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illinois budget crisis

Breaking Down IL's Record Tax Hike

Democrats in Springfield – with the help of 16 Republicans – passed the largest, permanent income tax hike in Illinois state history. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk about what the effects of the tax hike will be both politically and for jobs in the state. State Rep. Allen Skillicorn, R-East Dundee, and Illinois Manufacturers' Association President & CEO Greg Baise join the show to discuss.

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You'll Look Like Chumps

The Chicago Tribune wrote that the 15 Republicans who voted for Madigan's tax hike will look like chumps. Does the 32% tax hike change Illinois' fiscal trajectory? Does Governor Rauner want his veto overridden? Does Speaker Madigan want to override the veto? Is Madigan the master of blackmail politics? Illinois State Representative for the 97th district Mark Batinick joined Dan and John Kass to argue for a principled path forward that protects Illinois families.

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Illinois Income Tax Hike Hinges On Madigan's House Override

What is the buzz in Springfield about Speaker Madigan and the override vote to confirm a permanent 32% income tax increase? What kind of game is Madigan playing by delaying the vote? Has he lost control of his caucus or does he want the downgrade? What's next for the 16 Republicans (15 House, 1 Senate) who voted for the Democrats' tax hike? Political Reporter for the Peoria Journal Star, Chris Kaergard joins Dan Proft and John Kass (in for Amy Jacobson) to discuss the three-dimensional chess game being played in Springfield.

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Durkin, What Are You Doing?

A group of Republican lawmakers – led by House Minority Leader Jim Durkin – are falling in line behind a budget that includes a massive income tax increase. Pat Hughes explains in this week’s Upstream Ideas’ Two Minute Warning.

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A Message To The Governor

Illinois Democrats have never needed a compromise to get a budget passed. They had veto-proof majorities - and now have a majority -  in the General Assembly. They could have had any budget they wanted at any time. They don’t care about a budget. They care about continuing their favor-factory model of government. But they needed Republican capitulation to continue it. They wanted Governor Rauner to give them political cover for a massive tax hike. And that’s exactly what he just did. Pat Hughes explains in this week's Upstream Ideas' Two Minute Warning.

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It’s A Beautiful Day To Stop A Massive Tax Hike

In his state address, Rauner calls for compromise. But is that just a euphemism for another "c" word--capitulation? The compromise is a massive tax hike that the Wall Street Journal calls “The Illinois Capitulation.” What if Madigan calls Gov. Rauner’s bluff? Is Rauner focused on winning votes from the public sector and political class when he should be focused on the families who fund it all? And Chicago’s police pension fund will be insolvent by 2021 according to an exclusive report by the Chicago City Wire. State Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) joined Dan & Amy to say it’s a beautiful day to stop a massive tax hike.

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Breaking Down Springfield's Action & Inaction With State Senator Dan McConchie

Springfield lawmakers ended session without passing a balanced budget yet again, and instead considered multibillion-dollar tax hikes on already overburdened Illinois taxpayers. Why are lawmakers so resistant to enacting needed economic reforms and passing a balanced budget?

On this edition of Against the Current, Dan Proft sits down with one lawmaker who has said 'no' to any new tax hikes. State Sen. Dan McConchie actually has proposed a budget plan that balances without raising taxes, though he's been met with opposition from many of his tax-and-spend colleagues. What were the budgetary discussions like in this last legislative session? What is causing inaction in the General Assembly, and are there any reasons for optimism moving forward? Proft and McConchie discuss all of this and more in a comprehensive discussion on the state of Illinois' legislative debates.

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Springfield's Balanced Budget Failure

The legislative session in Springfield ended May 31 without lawmakers producing a balanced budget yet again. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes get the inside scoop on what happened (or didn't happen) inside the chamber from state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, and ask her what taxpayers should expect from Springfield going forward. One bill lawmakers did pass was a minimum wage hike to $15 per hour. Economist Walter Williams joins the show to discuss how that minimum wage increase will end up hurting Illinois' most disadvantaged, especially people of color.

Proft and Hughes also discuss the revelations that J.B. Pritzker, the Democratic frontrunner for governor in 2018, once lobbied former Gov. Rod Blagojevich for a political appointment.

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Another Tax Hike

In the last days of Legislative Session, Illinois Senate Democrats ended all budget negotiations. They just went ahead and passed a five billion-dollar tax increase on Illinois’ families and businesses with marginal reforms and no spending cuts. Pat Hughes breaks down their bad math and bad policies in this week's Two Minute Warning.

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Any Budget Madigan Would Pass Would Be Impossible For Rauner To Sign

State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) joined Dan & Amy to discuss what the lack of a balanced state budget means for Illinois. How did we run up a quarter of a trillion dollars in debt? How do we have the worst funded pension systems in the nation? And what did the General Assembly pass with regard to school funding?

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Ives: It's Immoral To Put That Much Debt On Other People's Backs

IL Senate Dems voted to increase the state's income tax by 32% with no reforms on the spending side. What will the bill's fate be in the House? Why would Republican Jeanne Ives sponsor a bill that increases taxes? How does she plan to proceed with the bill as House Sponsor? Is there anything Republicans in the ILGA can do to push back against tax-and-spend Democrats? Are IL House Republicans ready to stand and deliver against demagoguery from their colleagues on the left?

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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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Why Are Old-Guard Journalists Resistant To New Models?

