Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Top Illinois Stories

Illinois Drives People Away – Wall Street Journal

See our Quicktake on this article linked here.

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A Primary Challenge to a Right-Wing Democrat in Illinois Divides the Resistance – The Intercept

Late last month, a group of five national progressive organizations announced their support for Marie Newman, a Democrat running for Congress in Illinois. Nothing unusual there: Newman is a down-the-line progressive on everything from economic populism, immigration, LGBT rights, gun violence and a woman’s right to choose. What made the move so unusual is that there is already a Democrat safely in the seat - Dan Lipinski.

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Dabrowski: When will Springfield accept the blame for the pension crisis? – Opinion – Chicago Tribune

By Wirepoints' Ted Dabrowski

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Illinois employers to face shifting regulatory burdens in 2018 – Cook County Record

As 2018 looms, employers in Illinois are bracing for another wave of employment and labor regulations on the local, state and federal levels.

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Other Highlighted Illinois Stories

Illinois bond conduit’s slate is full amid tax reform threats – The Bond Buyer

The Illinois Finance Authority board is expected to clear $1.26 billion of deals at its meeting Thursday as borrowers rush to market ahead of federal tax legislation that is likely to end advance refundings and might strip not-for-profits of their tax-exempt borrowing powers. The IFA is the state’s primary avenue for nonprofits, such as hospitals, private universities, cultural institutions, housing groups, and charter schools, to access the municipal market.

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6 States Raising Taxes in 2018 — The Motley Fool

Click to insert. "In terms of sweeping (and confusing) income tax reforms, Illinois just might take the cake among the states set to increase income taxes in 2018."

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Illinois lawmakers allowed to pick which harassment cases their own ethics watchdog pursues – INN

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Illinois drops predictive analytics for at-risk children — GCN

Rather than help evaluate risk to children, the system overwhelmed caseworkers, flagging 4,100 children as facing a 90 percent or greater probability of death or injury. And it did not predict deaths of children who had been subject of several abuse investigations, according to the Tribune.

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More Highlighted Illinois Stories

Cook County Republican Files For Illinois Treasurer Seat – NPR IL

Jim Dodge currently serves as an Orland Park village trustee.

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Mike Wons, Architect of Illinois’ Technology Modernization, Returning to Private Sector – Government Technology

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Don’t Rush New Sexual Harassment Policies, Some Women Lawmakers Warn – Governing

Several women in the Illinois legislature, which has already passed new laws in response to the outcry, caution that lawmakers should take their time when writing new sexual harassment policies.

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Public union’s endorsement of Pritzker provokes criticism of fair share dues – INN

100,000 members are all happy that the Illinois Federation of Teachers endorsed Pritzker?

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Lawmaker criticizes new state law tracking food deserts as ‘feel-good’ redundancy – INN

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Democratic candidates for governor gather for women’s forum – Chicago Sun-Times

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Governor Rauner calls for Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios to resign – ABC Chicago

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Illinois public school personnel to be trained in detecting racial bias – Illinois Review

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Research: Announcement: Moody’s proposes revised methodology for US states and territories – Moody’s

Not good for Illinois: "Proposed changes include reducing the weight of the governance factor to 20% from 30% and increasing the weight of the economy factor and the debt and pensions factor to 25% each from 20% each, to reflect the relative influence of the state or territory economy and the effect of long-term liabilities on credit assessments."

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Dan Biss Op-Ed: Time to think bigger on revenue options – News Gazette

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Pritzker brings pro-union message to Galesburg – Register-Mail

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UI releases statement pledging free speech for all – News-Gazette

In a new statement of principles, the University of Illinois pledges an "unyielding allegiance to freedom of speech — even controversial, contentious and unpopular speech."

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Bitcoin futures trading begins on CBOE exchange in Chicago – BBC

Bitcoin

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Mars Candy leaves for New Jersey – Eric Allie Cartoon

Chicago mars wrigley  

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The Illinois Policy Institute Receives a Failing Grade on Prevailing Wage – IL Economic Policy Inst.

The Illinois Policy article about which this is written is linked here.

