Comparing Chicago’s budget size to other U.S. cities

Overview Mayor Lori Lightfoot recently unveiled her $16.7 billion budget proposal to the City Council for FY 2022. Having the third largest population in the Union (2.7 million), the city of Chicago’s budget is also one of the largest among U.S. municipalities. This piece will compare the size of Chicago’s General Fund budget to theContinue reading “Comparing Chicago’s budget size to other U.S. cities”

“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”

The tax funding of Illinois college football programs

Introduction Big-time college football is big-time business. And with big-time business comes big-time money. The United States is undoubtedly an (American) football nation. When the leaves start to fall, we go giddy for the gridiron. While Chicago may be regarded as a pro-football town, college football is no exception. What is sometimes forgotten is thatContinue reading “The tax funding of Illinois college football programs”

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)”

Two credit rating agencies increase state’s bond rating. Third awaits

The following is a continuation of the piece The State’s Bond Ratings Over the Years. Read about it here. Prairie State Policy previously published a piece illustrating the state’s bond rating over the years. Good news was delivered the last few weeks as two of the major three credit rating agencies have upgraded the state ofContinue reading “Two credit rating agencies increase state’s bond rating. Third awaits”

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”

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”