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  • Friday, November 9, 2018
    With over 40 interim positions in administration, SIUC still can’t hire from outside the university to fill them
    Education--Higher (37)

     


     

    A chart detailing every interim position at SIU Carbondale. The information shown was taken from SIU’s 2018 Org Chart. (Reagan Gavin | @RGavin_DE)

      read more >

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  • Friday, November 9, 2018
    A 'Simple Fix' To Solve Public Pension Funding Woes? Think Again.
    Governor (44) , Pensions (70)
    Readers, I have previously lamented that the incoming governor in the state of Illinois, JB Pritzker, has no plan with respec...   read more >
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  • Friday, November 9, 2018
    Illinois among highest in nation for property tax on businesses, report says
    Economy (34) , Taxes, property (87)
    In a measure of how much property owners pay in taxes, Illinoisans pay more than all but just a couple states in New England.

    In their annual business tax climate index, the nonprofit Tax Foundation put’s Illinois at fifth in terms of how much businesses pay i...   read more >

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  • Friday, November 9, 2018
    Op-Ed: State government faces idea shortage now that it returns to one-party rule
    Budget--State (8) , Gambling, Gaming , Pensions (70) , Political Parties (Incld Tea Party) (39a) , Taxes, income (86)
    As if Illinois taxpayers didn't have enough meaningful concerns heading into Tuesday's midterm election, they'll have new ones come January.

    Now that the votes are counted and the races decided, the threat of an idea shortage at the top of state government can be added to the list.

    Highest combined local and state tax burden in the country?

    Check.

    Worst-funded...   read more >

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  • Friday, November 9, 2018
    Pritzker inherits fiscal mess while groups warn of disaster
    Budget--State (8) , Candidates--Statewide (12) , Governor (44) , Pensions (70) , Taxes, income (86)
    The incoming administration inherits a fiscal mess that some experts have said is beyond repair.

    “One metaphor that comes to mind is some people have the best seats on the Titanic,” said Bill Bergman, research director at Truth in Accounting.

    Bergman said the state is saddled with more than $200 billion of unfunded state employee retirement liabilities and more than $7...   read more >

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  • Thursday, November 8, 2018
    Chinese tariffs slash profits from Illinois soybean harvest
    Agriculture (2)
    Illinois farmers are dealing with the effects of a retaliatory tariff imposed by China on soybean imports.

    A 25-percent Chinese tariff on American soybeans was imposed by the country in response to the Trump administration’s steel tariffs on China. For Illinois farmers, the impact could be severe because they face depressed soybean prices even if they find a buyer.

    “I ...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, November 6, 2018
    Carbondale City Council votes to deny special use permit for Brightfields project on northeast side
    Energy, Alternative Energy (93)
    CARBONDALE — The Carbondale City Council on Monday voted unanimously to deny a special use permit to Brightfields Development LLC to build a solar array on the site of the old Koppers Tie Plant at 1555 N. Marion St. in Carbondale during a special meeting.

    Mayor Mike Henry called the meeting, and explained that comments would be limited to four minutes per resident. He also reminded ...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, November 6, 2018
    Video leak shows Susana Mendoza saying 'I'm running for mayor of Chicago'
    Chicago Mayor (16) , Comptroller (21) Mendoza, Susana--State House, 1 , Senger, Darlene--State House, 41
    Just days before voters head to the polls, a leaked campaign video shows Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza saying she is running for mayor of Chicago.

    Mendoza had been dodging questions about a run for mayor since reports surfaced that supporters had been gathering signatures so that she would have the required amount to announce a mayoral run after she was re-elected to Comptroller.  read more >

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  • Monday, November 5, 2018
    Get ready to rumble again over nukes and coal, Illinois
    Coal (20) , Energy, Alternative Energy (93) , Utilities (94)

    Two decades after Illinois made headlines by deregulating its electricity industry, odds are growing that the state will take back a crucial price-setting function that determines who wins and loses in the power industry.


    Twenty-one years ago, Illinois moved to de...   read more >
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  • Monday, November 5, 2018
    Illinois dairy farmers are feeling the effects of the ongoing trade wars
    Agriculture (2)
    Illinois dairy farmers are among those feeling the effects of the ongoing trade wars. The chairman of the National Milk Producers Foundation recently requested more cash aid for dairy farmers across the country, who he said have missed out on more than $1 billion in profits since May.

    Tasha Bunting, president of the Illinois Milk Producers Association, said tariffs on exports to Canada ca...   read more >

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  • Monday, November 5, 2018
    Lawmakers could pick new legislative watchdog before end of veto session
    Ethics, Campaign Reform, Transparency (12a) , Legislative Scandals & Subpoenas (45b) , Legislature (56) Bourne, Avery---State House, 95 , Ives, Jeanne--State House, 42
    The new chairwoman of a committee designed to hold state lawmakers accountable for wrongdoing said she expects a new legislative inspector general to be approved by lawmakers this month.

    A multi-year vacancy in the legislative inspector general’s office was revealed in October 2017 when a woman told lawmakers her complaint against a state senator hadn’t been investigated for a...   read more >

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  • Friday, November 2, 2018
    Board of Trustees to hold Nov. 9 special meeting, Interim President Dorsey says earliest possible appointment of permanent president is fall 2019
    Education--Higher (37)
    In an email on Friday, Interim SIU President J. Kevin Dorsey said the Board of Trustees will schedule a special meeting on Nov. 9 to identify an external firm in search of permanent system president.

