Tag Archives: Illinois

Six Flags will reopen soon

Six Flags will reopen its parks soon, including Great America. Things will definitely be different, with new safety measures in place. Some of the changes:

  • Reservations are required
  • All guests will have to have their temperatures taken
  • Face coverings are required for everyone
  • Touchless bag checks upon entry
  • Social distancing will be observed in queue lines

Here’s the announcement tweet from Six Flags:

Gov. Bruce Rauner: “I believe we’re gonna win again because we’re fighting for what’s right”

Big John and Ramblin’ Ray are joined in studio with Governor Bruce Rauner to discuss the importance of this election along with everything he’s done to help Illinois and how much more he plans to get done if re-elected.

“This is a labor of love, this is our home, Illinois is home, Chicago areas are home. We have to protect our home from these crooks, we have to create a better future for our children and our grandchildren in our home, that’s all I care about, my ego is not in this.”

As a reminder to everyone, get out and vote! 


The latest political ad that John and Ray bring up with Gov Rauner:

Gov. Bruce Rauner: “[J.B Pritzker] represents everything that’s wrong in the state of Illinois”

Big John, Ramblin’ Ray, and Governor Bruce Rauner mention the latest lawsuit against J.B. Pritzker involving people from his campaign staff. Gov Rauner goes into Pritzker’s tax policies and how will hurt the people of Illinois. He also touches upon topics of mental health, the service he has done for Illinois, and his plans to help the people of Illinois.

John Tilman, “Do you really want to vote for an even bigger Illinois tax burden?”

Big John and Ramblin’ Ray are joined by John Tilman, CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute, on Illinois’ Governor’s race. Specifically, the policies propose from J.B. Pritzker and his income tax bill idea.

John Tilman wrote an article in the Chicago Tribune covering how this will affect families in Chicago.



Tim Kazurinsky: Did you know the state of Illinois is turning 200 years old?


Big John and Rambin’ Ray have Time Kazurinsky, American actor and screenwriter best known as a cast member on Saturday Night Live and for his role as Carl Sweetchuck in the Police Academy films, inform us of what’s to happen at Illinois’ bicentennial bash to celebrate 200 years.

Get tickets to the event here, and celebrate Illinois’ 200th year!

Rep. Jeanne Ives: “It’s increasingly difficult to connect dots for people, because politicians continue to lie to them”


Big John and Ramblin’ Ray talk with Representative Jeanne Ives American politician and Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives for the 42nd district, where they talk politics. Speaking about the Governor’s race, Illinois budgets, and how the number of people leaving Illinois is growing.

Jeanne Ives joins John and Ray as a special guest for ‘Politics and a Pint’ September 19th.

Justin Hanson: “It was important to step up to the plate and give people a good choice.”


Big John and Ramblin’ Ray are joined by Justin Hanson, Independent candidate for Illinois’ third congressional district, where they asking him why he has decided to run, as well as commenting on a few of his principles, specifically his on one gun laws.

“finish yourself off.”: Yorkville sergeant fired, officers suspended after video reveals taunting of distressed man

A Yorkville police sergeant has been fired and two officers have been disciplined after one of them was recorded taunting a man and encouraging him to kill himself during a disturbance.

Police were called to an incident on Sept. 14, 2017 because a man was arguing with his mother and throwing trash in the street.

When officers arrived, the man and mother both retreated to their home and locked the door, refusing to open it.

The dashcam video picked up audio of Officer Jeffery Johnson arguing with the 44-year old man, telling him to “bring it” and saying, “you live with your mother.”

Later, as the man grabbed his own throat, Johnson is heard saying “go ahead, finish yourself off.”

Sgt. Sarah Klingel can be heard threatening to break the door down.

After an investigation that concluded Aug. 2, Klingel was fired. Johnson was given a 30-day suspension without pay. Officer Christopher Hayes, who was also on the scene, received a written warning.

More at WGN TV.

Connected to Chicago (07-29-2018) Special Guest: Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi was raised in Peoria and attended Princeton and Harvard. Raja, influenced by Barack Obama, now represents the 8th District for Illinois. Can President Trump and his tax reforms be given any credit to the current economic recovery or was the ball already rolling from the Obama administration? Tax cuts have been helpful, but there is a strong possibility that Americans will be paying for these tax cuts for many years to come. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi sits on the Oversight Committee thinks the proposed GOP impeachment of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is just the newest in a long series of Republican attempts to undermine, discredit, and disrupt the Mueller investigation. Close to home, Rep. Krishnamoorthi is concerned about reports Heartland Alliance, which has been accused of abuse of children being sheltered there by the separation of immigrant families by the Trump administration.

