Illinois senate president John Cullerton speaks at a news conference in March. Credit: Rich Saal/The State Journal-Register via AP

Welcome to the Reader‘s morning briefing for Monday, May 15, 2017.

  • Cullerton writes open letter to Rauner: ‘It’s time for action’ on the budget

Illinois senate president John Cullerton has written an open letter to Governor Bruce Rauner asking to make a budget deal before the May 31 deadline. The state’s unpaid bills are up to $13 billion; no money has been invested in higher education since December 31, 2016; and nonprofits including Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services are no longer receiving funding, according to Cullerton. There’s still hope that a budget can be reached in the next 16 days, but Rauner will have to make a deal. “And every day we turn another page on the calendar, approaching that May 31 deadline,” Cullerton wrote in the letter published by the State Journal-Register Sunday evening. “I’ll keep negotiating, but at some point negotiating has to lead to a deal, and a deal has to result in votes to move forward. Time is running out, and the people of Illinois deserve action.” [The State Journal-Register]

  • Local teens struggling to find retail summer jobs, but other opportunities remain

Local teens are facing a challenging summer job market as the retail industry struggles and chains like J.C. Penney, the Limited, and Macy’s close stores. But according to experts, there are plenty of other summer opportunities for teens, like working as a camp counselor or in a restaurants. During the digital age, teens are even becoming entrepreneurs. “We have a lot of students that through social media have grown a lawn business or a spring cleaning business,” the head of the business education department at Oak Park and River Forest High School, Peter Hostrawser, told the Tribune. [Tribune]

  • Rahm fires water commissioner; budget director resigns

There were a few staffing changes at City Hall Friday. Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired Water Management commissioner Barrett Murphy and replaced him with first deputy Transportation commissioner Randy Conner because of an investigation by the inspector general into the “culture at the water department,” according to Emanuel spokesman Adam Collins. Murphy was allegedly “responsible for a chain of racist emails sent by an underling whom the commissioner failed to discipline, even though Murphy was among those receiving the emails,” according to the Sun-Times. Emanuel’s budget director Alex Holt resigned and will be replaced by the relatively new Business Affairs and Consumer Protection commissioner, Samantha Fields. [Sun-Times]

  • Schaumburg wants to compete with the Chicago theater scene

Schaumburg is interested in building its own entertainment district to compete with Chicago’s theater scene and attract suburban residents who don’t get into the city. Officials are going to discuss constructing a $70 million theater on the suburb’s convention center campus that could host “Broadway-caliber” shows, according to the Daily Herald. Brad Stephens, the mayor of Rosemont, thinks it will be tough for Schaumburg to compete with Broadway in Chicago because it’s been a challenge for the 4,200-seat Rosemont Theatre to book shows. [Daily Herald]

  • NBC still hasn’t made a decision on the fate of Chicago Justice

NBC renewed producer Dick Wolf’s Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, and Chicago P.D., but the network has yet to make a decision on its newest Chicago-based show, Chicago Justice. The legal drama is the lowest-rated show in the franchise, and there’s no space for it in the fall schedule. NBC will make a final decision on its fate in the next couple weeks. [Deadline Hollywood]

  • The Wahlberg brothers will open a Wahlburgers in River North

Actor Mark Wahlberg and his brothers are bringing their Wahlburgers chain to River North in 2018. The brothers have 13 Wahlburgers locations in the U.S. and Canada, along with a reality show about the business. They’ll introduce a special Chicago burger at the new location. [Eater Chicago]