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Archive for June 13th, 2016

Remarks by President Obama, Vice President Biden, U.S. Atty. Loretta E. Lynch and U.S. Senator Mark Kirk on Mass Shooting in Orlando

Posted by Admin On June - 13 - 2016 Comments Off on Remarks by President Obama, Vice President Biden, U.S. Atty. Loretta E. Lynch and U.S. Senator Mark Kirk on Mass Shooting in Orlando

President Barack Obama Statement on Mass Shooting in Orlando

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

President Barack Obama:  Today, as Americans, we grieve the brutal murder — a horrific massacre — of dozens of innocent people.  We pray for their families, who are grasping for answers with broken hearts.  We stand with the people of Orlando, who have endured a terrible attack on their city.  Although it’s still early in the investigation, we know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate.  And as Americans, we are united in grief, in outrage, and in resolve to defend our people.

I just finished a meeting with FBI Director Comey and my homeland security and national security advisors.  The FBI is on the scene and leading the investigation, in partnership with local law enforcement.  I’ve directed that the full resources of the federal government be made available for this investigation.

We are still learning all the facts.  This is an open investigation.  We’ve reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer.  The FBI is appropriately investigating this as an act of terrorism.  And I’ve directed that we must spare no effort to determine what — if any — inspiration or association this killer may have had with terrorist groups.  What is clear is that he was a person filled with hatred.  Over the coming days, we’ll uncover why and how this happened, and we will go wherever the facts lead us.

This morning I spoke with my good friend, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and I conveyed the condolences of the entire American people.  This could have been any one of our communities.  So I told Mayor Dyer that whatever help he and the people of Orlando need — they are going to get it.  As a country, we will be there for the people of Orlando today, tomorrow and for all the days to come.

We also express our profound gratitude to all the police and first responders who rushed into harm’s way.  Their courage and professionalism saved lives, and kept the carnage from being even worse.  It’s the kind of sacrifice that our law enforcement professionals make every single day for all of us, and we can never thank them enough.

This is an especially heartbreaking day for all our friends — our fellow Americans — who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.  The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live.  The place where they were attacked is more than a nightclub — it is a place of solidarity and empowerment where people have come together to raise awareness, to speak their minds, and to advocate for their civil rights.

So this is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American — regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation — is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country.  And no act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans.

Today marks the most deadly shooting in American history.  The shooter was apparently armed with a handgun and a powerful assault rifle.  This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub.  And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be.  And to actively do nothing is a decision as well.

In the coming hours and days, we’ll learn about the victims of this tragedy.  Their names.  Their faces.  Who they were.  The joy that they brought to families and to friends, and the difference that they made in this world.  Say a prayer for them and say a prayer for their families — that God give them the strength to bear the unbearable.  And that He give us all the strength to be there for them, and the strength and courage to change.  We need to demonstrate that we are defined more — as a country — by the way they lived their lives than by the hate of the man who took them from us.

As we go together, we will draw inspiration from heroic and selfless acts — friends who helped friends, took care of each other and saved lives.  In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another.  We will not give in to fear or turn against each other.  Instead, we will stand united, as Americans, to protect our people, and defend our nation, and to take action against those who threaten us.

May God bless the Americans we lost this morning.  May He comfort their families.  May God continue to watch over this country that we love.  Thank you.

Vice President Biden Statement on Mass Shooting in Orlando

Last night, at least fifty innocent people gathering to celebrate love and life were brutally killed in an act of pure hate and unspeakable terror. Scores of others were injured in the attack. They were our brothers and our sisters; our friends, neighbors, and loved ones. In the coming days, we will learn more about these fifty souls and the lives they lived and the world they made better.

As the President made clear, we are closely monitoring and fully involved in the investigation of the country’s worst mass shooting. We are grateful for the heroic actions of the Orlando Police, first responders—and many bystanders—who charged into danger and saved lives; who rushed the wounded to hospitals in ambulances, in police cars, in the backs of pickup trucks, and carried others to safety. As in the midst of so much evil, their acts are a reminder of the best in our common humanity.

