Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Connecting the dots between our economy, government and people —

Top Illinois Stories

City of Peoria mulls $90K call center contract to field pension fee questions – CIProud

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Should unions refund collected fees that were later declared unconstitutional? Appeals court to decide – Cook County Record

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled it is unconstitutional to require non-union state workers in Illinois to pay "fair share" fees to a union, but a Chicago federal appeals panel is considering whether a union must refund millions of dollars in fees already collected.

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Editorial: Fix Pensions Now or Voters Will Revolt – Video – Fox Chicago

An exceptionally candid and firm editorial.

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Report: Illinois Seen as Worst Legal Climate for General Counsel and Their Companies – Law.com

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More Highlighted Illinois Stories

Group wants Illinois to divert $2.2M for East St. Louis firefighter pensions – The Telegraph

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Commentary: Be wary of ‘painless’ reform promises – JournalCourier

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Illinois’ financially distressed municipal laws need ‘teeth’ before next downturn, expert says – Center Square

Comment: The distressed municipal laws are a waste of time for truly distressed towns and cities. Only debt reduction or reorganization will help them, and only bankruptcy law has that power.

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Frankfort non-profit raises funds to pay off mortgages for two fallen Illinois officers – IL Review

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East St. Louis pensioners paid $2.4 million into fund, have collected $36 million – Metro East Sun

East St. Louis was recently subject to a filing to intercept state money owed to it, to be diverted to its pension, which we wrote about here.

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Illinois automobile dealers will try to repeal looming trade-in tax with higher taxes on private sales – Center Square

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Third Illinois city faces seizure of state funds for pensions – Center Square

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Did Illinois Make The Right Move on Gambling Expansion? Expert Says It’s Complicated – NPR IL

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Pritzker: Broke. Please help me raise taxes. – Eric Allie Cartoon

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Sweeping changes to IL employment laws mean employers should take note, make changes to avoid big penalties – Cook County Record

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Audit Flags Safety, Money Problems In Illinois Prisons – NPR IL

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Illinois population loss is Wisconsin’s gain – Politifact Wisconsin

The evidence includes Cubs gear at Miller Park.

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Bankrupt Illinois Cities Forced To Cut Services To Fund Pensions – ZeroHedge

A republication of our Wirepoints article.

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Illinois AG joins lawsuit against federal limits to California’s regulatory powers – Capitol News IL

California’s ability to regulate the pollution limits of cars and light trucks should not be limited by the federal government, Illinois’ top lawyer argued in a joint court filing Friday, because those standards positively impact the health of his constituents. Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined a group of 22 other states, the District of Columbia and two cities in suing the federal government after it moved Thursday to revoke the most populous state’s ability to set stricter emission specifications than those required by President Donald Trump’s Administration. The lawsuit is testing the waters for how federal and state powers will be weighed when setting environmental policies to combat climate change.

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Op-Ed: Local pension bailout would make Illinoisans’ income tax bills rise as fast as their property taxes – Center Square

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Small businesses in Illinois prepare for state’s new retirement savings law – Center Square

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Illinois law regulates artificial intelligence use in video job interviews – Center Square

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Gerrymandering is voter suppression. Period. – Opinion – Crain’s

"Our elections are rigged and rotten. More of us need to wake up to that realization. The fix is put in when politicians from one party or the other draw political districts to their own party's advantage after each census, which will happen next in 2021. In Illinois, both Republicans and Democrats have done the rigging over the decades. It's wrong every time."

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Chicago and Illinois Update: Summer 2019 Catch-Up Edition – Stump

An actuary's perspective -- Mary Pat Campbell.

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Former Illinois state worker Mark Janus asks federal appeals court for reimbursement in union dues case – Center Square

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‘Political questions’: Judges duck thorny IL constitutional issues, but how much free rein should IL pols have? – Cook County Record

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Peoria property owners to be billed public safety pension fees – CIProud

All Peoria property owners will receive another bill in October. The city needs $1.2 million by the end of the year to fund police and firefighter pensions.

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Amazon taps Rivian to build 100,000 custom electric delivery vans at its Illinois factory, starting in 2021 – Chicago Tribune

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The Chicago Way w/John Kass (06/19/19): Recruiting Kristen McQueary for the Chicago Way Diner, how will get hurt before Illinois bankruptcy is an option, and more… – WGN

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Illinois Unemployment Rate Hit Lowest Monthly Level In August, State Says – CBS Chicago

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Skeptics skewer ‘fair tax’ during Orland forum, but supporters say it’s the best option – Daily Southtown

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Trump declares Illinois a disaster area – WTVO

(Their headline, not ours.)

