Is this something Rosemont should consider…..with the addition of Harley Davidson renting motorcycles in the Entertainment District…….Ready or not, here come 2,500 electric scooters as Chicago chooses 10 vendors.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration on Tuesday chose 10 companies to run a four-month, 2,500 electric scooter pilot and launched a quickie education plan to persuade Chicago residents and visitors to abide by the rules of the road.

Bird, Bolt, gruv, JUMP, Lime, Lyft, Sherpa, Spin, VeoRide and Wheels will each be granted 250 scooters to operate within a 50-square mile test area bounded by Halsted Street and the Chicago River on the east; Irving Park Road on the north; Harlem and the city limits on the west and the Chicago River on the south.

During the four-month test, users will be free to “access the scooters wherever it is legal to lock a bike in the public way,” according to City Hall.

The plan calls for scooter riders to “use a smartphone to unlock and ride the devices within the pilot area, though vendors will offer services for non-smartphone users and cash-based options,” according to the city.

Two priority areas have been identified within the pilot zone, where at least 25% of scooters must be placed every morning.

To minimize sidewalk clutter, scooters will need to be parked “upright; away from street corners, bus stops, and buildings; and with a minimum six-foot clearance on the sidewalk,” the city said.

Designated vendors will be required to “retrieve and move improperly parked electric shared scooters within two hours.”

As traffic congestion continues to increase in Rosemont, this would be another adventure for Rosemont visitors.

Rosemont should consider a scooter program and a Divy bike program for those visitors to their convention trade.

Shortly Harley Davidson will be opening in the Rosemont Parkway Bank Entertainment District, where visitors will be able to rent motorcycles.

The Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealership and retail store will be the latest addition to Rosemont’s entertainment district.

Windy City Motorcycle Company, which owns and operates 14 locations in the suburbs and southern Wisconsin, is completing a two-story, 20,000-square-foot brick building at Parkway Bank Park.

Posted in Chicago, divy, Health, I 294, Illinois, infrastructure, motorcycles, politics, Rosemont, Roy F. McCampbell, scooters, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Trier, other wealthy school districts shifting their built-in pension spiking costs to taxpayers statewide……….OUCH…….!!!

To spike their pensions, New Trier high school teachers, a few years from retirement, had six percent annual bumps in salary written into their 2016-2019 contracts.

We are noting the automatic salary increases in a recent analysis of a quiet legislative maneuver to spread the costs of teacher pension spiking across lower and middle-income earners statewide.

It’s easier for teachers unions to hide what’s going on, referring to the cost shifting. Instead of the locals having to come up with the funds to pay higher pensions through higher property taxes, they are bundled into the billions the state pays out for pensions.”

Posted in Taxation | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Illinois’ New Budget Has A Shortfall of $4 Billion Dollars

Gov. J.B. Pritzker says Illinois’ budget is balanced ”for the first time in decades.” That’s the claim he made upon signing Illinois’ $40 billion budget for 2020. Pritzker’s claim is simply not true. According to the state’s own actuarial calculations, his budget is billions in the red.JB is doing everything right if his goal is to destroy the state. Why would he want to do that?

A big reason for the unbalanced budget comes from how politicians account for the state’s retirement debts versus how financial professionals do. There’s often a gap of several billion dollars between the two. Hiding that gap has allowed Illinois pols to perpetuate the myth of balanced budgets for decades.

Take Pritzker’s 2020 budget. The state’s pension funding laws, set up nearly 25 years ago by the General Assembly and then-Gov. Jim Edgar, require the state to pay $9 billion* to Illinois’ five state-run pensions in 2020. “We are paying the full payment that is required under the ramp that was put in place in 1995, the statutory required payment,” Pritzker said when asked about whether the state should be paying its actuaries’ recommended contribution (click here to hear his answer).

What Pritzker ignored is the amount the state’s own actuaries say is required to properly fund Illinois’ pensions in 2020, an amount that exceeds $13 billion. That’s a total shortfall of $4 billion.

