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Illinois Rising

How Illinois Has Become An Outlier In The Midwest

In recent years, thousands of Illinoisans have fled to the state's midwestern neighbors – states that have implemented the necessary reforms to be competitive. How and why does Illinois lag behind? On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft is joined by Hillsdale Journalism Instructor Scot Bertram, a former Illinoisan and current Michigander, to talk about the differences between said two states, and how Illinois is falling behind. Proft and Bertram also discuss the taxpayer boondoggle that is the Obama Center, with commentary from Wirepoints Executive Editor Mark Glennon. And they discuss the widespread issue of pension spiking in Illinois, as well as Chicago's new potential regulations on Uber and Lyft.

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Connecting The Dots Between Pensions And Property Taxes

Illinois homeowners face some of the highest property taxes in the nation. What's driving them to unaffordable levels? An unaffordable pension system. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski discuss the soaring property taxes in the collar counties and the extravagant pension payments behind them. They also discuss the uptick in violence in Chicago and what could be done to curb it.

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Springfield's Bipartisan Void Of Ethics

More and more of Springfield's culture of harassment and indecency are being exposed, most recently with a scandal surrounding a now-former Republican state rep. What steps should be done to clean up the culture? Can they be done? On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk about the issue with state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, who has led on the issue of changing the culture in Springfield. They also talk to state rep candidate Dwight Kay on how he plans to provide property tax relief to homeowners in his district and statewide if elected. Proft and Hughes also discuss the very same property tax issue in Kane County, where homeowners are saddled with paying for exorbitant and unsustainable pension promises.

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How Much Are IL Taxpayers On The Hook For This Year?

In 2018, every congressional district in every state across the country will see a tax cut thanks to tax reform at the federal level. But policy choices by state and local politicians could offer an opposite reality for taxpayers in Illinois. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes discuss federal tax reform and Illinois' confiscatory property taxes with analysis from Heritage Foundation Policy Analyst Adam Michel and Illinois state representative candidate Ken Idstein. Proft and Hughes also discuss the busy week in Chicago politics, which included controversy with Gov. Bruce Rauner and Chicago mayoral candidate Willie Wilson, as well as new plans for another march against gun violence.

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Which Issues Will Drive IL Voters To The Polls?

With just months to go before the 2018 midterm elections – and a Chicago mayoral election shortly thereafter in 2019 – campaign season is in full swing across Illinois. Where do things stand for Bruce Rauner and J.B. Pritzker? For Rahm Emanuel? On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Chicago Tribune Editorial Board Member Kristen McQueary break down how several policy issues could impact the governor's race in November as well as the Chicago mayoral election in February. Chief among them: Rauner's betrayal of social conservatives on publicly-funded abortion, the health of city and state pensions and the ever-increasing property tax burden Illinoisans face.

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The First Six Months Of IL's Taxpayer Funded Abortion Law

Last year, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law a bill that forced taxpayers to pay for elective abortions in Illinois. The results so far? A 274 percent increase in taxpayer-funded abortions in the state. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk about how damaging this law could end up being, with insight from state Rep. Peter Breen, R-Lombard, who is challenging the law both in the legislature and in court. Proft and Hughes also continue to follow the corruption case against Inspector General Frank Mautino, and get analysis from Liberty Justice Center Attorney Jeff Schwab on why the case is stalled. And why is the Illinois GOP surrendering Cook County and Chicago – even though the area of the state is in desperate need of new leadership? Proft and Hughes offer their thoughts on Republicans' failure to compete.

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IL's 7,000 Governments: Ripe With Corruption

With more units of government than any other state in the country, opportunity for corruption and waste is aplenty in Illinois. In at least one suburban Chicago township, some spending is downright illegal. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Joe Kaiser and Mark Cavers hear from DuPage Township Trustee Alyssia Benford on how she's shining a light on illegal expenditures in her township. Kaiser and Cavers also discuss how other areas of the state – namely Lake County – might duplicate Cook County's corrupt system for property tax appeals. And how is Illinois doing a year after lawmakers passed a massive, 32 percent income tax hike? The data is in, and it's not looking so great.

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The Supreme Court Rules For Worker Freedom

In a landmark decision last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Illinois state worker Mark Janus, protecting his free speech and the free speech of public sector workers across the country. What will the impact be for workers and taxpayers alike? On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski discuss the Court’s decision with Janus’ lead attorney Jacob Huebert of the Liberty Justice Center. Proft and Dabrowski also talk about the economic impact the decision might have. And beyond the Janus case, they discuss the outrageous payments and benefits disgraced members of Mike Madigan’s inner circle are receiving despite sexual harassment allegations levied against them.

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Where Is The Accountability In CPS' Sex Abuse Scandal?

Since 2008, police have investigated more than 500 reports that children have been sexually assaulted or abused inside Chicago Public Schools. Where is the outrage? Where are the calls for school and city leaders to be held accountable? On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Brian Timpone hear from state Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford and member of the House education committee, about what was and wasn't accomplished during hearings on the CPS sex abuse scandal. Proft and Timpone also discuss the increasing costs to taxpayers for former President Barack Obama's presidential center in Chicago. And they broke down how more and more Illinois counties are seeing underwater mortgages become a norm.

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Changing The Culture In Springfield

With several of Mike Madigan's key allies facing sexual harassment allegations, voters are starting to get a better idea of Springfield's disreputable culture. But could a new crop of lawmakers and leaders change that? On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes hear from Ammie Kessem, a candidate for state representative on the northwest side of Chicago, who – along with a handful of others – is hoping to shake up Springfield's longstanding lack of ethics and principals. Proft and Hughes also talk to an economics professor who explains how bankruptcy laws work against Illinois and its municipalities, even though the state really needs to declare for bankruptcy. They also discuss Rahm Emanuel's refusal to take responsibility on key issues, including the sexual harassment pervasive in his political party.

