Illinois’ comeback story starts here.

Our regrettable shrinking state

The U.S. Census Bureau released new migration data Dec. 20, and it’s frightening. Illinois has a massive people problem. From July 2015 to July 2016, the state’s population declined by more than 37,000 people. That’s the worst population loss in the nation, and will likely mean the loss of a seat in the U.S. House...

By Austin Berg

New Illinois laws going into effect in 2017

2017 will usher in more transparency and opportunity in areas from criminal justice to government employee expenses to pensions.

By Brendan Bakala

2016 Corruption Watch: Chicago, East St. Louis take top corruption spots

This year was full of corruption and mismanagement from public officials, but four instances in particular stand out.

By Mindy Ruckman

Father Time: Madigan

Uber, food trucks and Airbnb: Chicago’s 3 biggest over-regulation stories from 2016

It’s no secret Chicago aldermen aren’t friendly to outsider businesses and innovative industries. Here’s a look at some of the most egregious examples from 2016.

By Chris Lentino

Illinois ends 2016 with nearly $11 billion in unpaid bills

Though spending on government-worker salaries and pensions has grown at a rapid rate, many service providers and grant recipients are still awaiting payment.

By Brendan Bakala

Dave Mansfield

“I’m gonna cry, guys. Never thought this day would come. You know, 27 or 28 years I’ve been here and it’s time to move on. My eyes opened up to what was happening. And I realized, do I really want to invest that kind of money in a home in Chicago and the state of...

What 2017 brings the Illinois General Assembly: Lame duck and the end of Madigan’s supermajority

January 2017 will see a new General Assembly, but the lame duck session casts a long shadow over the new legislature.

By Heather Weiner

AFSCME ends 2016 the way it started it: costing taxpayers millions

2016 is ending much the same way it began for Illinois taxpayers – with AFSCME costing the state millions of dollars as it stalls progress on a contract for state workers. We can expect more of the same in 2017, with union leadership doing all it can to thwart Gov. Bruce Rauner and the state’s labor board – including the possibility of a state worker strike.

By Mailee Smith

2 million Illinoisans struggle to put food on their tables

Recent data from the Illinois Department of Human Services show nearly 2 million Illinois residents need government assistance to put food on the table this holiday season, as the state continues to hemorrhage manufacturing jobs and other blue-collar opportunities. Each year’s end is a time for reflection.

By Madelyn Harwood

Springfield 2016: Taxpayer, criminal justice victories amid ongoing budget gridlock

Although the battle for the budget drags on, there were several important legislative wins for Illinoisans in 2016 including criminal justice reform, averting tax hikes, and stopping Madigan’s agenda in the lame duck session.

By Ari Shroyer


$39 billion: Where does Illinois’ tax revenue come from?

Income and sales taxes account for nearly two-thirds of state revenue.

By Craig Lesner