Both police reform advocates and law enforcement supporters face the same serious obstacle in Illinois: police union contracts include provisions protecting officers from discipline. Those contracts carry more weight than state law.View Report
Chicago had planned to use half of its federal relief funds to pay down pandemic debts, but new federal guidance may prevent that. Regardless, without pension reform the city will continue drowning in debt.
Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan will collect $85,000 a year, but in a little more than a year his pension will shoot up to nearly $150,000 a year.
President Joe Biden on Friday is expected to sign the COVID-19 stimulus bill, with direct payments to most Illinoisans and a significant boost to local and state governments. Illinois can use this opportunity to fix state finances.
State lawmakers have significantly abused and underfunded their own pension system. Ending it would be a plus, but only a constitutional amendment will stop pension debt from swallowing Illinois.
Illinois worst-in-the-nation public pension debt grew 19% year over year. It will continue hurting the state economy and job growth, driving more people out of Illinois, unless there are reforms.
Illinois again ranked second for highest property tax rates in the nation in 2021, behind only New Jersey. Illinois homeowners average $4,942 in property taxes on the U.S. median valued home of $217,500 – exactly double the national average. That’s a tax each year of 2.27% of the house value, according to the 2021 state...
Illinoisans pay a hidden pension tax. Eliminating that cost would free up resources to help Illinois recover from the COVID-19 recession while also raising the state’s long-term economic potential.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker plans another year of flat education spending. The reality is the cash reaching classrooms is dwindling as pensions and administration eat more.
Cook County’s first property tax payments are due March 2. In Chicago, property taxes have grown more than 3 times faster than inflation for 20 years.
Because of a pension sweetener for politicians that Madigan helped create, the former speaker’s pension will spike more than $66,000 the year after his first full year of retirement, then grow 3% each year thereafter.