Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute News

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.

Useless committees provide political pay raises for state lawmakers

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

In Illinois, bloat doesn’t discriminate.It’s not just government agencies that stick taxpayers with the bill for inefficient operations. It’s state lawmakers, too. Yes, the same ones who haven’t passed a balanced budget in over a decade.

A solution to the property tax problem

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

Illinois has by far the most units of government in the nation, at nearly 7,000.

Why a budget won't fix Illinois

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Jan 10, 2017

Pension costs alone now consume a quarter of the Illinois state budget.

Why all Illinoisans need action on workers' comp

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Dec 12, 2016

The cost of workers’ compensation for municipalities, counties and state government in Illinois is more than $400 million per year.

Madigan's millions: Why the Speaker should release his tax returns

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Nov 18, 2016

Every dollar Madigan earns back for his corporate clients makes someone else’s property-tax bill go up.

Illinoisans who vote for Madigan

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Oct 11, 2016

Just as Illinoisans elect state representatives, state representatives elect the speaker of the House every two years. To become the speaker, Madigan just needs a majority vote.

Madigan's map

By Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute | Aug 29, 2016

In a 4-3 ruling, the Illinois Supreme Court erased from November ballots a referendum on legislative mapmaking, and handed a major victory to Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan Aug. 25.

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