The Erosion of Local News is Real and Why You Should be Concerned

By: Christopher Ryan Crisanti Prairie State Policy was founded on the premise that state and local government matters. With the public conversation more often than not titled toward national issues, the purpose of the blog is to try to shift that pendulum back and message why local and state issues are just, if not more,Continue reading “The Erosion of Local News is Real and Why You Should be Concerned”

Where homicides occur in Chicago

There is often a false narrative circulated that the city of Chicago as a whole is a dangerous place, specifically when it comes to homicides. However, data indicates that the balk of homicides is actually spread more unevenly throughout the city with the violence heavily concentrated on the West and South Side. Using the cityContinue reading “Where homicides occur in Chicago”

Illinois’ Improved Fiscal Outlook (Through Charts)

This past legislative session was regarded as a major improvement to the fiscal condition of the State of Illinois. Many media organizations reported that with the help of the much needed American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds, as well as enhanced economic activity from the pandemic’s end in sight, Illinois (oddly) seems to (finally) be onContinue reading “Illinois’ Improved Fiscal Outlook (Through Charts)”

Plan established to help replace lead pipes

This is a follow-up to a post titled, “Municipalities will need to (eventually) invest in aging water lines.” You can read about it here. The Spring 2021 legislative session is rounding up and lawmakers have addressed the state’s lead pipe issue by passing legislation requiring water utilities to replace lead service lines while also creating aContinue reading “Plan established to help replace lead pipes”

U.S. Treasury’s COVID debt rule is a bleak situation for Illinois

The following is an update from the piece How Federal Stimulus Money will be Allocated in Illinois, which was published March 15 and another piece published on April 17. A major wrench was thrown at the state earlier this month when the federal government announced that American Rescue Plan (ARP) money cannot be used to pay offContinue reading “U.S. Treasury’s COVID debt rule is a bleak situation for Illinois”

A 10 Percent Reduction in Local Aid Would Be a Hit for Municipalities, But Problems Run Deeper

By: Christopher Ryan Crisanti The final two months of the General Assembly spring session normally shifts public conversation towards the upcoming fiscal year budget, with lawmakers needing to pass a budget based on the governor’s proposals. While economic activity seems to be picking up due to the COVID pandemic end in sight, state revenues haveContinue reading “A 10 Percent Reduction in Local Aid Would Be a Hit for Municipalities, But Problems Run Deeper”

A history of the structure and administration of Chicago’s Board of Education: Part III

By: Quinn Newman and Ryley Bruun The following is a continuation of Part II. You can read it here. 1995 to Present: An Expansion of Mayor Control The results of CSRA’s reforms at decentralization are difficult to measure, partly because every school was supposed to have an elected council made up of 6 parents, 2 communityContinue reading “A history of the structure and administration of Chicago’s Board of Education: Part III”

A history of the structure and administration of Chicago’s Board of Education: Part II

By: Quinn Newman and Ryley Bruun The following is a continuation of Part I. You can read it here. The Chicago Board of Education Pre-1995 The Chicago Board of Education was created in 1872 and contained an 11-member board to govern the district. Despite all other 851 boards being elected in the state, Chicago’s boardContinue reading “A history of the structure and administration of Chicago’s Board of Education: Part II”

A history of the structure and administration of Chicago’s Board of Education: Part I

By: Quinn Newman and Ryley Bruun Overview  The city of Chicago has had a turbulent history in recent years with its public schools system as strikes, the COVID-19 pandemic, and numerous inequities have created a need for change. One solution currently being deliberated is to replace the current mayor-appointed school board with an elected bodyContinue reading “A history of the structure and administration of Chicago’s Board of Education: Part I”

What’s the controversy with firefighter pensions?

Governor J.B. Pritzker recently signed a bill which alters cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for firefighter pensions moving forward. At issue was how pension benefits are given to Chicago firefighters. Previously, any Chicago firefighter who was born on or after January 1st received a non-compounded 1.5% COLA with a cumulative cap of 30% (as long as theyContinue reading “What’s the controversy with firefighter pensions?”