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Building fairness and opportunity: The effects of repealing Illinois’ prevailing wage law – Illinois Policy

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I’m not in charge’: Illinois governor’s words may haunt bid – Associated Press

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Junk the prevailing wage in construction? Policy group makes case – Crain’s

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There’s a lot that’s right about Illinois – Editorial – Daily Herald

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Kass: Claypool’s departure caps week of sugarplums for Illinois taxpayers – Opinion – Chicago Tribune

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Wisconsin Governor Pushes Forward With Plan To Drug Test Food Stamp Recipients – ZeroHedge

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U of IL physicists say they’ve confirmed new form of matter in a breakthrough of ‘cosmic significance’ – Daily Mail

Nearly 50 years after it was first theorized, physicists claim they’ve proven the existence of a new form of matter, known as ‘excitonium.’ The researchers say excitations can be thought of as propagating domain walls (yellow) in an ordered solid exciton background (blue)"Excitonium"!

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Opioid crisis impacts farming communities – INN

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Investigation: Madigan firm the biggest player in commercial property tax appeals – Illinois Policy

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Gov. Rauner won’t commit to debate with GOP challenger Ives – INN

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A Reporter Returns to Southern Illinois to Talk About Life, Immigration, Coal – The New York Times

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GOP Lawmaker Demands Proof or Apology for Rauner Claim – Associated Press

Rep. David McSweeney said Rauner made a "really serious charge" when he alleged his political nemesis, Speaker Michael Madigan, pressured the state's independent monitor to end the $12.5 million contract dealing with Medicaid services.

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The five states running out of taxable income the fastest – Truth in Accounting

States with the highest net outmigration of per-taxpayer AGI are Connecticut, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. This is an interesting little study on what correlates with that.

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Jack Bogle Is Worried About U.S. Pensions – Bloomberg

"Pensions have generally lowered their returns targets over the past few years, but they’re still aiming for annual gains of more than 7 percent on average. To Bogle, that’s an unlikely scenario. 'It is almost a given that it will end badly,' he said."

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Ives calls for sanctuary state repeal, justice for victims’ families – Illinois Review

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Top Chicago Stories

Emanuel calls Chicago a ‘Trump-free zone’ on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ – ABC Chicago

Click to insert. Emanuel described Chicago as welcoming for immigrants from around the world and explained why local police are not enforcing federal immigration laws.

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No Easy Fix For Chicago’s Debt Dereliction – Opinion – Investor’s Business Daily

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Yet another Chicago schools chief resigns amid scandal – The Washington Post

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Apple to teach coding to every Chicago public school student – USA Today

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Other Highlighted Chicago Stories

GOP tax overhaul will hit these Chicago-area home values hardest – Crain’s

Home values in several Chicago-area counties would take some of the biggest hits in the nation under the tax rewrite in front of Congress, according to a national forecast.

Lake, McHenry, Will and DuPage are listed among the 30 U.S. counties that will lose the most potential growth in home values if the tax package goes through, according to a report released last week by Moody's Analytics.

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Chicago violence hovers near 20-year high, with pockets of improvement – Chicago Sun-Times

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Chicagoans are jumping into the world of bitcoin: ‘Everyone thinks I’m crazy’ – Chicago Tribune

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Why the average tax bill is set to drop $670 for District 303 homeowners – Daily Herald

The vote St. Charles Unit District 303 taxpayers have been waiting for finally arrived Monday night. Grins accompanied a sense of mission accomplished as school officials voted in a levy that will bring significant savings in local tax bills.

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Chicago beefs up transportation security after NY bomb – A.P.

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Chicago police union official blasts $31 million wrongful conviction settlement as part of ‘cottage industry’ – Chicago Tribune

“What is happening in this city is that the civil rights lawyers have carved out a cottage industry in the name of wrongful convictions,” Preib told aldermen. “They look to this chamber as their blank check. Their playbook is simple: they claim police misconduct, get the prosecutors to exonerate, draft a willing media and then manipulate the citizens of Chicago out of their tax money.”

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Chicago to form ‘vehicular terrorism task force’ – Chicago Sun-Times

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Who wants to attend Zombie High in CPS? – Editorial – Chicago Tribune

There’s a vital job that remains unfinished: closing Chicago high schools hit by shriveling enrollment and faltering academics. There are at least 17 schools on that list, according to a recent analysis by Tribune reporters Juan Perez Jr. and Jennifer Smith Richards.

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Valerie Jarrett joins University of Chicago Law School – Crain’s

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As a "distinguished senior fellow."

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Elgin residents facing multitude of tax and fee hikes – Illinois Policy

Comment: Just another in the deluge of similar stories coming from municipalities across the state, which we wrote about last week.

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All Chicago police patrol officers now equipped with body cameras, department says – A.P.

