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Illinois Rising

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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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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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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Recapping The 2018 Primaries

Illinois has now moved on to the general election. While the governor's race didn't go as conservatives hoped, several conservative reform legislators prevailed in their primaries and are looking to take on the establishments of both parties. What should voters pay attention to now until November? On this post-election installment of "Illinois Rising," Dan Proft and Local Labs CEO Brian Timpone analyze the March 20 primary results and look ahead to the new campaign season. Conservative state rep candidates Darren Bailey and Jay Kinzler join the show.

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Closing Arguments On Election Day

As you vote Tuesday and get ready to see who prevails in the Republican and Democratic gubernatorial races, hear final thoughts on the races from Dan Proft, Pat Hughes and Republican candidate Jeanne Ives.

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Darren Bailey On Putting An End to Punishing Tax Hikes

In 2017, Illinois lawmakers passed the largest permanent income tax hike in state history. Months later, the state is already feeling the negative effects. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes break down how the income tax hike has hurt jobs growth in the state, and they talk to Darren Bailey who is looking to defeat a state representative who voted for the tax hike. And while the income tax hike hit Illinois families hard, that isn't enough for some in the Rauner administration. Proft and Hughes discuss a massive $7 billion tax hike Rauner's school superintendent is pushing. They also react to the first Democratic gubernatorial debate, and what to make of that race moving forward.

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Cook County's Property Tax Scam

Cook County property taxpayers have been getting ripped off by Mike Madigan and Joe Berrios for decades, and it's starting to come to light more. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes break down new investigative reports showing how the political class is scamming taxpayers. They also discuss the departure of Forrest Claypool from Chicago Public Schools, and a new Wall Street Journal editorial slamming Illinois for its financial recklessness.

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Getting The Facts On Soda Taxes

On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk to Tax Foundation expert Scott Drenkard about the failures of Philadelphia's sugary drinks tax, and how it serves as an example for Cook County. They also talk to a state legislative candidate trying to win in Chicago as a Republican, and they discuss the legislative turnover in the General Assembly for this upcoming election. Proft and Hughes also discuss questions surrounding Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker's links to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and how the Democratic race for governor is shaping up.

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The Truth About The Changes In Education Funding

What is "evidence-based" funding? That is the model of education funding in Senate Bill 1, the Democrats' education funding bill. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk to Stanford Professor Eric Hanushek – a longtime expert and critic of the model – about what it does and how it has failed everywhere it has been implemented. Proft and Hughes also discuss new data on where Americans truly fall politically, and they talk to columnist Tom Rogan about Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's lawsuit over Chicago's sanctuary city status.

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What's At Stake In Democrats' Education Funding Bill

Gov. Bruce Rauner has said he will issue an amendatory veto to the Chicago Public Schools' bailout Democrats are proposing. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk to Illinois Policy's Ted Dabrowski about the history of Springfield bailing out Chicago Public Schools, and how the new legislation would hurt school districts across the state. They also talk to a Republican legislative candidate who is stepping up to challenge a Chicago Democrat representative.

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Democrats' CPS Bailout

Democrats got their income tax hike, but there is still major legislation to keep an eye on. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk to state Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, about Democrats' proposed changes to the education funding formula - which would force downstate taxpayers to bailout Chicago Public Schools. They also discuss a new study showing Illinois' declining fiscal health, and labor unions' purchase of the Chicago Sun-Times.

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The IL GOP's Tax-Hike Plan

Some Illinois Republican state lawmakers introduced their own budget plan – and much like the Democrats' plan, it includes billions in tax hikes and new taxes. Dan Proft and Illinois Policy writer Joe Kaiser break this down and explain why Republican lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner are misguided in supporting tax hikes. They also talk with Michael Lucci, Illinois Policy Institute vice president of policy, about how the state's higher education crisis is pushing more and more students out of state – and they rarely return. And while Illinois politicians might be resistant to enacting reforms, that's not the case in every state. Proft and Kaiser talk to a policy expert in Pennsylvania who explains how his state was able to adopt groundbreaking pension reform.

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Lawmakers' Mad Dash To Pass A Budget

With Spring legislative session ending, Springfield lawmakers are in a hurry to pass a budget – regardless of what's in it or how it affects taxpayers. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Pat Hughes and Illinois Policy writer Joe Kaiser talk to Wirepoints.com founder Mark Glennon about what to expect from the General Assembly in the next few days. They also talk to Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Dan DiSalvo about how pension costs are making higher education unaffordable for students and families.

And they discuss how two Democratic frontrunners for governor – J.B. Pritzker and Chris Kennedy – are cheating the property tax system in Illinois.

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Solving The State's Higher Ed Crisis

Illinois' public universities are in a financial crunch, while primary and secondary schools in Chicago, too, face challenges of their own. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes breakdown Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's new, misguided "fix" to Chicago Public Schools' failures with The Federalist's Bethany Mandel. They also analyze the broken finances of the state's public universities with Ted Dabrowski, vice president of policy at the Illinois Policy Institute.

And what did Democrats in Springfield spend their time on before heading out on a two-week spring break? Their legislative priorities are startling, and underscore how unserious many lawmakers are about improving the state. 

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A Northern IL Barber's Fight Against Wasteful Government

With a backlog of bills and tax hike proposals at the state level – and nearly 7,000 taxing bodies in the state at the local level – Illinois taxpayers are hit from all over. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk to Mark Glennon of Wirepoints.com about which proposals currently in Springfield actually help taxpayers, and which ones hurt. At the local level, they talk to a newly-elected McHenry Township trustee whose goal is to consolidate or eliminate the township entirely – savings taxpayers' money.

They also discuss the state's ongoing impasse with its largest government-worker union, AFSCME, and how a potential U.S. Supreme Court case could relieve fair share payers of the union's political stranglehold. And Proft and Hughes break down wasteful spending in higher education in the state.

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