A year after Rauner promised it, state still trying to post local salaries
A year after Gov. Bruce Rauner directed his administration to help local governments start putting their employee salary data on a state website, the information still hasn't been posted.
A law directing the state to post the local information online was approved in 2012. A year ago Friday, Rauner issued an executive order aimed at getting things moving.
"It was never implemented. This is state law today," Rauner said then. He blamed former Gov. Pat Quinn for not directing the state agency in charge of the website to get it done.
"No more," Rauner said at the time. "We are going to get this done."
A spokeswoman for Central Management Services said the agency continues to work on a system in which local governments can upload employee salary information themselves "so taxpayers can know more about how their money is being spent." Salaries of state employees are listed at http://accountability.illinois.gov/.
"Efforts are underway to upgrade and modernize our state government IT infrastructure," spokeswoman Meredith Krantz said. "In the future, information collected from local government units will be provided online in a way that is easily accessible to the general public."
State Rep. Jack Franks stood with Rauner while he signed that executive order. The Marengo Democrat was behind the original law that requires the state to post local government employee information online, if it has the money.
He said he gets that the state's computer situation is pretty bad.
"I know how bad it is because I was beating on Quinn's administration to upgrade, too," he said.
Krantz said she'll look into whether the state's computer troubles are a symptom of its money troubles, but Franks says he suspects that might be the case.
Moeller battle continues
The Elgin resident who wants state Rep. Anna Moeller removed from the March primary ballot will continue the effort.
Last week, state election regulators ruled Moeller, an Elgin Democrat, could continue her Illinois House re-election bid even though she signed a Republican's campaign petition.
Now, attorney Jeffrey Meyer, who ran against Moeller in 2014, has appealed the case in a Springfield court on behalf of Julie Schmidt, who originally challenged Moeller's eligibility to run.
In our interview with the governor Monday to mark his year in office, we asked about a local topic that didn't make it into the story.
Last year, as one of several budget deadlines was passing, Rauner's office said it would weigh closing one or two youth prisons and didn't rule out considering the ones in St. Charles and Warrenville.
Asked for an update, Rauner said: "We're evaluating all kinds of options. It's our duty to kind of manage with the resources we have, but I don't want to get into the detail. We're looking at a lot of different things."
North Aurora honor
The Illinois Senate this week voted to name a section of Route 31 in North Aurora for Christopher A. Patterson, a soldier who died in Afghanistan in 2012.
The Illinois House had already approved.
The resolution naming the road reads in part: "Despite receiving an authorized exception on his deployment to complete his studies, Spc. Patterson, embodying the true spirit of patriotism and bravery, volunteered to accompany his unit on its deployment."
Patterson and three fellow Indiana National Guard soldiers were killed by an improvised explosive device in the early days of 2012. He was a music education student at Valparaiso University.
U.S. Rep. Bob Dold's campaign says he'll report raising about $460,000 in the last three months of 2015.
The Kenilworth Republican says he has $1.5 million in the bank toward his race for re-election in the North suburban 10th Congressional District, where Democrat Brad Schneider is looking for a return trip to the Capitol and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering is running in the primary against him.
Schneider Thursday announced he'd been endorsed in the primary by the AFL-CIO, and Rotering last week touted the backing of the International Association of Fire Fighters.
Campaign finance reports aren't due until the end of the month, and the Democrats' numbers weren't immediately available Thursday.