Top News

Illinois universities' problems are largely self-inflicted

Illinois universities are blaming the recent budget impasse for their declining enrollment and financial problems. But the problems in higher education started long before the budget fight, and are largely self-inflicted.

Illinoisans get $6B more in long-term debt, but no reforms

While borrowing to help pay down the state’s unpaid bill backlog will save money on interest payments and relieve pressure on those waiting for cash, it also perpetuates Illinois’ spending problem.

Chicago TIFs take nearly $500M in yearly tax revenues away from other local governments

Since 2006, Chicago Public Schools has been deprived of $2.5 billion in property tax revenue that has been diverted to Chicago TIF districts.

Chicago bailout puts downstate and suburban students at risk of missing school

In trying to force a Chicago bailout, proponents of Senate Bill 1 are throwing hundreds of thousands of downstate and suburban students into limbo.

Illinois' $21 billion in school debt pushes up property taxes

School districts’ have borrowed over $21 billion, increasing the burden on Illinois taxpayers.

Illinois income tax hike to 5% opens door for a progressive tax hike

An income tax hike to 5 percent makes a call for a progressive tax system during the 2018 gubernatorial race a much easier sell.

Illinois Senate Democrats pass $5.4B tax increase

Each Illinois household would pay an additional $1,125 in taxes each year, on average, under the Senate's tax-hike plan.

Puerto Rico's 'bankruptcy' a warning to Illinois

Illinois needs to enact structural spending reforms to avoid following Puerto Rico down the path to insolvency.

Moody's warning of an 'inflection' point in Illinois signals need for reform

Illinois lawmakers should heed Moody’s Investors Service’s warnings about the state’s precarious economic health and dire fiscal situation and enact major structural spending reforms to balance the budget.

Illinois spends the most per student of any state in the Midwest

Illinois spends the most per student of any state in the Midwest. On average, Illinois schools spend $13,077 per student. Nearly half of the money Illinois spends on education goes to fund pensions.

Rauner's budget proposal needs more spending reforms

The governor should reject tax hikes and push for the structural spending reforms Illinois needs to fix its fiscal crisis and improve its economy.

Brexit and Chicago's potential bankruptcy

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

11 things you need to know about Chicago teacher pensions

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.

Pensions vs. schools

THE PROBLEM: Education funding for downstate and suburban pre-K-12 schools – i.e., all Illinois school districts outside of Chicago – is one of the state’s highest priorities.