Here’s a handful of top headlines from around the state today.
The Southern: A look at bills Illinois lawmakers passed this session
Illinois’ 11-month budget impasse dominated talks around the Capitol and the state during the legislative session that concluded Tuesday. But lawmakers also considered a number of non-budget measures and sent them to the governor.
Chicago Tribune: Chicago police contracts: An untenable bargain
In Chicago, police officers rarely pay for their misconduct. Taxpayers do.
Again and again, cops accused of abusing civilians have gotten a pass from the police oversight system and the state’s attorney’s office. They’re back on the street, with nary a blemish on their records, while their victims collect millions in civil damages from the city.
That’s largely because the contracts between the city and its police unions are loaded with provisions that shield bad cops from accountability. An officer involved in a shooting has 24 hours to coordinate stories with others at the scene before giving a statement, for example — and can amend that statement later after viewing video of the shooting. Disciplinary records older than five years are supposed to be destroyed. Anonymous complaints against an officer are disregarded. Findings of misconduct that don’t result in significant punishment are purged from an officer’s record. Investigators are absurdly constrained in how they may question an officer: “The primary interrogator will not ask any questions until the secondary interrogator has finished asking questions and invites the primary interrogator to ask follow-up questions …” That’s not about due process; it’s about tying the hands of investigators or generating a technical violation that could get a complaint tossed.
NBC Chicago: How Will the Budget Impasse Continue to Affect Illinois?
After Illinois lawmakers failed to pass a budget before the end of the spring legislative session Tuesday night, it’s clear that the state’s lingering impasse will likely stretch into its second year. But what does that mean for Illinoisans?
So far, the state’s colleges, universities and social services have been among the hardest hit by the stalemate, which dates back to July of last year. With no funding appropriated and no budget solution in sight, schools across the state may not be able to open in the fall. And if the impasse continues, already cash-strapped social service agencies and not-for-profit programs will continue to be strained and could be forced to close or lay off workers.
ABC: Illinois Budget Fight Shifts to November Elections
After finishing another legislative session without agreeing on a budget, Gov. Bruce Rauner and Illinois’ ruling Democrats began looking for other options Wednesday even as they focus on November and trying to convince voters the other side is to blame for the state’s enormous fiscal mess.
Just hours after lawmakers adjourned their spring session, Rauner and fellow Republicans began touring the state, bashing Democrats.
But there’s huge political risk for both sides leading up to the general election. As Senate President John Cullerton put it late Tuesday: “(Rauner) is in trouble, just like we’re in trouble.”
Sun-Times: Emanuel likens Rauner to Donald Trump for blame-game tour
Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday likened his old friend, Gov. Bruce Rauner, to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and condemned Rauner’s blame-game tour of the state.
“Schools across Illinois need a leader and instead, Bruce Rauner is following the Donald Trump playbook of demonizing one group of people for his political advantage,” the mayor was quoted as saying in an emailed statement.