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  • Tuesday, January 23, 2018
    Rauner says he will propose income tax cut; 'wasteful spending' will curb deficit
    Budget--State (8) , Comptroller (21) , Governor (44)
    SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner said Monday that he will propose rolling back last year's income tax increase in a "step-down" process over several years while also tackling a continuing deficit of billions of dollars.

    The Republican, who will propose a budget outline next month, revealed his plan to pare down the tax increase — a $5 billion-a-year revenue boost —...   read more >
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  • Friday, January 19, 2018
    Why the 2017 tax hikes will harm Illinois’ economy
    Economy (34) , Taxes, income (86) , Taxes, misc. (89)
    In 2017, the Illinois General Assembly passed a 32 percent income tax hike, the largest permanent income tax hike in Illinois history. Lawmakers hiked the personal income tax to 4.95 percent from 3.75 percent and the corporate incom...   read more >
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  • Thursday, January 18, 2018
    New legislation would ban taxpayer-funded harassment settlements in Springfield
    Legislature (56) , Sexual Harassment (96) Cullerton, Thomas--State Senate, 23 , McSweeney, David--State House, 52 , Silverstein, Ira--State Senate, 8
    With a wave of harassment accusations in Springfield, lawmakers want to ensure their colleagues accused of misconduct aren’t bailed out by Illinois taxpayers.

    A couple U.S. congressmen have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to staffers accusing them of sexual misconduct. To make matters worse, the payouts were done in secret via the “Office of Compliance.” Tex...   read more >
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  • Thursday, January 18, 2018
    People in Illinois with 'intractable pain' can get medical marijuana now
    Medical Marijuana
    CHICAGO • A judge has ordered the state of Illinois to expand the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use to include intractable pain.

    The order issued Tuesday by Cook County Circuit Judge Raymond Mitchell seeks to overturn a decision by the Illinois Department of Public Health rejecting pain that's resistant to treatment as a qualifier for medical marijuana use. Dire...   read more >
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  • Wednesday, January 17, 2018
    Chester appeals to state comptroller to pay Menard bills
    Comptroller (21) , Corrections (74) , Prisons (74)
    The city of Chester will send a letter of hardship to the Illinois comptroller's office, calling on the state to make a dent in the $1 million it owes for utilities consumed by the Menard maximum and medium security prisons.

    Mayor Tom Page said a representative of Comptroller Susana Mendoza's office met with him in Chester recently, and Page is hopeful it means the city will soon g...   read more >
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  • Wednesday, January 17, 2018
    Chester appeals to state comptroller to pay Menard bills
    Agriculture (2) , Education--Elementary and Secondary (36)
    The city of Chester will send a letter of hardship to the Illinois comptroller's office, calling on the state to make a dent in the $1 million it owes for utilities consumed by the Menard maximum and medium security prisons.

    Mayor Tom Page said a representative of Comptroller Susana Mendoza's office met with him in Chester recently, and Page is hopeful it means the city will soon g...   read more >
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  • Wednesday, January 17, 2018
    Illinois Bible Colleges Petition the United States Supreme Court
    Education--Higher (37)
    CHICAGO - Recently, the Illinois Bible College Association (IBCA) filed a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States to adjudicate the right of the Bible colleges to operate and grant religious degrees without government interference. A Chicago federal district court denied the Bible colleges the freedom to grant degrees and its decision was affirmed by the Seventh Circ...   read more >
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  • Wednesday, January 17, 2018
    Government watchdog: Illinois fudged jobs data to get federal OK to waive work requirement for food stamp recipients
    Human Services (75) , Public Aid (75)
    A government accountability group says the state of Illinois is fudging employment data in order to allow more healthy Illinoisans to receive taxpayer-funded food stamps without having to work.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved an Illinois Department of Human Services waiver request in October for the entire 2018 calendar year. The move means able-bodied adults without de...   read more >
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  • Wednesday, January 17, 2018
    Someone needs to monitor our State Board of Elections
    Election Issues (not candidates) (39)
    “With 19,520 registered voters as of January 13, 2012, and only 19,000 persons over the age of 18 [in East St. Louis], according to the United States Census Bureau’s 2010 report, it seems that we have now a major case of over-registration,” Matt Hawkins of the East St. Louis Alliance for Change lamented six years ago.

