Friday, October 23, 2009

Special Report - Rebuilding the global economy - Lots of Stimulus Money — and Concerns About Where to Put It to Work - NYTimes.com

Stimulus plans of ARRP bonds for McHenry County criticized by NY Times.

Under the recovery act, McHenry County has the authority to issue $27 million in low-interest bonds for private projects. Mr. Houser put a plan to the county board to issue $15 million in low-interest bonds to build a ballpark for a minor league baseball team.

A problem with stimulus funding, experts say, is that dubious projects too often jump to the head of the line. Projects with political backing win funding, regardless of merit, while more worthwhile projects languish for decades.

Click on the following:  Special Report - Rebuilding the global economy - Lots of Stimulus Money — and Concerns About Where to Put It to Work - NYTimes.com

A Push To Strengthen Charity Care In Cook County | Progress Illinois

Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Provena billed patients in a manner that “concealed the availability of charity care” and sent poor patients to debt collectors. “These practices undoubtedly prevented needy patients from even applying for charitable care, much less receiving it.

.New Cook COunty Ordinance…Hospitals subject to the Ordinance must provide financial assistance at least equal to 4.5% of total hospital expenses. Hospitals not meeting this standard are required to pay the County a fee equal to the difference between the cost of financial assistance provided and 4.5% of the hospital’s total expenses.”

Click on the following for more details:  A Push To Strengthen Charity Care In Cook County | Progress Illinois

Carefully Cleaning Up the Garbage at Los Alamos - NYTimes.com

$6 billion stimulus program to clean up the toxic legacy of the arms race, which is one of the biggest sources of direct federal contracts in the $787 billion stimulus act

team of workers is using $212 million in federal stimulus money to clean up the 65-year-old, six-acre dump, which was used by the scientists who built the world’s first atomic bomb

More than $1.9 billion is being spent at the Hanford site in Washington, the home of the nuclear reactor that made the plutonium for the atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki.

Nearly 73,000 people have applied for stimulus jobs cleaning up nuclear sites since the program was announced, the Department of Energy says, and more than 10,800 positions have been saved or created with the money

Click on the following for more details:  Carefully Cleaning Up the Garbage at Los Alamos - NYTimes.com

2010 Census May Reduce Illinois's Representation in Congress | Reuters

house of representatives ...

Illinois will likely lose one of its 19 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives if noncitizens continue to be included in the reapportionment process based on the decennial Census. Currently, reapportionment of House seats is based on the total number of residents counted in the Census, whether citizens or noncitizens 

"It is critical that Illinois's two senators demand that Majority Leader Reid allow a vote on the Vitter-Bennett amendment, making it possible to ensure that everyone is counted, but that only citizens determine
how political representation is apportioned."


Click on the following for more details: 2010 Census May Reduce Illinois's Representation in Congress | Reuters

Legoland interested in development seeking tax breaks at Glen Carbon

Glen Carbon is near St. Louis. 

Legoland

[they] want the state to essentially forgive all sales taxes there so the revenue could pay off bonds to build it.
A bill creating that unprecedented "STAR" (sales tax revenue) bond arrangement passed the Legislature earlier this year, but Quinn, citing an estimated $15 million annual loss in revenue to the state, issued an amendatory veto to cut the tax break in half.

Click on the following for the rest of the story:  Legoland interested in development seeking tax breaks at Glen Carbon - STLtoday.com

Catch up on Tribune watchdog reporting -- chicagotribune.com

Here is an update on what has occurred on the Tribune’s various investigative reports.  Not only was there the University of Illinois clout admission story;  there was: 

Crestwood's tainted water

DNA testing
By Megan Twohey

Emergency rooms and the uninsured
By Jason Grotto and Bruce Japsen

Allergens
By Sam Roe and Ted Gregory

Cigarette taxes
By Daniel Simmons

Bogus parking tickets
By Jon Yates

Eye doctor under fire
By Deborah L. Shelton

Ambulance equipment
By Judith Graham

Red-light cameras
By Bob Secter

Elevator inspections
By Azam Ahmed

Click on the following for a short summary of these other stories:  Catch up on Tribune watchdog reporting -- chicagotribune.com

Our View: BYOB makes sense in DeKalb | Daily Chronicle

the city liquor commissioners this week decided against exploring guidelines for bring-your-own-bottle restaurants

Sycamore created a BYOB license earlier this year when a pizza restaurant approached the city about the concept. No controversy has erupted.

DeKalb has something Sycamore doesn't have in numbers, though – thousands of underage college students. DeKalb would need to craft guidelines that ensured 18- and 19-year-olds aren't imbibing at local restaurants. That and other guidelines are doable, though.

Our View: BYOB makes sense in DeKalb | Daily Chronicle

DeKalb contracts for alderman prompt policy talk

Mayor  Povlsen said Thursday that, when he learned a few months ago about the work performed by Masonry Works, he asked that the purchasing policy be reviewed by the city council.
“I don’t like to give the appearance of anything that might be construed as inappropriate,” Povlsen said.
The city council on Monday is scheduled to consider prohibiting or limiting work that aldermen can do for the city. Povlsen said that he would like to see an ordinance created that, at minimum, requires disclosure of funds paid to an alderman or to his or her employer for work on city projects

Click on the following for more details:  DeKalb contracts for alderman prompt policy talk | Daily Chronicle

NEWS FLASH from the Tax on Time meeting—a settlement with Chrysler’s tax bill is in the making

I attended the Tax on Time meeting on Thursday morning at Belvidere Township Hall.  Curt Newport, Boone County Treasurer, reported that a tentative agreement has been reached with the parties involved.  Chrysler’s bankruptcy lawyers will pay the tax bill and a small “penalty”.  The remaining penalty will be considered an unsecured debt by the bankruptcy court and grouped with other unsecured Chrysler debts.

Payment should be coming soon but no date was disclosed.

Bill Pysson