Top News

Number of Chicago city workers making $100K-plus has doubled since 2013

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Aug. 9, 2016, 8:10am

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is heralding a massive water-sewer-tax hike as a grand bargain between taxpayers and city employees, but new payroll data show it’s not exactly a shared sacrifice.

Illinois tax code punishes entrepreneurs

Michael Lucci, Illinois Policy Institute Aug. 2, 2016, 8:06am

Entrepreneurship is the embodiment of the American Dream, and through their creativity and hard work, entrepreneurs bring new ideas, products and ways of doing things to the marketplace, often building businesses generating significant numbers of jobs.

The Obama standard: Has it been met?

Tad Armstrong Jul. 27, 2016, 6:50am

So, before shedding a tear of praise and applauding the cheerful and blind optimism of the Obamas and the Obama third-term-wannabe, I want the grandparents, parents and teens in Detroit, Chicago, Spartanburg (S.C.), Houston, Greenville (S.C.), Atlanta, Saginaw (Mich.), Memphis and St. Louis (nine cities labeled as “war zones” by most) to grade Michelle’s self-proclaimed reason to exist. Have they “left something better” for your kids and grandkids?

Judges – and voters -- have power to stop lawsuit abuse

Travis Akin, Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch Jul. 21, 2016, 12:22pm

The yearlong budget battle in Springfield ended last month with a truce, as legislative leaders and Governor Rauner agreed to a six-month stopgap budget.

The Rule of Law is on life support; chaos and tyranny await at bedside

Tad Armstrong Jul. 19, 2016, 3:22pm

Fast and Furious…IRS targeting of conservatives…IRS destruction of evidence in the midst of an investigation…Veterans’ Administration fabrication of evidence…Benghazi…Eric Holder perjury…GSA Las Vegas extravaganzas…Solyndra…New Black Panthers…release of convicted violent illegal aliens…then there is Hillary (private servers, destruction of evidence, lying to Congress and the FBI, extremely careless actions putting our nation and people at risk).

Illinoisans suffer, politicians get paid

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Jul. 19, 2016, 9:44am

Members of the Illinois General Assembly should end pensions for politicians once and for all. And a pay cut would send an equally powerful message. Their job performance demands as much.

Illinois’ AFSCME contract needs a reality check

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute Jul. 12, 2016, 10:00am

State lawmakers justify keeping in lockstep with AFSCME by saying they’re fighting for the middle class. But middle-class Illinoisans who don’t work for the government are struggling to stay afloat amid flatlining incomes and a stagnant economy. 

From injustice to justice: Lessons learned from the Madison County tobacco litigation

Kurtis B. Reeg, partner at Goldberg Segalla Jun. 28, 2016, 1:53pm

These plaintiffs alleged they were harmed; they sought their day in court; they had it; in 2006 they lost. The defendant, the employer of thousands of citizens, spent millions in fees and expenses on the case, and received no reimbursement upon prevailing, rather than having that money available for salaries and benefits for its employees, other benefits for its customers or the public, charitable causes and other good deeds.

Governor: Democrats needs to pass stopgap funding and school bill

Gov. Bruce Rauner Jun. 28, 2016, 10:29am

Democrat leaders who control the General Assembly made it clear they will not take any major action on balancing our budget or passing real reforms until after the General Election in November.

Brexit and Chicago's potential bankruptcy

Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner, Illinois Policy Institute Jun. 27, 2016, 1:03pm

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.

May jobs report: Illinois 2,500 payroll jobs, workforce shrinks by 9,100

Michael Lucci, Illinois Policy Institute Jun. 21, 2016, 6:59am

Weak jobs numbers across the Midwest reflect the possibility of an oncoming economic slowdown. In fact, it would not be surprising to face a recession in the upcoming months, given that U.S. jobs growth has been weakening, and it has been seven years since the previous recession ended – a long period of expansion by historical norms.

Illinois day care regulations burden working mothers, fail to make children safe

Mark Adams, Illinois Policy Institute Jun. 21, 2016, 6:59am

Illinois’ overly restrictive rules governing day care facilities drive up costs and make high-quality child care unaffordable for many families, while doing nothing to enhance child safety.

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

Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner, Illinois Policy Institute Jun. 13, 2016, 1:09pm

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.

Years of deadbeat Illinois: State has history of shortchanging social service providers

Ted Dabrowski, Illinois Policy Institute Jun. 7, 2016, 7:52am

For years, Illinois lawmakers have prioritized government-worker pay and benefits over social services. Between 2000 and 2015, contributions to Illinois state-worker pension funds shot up 586 percent, while state payments for human services increased by only 10 percent.

AFSCME analysis FAQ: Illinois state workers highest paid in the nation

Ted Dabrowsi and John Klingner, Illinois Policy Institute May 31, 2016, 7:05am

Illinois AFSCME workers enjoy yearly wages of nearly $60,000 when adjusted for cost of living, in addition to Cadillac health care benefits. Most Illinois state workers will also get free health insurance when they retire, and career state retirees receive $1.6 million in pension benefits on average.

Illinois has become a national punch line

Travis Akin, Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch May 25, 2016, 12:12pm

Chief Executive Magazine just came out with a report ranking Illinois the third worst state in the nation for business.

Illinois’ opioid crisis and the dark side of workers’ comp

Austin Berg, Illinois Policy Institute May 20, 2016, 6:50am

Through a process called physician dispensing, Illinois doctors can not only prescribe drugs but also sell them to injured workers. Research shows that when physicians are allowed to do this, they prescribe 3.2 times the quantity of opioid drugs they would prescribe otherwise.

HB 580, AFSCME undermine fair contract negotiations

Mailee Smith, Illinois Policy Institute May 17, 2016, 6:37am

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed House Bill 580 on Monday, a bill that strips taxpayers of representation during the state’s negotiations with government-worker unions.

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.