Jill and I offer our prayers and deepest condolences for all those affected by today’s horrific events. But our prayers are not enough to end these kinds of senseless mass shootings. The violence is not normal, and the targeting of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans is evil and abhorrent.

Our law enforcement and intelligence professionals are still gathering the facts, and we do not yet know what, if any, connection or inspiration there may be with terrorist organizations. But we do know this—we will never rest in our relentless campaign to bring to justice all who would do America harm. And even as we grieve and pursue justice, no act of terror—no despicable act of hate—can tear us asunder. Times of unspeakable tragedy and evil like this are the moments to remind the killers, and the world, of what is best in us, and what unites us.

May God give strength to the families, friends, and all those who grieve today, with broken hearts, but unbound resolve. And may God continue to watch over our great nation.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Statement on Orlando, Florida, Terrorist Attack

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch released the following statement regarding the terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida, early this morning:

“I have been briefed by Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and FBI Director James Comey on the horrific terrorist attack in Orlando and will continue to receive updates on the situation.  My thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ families during this very difficult time.  The Department of Justice, including the FBI, the ATF, the National Security Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, is fully supporting the ongoing investigation.  The Justice Department’s Community Relations Service has been in contact with local authorities, community leaders and local working groups to offer any assistance as needed.  Additionally, I will no longer participate in the U.S.-China Cyber Ministerial in Beijing and will travel back to Washington immediately to continue monitoring the developments.”

Kirk Statement on Anti-Gay Terrorist Attack at Florida Nightclub
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) issued the following statement after a gunman, who reportedly pledged allegiance to ISIS, killed 50 people and injured at least 53 more at gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida:
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this hateful terrorist act that targeted the Orlando gay community. Gunman Omar Mateen’s motivations remind us of the immediate threat the Islamic State poses to our country and the need for swift action to protect Americans from future attacks here at home.”

County Board President Preckwinkle, National Gay Media Association and Gay Liberation Network, Chicago’s LGBT Comment on Mass Shooting at LGBT Club in Orlando, Florida

Posted by Admin On June - 13 - 2016 Comments Off on County Board President Preckwinkle, National Gay Media Association and Gay Liberation Network, Chicago’s LGBT Comment on Mass Shooting at LGBT Club in Orlando, Florida
National Gay Media Association statement on Orlando shootings
The National Gay Media Association is stunned at the mass shooting at an LGBT club in Orlando, Florida. At least 50 people have been killed, and dozens more injured in the attack.“Our hearts go out to the entire Orlando community,” said Leo Cusimano, publisher of The Dallas Voice, president of NGMA. “We lend our support to the community of Orlando, and the LGBTQ community nationally, as we all cope with the incredible sadness and anger this tragedy has caused.”

“Individuals in the LGBTQ community have been targeted for violence frequently over the years, but nothing on this scale,” said Tracy Baim, spokesperson for NGMA and publisher of Windy City Times. “We want to encourage the community to show their support by donating to the victims at https://www.gofundme.com/2942a444 . We also send our support to our member paper Watermark during this difficult time for their community.”

NGMA, a membership organization of the 12 of the country’s top regional LGBT media, works together to help member newspapers. Orlando’s Watermark newspaper joined NGMA in 2015. See http://www.nationalgaymediaassociation.com/

The horrific massacre in Orlando is another unfortunate example of how hate and intolerance have no place in a civil and caring society. My condolences go out to the families and friends of all who were caught up in this senseless act of violence. Our strength as a nation is our diversity, and as such we must promote respect, education and tolerance so that we are not confronted with yet another sad chapter in what has become an all-too-common tale of bloodshed in recent years.

National Urban League Calls for Unity in the Wake of Horrifying Mass Shooting in Orlando

Posted by Admin On June - 13 - 2016 Comments Off on National Urban League Calls for Unity in the Wake of Horrifying Mass Shooting in Orlando

NEW YORK – As the nation mourns the deadliest mass shooting in American history, the National Urban League today called for a national movement to reject intolerance and hate.

