wednesday, issuing a stay on the law until the court can rule on its constitutionality.

Hold Placed On Illinois Pension Law

A judge has blocked Illinois pension overhaul from taking effect next month. It’s a temporary victory for government employees who say the law is unconstitutional.

Madigan: Budget vote builds support for tax hike

A budget plan House Democrats are pushing is intended to “set the bar” on the issue of making the income tax increase permanent, House Speaker Michael Madigan said Wednesday.

House set to vote on state budget Thursday

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois House is on track to vote on a $38 billion budget Thursday that counts on the 2011 temporary income tax increase becoming permanent.

Bruce Rauner’s Private Equity Firm Runs Into More Legal Trouble

The GOP gubernatorial challenger’s company faces more accusations of fraud

Is Bruce Rauner the Next Mitt Romney?

Private-equity mogul Bruce Rauner jabs his left index finger at the Chicago ballroom crowd after his victory in Illinois (STOIL1:US)’s Republican primary election, vowing things will change in the debt-strapped state if voters choose him as governor in November.

Judge blocks Illinois pension reform law

Update, 4:45 p.m. — The We Are One Illinois Union Coalition is out with a statement, and while it concedes that the order by no means is final or permanent, the group clearly is pleased.

Illinois finally gets a pension reform deal, but pension politics go on

It happened the Springfield way — from the top down, if with a little more excitement than usual. The political and perhaps even some of the economic implications are not yet clear.

Emanuel shrugs off dismal results in Chicago Sun-Times poll

Shrugging off a Chicago Sun-Times poll that shows his popularity plummeting, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Wednesday he ran for mayor on a promise to confront vexing problems “swept under the rug” and he’s not about to “blow with the wind.”

O’Neill science teacher surprised with Golden Apple Award

Meg Van Dyke stood momentarily in shock May 7 morning as fellow O’Neill Middle School faculty and Golden Apple Award representatives flooded into her seventh grade science classroom.

Kadner: School funding formula a disaster

Orland School District 135 would lose 85.5 percent of the money it gets from the state and Consolidated High School District 230 would lose 82.8 percent under a proposed change to Illinois’ school funding formula.

Even after reform, pension debt will require tax hikes

The real issue in this year’s race for the Illinois governorship is not whether to reduce property taxes, or whether to let the “temporary” component of the income tax expire.

Chicago fast food workers join today’s national strike

Dozens of fast food workers and activists gathered early Thursday outside a downtown McDonald’s calling for wages of $15 per hour and better conditions.

Advisory board says schools need more from state

An advisory board says the state needs to increase funding levels for public schools, despite not meeting the ones in place for the past three years.

$200,000 Elgin library grant tucked into Democrats’ state budget

Tucked in among the rest of the Democrats’ state spending proposal for the coming year is a unique $200,000 grant earmarked for Elgin’s Gail Borden Library District

Better ways to pick public boards

Instead of the Bermuda triangle, let’s just call it the Illinois triangle. Clout, campaign contributions and jobs all come together in one neat little geometric form that often drives Illinois politics, while also pushing cynicism about government to the high water mark among Illinois citizens

California GOP worried over top-two governor race

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Republicans who have been trying to rebrand their party as more inclusive and attuned with the issues that Californians care about had hoped this year to offer a candidate for governor who fit that image.

Climate task force meets in Iowa, to advise Obama administration

Members of a federal task force looking at what local communities can do to prepare for climate change said they were “beginning to shape” recommendations for the Obama administration following a two-day meeting in Des Moines.

College Illinois contract sales plummet

Sales of College Illinois savings plans fell in half this year, the second sales season after the state reopened the program to new investors following a scandal that called into question its future viability.

Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts is new leader of lesbian PAC

Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts is the new chair of LPAC, the only lesbian-backed political action committee in the U.S., stepping up to a more visible and active political role as marriage equality and other gay rights battles are increasingly being fought across the nation.

GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Attends Pro-Choice Event, Anti-Abortion Groups Freak Out

A Republican businessman challenging Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) attended an abortion-rights gala Saturday. Unsurprisingly, anti-abortion groups in the state aren’t thrilled.

State of Emergency
Several wildfires are continuing to burn in southern California on Thursday morning after destroying 30 homes and forcing Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency in the face of thinning resources

Sterling Lashes Out at Obama
The L.A. Clippers’ disgraced owner slams President Obama in the latest leaked recording, saying he should get “all the full facts first” before being critical

Turkish P.M. Feels Mine Fury
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has survived a string of scandals but the deadly coal-mine disaster in Soma may further harm his populist image

U.S. Drones Search for Kidnapped Nigerian Girls
White House officials have confirmed that unmanned and unarmed reconnaissance drones are now patrolling an area of Nigeria the size of West Virginia in search of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped in April by the militant group Boko Haram

The Future of the Internet Up for a Vote
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is caught between net neutrality advocates and industry giants ahead of today’s vote on his ‘Open Internet’ proposal, which would have broadband providers treat all Internet traffic equally, as both sides warn the web’s future hangs in the balance

Grenades and Gunfire as Bangkok Protests Turn Bloody

Hotel Fires Staffer Who Leaked Jay Z-Solange Video

Your Meat Label May Be Lying to You

Bieber Denies Stealing Phone, Says Fan Harassed Him

Missouri Lawmakers Pass 3-Day Abortion Wait Period

Top Editor Exits New York Times

China’s Property Bust May Drag Us All Down

FCC approves plan to allow for paid priority on Internet


The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted in favor of advancing a proposal that would dramatically reshape the way consumers experience the Internet, opening the possibility of Internet service providers to charge Web sites for higher-quality delivery of their content to American consumers.


Word of the Day for May 15, 2014


1. a person who is readily changeable or fickle.
2. weather vane.