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Question of the day

Tuesday, Jan 2, 2018

* From a Sun-Times editorial entitled “8 New Year’s wishes for Chicago and Illinois”

2. More money for schools

For decades Illinois used a lousy formula to fund public schools, leaving districts with a lot of poor and special-needs kids with a lot less money to educate students than districts in wealthier areas. Finally, in 2017, the Legislature adopted a formula that one day could bridge the gap. But until Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Legislature come up with billions of more dollars for schools — at least $3.5 billion — the poorest children in our state will continue to be held back. Stop letting down kids, lawmakers.

3. Invest in Illinois universities

Illinois is no longer the fifth most populous state. It fell to sixth, and Pennsylvania moved up to fifth, after our state lost 33,703 more people in 2017. To stop some of the bleeding, Illinois should recommit to building up its universities, which fell into rapid decline during the budget crisis for which Gov. Rauner was largely responsible. Making our universities more economically stable will help to stem the exodus of young people leaving Illinois for schools in other states.

4. Raise the minimum wage

Chicago and some suburbs in Cook County are on their way to raising the hourly minimum wage to $13. The rest of the state lags far behind at $8.25, though that’s higher than the national hourly minimum wage of $7.25 that was set in 2009. The costs of health care, groceries and transportation keep going up, but most people in Illinois aren’t seeing their wages rise. An election year, when politicians really want to score points with working people, is the right time for Democrats and Rauner to compromise on a minimum-wage increase.

5. Fix broken property tax system

Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios must fix the secretive, complicated property tax assessment system that benefits the politically connected at the expense of other property owners. Wealthy commercial property owners and lawyers who specialize in appealing property taxes, including some who donate campaign money to Berrios and his allies, want the status quo. This system is downright awful for regular folks who own homes.

6. Repair roads and bridges

Across Illinois, bridges are decaying. Roads need work. A capital bill to improve infrastructure would put people to work and make the state more appealing to businesses. We heard rumblings about a capital bill in the fall. We’re all for it, but hold the pork please. No one needs fancy chandeliers, like the four purchased for nearly $81,000 each in an improvement project at the Capitol in 2013.

* The Question: Your own New Year’s wishes for Illinois?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Miss Marie - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:49 pm:

    A full year FY 19 budget by May 31, 2018.

  2. - Al - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:53 pm:

    Raise the liquor tax from $8.55 a gallon to $12.99 to match Iowa. Raise beer and wine taxes to match Kentucky.
    Lower the current threshold of $200 million where the top gaming tax rate kicks in to $2 million. Raise the top Gaming Tax Rate.
    Raise the standard Exemption for the Income tax.
    Eliminate finger printing for medical cannabis.
    Basic good public policy stuff. I won’t hold my breath, haha.

  3. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:55 pm:

    1. About 75 new legislators after November
    2. Balanced budget - truly balanced
    3. April 15 adjournment (channeling Pate)

  4. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:56 pm:

    A new governor, gov lite and speaker.

  5. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 2:58 pm:

    Common sense in the State Capitol …

    May have to wait until 2029 for that.

  6. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:00 pm:

    Meant to say 2019, but maybe my phone knows better than I do.

  7. - Smitty Irving - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:04 pm:

    1. Illinoisans open their eyes when comparing to other states. Yes, Missouri has some taxes lower, but St. Louisans register their cars in Illinois.
    2. Use a fact checker on anything that comes out of the Illinois News Network. Afetr the story on the State Fair Manager’s pension (that Bernie Schoenberg outed), they don’t deserve the benefit of a doubt.

  8. - Sue - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:06 pm:

    A Federal indictment for Berrios for violation of Honest Services Mail Fraud

  9. - Piece of Work - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:13 pm:

    Wish all we want, the ship has sailed. The pension obligation is crushing the state and there are no viable solutions. The damage has been done.

  10. - Iggy - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:18 pm:

    legalize it.

  11. - Liandro - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:20 pm:

    All of those, except presumably #5, entail more spending. My wish is that various Illinois “leaders” stop bankrupting us by spending on their wishlist using borrowed money. It slaughters future budgets…and Illinois continues to diminish.

  12. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:20 pm:

    Change Illinois workers compensation causation standards. A 90 hr requirement for a bachelor’s degree. Outlaw high school football for health reasons. Statewide ban on TIF’s and EDGE tax credits.

  13. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:20 pm:

    - Legalize marijuana
    - Reduce the number of units of local government

  14. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:20 pm:

    Labor peace and a balanced budget (even if it means another tax hike.)

  15. - Touré's Latte - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:21 pm:

    A different list for a change. Every year the same old same old.

