The Illinois senate is racing against time to reach a ‘grand bargain’ budget deal, and other Chicago news | Bleader

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Illinois senate is racing against time to reach a ‘grand bargain’ budget deal, and other Chicago news

Posted By on 05.09.17 at 06:00 AM

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click to enlarge The Illinois Senate Appropriations Committee questions various state department heads about their fiscal year 2018 budget requests. - RICH SAAL/THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER VIA AP
  • Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register via AP
  • The Illinois Senate Appropriations Committee questions various state department heads about their fiscal year 2018 budget requests.

Welcome to the Reader's morning briefing for Tuesday, May 9, 2017.

  • Illinois senate is trying to reach "grand bargain" budget deal on a tight deadline

Illinois senator and former Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady is trying to broker a state budget deal before the Illinois General Assembly session ends at the end of May. Brady has been meeting with with the staffs of both Democratic senate president John Cullerton and Governor Bruce Rauner in hopes of reaching a "grand bargain" deal. "We're not there yet; we are closer to a comprehensive plan that lays it all out," Brady told NBC Chicago. He's pushing for a compromise to increase revenue: a five-year income tax increase, a five-year property tax freeze, and an expansion of the services tax. Casinos could also be a part of the deal, Brady told Politico. "When Senator Brady filed his proposals, we welcomed him to the discussions. The idea here is if people have ideas, let's see if the numbers add up and if we can make them work," said Cullerton spokesman John Patterson. "This isn't a Democratic issue or a Republican issue—we're all trying to work together to find a solution. The original [grand bargain] bills that were filed had Republican bills that were in there." [NBC Chicago] [Politico Illinois Playbook]

  • CPD superintendent Eddie Johnson expresses support for gun-crime bond reforms

Chicago Police Department superintendent Eddie Johnson now "supports efforts to reform Illinois law to make it harder for those charged with gun crimes to post bail," according to the Tribune. "For us, as a logically thinking society, wouldn't it be prudent for us to make sure those violent people stay where they are until they get their day in court?" he said at a news conference Sunday. "Makes sense to me, so we do need to look at all aspects of our judicial system and tighten it up." [Tribune]

  • Pat Quinn returns to the state capitol for the unveiling of his portrait

Former governor Pat Quinn unveiled his official portrait at the state capitol in Springfield Monday afternoon. Painted by Arlington Heights-based artist William T. Chambers, the painting features items important to Quinn, including a Bible, a framed picture of Abraham Lincoln, and family photographs. Impeached former governor Rod Blagojevich is now the only past governor not to have a portrait hanging in the Hall of Governors. [Sun-Times] [Tribune]

  • Anthony Rizzo foundation donates $3.5 million to Lurie Children's Hospital

Lurie Children's Hospital announced a $3.5 million donation from the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation Monday. The donation sets up the "Hope 44 Endowed Fund" to help families with children suffering from cancer pay medical bills and pay for two specialists to "reduce anxiety and normalize the hospital experience for both patients and families," the hospital said in a statement. A waiting room will also be renamed the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation Waiting Room. The Cubs first baseman survived Hodgkin's lymphoma as a teenager and has now donated more than $4 million to the hospital, where he frequently visits patients. "I know the emotional and financial strain the diagnosis of cancer can put on a family," Rizzo, said in a statement. "I believe that an individual does not battle cancer alone, his or her entire family does. That's why we've designated this money to go directly to help families on the front lines." [DNAinfo Chicago]

  • It's the end of an era as Johnson Publishing and Ebony struggle

Tumult at Johnson Publishing and its famous magazine Ebony "suggest the end of the black media empire, at least in Chicago," according to Crain's Chicago Business. Johnson Publishing CEO and former White House social secretary Desirée Rogers resigned, and several Ebony employees, including editor in chief Kyra Kyles, were laid off last week. The remaining Ebony staffers will now be led by a Los Angeles-based editor. "Sadly, it was expected, but it's still devastating," said Ron Childs, a former associate editor of the long-discontinued Ebony Man magazine. "It's just the end of a legacy in Chicago's history of African-American publishing." [Crain's Chicago Business]

  • Fat Baby Tacos starts serving late-night food in River North

Fat Baby Tacos opened Monday at 109 W. Hubbard in River North, and although it will serve late-night food for the nearby bar crowd, with plans to stay open till 5 AM Thursdays through Saturdays, it isn't your typical late-night joint. The restaurant, which also serves its tacos, burritos, salads, and soups at lunch and dinner, has a small flower-bedecked year-round patio. [Eater Chicago]


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