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Study shows Illinois spends more than $140,000 per mile on roads, more than most other states – Center Square

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Illinois’ public pensions are 80.4 percent government funded, 7th highest in U.S. – Center Square

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Democrat ‘encouraged’ to recommend progressive tax to reduce Illinois’ high property taxes – Center Square

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Top Chicago Stories

What’s wrong—and right—in Chicago real estate – Crain’s

A recent survey of real estate investors doesn’t give Chicago much respect, but at least the place is more popular than Hartford and Buffalo. The Chicago-area market ranks 48th out of the 80 largest U.S. real estate markets in PWC's annual “Emerging Trends in Real Estate” survey. That’s up one place from last year, but down from 2017, when it ranked 42nd, and 2016, when it ranked 19th.

The full PWC report is linked here.

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Chicago business owners fear changes to minimum wage rules could kill jobs – Fox Chicago

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Sanders, Warren Back Chicago Teachers Union Amid Contract Negotiations – NBC Chicago

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No Good Options as Chicago Seeks Revenue – Tax Foundation

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More Highlighted Chicago Stories

Wirepoints president argues that Mayor Lightfoot failing to stand up for ‘ordinary Chicagoans’ – Chicago City Wire

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Weed Will Soon Be Legal in Illinois. Here’s What It Means for Chicago’s Cannabis Startups. – Chicago Inno

“Once you start seeing dispensaries pop up on pinnacle real estate corners in Chicago, it’s going to have a real impact on culture and it’s going to bring a whole new set of folks into the space.”

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Chicago investors’ conference set the table for October budget release – The Bond Buyer

Investors welcomed the opportunity to meet and hear directly from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, but they remain hungry to see the details of how she will tackle an $838 million deficit.

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Indian Firm in Chicago Paid Employees India-level Wages, Took Jobs from U.S. Graduates – Breitbart

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Concealed Carry Holder Died Trying to Help Others – NBC Chicago

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‘Don’t be a Fossil Fool’: Chicago Youth Demonstrate for Environmental Justice – WTTW

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Rahm Emanuel Op-Ed: How Chicago Tackled the Opioid Crisis – Wall Street Journal

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Chicago cops could have access to video from thousands of new cameras — on residents’ front doors – Chicago Sun-Times

The Chicago Police Department will soon join forces with the video doorbell company Ring — potentially giving cops access to thousands of cameras fixed to residents’ front doors around the city.

Police have “no hesitation” to partner with Ring and will announce a pilot program soon, a Chicago police spokesman says.

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The world’s most-surveilled cities – Comparitech

Chicago is one of six U.S. cities on the list.

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Bernie Sanders to join Chicago Teachers Union labor rally – Chicago Sun-Times

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Chicago mayor tells investors she will tackle city’s fiscal woes – Reuters

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South Suburban Mayors Say Gambling Bill Rigged Against Them – WBBM

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Whose Grid? Our Grid! Chicago’s Campaign To Put Electricity Under Public Control – In These Times

Representatives of the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America (CDSA) engaged marketgoers in discussions about the campaigns they are involved in, from lifting the ban on rent control to establishing single-payer healthcare. But one effort in particular seemed to catch the most attention. “We’re trying to bring ComEd under municipal control,” CDSA member Matthew Cason told Patrick Petranek, a Logan Square resident whose eyes lit up at the prospect of Chicago’s largest electricity provider, Commonwealth Edison, being taken over by the city. Petranek said he supports more transparency around fees and signed a petition in support of the campaign.

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Chicago on pace to spend $300M on overtime this year, Lightfoot says – Chicago Sun-Times

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Beale predicts City Council resistance to massive property tax increase – Chicago Sun-Times

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Evanston Commits to Full Carbon Neutrality by 2050 – WBEZ

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s Chicago’s first openly-gay mayor laying the groundwork for gay set-asides on city contracts? – Chicago Sun-Times

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Lincoln Yards lawsuit dismissed by judge, activists vow to keep fighting for TIF reform – Curbed Chicago

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Editorial: The quiet crisis within CPD: Officers dying by suicide – Chicago Tribune

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Lightfoot sees stronger Chicago with passage of fine, fee reforms and plan to publicize high-profile watchdog reports as aldermen challenge her on agenda – Chicago Tribune

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Serious crime has doubled on the ‘L’ system despite CTA adding thousands of security cameras – Chicago Tribune

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My family left Chicago because of high property taxes – Letter – Chicago Sun-Times

Our condo was just off Michigan Avenue facing east, with a view of the lake and the Bean. One day my husband said “We need to sell this condo now before property taxes go up and we lose money on it.” I thought he was kidding. He wasn’t. We bought a to-be-built house in Las Vegas in October 2014, moved into that house in September of 2015, and the condo closed in December of that year.

Our cost of living has gone down 40%. Our current property taxes are 1/3rd of what the condo’s taxes currently are. We have no tax on groceries and there’s no state income tax, plus I don’t have to sludge through heat like I did through the snow.

