TERM LIMIT LIMITS Now that Bruce Rauner has started a big-money political action
committee aimed at getting a term limit amendment onto the November 2014
ballot, term limits have become a serious issue for the 2014 election cycle.
Not a new issue by any means, of course. Disgruntled voters in Illinois have
long championed term limits as a cure for Illinois' political ills. One of them
in 1994 was State Treasurer Pat Quinn, who tried unsuccessfully to do exactly
what Rauner now is trying to do. But there are many unintended consequences
that can accompany term limit laws, like handing power to legislative staffers
and lobbyists. I discuss these in a blog post
today. It's not as simple as you might think.
IN DEPTH Political scientist Christopher Mooney of the Institute of
Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois took a hard look at
term limits in a 2007 study. It doesn't read like an academic paper and should
be required reading for Illinois voters as the term limit discussion heats up
in the months to come. Check it out here.
GOP DECISION DAY Illinois House Republicans fell to super-minority status
in the 2012 election. They're on the verge of becoming irrelevant if the slide
continues. (Some observers believe they're already there.) Today is a critical
day for the House Republicans as they gather in Springfield to select a new
leader to replace Tom Cross, who is running for state treasurer. The Chicago
Tribune editorial board voices a very strong opinion today on the import of
this decision, which pits Rep. Raymond Poe of Springfield against Rep. Jim
Durkin of Western Springs. We discuss what's at stake in a blog
MY, WHAT AN UNUSUAL TRUNK
YOU HAVE If you're Raymond Poe, this is
not the cartoon you want to see this morning in the state's biggest newspaper. Click to see the whole thing.
WHY ILLINOIS IS GREAT The countdown is on to Sept. 3 and the closing of our "Why Illinois Is Great" photo contest. It would be a shame if you missed the chance to show us why you believe Illinois is great and deserves government management to reflect that greatness. Even if you don't want to enter, please cast a vote for your favorite entry. All the information and entries are here. It's easy and fun. Come on!
TAX TALK Something is
going to change with Illinois' state income tax on Jan. 1, 2015. Either we'll
have a new extension of the current, temporary 5 percent income tax; we'll see
the rate drop to 3.75 percent as currently scheduled; or the General Assembly
may have been given the authority to implement a progressive income tax with
higher rates for higher income levels. The last option can happen only if
voters are offered a chance to vote on it in November 2014. Whether a
progressive tax system is right for Illinois is the topic of a discussion
Reboot Illinois will host Sept. 9 with the Naperville Chamber of Commerce.
Ralph Martire of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability will take the
pro-progressive tax side and Ted Dabrowski of the Illinois Policy Institute
will advocate for keeping the tax rate flat and low. We hope you'll join us. Register and find out more here.
TOP 5 We scan the news so you don't have to. Here are five important news and opinion articles from around Illinois today.5. Utilizing a brand new law, the Illinois Tollway published a list of toll violators who owe at least $1,000. (Chicago Sun-Times)
4. GOP gubernatorial candidate Kirk Dillard dropped hints on who his running partner will be. (Quincy Journal)
3. On paper, Bill Daley appears to have the pedigree to defeat Pat Quinn in the primary, but elections don't happen on paper. (Chicago Tribune)
2. Details leaking out about a possible pension reform bill are not kind to taxpayers in Illinois. (Quincy Journal)
1. Despite objections and a boycott, the Chicago Board of Education approved the Chicago Public Schools budget. (Chicago Sun-Times)