FAMILY AFFAIR Master political strategist David Axelrod says Attorney General Lisa Madigan will have a "genuine problem" if she runs for governor and her father, House Speaker Michael Madigan, remains in office. Axelrod's comment, in a Chicago Sun-Times interview, comes a week after a poll showed many voters feel the same way. We break it all down here.
MADIGANISTAN All this talk about concern over a Madigan-Madigan duopoly in Springfield, combined with the continued pension meltdown, is making this Scott Stantis cartoon from last fall look prophetic. Click to see the whole thing.
THIN ICE You'll pay $130 million extra in interest on Illinois' $1.3 billion bond sale on Wednesday thanks to the state's worst-in-the-nation credit rating. And it will only get worse as long as Illinois' pension system continues to destroy state finances. That was the opinion of three municipal bond market experts at a forum hosted by Reboot Illinois and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Thursday at the Union League Club of Chicago. Illinois isn't at immediate risk of becoming Detroit -- defaulting on bond payments and possibly losing access to credit (a disaster for any government) -- but we'll pay dearly in interest while other states enjoy record low rates. Read more here!
DEMAND ACTION Gov. Pat Quinn has set a July 9 deadline for a special committee of lawmakers to draft a pension bill he can sign. Help us send a message that this is no joke and Illinois needs a strong bill immediately to begin recovering economically. Sign our petition here!
BLACKHAWK ENVY Stantis is no prophet in today's cartoon. Just a realist. Go Hawks!
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW You can always find links to the day's news from around Illinois in the Daily Tip-Off section of our website. Here are today's top picks:
5. The state's in bad credit shape, but defaulting on its creditors is not imminent, says a top credit market expert (Chicago Tribune)
4. Illinois has the fourth highest minimum wage in the country, but that would have changed had lawmakers followed through on a bill to raise it to $10 (Crain's Chicago Business)
3. The General Assembly's special committee on pension reform met for the first time Thursday in Chicago and went over old ground (Associated Press)
2. Illinois' year-old cigarette tax increase is not bringing in the money expected (Heartland Institute)
1. After several years of cuts, education funding in Illinois will remain level in the budget year that starts July 1 (The Pantagraph)