The Trend Away from Illinois

Illinois has become famous for producing Barack Obama, but now another sort of fame is in the news. The Illinois Policy Institute has come out with a devastating report on “the state of Illinois”:

Illinois residents are fleeing the state. When people leave, they take their purchasing power, entrepreneurial activity and taxable income with them. For more than 15 years, residents have left Illinois at a rate of one person every 10 minutes.  read more »

Blago’s Historic Sentencing: Organized Crime in Illinois

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was sentenced today to 14 years in prison. Illinois will now have the dubious distinction of having two back-to-back Governors in jail at the same time. Could a more vigilant press have stopped the amazing political career of Rod Blagojevich? When you look into the background of the former Governor the tentacles of organized crime can’t be ignored.  read more »

Trying to Keep Hope Alive: High-Speed Rail in Illinois

Despite the rejection of high-speed rail in many states, Illinois is trying to revive it. The Illinois Department of Transportation recently made a cooperative agreement with Union Pacific and Amtrak to fund passenger rail improvements for its line from Chicago to St. Louis with a $1.1 billion federal high-speed rail grant.  read more »

The State of Illinois’ Long Term Decline

Barack Obama’s home state is in the news but not for positive reasons. Fitch downgraded Illinois debt. At the end of March, according to the Bond Buyer:

Fitch Ratings late Monday downgraded Illinois’ general obligation rating one notch to A-minus and warned of possible further action by leaving the state’s credit on negative watch ahead of $1.3 billion of short- and long-term GO issuance in three deals over the coming weeks.  read more »

Illinois: When in Doubt, Jack up Taxes

The Illinois state budget is on life support, with a $4 billion shortfall projected for this year and even more in 2010. So what’s a state to do?

In a move that has some scratching their heads, Governor Pat Quinn has proposed an increase on the tax rate for both personal and corporate income tax.  read more »