And it’s not just pension payments that are being shorted. It’s also payments for state-worker retiree health insurance that are grossly underpaid.

State actuaries calculate the required payments for those benefits at about $4 billion annually, yet the state has only paid around $1 billion yearly in recent years. That’s billions more in shortfalls that Pritzker’s budget ignores. (See Exhibit 1.)

Defenders of the “balanced-budget” claim will want to paint the above as a matter of semantics. But the billions in shortfalls are not only a matter of accounting. When the state continues to grow its pension promisesfaster than it can pay for them – and then doesn’t pay enough into its state-worker retirement plans – it doesn’t balance the budget. The state’s debts jump as a result. Illinois’ skyrocketing pension and retiree health insurance debts are the evidence of that.

Illinois not even “treading water”

Despite the fact that Pritzker’s payment to pensions consumes nearly a quarter of the current budget – no other state is in such dire straits – it still won’t stop the state’s pension debts from growing. That’s how sick Illinois’ finances are.

Illinois’ Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability shows that despite a $9.2 billion** contribution into pensions in 2020, the state’s unfunded liabilities will still increase by $2.4 billion to $139 billion. Illinois is not unlike the financial deadbeat that never pays the minimum payment on his credit card. As a result, its debts just grow.

To just “tread water” – to keep Illinois’ debt flat from one year to the next – the state payment in 2020 should be $2.4 billion higher, or over $11 billion in total.

That tread water amount, however, does nothing to reduce Illinois’ pension debts. Even more, it’s based on the state’s actuarial assumptions actually panning out. If they don’t, then the state’s pension debts will be even bigger.

Statutory payment

If Pritzker and team want to make claims of “balanced” budgets, they’ll have to make lots of changes going forward.

For starters, they’ll need to dump the Edgar ramp, which pushes the repayment of pension debts far into the future, requires just 90 percent funding levels by 2045, and assumes overly optimistic investment rates.

In its place, they’ll have to accept the stricter standards adopted by the state actuaries (see Exhibit 2 for an example of TRS’ standard). Their required payments are larger to ensure the pension shortfalls get paid down sooner. They pursue 100 percent funding targets and accelerate the repayment of debts (TRS’ actuaries target 2035, SERS targets 2040 and SURS targets 2045). And how they account for individual pensions is more conservative (entry age normal vs. projected unit cost). All that results in required payments that are $4 billion larger than the state’s statutory requirements.

But politicians should go even further. While the actuaries still depend on ramps, other financial groups demand the use of less rosy investment rate assumptions and flat debt repayment schedules (level dollar) to determine yearly state contributions.

JP Morgan’s estimates of Illinois’ required payments and ran our own as well, shown below. Those more responsible assumptions would require the state to put even more money into the pension plans.

Politicians on both sides of the aisle can pat themselves on the back all they want for passing a budget. But the truth is they’ve just made Illinois’ debt crisis even worse.

They’re not paying what they should, nor have they passed a single structural reform that would help lower the annual cost of retirements. (In fact, they’ve done the opposite by reboosting pension spiking for teachers.)

Illinois fiscal reality won’t change until the state is more honest about its debts and it reduces those debts through structural reforms.

Posted in #madigoon, #taxation, Chicago, East Leyden, Economic Development, Economy, Education, election fraud, Elections, fafsa, Leyden, political satire, politics, Pritzker, Rauner, referendum, Roy F. McCampbell, Social Media, sports betting, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Illinois Capital Projects Plan All About Pork Barrel Projects Such as Dog Parks and Pickleball Courts, Not About Collapsing Bridges and Road Potholes

Pickleball courts, dog parks and grants for an arts program led by House Speaker Michael Madigan’s wife are on a lengthy list of lawmakers’ pet projects paid for by a massive gambling expansion and tax hikes on smoking and parking.

The pork barrel bonanza comes courtesy of Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s $45 billion construction program that lawmakers approved as the spring legislative session spilled into overtime last weekend. It’s a signature away from becoming law.

