PENSION LEAKS The pension
reform compromise being hammered out by a special committee will have public
employees paying less into their retirement funds and in some cases still
eligible to retire at age 55. It'll save the state $145 billion over 30 years
-- less than the $187 billion from House Speaker Michael Madigan's bill but
much more than the $47 billion in a bill passed by the Senate and backed by
public employee unions. If news reports about the outline of the pension bill
are true, there will be plenty for everyone to hate in this compromise. And
there definitely will be a lawsuit by the unions challenging this bill, should
it become law. I cover both sides and add a few
complaints of my own in today's blog post.
LONG TIME Two weeks ago,
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner established a political action
committee to make term limits part of the Illinois Constitution. If
successful,the effort would let voters decide in November 2014 whether to
impose limits. Ever wondered which Illinois lawmakers have served the longest? Find out in our Top 10 list.
TAX FORUM Is it time for
Illinois to scrap its one-size-fits-all flat tax system and adopt a progressive
income tax system? Should we keep the flat tax but allow the tax rate to fall
from 5 percent to 3.75 percent in 2015 as scheduled? Should the temporary 5
percent income tax rate be extended until Illinois gets its financial footing?
So many questions face Illinois' leaders, and the candidates who want to be its
next governor, about the future of Illinois' income tax. We'll be in Naperville
on Sept. 9 with two expert panelists who have very different answers to those
questions for a forum on the movement to implement a progressive tax system.
This is a repeat of the event we held in Springfield this month, and it was an
informative and provocative discussion. We're teaming with the Naperville
Chamber of Commerce for a reprise and we hope you'll join us. Information and advance registration
METRA QUOTE This is an eloquent way of saying, "Oops."
WHY ILLINOIS IS GREAT Time is running
out to enter the Reboot Illinois "Why Illinois Is Great" photo
contest. Entries will be accepted through Sept. 3, which gives you a week to
send us a shot of something, someplace and/or someone who embodies why you are
proud to be an Illinoisan (and why you think Illinois deserves better
government than it's had in recent years). Find out more here! Not
planning to enter? Then vote for someone who did. So easy, so fast, so fun!
TOP 5 Here are links to 5 important Illinois news and opinion articles you should check out today. You'll find links to and summaries to more in the Daily Tip-Off section of our website.
- 5. Illinois Democratic
candidate for governor Bill Daley is well known in Chicago, but he’s
trying to make a name for himself throughout the whole state. (Rockford Register Star)
4. The pension reform conference committee is looking at a new outline of ideas, but it’s the ideas that aren’t in the outline that may prove most interesting. (Chicago Tribune)
3. Opinion: Developers of a Ford dealership learned firsthand how difficult it is to do business in Chicago. (Chicago Tribune)
2. A Sun-Times analysis finds that many of the new “Safe Passage” routes are marked with a violent history. (Chicago Sun-Times)
1. The first day of the new school year for Chicago Public Schools went well, but parents are concerned about times ahead. (Chicago Tribune)