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Reboot Illinois

Frustration With Police in Chicago Runs Deeper Than Ferguson, New York Protests

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 12.11.2014 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Brian T. Murphey, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says these recent events are only the catalyst for conversations based on larger, deeper frustrations over a long period of time.

3 of the Biggest Snowstorms in Illinois History

Reboot Illinois | Posted 12.11.2014 | Chicago
Reboot Illinois

Winter in Illinois is no joke. Plunging temperatures, wailing winds and driving snow are realities. But there are some snowstorms that are so severe they stick in the memory of Illinoisans longer than others. What are the most impactful snowstorms in Illinois history?

Illinois Remembers the Life of Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 12.10.2014 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka died Dec. 10 at the age of 70 after suffering a stroke the day before. She had just been elected to her second term as comptroller in November and was the only woman in Illinois to ever hold two constitutional state offices, as comptroller and treasurer.

Lessons From Ferguson, Applied in Illinois

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 12.09.2014 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Four years after Illinois' fiasco with former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's impeachment and trial, Andy Shaw of the Better Government Association says the state has learned from the ordeal. Reforms have been implemented to limit conflicts of interest, stop contract abuses and combat a general culture of corruption.

One Idea, Many Consequences

Henryk A. Kowalczyk | Posted 12.09.2014 | Chicago
Henryk A. Kowalczyk

Preparing to take office in January, Bruce Rauner has turned to Illinoisans for ideas. People providing ideas are asked to allocate them to one of the 88 state agencies. The Department of Aging, being the first on the list, caught my attention.

Illinois Municipalities Could Face Bankruptcy Issues

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 12.08.2014 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

With Detroit having filed for bankruptcy and dozens of Illinois municipalities facing financial calamity over pension obligations they can't meet, a natural question is whether Illinois cities will follow Detroit's example.

Rauner's Union Leader Dilemma

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 12.05.2014 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

When Bruce Rauner won the Republican nomination for governor on March 18, he abruptly dropped one term from his campaign vernacular: "union bosses."

1,500 Illinoisans' Jobs May Be in Trouble

Reboot Illinois | Posted 12.04.2014 | Chicago
Reboot Illinois

Under the Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), employers with 75 or more full-time workers must notify the state 60 days in advance if they plan to layoff employees or shut down operations.

These 2 Illinois Cities Earned Perfect Scores in New LGBT Equality report by the Human Rights Campaign

Reboot Illinois | Posted 12.04.2014 | Chicago
Reboot Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly legalized same-sex marriage throughout the state in June, but individual cities have jurisdiction over other laws and policies that can be more or less inclusive of their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents.

Illinois Education Funding Needs a Change -- Is SB 16 the Way to Do It?

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 12.04.2014 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

In theory, state funding is supposed to be the great equalizer, ensuring that students have the same resources regardless of where they live. In practice, it hasn't worked that way.

Interesting Illinois: 10 fun facts about the state

Reboot Illinois | Posted 12.03.2014 | Chicago
Reboot Illinois

Sometimes it feels like living in Illinois is all doom and gloom: cold weather, corrupt politicians and a looming pension crisis. But guess what? You can fall in love with this great state again!

Illinois' Minimum Wage Questions Cause Political Headaches for Business Operators

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 12.03.2014 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

With the Chicago City Council's Dec. 2 approval of a $13 minimum wage and the Illinois General Assembly still debating what to do with the state minimum wage, opinions from all sides abound. Some support a higher state uniform minimum wage, some want it even higher in Chicago, some don't want it to go up at all.

See Your Vote Count With Official Illinois Election Totals

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 12.02.2014 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

The Illinois State Board of Elections on Nov. 30 certified the results of the Nov. 4 election. Reviewing the official results revealed a few close calls that could have had big effects but for a handful of votes.

Illinois Restaurants: Differing Minimum Wages Throughout the State Would Hurt Our Business

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 12.01.2014 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

The race is on to raise the minimum wage in Illinois. The question this week appears to be whether lawmakers in Springfield will act first and prevent the Chicago City Council from creating an eventual $13 minimum wage that would be significantly higher than the statewide wage.

Where to Fill Up Your Tank in Illinois for Low Gas Prices This Holiday Weekend

Reboot Illinois | Posted 01.28.2015 | Chicago
Reboot Illinois

More Americans travel around the Thanksgiving holiday than during any other time of the year. According to the United States Department of Transportat...

How Can Illinois Trim Its Massive Amount of Local Government Bodies?

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 01.28.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

With 7,000 bodies of government, Illinois leads the nation by a long shot for number of taxing entities. By contrast, Texas ranks second with 5,000.

Illinois' pension reform questions mean the state's financial future is uncertain

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 01.26.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Illinois' December 2013 pension reform law was deemed unconstitutional Nov. 21 by a Sangamon County Circuit Court judge. The issue is likely headed ...

Every State's Signature Thanksgiving Dish, Mapped Out

Reboot Illinois | Posted 01.26.2015 | Chicago
Reboot Illinois

Illinois' signature Thanksgiving dish, according the paper, is pumpkin soup with ancho and apple, a nod to Illinois' spot as the number-one pumpkin producer in the nation.

Illinois Must Use the Lessons of Ferguson to Build a Better State

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 01.25.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Back in September, Peter Creticos of the Institute for Work and the Economy wrote a thoughtful and provocative piece in the aftermath of the first spate of rioting in Ferguson, Mo.

6 Illinois Counties With Some of the Highest Sales Tax

Reboot Illinois | Posted 01.24.2015 | Chicago
Reboot Illinois

On top of the regular cost of buying everyday things, most Illinoisans also have to pay three different sales taxes on top of the price of goods. That's right, three.

Jim Edgar remembers his own time as an Republican governor working with a Democratic legislature in Illinois

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 01.24.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Republican Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner will follow in the footsteps of former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar when he takes control of a state in a fiscal crisis ...

Illinois Business Leaders Say They Support Obama's Immigration Actions

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 01.21.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

(The following is a statement issued by the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition on President Obama's immigration executive order. For more informa...

Illinois' State Government Must Monitor Its Own Size

Matthew Dietrich | Posted 01.21.2015 | Chicago
Matthew Dietrich

Government is self-limiting -- only government can make itself smaller. Illinois is the state with the highest number of taxing bodies, so Nancy Mathieson of Truth in Accounting believes that Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner should take it upon himself to enact those self-limiting governmental powers.

How Do Illinoisans Feel About Stricter Gun Violation Penalties?

Reboot Illinois | Posted 01.20.2015 | Chicago
Reboot Illinois

Most politicians have made their stances on gun control laws widely known. Republican Illinois Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner has said he supports the rights of Illinoisans to own guns while some Democrats have expressed support for stricter gun control laws as a way to stymie violence in the state.

Illinois' Smoking Laws Aren't Stopping Lung Cancer as Well as They Could

Reboot Illinois | Posted 01.19.2015 | Chicago
Reboot Illinois

Illinois has the 22nd-highest rate of lung cancer in the country, according to a new study by WalletHub.