Thursday, May 23, 2019

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Connecting the dots between our economy, government and people —

Top Illinois Stories

Illinois Rep. Lauren Underwood rebuked after calling child deaths ‘intentional’ in fiery exchange with DHS boss – Fox News

Dem rebuked after calling child deaths 'intentional' in fiery exchange with DHS boss

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Two Democratic state lawmakers joined a group of immigration rights advocates Wednesday in calling for passage of a bill that would effectively make Illinois a “sanctuary state.” – Capitol News IL

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Lawmakers Repeal Act Prohibiting Illinois From Restricting Greenhouse Gases – WTTW

With the state expected to be freed from the restrictions of the 1998 law, environmental advocates are again turning their attention to a highly ambitious clean energy bill that aims to move Illinois to 100% clean energy by mid-century.

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Insurance tax proposal would tax every claim in Illinois – Center Square

Davesurance.com insurance broker Dave Castillo said consumers can expect to pay more if such a tax passes, but that money will be matched dollar for dollar by the federal government. House Bill 272, which would impose a 1 percent tax on claims paid by health insurance carriers or third-party administrators to be solely used for funding Medicaid services, remains in a House committee.

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Property tax relief becomes sticking point in Illinois’ progressive tax debate – Center Square

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April’s state income tax windfall is unlikely to repeat – The Bond Buyer

The preliminary analysis of Illinois officials pointed to non-wage taxes like capital gains and dividends playing a large part in the revenue surge. “As a result, this significant one month overperformance cannot safely be extrapolated into future underlying growth,” according to the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.

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More Highlighted Illinois Stories

Single mom pleads with Pritzker not to scrap school scholarships – WCIA

Comment: Sorry, moms. Gotta do what the teachers' unions say to do.

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Illinois Republicans are still pushing back against a proposed graduated income tax. Here’s what they’re saying. – Capitol News IL

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Let Illinoisans vote on graduated tax amendment – Editorial – JournalStar

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Op-Ed: State government’s ongoing ‘tax massacre’ – The Center Square

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Illinois farmers struggling to plant crops amid wet spring – The Center Square

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Pritzker says his progressive income tax plan will reduce property taxes – The Center Square

Comment: More of his loaves and fishes act. His $3.5 tax hike wouldn't come remotely close to funding all he claims.

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Governor defends slew of proposed tax increases to fund infrastructure plan – The Center Square

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House Recap: Bills regulating drivers’ headlight modifications and digital activities OK’d – Capitol News IL

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Senate Recap: Personal robots and horses among subjects of bills sent to governor – Capitol News IL

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Gov. Pritzker, stop treating Illinois taxpayers like the state’s ATM – Opinion – Chicago Tribune

By Illinois Policy Institute's John Tillman.

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$0.59 per homeowner in Burbank, $7.34 in Rantoul. New Illinois state program delivers ‘property tax relief’ to top-taxed homeowners – Prairie State Wire

For the state’s most highly taxed homeowners, it isn’t nothing. But it’s close.

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Lawmakers should listen to constituents, businesses on gas tax – Opinion – Effingham Daily News

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Illinois among states suing over rule allowing clinicians to refuse abortions – A.P.

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Without pension reform, progressive income tax amendment guarantees tax hikes on Illinois’ middle class – IL Policy

If annual income tax revenue growth caused by secular income growth matches the state’s recent experience, the progressive income tax rates passed by the Senate will fail to pay off the state’s pension debt – ever.

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Energy reform bills ‘on the back burner’ as session nears adjournment – Capitol News IL

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Advocates: State’s affordable housing needs far more than Pritzker’s allocation – Capitol News IL

In a preliminary plan called “Rebuild Illinois” and shared with legislators Friday, the governor allocated $175 million to build and improve cost-effective housing options primarily for seniors, those who are homeless, and people with disabilities.

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Gov. Pritzker’s Office Nixes State Funding For Lincoln Foundation Debt – WBEZ

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Blue States Warned of a SALT Apocalypse. It Hasn’t Happened – Bloomberg

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If A Decline In Births Is A Problem Nationally, It’s A Full-On Crisis In Illinois – ZeroHedge

A republication of our Wirepoints article.