    Since registration of eligible voters is never...   read more >
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  • Monday, January 15, 2018
    Illinois property taxes rise six times faster than income during recession
    Taxes, property (87)
    Two recent studies said property taxes weren’t really so bad in Illinois.

    Bet your experience is very different.

    Now another study using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey is telling us that, yes, property taxes are high here — but that’s not the worst part.

    Between 2008 and 2015 during the Great Recession, pro...   read more >
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  • Friday, January 12, 2018
    Legislator optimistic about port project in Alexander County
    Economic Development (35) , Rivers (23) Fowler, Dale--State Senate, 59
    State Sen. Dale Fowler, R-Harrisburg, said the start of a new year is bringing promising beginnings for development of a river port in Alexander County.

    Fowler said he also began 2018 by preparing for the start of scheduled spring session, coordinating with local mayors throughout the 59th District to meet before lawmakers return to Springfield at the end of January and joining th...   read more >
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  • Friday, January 12, 2018
    S&P: Illinois’ long term debt obligations won’t be solved by short term increased economic activity
    Bonds, Bonding, Borrowing, Debt, Credit Rating , Budget--State (8) , Medicaid, Managed Care
    While state coffers may reap the reward of increased tax revenues from expected economic expansion in the short term, a ratings agency warns Illinois’ long-term liabilities are a growing concern.

    A new S&P report forecasting the state sector says federal tax reform is expected to increase economic activity in the short term, but S&P Managing Director and lead credit a...   read more >
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  • Friday, January 12, 2018
    Biased or not, Kolker's decision not likely to stand
    Governor (44) , Unions, labor (55)
    He insists that his decision was not politically motivated and that he had the law on his side. Nevertheless, Associate Judge Chris Kolker's decision – overturning Gov. Bruce Rauner's executive order nullifying the so-called “fair share” fees that non-union state workers must pay to the unions ostensibly representing them – is likely to have little long-term effect.   read more >
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  • Tuesday, January 9, 2018
    For your own good: Illinois the seventh-most ‘paternalistic’ state in the country, study finds
    Taxes, misc. (89)
    The Land of Lincoln is also the land of “sin” taxes, “saint” subsidies and other nanny-like policies, according to a new study.

    Illinois lawmakers have a proclivity for paternalism, according to a new study from the Mercatus Center. The study, which uses a “freedom from paternalism” index, found Illinois to be one of the most paternalistic state...   read more >
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  • Tuesday, January 9, 2018
    Law enforcement not 100% on-board with all proposed sex offender changes
    Sexual assault, Sex Crime (96)
    Some of Illinois' law enforcers are a bit cautious about a plan to change the rules for Illinois sex offenders.

    A new report suggests that Illinois lawmakers let some people off Illinois' sex offender registry.

    The report, finalized last month, is the end product of months of meetings between advocates, defense attorneys, victims, police officers and prosecutors.
    ...   read more >
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  • Tuesday, January 9, 2018
    Wirepoints: State Treasurer's social justice warrior investment practices makes bad policy
    Treasurer (92)
    A financial expert says "social justice warrior" investment practices of Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs makes for bad policy and sets a dangerous precedent for future administrations that may hold different political views.

    Mark Glennon, former corporate attorney and venture capitalist, wrote in a Jan. 8 article for Wirepoints that he learned through a Freedom of Informa...   read more >
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  • Monday, January 8, 2018
    Section of Illinois DUI law ruled unconstitutional
    DUI (80a)
    Law enforcement officers investigating DUI cases need a warrant before drawing blood and urine samples from a driver suspected of being impaired, a split Illinois appeals court ruled.

