JUST DESSERTS $71 million to buy a land for a new airport in Peotone. Help for a new DePaul stadium in Chicago. $2 billion in new spending. Our lawmakers skipped the main course this year and headed straight for the dessert table. Madeleine Doubek is tired of getting stuck with the bill for this unhealthy diet.
DEMS WRECKING ILLINOIS Chicago blogger and Tribune contributor Dennis Byrne makes no effort at political diplomacy in today's post: "Democrats are poisoning Illinois and Chicago. Maybe it's too obvious to state, but it isn't said often enough. Or barely at all." And that's just the start. "Chicago and Illinois Democrats have demonstrated time and again that they are incapable of governing well," he continues. Not that the Republicans are without fault, he adds. Byrne's on a roll and the whole thing is here.
WORST GETS WORSE Illinois already had the worst credit rating in the country. Ratings agencies warned that it would get worse if lawmakers didn't address the pensions crisis. Now it's happening. And it'll cost you.
CAMPAIGN 2014 The biggest question for the 2014 election: What will Lisa do? We're asking it yet again on our rolling election scorecard as the Chicago Sun-Times reports on a poll that has Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon as a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination for attorney general -- if Lisa Madigan decides to run for governor. Keep up with the election timeline on our Campaign 2014 scorecard.
THE BIGGEST PRIZE There's no higher stakes game in Illinois than drawing the legislative district map. Every 10 years, it gives the drawing party power to pack the state with districts friendly to its members. Jim Nowlan knows because he used to be a member of the Illinois House. He wants you to get involved with a CHANGE Illinois! campaign to take party leaders out of this process. We're all for that too. Read Nowlan's column and find out how to help make a difference.
DAILY TIP-OFF Jesse Jackson Jr. is scheduled for sentencing July 1. His lawyers plan to use details of his treatment for bipolar disorder in their argument for leniency but they don't want that information to be part of the public record. Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Anger continues to simmer over last week's failure by the General Assembly to address the biggest financial issue the state ever has faced. Blame appears to be focused on the two majority leaders in Springfield, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton. The Peoria Journal Star suggests in an editorial that it's time for new leadership in the Capitol. Daily Herald Capitol reporter Mike Riopell quotes a suburban Democratic senator saying Madigan has too much control in Springfield.
And a Chicago alderman who was ousted from the City Council 20 years after a corruption conviction is back in federal court, this time for alleged bribery. Ambrosio Medrano is on trial this week.
You'll find links to these and other Illinois news stories in the Daily Tip-Off section of our website.