Is an Illinois Flat Tax a Fast Track out of Debt?

It’s no secret Illinois is in a financial bind: A stack of unpaid bills totaling more than $8 billion is proof. Some people say the state would dig itself out quickly if it switched from a flat, 5-percent income tax for everyone to a progressive tax in which the wealthiest Illinoisans pay a higher percentage. But opponents say this is just a ruse for a huge tax increase that will only feed lawmakers’ desire to spend beyond the state’s means. We’ve got both sides at rebootillinois.com today. What do you think?

 

 

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Without a Passed Bill This Week, Chicago Must Announce School Closings by Saturday

No matter where you live in Illinois, your legislators will hear from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel this week. Emanuel’s Chicago Public Schools desperately wants a change in state law so it will have until March to decide which of up to 120 schools it will close as it struggles to balance its budget. If lawmakers don’t pass a bill this week, the district will have to announce all closure plans by Saturday

Illinois Close to Losing “Gambling Boarder War”

Gambling expansion supporters want lawmakers to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of a bill that would bring new casinos to five Illinois cities, including Chicago and Rockford. Proponents say it will bring 20,000 jobs to Illinois. The Rockford Register Star wants the veto: “If legislation doesn’t pass soon, Illinois will lose the gambling border war as plans for a megacomplex in Beloit, Wis., move forward.”

Quinn’s “Rendezvous with Reality” Has Arrived.

In his budget speech in February, Gov. Pat Quinn warned, “Our rendezvous with reality has arrived.” But we’re still waiting on the rendezvous with the reality of a public pension system that’s taking money from education and other vital needs. That is expected to arrive in January, probably with the help of nearly three dozen lawmakers who will be leaving office the day after casting their votes.

On the Dockett for the Lame Duck Sessions? Casinos, for one.

Illinois lawmakers over the coming 10 days could cast votes to bring a long-awaited (and much coveted) casino to Chicago, among many other issues, as they begin their lame duck session. For 35 members of the General Assembly whose terms will end Jan. 9, this is a chance to cast controversial votes – like reforming the state’s public pension system – without worry of facing the wrath of voters. Not an especially courageous or efficient way to operate.

Lame Duck Sessions Might Actually Be Good for Illinois

Want proof that politicians really do listen to you? Look no further than the Illinois General Assembly’s veto session, writes Reboot Illinois Chief Operating Officer Madeleine Doubek. Scared to death of casting a controversial vote, legislators often need the safety of lame duck status to make decisions that might draw their soon-to-be-former constituents’ ire. Even those who have been re-elected prefer lame duck sessions because they know they won’t have to face voters until nearly two years later.

Journalist Natasha Korcecki: “Blago was radioactive” but politicians dealt with him anyway

Jesse Jackson Jr. was part of “a whole cadre of politicians who knew Blagojevich was radioactive, but dealt with him anyway,” writes Natasha Korecki.  Korecki covered both Blago trials for the Sun-Times and had a ringside seat as prosecutors untangled the web of corruption that defined the Blagojevich administration. Her book, “Only in Chicago: How the Rod Blagojevich Scandal Engulfed Illinois; Embroiled Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel and Jesse Jackson Jr. and Enthralled the Nation,” details a dark chapter in Illinois’ political history.

Squeezy-Mania Hits Illinois

In a mere 24 hours, Illinois has caught a severe case of Squeezy-mania, thanks to the Illinois’ pension predicament’s new mascot, Squeezy the Pension Python. Through no fault of his (her?) own, Squeezy attracted mostly derisive commentary when he/she debuted Sunday. Really, though, the video in which Squeezy appears offers a pretty good explanation the problem. Plus, it opens the exciting possibility of a pension reform bill written in Parseltongue.

Squeezy The Python Reboot Illinois Pension Issue

 

 

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Reboot Illinois is Fully Operational

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His Name is Squeezy and He’s Here to Take Away Your Kids’ Education

His name is Squeezy and he has come to take away your education, kids. That’s the message in Gov. Pat Quinn’s new campaign to educate the public, even children, on the dangers of the current pension system. Squeezy the Python is also squeezing money away from road building, public safety and other essential government functions as the state shovels more and more money into its ever-growing pension system.

Squeezy the Snake Reboot Illinois Pension reform

 

 

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