The plan was hastily put together, and it’s not yet clear where all the money will be spent. The 362-page bill contains lines with lump sums worth hundreds of millions of dollars that don’t list specific projects.

Frenzied lawmakers scrambled to put together wish lists. Some had them ready for months, some are still compiling them and some asked for more than their allotment in case there’s a little extra available. Still, many lawmakers left Springfield with a lot of questions about how to turn their concepts for projects into reality.

How much each rank-and-file lawmaker gets to claim for his or her district is a bit of a moving target, but several Senate Democrats said they were allotted about $6 million each for what’s euphemistically called “member initiatives.” Several House Democrats said they received about $3 million each from a program their party’s rookie governor had pushed for months.

For the out-of-power Republicans, the calculation was different. The GOP had spent most of the spring session opposing Pritzker’s graduated income-tax plan, warning that it was a gateway to future Democratic tax hikes. Now Republican lawmakers were faced with voting for the series of tax hikes to fund their favored projects.

The opportunity to bring home the bacon proved tempting for some GOP lawmakers frustrated by four years under former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner that produced gridlock. In exchange for holding out for pro-business initiatives, some Republicans embraced higher taxes and fees to support the projects.

In addition, the governor’s capital bill contains big dollars for highways, bridges and public transportation supported by the state’s higher gas taxes and license plate fees.

All told, Springfield hadn’t experienced a major capital plan since 2009, when then-Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn took over for the impeached Rod Blagojevich. And the Capitol hadn’t seen such a flurry in 20 years, when deal-making Republican Gov. George Ryan pushed through a massive construction program.

“It was a rocky ride,” said Democratic Sen. John Mulroe of Chicago, who hadn’t seen this kind of money made available for rank-and-file lawmakers during his nine years in Springfield. “The plane was landing, it could have crashed, but it came to a smooth landing. We’re all happy about it. We just got out of the airport a couple of days late.”

Speaker’s clout

Speaker Madigan played a big role in carving up the pork-barrel spending. Included in the bill is $50 million for grants to be doled out by the Illinois Arts Council, which is chaired by Shirley Madigan, the speaker’s wife.

Steve Brown, a spokesman for the speaker, said many lawmakers have long shown support for the art group’s initiatives.

Madigan’s 13th Ward in Chicago also will benefit. There’s $9 million for upgrades to Hancock College Preparatory High School, where city Public Building Commission records show a replacement school with a capacity of 1,080 students is moving forward just south of Midway Airport. Brown noted there’s a “lot of overcrowding” in area schools.

Also falling within Madigan’s sphere of influence on the Southwest Side is a $31 million grant for a new building for the Academy for Global Citizenship, an independently operated charter school in the Chicago Public Schools system. It’s slated for construction at 44th Street and Laporte Avenue, which is represented in the House by freshman Democratic Rep. Aaron Ortiz of Chicago, who did not return messages seeking comment.

Ortiz won election with help from Democratic U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García, who recently has allied himself with Madigan. Brown said Madigan supported the charter school money because it is headed by a “reputable group and they have a site.”

Sarah Elizabeth Ippel, the school’s executive director, said plans call for a new Educational Learning Laboratory and Community Sustainability Hub, a solar-powered kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school that also will include a 3-acre urban farm that will grow food for the cafeteria.

The suburban portion of Madigan’s House district also scored $98 million in transportation-related funding to address the “long screeching noise” from trains at the Belt Railway Yard in Bedford Park, said Dave Brady, the village president.

Residents and hotel guests, sometimes subjected to noise exceeding 90 decibels, have complained since equipment was installed about two years ago to “basically eliminate the possibility of runaway trains,” Brady said.

‘Spork ’

The capital spending plan lists millions of dollars for baseball, football and soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, playgrounds, bike paths and other recreational venues throughout the state. In Springfield, that’s known as “spork” — sports-related pork.

