Top News

Illinois' public pensions in some ways mirror Madoff's Ponzi scheme

The Madison County Record May 24, 2017, 11:42am

A Ponzi scheme is a form of fraud in which early investors see quality returns, not because their money was invested wisely as the investors are led to believe, but because new investors fund the payouts. The cycle perpetuates itself – more and more new investors are needed to continue to fund previous investors' returns at an unbeknownst higher risk to themselves – until it inevitably collapses.

Illinois House has spent less than six hours in session this month

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute May 22, 2017, 3:00pm

House members have spent as much time playing softball and basketball as they have in session since the beginning of May.

Report shows 'true' accounting of pension liabilities more than double what governments say; Expert: debt is 'utterly absurd'

Ann Maher May 17, 2017, 10:04am

Financial expert Mark Glennon of Wilmette says in his analysis of a new study on state and local pensions that the only way to reduce the substantial obligations facing Illinois funds are by amending the state constitution or through federal bankruptcy.

Brady 'bargain' is just another unbalanced budget

Ted Dabrowski, Illinois Policy Institute May 15, 2017, 6:25am

The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn for the summer on May 31 – which means lawmakers have less than three weeks to pass a state budget. State Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, has proposed what he hopes may be the big “compromise” to end the impasse.

While Metro East residents struggle, local lawmakers continue to get paid over 2-week spring break

Hilary Gowins, Illinois Policy Institute Apr. 17, 2017, 8:25am

The Illinois General Assembly adjourned April 11 without passing a balanced budget or tackling essential reforms to save the state from financial ruin.

Moody's warning of an 'inflection' point in Illinois signals need for reform

Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner, Illinois Policy Institute Apr. 4, 2017, 7:05am

Illinois lawmakers should heed Moody’s Investors Service’s warnings about the state’s precarious economic health and dire fiscal situation and enact major structural spending reforms to balance the budget.

Time to give taxpayers a victory after opening day

State Rep. Charlie Meier Mar. 31, 2017, 12:15pm

Cardinals Opening Day against the Chicago Cubs is on the horizon, which is something most baseball fans can all look forward to. But there is something else I look forward to happening, and that is for both Democrats and Republicans to work together and approve a balanced state budget. 

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.

Illinois has hurt its economy by piling on taxes since the great recession

Michael Lucci, Illinois Policy Institute Mar. 27, 2017, 12:25pm

State and local tax hikes in Illinois have hurt economic growth, lowered the standard of living, and contributed to out-migration.

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.

AFSCME pitting members against taxpayers in possible strike, think tank attorney says

Karen Kidd Mar. 4, 2017, 10:34am

CHICAGO – The largest public employee union in Illinois is exaggerating its support and pitting members against taxpayers in its announced willingness to strike, a conservative think tank attorney said during a recent interview.

Tort reform needs to be part of 'grand bargain,' advocate says

Karen Kidd Feb. 17, 2017, 7:21am

SPRINGFIELD – As Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner urged lawmakers on Wednesday to reach a budget deal that includes cost-saving system reforms as well as new taxes, a legal reform advocate said there also needs to be tort reform.

Proposed payroll tax seen as burden on business

Kristin Regula Feb. 2, 2017, 8:54am

While it might not be such a problem for big businesses to absorb a proposed "Business Opportunity" tax - "for the privilege of doing business in the state" - small business owners could suffer the greatest.

Senate adopts leadership term limits while House again adopts 'Madigan's rules'

Karen Kidd Jan. 25, 2017, 10:50am

SPRINGFIELD – Newly adopted term limits for the Illinois Senate president and minority leader were approved on the new General Assembly's first day earlier this month, but any kind of similar proposal for leaders in the lower chamber will not likely advance under "Madigan's rules."

State GOP robocalls target Democrats who voted to re-elect Madigan as speaker

Taryn Phaneuf Jan. 23, 2017, 6:21am

SPRINGFIELD — After the Illinois General Assembly voted once again to elect Democrat Michael Madigan of Chicago as House Speaker, the Illinois Republican Party responded with robocalls to voters in 18 targeted districts.

Teachers' Retirement System hosts town hall meeting in Collinsville

Taryn Phaneuf Jan. 19, 2017, 12:15pm

COLLINSVILLE — The executive director of the Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois will be in Collinsville today – Thursday, Jan. 19 – for a town hall meeting with TRS members regarding pension issues.

AFSCME uses fake 'compromise' to set stage for state worker strike

Mailee Smith, Illinois Policy Institute Jan. 17, 2017, 8:03am

AFSCME – the state’s largest government-worker union – spent two years pushing for contract provisions that would cost state taxpayers billions. Now that the union has lost before the state labor board, it has issued a “framework” for compromise. But that “framework” is merely a publicity stunt to make the union appear reasonable while union leaders threaten a strike to obtain contract provisions that burden state taxpayers.

Illinois residents could face sticker shock over beverage tax proposal

Christopher Knoll Jan. 17, 2017, 7:42am

SPRINGFIELD – If you think you're already paying too much for sweetened liquid refreshments, hold on to your wallet. If approved by the Illinois General Assembly and signed into law, Senate Bill 9 would sharply raise the price consumers pay for packaged sodas, syrup-based coffee drinks and tea.

Republican state senator weighs in on Illinois budget quagmire

Christopher Knoll Jan. 13, 2017, 7:45am

State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) calls for lower taxes on businesses, reduced regulations and civil justice reforms combined with belt-tightening as the types of measures needed to get the state out of its financial straits.

WirePoints Illinois News founder calls for change that would allow state to file bankruptcy

Dawn Geske Jan. 12, 2017, 5:35pm

As drastic as it sounds, bankruptcy may be the only way for Illinois to come to grips with its dire financial situation, according to a financial expert who supports the idea.