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*** UPDATED x5 - Rutherford, Brady, Quinn, McSweeney, Franks respond - NFIB responds *** Madigan wants $1.5 billion corporate income tax cut

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014

* From the Illinois Observer

Illinois corporations will seek a 50 percent reduction in the state corporate income tax under legislation introduced today by House Speaker Michael J. Madigan (D-Chicago).

“For many years, we have listened to employers about the best manner to improve the business climate,” said Madigan.

“We have tackled worker compensation reform, reduced the estate tax and created an independent tax tribunal,” the speaker stated. “Cutting the corporate income tax rate is another step I am asking the legislature to consider.”

Under the plan, H.B. 4479, the corporate state income tax will be reduced from 7% to 3.5% on business profits. The move will see Illinois drop from 5th to 35th on the national income tax ranking of the states, according to the Federation of Tax Administrators. The Personal Property Replacement Tax paid by business remains unchanged at 2.5% and results in a total rate of 6%.

“I am introducing this legislation so the Revenue & Finance and State Government Administration Committees’ joint hearings on tax policies can consider the impact this will have on business location and expansion plans,” Madigan noted.

The measure, which has a January 1, 2014 effective date, will provide an estimated $500 to $700 million business savings for FY 2014. The FY 2015 savings could exceed $1.5 billion.

“I am hopeful this legislation will encourage CEOs to grow their work forces with good paying jobs, “Madigan said.

In December, 2013 the Speaker called on the Illinois House committees to continue hearings on tax policy questions in the wake of a new wave of businesses calling for tax breaks as a condition for relocating to or remaining in Illinois.

At the time, Madigan argued “we should take a more long term approach to helping all job-creating businesses in Illinois thrive and succeed. This must include a thorough review of how we currently provide incentives to big corporations.

During the 2013 North Carolina corporate rate cut debate, Governor Pat McCrory argued the tax was “economically destructive” and a lower rate was “critical to putting residents back to work.” North Carolina cuts rates from 6.9 % to 6.0% this year and 5% in 2015.

“State tax policy can have a critical impact on multinational corporations especially when Congressional gridlock has stalled any meaningful action in Washington,” Madigan said.

The Speaker’s cuts will make Illinois rates less than or equal to the surrounding states. According to the Federation of Tax Administrators the surrounding state rates are: Kentucky, 6%; Indiana 7.5%; Iowa, 12.0%; Missouri, 6.25% and Wisconsin 7.90%.

Discuss.

*** UPDATE *** An interesting retort from the NFIB

“We appreciate Speaker Madigan’s attempt to reduce the income tax burden in Illinois,” said Kim Clarke Maisch, the state director of the National Federation of Independent Business.

“Unfortunately about 75% of small businesses, the true job creators, pay the personal income tax and not the corporate income tax. So while this is good for one-fourth of the businesses in Illinois, it does nothing to reduce the tax burden of the vast majority of small business owners in Illinois.”

*** UPDATE 2 *** We have a couple of state legislative responses. First up, GOP state Rep. Dave McSweeney…

I strongly support Speaker Madigan’s legislation that would cut the all-in corporate income tax rate from 9% to 6%. I also support cutting individual tax rates so that small businesses and families can benefit. Cutting tax rates will help encourage much needed economic growth and job creation.

And Democratic state Rep. Jack Franks…

“Following yesterday’s State of the State speech, the need for urgent action to improve the economic outlook in our state could not be more apparent. At a time when Illinois’ economy has been been pushed to the brink of disaster and taxpayers crave real, substantive reforms, the governor chose to give a pep talk with little in the way of policy proposals to help Illinoisans struggling to find jobs in a stagnant economy.

“Despite the rosy narrative laid out by Governor Quinn, Illinois’ credit rating is the worst in the United States and recent studies have ranked our state last in the nation in job creation. This would lead any serious observer to the conclusion that Illinois’ business climate is in desperate need of serious reform.

“House Bill 4479, introduced today, is exactly the type of targeted and specific action that will produce verifiable gains for hard-working families across Illinois. Reducing the tax burden on employers will free up capital for small-business owners to reinvest in their enterprises and hire more workers, while sending a signal to businesses across the country that Illinois is making serious efforts to restore our competitiveness and is once again open for business.”

