Top News

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.

The Illinois state senators who pledged not to raise income taxes

Brendan Bakala, Illinois Policy Institute Jan. 25, 2017, 10:29am

Pressure is mounting on lawmakers in Springfield to go along with a “compromise” budget plan that would raise income taxes on every Illinoisan. Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, and Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, have thrown their support behind a proposed budget plan that would raise state income taxes to 4.95 percent from the current level of 3.75 percent.

Lawmaker proposes statewide 'Zombie Preparedness Month'

Joe Kaiser, Illinois Policy Institute Jan. 17, 2017, 7:11am

In one of the first proposals of the new General Assembly, state Rep. Chris Welch, D-Westchester, proposed making October 2017 “zombie preparedness month.”

2016 corruption watch: Chicago, East St. Louis take top corruption spots

Mindy Ruckman, Illinois Policy Institute Jan. 2, 2017, 1:05pm

This year was full of corruption and mismanagement from public officials, but four instances in particular stand out.

Illinois ends 2016 with $11 billion in unpaid bills

Brendan Bakala, Illinois Policy Institute Jan. 2, 2017, 1:04pm

Though spending on government-worker salaries and pensions has grown at a rapid rate, many service providers and grant recipients are still awaiting payment.

Judge Robert LeChien wrongly intervenes for AFSCME

The Madison County Record Dec. 13, 2016, 1:23pm

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert LeChien should not have been in a position to grant a temporary restraining order for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 to block contract terms imposed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Why all Illinoisans need action on workers' comp

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Dec. 12, 2016, 11:58am

The cost of workers’ compensation for municipalities, counties and state government in Illinois is more than $400 million per year.

LeChien should not have jurisdiction over state labor dispute, critic says

Ann Maher Dec. 7, 2016, 9:21am

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Robert LeChien has granted a temporary restraining order for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 to block contract terms imposed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Volunteers will get to flex their muscle during first annual State Day Of Service announced by Rauner

Dawn Geske Nov. 21, 2016, 3:10pm

SPRINGFIELD — In spite of resistance from the state's largest labor union, volunteers will get to use their muscle during what is being declared the first annual State Day of Service in Illinois.

Illinois continues to see a ciphoning of employees outside the state

Kristin Danley-Greiner Nov. 15, 2016, 9:06am

The state of Illinois saw 5,500 employees leave its workforce this fall, prompting another decline for the fifth consecutive month in September. October brought additional jobs to eight metro areas, but it still isn’t enough to make a big difference.

November election results mean Illinois' neighbors likely to embrace worker freedom

Mailee Smith, Illinois Policy Institute Nov. 15, 2016, 8:48am

The outcome of 2016 races in nearby states may result in all states surrounding Illinois becoming Right-to-Work states – leaving Illinois a lone island in a sea of worker freedom. To remain competitive for workers and business, Illinois must consider similar reforms.

Documentary “Madigan: Power. Privilege. Politics.” now available online and on demand

Dawn Geske Nov. 13, 2016, 10:51am

CHICAGO – A documentary about Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is now available for viewing by residents in Madison and St. Clair Counties as well as throughout Illinois.

Wait! Let's try to make this thing work

Eric Allie, Illinios Policy Institute Oct. 26, 2016, 3:49pm

Wait! Let's try to make this thing work ...

BLS September jobs report: Illinois has only shrinking labor force of all surrounding states

Michael Lucci, Illinois Policy Institute Oct. 26, 2016, 2:27pm

Illinoisans continued dropping out of the workforce in September, according to an Oct. 21 economic release from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS.

High costs of work comp driving business out of Illinois, experts say

Amanda Robert Oct. 25, 2016, 2:15pm

CHICAGO - For organizations that advocate on behalf of business in Illinois, there’s no question – the high cost of workers’ compensation will continue to have dire consequences for the state and its economy.

AFSCME's demands come at expense of neediest Illinoisans

Mailee Smith, Illinois Policy Institute Oct. 18, 2016, 4:20pm

By demanding a larger share of the state’s limited resources, AFSCME is depleting state funds and keeping them from social service providers and other Illinoisans who most need them.