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The last time the state of Illinois contributed its rainy day fund

Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently made his annual budget address, in which he touted the improved fiscal condition of the state as well as roughly $1 billion in extra revenue. Some of the highlights include providing financial relief to taxpayers by freezing taxes on gasoline and groceries. This is expected to cost the state $135 millionContinue reading “The last time the state of Illinois contributed its rainy day fund”

What reassigning CPD’s tactical officers to patrol districts means

A recent letter from Alderman Marty Quinn of the 13th Ward called for Superintendent Brown, head of the Chicago Police Department (CPD), to reverse the decision in which tactical officers would be reassigned to beat cars. This piece explains what that means. Since 1994, Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy (CAPS) has been implemented in which communities, theContinue reading “What reassigning CPD’s tactical officers to patrol districts means”

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”

Understanding and Analyzing Municipal Real Estate Transfer Taxes

Overview There are three things that are certain in life: birth, death, and taxes. While we don’t like paying them, they play an important role in helping fund public services, like police and fire departments, schools, and garbage collection. They can hit us from all corners, but one area of taxation where people seem toContinue reading “Understanding and Analyzing Municipal Real Estate Transfer Taxes”

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”

Something stinks on Chicago’s Southwest Side

Midway Defective Windows Cause for Concern Residents of Chicago’s Midway area have been couping with the smell of odorous chemicals coming from the installation of soundproof windows procured by Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA). The issue began over ten years ago, when the city of Chicago created the Midway Residential Sound Insulation Program (RSIP) toContinue reading “Something stinks on Chicago’s Southwest Side”

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”

State journalism task force is good for local journalism

By: Christopher Ryan Crisanti In July of this year I wrote about why local journalism matters not only for our communal well-being, but for our democracy as well. As more small, local newspapers have been purchased, there is the concern that the out-of-community corporation ownership has the potential erode local news. Moreover, some communities areContinue reading “State journalism task force is good for local journalism”

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)”

Local 701 labor strike reminds us why unions matter for the economy

By: Christopher Ryan Crisanti Automobile Mechanics Union Local 701 earlier this month went on strike after contract talks with New Car Dealer Committee stalled. For those of use who live in Southwest burbs, the signs held by individuals occupied outside car dealerships made it apparent. The fight for a better contract reminds us of whyContinue reading “Local 701 labor strike reminds us why unions matter for the economy”

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”

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