Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute News

For Speaker Madigan, when do drips become a flood?

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Jun 11, 2018

A few brave souls have come forward with their stories about the behavior under Madigan’s dome. But how many still feel powerless?

Lawmakers to homeowners: 'You'll get nothing and like it'

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | May 14, 2018

In a matter of hours, Illinoisans saw bipartisan opposition to property tax relief and bipartisan support for higher property taxes.

Madigan re-elected Chairman of Illinois Democratic Party

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Apr 24, 2018

The longtime House speaker is the only state legislative leader in the nation to also serve as a party chairman.

Collinsville, Granite City sales taxes would rival Chicago's under tax hike referendum

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Mar 12, 2018

Madison County voters have twice turned down a proposed sales-tax hike to fund school facilities projects, but the proposal will appear again on March primary ballots. If approved, shoppers in Collinsville and Granite City would see some of the highest sales tax rates in the country.

Hold on to your wallets, Springfield back in session for 2018

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Jan 22, 2018

With statewide elections in November, the 2018 forecast calls for gridlock.

Like a good neighbor: Illinois sees record loss of people to neighboring states

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Jan 5, 2018

Solving Illinois’ people problem requires addressing the high cost of government, which makes the state far less attractive for people looking to plant roots.

Census: Illinois loses title of 5th largest state to Pennsylvania

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Dec 20, 2017

Census data released Dec. 20 show the Land of Lincoln is no longer the fifth-largest state in the U.S.

Government unions, your property tax bill and the power of giving

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Dec 18, 2017

Balancing the scales at the bargaining table is an essential step in fixing the property tax problem.

It’s Illinois’ birthday! Hey, wait … come back

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Dec 15, 2017

Illinois’ exodus of people and money is the state’s most pressing policy problem. Until lawmakers get serious about addressing its causes, there’s little reason to think the trend will change.

New IRS data: Illinois sees record loss of people, income to other states

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Dec 4, 2017

The Land of Lincoln is experiencing heavy losses of people and income to other states, new IRS data reveal. Illinois lost more than 86,000 people and $4.75 billion in adjusted gross income to other states from 2015-2016.

Illinoisans’ no good, very bad year

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Nov 17, 2017

The biggest obstacle Illinoisans face in Springfield remains the same: an all-powerful House speaker, and members of both parties who are all too eager to kowtow.

In 'Spring(field) Vegas,' a toxic culture thrives in the dark

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Nov 3, 2017

The culture of silence will end eventually. And when it does, it will be with a deafening roar.

Illinois lawmakers stampede for the exit

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Sep 28, 2017

The most likely driver is pretty obvious to most Illinoisans: the rage of constituents.

Currie to receive 6-figure pension after first year of retirement

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Sep 25, 2017

The longtime House majority leader will benefit from a sweetener provision that grants massive pension spikes to career lawmakers after one year of retirement.

Illinois General Assembly passes school funding plan, tax credit scholarships

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Aug 29, 2017

The Illinois Senate passed a school funding reform bill containing the state’s first-ever tax credit scholarship program. The bill now awaits the governor’s signature.

Illinois Senate passes Chicago bailout, overrides Rauner's amendatory veto

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Aug 14, 2017

All Senate Democrats and one Republican voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner and pass Senate Bill 1 in its original form, including a bailout for Chicago Public Schools.

Illinoisans are still waiting for independence

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Jul 7, 2017

More than 240 years ago, a group of individuals stood up against a far-off king who taxed them without recourse. Americans honor their efforts each year on Independence Day.

Lawsuit seeks back pay for Illinois lawmakers

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Jun 5, 2017

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

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

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | May 22, 2017

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

Sugary drink tax would be bitter pill to swallow

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Mar 13, 2017

Illinois holds more than $66 million worth of stocks and bonds in PepsiCo, Coca Cola and Dr. Pepper Snapple alone.

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