Politics

Illinois Tax Hike Falls Short of Revenue Expectations

Five years ago last month, another tax hike was hitting pocketbooks around the state of Illinois.

In June 2012, a dollar-per-pack cigarette tax increase raised the state levy from 98 cents to $1.98. The same law also increased taxes on other products such as loose tobacco and supplies. Supporters estimated the state would see an additional $350 million each year from the hikes.

A review of data from the Illinois Department of Revenue, however, shows the number never has come close to the goal.

I write for Illinois News Network.

Winnebago County official looking to restore government reputation

Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney has a clear mission statement.

“Our goal every day is to work to become the most accountable, collaborative, and transparent unit of government in the state of Illinois,” Haney said.

I write for Illinois News Network.

Public Notices & Eclipses

I have a couple of stories up this week at ilnews.org.

Check out this piece on Illinois possibly moving prevailing wage notices from newspapers to the web. It could be a first step toward digitizing a whole bunch of public notices that local governments are mandated to publish.

Then read here, especially if you’re heading to southern Illinois for the upcoming solar eclipse and are looking for a place to stay.

A Duct Tape Double Standard

ducttape

Personal PAC/Facebook

A joke about placing duct tape over the mouth of a politician is unacceptable speech and the language of a rape culture. Actually placing duct tape over the mouth of a politician in a web ad is a sharp way to get your point across.

These divergent points of view are brought you by Illinois Democrats, who less than a month ago were apoplectic about an effort at a bad joke by Chicago radio host Steve Cochran. While Governor Bruce Rauner was on the phone line as a guest on his show, Cochran referenced a Rauner ad featuring duct tape as a metaphor for short-term fixes in Springfield. (more…)

Rep. Randy Hultgren: Return to Patient-Focused Care

Illinois Congressman Randy Hultgren was first elected in the Tea Part wave of 2010 and has represented the 14th District well since that time. He’s one of the most earnest lawmakers I’ve had the pleasure of talking to and he’s always well-versed on almost any topic that comes up in the course of an interview.

Last week while filling in on “The Michael Koolidge Show,” I was joined by Hultgren to break down the new Republican health care bill. Clearly Hultgren does not believe this is a perfect measure and would like to see some improvements. But, all in all, he thinks it’s an improvement over the current situation we find ourselves in with Obamacare rules and  regulations. Here’s the audio: