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Morning Watch

Morning Watch

Your daily roundup of government news.


Morning Watch - January 30

Jan 30, 2013

Ryan released: Former Gov. George Ryan leaves prison and reports to a Chicago halfway house for a few hours before being released to his Kankakee home, the Sun-Times reports.

Borrow block: Legislators propose a new law that would limit towns' ability to borrow money and stick taxpayers with back-door tax hikes, the Trib reports

Commissioner caught: A former Illinois ethics commissioner receives a $2,500 fine for attending a breakfast fundraiser, which is prohibited for commission members, the State Journal-Register reports. 

Part-time pay? Part-time City Council Inspector General Faisal Khan bills taxpayers for $270,625 last year, which is $44,415 more than the mayor makes annually, the Sun-Times reports

Hold the phone: The state postpones a $500 million offer of general-obligation bonds, citing poor market conditions after a ratings downgrade, Bloomberg reports.

Closing call: Chicago school closings are being investigated by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, WBEZ reports

Bringing in backup: CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett is looking to a retired Marine colonel who organized a prisoner exchange for help with transferring students when schools are closed, the Sun-Times reports

More money: Parents and students rally for more state funding for charter schools, the Sun-Times reports

Pay day: Lobbyists were paid $2.4 million last year to influence Cook County officials, and the tobacco lobby was particularly prominent, according to the Cook County Clerk's office.

McCarthy's mission: Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy returns from meetings with the president and vice president about gun control, NBC Chicago reports

Room for improvement: Despite a violent weekend, CPD Supt. Garry McCarthy says the number of shootings are down compared to this time last year, the Sun-Times reports

Paying for what? Fox Lake taxpayers are on the hook for nearly $14,000 the school district says it cost to send 12 people to a conference in Chicago, but the tab includes movies, restaurants and a limo ride, the Daily Herald reports

Pushing to carry: A concealed carry bill written with the help of the National Rifle Association is introduced in Springfield, requiring background checks and a stil-to-be-determined gun safety class, CBS 2 reports

Congressional candidates: The sole televised debate in the race to succeed Jesse Jackson Jr. takes place tonight, Crain's reports

Durbin decision: Sen. Dick Durbin says the city should have to repay $378 million in federal grants before looking to lease or sell Midway Airport, Crain's reports

"Hygienic": City officials don't see anything wrong with new toilet covers installed by the controversial O'Hare janitorial firm, despite a Sun-Times report that the covers drag liquid onto the toilet seat. 

Another chance: The Sun-Times' editorial board says giving Prentice another chance before the Commission on Chicago Landmarks might give the next embattled building a fighting chance. 

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