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illinois general assembly

Following the Logic of Illinois' Political Leadership

Are the problems in Illinois due to a lack of bi-partisanship or a little too much collusion? State Representatives Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) and Mark Batinick (R- Plainfield) join Upstream Ideas to talk about Following the Logic in Springfield.  

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Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Rep. David Reis launched his re-election campaign, declaring he “stood up to Michael Madigan and the Chicago Democrat Machine.” But, don't be fooled. Reis stood shoulder to shoulder with Democrats to raise your taxes - again - this time by 32 percent with essentially no reforms to government spending. Pat Hughes takes David Reis to task for forcing you to pay higher taxes then claiming he is standing up to Mike Madigan Madigan.

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Clean Out The ILGA

Sullivan High School’s basement has been cleaned out. Too bad we can’t say the same for the Illinois State Legislature. Find out why on this week's edition of 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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Springfield Lawmakers Misguided Approach To Job "Creation"

Lawmakers in Springfield have been busy – but not in the best ways. In the past several weeks, notably, they overwhelmingly voted to extend the state program giving taxpayer handouts to big businesses, and the Illinois House passed a "pay equity" bill that would prohibit employers from asking prospective employees their salary history. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk to state Reps. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, and Peter Breen, R-Lombard, about these policy decisions coming out of Springfield.

Proft and Hughes also continue their commentary on property taxes around the state, and Hughes offers some thoughts on the mass layoffs at ESPN and Hillary Clinton's blame game on the 2016 presidential election.

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE

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There Would Be No Reason To Hire A Man

Dan & Amy are joined by Dr. Amy Farmer Derick, owner of Derick Dermatology, to discuss the Illinois General Assembly's most recent mandate on employers. Legislators passed a bill aiming to curb wage discrimination against women by barring employers from asking for wage history. Dr. Derick explains why this is bad for her business and the 150 women she employs. And with mandates like this, is it any wonder Illinois lost 9,000 jobs in March?

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What They Do To Win

Instead of working to solve the fiscal crisis, State Representative Sara Feigenholtz is pushing a political distraction typical of the type of feckless politician that she is. Pat Hughes explains in this edition of 'Two Minute Warning.'

I’m Pat Hughes with this week’s Upstream Ideas’ Two Minute Warning.

This week, Democrats in the House passed a bill that forces taxpayers to fund elective abortions.

After nearly two years without a budget, the state has over thirteen billion dollars in unpaid bills and is months behind in paying social service providers and vendors for their work; forcing some to take out loans, put their homes up as collateral, and cut the services they provide.

Democrats, who have caused this mess, are desperate to keep their political base from turning on them.

So, instead of working to solve the fiscal crisis, State Representative Sara Feigenholtz is pushing a political distraction typical of the type of feckless politician that she is.

Feigenholtz and her Democrat House colleagues passed a sixty million dollar expansion of Medicaid and state employee insurance that forces taxpayers to pay for elective abortions, even of healthy unborn babies. Feigenholtz wants to use limited state resources to fund this new mandate.

Governor Rauner---to his credit---has vowed to veto the bill.

I’m pro-life. Morality demands that from me. Morality informed by my life experiences, my Catholic faith and the indisputable science of DNA.

But I realize that other people don’t see it the way I do and consider themselves pro-choice.

But there is some common ground. A strong majority of Americans agree that taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for abortions against their will. A Knights Of Columbus-Marist Institute poll shows that sixty-two percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.

Moreover, even if you fall into the significant minority of those who want people like me to pay for abortions against our conscience----WE DON’T HAVE THE MONEY.

And that’s why Governor Rauner is going to veto Feigenholtz’s legislation, even though the Governor is decidedly pro-choice. But that isn’t enough for Sara Feigenholtz. She and her fellow Democrats are looking for a political win. And they will stop at nothing to get it.

They distract. They blame. They divide. They frighten. That’s what they do.

Here is what we do: We stand up to them. It is up to us – all of us – to remove as many of them from State government as we can in 2018. If we don’t, their grip on our money---and our morality---will only tighten.

You’ve been warned. 

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Defending Bacon

State Reps, like Michelle Mussman and Barb Wheeler, are voting to defend and recognize bacon as a breakfast meat. Deb Conroy, Scott Drury, Carol Sente and Marty Moylan are resolving hot-button issues like making cycling the official state exercise. And over in the Senate, Julie Morrison and Sam McCann worked to ban elephants from being part of traveling circuses. With all the problems Illinois faces, Pat Hughes dissects their misplaced priorities in this edition of "Two Minute Warning."

I’m Pat Hughes with this week’s Upstream Ideas ‘Two Minute Warning.’

Talk to anyone about Illinois – anyone. Democrat or Republican. They understand how serious the state’s problems are. So, you would think that most of our legislators have a sense of urgency about solving those problems… but, you would be wrong. There is a reason Illinois is… well, Illinois.

In Springfield, State Reps, like Michelle Mussman and Barb Wheeler, are voting to defend and recognize bacon as a breakfast meat. Deb Conroy, Scott Drury, Carol Sente and Marty Moylan are resolving hot-button issues… like making cycling the official state exercise. And over in the Senate, Julie Morrison and Sam McCann worked to ban elephants from being part of traveling circuses.

Bacon, bikers and Dumbo. Sounds like my seventeen year old daughter’s legislative agenda…when she was nine.

Are these people serious? We haven’t had a balanced budget in two years!

Taken all together, it is tempting to characterize the Illinois General Assembly as a “Do-Nothing” legislature, but that’s not the real story.

In reality, Illinois government is working exactly as intended.  Winning elections isn’t a chance to advance a set of principles. Winning elections is a way to distribute favors to friends and political allies.

Legislators are protecting a political machine that was carefully constructed by politicians and powerful special interests. The machine doesn’t reform itself. The machine grows itself by distracting voters with idiotic bills in public, so it can continue handing out favors in private.  

State legislators don’t care that you are being taxed out of your homes, or are struggling with unemployment. They have spent 2 years ignoring these problems, passing wildly unbalanced budgets,and refusing to address the need for reform. Oh yeah…and defending bacon.

Change is not going to come from Springfield. It has to come from you: the people who play by the rules and are getting screwed. You – collectively – have the numbers, the resources, and the principles to end this nonsense. Whether or not you do will determine the fate of our once great state.

You’ve been warned.

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Springfield Legislation Targets Donor Privacy

On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes discuss dangerous legislation in Springfield aimed at eliminating privacy for donors to advocacy groups. They also break down Illinois' new migration numbers, which yet again, offer a negative outlook for the state, and one northwest Illinois homebuilder tells them why he might be headed to Iowa.

Plus, with less than a week to go before municipal elections April 4, Proft and Hughes interview the challenger to longtime Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin.

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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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“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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