  16. - Saluki - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:23 pm:

    1) continued resistance to Mary Jane Legalization.
    2) A Budget without Political histrionics.

  17. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:23 pm:

    ==A 90 hr requirement for a bachelor’s degree==

    And the theory behind shortening the requirements is? I’m sure that’ll make degrees received in Illinois competitive. Not.

  18. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:26 pm:

    ===And the theory behind shortening the requirements is?===

    Purdue just instituted a three-year degree program. Interesting stuff.

  19. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:27 pm:

    ===Your own New Year’s wishes for Illinois?===

    Get well soon.

  20. - Thoughts Matter - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:27 pm:

    Legalize Marijuana, tax and regulate it. Stop being anammy State.
    Common sense and bipartisanship in the legislature.
    Encourage informed voting by our citizens.
    Stop demonizing the other side. Both of them.

  21. - Post My Loan - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:28 pm:

    A multi-billion dollar wish list. Wasn’t that easy? If they were my kids, I’d put them in timeout.

  22. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:28 pm:

    No more income tax hikes. Everyone got the magical 5% they were clamoring for the past 2 years. Make it work.

  23. - Belle - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:28 pm:

    Legalize marijuana
    Legalize fireworks
    Cuz we’re missing out on tons of money

  24. - Thoughts Matter - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:29 pm:

    A nanny state is what I meant. I wish for a bigger phone keyboard or smaller fingers.

  25. - A guy - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:32 pm:

    ==1) continued resistance to Mary Jane Legalization.===

    You listening to those 8 tracks of The Association again? lol

  26. - downstate commissioner - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:32 pm:

    Was curious about #1, so checked the article, and the first thing to come up is Rauner’s picture…
    My wish for Illinois is a new governor.

  27. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:34 pm:

    1. Eliminate the waiting list for services for young adults with developmental disabilities. Once they graduate high school they have to go on a waiting list, almost 20,000 strong currently. This is a travesty.
    2. Craft legislation to create a non-partisan redistricting process. In other words, get rid of the gerrymandered districts.
    3. Break up CPS into 4 new districts and go back to elected school boards.

  28. - illini - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:35 pm:

    Without being specific in adding to any list, my one wish is that our Governor and those in the GA will realize and recognize the fact that Central, and especially Southern Illinois, are critical parts of our State.

    We are not second class residents and should not be considered as such. Leadership must consider us to be equal partners in determining what is best for the entire State.

  29. - cdog - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:36 pm:

    -tax swap and progressive income tax on the ballot two-fer.
    Fund p-12 sans property tax, and follow IL Const –”The State has the primary responsibility for financing the system of public education.”

    -get on the ballot the removal of Article XIII, Section 5 Pension and Retirement rights on the ballot to decided by the people.
    Need to get this show on the road.

  30. - Sputnik - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:37 pm:

    Make fireworks legal to sell here. So much is bought in Indiana.

    Pass a budget again this year.

  31. - Iggy - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:43 pm:

    =We are not second class residents and should not be considered as such.=

    I don’t think we view you as second class citizens. However it is overwhelming clear that if Chicago and the collar counties were to be booted out of the state tomorrow, the rest of the state would not have the necessary resources to pay for all of the services and benefits that are greatly depended upon in Central and Southern Illinois.

  32. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:47 pm:

    Release the 9,500+/- illinois inmates inprisoned on cannabis related charges. Take the $60k/yr/prisoner and pay down pension debt.

  33. - A guy - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:48 pm:

    Start with #5 and #6. That might help all of the others.

  34. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:48 pm:

    - The defeat of Rauner
    - A Madigan retirement having defeated Rauner
    - The defeat of all GOP GA extremists.
    - The defeat of all IL GOP congressmen to stop the cancer that is Trump and Trumpism.
    - Continued good health to hard hitting fact checking reporters.
    - A very successful bicentennial for this great state.
    - The discovery in Illinois only of dilithium crystals to propel the state as a new energy powerhouse.

  35. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:49 pm:

    Eliminate the FOID card. Take the $1.5million annual admin cost savings and pay down pension debt.

  36. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:52 pm:

    A governor that wants to lead instead of blame.

  37. - Enemy of the State - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:58 pm:

    That three year degree program at Purdue: does that include summer sessions?

    Wish list: Home schooled students must have a complete physical exam each year.

  38. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 3:59 pm:

    The generous citizens of Chicago pass a 1/2% city earnings tax. The $500 million/yr revenue to be used to pay down pension debt.(city).

  39. - Lefty Lefty - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:02 pm:

    Begin the process to institute a progressive income tax.

    Begin the process to legalize marijuana.

    Pass a budget on time.

