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Major credit rating agency shifts Illinois outlook to positive, but keeps Springfield in bottom tier of investment-grade debtors. S&P Global Rankings, one of the Big Three Wall Street credit rating agencies, revised its outlook on Illinois general obligation (GO) debt from neutral to positive. The outlook revision is a sign that the State of Illinois’s GO debts have a brighter outlook than other bonds and debt instruments in the same category. S&P Global currently ranks Illinois GO debt as “BBB,” the lowest overall category of investment-grade debt, and its appropriation-backed debt as “BBB-“, the lowest subcategory.

Red Grange and Robert Zuppke. 
Photo from the Illinois Distributed Museum.
As Thanksgiving approaches, the sports world nears the peak of its annual debate about who should qualify for the college football playoff.

The playoff is relatively new creation, just arriving on the scene with the 2014 season, and coming after a few other attempts to develop a system for crowning a national champion. Before the advent of a genuine national championship game there were seasons in which the debate raged over who was truly the best college football team in the nation. President Richard Nixon even intervened in the argument to use the power and prestige of the White House to declare the Texas Longhorns as national champions in 1969.

2022-30 General Assembly map cycle: case to be heard by federal court in first full week of December.
Governor Pritzker signed a new legislative map, with grotesquely shaped districts, to govern the election of future members of the Illinois General Assembly during the decade following the Census of 2020. The map will determine which Illinois House and Senate candidate names each voter will see when the go to the polls. No one will have the right to keep their old lawmaker if the map has forced them into a new district. Furthermore, the new map subdivides many local areas and communities of interest, and uses long lines to glue fragments of communities together into partisan-unbalanced ropes and strings. If the new map takes effect, many Illinois residents will be represented by someone who will live far away from their own places of residence.
In the tragic days following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln the nation sought ways to memorialize its martyred leader.

Monuments were erected throughout the northern states, and buildings and streets were christened in his honor. Settlers moving west across the plains named their newly built cities and counties for him – so much so that Lincoln is the fourth-most common county name in the United States. When a German ocean liner was seized by U.S. authorities upon America’s entry into World War I it was renamed the President Lincoln and converted to a troopship, the first of three U.S. Navy ships to bear Lincoln’s name.
Illinois Democrats pass grotesquely gerrymandered congressional map. With the Illinois General Assembly meeting for the second week of Veto Session, the Democratic supermajority stuck to their familiar playbook of partisan advantage, backroom deal making, and waiting until the last possible minute to pass legislation that will impact Illinois families for the next decade.

One of the top issues facing the General Assembly this week was passage of the new congressional redistricting map for Illinois. Much as they did with the state legislative redistricting map, House Democrats voted to pass the fourth and final version of their gerrymandered congressional map around midnight on the final day of Veto Session. The House held no committee hearing on the final map, took no testimony from advocates, and gave legislators and the general public no time to review or digest the details of the new map.
Finishing dinner with his son and daughter at his home on October 28, 1893, Chicago Mayor Carter Harrison must have been in a good mood. Just hours earlier he had delivered remarks to hundreds of his fellow mayors attending American Cities Day during the final weekend of the World’s Columbian Exposition, better known as the Chicago’s World’s Fair. Author and historian Erik Larson wrote that, “Friends said he had never looked so handsome, so full of life.”

Illinois House, Senate hold veto session. The General Assembly convened on Tuesday, October 18, in Springfield. Holding a truncated first week of veto session, the Illinois House and Senate adjourned on Wednesday. When they return on Tuesday, October 25, both chambers of the General Assembly will face the challenges of U.S. congressional remapping, the Illinois budget situation, Illinois’ Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund debts, and the COVID-19 pandemic.