“While we do not know whether the shooter in Orlando was motivated by religious hatred, bigotry against the LGBT community or something else, this shocking act of violence was a result of hatred in his heart,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said. “We must do more to promote tolerance and unity, and not be defined by our differences in religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or identity.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, but they need more than prayers,” Morial said. “We will continue to we work to put an end to hatred-driven violence, but in the meantime, the injured need our immediate help.”

Morial echoed the Central Florida Urban League’s plea for blood donors to aid the injured and replenish dwindling supplies. While blood donation centers in the Orlando area were overwhelmed in the hours after the attack, the need for donations is ongoing.

“We can’t allow the spirit of urgency to fade in the days ahead,” Morial said. “Neither with regard to blood donation or putting an end to senseless firearm violence.”

Morial also extended gratitude to the first responders who risked their own safety to save the hostages being held inside the nightclub.

“Central Florida is a strong community, with leaders like Central Florida Urban League President and CEO Glenton Gilzean, Jr., who are bringing people together and promoting unity,” Morial said.

The Central Florida Urban League distributed the following list of blood donor centers and bloodmobile locations:

  • Orlando West Michigan Donor Center, 345 W Michigan Street, Ste. 106, Orlando, FL 32806
  • Orlando Main Donor Center, 8669 Commodity Circle, Orlando, FL 32819
  • Oviedo Donor Center, 1954 W. State Road 426, Oviedo, FL 32765
  • Asbury United Methodist Church
  • Bloodmobile 220, West Horatio Avenue, Maitland, FL 32751 – St. Luke’s United Methodist Church
  • Bloodmobile, 4851 S. Apopka Vineland Road, Orlando, FL 32819
  • Metro Church – Bloodmobile, 1491 East State Road 434, Winter Springs, FL 32708

Walmart & JP Morgan Chase-Funded Training Enhances Affiliates’ Capacity To Serve

Posted by Admin On June - 13 - 2016 Comments Off on Walmart & JP Morgan Chase-Funded Training Enhances Affiliates’ Capacity To Serve
NEW YORK – Staff members and CEOs from 22 Urban League affiliates this week honed their management and networking skills during National Urban League’s Project Empower U 2.0.

A partnership with the Walmart Foundation and JP Morgan Chase, Project Empower U is a training program focused on helping affiliates realign and integrate service pathways to gain greater efficiencies and to help families and communities of color build strong foundations for greater financial security and opportunities for growth.

“More than 2 million people each year learn new skills, embark on new careers , set their sights on new goals all with the help of Urban League affiliates,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial said. “Empower U is taking affiliates’ capacity for delivering these services to the next level, honing their efficiency and broadening their reach.”

A total of 60 Urban Leaguers, including 10 affiliate CEOS, participated in workshops and seminars at the National Urban League’s New York City headquarters throughout the week. Project Empower U is in its second year: the 2015 training focused on employer engagement and career pathways, while this year’s training built upon those best practices with strategies for greater integration and financial empowerment.

“We’re extremely grateful and proud to partner with Walmart and JP Morgan Chase, not only for their financial support but for their recognition of the vital work our affiliates are accomplishing across the nation,” Morial said.

Addressing Puerto Rico’s Economic Crisis: President Obama’s Weekly Address

Posted by Admin On June - 13 - 2016 Comments Off on Addressing Puerto Rico’s Economic Crisis: President Obama’s Weekly Address

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week’s address, President Obama discussed the crippling economic crisis harming 3.5 million Americans in Puerto Rico. Today, the island is spending over a third of its tax revenue on debt payments – and on July 1, Puerto Rico is facing another $2 billion in debt payments that it cannot make. The President said the only way for Puerto Rico to overcome this crisis is by restructuring its debt and finding a sustainable path toward growth and opportunity for its people. But this requires help from Congress in order to give Puerto Rico the tools it needs to restructure its debt. The President commended the House of Representatives, which overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill to address the crisis, and called on the Senate to quickly follow su

The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov at 6:00AM EDT, June 11, 2016.