*** UPDATE 3 *** Sun-Times

The governor appears to have been blindsided by Madigan’s proposal, as others were at the Capitol, and offered no clear indication whether the speaker’s plan is something he’s prepared to embrace this spring.

“Building and protecting the middle class is our priority. That’s why the governor is proposing a bold commitment to early childhood,” Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We’ll be working on our budget over the coming weeks, and we’ll take a look at the options.”

*** UPDATE 4 *** Sen. Bill Brady…

“I am glad to hear the Speaker talking about a tax cut rather than a tax increase. I believe his effort to create a better jobs climate in Illinois would be even better served if he included a cut in the personal income tax rate, which would benefit small businesses as well as Illinois families.”

*** UPDATE 5 *** Treasurer Dan Rutherford…

“I am glad to see that Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has proposed reducing the state’s corporate income tax. Putting Illinoisans back to work must be a top priority, as is improving our business climate. Reducing the corporate state income tax to 3.5 percent sends a strong message to employers that Illinois is serious about becoming a better home for businesses.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


56 Comments
  1. - Angry Republican - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    I’m willing to trade a pseudo progressive income tax (raise the exemption, raise the rate) for elimination of the corporate income tax.


  2. - OneMan - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    Wow….

    Don’t know what to make of this, I suspect this isn’t going to be in Quinn’s budget address, is it?


  3. - fed up - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:04 am:

    Being even with surronding states makes sense, a much needed fix of Illinois crazy workers comp system could really help employers manage and plan for costs, which will allow employers to expand in Illinois


  4. - sal-says - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    And….the makeup revenue comes from WHERE?


  5. - RetiredStateEmployee - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    Did he recommend cutting services like education and health care like they did in NC too?


  6. - Pete - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    “We have tackled worker compensation reform, reduced the estate tax and created an independent tax tribunal,” the speaker stated.

    Last I checked most businesses don’t agree that worker compensation in Illinois is competitive.


  7. - Obama's Puppy - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    The transformation is almost complete.


  8. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    are you kidding me? after 99 years in power, he’s NOW starting to worry about a legacy, and this is the best he can come up with?


  9. - Pensioner - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    Constitutional amendment for a progressive personal income tax of equal value and I’m all in.


  10. - walker - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    Madigan once again takes the lead with a Conservative idea.

    The man confounds labels.

    Love to see the fiscal note on this one. If the savings to corporations/loss to state are this high, then our companies are now making a lot of profits in Illinois.

    How to pay for it?

    Probably a first move in maintaining or even restructuring the personal tax rates.

    I support both. The the personal tax increase should have come with a cut to corporate rates initially. Perhaps it is more affordable now.

    Remember, this will help smaller and medium companies the most, because the largest ones already don’t pay their fair share. And the smaller companies are the key to job growth.


  11. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    I also am willing to support a corporate tax cut and would like to see a progressive income tax.


  12. - DuPage - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    1.5 billion is roughly what the “savings” next year from SB1.
    This is almost like Madigan saying to the retirees “we didn’t really need to cut your pensions, but we wanted to give it away to another group.”
    Individual taxpayers are going to feel that they are paying more while the corporations pay less.


  13. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    What does the average citizen of Illinois get out of this?

    A progressive personal income tax?

    Discontinuation or at least full disclosure of the special tax breaks clouted corporations selected by the governor and GA get?

    Job creation is great but individual taxpayers create jobs too with the money they spend on goods and services so why is it only corporations that deserve tax relief?


  14. - that guy - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    walker, most smaller and medium companies are s-corps and LLCs and pay the individual rate. A progressive tax would crush them.


  15. - walker - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    DuPage: with sincere respect

    If it’s as simple as you outlined above (you know it isn’t), then Madigan is following the majority GOP proposition to the letter — though they would have cut pensions more.

    We’ll see if the Republicans formally thank Madigan for this proposal.

    Illinois has a curious case of strange bedfellows.


  16. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    Backlog of bills, decaying roads, pension bill likely unconstitutional, schools in financial trouble, overcrowded prisons, higher ed cuts continuing to cause tuition increases…hmmm… the state has too much money, let’s give some back to the corporations because they don’t use any state services.

    Sheesh.

    This isn’t even what they’ve been asking for as their #1 priority. They would really like to see worker’s comp costs brought under control. At least, that’s what I thought they wanted.