    Create a capital construction program.

  40. - SAP - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:04 pm:

    Tax retirement income.

  41. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:06 pm:

    ===Take the $60k/yr/prisoner===

    It doesn’t work like that.

    Unless you can shut down entire prisons and permanently lay off employees, there are no dollar per prisoner savings.

  42. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:09 pm:

    Great list, Norseman.

    A governor who pushes for a constitutional amendment for a progressive income tax.

  43. - SAP - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:17 pm:

    Legalize and tax pot.
    Progressive income tax.
    Expand sales tax to services, but lower the rate.
    Get a casino in Chicago.
    Invest in universities.

  44. - Gooner - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:28 pm:

    I’d like to see both Berrios and Lipinski lose their primaries.

    For different reasons, both do a great deal of damage to people who vote Democratic.

    The party voters need to wake up and send those two home.

  45. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:28 pm:

    An end to Rauner’s current retirement hobby.

    Get a boat, it will keep you busy.

  46. - Veil of Ignorance - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:28 pm:

    A state budget passed in a timely manner, reduced gun violence in Chicago, and a new Governor not named Ives.

  47. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:30 pm:

    First, “- Norseman -“ list…

    I would want as well…

    A bipartisan budget passed and implemented to save Illinois from the RaunerS

    Labor and Social Services backing “anyone but Rauner” come April.

    “Higher Education” finding its advocates and heroes against Rauner, and also exposing those phony advocates gif who they are.

    Durkin coming to a realization he is the most powerful of the Four Tops and moving towards independence (as much as he’s able) to be seen as a person and leader for Illinois, not Bruce Rauner.

    I wish… Illinois some stability by going around a governor not in charge… let the adults lead, let the costume wearer be the sideshow… and make a transition to a better state, with or without the current governor begin.

  48. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:32 pm:

    Rich. Hopefully a 20% reduction in prisoners equates to 20% reduction in prisons.

  49. - Boone's is Back - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:32 pm:

    To remove the requirement of being a billionaire to win the Governor’s mansion

  50. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:36 pm:

    End the hostage taking and do your job; you only have two years left, governor.

  51. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:36 pm:

    John Prine joining the Illinois’ writers whose names are etched on the exterior of the state library.

  52. - Just Me - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:39 pm:

    I would settle for just a functional government that doesn’t make me embarrassed to be from Illinois.

  53. - Occams Razor - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:42 pm:

    I’m not sure anyone should be taking any economic or tax policy advice from a newspaper business that just sold for $1 last year to new investors. In fact, one should view anything that comes from the Sun Times as a contra-indicator and do the exact opposite.

  54. - A Jack - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:45 pm:

    A happy bicentennial.

  55. - Actual Red - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 4:57 pm:

    1. Progressive income tax
    2. A progressive governor with previous experience in government
    3. Failing 2, any governor not named Bruce Rauner
    4. Legalized, regulated and taxed recreational marijuana combined with pardons for people incarcerated for marijuana possession/sale.

  56. - theCardinal - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 5:03 pm:

    All of the Above #s but 5 ain’t changing

  57. - dbk - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 6:23 pm:

    In addition to several items already noted by various commenters:

    1. Record turnout in November
    2. Highly engaged citizenry on an ongoing basis
    3. Detailed economic development plans for the downstate counties/towns that are hurting the most. No platitudes need apply; been there, done that.

  58. - InvolvedMillennial - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 6:47 pm:

    1. Big voter turnouts.


  59. - 37B - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 7:29 pm:

    A Governor.
    Any Governor.

  60. - The Magnificent Purple Walnut - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 7:48 pm:

    most of these suggestions have some merit and deserve to be considered. But, leave my beer alone.

  61. - Ron - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 10:39 pm:

    Eliminate all public pensions and the Constitutional protection. Legalize, regulate and tax marijuana.

  62. - peon - Tuesday, Jan 2, 18 @ 10:46 pm:

    Annexation by Minnesota.

  63. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 7:12 am:

    Investigations into “Lease- gate”, the noncompetitively bid MCO contracts, the pinstripe computer contracts which leaves 10 of thousands without SNAP benefits, etcetera. Waiting for the U.S. Attorney to issue first Supeonas.

  64. - Rabid - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 8:14 am:

    whishing my wishy washy govenor a primary scrubbing

  65. - Jerry - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 9:24 am:

    This is tongue in cheek.

    My fondest wish is for Donald Trump to start blaming Mike Madigan for everything.

  66. - Rayne of Terror - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 9:26 am:

    My Christmas wish for Illinois is that every state agency that deals with vulnerable people be fully and competently staffed and follow whatever the current best practices are.

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