Remarks of President Barack Obama as Delivered
Weekly Address
The White House
June 11, 2016

Hi, everybody.  Today, I want to talk with you about the crisis in Puerto Rico – and why it matters to all of us.

Puerto Ricans are American citizens, just like folks in Maine or Oklahoma or New Mexico.  And over the last decade, Puerto Rico has suffered through a deep and painful recession – but unlike the rest of the United States, it hasn’t recovered.

Today, the island continues to face a crippling economic crisis.  Schools are closing.  Power is being cut off at homes and hospitals.  Teachers have to choose between turning on the lights or turning on the computers.  Doctors can’t get medicine to treat newborns unless they pay in cash.  And as the Zika virus threatens both the island and the mainland, workers dealing with mosquito control to help protect women and their unborn babies are at risk of being laid off.

Right now, Puerto Rico is spending about a third of its tax revenue on debt payments – far more than anywhere else in America.  And on July 1, the island faces another $2 billion in debt payments that it cannot pay.

There is only one way for Puerto Rico to pull itself out of this crisis – and that’s by restructuring its debt and finding a sustainable fiscal path toward growth and opportunity for its people.  But here’s the problem.  Right now, Puerto Rico doesn’t have the tools it needs to restructure its debt – tools available elsewhere in America.

And only Congress can fix the problem, and put Puerto Rico on a path to recovery.

Thankfully, this week, the House overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill to address the crisis, and I now urge the Senate to move quickly to follow suit.  This bill won’t cost federal taxpayers a dime.  It doesn’t include special-interest bailouts.  And it gives Puerto Rico the ability to restructure its debt, safeguard essential services, and provide important protections to public pensions that more than 300,000 folks rely on to retire with dignity.

This bill also includes something else – a temporary system of oversight to help implement needed reforms and ensure transparency.  I know that some folks in Puerto Rico are worried about this kind of oversight.  But I’ve always insisted that any solution to this crisis has to respect the democratic rights of the people of Puerto Rico.  And I am committed to making sure that Puerto Ricans are well-represented in this process, so that we can be sure we’re taking steps that are in the island’s best interests.

This bill is not a perfect solution – nobody’s saying it is.  That’s what happens in divided government.  But it’s the only option on the table to save Puerto Rico from spiraling out of control.  And that’s exactly what would happen if Congress fails to do its job.

There’s no question this is a trying time for folks in Puerto Rico.  They’ve seen too many jobs lost and too many neighbors leave in search of better opportunity elsewhere.  It’s clear that it’s time for Puerto Rico to chart a new course and make a fresh start.  This bill is just a first step.

We all have more work to do to make sure that the people of Puerto Rico receive the health care they deserve and the good jobs and economic opportunities they need to build a better future for their kids.  And I want the people of Puerto Rico to know that my administration is committed to your success.  Because you’re vital to America’s success.

That’s what this is all about.  We don’t turn our backs on our fellow Americans.  We don’t treat folks differently because of where they live.  Instead, we treat each other as Americans.  We come together, especially when it’s hard.  That’s how we’ve always set ourselves on a course toward a brighter day.

Thanks everybody, and have a great weekend.

Illinois State Board of Education Announces Board Video-Conference Meeting for June 16

Posted by Admin On June - 13 - 2016 Comments Off on Illinois State Board of Education Announces Board Video-Conference Meeting for June 16

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education announced the following schedule for its regular business meeting via video-conference in Chicago, Springfield, and Marion on Thursday, June 16.

All State Board of Education meetings are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons planning to attend who need special accommodations should contact the Board office no later than the day prior to the meeting. Contact the Superintendent’s office at the State Board of Education by phone at (217) 782-2221, TTY/TDD at (217) 782-1900, or fax at (217) 785-3972.


Chairman Meeks may call for a break in the meeting as necessary in order for the Board to go into closed session.


