The Early Bird: September 17, 2009

Obama: Chicago Olympics Would Make World "Proud"
Flanked by Mayor Daley and athletes at the White House, President Obama said yesterday that Chicago "will make America proud and America will make the world proud" if it is granted the 2016 Olympic bid. With the International Olympic Committee scheduled to make its decision on October 2, Daley said the four cities in competition are "all even."

Gov. Quinn Restores Some Probation Officer Funds
Using his lump sum appropriation authority, Gov. Pat Quinn has pledged to restore $16 million in cuts to county probation services. Lawmakers had trimmed $30 million for the service from the 2010 state budget, leaving just $36.5 million total, a figure Illinois' chief justice called "dangerously inadequate" earlier this month.

Ethics Panel Defers Jackson Jr. Probe
Overlapping with the work of federal prosecutors, the U.S. House Ethics Committee announced that it will postpone its probe into whether Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. offered to raise money for ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for an appointment to Obama's former senate seat. The panel also disclosed that investigators suspect Jackson used taxpayer-funded staff members to mount a "public campaign" to get the appointment late last year.

Comptroller Candidate Promises More Open Contracts
At a Springfield news conference yesterday, Democratic state comptroller candidate Raja Krishnamoorthi said he will make full details of state contracts and state workers' salaries public if elected next November.

Sun-Times Bidder Hopes Union Reconsiders
Chicago investor
Jim Tyree says his deal to buy the Sun-Times isn't dead yet, but it's certainly on the ropes. Yesterday, unionized workers in the Sun-Times' newsroom rejected demands for deep pay cuts and work-rule changes, concessions Tyree says are necessary to save the company.

Cost Of Health Insurance Rising Faster Than Pay
In a report scheduled for release later today, Families USA found that health insurance premiums rose five times faster than earnings in Illinois from 2000 to 2009.

Image used under a Creative Commons license by Flickr user emilydickinsonridesabmx.