In this week’s round table segment, Bill Cameron is joined by Ray Long of the Chicago Tribune, Greg Hinz of Crains, Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, and Heather Cherone of the Daily Line. Topics discussed include: President Trump and his visit to southern Illinois on Thursday to tout his economic re-development and tariffs. Do these new tariffs help or hurt Illinois businesses and residents. 30% of the congressman’s constituents are foreign born, and he says that many of them are concerned about their future and the ability of others to immigrate into the country.

This week’s community spotlight segment is from Jennifer Keiper.  Robert Mendez, Organizer, Illinois Peruvian American Medical Society.  A group of Peruvian and American health care professionals and volunteers from Illinois make up the Illinois Peruvian American Medical Society, a non-profit organization that has and outdoor event coming up. 5k for Peru Committee Chairman, Robert Mendez, says the August 5th race, in downtown Chicago, helps raise funds for Doctors here in Chicago to go to Peru to offer medical services in impoverished areas. Mendez talks about the groups’ work and the need for volunteers.

Man harasses a woman for wearing a Puerto Rico shirt, saying it’s ‘un-American’

(CNN) An Illinois park is investigating after a woman accused one of its police officers of standing by as a man harassed her for wearing a shirt with the Puerto Rican flag, saying it was un-American.

Mia Irizarry says she was trying to celebrate her 24th birthday in the Forest Preserves of Cook County last month when the man approached her asking her why she was wearing the sleeveless Puerto Rico flag shirt, which also had “Puerto Rico” written below the V neckline.
Irizarry recorded the encounter on her phone, saying she felt threatened and posted the video to Facebook. It has since been removed.
On Monday, Forest Preserves of Cook County tweeted that it was aware of the June 14 incident and video.
‏”After the incident, we immediately launched an investigation pursuant to our personnel policies into the response of our officer,” it said, in a series of posts on Twitter. “The investigation is ongoing and the officer involved has been assigned to desk duty pending the outcome. The intoxicated individual involved in the incident was arrested and charged with assault and disorderly conduct.

In the footage, the man can be seen approaching Irizarry saying: “You should not be wearing that in the United States of America.” He gets closer to her and asks “Are you a citizen? Are you a United States citizen?”
Irizarry can be heard saying that Puerto Rico is part of the United States and the man approaches her multiple times.
Irizarry asks a park police officer to help, saying “I am renting this area and he’s harassing me about the shirt that I’m wearing.”
Later she says: “Officer, I feel entirely uncomfortable, can you remove … please officer” as the officer is seen walking away from her.
Then she says: “Officer, I’m renting, I paid for a permit for this area.. I do not feel comfortable with him here, is there anything you can do? ”
The officer can then be seen talking to the man who gesticulates back and tells him to “shut the f*** up.”


Rauner looks to the future without fair share fees in State Government

Rauner Looks to the Future Without Fair Share Fees in State Government
Bill Cameron, WLS-AM 890

Taping Connected to Chicago with Bill Cameron for Sunday night at 7, Governor Rauner said his Supreme Court victory eliminating “fair share” fees for unions would make a big difference in the second term he’s seeking.

Rauner calls his big win in the Supreme Court not only historic and a big victory for free speech, but something he’d use to change the way he deals with state employees if he’s re-elected.  “I will be able to restructure the government in ways that are more productive.  I can pay state employees more but do it independently from all the union restrictions and all of the seniority requirements and pay people based upon productivity and merit and how about if we have a gain sharing plan where – let’s save a dollar in a department and give an employee 10-cents of that dollar as a bonus.  It’s a win-win for everybody,” said Governor Rauner.

When I asked Rauner if he’d like President Trump to come in for a rally with him downstate, he said he wants support from everybody, Republicans and Democrats, but he didn’t say yes to a Trump rally.

copyright 2018 WLS-AM News

Bill Cameron: [IL Gov. Race]”We might make it through a dozen candidates before it’s all over.”

Big John and Ramblin’ Ray are joined by Bill Cameron, from Connected to Chicago, where he talks about this weeks guest Pat Quin, and what he shall be talking about with him, primarily the Illinois Governors race.


