Get the latest news from around Illinois.
Chicago Tribune: 'Let the people vote' on pension reform too
Coming your way in November 2020: the option to change Illinois’ flat income tax to graduated rates.
Not coming your way in November 2020: a chance for tax relief and government spending reform. Not yet. And not likely unless voters demand it.
Crain's Chicago Business: Pritzker's 'allies' are hurting his drive for a graduated income tax
The campaign over the proposed constitutional amendment already is underway, and it’s becoming an expensive and all-out political brawl. To win, Team Pritzker and its allies will have to be smart and tactical, appealing not only to the party’s left wing but moderates who need reassurance that passage finally will stabilize the state, opening the door to economic growth.
Northwest Herald: Labor unions push for expanded gambling in final days of legisative session
One of the state’s largest labor unions urged lawmakers to pass an expanded gambling bill in the waning days of the 2019 session, saying it would not only create new jobs in Illinois but would provide needed funding for a multibillion-dollar capital improvements plan.
“Illinois is recovering from the trauma of four years of budget impasse, starving out vital services, and a public works stagnation,” Michael Carrigan, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO, said during a Statehouse news conference Tuesday. “An expansion of gaming will help fund much-needed infrastructure construction and be a shot in the arm for revenue for this state.”
Rockford Register-Star: Plans for Rockford casino revived, linked to sports betting
A House Democrat has revived plans to expand the number of casinos in Illinois, including one in Rockford, and linked the measure to a popular sports betting bill.
Now lawmakers must move quickly to pass the measure before the General Assembly adjourns its spring legislative session on Friday.
State Journal-Register: Bill would ban e-cigs in public indoor places
Vaping products, including electronic cigarettes, could not be used in indoor public settings under a bill approved by an Illinois Senate committee Tuesday.
Under Senate Bill 1864, the devices would be treated the same as tobacco products when it comes to using them indoors in public areas.
Chicago Tribune: Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot lays out 100-day ethics agenda: ‘Change is necessary’
A day before Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was set to preside over her first City Council meeting, the former federal prosecutor on Tuesday again took aim at curbing aldermanic power and promised to push long-stalled ethics reforms.
Lightfoot said her administration would push for reforms to prevent officials from personally profiting off their elected positions, strengthen the city’s inspector general’s office and raise penalties for ethics violations, among other measures.
Chicago Sun-Times: Lightfoot taps former City Clerk del Valle as school board chief to ‘hit the ground running’
Former City Clerk and mayoral challenger Miguel del Valle is Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s choice to serve as president of the Chicago Board of Education, City Hall sources said Tuesday.
Last week, the entire school board resigned en masse, setting the stage for Lightfoot to appoint an entirely new board with a heavy emphasis on parents, local school council members and other stakeholders.
Crain's Chicago Business: Lightfoot pushes $15 minimum wage, more local control over police
Included: raising the Chicago minimum wage to $15 an hour “by 2021,” forming a citizen panel with the power to oversee and fire the police superintendent and other top safety officials, reducing fines and fees that often hit low-income minority people hard and abolishing “aldermanic prerogatives”—all of them—including power over local zoning decisions.