Standing to benefit is pickleball, a fledgling sport that’s part tennis, part badminton and part pingpong. Democratic Sen. Terry Link of Vernon Hills tucked in $100,000 for the Buffalo Grove Park District for pickleball courts and other renovations.

The Park District plans to seal coat eight new courts at Mike Rylko Community Park because the paddle sport has “really taken off,” said Ryan Risinger, the district’s executive director. The new courts would replace rarely used sand volleyball courts, he said.

There’s also $20,000 for pickleball courts at Gwendolyn Brooks Park in Chicago’s North Kenwood neighborhood. Freshman Democratic Sen. Robert Peters said the court provides “first touches” for people in his district, saying he made choices based on local experts and community leaders who saw the need to upgrade broken and rusted equipment.

“I hope people understand why kids feel like they can’t even be in their own neighborhoods right now — if the park isn’t even safe in its structure,” Peters said. “Growing up on the South Side, the park was where I would go when I couldn’t go home. It’s its own shelter in a time of need.”

The spending plan also includes plenty of money to make sure the family dog is well-exercised — $400,000 is set aside for dog parks.

In the city, CPS would get $50,000 for dog park construction at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood. The Chicago Park District would get $200,000 for dog parks at Nicholas Park in the Hyde Park neighborhood and another location that’s unclear from the legislation.

In the suburbs, the Fox Valley Park District would receive $150,000 to build a dog park on the northeast side of Aurora and upgrade existing dog parks at the Stuart Sports Complex in Montgomery and at Lincoln Park in Aurora.

Religious, ethnic projects

In Springfield, projects for ethnic and religious institutions are often popular, despite concerns over the separation of church and state.

South Side Democratic Sen. Jacqueline Collins said she secured $370,000 for the Inner City Muslim Action Network to help with renovations of a building at 63rd and Racine Avenue to provide a grocery store for healthy food.

The group also would receive $30,000 for lighting and other final touches to a memorial honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s August 1966 march in the Marquette Park neighborhood, where the civil rights leader was struck by a rock during an equal housing demonstration.

Collins hailed King as her role model, saying the Nobel Peace Prize winner espoused hope and promoted a social justice where “every individual can make a difference.”

The spending bill also provides $200,000 for Another Chance Church in the Roseland neighborhood.

There’s $50,000 for Lubavich Chabad for renovation of the museum of Jewish history, collaboration space and social space. And there’s $200,000 for the Jewish United Fund of Chicago for renovations to The Ark, a nonprofit social service agency. Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago is set to receive $20 million for affordable housing for families and veterans in Waukegan.

Northwest Side Democratic Sen. Ram Villivalam said he secured millions of dollars for a Pan-Asian community center with services for seniors, people with disabilities and youths for the fast-growing population.

The goal is to help a community that ranges from Indian, Pakistani and Cambodian to Japanese, Korean and Chinese, likely at a location in Skokie, said Villivalam, the first Indian-American member of the General Assembly.

North Side dollars

North Side lawmakers are influential in the legislature, and the capital spending bill reflects that.

The plan includes nearly $1.5 million for an AIDS Garden to memorialize Chicago’s fight against HIV and AIDS.

“The AIDS Garden is a community project that creates beauty in a historic space at the Belmont Rocks, where the gay community would gather in the early days of Chicago’s LGBT movement and the AIDS epidemic,” said sponsoring Democratic Rep. Sara Feigenholtz. “To the larger community who lived through this struggle — ‘the Rocks’ are a sacred space. Enshrining it in history at a garden surrounded in beauty designed to reflect the history of this movement is important.”

Democratic Sen. Heather Steans and House Majority Leader Greg Harris secured $1.5 million in grants for construction of TimeLine Theatre in the Uptown neighborhood, a project that already has backing from the city and private philanthropy.

Harris said roads, bridges and schools aren’t the only capital projects that provide value for taxpayers’ dollars.

“A lot of different neighborhoods were fighting for them to locate there,” Harris said. “So I’m glad they’re coming up Uptown.”