Listen to Bill Cameron on Connected to Chicago Sunday’s at 7 pm on WLS-AM 890.

Illinois Still Bringing Them In

Jennifer Keiper, WLS-AM 890 News

[CHICAGO] – Last year, more tourists came to Illinois and they stayed longer. More than 110-MILLION people from around the country chose to come to Illinois last year. Seventeen percent for business, the rest for leisure.

It’s an increase of more than 1-million visitors over 2015.

Illinois Tourism Director Cory Jobe tells WLS, “It means jobs and it means revenue for the state, and not only revenue for the state but also revenue for the city, the region. Those visitors spent billions. That’s with a “B” -billions of dollars in expenses whether it was at hotels, attractions, sporting events. That also helps with sales tax revenues all throughout those local economies and it helps our hotel economy.”

Jobe also says last year’s visitors to Illinois stayed 3% longer than the previous year.

Information on those who traveled to Illinois from other countries, is expected this summer.

Copyright 2017 WLS-AM News

Illinois income tax increase being discussed in Springfield

By John Dempsey, WLS-AM 890 News

(SPRINGFIELD) There is a plan percolating in Springfield to raise Illinois income taxes, as a way to end the Illinois budget standoff that has been going on for over two years. Politico’s Natasha Korecki broke the story that Bloomington Republican State Senator and former Gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady, is proposing a five year temporary income tax freeze, as long as it is coupled with a five year local property tax freeze.

Brady talked about the plan this morning on “The Big John and Ray Show” on WLS.

“This, unlike under Governor Quinn, has a spending cap and job creation,” said Brady, “So with the business reforms, the business buy-in, the job creation, revenues would naturally grow. Expenditures would be capped at today’s level for five years which means as revenues rose they would exceed current levels and be in a position we project where in five years, revenues at the old tax rate would be sufficient to meet the current level of spending and we’d have a balanced budget and have saved people property tax costs over that period of time reining in local government spending.”

During the administration of Governor Pat Quinn, the state income tax was temporarily raised from %3.75 to %5. The rate went back down to %5 in 2015. Brady says he is discussing the plan with his fellow Senators of both parties as a way to end the budget standoff.​ He tells WLS it is easier to justify higher income taxes that it is to justify higher property taxes.

“Income taxes are arguably based on ability to pay, and corporations have the same mentality that if we make money we’re willing to pay our fair share. Help us be competitive so we make money and can pay our fair share but help freeze our property taxes as well.”

John Patterson, a spokesman for State Senate President John Cullerton, tells POLITICO “When Sen. Brady filed his proposals, we welcomed him to the discussions. The idea here is if people have ideas, let’s see if the numbers add up and if we can make them work,” Patterson said Sunday. “This isn’t a Democratic issue or a Republican issue, we’re all trying to work together to find a solution. The original (grand bargain) bills that were filed had Republican bills that were in there.”

Any proposal that emerges from the Senate must be approved by the House, whose leader, Speaker Michael Madigan has been embroiled in a bitter budget feud with Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.

Copyright 2017 WLS-AM News

Illinois House approves new stopgap budget plan

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois House wants to tap incoming but unallocated revenue to relieve struggling universities and human services.

The House voted 64-45 Thursday to authorize spending $817 million that is sitting in special funds during a two-year long budget holdup.

Chicago Democratic Rep. Greg Harris is the sponsor. He says the measure would release $559 million to higher education and $258 million to human services whose funding is not ordered by court rulings.

The money is a small portion of income tax revenue set aside in funds that can’t be spent until the Legislature authorizes it.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says it doesn’t fix long-term problems and doesn’t support it.

The Republican governor has been at odds with legislative Democrats since 2015 over a budget.


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Illinois comptroller appeals ruling ordering lawmaker pay

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois comptroller has appealed a Cook County judge’s ruling that state lawmakers must be paid on time despite their failure to pass a budget.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza said Wednesday that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office filed the appeal on her behalf Tuesday. The judge ruled last week in favor of lawmakers who sued Mendoza’s predecessor seeking pay.

Mendoza spokesman Abdon Pallasch says $8.6 million in back pay owed legislators was released late last week.

But the Democrat is appealing because she says bills for services for the state’s “most vulnerable” should be paid before lawmakers.

Unpaid bills of $12.4 billion have piled up because of the budget stalemate.

