DALEY'S IN Bill Daley ended months of speculation Monday by taking the first official step toward running for governor next year. He formed an exploratory committee to (maybe) challenge Gov. Pat Quinn for the Democratic nomination in 2014. (Fun historic trivia: The last time the Democrats put up a primary challenger to their own incumbent was 1976, and they lost the governorship for the next 26 years.) The big questions: If nominated, how will Daley play downstate? Will it matter if he only wins big in Cook County (as did Quinn in 2010)? We discuss those questions, and offer some input from former Gov. Jim Edgar, in our Campaign 2014 blog.
IN THE DARK Did you see the recent video of House Speaker Michael Madigan fleeing a reporter? Are you aware that Illinois still hasn't filed its required annual financial report -- for the fiscal year that ended last July? (See this infographic.) Why do our leaders so love keeping us in the dark? Reboot Illinois' Madeleine Doubek is tired of it, and you should be too. Click here and read on.
CO$T OF LIVE$ The 70 mph highway speed limit approved by the legislature was sold as a pro-business measure, but the higher speed may come with more highway fatalities. From speed limits to health care to DUI standards, lawmakers must make judgments between what saves lives and what we can afford. These aren't easy decisions, writes former State Rep. Jim Nowlan. Read it here.
REVIVING NEIGHBORHOODS OR ENRICHING DEVELOPERS? "Did you know that someone took $454 million in Chicago property taxes from us in 2011? That 'someone' was Chicago's 163 Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts spread across the city," writes Tom Tresser of the TIF Illumination Project. In one ward alone, 46 percent of the more than $250 million in property taxes collected from 2003 to 2011 went back to private businesses. Are these deals helping cure blight or making business owners rich? Far too often, it's the latter Tresser writes. No matter where you live, this likely is an issue. Get illuminated!
DAILY TIP-OFF Here's a rundown of what's happening in Illinois news today. You'll find many more more in the Daily Tip-Off section of our website.
• Gov. Pat Quinn, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton met Monday to discuss pension reform, but didn't come to any agreement. (Reuters)
• Quinn offered a compromise on pensions in which bills favored by Madigan and Cullerton would be rolled into a single bill to see which survives a court challenge. (Chicago Tribune)
• Like trying to scratch an itch you can't reach, Illinois Democratic leaders are set to revisit the state's pension morass, possibly in a special legislative session June 19. (Chicagoist)
• If you're frustrated about the state of government in Illinois, you should sign on to an effort to change the system for drawing legislative district boundaries (Journal Standard)
• Bill Daley forms exploratory committee (Politico)
PENSION PETITION The Illinois General Assembly returns for a special session next week on pension reform. Help us send a message that they must address this issue, which is destroying our state budget. Sign our petition here.
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