Eye of beholder

The differing opinions on what’s a legitimate project and what’s not are inevitable in a state that has a multibillion-dollar backlog of bills and a $134 billion, worst-in-the-nation pension debt. But while supportive lawmakers note the latest borrowing is backed by the basketful of new and higher taxes and fees, others argue that spending is spending and taxpayers pay either way.

That was the dynamic among House Republicans.

Rep. Tom Demmer, a ranking Republican from Dixon, said during debate that he supported the overall budget and construction package along with the taxes and fees. The wide-ranging plan represented a good compromise even though there are “some things I’m not so keen on,” he said.

“The difficult vote for me is a priority for somebody else, and the difficult vote for somebody else is a priority for me,” Demmer said.

But Rep. David McSweeney, a Barrington Hills Republican, said he had no trouble deciding. He voted against the wide-ranging capital plan because it relies on enacting “massively higher taxes” and making Illinois gambling “way too expansive,” he said.

House Republican leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs said he placed his priorities on securing a series of pro-business measures in exchange for votes on the budget and construction plans rather than focusing on a list of specific projects.

“In that flurry of activity the last two days, it was intense, but it was productive,” Durkin said.

Democrats had more time to earmark projects, though many line items are bereft of details. Republicans now have started sorting through how to divide lump sums worth tens of millions of dollars, part of the process that Durkin said should be “more transparent.”

The long list of projects is fueled by new money from the casino gambling expansion, a new sports betting program, and increased taxes on parking, smoking and video poker. The transportation projects are being paid for by increases in the gas tax and vehicle sticker fee.

Rep. Mary Flowers said fellow House Democrats each were allotted $3 million to $4 million to spread around their districts to fill requests for schools, roads, bridges and other projects. Back in her South Side district, Flowers said she was still examining what requests made it into the final package.

“The governor kept things under wraps,” she said. “Then, when he came out, he came out in a big way. The governor tried — from the most northern tip to the most southern tip of the state — he tried to make accommodations for everyone. I can’t say everybody got everything, but I do know the efforts were made to accommodate as much as possible.”

After years of Springfield gridlock, Flowers said, the money helps address pent-up needs and puts Illinois “on course to move forward.”

“Everybody was kind of happy about being able to bring something home,” she said.

Posted in #madigoon, capital projects, Chicago, Illinois, Illinois Pensions, illinois politics, infrastructure, News, political satire, politics, pork, Pritzker, Rauner, referendum, robert martwick, Roy F. McCampbell, senator durbin, senator Mulroe, Social Media, Transportation, vote | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Real Reason Behind Bushwood’s Demise – Skyrocketing Real Estate Taxes-A Problem Becoming Rampant Across Illinois

TThe Real Reason Behind Bushwood’s Demise – Skyrocketing Real Estate Taxes-A Problem Becoming Rampant Across Illinois . Without serious efforts to rein in the appetite of government for real estate tax dollars the future will see a new wave of foreclosures on homes and businesses in Illinois driven by skyrocketing real estate taxes. This story will be replicated in every city and village of Illinois, driven by school districts and other units of local governments insatiable appetite for local taxpayer dollars as they reach deeper and deeper into pockets of homeowners and business owners……..
— Read on

Posted in #madigoon, #taxation, Economy, Illinois, Illinois Pensions, illinois politics, legal services, News, political satire, politics, Pritzker, Rauner, referendum, robert martwick, Roy F. McCampbell, senator durbin, senator Mulroe, Social Media, Taxation, vote | Leave a comment

The Emotional Impact of being a Sibling to a Brother/Sister with a Disability – Pieces of Me

The Emotional Impact of being a Sibling to a Brother/Sister with a Disability – Pieces of Me
— Read on

Posted in Autism, Illinois, illinois politics, LASEC, News, Pennoyer School District 79, politics, Pritzker, Rauner, referendum, robert martwick, Roy F. McCampbell, senator durbin, senator Mulroe, Social Media, Special Education | Leave a comment

Six Reasons to Oppose the ‘Pritzker Tax’

Over the next nearly 17 months, Illinois Democrats will try to persuade voters to profoundly amend the Illinois Constitution. Call their proposal the “Pritzker Tax,” placed on the Nov. 3, 2020, ballot thanks to exclusively Democratic votes in the spring session of the General Assembly.

