Top News

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.

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.