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Schools, companies move to fill massive aviation employee shortage – Daily Herald

With the need to fill millions of new aviation jobs over the next two decades, schools and companies in the suburbs are priming the pipeline for high school students to fill the shortage.

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Airports’ gain will be municipalities’ loss under fuel rule – Daily Herald

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State expands plan to add toll lanes on I-55 – Chicago Tribune

Bruce Rauner and IDOT last year proposed adding one express toll lane in each direction for the 25-mile stretch between I-355 and I-90/94, to be built by private companies. The stretch starts at Bolingbrook and touches such southwest suburbs as Burr Ridge, Hodgkins and Summit, plus Chicago’s Southwest Side. IDOT has now upped the ante and proposes having two new toll lanes in each direction from I-90/94 in the city to I-294, with one toll lane in each direction from I-294 to I-355.

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Rep. Gutierrez’s departure is a seismic shift in Chicago’s Latino politics – The Hill

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Chicago Woman Who Filmed Brutal Kidnapping And Torture Of Disabled Teen Sentenced To Community Service – ZeroHedge

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McHenry County Board to vote on referendum encouraging 10 percent cut to school property tax levies – Northwest Herald

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Backlog in Illinois appeals system is a case of injustice – Editorial – Chicago Sun-Times

A legal backlog has grown so lengthy that some defendants are getting hearings on their appeals only after they have already completed their sentences. See our Quicktake on this linked here.

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Chicago settles lawsuit alleging a police ‘code of silence’ – The Washington Post

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Under fire, Forrest Claypool resigns as Chicago schools’ CEO – Chicago Sun-Times

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The Best U.S. Cities for 2017 Winter Holiday Travel – Travel

We're No 1! OK, an ambiguous honor, but we'll take it.

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Protest over ‘net neutrality’ in Chicago – Fox Chicago

photo

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What’s Next For Chicago Schools Chief Accused Of A ‘Cover-Up And Lies?’ – WBEZ

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O’Hare restaurant workers vote to strike, but timing of a walkout is unclear – Chicago Tribune

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Illinois’ pension crisis: Danville’s candid approach – Editorial – Chicago Tribune

Danville instituted a $267 annual fee to help shore up its depleted police and fire pension fund, which is $105 million in the hole. The city calls it a “public safety pension fee,” but you may as well call it the “Illinois is a dumpster fire” fee. Appropriately, Danville collects this money as part of the monthly sewer and garbage charge.

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Illinois county aims to wean pensions from newly-elected officials – INN

The McHenry County Board decided last year that it would no longer offer Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund pensions to its new members. Now the board is looking to wean countywide elected officials such as the sheriff, clerk and others off of the defined-benefit plan as well.

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New nonprofit aims to promote area economy – Crain’s

The city has World Business Chicago, the state has Intersect Illinois, and now the metropolitan region is trying for a new public-private partnership to promote economic development. A four-year-old working group representing seven counties and Chicago has incorporated and plans to launch early next year as the Chicago Regional Growth Corporation. The wild card is funding, which the group is raising now.

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Investment bank with Emanuel ties comes to Chicago – Crain’s

One of the firm's founding partners, Joe Perella, was Mayor Rahm Emanuel's boss when they worked at financial advisory firm Wasserstein Perella nearly 20 years ago.

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Chicago Park District Budget: Analysis and Recommendations – The Civic Federation

The Civic Federation supports the Park District's FY2018 budget because it reduces the District’s reliance on prior year fund balance, implements savings and efficiencies and reduces the size of the District’s workforce. At the same time, the District plans to increase the level of funding to its pension plan.

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Commerial Breakdown – Chicago Tribune

Part 4 of the Tribune's special reports on Cook County property taxes: Under Joseph Berrios, assessments of commercial and industrial properties defy logic, punish taxpayers and enrich lawyers

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Wirepoints Original Stories

Fitch Ratings: Illinois debt burden highest in nation – Wirepoints Original

Fitch Ratings says Illinois is the worst in the nation when it comes to debt and pensions as a share of residents’ personal income. The state's total debt amounted to more than 28 percent of Illinois residents’ personal income.

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Illinois: Beware a junk bond rating – Wirepoints Original

Moody’s wants to update its rating methodology to increase the influence that debt and pensions have on the overall ratings of state governments. That’s bad news for Illinoisans and the state’s economy. Illinois’ credit is already just one notch above junk – the worst of any state.

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Mandatory ‘Implicit Bias’ Training For Illinois Teachers Quietly Became Illinois Law – Wirepoints Original

Coming to your local school, whether you like it or not.

