Monday, Jul 17, 2017

July 17, 2017 show

After two years of gridlock, Illinois finally has a fully-funded budget — and an income tax increase. Jack Tichenor, interim director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University and longtime statehouse journalist, joins Bob to recap the budget and income tax increase put into place earlier this month when the Illinois legislature overrode the governor's vetoes of both initiatives. Left in the lurch, however, is funding for K-12 education, since the budget calls for school monies to go into an "evidence based" formula. Senate Bill 1 has such a formula, has been passed by both the House and Senate, but has yet to make it to the governor's desk since he has promised to amendatorily veto it. Dr. Jim Rigg, superintendent of Chicago Catholic Schools, joins Bob to talk about CCI's efforts to add changes to SB 1 that would create a scholarship tax credit resulting in grants to qualified low- and middle-income students to attend Catholic and private schools. Then, Jim Geoly, a partner with the downtown Chicago law firm of Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, joins Bob to talk about the recent U.S. Supreme Court 7-2 decision in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, which is being hailed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as a "landmark victory for religious freedom."  Finally, John Haas, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center, joins Bob to talk about the case of Charlie Gard, the 11-month old boy in England who has a life-threatening disease. His parents are locked in a legal battle with a London children's hospital in an attempt to take Charlie to the United States for highly experimental treatment the hospital believes will not help and will cause him pain.