Top News

Brexit and Chicago's potential bankruptcy

Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner, Illinois Policy Institute Jun. 27, 2016, 1:03pm

Pension funds aren’t immune to the volatility of the stock market. Even before Brexit, Moody’s warned that low investment returns are already putting Chicago’s pension funds at risk. A major stock market correction or another recession just might put Chicago and CPS over the edge if their already-underfunded pension systems collapse.

May jobs report: Illinois 2,500 payroll jobs, workforce shrinks by 9,100

Michael Lucci, Illinois Policy Institute Jun. 21, 2016, 6:59am

Weak jobs numbers across the Midwest reflect the possibility of an oncoming economic slowdown. In fact, it would not be surprising to face a recession in the upcoming months, given that U.S. jobs growth has been weakening, and it has been seven years since the previous recession ended – a long period of expansion by historical norms.

Illinois day care regulations burden working mothers, fail to make children safe

Mark Adams, Illinois Policy Institute Jun. 21, 2016, 6:59am

Illinois’ overly restrictive rules governing day care facilities drive up costs and make high-quality child care unaffordable for many families, while doing nothing to enhance child safety.

Former Gov. Edgar's 'compromise' pension plan led to Illinois fiscal crisis

Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner, Illinois Policy Institute Jun. 13, 2016, 1:09pm

Under former Gov. Jim Edgar’s pension ramp, unfunded pension liabilities have increased nearly $100 billion despite taxpayers contributing $16.4 billion more to the five state-run pension systems than required under the Edgar plan.

Years of deadbeat Illinois: State has history of shortchanging social service providers

Ted Dabrowski, Illinois Policy Institute Jun. 7, 2016, 7:52am

For years, Illinois lawmakers have prioritized government-worker pay and benefits over social services. Between 2000 and 2015, contributions to Illinois state-worker pension funds shot up 586 percent, while state payments for human services increased by only 10 percent.

AFSCME analysis FAQ: Illinois state workers highest paid in the nation

Ted Dabrowsi and John Klingner, Illinois Policy Institute May 31, 2016, 7:05am

Illinois AFSCME workers enjoy yearly wages of nearly $60,000 when adjusted for cost of living, in addition to Cadillac health care benefits. Most Illinois state workers will also get free health insurance when they retire, and career state retirees receive $1.6 million in pension benefits on average.

Illinois has become a national punch line

Travis Akin, Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch May 25, 2016, 12:12pm

Chief Executive Magazine just came out with a report ranking Illinois the third worst state in the nation for business.

Illinois’ opioid crisis and the dark side of workers’ comp

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute May 20, 2016, 6:50am

Through a process called physician dispensing, Illinois doctors can not only prescribe drugs but also sell them to injured workers. Research shows that when physicians are allowed to do this, they prescribe 3.2 times the quantity of opioid drugs they would prescribe otherwise.

HB 580, AFSCME undermine fair contract negotiations

Mailee Smith, Illinois Policy Institute May 17, 2016, 6:37am

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed House Bill 580 on Monday, a bill that strips taxpayers of representation during the state’s negotiations with government-worker unions.

Madigan muzzles Illinoisans on term limits

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute May 9, 2016, 7:14am

Term limits aren’t just a cosmetic change. They aren’t a feel-good Coke commercial. They’re a powerful reform that can make Illinois democracy work again

Chicago alderman saved Trump $11.7 million in property tax appeal scheme

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute May 2, 2016, 2:28pm

A new report revealed that Klafter & Burke, a property-tax law firm owned by Chicago Alderman Ed Burke, helped Donald Trump cut property taxes on his downtown Chicago hotel by nearly 40 percent over seven years, saving Trump and his investors $11.7 million.

The SEIU is hurting Illinois caregivers

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Apr. 29, 2016, 12:29pm

When the SEIU fails to make caregiver interests a top priority, it’s unsurprising that nearly half of caregivers statewide aren’t union members. Teaming up with lawmakers to require family members to put their loved ones in strangers’ hands to attend an in-person training session is just one example of this.

The sleazy way the 'Combine' launched Denny Hastert's congressional career

Chris Robling Apr. 27, 2016, 2:33pm

On a blisteringly hot June afternoon in 1986, Denny Hastert was nominated by a convention of Republican committeemen at the Illinois Math and Science Academy gymnasium to succeed the ill U.S. Rep. John Grotberg.

Landmark study: Addiction, mental health among attorneys

Jim Grandone Apr. 26, 2016, 12:48pm

A landmark study of 15,000 attorneys in 19 U.S. states found that one in three practitioners are problem drinkers. The study found that attorneys with less than 10 years in practice exhibit the highest incidence of problem drinking, depression and anxiety. It is the first nationwide effort to gather data about the legal profession.

Illinois school district consolidation provides path to efficiency, lower tax burden

Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner, Illinois Policy Institute Apr. 26, 2016, 12:42pm

Illinois has the most units of local government of any state in the country.

Will Lisa Madigan shut down Illinois government?

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Apr. 18, 2016, 9:08am

Should lawmakers choose to pass a budget, Madigan and Cullerton’s law prohibits year-to-year cuts to lawmaker salaries and operating expenses. No other office or agency of state government has this sort of privilege.

Bill to ban sale of bobcat pelts heads to Illinois Senate

Amy Korte, Illinois Policy Institute Apr. 12, 2016, 9:16am

In the midst of the state’s budget, pension and out-migration crises, an Illinois politician has introduced SB 2143 to ban the sale of bobcat pelts, as well as the trapping of these animals.

New bill would make Illinois gas taxes highest in the nation

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Apr. 12, 2016, 8:54am

A new 30-cent-per-gallon tax hike would make Illinois gas taxes the highest in the nation by far, and pour more money into a broken system.

CPS files charges against CTU for 'illegal' strike

Jeffrey Schwab Apr. 5, 2016, 10:50am

The union’s one-day strike is an illegal, aggressive political power play, and its attempt to coerce its members to participate violates its own constitution. Here’s a breakdown of the timeline, the law and the political statement the union is making

Illinois property taxes are crushing homeowners

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Apr. 1, 2016, 1:29pm

Since 1990, the average property-tax bill in Illinois has grown more than three times faster than the state's median household income.