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  • Thursday, July 20, 2017
    Replace Shirley Madigan on the Illinois Arts Council
    Attorney General (6) , Ethics, Campaign Reform, Transparency (12a) Madigan, Michael--State House, 22
    The Illinois Arts Council – led by the matriarch of the most powerful political family in Illinois – conferred...   read more >
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  • Thursday, July 20, 2017
    For all its faults, at least Illinois wasn't Washington
    Budget--State (8) , Governor (44) , Legislature (56)
    I once wrote about a small fire department vilified for ignoring a call about a burning home whose owner had not bought a required subscription tag. A teenager died there.

    It turned out that the volunteer department, operating on a shoestring, resorted to selling subscriptions after voters rejected a fire protection tax. The rule was to respond anyway if a person was in jeopardy. B...   read more >
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  • Wednesday, July 19, 2017
    Karmeier deposition key factor in State Farm's summary judgment move in multi-billion RICO case
    Courts (27) , Tobacco, Smoking Ban, E-Cigarettes , Tort Reform (27)
    EAST ST. LOUIS – Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier swore he knew nothing of campaign contributions from State Farm in 2004, according to a motion the insurer filed against a $10 billion racketeering claim on July 17.

    Ronald Safer of Chicago quoted a deposition of Karmeier in support of a summary judgment motion challenging federal jurisdiction.

    Safer wr...   read more >
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  • Wednesday, July 19, 2017
    Property taxes grow faster than Illinoisans' ability to pay for them
    Taxes, property (87)

    Illinoisans are feeling the pinch of their property tax bills.

    That should come as no surprise, as Illinoisans already pay some of the h...   read more >

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  • Monday, July 17, 2017
    Rauner begins major office staff renovation; panic spreads among Springfield insiders
    Governor (44) , Legislature (56) , Political Parties (Incld Tea Party) (39a) Madigan, Michael--State House, 22
    SPRINGFIELD - While Illinois' historic Governor's Mansion undergoes major renovation, Governor Rauner has commenced with an historic office staff remodeling.

    Springfield insiders are in panic mode, according to the spokesman for Springfield insiders, CapitolFax's Rich Miller. Referred to by many newly-elected newbies as Illinois' own "Swamp," Springfield is facing its first real c...   read more >
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  • Sunday, July 16, 2017
    Look at your paycheck, and say hello to your new Illinois tax increase
    Taxes, income (86) Madigan, Michael--State House, 22
    Take a close look at your next paycheck.

    If you work in Illinois, the state has officially notified your employer that the boss needs to start deducting more from your paycheck and sending the money to Springfield.

    In case you missed it, Illinois’ individual income tax rate is now 4.95 percent, up from 3.75 percent. For a household with an annual income of $100,000...   read more >
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  • Thursday, July 13, 2017
    St. Clair County GOP head, running for 113th House District, calls tax hikes 'misguided'
    Candidates--Legislative (11) Hoffman, Jay--State House, 113 , Madigan, Michael--State House, 22
    St. Clair County GOP chair and candidate for state representative Doug Jameson said he fears that Illinois’ new state budget leaves the state in its worst predicament yet.

    “All this misguided additional spending brings forth the need for reforms even more,” Jameson told the Record. “I’m extremely disappointed we passed tax increases without any reforms...   read more >
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  • Thursday, July 13, 2017
    Gauen: Illinois tax hike's wake sets tone for 2018 elections
    Budget--State (8) , Governor (44) , Taxes, income (86) Madigan, Michael--State House, 22
    It developed as I expected since our last visit: The Illinois state budget constipation was relieved with a big tax increase. That is exactly the way a lot of residents regarded it.

    Grumblers suggested they would just move, although the closest state with a lower income tax rate is Indiana.

    And woe betide we who dared point out that most Illinoisans shared some blame by ...   read more >
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  • Thursday, July 13, 2017
    Illinois GOP governor tacks right after major budget defeat
    Budget--State (8) , Governor (44) , Taxes, income (86)
    CHICAGO • Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is hardening his anti-tax stance as he readies a re-election bid following a major legislative defeat, replacing key staff with leaders of a conservative group that blasted the Republican just a few weeks ago for even considering a tax hike to end a years-long budget impasse.

    Rauner's new chief of staff and a top policy aide, among others,...   read more >
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  • Wednesday, July 12, 2017
    Maybe rising national economy will mean Illinois job loss slows
    Political Parties (Incld Tea Party) (39a) , Taxes, income (86)
    Yes, Illinois state lawmakers increased your income taxes 32 percent starting July 1 — and that is a permanent increase, unlike the temporary hike from 2011 to 2014 that collected $32 billion to pay the state’s bill backlog and only reduced the pile by $1.5 billion.

    They also tried their best to make our slow recovery from the recession even slower by telling businesses...   read more >
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  • Wednesday, July 12, 2017
    Missouri treasurer harshly criticizes Illinois in message to Missouri Legislature
    Budget--State (8) , Legislature (56) , Taxes, income (86) Cullerton, John--State Senate, 6
    ST. LOUIS • It is unusual for an elected representative of one state to hold an event about another state’s problems, but at a Tuesday news conference, Illinois was the target of the Missouri Treasurer Eric Schmitt’s criticism.

    His main message to the public and the Missouri Legislature?

    “Don’t be like Illinois.”

    Last week t...   read more >
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  • Tuesday, July 11, 2017
    Illinois' $21 billion in school debt pushes up property taxes
    Education Funding (36a) , Education--Elementary and Secondary (36) , Taxes, property (87) Ives, Jeanne--State House, 42 , Lang, Lou--State House, 16

    Illinoisans are struggling under the highest property tax burdens in the country.

