Municipalities will need to (eventually) invest in aging water lines

By: Christopher Ryan Crisanti A recent front-page story from The Chicago Tribune noted that nearly 8 of every 10 residents live in communities with high exposure to lead in their tap water from very old and depreciating service line pipes. Many, if not nearly all, of pipes in Illinois were installed over 100 hundred yearsContinue reading “Municipalities will need to (eventually) invest in aging water lines”

Municipal Snow Management During the Winter

Overview Illinois, especially the northern part of the state, falls victim of a high abundance of snow during the winter. Massive snow fall not only creates inconvenience, but potentially dangerous conditions. Moreover, poor planning can deplete reserves and put a strangle hold on budgets as municipalities coop with maintenance of roads, snow removal, liability claims,Continue reading “Municipal Snow Management During the Winter”

The History, Benefits, and Concerns of the Illinois State Lottery

By: Quinn Newman Overview  The Illinois Lottery was established in 1974 as a way to help fund Chicago’s K-12 school programs as well as many other causes over the years. The lottery generates about $3 billion per year with the state collecting over $700 million. Originally intended to help fund education, the program has receivedContinue reading “The History, Benefits, and Concerns of the Illinois State Lottery”

What is the Local Government Distribution Fund?

Overview The recent legislation to adopt police reforms (House Bill 3653) concerned many about a penalty if municipalities did not install body cameras for police officers by 2025. If the municipality failed to comply with the requirement, it would have face a 20 percent reduction in state funding from its Local Government Distribution Fund (LGDF)Continue reading “What is the Local Government Distribution Fund?”

The State’s Bond Ratings Over the Years

Overview A bond rating grades the credit worthiness of the state or municipality. The stronger the bond rating, the greater ability for the state or municipality to borrow at lower interest ratings and better deal to finance projects, fund services or service debt. This piece looks at the state’s bond ratings in prior years. TheContinue reading “The State’s Bond Ratings Over the Years”

Illinois’ First Minimum Wage Law

Overview The U.S. Federal minimum wage was first implemented in 1938 under the Roosevelt administration with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLA). However, FLA did not mandate a universal minimum wage for all industries and were subject to exceptions. By the early 1970s, many state legislatures convened to address these issues by passing legislation toContinue reading “Illinois’ First Minimum Wage Law”

Illinois-Centric Books for the Holiday Season

Here at Prairie State Policy we like to read. In fact, some of our published work came from ideas or citations from Illinois-centric books. With many staying indoors this holiday season due to COVID-19, we decided to compile a list of Illinois-centric books for the savvy reader and Illinois politico. We hope this list containsContinue reading “Illinois-Centric Books for the Holiday Season”

Pat Quinn’s Cut Back Amendment

The Initiative that Created the Modern Organizational Structure of the General Assembly Topic: Politics & Public Management Overview Prior to 1980, the structure of the General Assembly looked very different. Instead of having one House representative per House district, each district contained three state representatives, plus a Senator. This resulted in bigger legislative districts andContinue reading “Pat Quinn’s Cut Back Amendment”

What is Home Rule?

Background The concept of home rule was first adopted in Article VII, Section 6 of the Illinois Constitution of 1970 to give units of local government greater power to pursue, implement, and administer its own policy initiatives, rather than the intervention of the state’s interests and power. Specifically, it allows municipalities of populations greater than 25,000 toContinue reading “What is Home Rule?”

An Overview of the Illinois Tollway

By: Ryley Bruun A Brief History In 1953, the Illinois State Toll Highway Commission was formed. The original intent of the tollway was for interstate travel across the county, rather than domestic commuters. With the Toll Highway Act, the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (ISTHA) was given power to generate revenue via tolls to payContinue reading “An Overview of the Illinois Tollway”