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Morning Watch

Your daily roundup of government news.


302088QA3LrUOZDowngrade? S&P puts a negative outlook on Illinois' credit rating, the Trib reports. 

Testimony tap-out: Former Mayor Daley won't testify in the Park Grill lawsuit, the Sun-Times reports. 

Ticket tracking: Rahm says thousands of drivers can have their red light camera tickets reviewed and will be refunded if the ticket was in error, the Sun-Times reports. 

Big budget: The Chicago School Board approves a $5.8 billion budget, the Trib reports. 

Records rally: Gov. Quinn made the right move in vetoing a bad FOIA bill, and legislators should let it stand, the Trib's editorial board writes. 

Scrap trap: Former Gov. Thompson says the Chicago building that bears his name has degraded into a "scrap heap," Crain's reports. 

Contract coaching: A former Redflex employee testifies about a secret meeting where a Chicago official coached company executives on how to get a contract, the Trib reports. 

Board biz: The Cook County Board selects the Hanover Park village president for a spot on the Metra board, the Trib reports. 

Safety first: Disciplinary investigations of Metra train engineers are on the rise, sparked by safety lapses earlier this year, the Daily Herald reports. 

FLOTUS: First Lady Michelle Obama is in town for Democratic fundraisers, the Trib reports. 

Beverage leverage: A watered-down BYOB crackdown advances in City Council, the Sun-Times reports. 

Going green: The Cook County Board passes an ordinance to cut building carbon emissions, FOX32 reports. 

Hotel help: Chicago aldermen support a temporary halt to tearing down and converting single-room occupancy hotels, CBS2 reports. 

Graffiti grip: City Council will vote to crack down on graffiti and increasing fines for vandalism, the Trib reports. 

Program pass: CPS ends its electrical training program due to lack of student interest, the Sun-Times reports. 

Stolen cells: Aldermen impose more record-keeping for cellphone vendors who buy back previously used phones, in an effort to crack down on phone theft, the Sun-Times reports. 

Head to rehab: Lake Shore Drive should be rebuilt, not reinvented, the Trib's editorial board writes. 

Water water everywhere: Gov. Quinn signs legislation aimed at tackling flooding and protecting the state's drinking water, the State Journal-Register reports. 

quinn___BGA_photoPolitical play: Internal emails from the Quinn administration show politics played a role in deciding who got grants from the anti-violence program, the Sun-Times reports. 

Embracing change: Chicago aldermen agree to abide by a do-not-hire list, the Sun-Times reports. 

Pension progress? Legislators say they will push to speed up a ruling on Illinois' pension reform law, the State Journal-Register reports. 

Budget biz: The Chicago Board of Education votes on the $5.8 billion budget and extending the Safe Passage program, ABC7 reports. 

Schools smackdown: The Civic Federation calls the CPS budget "gimmick-based" and "short-sighted," Crain's reports. 

Licensing logjam: Illinois' program that offers legal driver's licenses to people who entered the country illegally is so logjammed that some residents have been victims of scams offering appointments with the DMV in exchange for money, ABC7 reports. 

Health hiccup: A judge could rule today on whether former Mayor Daley's health issues will prevent him from testifying in the Park Grill lawsuit, the Trib reports. 

Speak now: Rahm has some explaining to do as drivers demand answers about Chicago's red light cameras, the Trib's editorial board writes. 

Rahm's refunds: Rahm says it's not for him to decide if red light camera ticket fees should be refunded, the Trib reports. 

Construction ahead: Gov. Quinn signs a $1 billion capital spending plan for roads, NBC5 reports. 

Deal dollars: A friend of former Mayor Daley gets a lucrative Illinois Medical District development deal despite unpaid taxes, the Sun-Times reports. 

Pal's plea: A friend of Cicero Town President Larry Dominick, whose sewer business received more than $1.8 million from taxpayers without a contract, will plead guilty to tax fraud, the Sun-Times reports. 

Shuttered school: Ald. William Burns proposes using a closed South Side middle school as extra space for overcrowded Kenwood Academy, the Trib reports. 

Contract call: Chicago aldermen advance a new firefighter contract that includes 11 percent raises over five years, the Trib reports. 

Event eviction: One of Gov. Quinn's bodyguards orders a videographer from the Bruce Rauner campaign to keep out of a public event, ABC7 reports. 

Ride-share support: Bruce Rauner pledges support for Uber and says he would veto a ride-sharing regulation bill currently awaiting Gov. Quinn's signature, NBC5 reports. 

Killing case: A woman whose son was shot and killed by a jail worker sues the Cook County Sheriff's Office, the Trib reports. 

Grant gaffe: College of DuPage deserves criticism for a memo that attempted to force Gov. Quinn's hand on supplying grant money, but it shouldn't overshadow the good work the school is doing, the Daily Herald's editorial board writes. 

Reciprocity report: Critics say state law makes it difficult for non-residents who have concealed carry permits in other states to carry in Illinois, the State Journal-Register reports. 

undefinedTicket spike: Aldermen are asking for an investigation and possibly refunds after the Chicago Tribune exposes a suspicious spike in red light tickets.

No questions: Emanuel refuses to answer questions on red light ticket spikes, the Trib reports.

Windy City accounting: The Sun-Times takes a look at some numbers that helped define the city's 2013 financial state, including an unchanged amount of city debt, a decrease in arrests and an increase in emergency responses.

Gang violence: Mayor Rahm Emanuel along with Chicago's police superintendent and community leaders met Monday night to discuss ways to reduce city violence, NBC5 reports.

Tax talk: Rauner and Quinn camps trade budget barbs, the Sun-Times reports.

Tax hike: Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is not opposed to raising the income tax rate, the Trib reports.

Police spotlight: The Sun-Times editorial board welcomes the state appellate court ruling that makes police misconduct complaints and other documents available to the public.

Ethics measure: Governor Pat Quinn signs a measure providing some county boards with the power to remove appointees failing to follow ethical standards, FOX32 reports.

Sleepless in Chicago: Additional noise monitors will be installed in response to the noise complaints following a change in flight patterns, the Trib reports.

Tents in the park: A 'homeless outreach' operation intended to remove tents pitched in city parks was postponed, the Sun-Times reports.

Child safety: A state-funded juvenile shelter allows kids to enter and exit the facility without supervision at all hours of the day or night, NBC5 reports.

Child well-being: A recently released Annie E. Casey Foundation report says Illinois witnessed an increase in children living in areas of high poverty since 2000, NBC5 reports.

Results: 452 item(s) Found.

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