Chicago is facing an unprecedented budget crisis thanks to a massive increase in pension payments. In order to solve the problem, Chicago’s mayor Rahm Emanuel has proposed the largest property tax increase in city history.
In today’s episode of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Illinois State Representative Tom Morrison joins Director of Communications Jim Lakely to talk about Heartland’s upcoming Benefit Dinner as well as the issues facing the state of Illinois.
As ComEd rolls out 4,000,000 Smart Meters in an effort to “modernize the electricity grid,” many Illinois residents are pushing for a no-cost or at least low-cost option to keep their existing analog meters. Instead of benefits to the consumer, these residents see risks and increased electricity bills associated with digital Smart Meters. They are not alone.
Sand from the upper Midwest is coveted for hydraulic fracturing. It is the right size, shape and cleanness (almost pure quartz). It is also highly resistant to crushing under immense pressure, acting as a network of pillars (think of the Parthenon) keeping open the tiny fissures made in the rock in the process of hydraulic fracturing, allowing the oil and natural gas to flow up from the rock deep underground.
A Chicago Tribune headline of Wednesday, April, 20, 2015, “Study: Exelon Aid Could Cost $1.6B”, told of an Exelon-backed bill, framed as supporting clean energy production, that could benefit Exelon’s nuclear plants, while costing ratepayers an additional $1.6 billion on their electric bills through 2021. The bill was cited as “a corporate bailout” by critics.
On May 12 and 13, Chicago received a series of downgrades in its credit ratings for the city itself, the Chicago Board of Education (CBE), and the Chicago Park District. The downgrades began Moody’s Investors Service’s (MIS) decision to lower Chicago’s credit rating two notches to the noninvestment-grade “Ba1” level with a negative outlook. The embarrassment continued the next day when the CBE and Chicago Park District ratings dropped three notches to junk levels.
Fresh off a $2 billion profit in 2014, utility giant Exelon is attempting to strong-arm the Illinois legislature into placing new restrictions on lower-cost electricity competitors. If Illinois lawmakers don’t meet Exelon’s demands, it is threatening to shut down operations at three of its six Illinois nuclear power plants.
Behrend gave his unconditional support for “blended learning,” a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through the delivery of content and instruction via digital and online media. Through blended learning there is some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace of learning. Blended learning can be effective in traditional “brick-and-mortar” public school when face-to-face classroom methods are combined with computer-mediated activities.
Accordingly, half of the state’s lowest-performing schools are located outside of Chicago’s borders in Aurora, East St. Louis, Rockford, Springfield, and Waukegan. Surely the family members of students in these districts want the option to have their loved one attend a higher-quality school, realizing just how important a quality education is for their child’s future.
Thousands of parents across the country and here in Illinois are concerned about Common Core standards, PARCC testing on those standards, and the accumulation and storage of their children’s personal data. Thorner, as a citizen and taxpayer living in a community in northern Illinois, is represented by Lake Forest-Lake Bluff school Districts 65, 67 and 115. All have embraced Common Core standards with enthusiasm.
Earlier this week, Rev. James Meeks announced on on WLS 890 AM that he had been chosen by Governor Bruce Rauner to be the new chairman of the State Board of Education. During the interview Tuesday morning, Rev. Meeks’ said, “We have to have a Common Core Curriculum in the state of Illinois.”
Of importance to Moore is that people are not paying enough attention to how red states are getting redder (run by Republicans with pro-growth and pro-market oriented policies), while blue states are getting bluer.
The ballots have been counted and the winners declared, but perhaps most important of all, the campaign ads are over. Ads for candidates, ballot measures, and specific issues monopolized commercial slots over the past few months. One of the most important issues this election cycle was energy development, especially as it pertains to hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.”
The Illinois Forum celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a banquet on Saturday, August 23rd, at the Round Barn Banquet Center in Champaign, Illinois. The Illinois Forum was founded byRobert S. Redfern and U.S. Congressman Dan Crane in 1989 as a statewide grassroots coalition of nonpartisan political activists. Since 1989 Illinois Forum has become one of the largest citizen groups in the state working to promote a smaller state government, to restrain spending, and to encourage tax cuts.
Gov. Pat Quinn’s “millionaire tax” question, the most recent nonbinding vote added to the bloated November ballot, is not only a misguided effort to draw his base to the polls with blatant class warfare but incredibly poor public policy. Like all “soak the rich” tax schemes, the imposition of increased taxes on high-income earners will discourage new capital and entrepreneurs from entering the state.
President Obama, and his administration, has enacted so many foolish and cost-increasing energy policies, it is easy to think that they are his purview alone. But in 2007, Republicans were just as guilty. Seeds were planted and a garden of bad legislation took root in a totally different energy environment. At the time, the growth seemed like something worthy of cultivation. However, what sprouted up more closely resembles a weed that needs to be yanked out.
A gentle giant just fell. Every person living in Illinois owes Jack O. Roeser an enormous debt of gratitude. The state’s business leaders, politicians, and reporters should hang their heads in shame for not having followed his lead.