The Edgar County Watchdogs – a “group of concerned citizens” that digs for and posts news of public corruption from 21 counties on its website – recently joined more than a dozen other citizens and groups who were honored for holding local government accountable.
It’s obvious that Illinois faces a long list of problems – a history of public corruption, never-ending financial trouble and the continued exodus of people and businesses – but who or what is at fault is a little harder to understand.
CHICAGO - For organizations that advocate on behalf of business in Illinois, there’s no question – the high cost of workers’ compensation will continue to have dire consequences for the state and its economy.
Reform proponent suggests trimming Work Comp Commission budget by $10 million Workers’ compensation continues to be a contentious issue in Illinois, with many business leaders and legal advocates pushing for more reform.
“When circumstances are dire, and you’re running out of options, or you have no options left, it’s that process that brings everyone together, imposes discipline and creates a requirement as a practical matter, if not as a strict legal matter, that you get something done that solves the problem,” says bankruptcy attorney David Christian of Chicago.
CHICAGO - In Illinois, increasing pension obligations are consuming more of its taxpayers’ dollars, pushing cities and towns to cut core services and raise property taxes just to keep up with the payments, policy experts say.
The Illinois Citizens Utility Board says the Clean Jobs Bill will save utility customers at least $1 billion by 2030, and would translates into a minimum savings of $8 to $9 a month for each customer. Those claims, however, are vigorously disputed by various policy analysts.
The next year could bring significant changes to the renewable energy industry in Illinois, as the legislature will likely consider a state measure to change the renewable portfolio standard as well as a federal mandate to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, released by the Obama administration last week.
CHICAGO - While the Illinois Citizens Utility Board caught some development and policy experts off guard with its support of the potentially pricey Clean Jobs Bill earlier this year, Dan Proft of the Illinois Opportunity Project contends that he wasn’t surprised. “Sometimes they’ll tilt at windmills, figuratively and literally, if it means sticking it to ComEd,” he said.
While the Illinois state government gives billions of dollars to nonprofit organizations over the course of an ordinary budget year, there is little oversight of how the organizations spend those dollars, says Kristina Rasmussen, executive vice president of the Illinois Policy Institute. “They give that money with the best intentions, hoping it will help carry out some of the priorities they have deemed to be important,” Rasmussen said.
SPRINGFIELD - In recent months, the Illinois Citizens Utility Board (CUB) surprised economic development and policy experts like Mark Glennon by staunchly supporting the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill. Illinois Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) and Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) introduced the bill in February, with the intent to increase energy efficiency and use of renewable resources, reduce carbon pollution and create jobs. The Clean Jobs Bill has stalled for now, but proponents have signaled it
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO), which calls itself the largest independent asbestos victims’ organization in the country, is taking a lead in derailing legislation that would require asbestos bankruptcy trust to operate more transparently.