Top News

What's a junk bond and why Illinois will be America's first 'junk' state

Michael Lucci, Illinois Policy Institute Jun. 19, 2017, 7:10am

Illinois’ bonds are currently priced like they are junk-rated.

Powerball, Mega Millions to drop Illinois due to budget crisis

John Kristof, Illinois Policy Institute Jun. 19, 2017, 6:48am

Popular lotteries may stop gambling on Illinois.

We have to burn the village to save the village

Eric Allie, Illinois Policy Institute Jun. 13, 2017, 11:35am

About one in six Illinois homeowners are seriously underwater, according to a report from the Illinois Policy Institute, which is 70 percent higher than the national average. And locally, homeowners in several communities suffer greater than the state average in being seriously under water - owing more than their home is worth. For instance, in East St. Louis, 41 percent of homeowners are under water; in Alton, 20 percent and in Belleville, 18 percent.

Illinois lawmakers pass legislation requiring financial impact statements on executive orders, ignore cost of bills they pass

Mindy Ruckman, Illinois Policy Institute Jun. 12, 2017, 2:21pm

House Bill 2379 would require fiscal impact statements on every executive order. However, less than 3 percent of bills enacted into law in the 99th General Assembly had fiscal notes.

Illinois budget deficit projected to hit $6.2 billion by June 30, grow to $7.7 billion by June 2018

Eric Kohn, Illinois Policy Institute Jun. 8, 2017, 4:42pm

The state’s bill backlog is expected to hit $22.7 billion and pension costs are predicted to grow 14 percent by fiscal year 2018.

Don’t let them get away with it

Matt Besler, Illinois Opportunity Project Jun. 6, 2017, 5:24pm

Budget negotiations must begin with reforms to the programs that drive state spending up and the policies that drive families and businesses out.

Lawsuit seeks back pay for Illinois lawmakers

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Jun. 5, 2017, 11:38am

Former state Sen. Michael Noland is suing for back pay after the General Assembly nixed cost-of-living adjustments and forced furlough days.

Illinois income tax hike to 5% opens door for a progressive tax hike

Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner, Illinois Policy Institute May 30, 2017, 8:55am

An income tax hike to 5 percent makes a call for a progressive tax system during the 2018 gubernatorial race a much easier sell.

Get noticed by getting your news out

Jim Grandone May 30, 2017, 8:07am

The days of spending time writing a press release, getting it approved, mailing it to the newspaper and television and waiting a couple of days, hoping for the best are long gone. News now is instantaneous. It is a 24/7 beast that must be fed. If it happened last month, it isn’t news any longer. It’s history.

Illinois Senate Democrats pass $5.4B tax increase

Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner, Illinois Policy Institute May 24, 2017, 9:31am

Each Illinois household would pay an additional $1,125 in taxes each year, on average, under the Senate's tax-hike plan.

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.

Metro East median property taxes rank in the top 50 highest in Illinois

Eric Kohn, Illinois Policy Institute May 16, 2017, 8:54am

High property taxes in the Metro East region are fueling out-migration from the area.

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.

Puerto Rico's 'bankruptcy' a warning to Illinois

Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner, Illinois Policy Institute May 8, 2017, 11:14am

Illinois needs to enact structural spending reforms to avoid following Puerto Rico down the path to insolvency.

McCaleb: Is Statehouse conversation fake because it ignores Illinois' fiscal reality?

Dan McCaleb, Illinois News Network May 5, 2017, 12:59pm

By definition, fake news ignores the facts. It disregards and/or distorts the truth to deliver a message that is far removed from reality. I would argue that much of the news coming out of the Illinois Statehouse is fake.

Illinois' April 30 tax freedom day is tied for latest in Midwest

Craid Lesner, Illinois Policy Institute May 1, 2017, 10:36am

When it comes to taxes, everyone works for the government. Illinoisans worked 120 days – from Jan. 1 until April 30 – to pay the taxes they owe to federal, state and local governments.

New report confirms need for lawsuit reforms in Illinois

Travis Akin, Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch Apr. 25, 2017, 1:07pm

It should not come as any surprise but personal injury lawyers have found a new way to game the system in Illinois.

BLS report shows weak economy in Illinois, recovery in neighboring states

Michael Lucci, Illinois Policy Institute Apr. 25, 2017, 7:36am

Illinois saw a 0.23 percent increase in jobs in the first quarter of 2017, the third-worst growth rate in the region.

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.

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.