Posts Tagged: Dick Durbin

Can anyone on board privatize this airport?

Midway airport

Not if a bill proposed by Democratic Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin becomes law, reports Paul Merrion of Crain’s Chicago Business. The legislation, “would make make privatization of Midway Airport and other major transportation assets such as Amtrak far more difficult, if not impossible, by requiring the federal government to be reimbursed for its investment in that infrastructure before a deal could go through.” The legislation appears to be the nail in the coffin for a plan to privatize Midway. But Durbin’s bill could signal a broader push back against the privatization of what are essentially public utilities. (more…)

Prison break

According to two Illinois state lawmakers, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and the Obama administration have agreed that the Justice Department’s Federal Bureau of Prisons will buy the vacant Thomson prison in Thomson, Illinois. State Sen. Mike Jacobs of Moline claimed that the $165 million purchase will create 2,000 long-term jobs as the feds convert Thomson to a federal maximum security prison. The sale of Thomson would put to bed a politically embarrassing episode for Barack Obama and Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin who wanted Thomson to house Guantanamo Bay terrorist detainees. The deal, though, is not completely done. (more…)

The nuclear options

Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk will convene a meeting in downtown Chicago tomorrow to discuss the state of Illinois’ 11 nuclear reactors, reports Tammy Webber of Bloomberg News. Illinois has received attention from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission: four of the state’s reactors are the same age and design as the plants involved in Japan’s nuclear crisis. Exelon, the company that runs the oldest reactors, has agreed to participate in tomorrow’s meeting.

Illinois can’t escape prison impasse

Thomson Correctional Center

The dispute over the vacant Thomson Correction Center in rural Northwest Illinois reignited last week as Illinois Republican members of Congress want to make absolutely, positively sure that Barack Obama won’t house current Guantanamo Bay detainees there. U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and Illinois House Republicans signed a letter instructing Obama to officially rule out housing terrorist detainees at Thomson, reports Nicole Thompson of the Chicago Daily Herald. The problem is that there is no problem. Obama, Illinois Congressional Republicans, Illinois Congressional Democrats, state government, and U.S. Dept. of Justice Federal Bureau of Prison officials are in firm agreement that Thomson should be converted to a federal prison, not a terrorist detention facility. So why the fighting? (more…)

Corps carp controversy could conclude

After more than a year of feuding as well as a pending lawsuit, Illinois and Michigan may have reached a breakthrough on the invasive Asian carp, which threatens Midwest rivers and the Great Lakes. Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow have proposed legislation that would force federal engineers to devise a hydrological separation in the next 18 months between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River, the Associated Press reports. (more…)

A fortnight to write a budget

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin is standing up for regulatory agencies as Congress’s budget battles proceed. Bloomberg reports that the Senate’s no. 2 Democrat is particularly concerned about financial regulation: that the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodities Future Trading Commission will not get enough money to enforce the Dodd-Frank regulatory reform bill.

It is difficult, though, to know what budget proposal to contest, especially with the government now operating on a two-week budget. Can regulatory champions like Durbin take the lead on a passable budget by March 18?

Federal govt. is silent at Thomson auction

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn decided that the best way to end the saga of the Thomson Correctional Center in rural Thomson — once billed as the Guantanamo Bay of Illinois — was to auction off the prison. However, the Chicago Tribune’s Monique Garcia reports that the state held an auction yesterday — and no one participated. (more…)

End game for the former ‘Gitmo in Illinois’

The state of Illinois wants to reach some conclusion in the saga of the Thomson Correctional Center, an empty prison in the northwest part of the state that, at this time last year, Barack Obama wanted used as a federal detention center for terrorists. (more…)

Let’s find out why Chicago air stinks

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin has called for a federal investigation of air pollution from Chicago area Metra trains and other pollution sources, following a Chicago Tribune investigation. WLS radio reports that Durbin wrote letters to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Federal Transit Administration, and Federal Railroad Administration with the request that they review particulate matter in the atmosphere around Metra trains and train stations. (more…)

Regulating for-profit colleges

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin wants the Education Dept. to more tightly regulate for-profit colleges like (you’ve seen their ads) Oakbrook, Illinois-based DeVry Institute. (more…)