    Many of the reasons for those high taxes are known...   read more >

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  • Monday, July 10, 2017
    Illinois’ new budget is ‘not an overnight fix’ for Metro East schools
    Education--Elementary and Secondary (36)
    Illinois passed a budget Thursday for the first time since 2015, and is giving more money to education than in previous spending plans.

    But several years of prorated and delayed state aid have forced K-12 school districts in St. Clair and Madison counties to cut staff, increase class sizes, take on debt and deplete cash reserves. And, like the state’s finances, it’s goi...   read more >
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  • Monday, July 10, 2017
    How Illinois Courts Are Bankrupting The State
    Budget--State (8) , Emanuel, Rahm , Governor (44) , Workers' Compensation (97)
    After two years of political impasse, the Illinois legislature passed a budget. Unfortunately, there is nothing to celebrate, since none of the chronic ills that led to the crisis have been solved. Illinois has two critical problems, and they have not been addressed.
      read more >
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  • Monday, July 10, 2017
    Illinois: A State In Crisis
    Budget--State (8) , Governor (44) , Political Parties (Incld Tea Party) (39a)
    The political battle playing out in Illinois at the state level is a national disgrace. Governor Bruce Rauner, a Republican, and the Illinois...   read more >
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  • Monday, July 10, 2017
    Illinoisans are still waiting for independence
    Taxes, income (86)
    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.

    The Illinois General Assembly had a funny way of celebrating this year.

    On July 2, the Illinois House of Representatives passed a budget that includes the largest permanent income tax hike in state h...   read more >
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  • Monday, July 10, 2017
    Illinoisans are still waiting for independence
    Budget--State (8) , Taxes, income (86)
    ore 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.
    read more >
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  • Monday, July 10, 2017
    Illinois' two-year fiscal nightmare is over. Or else just beginning.
    Budget--State (8) , Governor (44) Madigan, Michael--State House, 22
    Just as Illinois legislators on Thursday were getting ready to approve a major tax increase to fund the state’s first budget in two years, a woman threw white powder in the Capitol, causing officials to lock down the building and call in a hazmat team.

    The powder turned out to be harmless, the House gave final passage to the spending plan, and a joke on Twitter captured just ...   read more >
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  • Monday, July 10, 2017
    Big financial woes linger in Illinois' new budget
    Budget--State (8)
    CHICAGO • Illinois' first budget after two years is filled with partial outlines to address its debt-ridden pension system and unpaid bill backlog — signs that political fighting and the fiscal mess in the nation's fifth-largest state are far from over.

    At least 15 House and Senate Republicans broke with first-term Republican Governor Bruce Rauner on Thursday and joined...   read more >
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  • Friday, July 7, 2017
    Bankrupt Illinois Slams Citizens with 32% Income Tax Hike, More to Come
    Budget--State (8) , Taxes, income (86)
    As the state of Illinois edges near becoming the first U.S. state to ever be rated junk bond status, the Democrat-controlled legislature of the bankrupt state of Illinois has just voted to slam its citizens with a hefty 32 percent hike in state income taxes.

    After a series of delays, as a legislature obviously embarrassed by its own actions dithered, the State House finally approve...   read more >
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  • Friday, July 7, 2017
    The fight is on for two high-profile Metro East congressional seats
    Candidates--Federal (13)
    In the latest indication that national Democrats are serious about targeting two Republican-held congressional seats in the Metro East next year, two new candidates with party ties and apparent party backing have announced they're running.

    St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly will seek the Democratic nomination to the 12th Congressional district, currently held by Rep. M...   read more >
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  • Thursday, July 6, 2017
    Moody's warns Illinois could still be cut to junk even with budget
    Budget--State (8) , Governor (44) Durkin, Jim--State House, 82 , Madigan, Michael--State House, 22
    CHICAGO • Even if Illinois' House of Representatives takes action to enact a new budget on Thursday, the state still risks a downgrade in its credit rating to junk, Moody's Investors Service warned on Wednesday.

    The Democratic-controlled House on Thursday will attempt to overturn Republican Governor Bruce Rauner's vetoes of spending and tax increase measures aimed at ending t...   read more >
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  • Thursday, July 6, 2017
    Gauen: Illinois tax increase will pay bills that grew as voters dozed
    Budget--State (8) , Taxes, income (86)
    Do you buy things knowing you may not ever be able to pay them off? And can you do it without worry for who gets hurt? If so, perhaps you qualify to be an Illinois lawmaker.

    For years, legislators virtually ignored the expenses they and their forebears ran up. They knew the state was spending more than it was taking in but continued anyway. They violated the rules of common sense, ...   read more >
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  • Wednesday, July 5, 2017
    Illinois Senate overrides Gov. Rauner's vetoes of tax increase and state budget
    Budget--State (8) , Governor (44) Hutchinson, Toi--State Senate, 40 , Madigan, Michael--State House, 22
    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. • The Illinois Senate voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's vetoes of a $36 billion budget package Tuesday, including a $5 billion tax increase designed to start digging out of the nation's longest budget crisis since at least the Great Depression.

    The Democratic-controlled chamber completed its work within 30 minutes of the Republican governor's vetoes, sen...   read more >
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  • Wednesday, July 5, 2017
    An Illinois budget can't come soon enough for the state's public schools
    Budget--State (8) , Education Funding (36a)
    Funding relief that Illinois schools need to start this new school year may arrive as soon as this week, if the state can finally enact a budget that was supposed to be finished five days ago but is more than two years overdue.

    The tardiness has left many schools feeling exhausted by financial uncertainties that have come to characterize the last several years of public education i...   read more >
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