Top News

Do the Democrats in Springfield really need a bargain?

Diana Rickert, Illinois Policy Institute Apr. 20, 2017, 2:26pm

For almost two years, we’ve heard a litany of excuses for why Illinois does not have a state budget.

The shrinking Metro-East

Brendan Bakala, Illinois Policy Institute Apr. 11, 2017, 11:01am

Recently released census data reveal that St. Clair and Madison counties saw combined population losses of more than 1,600 people due to out-migration to other states.

Illinois workers' compensation rules cost taxpayers nearly $1 billion a year

Brendan Bakala, Illinois Policy Institute Apr. 10, 2017, 8:51am

State and local costs for workers’ compensation are out of line with what other states pay.

Analysis: Pension fiasco spells future trouble for Illinois

John Sammon Apr. 3, 2017, 4:32pm

CHICAGO — The state's mountain of retirement-related debt is $267 billion, up from $203 billion in 2010, according to new analysis from the Illinois Policy Institute.

Cook County judge says Illinois politicians should not receive checks faster than state pays other debts

Nicholas Gueguen Mar. 31, 2017, 8:21am

A Cook County Circuit Court judge ruled March 16 that Illinois can't give preferential treatment to state lawmakers' paychecks over the overdue debts that the state has.

House committee votes against bill that would protect state workers from having their SS numbers shared with unions

Glenn Minnis Mar. 23, 2017, 3:29pm

Illinois Representative Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville) recently voted against a bill aimed at protecting state workers from having their social security numbers automatically shared with union reps.

Poll: Illinois voters want budget that reforms pensions, consolidates government and freezes property tax

Ann Maher Mar. 21, 2017, 8:22am

Illinois voters are ready to reform the way the state does business, according to a new poll released by the Illinois Policy Institute.

Illinois politicians vote to divert $300 million from state coffers to fuel local spending

Amy Korte, Illinois Policy Institute Mar. 19, 2017, 12:54pm

Despite Illinois’ billions in deficit spending and skyrocketing debt, the Illinois House of Representatives passed House Bill 278, which would transfer an additional $300 million per year of state income tax funds to local governments, continuing to prop up local overspending that fuels high property taxes.

Report: Unused sick leave inflates teachers’ pensions on taxpayers’ dime

April Brown Mar. 12, 2017, 5:54pm

CHICAGO – A new report released by Illinois Policy Institute revealed that thousands of retired state educators are being compensated for time they didn’t spend in school at the taxpayers' expense.

Supporters of 1 cent sales tax increase say it will relieve property owners; Plenty of critics say tax payers are already tapped out

Ann Maher Mar. 10, 2017, 3:29pm

Madison County voters next month must decide whether to increase sales tax by 1 cent to help schools with capital improvement projects.

Are reporters informing the public well enough amidst state's financial crisis?

Amanda Robert Mar. 6, 2017, 2:24pm

Can the average Illinoisan identify the opportunity costs when the state sends 25 percent of general revenues to its massively under-funded public pension systems?

Illinois spends the most per student of any state in the Midwest

Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner, Illinois Policy Institute Mar. 1, 2017, 8:29am

Illinois spends the most per student of any state in the Midwest. On average, Illinois schools spend $13,077 per student. Nearly half of the money Illinois spends on education goes to fund pensions.

Illinois workers' compensation reform necessary to attract businesses, jobs

Dawn Geske Feb. 28, 2017, 4:20pm

SPRINGFIELD – Reforms to Illinois' workers' compensation laws could help the state attract companies and jobs to its increasingly dismal business scene, according to the vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute.

Useless committees provide political pay raises for state lawmakers

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Feb. 28, 2017, 9:40am

In Illinois, bloat doesn’t discriminate.It’s not just government agencies that stick taxpayers with the bill for inefficient operations. It’s state lawmakers, too. Yes, the same ones who haven’t passed a balanced budget in over a decade.

Dispelling AFSCME’s myths about contract negotiations with the state of Illinois

Mailee Smith, Illinois Policy Institute Feb. 28, 2017, 9:39am

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees recently conducted a strike authorization vote. Only 80 percent of eligible workers voted, and of that group 81 percent voted to authorize a strike if the union’s bargaining committee issues the call.

Report: Illinois pension debt grew to record $130 billion in 2016

Robert Lawson Feb. 10, 2017, 8:06am

Illinois is facing a profound pension debt crisis, and a new report from the Commission on Government Forecasting Accountability shows that on average, each household in the state is responsible for about $27,000 in unfunded liabilities. 

A solution to the property tax problem

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Feb. 7, 2017, 10:32am

Illinois has by far the most units of government in the nation, at nearly 7,000.

Illinois Policy Institute proposes property tax freeze, moving pensions to self-managed plans, no tax increase

Ann Maher Jan. 31, 2017, 5:20pm

The Illinois Policy Institute outlined a budget reform plan today that would balance the state budget and close a projected $7.1 billion budget deficit without raising taxes.

'Grand Bargain' budget is 'irresponsible overspending,' McCarter says

Ann Maher Jan. 30, 2017, 3:33pm

One of six state senators who have pledged not to raise income taxes from the current level of 3.75 to 4.95 percent is Kyle McCarter, a Republican from Lebanon.

Illinois Policy Institute: Time for bold solutions in Illinois

The Madison County Record Jan. 25, 2017, 1:09pm

It is time for courage. It is time for bold solutions. It is time to put the people first, not the special interests, not the privileged, not the powerful.