Illinois’ comeback story starts here.

Illinois Supreme Court strikes down remap referendum

The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed an earlier decision keeping the legislative mapmaking process in political hands.

By Austin Berg

Rauner signs bill to discourage incarceration for low-level offenders with no prior violent convictions

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed into law Senate Bill 3164, which requires a court to review a presentencing report and explain why incarceration is appropriate prior to imposing a prison sentence on a Class 3 or Class 4 felony offender with no prior violent convictions.

By Amy Korte

The Illinois Insider’s Club

Rauner signs juvenile justice reforms into law

The governor signed two bills designed to improve outcomes for Illinois youth who become involved with the criminal justice system.

By Austin Berg

Taxpayers forced to pay $421 million more for teacher pensions

The Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System’s actuarial changes will drive up taxpayer contributions by $421 million in 2017. These latest changes prove Illinois’ pension math doesn’t work.

By Ted Dabrowski, John Klingner

Understanding the stalled contract negotiations between the state and AFSCME

An administrative law judge could issue a decision as early as Sept. 1 on whether Illinois state workers and the governor are at an impasse in contract negotiations. Here’s a rundown of the proceedings between Illinois’ largest government-worker union and the state, as well as their potential impact on residents and state employees.

By Mailee Smith

David Johnston

“It’s so frustrating. We’re out here making money for the city but they make it really difficult. We’re a small business, man. Food truck people are people too. We’re not monsters. “When you’re dealing with thousands of restaurants and only a handful of food trucks, it’s tough. And the mindset of all of these rules...

Hubert Powell

“I’ve had this truck for four years. But we get tickets every week. And that’s not a good feeling but we need to fight the fight. We have a lot of unemployed people in Chicago who need to make something of themselves in this business.  “We fight because I get repeat customers every day and...

CPS’ 2017 budget: More taxes, more borrowing, no accountability

Chicago Public Schools officials had an opportunity to enact serious reforms addressing the district’s dire financial condition, but they instead opted to further burden Chicago taxpayers without offering any change.

By Ted Dabrowski, John Klingner

Rauner signs bill to allow McHenry, Lake counties to consolidate units of local government

A new law signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner on Aug. 5 gives McHenry and Lake counties the authority to consolidate and dissolve units of local government within their boundaries, a power granted to DuPage County in 2013.

By Mindy Ruckman

Illinois taxpayers on the hook for pension failures

More realistic investment return assumptions by the Teachers’ Retirement System mean Illinois taxpayer contributions to the fund could rise by hundreds of millions of dollars. Ending teacher pension pickups would alleviate the burden on Illinois taxpayers.

By Ted Dabrowski, John Klingner

Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System looks to lower its expected investment rate of return

The Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System’s adoption of more realistic investment return assumptions would cause the system’s unfunded liabilities to grow by about $6 billion above their current $62 billion level.

By Ted Dabrowski, John Klingner

Food-stamp fraud and prevalence signs of a struggling state

More than 1 in 5 Illinois households rely on food stamps to make ends meet.

By Austin Berg