The change hasn’t gone well for Connecticut, where progressively higher income and property taxes drive residents to other states. We suspect the change would be every bit as counterproductive in Illinois, which has lost population for five straight years. As young people abandon this state or don’t return here to start families and careers, the Illinois Exodus is intensifying. That leaves fewer people working and paying taxes to Illinois’ state and local governments. Every time a taxpayer departs for Florida, Tennessee or Texas, the tax burden on those of us who remain grows heavier.

For the first time since Connecticut in 1996, an American state would switch from a flat income tax to a graduated tax scheme. Meanwhile, North Carolina and Kentucky have gone the opposite direction. to flat taxes: If you earn five times what your neighbor earns, you pay five times as much to the state. And in 2018, Colorado voters rejected an amendment to convert from flat to graduated.

So each of us should think skeptically, not reflexively by political tribe, about what the Pritzker Tax would do to Illinois. Six reasons — for now — to vote it down:

The pols don’t deserve more of Other People’s Money

Recall how candidate Lori Lightfoot pledged to wring spending from City Hall before asking Chicagoans to pay higher taxes. In Springfield, by contrast, annual budgets blithely rise, so taxpayers should blithely pay more, right? Pritzker’s Democrats haven’t done the hard work to earn more of Other People’s Money. They didn’t make even a phony show of trying to economize. Remember those news stories about Dems’ agency budget cuts, greater outsourcing and their other spending reforms? Neither do we.

Yes, the Democrats feel they must placate the government employee union leaders whom ambitious streamlining would aggrieve. But by advocating for more income tax revenue, Democrats who rely on labor for campaign support seek to make their problem the taxpayers’ problem: Tax rates now on the table would extract an additional $3 billion a year from the private sector to placate workers in the public sector.

Retailers call it a “loss leader,” the low-priced item that attracts customers who often wind up buying high-priced items. The baited hook here is that, at least initially, the Pritzker Tax will hit only the high-income 3%; the rest of us will see slight tax decreases. Maybe, at least initially, the math works. Maybe, at least initially, that pledge will sucker millions of voters into supporting graduated tax rates — just as the $9.99 toaster gets people to shop at Biggy Bob’s Bargains.

We wish Pritzker & Co. had been forthright from the get-go: Deadbeat Illinois has $6 billion in unpaid bills, an unfunded pension obligation north of $133 billion, and we want to spend a lot more on programs our voters like. If taxpayers give us another $3 billion a year it’s, um, a start. But nowhere near enough. So you know what comes next.

Instead, the messaging is that the Pritzker Tax would be one-stop salvation. We thought we’d stepped into the Wayback Machine with Sherman and his dog Peabody when we read the words of Rep. Robert Martwick, a Chicago Democrat who sponsored the measure: “This is reform. This is what we all come here to do: identify problems, find solutions. This is the solution for Illinois going forward.” Other Democrats went on and on about this shortfall, or that deficit or the other crying need that fresh buckets of money from the Pritzker Tax would ameliorate.

Look at the tax-hike marketing from — well, from any recent year. Always the promises:

Give us the tax hike, we’ll fix Illinois!

Except, today’s tax hike is tomorrow’s license to spend … more.

If they can legalize graduated rates, Illinois Democrats soon will have to come after middle-class taxpayers. The state’s obligations are set in concrete, and $3 billion annually won’t cover existing costs plus the new spending Pritzker wants.

We ask yet again: Democrats, your new tax rates are guaranteed to hit only wealthy people and spare the middle class for … how long, exactly? Because if voters approve the Pritzker Tax, you can raise rates on every one of us, as often as you like.