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Chicagoans seeking Amazon: beware the Foxconn effect

Overlapping local government debt for Chicagoans – that from the city, its sister governments and the city’s proportional share of Cook County debts – now totals $71 billion. More debt to fund Amazon’s investment would only make things worse for the Windy City and its residents.  

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Quicktakes

Major attention to Illinois emigration data from Wall Street Journal but nothing in Illinois press. What gives? – Quicktake

Read, if you have access to it, that Wall Street Journal editorial headlined "Illinois Drives People Away." The primary data it cites is this: The Prairie...

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Teachers’ union to Rauner: Thanks for the money, now we’re endorsing your opponent – Updated – Quicktake

Still largely unnoticed is that the new school funding formula provides an additional $350 million for schools every year for ten years. Governor Rauner...

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Due process thrown under the truck: A Sun-times editorial to agree with – Quicktake

The Sun-Times editorial board finally wrote something everybody should agree with, linked here. "Do the time, then we’ll decide if you’ve done the crime." That's...

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More Wirepoints Original Stories

Pension update: Illinois pension debt stuck at $129 billion despite market gains – Wirepoints Original

The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability has announced that the state’s pension debt remained virtually unchanged from last year, despite a continuing surge in stock markets globally.

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Cook County pop tax repeal: One tax revolt doesn’t make a revolution – Wirepoints Original

At the very moment that the Cook County Board repealed its $200 million pop tax, the Chicago Public Schools publicly announced it was hiking property taxes by another $225 million. Politicians imposed one $200-million tax hike just as another one was killed.

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Tax hike fail: 2019 budget deficit to push $3 billion – Wirepoints Original

Illinois’ record-sized budget and its $5 billion tax hike haven't solved the state’s chronic fiscal mess. The “balanced” 2018 budget has turned out to be anything but balanced. And new numbers show the state's deficits will only get worse in fiscal year 2019.

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Chicago leaders’ hypocritical stance on school choice – Wirepoints Original

Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union have been practicing a corrupted version of school choice that’s done little to improve the lives of CPS students. Instead, it’s led to perverse consequences that actually perpetuate the systemic failures of CPS, leaving far too many students without an education

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Moonbeam Illuminates California On Pension Reform While Illinois Hides In Darkness – Wirepoints Original

Don't count on any taxpayer savings from the recent Tier 3 pension "reform."

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A District’s Survey Finds Anger Over Anti-Conservative ‘School Climate’ – Wirepoints Original

A surprise for the administrators which, not surprisingly, they didn't even ask about.

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Springfield residents on hook for $500 million in local retirement debt – Wirepoints Original

Add up city police, fire, IMRF and retiree healthcare costs and Springfield taxpayers are on the hook for $517 million in local retirement debt. That’s up from approximately $180 million in 2005.    

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Media Watch

“I Feel Tremendous Guilt”: Former Facebook Exec Says Company Is “Ripping Apart The Social Fabric Of Society” – ZeroHedge

Not specific to Illinois, but it applies here as much as anywhere.

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Durkin threatens litigation over questions from LGIS reporters -Prairie State Wire

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Goodbye Tribune Tower: We’ll miss our cathedral when we have to move out – Chicago Tribune

Tribune Tower

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Why Crain’s is no longer allowing comments – Crain’s

Comment: Bitchers and moaners, you're still welcome here.

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Wirepoints Original Stories

Fitch Ratings: Illinois debt burden highest in nation – Wirepoints Original

Fitch Ratings says Illinois is the worst in the nation when it comes to debt and pensions as a share of residents’ personal income. The state's total debt amounted to more than 28 percent of Illinois residents’ personal income.

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Illinois: Beware a junk bond rating – Wirepoints Original

Moody’s wants to update its rating methodology to increase the influence that debt and pensions have on the overall ratings of state governments. That’s bad news for Illinoisans and the state’s economy. Illinois’ credit is already just one notch above junk – the worst of any state.

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Mandatory ‘Implicit Bias’ Training For Illinois Teachers Quietly Became Illinois Law – Wirepoints Original

Coming to your local school, whether you like it or not.

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Quicktakes

Major attention to Illinois emigration data from Wall Street Journal but nothing in Illinois press. What gives? – Quicktake

Read, if you have access to it, that Wall Street Journal editorial headlined "Illinois Drives People Away." The primary data it cites is this: The Prairie...

