AFSCME dues help defend Madigan in sexual harassment lawsuit

By Mailee Smith
12/13/2019
AFSCME gave $71,400 in October to Friends of Michael J. Madigan – the same election committee the Illinois House speaker used to pay legal fees in a sexual harassment lawsuit.

TAGS: AFSCME: American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, Alaina Hampton, exclusive representation, Illinois, Illinois General Assembly, Illinois State Board of Elections, lawsuit, Mike Madigan, settlement, sexual harrassment, Springfield, unions

New car trade-in tax will hit Illinois drivers New Year’s Day

By Austin Berg
12/12/2019
Illinois will impose a new sales tax on vehicle trade-ins beginning New Year’s Day. That’s why car dealerships have been running radio ads for weeks telling Illinoisans to come on down before the ball drops.

TAGS: Chicago, Cook County, gas tax, Illinois, Illinois General Assembly, JB Pritzker, progressive tax, registration fee, soda tax, Springfield, Toni Preckwinkle, trade-in tax, vehicle registration

Will County board to vote on 4-cent countywide gas tax following doubled Illinois tax

By Vincent Caruso
12/10/2019
Included in Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s capital plan is increased taxing power for some county governments to create or raise countywide gas taxes. Will County could be the first to exercise that authority.

TAGS: capital plan, Democratic Party, excise tax, gas tax, Illinois, Illinois General Assembly, infrastructure, JB Pritzker, republican, sales tax, Springfield, tax increase, transportation

Progressive income tax study guide

By Orphe Divounguy, Adam Schuster, Bryce Hill
12/10/2019
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker calls it the “fair tax.” Opponents say it’s a “blank check” for irresponsible spending. Here’s what you need to know.

TAGS: ballot referendums, California, Connecticut, corporate income tax, fair tax, general election, graduated income tax, Illinois, Illinois General Assembly, income tax, JB Pritzker, middle class, outmigration, pension reform, population loss, progressive tax, Springfield

Absent pension crisis, Illinois could afford ‘free’ college

By Adam Schuster
12/10/2019
Illinois could give every undergraduate in public college nearly $70k a year if it spent the same 4% of its budget on pensions as it did throughout the 90s, rather than the 25% it spends today.

TAGS: college, DCFS: Department of Children and Family Services, general revenue fund, Illinois, Illinois General Assembly, illinois state police, pension costs, pension crisis, pension debt, savings, Springfield, state university, students, tax burden, undergraduate

FBI asking about Madigan money, political clout in corruption investigation

By Austin Berg
12/06/2019
There is little doubt the FBI is targeting the longtime House speaker and Democratic political boss in their sweeping investigation of Illinois corruption.

TAGS: blank check, ComEd, Commonwealth Edison, conflict of interests, corruption, Democratic Party, ethics, fair maps, fair tax, FBI, federal investigation, gerrymandering, house rules, Illinois, Illinois General Assembly, independent maps, lawmakers, Mike Madigan, revolving door, rules committee, Springfield, watchdog

New taxes and fees on Illinois driving, vehicles total $1.9B

By Ben Szalinski
12/05/2019
Jan. 1 marks a second wave of taxes aimed at drivers to support an infrastructure package championed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker and shrouded in corruption allegations.

TAGS: capital plan, drivers, driving, gas tax, Illinois, Illinois General Assembly, infrastructure, JB Pritzker, Luis Arroyo, Martin Sandoval, motor fuel tax, parking garages, parking tax, progressive income tax, public works, Rebuild Illinois, Springfield, trade-in tax, vehicle registration

Up to 140,000 able-bodied Illinoisans may need jobs to get food stamps in 2020

By Vincent Caruso
12/05/2019
Just Cook County food stamp recipients were facing work requirements Jan. 1 if they were under age 50, able-bodied and had no dependents. Now the rules will apply throughout Illinois starting April 1.

TAGS: criminal justice reform, Donald Trump, food stamps, Foundation for Government Accountability, Illinois, Illinois General Assembly, job creation, jobs, jobs growth, labor force participation rate, Michigan, National Conference of State Legislatures, over-regulation, regulation, regulations, small business, SNAP, Springfield, tax burden, unemployment, West Virginia, Wisconsin