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Here’s the full text of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s inauguration speech – WGN

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Chicago’s Lightfoot Takes Office as Fiscal Woes Threaten Agenda – Bloomberg

Comment: She beat The Machine and her commitment to ethics reform appears real, making this a genuinely historic day for Chicago. But pity her for the impossible fiscal mess she has inherited.

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Rahm Emanuel: It’s Time to Hold American Elites Accountable for Their Abuses – The Atlantic

Rahm has a new gig: Contributing Editor at The Atlantic. This is his first article.

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Illinois progressive tax amendment one step away from ballot, but House votes still in question – Center Square

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Taxing Tuesday: No, Really, Surprise Money! – Stump

An actuary's perspective.

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Illinois Charter School Battles Coming To A Head As Bill Advances – WBEZ

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House committee approves Pritzker progressive tax amendment – IL Policy

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Moody’s: Illinois, New Jersey most prone in recession – Capitol News IL

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Study finds Illinois workers’ compensation claims remain higher than most states – Center Square

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Pritzker’s gas tax: Well, it’s not a soda tax so, good to go? – Chicago Tribune

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Ethics package to include rights for those who file complaints, but not independent inspector – Center Square

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Top Chicago Stories

New Census Data: Chicago And Most Municipalities Nearby Lose Population Again – Chicago Tribune

The majority of municipalities in the Chicago region, including the city itself, lost population last year, according to newly released estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. After losing an estimated 7,073 people from 2017 to 2018, Chicago stands at just over 2.7 million residents. The new estimates, released in Chicago late Wednesday, show that most municipalities in northeastern Illinois are not adding residents. Of the 279 incorporated towns and cities in Cook County, the collar counties and Kendall County, more than three-fourths lost population in the last year. The average municipality in the area shrank by 0.6%.

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Lightfoot Takes Bold Step Against Aldermanic Prerogative On First Day As Mayor – Bisnow

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Lightfoot Rewards ‘Reform’ and ‘Old Guard’ Alderman in Council Shake-Up – WTTW

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Home sales slump hits 9th month, longest in almost 8 years – Crain’s

The local sales slump is the longest in more than seven years. June 2011 was the last in a string of 13 months when city home sales were down, according to Illinois Realtors data. It was also the last of 12 months of declines for the metro area.

The Chicago area’s sales decline in April was slightly larger than the nation’s. Across the country, sales were down 4.4 percent in April from a year earlier, the National Association of Realtors reported separately today.

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Congratulations, Mayor Lightfoot! Now, About Those Pensions . . . – Forbes

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More Highlighted Chicago Stories

Lori Lightfoot Moves To Disband Chicago’s School Board, Setting Up Major Shift – Block Club

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CTU Prepares for Contract Fight with New Mayor – WTTW

200 contract demands by CTU.

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Bill to demolish part of McCormick Place along lakefront gets labor support – Chicago Sun-Times

The bill calls for raising the bond limit of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, commonly called McPier, by roughly $600 million, to $3.45 billion. The authority runs McCormick Place.

The expansion would be paid for, in part, by imposing a fee on ride-hailing trips.

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New mayor of Harvey says City Hall records in disarray, ghost payrollers possible – WGN

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Muni market awaits action as Lightfoot takes reins in Chicago – The Bond Buyer

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Alderman On Lightfoot Rebuke: ‘She Painted Us All In A Very Broad Stroke’ – CBS Chicago

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Rahm Emanuel Becomes Contributing Editor for ‘The Atlantic’ – WTTW

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Chicago ranked as having the highest tax burden of any major city – Jonathan Turley

"I love my home city and worry about its future with the irresponsible policies of its leaders. However, Chicagoans clearly do not see such policies as threatening the city’s future. In the end, we receive the leaders we deserve. I just think the city itself deserves better."