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Progressives want to bring back the head tax in a big way – Crain’s

Progressive aldermen are teeing up their proposals to plug the city’s $838 million budget hole, including a $35 head tax for businesses with more than 50 employees, asking “wealthy nonprofit organizations” to begin making payments to the city and boosting the hotel tax.

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Wheaton College students sue city, say rights to free speech, religious liberty were violated by guards booting them from Millennium Park, restricting access – Chicago Tribune

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Evanston City Reparations Plan Moves Forward – Evanston Rountdable

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Chicago City Council Approves Ticket and Debt Collection Reforms to Help Low-Income and Minority Motorists – ProPublica

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Lightfoot’s pension pitch hits wall in Springfield – Crain’s

The mayor in recent months has floated a variety of "help us" proposals, the most viable of which is to have the state assume unfunded Chicago pension liabilities as part of a package in which it also would help underfunded plans in numerous municipalities around the state. She's facing a projected $838 million budget hole.

But a wide range of Springfield insiders say that's not going to happen, at least not in the General Assembly’s fall veto session. Instead, a more limited plan that excludes help for Chicago is being teed up for consideration.

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Black Lives Matter Comes to the Classroom – City Journal

Activist teachers formed a national committee and prevailed on the National Education Association to adopt a resolution of endorsement. Thus was conceived the BLM at School National Week of Action, to be held annually the first week of February to set the tone for Black History Month. The following year, school districts in more than 20 major cities, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Boston, and Seattle incorporated BLM at School Week into their curricula.

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Another Day, Another Shooting. Boring! – The Federalist

"You didn’t read about it? Probably not. That’s because it happened in Chicago."

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Chicago May Fast-Track $15 Minimum Wage, Phase Out Lower Tipped Wage – WBEZ

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Wirepoints Commentary and Research

“Cities are being forced to choose: Do they short pensions or do they fire public safety workers” – Ted on WTAD News Round Table

Will Illinois cities be forced to choose between making pension payments and ensuring the safety of their citizens? That was the question Quaid asked Ted on the WTAD News Round Table.

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Third domino falls: Illinois Comptroller set to confiscate East St. Louis revenues to pay for city’s firefighter pensions

Harvey was the first domino to run afoul of Illinois’ pension intercept law. North Chicago was the second. Now it’s East St. Louis’ turn. 

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Moody’s new report shows Illinois is nation’s extreme outlier when it comes to pension debts

Moody’s Investors Service has updated its state-by-state pension liability report and if there’s one key takeaway, it’s that Illinois is the nation’s extreme outlier when it comes to pension shortfalls.

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Senator Heather Steans’ Empty Rhetoric Defines Springfield’s Failure on Illinois Pensions

In a recent talk at Chicago's City Club, Senator Steans managed to endorse most every piece of double talk, gimmickry and evasion of responsibility we’ve seen on pensions from the Illinois General Assembly.

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August Snow Job: That’s what we’re seeing on Illinois finances. – Our monthly Crain’s article

Improvement, finally! That's no doubt how many Illinoisans reacted to news about Illinois' latest audited financial statements. Take a closer look, however, to get a major lesson on how misinformation about our financial crisis is spread.

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Report: Nine Illinois cities among top 50 national housing markets “turning ugly”

Illinois homeowners: Is your city’s housing market is in danger of “turning ugly?” Peoria, Aurora, Elgin, Decatur, Joliet, Rockford, Champaign, Plainfield and Naperville are all in serious risk of trouble should a downturn occur.

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More Wirepoints Original Stories

Illinois Comptroller’s Office Doubles Down, Calls Wirepoints’ Critique “Fringe, Apocalyptic Ranting:” Our Response.

Calling us "fringe" indicates more about the perspective of Illinois' political establishment than it says about us.

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Illinois Hit By Record $47 Billion Loss, Ignored by Regular Media. Why?

The State of Illinois recently reported its biggest annual financial loss ever. Instead of clear reporting on that, we’ve seen perhaps the most glaring example yet of how the state’s finances can be misunderstood, misreported and intentionally distorted.

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“City workers are guaranteed benefits that ordinary workers have to pay for, even when they’re struggling” – Ted on The Chicago Way with John Kass

Ted was on with John Kass earlier this week discussing what Mayor Lightfoots' state of the city speech and what she should do to fix Chicago's problems.

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Illinois’ financial decay spreads to cities across the state

Illinois’ finances aren’t just decaying at the top, they’re falling apart everywhere. Of the 630 downstate police and fire pension funds that reported data to the Illinois Department of Insurance in 2017, 57 percent had funded ratios lower than 60 percent.

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To Bar Lawsuit Over Bond Issuance, Illinois Court Defies Law’s Most Fundamental Principle

Marbury vs. Madison be damned.