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Teachers’ union to Rauner: Thanks for the money, now we’re endorsing your opponent – Updated – Quicktake

Still largely unnoticed is that the new school funding formula provides an additional $350 million for schools every year for ten years. Governor Rauner...

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Due process thrown under the truck: A Sun-times editorial to agree with – Quicktake

The Sun-Times editorial board finally wrote something everybody should agree with, linked here. "Do the time, then we’ll decide if you’ve done the crime." That's...

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Top Illinois Stories

Illinois Drives People Away – Wall Street Journal

See our Quicktake on this article linked here.

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A Primary Challenge to a Right-Wing Democrat in Illinois Divides the Resistance – The Intercept

Late last month, a group of five national progressive organizations announced their support for Marie Newman, a Democrat running for Congress in Illinois. Nothing unusual there: Newman is a down-the-line progressive on everything from economic populism, immigration, LGBT rights, gun violence and a woman’s right to choose. What made the move so unusual is that there is already a Democrat safely in the seat - Dan Lipinski.

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Dabrowski: When will Springfield accept the blame for the pension crisis? – Opinion – Chicago Tribune

By Wirepoints' Ted Dabrowski

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Illinois employers to face shifting regulatory burdens in 2018 – Cook County Record

As 2018 looms, employers in Illinois are bracing for another wave of employment and labor regulations on the local, state and federal levels.

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Other Illinois News

Illinois bond conduit’s slate is full amid tax reform threats – The Bond Buyer

The Illinois Finance Authority board is expected to clear $1.26 billion of deals at its meeting Thursday as borrowers rush to market ahead of federal tax legislation that is likely to end advance refundings and might strip not-for-profits of their tax-exempt borrowing powers. The IFA is the state’s primary avenue for nonprofits, such as hospitals, private universities, cultural institutions, housing groups, and charter schools, to access the municipal market.

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6 States Raising Taxes in 2018 — The Motley Fool

Click to insert. "In terms of sweeping (and confusing) income tax reforms, Illinois just might take the cake among the states set to increase income taxes in 2018."

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Illinois lawmakers allowed to pick which harassment cases their own ethics watchdog pursues – INN

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Illinois drops predictive analytics for at-risk children — GCN

Rather than help evaluate risk to children, the system overwhelmed caseworkers, flagging 4,100 children as facing a 90 percent or greater probability of death or injury. And it did not predict deaths of children who had been subject of several abuse investigations, according to the Tribune.

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What Does 2018 Hold for Left-Wing Democrats? – Chicago Magazine

From Daniel Biss’s first (shortlived) pick for a running mate to Virginia’s election of Lee Carter, Democrats are contending with a new political reality.

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Top Chicago Stories

Emanuel calls Chicago a ‘Trump-free zone’ on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ – ABC Chicago

Click to insert. Emanuel described Chicago as welcoming for immigrants from around the world and explained why local police are not enforcing federal immigration laws.

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No Easy Fix For Chicago’s Debt Dereliction – Opinion – Investor’s Business Daily

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Yet another Chicago schools chief resigns amid scandal – The Washington Post

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Apple to teach coding to every Chicago public school student – USA Today

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Other Chicago News

GOP tax overhaul will hit these Chicago-area home values hardest – Crain’s

Home values in several Chicago-area counties would take some of the biggest hits in the nation under the tax rewrite in front of Congress, according to a national forecast.

Lake, McHenry, Will and DuPage are listed among the 30 U.S. counties that will lose the most potential growth in home values if the tax package goes through, according to a report released last week by Moody's Analytics.

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Chicago violence hovers near 20-year high, with pockets of improvement – Chicago Sun-Times

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Chicagoans are jumping into the world of bitcoin: ‘Everyone thinks I’m crazy’ – Chicago Tribune

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Why the average tax bill is set to drop $670 for District 303 homeowners – Daily Herald

The vote St. Charles Unit District 303 taxpayers have been waiting for finally arrived Monday night. Grins accompanied a sense of mission accomplished as school officials voted in a levy that will bring significant savings in local tax bills.

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Chicago beefs up transportation security after NY bomb – A.P.

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Media Watch

“I Feel Tremendous Guilt”: Former Facebook Exec Says Company Is “Ripping Apart The Social Fabric Of Society” – ZeroHedge

Not specific to Illinois, but it applies here as much as anywhere.

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Durkin threatens litigation over questions from LGIS reporters -Prairie State Wire

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Goodbye Tribune Tower: We’ll miss our cathedral when we have to move out – Chicago Tribune

Tribune Tower

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