The beauty of the flat tax is that raising the rate on everyone at once is much harder politically than gouging only those 3-percenters. That’s the leverage you want all of us to surrender to you.

One solution to Illinois’ financial fiasco is hiding in plain sight: a constitutional amendment that would relax the constitution’s rigid pension clause. Benefits earned so far would be protected, but going forward, lawmakers could adjust such unaffordable guarantees as 3% compounded cost-of-living-adjustments.

When lawmakers want more money, their proposed amendment flies onto the ballot. But when taxpayers want to address pension crises? Democrats, you have about 11 months to put this proposed amendment, too, on the ballot. About 11 months to do what Pritzker said about his tax scheme: “Let the people vote.” On pension reform too.

We have mixed reactions, but as the 2020 election approaches, this taxing frenzy is a bad look for Democrats.

Yet those grabs are mere prelude to citizens’ vote on the Pritzker Tax. The ultimate aim is to make middle-class taxpayers soakable, from here to eternity. So getting voters to trust that this only punishes those rich swells is key. As we’ve been showing in this series — When taxpayers trust Springfield … here’s what happens — Illinois voters would be fools to think tomorrow’s “emergency” need for higher rates won’t obliterate today’s earnest promises. Let’s revisit Springfield’s Hall of Promise Breakers, lawmakers who assured voters that:

Illinois tollways will be freeways by 1973. (Promised conversion dates varied.)

The Illinois Lottery, authorized in 1973, will fund schools. (Instead, in a shell game, lottery proceeds get diverted).

The 1989 income tax surcharge is just temporary. (Made permanent in 1993.)

Gov. Jim Edgar in 1994 signs into law a plan to fix a $15 billion unfunded pension liability that Edgar calls “a time bomb.” (Lawmakers give themselves pension holidays and spend the money elsewhere. Taxpayers’ unfunded liability now exceeds $133 billion.)

The “College Illinois” program Speaker Michael Madigan helps pass in 1997 is guaranteed to pay for itself. (Unfunded liability now facing taxpayers: $501 million.)

In 2010, Gov. Pat Quinn says he won’t permit an individual income tax hike higher than 1%. In January 2011 he signs into law a “Quinncome Tax” twice that size.

In 2011, while legislating a 67% increase in the income tax rate, Democrats include a provision that by 2025, the rate will retreat to 3.25%. Democrats also promise that the tax hike will fix the pension system, eliminate overdue bills, boost Illinois’ economy, create jobs, end annual budget shortfalls and improve state bond ratings. (None of that happens.)

In 2017, lawmakers instead say they need much more revenue than the retreating tax rate gives them. So they raise the personal income tax rate by 32%, to 4.95%. Democratic sponsors say the spending plan should start paying down old bills and reduce costs in the pension system. (Instead …)

In 2017, lawmakers instead say they need much more revenue than the retreating tax rate gives them. So they raise the personal income tax rate by 32%, to 4.95%. Democratic sponsors say the spending plan should start paying down old bills and reduce costs in the pension system. (Instead …..

Voters, you’re free to believe that, sometime after Year One, lawmakers wouldn’t greatly expand the Pritzker Tax.

Gov. Pritzker and fellow Democrats, again, our suggestion to you:

Be honest. Admit to voters that for all your talk of “fairness,” you came up with this plan because you want private-sector workers and companies paying much more into your public sector.

Posted in #madigoon, Education, election fraud, Elections, Illinois, Illinois Pensions, illinois politics, Illinois Tollroad, marijuana, News, political satire, politics, Pritzker, Rauner, referendum, robert martwick, Roy F. McCampbell, Schiller Park, senator durbin, senator Mulroe, Social Media, Taxation, Transportation, weed | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Illinois Extends It’s Role As The “Nanny State”

This is idiotic.

A requirement for graduation?

What if you are brilliant or an athlete and have been given a free ride?

Okay, this is all my opinion.

However, I suspect this is another case of the State of Illinois imposing a law on all of us that most residents don’t want, another one-size-fits-all?

Or am I talking through my hat?