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Is Madigan Now In Survival Mode?

Yet another one of House Speaker Mike Madigan's closest allies has been accused of sexual harassment, and it's getting harder and harder to ignore the leading Democrat's complacency on the issue. Will lawmakers call on his resignation? On this installment of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Joe Kaiser discuss the new allegations and get analysis on the issue from state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, one of the leaders fighting to clean up Springfield. Proft and Kaiser also get analysis from state Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, on why Republicans continue to capitulate on key issues, including most recently, the budget.

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Another Unbalanced Budget For IL

Politicians are patting themselves on the back for passing a budget by the May 31 deadline, but what is really in the bill? Did any lawmakers even read the 1,245-page budget before voting? On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski talk to state Rep. Allen Skillicorn, R-East Dundee and one of the rare 'no' votes on the budget, about the details of the massive spending plan and the process to pass it. Dabrowski also gives his thoughts on how the budget fails taxpayers, and Proft and Dabrowski talk about the delusion of some Springfield lawmakers who think Illinois is on "the right track."

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What's The Future Of The IL GOP?

Who will lead the Illinois Republican Party to better electoral outcomes to advance conservative reform policies in the state? If GOP insiders have their way, they'll maintain control. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Brian Timpone hear the details of a rigged process to elect new leadership for the state party, and a lawsuit challenging just that. They also discuss a debate on the future of the party between Proft and former GOP Chairman Pat Brady. And at the local level, Proft and Timpone talk to Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau on his fight for good government.

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How Will IL Voters React To More Tax Hikes?

While politicians continue talking about a graduated state income tax, economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago are now suggesting a statewide property tax, too. Haven't Illinois taxpayers had enough? On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Chicago Tribune Editorial Board Member Kristen McQueary discuss politician's consistent demands for more out of taxpayers and how it might impact the upcoming election. Wirepoints' Mark Glennon joins for analysis. Proft and McQueary also talk to Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Andrew Gasser about his efforts for good government at the local level.

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Mark Shaw On The Need For New GOP leadership

Struggling electorally and lacking clear vision on policy, the Illinois Republican Party could be in need of new leadership. Lake County Republican Chairman Mark Shaw thinks he can offer that, in replace of current Chairman Tim Schneider. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Mark Shaw tells Dan Proft exactly what he thinks the Illinois GOP needs to be successful politically and on a policy front. Proft and Illinois Policy writer Joe Kaiser also talk to state Sen. Dan McConchie, R-Hawthorne Wood, about his efforts to ease Illinoisans' high property tax burden. And Proft and Kaiser discuss new developments in the Chicago mayoral race, as well as suburban lawmakers position on the Democrats' progressive tax.

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Is Bankruptcy In Illinois' Future?

Several municipalities across the state are facing financial crises and have few options to get back on the right track. Is bankruptcy the only choice? And is that the reality for the state as a whole? On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Wirepoints President Ted Dabrowski break down state and local fiscal woes with analysis from state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, and CNBC Contributor Jim Iuorio.

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Assessing Republican And Democratic Leadership In IL

Mike Madigan was just re-elected to a record sixth term as chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party, a position he has held while also reining as House Speaker. Though his track record has been disastrous for the state, are the current leading voices in the Republican Party effective at offering an alternative? On this edition of Illinois Rising, Pat Hughes and Brian Timpone discuss Madigan's leadership in his party and how one of Bruce Rauner's prominent surrogates is off base attacking conservatives. They also get expert analysis from Truth in Accounting CEO Sheila Weinberg on the pension crises in Harvey, North Chicago and throughout the state of Illinois.

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The IL GOP's Self-Inflicted Disadvantage

With an unpopular candidate, Republicans are already limping into the general election for governor in November. But with a giant fundraising gap between the GOP and Democrats – as well as now the entrance of a third-party candidate – the challenge is becoming that much tougher for the Rauner Party. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Brian Timpone discuss the large disadvantage Republicans find themselves in, and how the party only has itself to blame. They also get expert analysis from Wirepoints' Ted Dabrowski on the financial crisis in Harvey.

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Standing Up Against A Progressive Tax

Republican lawmakers in Springfield have effectively stopped a progressive tax for this legislative session. But Democrats are likely to keep pushing for it in the future, meaning taxpayer advocates in the General Assembly must remain vigilant in their opposition. On this edition of Illinois Rising, state Rep. David McSweeney – one of the fiercest opponents of a progressive income tax  – tells Dan Proft and Joe Kaiser how he and his Republican colleagues plan to oppose new damaging taxes. Proft and Kaiser also discuss the unfortunate situation in Harvey, Illinois – where decades of fiscal recklessness and political corruption are coming home to roost. And they talk about the issues of patronage hires in some McHenry County townships.

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Why Won't Conservatives Try To Compete In Chicago?

Another election season is already beginning with candidates coming forward to challenge unpopular Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. But who's the best option for the city's broken finances? Why aren't there any center-right candidates even competing in Chicago? On this installment of "Illinois Rising" Dan Proft and Joe Kaiser discuss the city's challenges and whether or not anyone has a vision to help the city out of its fiscal woes. And while conservatives might not be competing in Chicago, state representative candidate Tonia Khouri joins the show to offer her vision for lower taxes in DuPage County. Also – how real is the prospect for a progressive income tax in Illinois? And what would mean for state taxpayers?

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