  17. - AnonymousOne - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    Individual taxpayers of the variety of those who got their income reduced via pension legislation are NOT making jobs grow. We’ve cut lots out of our budget….affecting others’ budgets. That’s the way it goes. And by the way, this won’t encourage CEOs to grow their work forces. It’ll encourage CEOs to hoard more for themselves and the cronies at the top. Record salaries for the “job creators” while workers pay and benefits are cut.


  18. - OneMan - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    Any chance he is doing this to set the GOP Governor nominee up, it passes than Pat Quinn Vetoes it to protect “The hard working people of Illinois, good a nd true”?


  19. - ExPress - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    As the demise of unions and the individual income gap slam the historic constituencies of Democrats, Madigan understands who now has the money to fund his members’ campaigns.


  20. - SAP - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    At the risk of hypertechnicality, isn’t p. 4, l. 21 missing a date change?


  21. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:39 am:

    Hopefully this is part of a strategy that will result in maintaining the current personal income tax rates after the election (assuming Quinn wins).

    And I think the estimates of lost revenue might be on the high side. Corporations work very hard to avoid paying much in the way of state income taxes.

    And even with this cut, the combined corporate rate plus the additional 2.5% personal property replacement tax, they’ll still be paying 6% while individuals pay 5% (again, assuming the temporary tax increase is made permanent).


  22. - Howard - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    Yes Illinois is fiscally shaky…….lets give $1.5 billion away and weaken our revenue stream even more. This pattern keeps bringing me back to the preamble for SB1. Somebody is joking, right?


  23. - Hoping for Rational Thought - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    I haven’t read the bill yet but the corporate tax rate drops from 7 to 5.25% on Jan 1 2015 already. So yes it speeds up the drop to 2014 and drops lower but the drop to 5.25% happens anyway…so does he really get credit/blame for reducing 50%?


  24. - gg - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 11:08 am:

    This is a great and necessary move.

    How many of the commenters complaining about the corporations getting a “free ride” work in the private sector? The private sector is moving the profits and jobs out of state. Are you blind?

    This is truely a jobs bill that has traction.

    Madigan is no man’s fool.

    I suggest if you think this is about campaign funds for Dems, you are the fool.


  25. - walker - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 11:19 am:

    @that guy: you bring up a risk we have to smartly minimize

    A lot of LLC’s and S-Corps retain that status even as they grow, mostly because of the current tax penalties of moving to C-Corp. If we reverse that structure, more will change. Of course there are other significant factors in that choice.

    My sense, having had small companies in two other states, is that Illinois has a disproportionate number of enterprises in the LLC and S-Corp status precisely because our tax structure encourages it.

    Also, if we set the appropriate minimum level for personal income before taxes are due, then many of the really small companies, especially start-ups, and their owners, can manage their way into that income-tax-free zone.


  26. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    Corporations shouldn’t pay any income taxes. The tax code needs to be changed to eliminate all the tax dodges the wealthy, who profit immensely, utilize. Don’t tax the corporations, tax the dividends & other income that is received by individuals at the same rates paid by the rest of us. Tax capital gains are the regular rates unless the capital gains created jobs. Eliminate loopholes on personal income. If the tax codes were fair, corporations wouldn’t need to be taxed.


  27. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    That should read

    Tax capital gains at the regular rates unless the capital gains created jobs.


  28. - AFSCME Steward - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    If the income is personal, it should not be entitled to a tax cut.

    “Unfortunately about 75% of small businesses, the true job creators, pay the personal income tax and not the corporate income tax. So while this is good for one-fourth of the businesses in Illinois, it does nothing to reduce the tax burden of the vast majority of small business owners in Illinois.”


  29. - Downstate - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    Calling for reducing corporate tax, while a graduated income tax is also being considered?

    Very confusing to the voters.

    Here’s an idea for the gubernatorial candidates: Forget taxes and incentives - let’s simply talk about substantive ways to shrink the size of government.


  30. - dupage dan - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 11:35 am:

    If the scheme works and it results in more hiring some of the tax revenue loss could be made up in the increased revenues from the new hires. Not being knowledgeable about this I couldn’t guess at how much such an offset would be but more folks being hired is a good thing, right?


  31. - Bill White - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    What small business needs most are customers.


