Legislative Look: Amending Illinois’ Open Meetings Act

One bill on deck this legislative session is amending the Open Meetings At. The Open Meetings Act (OMA) ensures that public body meetings are open and held publicly. This allows for a more transparent government for the people, as deliberations within the public body can be observed by the general public.  Public Act (P.A.) 101-0640Continue reading “Legislative Look: Amending Illinois’ Open Meetings Act”

Crime will continue to be the definitive local issue in 2022

By: Christopher Ryan Crisanti Crime has probably been the hyperlocal, defining issue of 2021 and with no signs of the numbers decreasing, it seems like this trend will continue in 2022. Prairie State Policy has published a few pieces as it relates to crime. One particularly notable piece illustrated where homicides occur in the cityContinue reading “Crime will continue to be the definitive local issue in 2022”

“Weak mayor” vs. “strong mayor” systems of government

By: Christopher Ryan Crisanti Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently unveiled her 2022 budget proposal to the City Council. While normally delivered in mid-October, the annual budget address not only provides an overview of the city’s fiscal priorities, but also reflects the significance and the power of the position of “mayor.” As the chief executive of aContinue reading ““Weak mayor” vs. “strong mayor” systems of government”

New census numbers debunk the common perception of exodus (At least for Chicago and Suburbs)

Here in Illinois, there is the common perception that the state faces a crisis of mass exodus due to high property taxes, political corruption, and fiscal challenges. While these problems certainly do exist, recent U.S. Census data indicates the common perception may not be as serious as the reality. First, it is true that IllinoisContinue reading “New census numbers debunk the common perception of exodus (At least for Chicago and Suburbs)”

Over $16 billion in infrastructure help coming for Illinois

Congress has passed President Biden’s landmark $1 trillion infrastructure bill which will provide aid to states to help build bridges, maintain roads, construct broadband access, and much more. While it is still to be determined how much money Illinois will be exactly receiving, Senators Durbin and Duckworth have noted the following: It should also beContinue reading “Over $16 billion in infrastructure help coming for Illinois”

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?”

How Federal Stimulus Revenue will be allocated in Illinois [update]

The following is an update from the piece How Federal Stimulus Money will be Allocated in Illinois, which was published March 15. State leaders recently convened on how to allocate the $7.5 billion the state will receive under President Biden’s stimulus plan. According to Gov. Pritzker, Senate President Don Harmon, and Speaker Chris Welch, the stateContinue reading “How Federal Stimulus Revenue will be allocated in Illinois [update]”