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“Lightfoot inherited the worst crisis in the state, so she needs to champion the state’s boldest reforms.” – Ted on AM560

Ted talked to Dan and Amy about the scope of Chicago's financial crisis and what Mayor Lightfoot should be doing about it. Chicagoans are burdened with more debt than they can ever pay and the only way to reduce that burden is through structural pension reform.

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Why Chicago’s Lightfoot should push for a pension amendment, not tax hikes – Wirepoints Special Report

If reports of Lightfoot’s plans are true – that she wants to increase taxes and push debts off further into the future – then it’s clear she doesn’t intend to fix Chicago’s problems. If she did, she would instead push for an amendment to the Illinois Constitution’s pension protection clause and take a hard line on contract negotiations.

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Connecting the dots between our economy, government and people —

We’re a 501(c)(3) now!

Wirepoints Original Stories

“Cities are being forced to choose: Do they short pensions or do they fire public safety workers” – Ted on WTAD News Round Table

Will Illinois cities be forced to choose between making pension payments and ensuring the safety of their citizens? That was the question Quaid asked Ted on the WTAD News Round Table.

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Your email address will not be published.

Third domino falls: Illinois Comptroller set to confiscate East St. Louis revenues to pay for city’s firefighter pensions

Harvey was the first domino to run afoul of Illinois’ pension intercept law. North Chicago was the second. Now it’s East St. Louis’ turn. 

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Moody’s new report shows Illinois is nation’s extreme outlier when it comes to pension debts

Moody’s Investors Service has updated its state-by-state pension liability report and if there’s one key takeaway, it’s that Illinois is the nation’s extreme outlier when it comes to pension shortfalls.

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Top Illinois Stories

City of Peoria mulls $90K call center contract to field pension fee questions – CIProud

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Should unions refund collected fees that were later declared unconstitutional? Appeals court to decide – Cook County Record

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled it is unconstitutional to require non-union state workers in Illinois to pay "fair share" fees to a union, but a Chicago federal appeals panel is considering whether a union must refund millions of dollars in fees already collected.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Editorial: Fix Pensions Now or Voters Will Revolt – Video – Fox Chicago

An exceptionally candid and firm editorial.

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Report: Illinois Seen as Worst Legal Climate for General Counsel and Their Companies – Law.com

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Other Illinois News

Group wants Illinois to divert $2.2M for East St. Louis firefighter pensions – The Telegraph

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Commentary: Be wary of ‘painless’ reform promises – JournalCourier

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Your email address will not be published.

Illinois’ financially distressed municipal laws need ‘teeth’ before next downturn, expert says – Center Square

Comment: The distressed municipal laws are a waste of time for truly distressed towns and cities. Only debt reduction or reorganization will help them, and only bankruptcy law has that power.

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Your email address will not be published.

Frankfort non-profit raises funds to pay off mortgages for two fallen Illinois officers – IL Review

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East St. Louis pensioners paid $2.4 million into fund, have collected $36 million – Metro East Sun

East St. Louis was recently subject to a filing to intercept state money owed to it, to be diverted to its pension, which we wrote about here.

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Top Chicago Stories

What’s wrong—and right—in Chicago real estate – Crain’s

A recent survey of real estate investors doesn’t give Chicago much respect, but at least the place is more popular than Hartford and Buffalo. The Chicago-area market ranks 48th out of the 80 largest U.S. real estate markets in PWC's annual “Emerging Trends in Real Estate” survey. That’s up one place from last year, but down from 2017, when it ranked 42nd, and 2016, when it ranked 19th.

The full PWC report is linked here.

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Chicago business owners fear changes to minimum wage rules could kill jobs – Fox Chicago

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Sanders, Warren Back Chicago Teachers Union Amid Contract Negotiations – NBC Chicago

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No Good Options as Chicago Seeks Revenue – Tax Foundation

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Other Chicago News

Wirepoints president argues that Mayor Lightfoot failing to stand up for ‘ordinary Chicagoans’ – Chicago City Wire

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Weed Will Soon Be Legal in Illinois. Here’s What It Means for Chicago’s Cannabis Startups. – Chicago Inno

“Once you start seeing dispensaries pop up on pinnacle real estate corners in Chicago, it’s going to have a real impact on culture and it’s going to bring a whole new set of folks into the space.”

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Chicago investors’ conference set the table for October budget release – The Bond Buyer

Investors welcomed the opportunity to meet and hear directly from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, but they remain hungry to see the details of how she will tackle an $838 million deficit.

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Your email address will not be published.

Indian Firm in Chicago Paid Employees India-level Wages, Took Jobs from U.S. Graduates – Breitbart

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Concealed Carry Holder Died Trying to Help Others – NBC Chicago

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