Top News

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.

Madigan's middle class: Pain for the many, perks for the few

Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner, Illinois Policy Institute Mar. 28, 2016, 7:20am

Middle-class Illinoisans who aren’t employed by the government are suffering, but Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan stands in the way of solutions.

Rauner’s proposed bill would give the governor the ability to balance the state’s budget

Jacob Huebert Mar. 22, 2016, 8:54am

In his recent budget proposal, Gov. Bruce Rauner asked the Illinois General Assembly to pass the Unbalanced Budget Response Act, a bill that would temporarily allow the governor to reduce certain state spending and transfer certain state funds to balance the budget.

March Madness comes early to Illinois

Travis Akin, Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Executive Director Mar. 16, 2016, 8:18am

Sports fans everywhere love March Madness, which is appropriately named.

Illinois now home to the highest sales tax in the Midwest

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Mar. 15, 2016, 9:56am

Whether buying diapers, drills or dungarees, the average Illinoisan pays higher sales taxes than any other Midwesterner, according to a March 9 report released by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.

Just who's running the shop at the Chicago Public School system?

Eric Allie, Illinois Policy Institute Mar. 8, 2016, 12:58pm

The kids may have cleaned out the candy shop

11 things you need to know about Chicago teacher pensions

Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner, Illinois Policy Institute Mar. 8, 2016, 12:45pm

Pension holidays, steep increases in teachers' salaries, and lopsided ratios of teacher contributions to pension payouts have caused the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund’s unfunded liabilities to shoot up to $9 billion in 2015.

Air Force JAGs bring a wealth of experience to diverse practice of law

Capt. Aaron Petty, 375th Air Mobility Wing Judge Advocate Office Feb. 29, 2016, 3:20pm

One of the questions I am often asked as a military lawyer is, “What do you do exactly?” In short, it’s very similar to civilian law practice, but there are also substantial differences, some of which are not well known outside of the military community.

Government-worker pensions take away funding meant for students

Ted Dabrowski, Illinois Policy Institute Feb. 29, 2016, 12:55pm

Illinois’ growing pension costs – not the state budget gridlock – are taking away funding for essential government services, such as education.

State worker pensions, health care crowd out spending on education, public safety, human services

Hilary Gowins, Illinois Policy Institute Feb. 23, 2016, 10:18am

Illinois state government now pays more for pensions and health care for state workers than it spends on K-12 education, public safety or human services, according to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s fiscal year 2017 budget book.