State Board of Education Meeting

June 16, 2016

9 a.m.


Chicago Location:        ISBE Video Conference Room, 14th Floor

                                       100 W. Randolph St., Chicago


Springfield Location:   ISBE Video Conference Room, 3rd Floor
100 N. First St., Springfield

Marion Location:          HFS Video Conference Room
3419 Professional Park Drive, Marion


This meeting will also be audio cast on the internet at www.isbe.net.


I.      Roll Call/Pledge of Allegiance

A.   Consideration of and Possible Actions on Any Requests for Participation in Meeting by Other Means

II.    Public Participation

III.   Resolutions and Recognition

A.    Dr. John Tignor, Washington

IV.  Presentations & Updates

A.   Grow Our Own Minority Participation Program

B.   Delivering on the Promise of Digital Learning: Partnership with Education  

 SuperHighway and the National Governor’s Association

V.    Superintendent’s Report – Consent Agenda

A.   *Approval of Minutes

         1. Plenary Minutes: May 11, 2016

B.   *Rules for Adoption

1. Part 1 (Public Schools Evaluation, Recognition and Supervision

2. Part 1 (Public Schools Evaluation, Recognition and Supervision

3. Part 20 (Standards for Endorsement in Elementary Grades)

4. Part 26 (Standards for Endorsements in Early Childhood Education and in Elementary Education)

5. Part 25 (Educator Licensure)

6. Part 27 (Standards for Teaching in Specific Fields)

  C. *Contracts & Grants Over $1 Million

1. School Improvement Grant 1003(g) Amendment of Awards for Final Dispersal of Funds

2. Advanced Placement Test Fee Program

3. Learning Technology Center Grants

4. Renewal of Illinois Interactive Report Card Intergovernmental Agreement with Northern Illinois University

5. Contract for Co-Project Manager of Illinois Longitudinal Data System Project

6. 21st Century Community Learning Center Evaluation RFSP

  D. *Update to the Strategic Plan

End of Consent Agenda

  E. 2017 Board Meeting Dates

  F. Passing Scores for Elementary Education (197-200) Tests

  G. Passing Scores for SAT

  H. Certification of Streator Elementary School District 44 in Financial Difficulty

  I.  Recommendation to Remove Harrisburg Community Unit School District 3 from 1A-8 Financial Difficulty Certification

  VI. Discussion Items

         A. District Oversight Update

         B. Legislative Update

         C. Budget Update

         D. Other Items for Discussion

  VII. Announcements & Reports                               

  A. Superintendent’s/Senior Staff Announcements

  B. Chairman’s Report

  C. Member Reports

  VIII. Information Items

         A. ISBE Fiscal & Administrative Monthly Reports (available online at


         B. Status of Agency Rulemaking:  FY 2016

         C. Rulemakings Anticipated for FY 2017

  IX.   Closed Session

  X.    Adjourn


Laura Bucheit Named Assistant Director for the Security Division

Posted by Admin On June - 13 - 2016 Comments Off on Laura Bucheit Named Assistant Director for the Security Division
FBI Director James B. Comey has named Laura Bucheit as assistant director for the Security Division. Ms. Bucheit most recently served as the special agent in charge of the Las Vegas Division.

Ms. Bucheit joined the FBI in 1996 and began her career in the Baltimore Division, where she conducted investigations into terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and criminal violations. She was also the Baltimore Division’s first female SWAT team member and the second certified female sniper in FBI history.

Throughout her career, Ms. Bucheit has held leadership positions in the Criminal Investigative Division, the Las Vegas Division, the Inspection Division, the San Francisco Division, and as the special assistant to former FBI Director Mueller.

Ms. Bucheit will assume this new role in mid-July.

