Sunday, October 11, 2009

Choking video poker – editorial from chicagotribune

The list of local governments opting out of video gambling has lengthened to 221 municipalities

The gaming industry's many influential registered lobbyists know that video gambling is so unpopular in Illinois that it generally can't survive public hearings and open debate.

Chicago presents the industry with a different challenge. In order to permit video gambling, it looks to us as if the City Council would have to cast an affirmative vote to override the current ban.

State lawmakers sneakily fast-tracked it as a way to cover one-third of the cost of retiring state bonds for a $31 billion capital spending plan

Legislators could scale back the size of their capital plan, or they could find a better way to pay for it. The worst option: leaving the current law untouched.

Each time a local government opts out of video gambling, as the Cook County Board ought to do Tuesday, the folly of exploiting poor people who'll patronize this industry to pay for new roads becomes all the more obvious.

Click on the following for the full editorial:  Choking video poker --

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What will it take to bring back 7 million jobs?

More than 5 percent of US jobs have disappeared since the recession began in 2007, some 7 million in all. That compares with job losses in the neighborhood of 1.5 to 2 percent during the previous two recessions.

If jobs could grow at a mid-1990s pace of 3 million a year, it would take about five years. If jobs grow at a mid-2000s pace of 2 million a year, it would take a lot longer.

lawmakers are considering a range of additional policies.

These include:

• Extending the first-time homebuyer tax credit, worth up to $8,000.
• Extending unemployment benefits and health benefits for laid-off workers.
Tax breaks for businesses that hire new employees or spend on new equipment and facilities.
• Additional federal spending on infrastructure, or aid to state governments.

two-year tax credit that is refundable against payroll taxes so that non-profits, corporations, and even public employers would get the credit, …. [this] EPI proposal calculate that the tax credit would create 2 million to 3 million jobs.

Click on the following for more details:  What will it take to bring back 7 million jobs? |

Vt. health reform: manage chronically ill patients

The pilot program begun in 2003 aims to reach patients with chronic conditions, keep them healthier and, ultimately, save money by heading off expensive hospitalizations and procedures. Already, emergency room visits are down.

It's health care at its most basic, but in some ways it's revolutionary. In a system where private insurers and the government reimburse providers for treating sick patients, the physicians who treat the two diabetes patients will get more if they stay healthy.

Almost 85 percent of Vermonters ages 65 and over have one chronic condition — such as diabetes, asthma or cardiovascular disease — and many have more than one. Treating chronic conditions accounts for 78 percent of health care spending in Vermont and 88 percent of all prescriptions. Experts say those figures are similar across the country.

Click on the following for more of the story:  Vt. health reform: manage chronically ill patients - Yahoo! News

Where Illinois representatives stand on extending the first-time homebuyer tax credit

 Don Manzullo

Rep. Donald Manzullo (R-16th) is co-sponsoring two bills, H.R. 101 and H.R. 2655.

HR 101


Economic Recovery Through Responsible Homeownership Act of 2009 – Amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow an individual taxpayer a refundable tax credit for the purchase in 2009 or 2010 of a residence located in the United States if the construction of such residence began before 2009. Allows a credit of either $2,000, $5,000, or $10,000 for down payments of 5, 10, or 15% of the residence’s purchase price respectively.

HR 2655


Amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) extend the first-time homebuyer tax credit to all individuals who purchase a principal residence (currently, only first-time homebuyers as so defined); (2) extend such credit and the waiver of recapture requirements for such credit through 2010; and (3) expand the election to treat a purchase of a principal residence as made in a prior taxable year for purposes of such credit.

Click on the following for the position of other Illinois representatives:  Where Illinois representatives stand on extending the first-time homebuyer tax credit | WBEZ / Chicago Public Radio Blog

Belvidere company’s bid may get 2nd look

The bid protest [by Infrastructure Defense Technologies] was dismissed by the General Accountability Office after the DLA (Defense Logistics Agency)  agreed to re-examine its solicitation process, said Michael Golden, GAO managing associate general counsel.

The Defense Logistics Agency agreed to take corrective action on the $100 million contract.

Click on the following for more details:  Belvidere company’s bid may get 2nd look - -

DeKalb Daily Chronicle: Newspapers are still relevant

What newspapers are doing is changing. That paper in your driveway is something we’re proud of, but it’s only part of what we do. Local news now breaks on our Web site, in your e-mail inbox, or even in a text message or Twitter application on your phone.
We’re still doing what we’ve always done, just faster and in more formats

Read their full comments by clicking on the following:  Our View: Newspapers are still relevant | Daily Chronicle

Democrats Heed Dole’s Objection and Kill TV Ad

Mr. Dole’s complaint and the quick compliance by the Democrats reflect the intense and delicate politics swirling around the health-care debate as the Senate Finance Committee prepares to vote on its version of the overhaul early this week.

Click on the following for more details:  Democrats Heed Dole’s Objection and Kill TV Ad - Prescriptions Blog -

Suburbs weigh new revenue against protecting old

Good update on the local voting around the collar counties. 

Despite Quinn's action, it could be a long time before video gambling sprouts up at a bar near you.

Gene O'Shea, spokesman for the Illinois Gaming Board, said attorneys there are still working on a set of rules and regulations for the machines. He said there is no timeline for the board to finish the rules, which also are subject to a period of public comment. Finally, the gaming board must put out a request for companies to build a centralized computer system to monitor the machines.

Click on the following for more detailsDaily Herald | Suburbs weigh new revenue against protecting old

Tollway board member David Andalcio steps down


A tollway board member keen on minority contracting issues and who drew attention for his large donations to Gov. Rod Blagojevich has stepped down.

David Andalcio of Hinsdale said in his resignation letter Friday that he needed more time to focus on his business and therefore had to resign, effective immediately. Andalcio heads up Wynndalco Enterprises, which primarily works on renewable energy such as wind power.

The Daily Herald reported this summer that he was also promoting his company as a consultant for tollway work. The company's Web site featured pictures of the Illinois tollway and referenced his accomplishments on the tollway board.

Click on the following for more details:   Daily Herald | Tollway board member David Andalcio steps down

Northwest Herald’s Opinion: Video poker not solution

The McHenry County Board should vote to ban video gambling from bars and restaurants in unincorporated areas of the county.

Short of that, the County Board should at least ask residents to vote on the matter in a referendum during the February primaries

Click on the following for more of their opinion:  Northwest Herald | Video poker not solution