On Tuesday, President Donald Trump commuted the 14-year prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted in 2011 on charges including wire fraud, attempted extortion, bribery and conspiracy for attempting to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama. As media gathered outside his Ravenswood Manor home Wednesday for a “homecoming” press conference, Blagojevich called himself “a freed political prisoner” and praised Trump’s move.
About an hour later, Gov. J.B. Pritzker proposed a fiscal year 2021 budget tying more than $1 billion in school and health care funding to a graduated income tax plan that will be put to voters on the November ballot.
Chicago Police Department interim Superintendent Charlie Beck indicated he’d assign CPD SWAT team officers to CTA trains after a spike in crime on public transit. Beck and Mayor Lori Lightfoot are expected to release their full CTA safety plan next week.
On the national political stage, Democratic candidates prep for the Nevada caucus Saturday, and a new poll by Southern Illinois University’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute shows Sen. Bernie Sanders in the lead in Illinois.
Mary Ann Ahern, NBC 5 Chicago | @MaryAnnAhernNBC
Eric Zorn, Chicago Tribune | @EricZorn
Craig Dellimore, WBBM Newsradio | @CraigDellimore
Rick Pearson, Chicago Tribune | @rap30
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