  32. - prisoner of cook - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    AFSCME Steward - Illinois already taxes all capital gains as ordinary income at the full rate on an individual return.


  33. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    Very interesting… I have been pondering this move for quite a while. I would have to see more specifics, but this could actually result in the State getting more revenue in the long run.

    First, how many of these large corporations already get huge tax breaks to stay in the State. They pay little to no taxes compared to the revenue they bring in. If the lower rate is parlayed with an elimination of all these special case tax breaks, it may have the effect of broadening the tax base, and increasing revenue.

    Second, if what all these businesses say is true, lowering the rates will allow more jobs to be created. More jobs means more individual tax revenue. I don’t think this can be taken at the word of businesses, and a lot remains to be seen, but it could be a step toward getting more people employed.

    Third, I think the Speaker is parlaying this into a greater tax package. Re-instituting the 5% individual rate or, as some have mentioned, the institution of a progressive tax.

    I think all of these things together at the end of the day could lead to a bottom line of greater tax revenue… something that the state desperately needs.


  34. - Cassandra - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    So Democrats plan to leave the individual rate at 5 percent (although they haven’t actually admitted it yet) but they plan to reduce the two corporate taxes at issue from a “temporary” total rate of 9.5 percent to 6 percent, lower than before the temporary hike?

    I had been wondering how the Democrats would get around corporate resistance to making Quinn’s tax increase permanent. Didn’t think they’d dare do this, but I guess in a one-party state government with extremely weak opposition, thanks to us voters, they can do anything they want.


  35. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    So much for needing to extend our tax increase.

    Suddenly we can give corporations a tax cut but not citizens?

    And we do not need to do anything about the 2/3 of Illinois corporations that pay no taxes whatsoever? No desire to level the playing field and have them pay their fair share?

    This opens a very large can of worms.


  36. - Nonplussed - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    Making the entire climate in Illinois better for the largest corporations is better than giving a few EDGE tax credits when they threaten to leave town.

    If Quinn/Madigan let the income tax increase sunset, I have one word for you:

    Reaganomics


  37. - that guy - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    “And we do not need to do anything about the 2/3 of Illinois corporations that pay no taxes whatsoever? No desire to level the playing field and have them pay their fair share?”

    I’m interested in seeing documentation to back up the claim that 2/3 of corporations pay no taxes whatsoever. I’ll assume that you meant to say income taxes but hey if you can show that they don’t pay property taxes, payroll taxes or any others I’d love to see that documentation as well.

    *Signs from occupy rallies aren’t considered legitimate sources.


  38. - Mokenavince - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 12:20 pm:

    What ever MJM wants MJM gets.

    Were last in everything this my help, plus he asks for a lot then settles for 1/2.


  39. - AnonymousOne - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 12:25 pm:

    Large corporations with mega millionaires syphoning off profits to pad their benefits packages but in the mean time, folks don’t have enough money to buy their product. Sounds like a great plan that will help Illinois’ financial recovery.


  40. - anon - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    Glad to see Madigan doing his best to support that police powers argument in the pension litigation.


  41. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    LOL, the dude is way smarter than the average bear.

    This lets his peeps campaign on reducing the corporate income tax — which the vast majority of corporations don’t pay anyway! Check out the state budget: revenues from the corporate income tax are oogats.

    All the nincompoops that have been howling that the corporate income tax is a job killer will now have to swallow hard and figure out the next stupid thing to say.

    I saw deep thinker Dennis Byrne in the Trib the other day argue in the same column that Illinois should be more like Wisconsin but not pass a progress personal income tax!

    Dig the cognitive dissonance. Can’t make that stuff up.


  42. - Chris - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 12:56 pm:

    “Unfortunately about 75% of small businesses, the true job creators, pay the personal income tax and not the corporate income tax. So while this is good for one-fourth of the businesses in Illinois, it does nothing to reduce the tax burden of the vast majority of small business owners in Illinois.”

    Wait, isn’t 5 *still* less than 6?


  43. - PolPal56 - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    Ha. Pension restructuring in December. In January, PQ proposes new spending programs in SOTS, including new jobs that will be Illinois state employee pension positions. Madigan wants to cut taxes to corps. Yeah, Illinois is in such fiscal dire straits that police powers are needed to steal from the pensions.