The judge based the ruling on a 2014 law passed after then-Gov. Pat Quinn withheld paychecks over pension reform.



Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Bills to legalize marijuana introduced in General Assembly

(CHICAGO) Separate pieces of legislation aimed at legalizing recreational marijuana use in Illinois were submitted to the state general assembly Wednesday.

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, filed an amendment to House Bill 2353 that would make it legal for person older than 21 to buy and consume cannabis, which, under the legislation, would be regulated and taxed like alcohol, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

The amendment was submitted “in the interest of allowing law enforcement to focus on violent and property crimes, generating revenue for education and other public purposes, and individual freedom.”

In the other chamber, state Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, submitted a bill to legalize possession of up to 28 grams of marijuana.

“In a regulated system, the money would go into the cash registers of licensed, taxpaying businesses,” Steans wrote on her website. “It would generate hundreds of millions of dollars per year in new revenue for our state. Prohibition is a financial hole in the ground, and we should stop throwing taxpayer dollars into it.”

Asked if Gov. Bruce Rauner would consider signing either piece of legislation, spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said the two bills were under review.

It was not clear Wednesday night when either piece of legislation would be put to a vote.

In 2016, Rauner signed a bill into law that decriminalized possession of up to 10 ounces of marijuana.

Both Steans and Cassidy have previously sponsored legislation to relax marijuana laws in Illinois.

Cassidy was the chief sponsor of a 2015 house bill that would have made possession of up to 15 grams of pot — about half an ounce — a ticketable offense. Steans sponsored the Senate version.

After months of negotiation, that bill passed the General Assembly. But Rauner issued an amendatory veto, saying possession of more than 10 grams should remain a criminal act. Legislators eventually agreed to the compromise, writing the 10-gram threshold into the bill Rauner signed in 2016.

— Chicago Sun-Times

Ottawa Mayor on tornado damage

Authorities say one person was killed Tuesday in the central Illinois city of Ottawa by a tornado spawned by a late-winter storm system. A tornado hit LaSalle County Nursing Home in Ottawa, but no serious injuries were reported to residents. Gov. Bruce Rauner plans to survey damage Wednesday.

To get the very latest, Ottawa Mayor Robert Eschbach joined John and Ray to talk about the tornadoes that hit Ottawa last night.



State’s Largest Labor Union Could Strike

By Nick Gale, WLS-AM News

(CHICAGO)  State, county and municipal workers have voted to authorize a strike. The results of a vote released Thursday show that 81-percent of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees that voted, favored a strike.

AFSCME executive director Roberta Lynch says the vote gives the union’s executive board the go ahead to call a strike “if no other path forward can be found.”

AFSCME, which has some 38,000 members, has been unable to agree on a new contract with the governor for the past two years.

In a written response, Gov. Bruce Rauner’s general counsel says the vote was “an attack on our state’s hardworking taxpayers.”

@ 2017 WLS-AM News




Illinois union to announce strike-authorization vote results

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois’ largest public-employee union is set to announce the result of a strike-authorization vote.

The state council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees scheduled a news conference for Thursday morning.

The union has been unable to agree with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration on a contract to replace one that expired in June 2015.

Employees at work sites across the state voted from Jan. 30 through Sunday. They were asked whether to give the union’s executive committee power to call a strike if necessary.

It’s the first such vote in 40 years of state-employee collective bargaining.

A state labor regulator declared last fall that talks had reached “impasse.” That allows Rauner to implement the employment terms he prefers and the union to strike if it chooses.


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Dem Straw Poll: Biss Leads In 2018

By Nick Gale, WLS-AM News

(CHICAGO) The Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association on Monday announced the results of their online straw poll asking who should run for governor and Lt. governor in 2018.

State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) came in first in the gubernatorial straw poll with 25-percent of the vote.

Alderman Ameya Pawar came in second with 15-percent of the vote followed by Chris Kennedy, U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-East Moline), and J.B. Pritzker rounds out the top five vote getters with 10% of the vote.

The poll was conducted from Monday January 23rd to midnight on Sunday January 29th. The results were tabulated from 5,352 responses.

Write in Candidates include Attorney General Lisa Madigan, former-Gov. Pat Quinn, and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL).

It’s expected that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner will seek re-election in 2018.

Lt. Governor votes are still being tallied.

@ 2017 WLS-AM News