Must-Reads for June 1
The turn of events dealt a significant blow to Gov. Pat Quinn, who had pleaded with the General Assembly to focus on issues that were necessary and to skip distracting sideshows.
Illinois legislators continue to fail at Job One: What should have been this week’s straightforward march to pension reform collapsed Thursday night amid the annual chaos of gamesmanship and gotcha.
According to recent news stories, federal red tape has squelched at least 736,203 potential jobs. If these positions were filled, today’s unemployment rate would fall from 8.1 percent to 7.6.
Must-Reads for May 31
In Chicago, city property tax payers pay the pension costs for teachers in the Chicago public school district. Those same taxpayers, through their state income tax, also help pay the pension system contributions for school districts outside Chicago. This system is neither fair nor fiscally smart.
Faced with a pension crisis that carries enormous risks for Illinois retirees and taxpayers, lawmakers have been behaving as if their failure to deliver dramatic reforms is acceptable.
America now has thousands of rules that outlaw wages below $7.25 an hour, restrict unpaid internships and compel people to pay union dues. These rules appear to help workers. But they don’t.
Barack Obama told one of the greatest lies in American political history when he promised, “If you like your coverage, you can keep it.” No, you can’t. If your provider doesn’t drop it outright, the ObamaCare mandates will force your plan to change.
Must-Reads for May 30
Currently, District 300 contributes about 5 percent to the Teachers’ Retirement System, with employees putting in 4.5 percent. But once the teachers contract ends on June 30, the district might not be able to pay teachers’ shares any longer.
As White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel helped stick the country with ObamaCare, but as Chicago mayor he’s trying not to let a crisis go to waste in a good way. If only lawmakers in Springfield would heed his advice on pension reforms.
The GOP opposition stems from a provision that would gradually shift the state’s pension costs for teachers and university employees to local school districts and universities.
Must-Reads for May 29
One trend of the last year is that the policy gulf between states run by Republicans and Democrats has rarely been greater. Take Kansas, where Governor Sam Brownback is pushing a conservative reform agenda that couldn’t be more different than Maryland or California.
Why didn’t the roughly $7 billion more a year the state is collecting from that income tax hike fix Illinois’ money problems?