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The Mechanics
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IL-GOV Tue May 25 2010

Quinn Inaction on McCormick Place Legislation Scaring Exhibitors Away

Although action was expected Monday, Gov. Pat Quinn has not yet put pen to paper on the McCormick Place overhaul legislation recently approved by the general assembly, and his hesitation has begun to make exhibitors skittish. Both the National Restaurant Association and the International Home and Housewares Show have threatened to withdraw their business from the convention center if the legislation is not signed soon.

Exhibitors have frequently complained about how costly and complicated it can be to hold conferences at the McCormick center, and the overhaul legislation aims to correct some of these issues. It cuts profits made by McPier, the agency that runs McCormick Place, from foodservice, reworks the laws governing floor workers to make conventions run more efficiently and at lower cost, and eliminates McPier's chief executive position in favor of a more autonomous trustee position.

Quinn has expressed concern over potential legal issues raised by the show floor unions, who may argue that the state is encroaching on unions' rights to negotiate with private contractors. He also seems less than excited over the prospect of current RTA chairman Jim Reilly being appointed as trustee of McPier, stating that "anytime you have one person running anything, you've got to make sure you've got accountability." But he has failed to comment on how the legislature can close these gaps, and his reluctance could have a wider impact on the conventions planned for upcoming years--potentially crippling an industry that creates 66,000 jobs and $251 million in tax revenue each year.

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Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...


Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

It's not surprising that some of Mayor Emanuel's sympathizers and supporters are confusing people's substantive disputes with the mayor as the effect of poor marketing on his part. It's exactly this insular worldview that has gotten the mayor in hot... More...

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