Fowl fiscal deeds

SPRINGFIELD – Our cash-strapped state government has found a new use for its fleet of aircraft – flying birds into Illinois. I kid you not. State aircraft are flying to Kansas and transporting prairie chickens back to the Land of Lincoln. And at a time state lawmakers are looking at raising the state income tax, […]

INN Investigation: Public and private employers worry about impact of minimum wage hike

By Brady Cremeens SPRINGFIELD – College administrators and municipal officials across Illinois say that if Illinois raises the minimum wage hours will be cut for student workers, taxpayers may pay more and services may be cut. “Right now, we are able to hire eight part-time student workers in the Athletic Department” says Mac Ingmire, athletic […]

Tax Hike Vote Coming in May

SPRINGFIELD – A member of House Speaker Mike Madigan’s leadership team says there will be a vote to raise taxes before the Legislature adjourns this spring. State Rep. Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley, said the General Assembly almost certainly will vote on whether to either extend or make permanent the temporary income tax increase before the […]

May Tax Vote Expected

SPRINGFIELD – A member of House Speaker Mike Madigan’s leadership team says there will be a vote to raise taxes before the Legislature adjourns this spring. State Rep. Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley, said the General Assembly almost certainly will vote on whether to either extend or make permanent the temporary income tax increase before the […]

Origins of International May Day In Illinois and the Mythology Surrounding the Haymarket Riot

Growing up during the Cold War, May Day always was a bit ominous. On the evening news, we’d watch tanks, missiles and soldiers march by the reviewing stands in Moscow, Beijing and Havana where stone-faced Communist leaders would look on as their minions toiled. Even today, May Day is the most important day on the […]

Limiting Education Choices

After several weeks of trying to teach my second grader how to ride a bicycle, I became pretty frustrated. I tried instructing Gracie the same way my parents taught me when I was 6. But I couldn’t understand what was going wrong. My poor mother must have run miles up and down West Street in […]

Temp Tax

SPRINGFIELD – Back in 2011, the state of Illinois began snatching away an extra week’s worth of our pay. At the time, we were assured of two things: The tax hike was necessary, and it would be temporary. But like so much that politicians tell us, both statements are questionable. First of all, we were […]

Has Illinois weathered the fiscal storm?

That’s what Gov. Pat Quinn contended in Wednesday’s State of the State address, but his Republican rivals said the Land of Lincoln remains mired in a maelstrom of economic woes. “He put some perfume on the pig,” said gubernatorial hopeful state Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale. “We are rated 50th in economic outlook by two national surveys. […]

Battle Hymn of the Republic – Uncompromising zeal to fight for freedom

Last week, I stood in a small country church and sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic along with about 50 others celebrating the life of my 103-year-old grandmother, whose long life had come to an end. It was the hymn that she requested be sung at her funeral. Voices rose thunderously in Brooklyn United […]

Pension reform trial balloon?

Illinois made its first legislative moves to address the funding crisis in public pensions by passing a bill that changes the Chicago Park District fund. The move may be a legislative trial balloon regarding the constitutionality of reducing benefits to public pensions. According to an amendment fact sheet circulated by House Speaker Mike Madigan’s office, […]