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municipal debt

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.

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE

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Resolving Chicago's Debt Crisis: Source Not Size

Right now, Chicago taxpayers are stuck with a seventy-one billion dollar debt load. That means every household is on the hook for eighty-two thousand dollars in government debt. As staggering as that number is, it's not the real issue with Chicago's debt. Pat Hughes explains in this episode of Dollars and Sense. 

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Solutions For Struggling Local Governments

Illinois – with nearly 7,000 units of government – has many municipalities in financial crisis. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes discuss with City Journal's Aaron Renn ways struggling municipalities can bounce back from their precarious financial situations. They also discuss how a Springfield lobbyist has become wealthy from gaming the system, and they talk about a new report showing Chicago as the number one city from which people are leaving. Also, hear the latest developments on the Cook County sweetened beverage tax and the likelihood of its repeal.

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Illinoisans Take Their Frustrations To The Voting Booth

If you hold public office and want to continue to do so---work in favor of your constituents---not yourself. Otherwise you’ll be next to go. Pat Hughes explains in this "Two Minute Warning."

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

So, as it turns out, Illinois families are tired of funding the lavish lifestyles of politicians.

And in this year’s Municipal Elections, they took their frustrations to the voting booth.

In Algonquin Township, Highway Commissioner Bob Miller is out – ending a fifty- two-year family dynasty, passed down from Miller’s grandfather. The Miller family was pulling in over four hundred thousand dollars a year. Apparently, voters in Algonquin Township take issue with a small township office – paid for by their tax dollars – being used as a family business.

Likewise, voters in Orland Park threw out twenty-four-year incumbent Mayor Dan McLaughlin. Seems to have had something to do with the one-hundred and ten-thousand dollar pay increase he got the Village Board to give him. Voters also took issue with being on the hook for the pension he spiked by eighty-thousand dollars per year. Imagine that.

Miller and McLaughlin aren’t the only two public officials in the state who have abused their positions for personal gain. They aren’t the only ones who have funded their life-styles on the backs of families and businesses and acted with total disregard for the trust placed in them by their constituents. There are other politicians who abuse the moral obligation to act responsibly with other people’s money.  But, Miller and McLaughlin’s political demise demonstrates that voters are not static.

They have seen the quality of their lives worsen as government grows more costly and inefficient. They’ve seen their home values and school quality decline while their property taxes go up. And, when armed with information about how their public officials have used and abused their trust and their money, they will rebel.  They just did.

So if you hold public office and want to continue to do so---work in favor of your constituents---not yourself. Otherwise you’ll be next to go.

You’ve been warned.

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Orland Park Revolts Against Ruling Class, Installs Pekau

What message does the Orland Park Mayor's race send to the political ruling class? Voters revolted in Orland Park, are they ready to revolt statewide? Keith Pekau, Mayor-elect of Orland Park, joins Dan & Amy to discuss his victory over a 24-year incumbent and how things will change for the better.

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Richard Irvin On His Candidacy For Aurora Mayor

A lot of focus is on the state and national level, but municipal elections are right around the corner on April 4. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk to a candidate for mayor in Aurora who is looking to make reforms to benefit taxpayers. They also explain how Orland Park's mayor – now one of the highest paid in the world – raised his own salary to spike his pension.

Keeping an eye on the state level, Proft and Hughes also go in-depth on a minimum wage hike proposal in Springfield with economist Don Boudreaux. And they shine light on a $1.5 million proposal two Democrat lawmakers were proposing to translate the General Assembly website from English to Spanish – something that can already be done for free.

WATCH FULL EPISODE BELOW

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Orland Park's Decades Of Debt

Dan & Amy discuss the Village of Orland Park's Mayoral Race and 24-year incumbent Dan McLaughlin's efforts to spike his pension by quadrupling his salary.

The South Cook News took an in-depth look at Orland Park and Mayor McLaughlin's record:

When the shopping spree started back in 1998, Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin was warned. 

One trustee asked village leaders “not do something comparable to going to Disney World on a credit card.”

They would do that, and then some.

A recreation center. A pool. A fund to buy vacant land. Renovating a shopping district. More employees. Higher salaries.

Two decades and some $234 million in debt later, the bill for McLaughlin’s borrowing and building, hiring and public employee pension-increasing has come due.

The mayor, 63, is preparing for retirement. Orland Park property owners are girding themselves for years of suffocating property taxes.

Read more here.

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