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Congratulations, Mayor Lightfoot! Now, About Those Pensions . . . – Forbes

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The Definitive Guide for Cable Hosts, Bookers, and Editors to the Fraud and Failure that was Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel – The Intercept

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Comptroller, pension funds: Chicago City Hall can’t sue over grant money intercepted for shorted pensions – Cook County Record

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Dear Ms. Lightfoot: Reform pensions so we can invest in struggling communities – Opinion – Crain’s

You can tell a lot about a city’s priorities by examining how government leaders spend tax dollars. Right now, Chicago unfairly prioritizes public-employee pensions above all else. That doesn’t have to be the case. Turning the tide on spending priorities will mean embracing painful, but necessary, reform. Chicago’s pensions crisis is identical to Illinois’, and both the city’s and the state’s fates depend upon an amendment to the state constitution. Even outgoing Mayor Rahm Emanuel endorsed a constitutional amendment to reform pensions in 2018, recognizing the impossible challenge of burdens such as annual 3 percent benefit increases that are insulated from economic realities.

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In her first term as mayor, Lightfoot’s schools agenda to include overhaul of budgets, campus policing – Chalkbeat

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High and mighty Chicago Teachers Union president warns Mayor Lightfoot – ChicagoNow

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Chicago’s Racial Disparities In The Sights Of Its First Chief Equity Officer – WBEZ

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Emanuel has no regrets over not ousting Burke from power 8 years ago – Chicago Sun-Times

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Chicago’s new mayor inherits taxpayers facing biggest public debts of nation’s top 10 cities – IL Policy

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Audit: Burke did little to detect bogus injury claims – Chicago Sun-Times

As if we needed an audit to tell us what every Chicagoan knows.

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Central Loop’s luster may be lagging: Chicago’s city center faces huge office vacancies, ownership changes and new competitors – Chicago Tribune

Part of the problem is due to changing tenant preferences, competition from sparkling new skyscrapers along the Chicago River and the emergence of entirely new office markets such as the Fulton Market district. At the same time, an unusually large number of office towers on and around the LaSalle Street canyon — for decades the center of Chicago’s financial sector — are up for sale. Among properties that could change hands are the James R. Thompson Center and the Chicago Board of Trade Building.

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New Chicago Mayor Faces Old Chicago Toxin: Political Corruption – Bloomberg

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Sony Settles Netflix Tax Debt, Ending Chicago Legal Battle – Bloomberg

The gaming division of Sony Corp. wrote a check for $1.2 million to Chicago to settle unpaid liabilities under the city’s first-in-the-nation “Netflix tax,” suggesting some tech and entertainment companies are choosing to pay instead of fight the tax regime in court.

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Chicago Mayor-elect Lightfoot names her fiscal team – The Bond Buyer

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Mayor Lightfoot and the machine … Part 2: Aldermen, limiting your privilege will help fix City Hall – Chicago Tribune

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Eviction rate in black neighborhoods often twice the citywide rate – Crain’s

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Trump fully pardons former Sun-Times owner and media mogul Conrad Black – Globe and Mail

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Chicago Teacher Militancy Is Up for Reelection – Jacobin

Jacobin is a leading Socialist site. From the article: "The Chicago Teachers Union is choosing its leadership this week. A reelection of the Caucus of Rank-and-File Educators would mean a commitment to more of the militant teacher unionism that has reshaped Chicago and inspired educators around the country."

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Redefining Success in Chicago – City Journal

Outgoing mayor Rahm Emanuel presents his city as a leader in police reform and crime reduction by comparing it with . . . Baltimore.

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Lightfoot promises to ‘blow up all the old concepts’ as she remakes City Council – Chicago Sun-Times

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The city budget shortfall is worse than you thought – Crain’s

Outgoing city Chief Financial Officer Carole Brown is putting a number on the 2020 budget shortfall: $740 million, give or take—effectively confirming Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot's concern that the city faces a "dire" financial situation.

Brown attributes the huge projected deficit, which is even higher than many analysts had expected, to a combination of factors, including the city’s move to quit borrowing funds that should come out of current spending, and an actual negative rate of return—yes, a negative rate of return—on pension investments in the year ended Dec. 31.

