Democrats gathered in the Granite City steelworkers’ union hall to promise to try to extend their unemployment benefits another 6 months. Leaders would better serve the workers by passing reforms that will bring job growth to Illinois.
School administrators in St. Clair County appear to be backing away from seeking a 1 cent sales tax in November that would benefit school construction and debt from it. Delaying until April gives them a chance to figure out how an angry electorate will respond unless the message is the sales tax will help bring down property taxes.
The Independent Maps Amendment took an expected setback when a Cook County judge sided with Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan this week. Next stop is the Illinois Supreme Court on whether voters get a say on who should draw state lawmakers’ districts.
Belleville’s $2.49-million investment in a 1970s-era shopping center is also sprouting other commercial development on West Main Street. While it would be nice to know details of the developer’s plan, there is enough excitement around the project to raise expectations and hopes.
The Illinois Independent Tax Tribunal was intended to help taxpayers face the state Department of Revenue, but there are no friendly faces to find south of Chicago. Missteps found in a state audit beg questions about just who the tribunal is serving.
Madison County’s success with veterans court argues for expanding it elsewhere in Illinois. In addition to working, the system is cost-effective and vets throughout Illinois deserve the opportunity to fix their lives.
Illinois’ health insurance coop just became the 16th of 24 to fail and Democratic leaders are pressing for greater government involvement. The natural end is government becoming the single payer, but multiple health care industries will die in the process of trying to cover a few more Americans.
Collinsville is seeng the lawsuits fly over former city manager Scott Williams and the investigations into the mayor getting free dirt and a councilwoman using city accounts for personal purchases. The only sure losers are Collinsville taxpayers, who will be stuck with the legal bills.
Illinois again has decided to change the standardized test given to high school students. All these test changes stop people from making comparisons to see how well, or how poorly, students and schools are doing.
Two Belleville developments have been shrouded in secrecy, but they are also the worst kept secrets around. What good does it serve to keep development details from the public whose money you are seeking?
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s recent visit reminds everyone how much work is needed to change 30 years of deficit spending in a state where incomes lost ground for 17 years. Reforms are needed before Illinois can hope to climb out of its deep deficit hole.
The simplistic idea that killing cops will stop cops from shooting black people is abhorrent, but that extremely binary, white-black view is also a cousin to how too many people see the world. Communities and police must get comfortable with the complexities of solving problems in the gray middle ground in order to make more racial progress.
Challengers failed to stop a push to ask voters in November whether Madison County’s maximum property tax rate should be dropped from 25 cents to 20 cents per $100 assessed valuation. Democracy wins, and now both sides need to try to convince voters whether county government needs the extra money or not.
Fairview Heights stabbing of man who faced three rape investigations added another victim to Paul M. Sweitzer’s list. He remains an example of how few rape cases end in convictions, even when victims come forward.
Two East St. Louis City Council members finally showed up for a budget vote, but voted no on moves that would allow contractors to be paid and help get eyesores cleaned up. Inaction on a budget? Who do they think they are, the State of Illinois?
Mark Zuckerberg wants to focus Facebook’s news feed on friends and family and downplay independent media, but his motives are suspects after revelations that Facebook suppressed conservative content. Whether ideology or money is behind the move, “hands off” would be a better way to treat content.
East St. Louis Township Supervisor Oliver W. Hamilton first spent $84,970 on a township credit card, now fails to disclose more than $225,250 in contracts with local governments. Interesting that he didn’t report the very type of political insider income targeted by economic disclosure law, but sure he has a good explanation for prosecutors.
St. Clair Township’s highway commissioner in 2012 high-handedly closed Mine Haul Road without the promised savings, but a plan to reopen it at a cost of $125,000 is too much, for too little good, too late.