  44. - GA Watcher - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    Wordslinger hit the nail on the head with his comment at 12:48. The Speaker’s proposal is primarily intended to muddle one of what the GOP believes to be one of their winning election issues.


  45. - Ahoy! - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 1:49 pm:

    If one had is offering a $1.5 billion tax break, I wonder what the other hand wants in return. I would like to see the corporate tax rate decreased as it primarily hurts small businesses that file as LLC’s and a small number of corporations due to the tax code.

    More importantly would be to actually fix the workers comp system in Illinois, I know the speaker might believe they fixed it, but they absolutely did not and that is a fixed cost all employers pay.


  46. - PoolGuy - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 2:14 pm:

    Wordslinger - great post

    does Byrne even know Wisconsin’s corporate tax rate is 7.9%? obviously he knows about the 4.6 up to 7.75% personal income tax. wow… and he actually gets paid to write that.

    it’s amazing how many people think taxes are so much lower in Wisconsin.


  47. - Raymond - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    === “Building and protecting the middle class is our priority. That’s why the governor is proposing a bold commitment to early childhood,” Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson told the Chicago Sun-Times. ===

    Translation: “Wait, we’re talking about the kids! And we haven’t even had a full day to be on that message? C’mon already, we’re the governor!”

    Hilarious.


  48. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    that guy, tho i feel real sympathy for the poor small business owners you must be talking about (”crushed”), I personally would be willing to sacrifice and pay a state marginal income tax rate of 11% in return for a net income over a million dollars.


  49. - Guarding Off/Even - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 2:49 pm:

    Did I miss the announcement over residential property tax relief or removing the layers of municipal taxes levied on food, gas, and cell phones?

    State Leaders Unite!

    Reduce Corporate Tax Rates!!


  50. - lakecounty - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 2:53 pm:

    So what do the bond rating agencies say about this? Will Illinois’ rating go down?


  51. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 2:55 pm:

    ===in return for a net income over a million dollars. ===

    Notice how he used the word “net.”

    lol

    Just teasing. :)


  52. - Hans Sanity Guarding Off/Even - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 3:26 pm:

    Wordslinger == ..the vast majority of corporations don’t pay anyway! ==

    That’s not the point. They’ve been not paying taxes at a higher rate!

    GOP candidates might throw praise his way now, but once mad, always mad.

    Keep the eyes in the back of your head open and stay on your toes until the AG can take the mansion.


  53. - AnonymousOne - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 3:29 pm:

    Before the bill to slash retirees incomes was passed, the mantra was that ILLINOIS IS BROKE! What happened since then? Have we come into a secret stash—-one so great that we can collect less tax revenue? What ever happened to those people yelling that ILlinois was broke anyway?


  54. - Plutocrat03 - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 3:59 pm:

    This is how the pols keep their hold on the citizen.

    First we pit the haves vs the have nots, then we demonize the corporations.

    Meanwhile we pump all sides for campaign money so the lifetime politicians can keep their jobs and outsized pensions.

    Atta boy Mike!


  55. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 30, 14 @ 7:13 pm:

    Pluto, you probably need to update your conspiracies, methods, strategies, tactics, secrets to success, analyses, causes/effect…whatever it was that resulted in that last observation. I’d focus on history, too.

    Just a suggestion.


  56. - RNUG - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 12:35 am:

    We’ll have to wait for Quinn’s budget speech to see his spending and revenue plans, but Madigan’s latest proposal to lower the corporate rates clearly undercuts the fiscal necessity part of the police powers argument in the pension “reform”. From my perspective, this just lends more credence to the speculation that Madigan is playing a political game, fully expecting the IL SC to throw pension “reform” out as unconstitutional, “forcing” the General Assembly to act on taxes while the GA then gets to blame the IL SC.