    “The board may also consider the appointment of an interim chancellor at that time,” Dorsey said. “Otherwise, I anticipate that an appointment of an interim...   read more >

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  • Friday, November 2, 2018
    Board of Trustees to hold Nov. 9 special meeting, Interim President Dorsey says earliest possible appointment of permanent president is fall 2019
    Education--Higher (37)
    In an email on Friday, Interim SIU President J. Kevin Dorsey said the Board of Trustees will schedule a special meeting on Nov. 9 to identify an external firm in search of permanent system president.

    “The board may also consider the appointment of an interim chancellor at that time,” Dorsey said. “Otherwise, I anticipate that an appointment of an interim...   read more >

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  • Friday, November 2, 2018
    Teachers’ Retirement System to ask for $350 million more in next state budget
    Budget--State (8) , Education--Educators/Administrators , Pensions (70)
    Not enough money from the state or unaffordable benefits, there’s a difference of opinion as to why the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System is only 40 percent funded as the fund prepares to ask taxpayers for more money.

    The Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System says it will need 10 percent more from taxpayers in the state’s next budget, which begins next summer, an...   read more >

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  • Thursday, November 1, 2018
    Minimum wage report may be excluding rural Illinois, expert says
    Economy (34) , Minimum Wage (10)
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  • Thursday, November 1, 2018
    Sterigenics says lives at risk if its Illinois medical sterilization operations stop
    Environment (41) , EPA (41)

    Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madig...   read more >

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  • Thursday, November 1, 2018
    Madigan’s trial lawyer majority
    Ethics, Campaign Reform, Transparency (12a) , Legal System (27) , Pay to Play, Corruption , Tort Reform (27) Madigan, Michael--State House, 22
    Mike Madigan’s one of the most powerful and influential men in Illinois, and he never misses a chance to increase his power and extend his influence. In his dual capacity as House speaker and state Democratic Party chairman, he has ample opportunity to do both.

    Madigan is not well-liked around the state, but citizens of Illinois are not the ones returning him to the speakership time...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, October 31, 2018
    Housing boom begins to slow down in Illinois
    Economy (34) , Housing (51)
    The booming housing market has put many Illinois homes enticingly close to being back above the value of their mortgages, but property values may have peaked.

    After months of home values rising with the booming economy, Attom Data Solutions said the third quarter of 2018 saw 49 percent of markets across the nation slow down, indicating home prices may be close to topping out.

    Vice...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, October 30, 2018
    Medical marijuana applications surge in Illinois
    Governor (44) , Medical Marijuana
    The use of medical marijuana is growing in Illinois thanks in part to recent changes in legislation that allows cannabis to be used as an alternative to opioid pain medication.

    Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 336 in August allowing doctors to prescribe medical cannabis as an alternative to prescription opioids.

    Medical Cannabis Alliance of Illinois Director of Communications ...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, October 30, 2018
    Reports: Growing number of $100,000-plus public pensions in Illinois cost taxpayers
    Legislature (56) , Pensions (70)
    Two recent studies of public sector pay and retirement benefits show tens of thousands of retired Illinois public employees making six-figures or more in all levels of government, dwarfing figures from states with more people.

    Two organizations that reviewed and released the information hope it encourages taxpayers to seek change.

    Illinois has more than $130 billion in unfunded pe...   read more >

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  • Thursday, October 25, 2018
    Transparency group warns of ‘zombie’ governments
    Local Government (60)
    A transparency group is using the season to warn about risky practices employed by what the group calls "zombie governments."

    Truth in Accounting has updated information that shows some states, Illinois included, have such large amounts of hidden debt that they’re essentially insolvent. The term “zombie bank” comes from the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s. It was us...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, October 17, 2018
    Kelly and Auxier go head to head in Bost's absence at first 12th District debate
    Candidates--Federal (13) Bost, Mike--State House, 115

    BELLEVILLE — The two challengers in Illinois’ 12th District contest had the conversation all to themselves Tuesday during the first of two public debates — incumbent Mike Bost had other plans.

    Democratic challenger Brendan Kelly and Green Party candidate Randy Auxier took questions from a panel of four questionnaires from local media outlets including The Southe...   read more >

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  • Monday, October 15, 2018
    Citizens count on the Illinois Freedom of Information Act but keep getting shut out
    Attorney General (6) , Freedom of Info. Act (FOIA) (6a)

    The office of the public access counselor was supposed to enforce open government laws. Nearly a decade later, it's backlogged and frequently ignored.

    When Larry Young started requesting records from police, he just wanted to find out what had happened to his daughter, Molly. 

    More than six yea...   read more >

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  • Monday, October 15, 2018
    Progressive tax part of the race for Illinois House in Metro East
    Taxes, Graduated/Progressive , Taxes, income (86) Stuart, Katie--State House, 112
    The 112th House District is a jagged rectangle that runs through the Metro East.

    It includes Collinsville, Edwardsville and parts of Granite City. It's less than 20 minutes, with traffic, from St. Louis.

    So how, and how much, the state of Illinois will tax people is a big part of the race in the district.

    Former Republican state Rep. Dwight Kay is running against...   read more >

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  • Sunday, October 14, 2018
    Solar farm planned for Highland as Chicago-based company leases land
    Energy, Alternative Energy (93) , Metro East (65)
    In the last year, nine different companies approached Dr. William Drake about his land a half a mile west of Highland Road and Hemlock Street in hopes of leasing the land for a solar farm.

    The increased interest is part of an ongoing push for solar in Illinois, stemming from the state’s Future Energy Jobs ...   read more >

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