In addition to math, science, reading, and gym class, Illinois high school students will soon have a financial aid requirement to graduate high school. 

Every high school senior in the state of Illinois will have to apply for federal student aid before they can graduate. 

Lawmakers approved the new law last week. Gov. J.B. Pritzker says he will sign it. 

Under the plan, high schools in the state will be required to have seniors fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and if eligible a state student aid application as well. 

State Rep. Katie Stuart says it will be easy for schools and kids, and could help some students get into college. 

“This initiative will connect more students to the resources that are already available to help them get education or training after high school,” Stuart said. “But it’s flexible enough that we are not putting up any new barriers to graduation.”

Not all lawmakers are happy about the idea. 

Opponents say there’s always a cost when the state requires local schools to do anything. And there’s a question about why all high school seniors need to fill out a FAFSA application. 

But state Rep. Mary Flowers, who voted for the plan, said the requirement is aimed at the students who need extra help.

Rep Mary Flowers assumes that all schools have the necessary counselors to take the time to educate the students, as well as the parents, about college and/or other programs, Flowers told opponents of the plan. 

Pritzker says the idea is critical for the state’s schools. He says he looks forward to signing the new law. 

Once he does, the requirement will start in the 2020-2021 school year.

Posted in #madigoon, #taxation, Crime, Education, fafsa, Finance, Health, Illinois, Illinois Pensions, illinois politics, Leyden, mike madigan, nanny state, News, political satire, politics, Pritzker, Rauner, referendum, robert martwick, Roy F. McCampbell, Social Media, Taxation, West Leyden | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Illinois lawmakers vote to eliminate prisoner copay

Prisoners in Illinois will no longer have to pay copays because of a bill passed by the legislature, prisoners currently pay a $5 copay for medical and dental services.

A bill that passed last week will eliminate that cost.

It’s now awaiting action from Governor JB Pritzker.

When this bill becomes law, the Illinois Department of Corrections said they’ll lose out on about $400,000 over 10 years.

A similar bill passed last year, but was vetoed by former Governor Bruce Rauner

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Illinois Teacher Pension Costs Continue to Soar After the Current General Assembly Session to Placate the Unions At Taxpayer Costs

Sen. Jim Oberweis compromise plan ignored as teacher pension spiking provision slips through

State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) believed he had a gentleman’s agreement with his Democratic counterparts to keep a cap in place that prevented teachers from spiking their pensions. And then at the last minute he didn’t.

“I talked to Andy Manar [D-Bunker Hill] about compromise language I had come up with, and he told me it sounded like a great idea,” Oberweis told Prairie State Wire. “Then at that last minute they sneak through language that removes the cap.”

The change the Senate sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, on Sunday as part of the budget removed a three percent cap imposed by the General Assembly just last year. Under it, the school district, not the state, would be responsible for the cost of the pension boost a teacher would receive thanks to late career salary increases over three percent. The Democratically controlled Senate voted to revert to an earlier, higher cap of six percent.

On the Senate floor, Oberweis pushed for his compromise plan: let the districts increase salaries as high as they like, but keep them, not state taxpayers, responsible for additional pension costs incurred under salary increases above three percent.

“This will cost the taxpayers millions, even billions more, if this type of nonsense is allowed to continue,” Oberweis said on the floor.

The teachers, through their unions, argue that the late career increases are justified since teachers near retirement often assumed additional duties – coaching, mentoring, curriculum development.

“I believe 90 percent of that is baloney,” Oberweis told Prairie State Wire.

The economists at Wirepoints studied what the change is going to mean to taxpayers. As example, they looked at the automatic salary increases New Trier teachers receive.

“Take a New Trier teacher with a salary of $130,000 who recently committed to retiring in four years,” the Wirepoints article said. “The 6 percent bumps will grow her salary to more than $164,000 at retirement. As a result, she’ll earn approximately $400,000 more in pension benefits over the course of her retirement when compared to a salary based on 2 percent annual raises.”

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