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Incoming progressive aldermen lay out agenda for 1st 100 days of Lightfoot administration: ‘It’s a new day in Chicago’ – Chicago Tribune

A higher real estate transfer tax for the wealthy, immediate $15 minimum wage, community benefits agreement for Obama Center and strengthened sanctuary city law.

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Wirepoints Commentary and Research

Shattered Confidence In Illinois Government May Doom Even a Good Capital Bill

Take a look at the long list of new taxes on the table for Joe and Mary Six-Pack to pay.

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What Mayor Lightfoot needs to know to take on the Chicago Teachers Union

Expect the Chicago Teachers Union to try and bully new mayor Lori Lightfoot as teacher contract negotiations heat up. The problem is, Lightfoot has nothing to give. Windy City residents simply can’t afford the union’s new over-the-top demands, so Lightfoot must stand up to the CTU.

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Illinoisans will be among nation’s hardest hit in next recession

Illinoisans have another reason to worry about their future – their state government is unprepared for the next recession. That means when the national economy finally slows, Illinoisans will get hit far harder than residents nationally.

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Why some Illinois Republicans are making the wrong argument against a progressive income tax

Using a windfall revenue bump in a budget that's already phony solves nothing and misleads the public in the same ways they've always been misled.

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If a decline in births is a problem nationally, it’s a full-on crisis in Illinois

Fewer young people could mean a shrinking population and a workforce too small to support the country’s ever-growing number of retirees. If that’s a problem nationally, then it’s a full-on crisis in Illinois.

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Property tax pains in Maine Township, Illinois

In Park Ridge, and across Illinois, property values still haven’t recovered from the effects of the Great Recession. Yet local officials continue to tax more and more, especially to pay for schools and local pensions.

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More Wirepoints Original Stories

Illinoisans still waiting for home values to return to pre-recession levels

Average Illinois home prices are still 12 percent below their pre-Great Recession peak. That’s the 7th-worst recovery in the nation. In contrast, the average home prices in all of Illinois neighbors have surpassed their pre-recession peaks.

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Despite nurse shortage, bill would mandate 20,000 more nurses – Quicktake

What’s worse than an unfunded mandate? An unfunded mandate worsening existing problems.

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Mission Impossible: Moody’s requirements for a “credit positive” progressive tax scheme in Illinois

Look for lawmakers to paint Moody’s recent report on Illinois’ proposed progressive tax scheme as a positive endorsement. But the agency's requirements for a credit "positive" outcome for the tax are nearly impossible for Illinois to achieve. And if lawmakers fail to meet the agency’s requirements, the tax could even lead to more downgrades.

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The CTBA’s Latest Deception To Promote The Graduated Income Tax – Quicktake

The folks so fond of saying Illinois has a revenue problem not a spending problem want you to think the new progressive tax would be the end of it.

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Why Warren Buffett is right to warn about Illinois: The state’s true retirement costs now total 50% of annual budget.

Warren Buffett says he wouldn’t relocate a business to a state like Illinois. He doesn’t want to get stuck paying for its pension crisis. His concerns are actually an understatement considering just how bad Illinois' crisis is.

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Pork Stew On The Menu In Springfield

The ingredients are lined in the remaining four weeks of this legislative session to cook up a particularly nasty dish.

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Waking to the reality of teacher pension ‘inequity’ – Quicktake

Nice to see at least some in the education establishment acknowledging something we've long said.

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Connecting the dots between our economy, government and people —

Wirepoints Original Stories

Shattered Confidence In Illinois Government May Doom Even a Good Capital Bill

Take a look at the long list of new taxes on the table for Joe and Mary Six-Pack to pay.

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What Mayor Lightfoot needs to know to take on the Chicago Teachers Union

Expect the Chicago Teachers Union to try and bully new mayor Lori Lightfoot as teacher contract negotiations heat up. The problem is, Lightfoot has nothing to give. Windy City residents simply can’t afford the union’s new over-the-top demands, so Lightfoot must stand up to the CTU.

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Illinoisans will be among nation’s hardest hit in next recession

Illinoisans have another reason to worry about their future – their state government is unprepared for the next recession. That means when the national economy finally slows, Illinoisans will get hit far harder than residents nationally.

