Gov. Quinn wants sun to shine in

Revelation in Illinois – Gov. Quinn directs his troops to obey the law.

Though new to his position as the state's chief executive, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has been a breath of fresh air in many different ways.

Shut up, he explained

When big-shots blow off legitimate inquiries, it can lead to public relations problems

People in the public eye who make big incomes in these economically uncertain times need to be circumspect in discussing their salaries if they want to avoid the kind of controversy dogging University of Connecticut basketball coach Jim Calhoun.

No need to extend Champaign schools consent decree

The plaintiffs in the Champaign school district's expensive federal court consent decree want to extend the case or vacate it and start anew with a federal trial. The school board should resist continuing a case that has sapped millions of dollars.

A federal court consent decree on various racial equity issues in the Champaign school district is set to expire on June 30. The school district has made noteworthy progress on the issues over the last several years and deserves to be relieved of this burdensome financial requirement.

Let Burris know it's time to go

It took unprecedented action by the Legislature to get rid of Gov. Rod Blagojevich. But citizens may be stuck with Sen. Roland Burris for 22 more months – unless they speak out.

The people of Illinois should not be faulted for wondering, as revelations unfold almost every day, what did they do to deserve misfits like Rod Blagojevich and Roland Burris as their political leaders. The unfortunate truth is that, at least in Blagojevich's case, it's the voters' own fault. Twice they elected him governor.

Committee cuts worthy of study

Elected officials should not be excused from sacrifice when it comes to tightening the public's belt.

In these hard economic times, reports that public bodies – like city councils and county boards – are cutting back spending and laying off employees fill the news. They say it's an economic necessity because of declining tax revenues, and they are right.

Correct conclusion to case against Amberg

Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz was absolutely correct to prosecute former Urbana school Superintendent Gene Amberg for failing to report suspicions of child abuse. And Amberg's sentence – a misdemeanor conviction that will be erased from his record after he successfully completes 18 months of court supervision – is the right penalty.

The sad saga of Jon White, a former Urbana public school teacher who is serving a 60-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, is bound to go down as some precedent-setting case in Illinois. Never before in Illinois have local school officials been held accountable for not acting as the "mandated reporters" they are in cases where there were suspicions of child abuse.

Politicians 1, Voters 0

So what if you don't like election campaigns that begin right after Christmas and drag on all year, and you don't like going to the polls in the dead of winter? More important, Illinois politicians want a February primary election. And they're the ones who make the rules.

Soon after he was sworn in, Gov. Pat Quinn suggested that Illinois' 2010 primary election should be in September, not February. The reason he cited was that state officials could then spend an entire year and a half fixing the many problems in state government. "This should be a year of reform, a year of governance," Quinn said. The real reason, much less magnanimous, was that it would give him a longer time to raise money and campaign for the job.

Broad jury pool a worthy goal

The problem of achieving broad community participation in Champaign County juries has eluded solution. But the county is trying again.

The Champaign County Board last week approved the formation of an advisory committee to work with the local judiciary on recommendations designed to attract a more diverse jury pool for the county courts.

GPS gas tax plan is a real shocker

Big Brother is getting interested in your driving habits.

Former Peoria congressman Ray LaHood got a public spanking recently from President Obama after LaHood foolishly and indiscreetly endorsed the idea of taxing motorists based on how many miles they drive rather than how much fuel they consume.

Health and safety must be assured at Lincoln's Challenge

Serious problems with the food service at the Illinois National Guard's Lincoln's Challenge program in Rantoul must be addressed promptly and thoroughly by the National Guard and the food service contractor, Challenge Unlimited Inc. of Alton.

If it hadn't been for the swift response of administrators at the Lincoln's Challenge program in Rantoul and the staff at the Champaign County Public Health Department, a Feb. 15 outbreak of the Norwalk virus at Lincoln's Challenge could have been much worse.