Illinois’ comeback story starts here.

Madigan’s rules: How one man controls Illinois

Illinoisans may elect who goes to the House of Representatives, but they don’t choose their representation – at least not in any meaningful sense. The power belongs to Madigan. And he represents himself.

By Austin Berg

Illinois lags in easing entry regulations for professions

In Illinois, professionals such as auctioneers, makeup artists and manicurists cannot work without the government’s permission. Even as increasing numbers of Illinoisans flee the state in search of better opportunities, as many as 1 in 4 jobs may be off-limits to the people who want to do them. And in many cases those same workers...

By Mark Adams

Madigan’s ditto machine

Rauner agrees to expand medical marijuana program for those with PTSD, terminal illnesses

A compromise among Illinois’ legislative leaders will extend the length and scope of Illinois’ medical marijuana pilot program.

By Austin Berg

Removing barriers for ex-offenders: Occupational-licensing expansion bill passes Illinois Senate

House Bill 5973 would help ex-offenders support themselves and their families by removing barriers for nonviolent ex-offenders who want to work in barbering, cosmetology, esthetics, hair braiding, nail services, roofing and funeral service.

By Hilary Gowins

Why Rauner should veto all of Madigan’s budget

Senate Bill 2048 isn’t a serious blueprint for the future of Illinois.

By Craig Lesner

Madigan’s unbalanced budget doesn’t appropriate pay for state workers

If AFSCME workers cannot be paid in the absence of a budget appropriation, pressure will be turned up on the governor to agree to the union’s unreasonable demands.

By Mailee Smith

Madigan budget chicken

Anton McLean

“All of my family members growing up were barbers, cosmetologists, jobs like like that. I learned to love being around people since they were always coming through my house to get a cut. “I love to cut hair, I love being around people. And enrolling in barber school was one of the first positive things...

$2 million per year in tax breaks buys 2,000 new Amazon jobs for Illinois

Amazon’s new Joliet, Ill., facilities will bring needed jobs to the state, but special tax deals are not the way to improve Illinois’ sluggish jobs climate.

By Joe Kaiser

Illinois state politicians still waiting on paychecks because of refusal to pass balanced budget

Latest budget proposal from House Democrats would almost certainly cause further delays in officials’ pay, as Gov. Bruce Rauner would likely veto the plan, which is unbalanced by $7 billion.

By Joe Kaiser

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

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.

By Ted Dabrowski, John Klingner

Why Gov. Rauner should sign marijuana decriminalization into law

Imposing civil fines instead of criminal penalties for marijuana possession is a smart first step toward changing how the state deals with low-level, nonviolent crimes.

By Bryant Jackson-Green