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        * Unions may win  HOLLOW victory with pension suit
        * time for new course in Cuba
        * CPS move may have cost more than estimated
        * Unions may win Pyrrhic victory with pension suit
        * Chicago couple found guilty of stealing millions in state grants
        * Chicago Cubans cautious yet hopeful about historic policy shift
        * After 50 years, time for a new course in Cuba
        * Obama pardons Naperville man, Brian Sledz


        * 1 killed, 12 others wounded in shootings, including man, 18, hurt near park
        * Man found in South Side home was shot to death
        * Man arrested in 2 downtown bank robberies
        * 2 found dead in South Side home
        * Father of 3 shot to death on way home from work
        * Jury finds Chicago couple guilty in grant scam case with ties to Obama friend Whitaker
        * CPS school for special-needs kids needs full-time nurse, alderman says
        * Proposed NCAA concussion settlement denied by federal judge
        * Oak Park school district, teachers reach tentative deal
        * Chicago police captain returns to work 2 months after being shot


        * Illinois Republican: Cuba Agreement "Good First Step"
        * Obama: US re-establishing relations with Cuba
        * Obama re-establishing US relations with Cuba
        * Sangamon Auditorium: Beware Second Party Ticket Brokers
        * Real-estate developer in hot area sees bright future — and displacement
        * Worries rise in Russia as ruble falls
        * Rauner Named Nation's Most Influential Pension Figure
        * Recent incidents cast doubt on Hammond police accountability, critics say
        * Report details big problems at Illinois prison for women; state says it's safe
        * Chicago 'petcoke' handler says it'll enclose piles


        * Bernard Schoenburg: Schmidt considers challenging Sgro for park board president
        * Brian Sauder: Faithful decisions for the holidays
        * Eugene Robinson: The price of being hacked
        * George Will: A Texas-sized license plate dispute
        * Quote of the day: Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014
        * Chicago couple convicted of stealing state grants
        * Topinka remembered as tough, honest leader at memorial service
        * Illinois employers reminded of income-tax rollback
        * Quote of the day: Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014
        * Police use vacant Jacksonville site to train for worst-case scenarios


        * Here they come a-caroling
        * Upcoming Services (Dec. 18)
        * Gas prices continue downward trend
        * Official: Convicted killer slain in Illinois prison
        * Our View: Budget problem clear; answer will not be easy
        * Police Beat
        * Special delivery
        * Central Illinois man convicted in double murder
        * All is calm
        * Looking Back (Dec. 18)


        * Larkin presses on, dumps Batavia
        * WW South coach Todd remembered as 'a great guy'
        * Addison Trail makes it 2 for 2 in tournament crowns
        * Girls bowling scoreboard: Wednesday's results
        * Girls gymnastics scoreboard: Wednesday's results

        * Lipinski seeks nominations for academies -...
        * Zeldin To Co-Chair House GOP Israel Caucus...
        * Congressmen sound alarm over anti-Asian ca...
        * Ami Bera, George Holding are new co-chairs...
        * Rep. Lipinski Urges Ways and Means Committ...
        * Bera and Holding to be co-chairs of Congre...
        * Reps. Lipinski and Roskam Lead Effort to S...
        * Ami Bera, George Holding are new co-chairs...
        * Rep. Lipinski Urges Ways and Means Committ...
        * Roskam Lands High-Profile House Post After...

        * Galesburg veterans facility named in honor......
        * Durbin: US, Cuba diplomatic ties ‘long ove......
        * Reaction to release of Alan Gross, future ......

        * Galesburg VA clinic renamed after Lane Evans...
        * Why is he so upset? Because of the secret ......
        * Senate Confirms Vivek Murthy As Surgeon Ge......

        * Baseball ‘kids’ don’t live in Chicago? Why did complaints take so long?
        * Business School?
        * For Our Fallen Vigil In Chicago
        * Demands For Reparations Increase For Those Tortured Under CPD's Jon Burge
        * Memorial For Chicago Police Torture Survivors
        * Chicagoans Hold Vigil For Victims Of Violence And Police Brutality
        * How does one get to become neighborhood of the year?
        * A Thought For The Day...
        * Chicago Group Wants Quinn To Veto Eavesdropping Measure
        * Chicago Mayoral, 24th Ward Candidates Court West Side Voters At Local Forum


        * Illinois Observes National Impaired Driving Prevention Month - December designated to educate communities about the numerous risks associated with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
        * The Illinois Office Of The State Fire Marshal Promotes Fire Safety During The Holiday Season - Christmas Trees and Decorations Could Pose Risks of Fires
        * Honoring Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka
        * Honoring Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka - United States and Illinois flags at half-staff immediately until Sunset, Thursday, December 11, 2014.
        * Governor Quinn Statement on the Passing of Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka




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