Washington, D.C. June 13, 2016
  • FBI National Press Office (202) 324-3691

Illinois Department of Public Health Safety Tips for Heat

Posted by Admin On June - 13 - 2016 Comments Off on Illinois Department of Public Health Safety Tips for Heat

SPRINGFIELD, IL – With high temperatures expected over the next couple of days, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. is urging Illinoisans to take preventive actions to avoid heat-related illness like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

“High heat and humidity can lead to serious health problems. It’s important for people to recognize the signs of heat-related illness and take action to prevent becoming sick,” said Director Shah. “To help your body cope with high temperatures, take steps to stay cool, increase your fluid intake, decrease your activities and wear appropriate clothing.”

Stay Cool

  •  Stay in air-conditioned buildings. Cooling centers can be found by logging onto http://www.illinois.gov/KeepCool/SitePages/CoolingCenters.aspx.
  •  Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device.
  •  Limit outdoor activity, especially midday when it is the hottest part of the day, and avoid direct sunlight.
  •  Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  •  Take cool showers or baths to lower your body temperature.
  •  Check on at-risk friends, family, and neighbors at least twice a day. These may include seniors and people with chronic health conditions.

Stay Hydrated

  •  Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to hydrate.
  •  Drink two to four cups of water every hour while working or exercising outside.
  •  Avoid alcohol or beverages with high amounts of sugar.

Stay Informed

  •  Check the local news for extreme heat warnings.
  •  Visit www.dph.illinois.gov for heat related information.

Normally, the body cools itself by sweating. However, if temperatures and humidity are extremely high, sweating is not effective in maintaining the body’s normal temperature. If the body does not cool properly or does not cool enough, a person may suffer a heat-related illness, which can become serious or even deadly if unattended. Warning signs and symptoms vary but may include:

Heat Exhaustion

  •  Heavy sweating
  •  Weakness
  •  Skin cold, pale, and clammy
  •  Weak pulse
  •  Fainting and vomiting

What You Should Do

  •  Move to a cooler location
  •  Lie down and loosen your clothing
  •  Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible
  •  Sip water
  •  If you have vomited and it continues, seek medical attention immediately

Heat Stroke

  •  High body temperature (above 103?F)
  •  Hot, red, dry or moist skin
  •  Rapid and strong pulse
  •  Possible unconsciousness

What You Should Do

  •  Call 911 immediately – this is a medical emergency
  •  Move the person to a cooler location
  •  Reduce the person’s body temperature with cool cloths or a bath
  •  Do NOT give fluids

People most vulnerable for heat-related illness include the elderly, those who work or exercise outdoors, infants and children, the homeless or poor, and people with a chronic medical condition.

The Illinois Department on Aging encourages relatives and friends to make daily visits or calls to senior citizens living alone. When temperatures and humidity are extremely high, seniors and people with chronic health conditions should be monitored for dehydration and other effects of extreme heat. Additionally, seniors should eat lighter meals, take longer and more frequent rests, and drink plenty of fluids.

Never leave anyone, including pets, alone in a closed, parked vehicle. The air temperature inside a car rises rapidly during hot weather and can lead to brain damage or death.

Log onto www.ready.illinois.gov for more heat safety information and updates on statewide weather watches, warnings, and advisories.

Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Hosting its Annual Scholarship Golf Outing to Help Offset State’s Inability to Help Future Leaders

Posted by Admin On June - 13 - 2016 Comments Off on Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Hosting its Annual Scholarship Golf Outing to Help Offset State’s Inability to Help Future Leaders

CHICAGO, IL– The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation (ILBCF) is accepting registration for its Annual Scholarship Golf Outing. The event will be on July 19, 2016 at the Harborside International Golf Center located at 11001 South Doty Avenue East in Chicago, Illinois.

Registration begins at 7:00 a.m. and tee off is at 9:00 a.m. Participation in the golf outing includes lunch, 18 holes of golf, a cart and beverages during golf and lunch. The ILBCF will also be holding a silent auction for a wide variety of prizes ranging from golf apparel to Beyoncé tickets. Corporate and individual golfer packages are available. 

