Former Illinois
Gov. George Ryan offers a way to address the state’s budget problems. | AP photo

George Ryan’s solution to state budget woes: constitutional convention

SHARE George Ryan’s solution to state budget woes: constitutional convention
SHARE George Ryan’s solution to state budget woes: constitutional convention

By, George?

Is it time to get our Con-Con on?

Former Gov. George Ryan, who had a flair for negotiation, tells Sneed he has a solution to the state’s budget nightmare.

“It’s time for the state to call a Constitutional Convention, which hasn’t been held since 1970!

“If these guys [Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Mike Madigan], can’t sit down and fix this nightmare now — let’s roll out a Con-Con.


“There is no provision in the law for the state of Illinois to declare bankruptcy and go broke, but cities and municipalities can declare bankruptcy,” Ryan told Sneed.

“A Constitutional Convention can deal with how to pay off the debt and get the state straightened around. Once convened, it can amend or completely rewrite the state’s constitution; deal with finances and taxes; give the Legislature power to change the pension laws; and give the state an opportunity to work on the financial changes they need to pay off the debt.

“We’re heading for our bonds to go into a junk rating! It’s costing the state billions,” Ryan added.

“It’s not my job to give advice and my spending time in prison means a lot of people aren’t going to listen. But what a catastrophic mess we are in!”

The Rodman report . . .

Dennis Rodman, the legendary Chicago Bull who considers himself an ambassador to North Korea and is taking some credit for the release of American prisoner Otto Warmbier, was spotted wearing his “Ambassador Rodman” shirt while dining on Italian wedding soup at Harry Caray’s outside River North patio.


Inside baseball . . .

Dateline: The Oval Office at the White House AFTER PresidentDonald Trumpkicked the media out after a meet and greet with the 2016 World Series Championship Cubs.

That’s when, Trump …

• Honored the request of Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts to sign baseballs for four Cubs ushers at Wrigley Field.

• Told Cubs owners Tom, Todd and Pete Ricketts: “What a great job you’ve done turning the team around; there are some owners who would take 40 years to do what they did in seven years.”

• Ordered Indiana’s former U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence — who is a huge Cubs fan — to come to the Oval Office. “I’m such a big Cubs fan, my wife and I were married on a Saturday in Waukegan, and on Sunday we were at Wrigley Field watching the Cubs,” Coats said.

• Heckled White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus for being a Milwaukee Brewers fan.

The Hillary menu . . .

It was lunch as usual, Hillary Clinton style.

In town Tuesday to address the American Library Association, the nation’s first female presidential contender caught up with her childhood buddies from Park Ridge at Tuscany on Taylor Tuesday.

So out came their best jokes; photos of grandchildren; and toasts for all turning 70 this year — including her nibs.

“She [Hillary] was in such a good place, although it was not the place we had intended,” said Hillary’s best friend, Betsy Ebeling.

Hillary showed up wearing a pair of “Tortoise and Hare” earrings made by Bonnie Klehr, a high school mate.

“She may not have won the race, but the lesson is the same,” said Klehr. “The finish line is always out there and she has been the first so many times.”

• Also in Tuscany attendance: Dem gubernatorial hopeful J.B. Pritzker, who was a huge Hillary donor and devotee; close friends Kevin Conlon and Kevin O’Keefe; and 17 Park Ridge pals.

“We really have fun together,” Ebeling said.

“I was afraid I’d start crying, but it was joyful,” said Klehr, who thanked Hillary for never giving up.

“Never,’ said Hillary. “Never.”

Sneedlings . . .

I spy: Lead guitarist of the Moody Blues, Justin Hayward, dining at the lauded George Trois (located within the confines of restaurant Michael in Winnetka) with a table of eight Sunday night. . . . Today’s birthdays: Kawhi Leonard,26; Camila Mendes, 23; and Gary Busey,73.

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