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Top Illinois Stories

Illinois Rep. Lauren Underwood rebuked after calling child deaths ‘intentional’ in fiery exchange with DHS boss – Fox News

Dem rebuked after calling child deaths 'intentional' in fiery exchange with DHS boss

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Two Democratic state lawmakers joined a group of immigration rights advocates Wednesday in calling for passage of a bill that would effectively make Illinois a “sanctuary state.” – Capitol News IL

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Lawmakers Repeal Act Prohibiting Illinois From Restricting Greenhouse Gases – WTTW

With the state expected to be freed from the restrictions of the 1998 law, environmental advocates are again turning their attention to a highly ambitious clean energy bill that aims to move Illinois to 100% clean energy by mid-century.

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Your email address will not be published.

Insurance tax proposal would tax every claim in Illinois – Center Square

Davesurance.com insurance broker Dave Castillo said consumers can expect to pay more if such a tax passes, but that money will be matched dollar for dollar by the federal government. House Bill 272, which would impose a 1 percent tax on claims paid by health insurance carriers or third-party administrators to be solely used for funding Medicaid services, remains in a House committee.

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Property tax relief becomes sticking point in Illinois’ progressive tax debate – Center Square

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April’s state income tax windfall is unlikely to repeat – The Bond Buyer

The preliminary analysis of Illinois officials pointed to non-wage taxes like capital gains and dividends playing a large part in the revenue surge. “As a result, this significant one month overperformance cannot safely be extrapolated into future underlying growth,” according to the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.

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Other Illinois News

Single mom pleads with Pritzker not to scrap school scholarships – WCIA

Comment: Sorry, moms. Gotta do what the teachers' unions say to do.

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Illinois Republicans are still pushing back against a proposed graduated income tax. Here’s what they’re saying. – Capitol News IL

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Let Illinoisans vote on graduated tax amendment – Editorial – JournalStar

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Op-Ed: State government’s ongoing ‘tax massacre’ – The Center Square

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Illinois farmers struggling to plant crops amid wet spring – The Center Square

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Top Chicago Stories

New Census Data: Chicago And Most Municipalities Nearby Lose Population Again – Chicago Tribune

The majority of municipalities in the Chicago region, including the city itself, lost population last year, according to newly released estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. After losing an estimated 7,073 people from 2017 to 2018, Chicago stands at just over 2.7 million residents. The new estimates, released in Chicago late Wednesday, show that most municipalities in northeastern Illinois are not adding residents. Of the 279 incorporated towns and cities in Cook County, the collar counties and Kendall County, more than three-fourths lost population in the last year. The average municipality in the area shrank by 0.6%.

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Lightfoot Takes Bold Step Against Aldermanic Prerogative On First Day As Mayor – Bisnow

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Lightfoot Rewards ‘Reform’ and ‘Old Guard’ Alderman in Council Shake-Up – WTTW

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Home sales slump hits 9th month, longest in almost 8 years – Crain’s

The local sales slump is the longest in more than seven years. June 2011 was the last in a string of 13 months when city home sales were down, according to Illinois Realtors data. It was also the last of 12 months of declines for the metro area.

The Chicago area’s sales decline in April was slightly larger than the nation’s. Across the country, sales were down 4.4 percent in April from a year earlier, the National Association of Realtors reported separately today.

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Congratulations, Mayor Lightfoot! Now, About Those Pensions . . . – Forbes

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Other Chicago News

Lori Lightfoot Moves To Disband Chicago’s School Board, Setting Up Major Shift – Block Club

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CTU Prepares for Contract Fight with New Mayor – WTTW

200 contract demands by CTU.

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Bill to demolish part of McCormick Place along lakefront gets labor support – Chicago Sun-Times

The bill calls for raising the bond limit of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, commonly called McPier, by roughly $600 million, to $3.45 billion. The authority runs McCormick Place.

The expansion would be paid for, in part, by imposing a fee on ride-hailing trips.

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Your email address will not be published.

New mayor of Harvey says City Hall records in disarray, ghost payrollers possible – WGN

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Muni market awaits action as Lightfoot takes reins in Chicago – The Bond Buyer

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