    In a 2-1 decision, the 1st District Illinois Appellate Court ruled part of the state’s DUI law unconstitutional and reversed the first-degree murder conviction of Ralph Eubanks, who was sentence...   read more >
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  • Friday, January 5, 2018
    Illinois legislators react to possible DOJ move on marijuana prohibition
    Drugs (32) , Medical Marijuana Barickman, Jason--State House, 105 , Cassidy, Kelly--State House, 14
    State lawmakers are unclear what the U.S. Department of Justice’s threats Thursday to enforce federal marijuana prohibition on states with legal pot sales will mean for Illinois.

    Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and reports from Washington suggest that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions intends to give district prosecutors more discretion to enforce cannabis proh...   read more >
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  • Friday, January 5, 2018
    Illinois Prisoner Review Board member made racist remark as sheriff’s deputy
    Corrections (74) , Governor (44) , Prisons (74)
    An Illinois Prisoner Review Board member found to have used racial slurs during his time as a Coles County Sheriff’s deputy won’t comment on the issue.

    Illinois’ PRB handles good-conduct hearings, reviews parole issues for certain offenders, and makes clemency recommendations. One of the 14 members on the board, former Coles County sheriff’s deputy John Clou...   read more >
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  • Friday, January 5, 2018
    Bryant defends budget vote
    Budget--State (8) Bryant, Terri--State House, 115
    Editor's note: This is the last article in a two-part series stemming from a conversation with State Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Mt. Vernon.

    MT. VERNON — Voting for the state budget in July was a must, given Illinois' catastrophic financial condition at the time, said State Rep. Terri Bryant.

    It was a tough decision, but Bryant said the state's pending junk bond ...   read more >
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  • Thursday, January 4, 2018
    New $100,000 donation from Rauners' foundation could jumpstart Cairo Port project
    Economic Development (35) , Rivers (23) Fowler, Dale--State Senate, 59
    CAIRO — A fresh infusion of hope came with the new year for the Cairo Port project in the form of a sizable donation from the Rauner Family Foundation.

    In a news release from Cairo Public Utility on Wednesday, it was announced that Gov. Bruce Rauner and wife Diana Rauner’s foundation would be donating $100,000 to the project. Larry Klein, chairman of the Port District a...   read more >
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  • Thursday, January 4, 2018
    Mattoon Township businesses see over 100 percent property tax hike in one year
    Taxes, property (87)
    A federal lawsuit alleges that a central Illinois county’s assessor has been appraising property based on what the county needs to spend, not what the business is worth.

    Business owners in a Coles County township say they were taxed at very unfair rates compared to their neighbors elsewhere in the county. Their lawsuit, which was appealed in federal court last week, says some...   read more >
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  • Wednesday, January 3, 2018
    Land of leaving: Moving companies rank Illinois No. 1 for outbound vans
    Demographics, Census, Statistics , Economy (34) , Taxes, misc. (89)
    Studies from two moving companies list Illinois as the top “outbound state” for 2017.

    Studies by two major American moving companies rank Illinois as the top “outbound” state of 2017.

    On Jan. 2, United Van Lines released its 41st annual National Movers Study and Atlas Van Lines released its 2017 Migration Patterns study. United based the study on...   read more >
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  • Wednesday, January 3, 2018
    Automatic voter registration law doesn’t allocate money for implementation
    Election Issues (not candidates) (39)
    Automatically registering voters anytime they register with certain state government agencies was considered a major legislative priority by some at the statehouse, but lawmakers haven’t put the necessary tax dollars behind it to get it started.

    As it is right now, Illinois residents can opt in to registering to vote when they get or update information for a state ID card or ...   read more >
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  • Wednesday, January 3, 2018
    St. Clair County clerk agrees to cease 'loss and cost of collection' increase on taxing districts
    Metro East (65) , Taxes, property (87)
    BELLEVILLE – St. Clair County Clerk Thomas Holbrook has agreed to stop adding a percentage to line items in district levies which ended up increasing property tax paid by homeowners.

    Holbrook had been adding a percentage to line items in levy requests made by municipalities, court documents reveal.

    In a court document obtained by the Madison - St. Clair Rec...   read more >
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