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    Tackling Deficits: The Chicago Way, and the Other Way

    While it’s being reported that every state (except Florida) had snow on the ground this week, 46 states are digging out of another kind of mess — a combined deficit of at least $127 billion. Democratic and Republican state leaders alike are grappling with structural budget deficits, many of whom … More

    Teacher Tenure Reform Coming to Illinois?

    It’s the beginning of a new year, and Illinois isn’t wasting any time getting education reform off to a good start. Teacher tenure reform is currently on the hotplate of Illinois lawmakers, with the House being set to vote on a measure January 12. The proposed legislation would “link teacher … More

    Outside the Beltway: Despite Loads of Debt, Pork Projects Abound in Illinois

    With a looming state budget deficit of nearly $13 million, many Illinois residents are wondering if their state has its priorities in order. Last night, ABC7 Chicago’s Chuck Goudie revealed $67 million in recent state payments (PDF) for a variety of pet projects. While the state wrestles with the ramifications of … More

    The End of a Good Run for Chicago School Choice Bill

    In a disappointing turn of events, the Illinois House has rejected a school voucher bill that would have enabled up to 30,000 children to escape the underperforming Chicago public schools to attend a private school of their choice. But the story here – that a monumental school choice program was … More

    Groundbreaking School Choice Movement in Illinois

    School choice is on the march in Illinois. And if the Rev. Senator James Meeks (D-15) has his way, 22,000 children stand to gain a lifeline out of failing public schools in the Prairie State. Senator Meeks introduced the school choice bill, which passed out of the Senate in March. … More

    Winds of Change in the Windy City’s School System

    Chicago witnessed one small victory for urban school reform and parental choice yesterday as the Illinois State Senate voted 33-20 to approve a pilot voucher program for low-income Chicago students currently attending the city’s worst performing schools. The School Choice Act, sponsored by Democrat James Meeks, provides children in Kindergarten … More

    Outside the Beltway: Luaus in Illinois? Sure, When Pork Is What's for Dinner!

    $1,100 for Hawaiian party props and luaus? $78,066 to promote quail? $6,500 for a 4,000-gallon live bass fish tank? $10,000 for a Batman party? $353,165 to fund car racing?

    Congratulations, Illinoisans, you’re funding all this and more with your hard-earned taxpayer dollars, courtesy of your state government in Springfield. More

    Gitmo 2.0: Obama Skips a Step

    The Obama Administration announced today that it will move one hundred Guantanamo Bay detainees to a prison in rural Illinois. This move is considered a step forward in Obama’s campaign promise to shutdown the Gitmo facility. By doing so, however, Obama is skipping a critical step in this process—the creation … More

    Outside the Beltway: California’s Nightmare the Future for Other States?

    The budget shortfalls, plunging revenue, and economic woes plaguing near-broke California could foretell the future of other cash-strapped states. A new study by The Pew Center on the States found that the economic pressures that pushed California to the brink of a total economic meltdown are also found in nine … More

    Profiles In Conservatism: Aaron Schock

    NAME: Aaron Schock OCCUPATION: Member of Congress, 18th District of Illinois HOMETOWN: Peoria, Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock was elected in 2008 and is currently the youngest member of Congress. A title Schock is all too familiar with. In 2001, Schock was elected to the Peoria Public Schools District 150 school … More