Daily Dose: Local history, Schweighart campaign money, State health insurance contract, Fishing pals
In 1911, Illinois will double the general appropriation for the maintenance of public schools in the state, and make it $2 million annually. This was agreed to by the House appropriations committee.
In 1961, City Manager Robert Oldland is staying in Champaign. He has accepted the $16,000 annual salary offered to him by the Champaign City Council at a special meeting Saturday morning. That means Oldland will get a $2,000 a year raise starting with the new fiscal year on May 1. Oldland’s resignation had been scheduled to go into effect next Friday. He had said he would take a city manager job in La Mirada, Calif., where he was to be paid $17,000.
Schweighart's campaign disclosure
Champaign Mayor Jerry Schweighart's campaign disclosure report was filed Thursday and shows that between Jan. 1 and March 31 the mayor had $9,743 in receipts and $14,971 in expenditures. (He had started the period with $9,175 on hand).
At the close of the period on March 31 -- remember that Election Day was April 5 -- Schweighart still had $3,947 on hand.
Most of the mayor's campaign contributions ($5,443) were not itemized but $4,300 were. That included plenty of money from several area Republicans: $500 from Central Illinois Manufacturing of Bement whose president is James Ayers; $1,000 from Donald Dodds Real Estate; $250 from former Champaign County Republican Chair Steve Hartman of St. Joseph; $250 from former Champaign County Republican Chair Jan Miller of Urbana; $250 from John Reed of Champaign (he ran Norm Davis' state representative campaign last fall); $250 from James Sullivan of Champaign; $500 from Kyle Robeson Real Estate; $500 from Pomonis et al at 301 S. Mattis Ave. (Taffies Restaurant); and $500 from the 1500 S. Plaza Diner (Merry-Ann's Diner at 1510 S. Neil).
Finally there was $300 to the Schweighart campaign from Jon "Cody" Sokolski, whose wife Marci Dodds is on the city council.
More than $10,000 of Schweighart's campaign money went to TV -- $8,021 on Comcast cable TV and $2,250 to WCIA-TV. He also spent $350 at WBCP, $1,950 at WDWS and $207 at WIXY radio.
Questions about whether COGFA does have a vote in the state health insurance contract
From the State Journal-Register ...
Members of a legislative oversight panel have asked Attorney General Lisa Madigan to clarify whether they have the power to block the state’s plan to drop two popular HMOs from the state employee health insurance program.
The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability asked Madigan to clarify a provision in state law that requires COGFA to “advise and consent” on state contracts dealing with employee health care.
The issue arose at a COGFA meeting Monday, when the commission was reviewing health care options that will be available to employees, retirees and dependents during the budget year that starts July 1. Although COGFA is supposed to review health care contracts, it was unclear if the bipartisan commission has the authority to reject plans members believe are not in the state’s best interest.
The distinction could be important in the controversy over the state’s decision to drop HMOs offered by Health Alliance and Humana, which between them insure about 115,000 people. The Department of Healthcare and Family Services wants to replace those plans with an HMO offered by BlueCross BlueShield.
More than a dozen downstate representatives from both parties have written Gov. Pat Quinn protesting the state’s decision.
“Our constituents are demanding to keep Health Alliance because of their longstanding relationships with the doctors and hospitals that are not included in the BCBS HMO plans selected or in the more costly Open Access Plans selected,” the letter states. “They don’t want to pay more, and they don’t want to lose the service they appreciate.”
Reps. Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley, and Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, delivered the letter to Quinn Wednesday. They also asked for a meeting with Quinn to discuss the issue. The meeting has not occurred.
Quinn’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
I really like this story
From the State Journal-Register ...
In August 1995, this newspaper went looking for those special places where kids make summer memories. We found Jensen Woods Camp in Brown County, we found a homemade golf course on the edge of Springfield, and we found two friends who loved to fish.
One of those kids was Samantha Cullen. She was 9. The other was Chris Molash. He was 10.
From our 1995 story, which was written by Mike Matulis: It's not every kid who can walk out to his back yard, bait his hook and land a 7-pound channel catfish.
But that's the kind of summer it's been for Chris Molash. Molash, a 10-year-old who lives in Spaulding, is on a fishing mission this summer. Every day since the school year ended, often as early as 6 a.m., Chris and his 9-year-old friend Samantha (she goes by Sam) Cullen head to the large fishing pond Sam's dad built behind their houses. The plan: Catch enough fish for a big end-of-summer fish fry.
Chris was 25 when he drowned, along with his friend Travis Christopher, in Lake Springfield on April 3. They were competing in a fishing tournament at the time.