Shortly after a Cook County judge ruled that they will get their paychecks, lawmakers in Springfield headed back to negotiating multibillion dollar tax hikes as part of their "grand bargain" proposal. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk to state Sen. Dan McConchie, R-Hawthorn Woods, who tells them why the current proposal is unacceptable, and why lawmakers haven't earned their paychecks.

They also analyze the familiar cries from legacy journalists over "fake news," and the false idea that journalists don't have points of view. And with municipal elections right around the corner, Proft and Hughes explain why these races can be crucial for taxpayers.

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Democrats Serve A Constituency. It’s Just Not You.

Last week, Democrat State Representatives Silvana Tabares and Robert Martwick proposed one point five million dollars in new spending to translate government sites into Spanish.

This is Pat Hughes with this week’s Upstream Ideas ‘Two Minute Warning.’

Illinoisans need to ask themselves three questions:

Who is upholding the Springfield status quo?

Who is challenging it?

And which side do you want to be on?

Last week, Democrat State Representatives Silvana Tabares and Robert Martwick proposed one point five million dollars in new spending to translate government sites into Spanish. To give this context: the state owes ten billion dollars to its vendors, including social service providers who serve the needy and vulnerable. The state’s unfunded pension liability is uncontrollable at one-hundred and thirty billion dollars. Our property taxes are the highest in the nation. And our credit rating is the lowest in the nation.

Oh, and one more thing: THE TRANSLATION TECHNOLOGY ALREADY EXISTS … AND IT’S FREE.

In fact, Republican Reps. Keith Wheeler and Mark Batinick pointed out that Google provides the same service at no cost.

But, Illinois Democrats supported the bill anyway. Why? Because Google Translate doesn’t create new government contracts for their politically-connected friends. See, their objective is to hold onto power at any cost… in this case, one point five million dollars. So, when a Democrat comes up with a new way to spend money, no matter how altruistic it seems, it must be viewed with skepticism.

Tabares and Martwick’s bill is only the most recent bad example. Democrats seem impervious to reality because they benefit from these outmoded, failed ideas. Reform is not in their interests. Democrats serve a constituency. It’s just not you. They serve the entrenched interests who fund their campaigns.

It’s time to support people who are interested in you. Do your legislators uphold the status quo or do they challenge it? It is critical that you ask these questions and are very honest in answering them. Thanks to decades of failed leadership, the next election will be “do or die.”  

You’ve been warned.

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Dollars And Sense: Sales Taxes Are No Bargain

In Bloomington Illinois, business tax revenues dropped after the local sales tax was increased a year ago. Bureaucrats were surprised, but Upstream Ideas' Pat Hughes was not. He explains why sales taxes are no bargain in this edition of "Dollars And Sense."

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Chicago Tribune Editorial Board Member Explains How Illinois is Surrounded

The Chicago Tribune's Kristen McQueary joined Dan & Amy to preview Gov. Rauner's annual budget address and discuss how Illinois is faring with respect to its Great Lakes neighbors after Missouri became the latest state to make right to work the law.

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“Republican" Minority Leader Radogno Looking Out For Herself Not You

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This is Pat Hughes with this week’s Upstream Ideas ‘Two-Minute Warning.’ Do you remember the story of the wolf in sheep’s clothing? How about the fox in the hen house? If so, you’re already well acquainted with quote un quote “Republican” Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno. Radgono’s been in office for 20 years. She accepts a generous salary, as well as a lavish pension and benefits funded by you. And what have you gotten in return? Decline and mismanagement. Her career has been a testament to “doing something” instead of doing the right thing; laying down in the face of opposition, instead of standing on principle. Radogno should be working with the Governor to push the reforms that will set Illinois on a path to progress. Instead, she’s pushing the Democrats’ agenda---in the form of a legislative “grand bargain” complete with huge tax increases and fake reforms. I mean, she’s already entertained a tax on soda---and not because she cares about your health---and something called---I kid you not---a “business opportunity tax”…which will do nothing other than give businesses the opportunity to flee to Wisconsin or Indiana. So why has she done this? The answer: Because she never has been and is not now a free market conservative. Because she likes to see her picture in the newspapers. Because she would rather sit at the Big Kids’ table---appeasing John Cullerton and Mike Madigan---than fight to freeze your property taxes or reform our failed and costly workers compensation system. Because---ultimately---she cares about her life more than she cares about yours. That’s why she’s more than willing to negotiate away all that you’ve worked for---so that public sector unions and the trial lawyers---and the politicians in their pockets---can live large. That’s why---with a straight and stern face---she calls her sell out “a compromise” or “bipartisanship.” No wonder the caucus she leads is in the superminority. And it will stay that way---unless we can rid it of Christine Rodogno. You’ve been warned.

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What IL Needs In A Budget vs. What Politicians Are Proposing

Illinois state senators are pushing multibillion dollar tax hikes on struggling Illinoisans as a "solution" to Illinois' budget woes. But on this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft, Illinois Policy's Michael Lucci and former state Sen. Steve Rauschenberger explain how the state can't afford more tax hikes, and why Springfield politicians are misguided for suggesting them. State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, also joins the show to discuss her support for the Illinois Policy Institute's budget – which reforms spending and doesn't raise taxes.

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IPI Rolls Out Balanced IL Budget w/o A Tax Increase

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Why Pay To Play Politics Does NOT Work in Illinois

On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes, co-founder Illinois Opportunity Project, discuss why Illinois has the fifth-highest paid lawmakers (though only working part-time) in the country, Crain’s Custom Media’s, Greg Hinz, piece with the absurd headline “Pay to play politics is bad, but it works: business survey.” and more. 

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