Every year, the ILBCF awards scholarships to deserving students. Last year the ILBCF presented 60 students with $1,000 scholarships. Given Illinois’ current budget crisis, we feel it is our responsibility to help bridge the gap. We are working to provide our future leaders with the resources they need to pursue a quality higher education.

Please join us in our effort to provide our students with the support and opportunities they need to receive a college education.

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation is committed to developing, protecting and investing in the Black Community through community forums, scholarships and outreach.

For more information, call 708-514-7903 or email KRTConsultinGroup@gmail.com.

 Interested golfers can also visit illinoislegislativeblackcaucusgolfouting.com for more details.

Experts Sound Alarm: Wall Street Banks Set to Shakedown Illinois for $870 Million Unless Springfield Acts Fast

Posted by Admin On June - 13 - 2016 Comments Off on Experts Sound Alarm: Wall Street Banks Set to Shakedown Illinois for $870 Million Unless Springfield Acts Fast

Mayor Emanuel Paid Out Hundreds of Millions to Wall Street Banks on Swap Deals that Torpedoed Chicago and CPS budgets, Governor Rauner Urged to Not Repeat Mistake with State Swaps


CHICAGO, IL – On Monday, the Illinois House Revenue and Finance Committee held a second subject matter hearing on interest rate swap deals that have cost the state of Illinois over $684 million thus far. During the hearing experts testified how these deals could trigger further financial crisis for the state if letters of credit are not renewed in November. Without these letters of credit, renegotiation, or legal action by the State of Illinois, taxpayers would be on the hook for $870 million in entirely avoidable payments to Wall Street banks.

Kurt Summers, Chicago City Treasurer, stated,  “On May 27th, I sent Governor Rauner a letter encouraging him to join the ongoing class action lawsuits as a chance for the State to recoup tens of millions of dollars in potential damages. This is real money that will benefit the State in a time of unprecedented fiscal challenges but there is more to it than that. This is a statement to financial institutions that the citizens of Illinois, Chicago and any municipality in the union demand to be treated fairly and openly.”

Experts speaking during the hearing made clear that Illinois has alternatives to paying out to the banks including litigation and regulatory action. When faced with a similar situation involving toxic swaps, San Francisco successfully leveraged a public campaign to save money and win substantially better terms from JPMorgan Chase.

Jono Shaffer, a leader with the Service Employees International Union who helped run the campaign in San Francisco explained, “We worked with the Mayor and Controller’s offices in San Francisco to force Chase to the table and avert the crisis. As a result the bank agreed to terminate the swap without charging us $18.5 million in penalties, return $13 million of collateral, refinance us into an affordable fixed-rate loan and to reduce to the outstanding principal on the loan by $21 million.”

The social service infrastructure in Illinois is already in crisis as a result of the ongoing budget impasse. Testimony during the hearing warned of the human toll on Illinois residents if the state paid out in full on the swap deals.

“The $870 million payoff to the banks we are talking about today is sufficient to pay off, in full, all human services providers who are under contract with the state and have not been paid for services rendered over the past 11 and ½ months, since the start of fiscal year 2016 on July 1, 2015. This includes service providers in the areas of infant mortality, homeless youth, mental health, addiction prevention and treatment, respite care, supportive housing, and centers for independent living,”, stated Dan Lesser, Director for Economic Justice at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, to the committee.

Erica Rangel, Lead Community Organizer with Enlace Chicago which runs one of the few Ceasefire programs still operating in the state commented, “These banks have contracts with the state – just like our programs have contracts with the state.  The only difference is, the contracts with the banks are being honored.  Ours are not.  When our government prioritizes big banks who have cheated our state through bad deals over life saving programs – then we have lost our way.”

“Although Springfield has been unable to pass a budget it is our hope that our elected officials can work together to prevent money that should be going to educate our young people and protect our most vulnerable residents from being eaten up by Wall Street bankers,” stated Amisha Patel, Executive Director of Grassroots Collaborative, following the hearing. “Otherwise, the Governor and legislative leaders can take any remaining claim they have to fiscal responsibility and throw it right out the window.”  

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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