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Archive for the ‘BOHICA’ Category

Joe Biden

Gov. J.B. Pritzker boasted about financial responsibility and sympathy towards working families, but the average family of three can expect to save only $35.52 per month as inflation eats away $90 from that family’s budget.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is boasting about what his Illinois Family Relief Plan means, but a little math shows it means $35.52 a month in savings for the average family at the same time inflation is eating $90 from their budget.

Pritzker’s relief plan started July 1. It suspended the state grocery sales tax until July 2023, delayed the July gas tax hike until January, offered property tax rebates for middle- and low-income families as well as minor, temporary income tax credits.

With a declining state population of 12.67 million, the average Illinois family of three can count on saving roughly $35.52 per month, based on Pritzker’s projection of $1.8 billion in tax relief over about a year. A monthly check of that amount would be quickly eaten by rising state inflation, which took an additional $90 from Illinois households in June and is trending upward.

Pritzker called the package a “new and creative way” to deliver relief. He also boasted about his administration’s fiscal record: “We are doing that because Democrats balanced the budget, eliminated the bill backlog, and the state government is now running a surplus,” he said.

The problem is, his claims are all false about the budgetbacklog and surplus. None of those fiscal issues have been fixed.

While Illinois families are seeing their incomes eroded by inflation, state government enjoyed record-high tax revenues topping $57 billion in 2021, according to data from the St. Louis Fed. Under the generous assumption that tax revenue remains constant in 2022, $1.8 billion is chump change, representing a mere 3.16% rebate. No surprise, because the package offers little refuge from the crippling tax burden faced by Illinoisans.

Read more here.

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220 White Elephant

District 220’s White Elephant hits the market for a third time

Barrington School District 220 is trying for a third time to sell its former district office, and the school board approved a resolution at a meeting last month that allows for the sale.

A resolution to initiate the sale of the property, at 310 E. James St., was approved at the July 12 meeting.

“It’s a great location (?) in the village. There is a fair bit of flexibility with that property,” David Bein, SD220 assistant superintendent of business services/chief school business official, told Pioneer Press.

The 12,413-square-foot, single tenant office building is on a 65,037-square-foot or 1.49-acre parcel of land and is described as “conveniently located near downtown Barrington with excellent access to commuter trains.”

The real estate is being sold by sealed bid at a minimum price of $545,000, according to district officials. Bids will be accepted until 11 a.m. on Sept. 6.

“There’s a state law that governs how school districts can sell properties. One of the options is through an auction process, which you can either do as a live auction or sealed bid auction. The nature of this property, we believe, lends itself to a sealed bid auction,” Bein said.

More here.

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APTOPIX Chicago Mayor

Chicago aldermen lacked the votes to repeal Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s lower speed camera ticketing threshold responsible for nearly $80 million in fines.

The Chicago City Council voted 18 “for” to 26 “against” repealing Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s lower ticketing threshold for Chicago speed cameras, which have been responsible for 3.8 million tickets and $79.5 million in fines – but failed to show safety improvements.

The council referendum July 20 to repeal Lightfoot’s policy of issuing $35 tickets to drivers caught going 6-10 mph over the speed limit failed. She and her allies for months made political maneuvers to keep the highly lucrative policy in place.

City Council members led by Ald. Anthony Beale tried to raise the speed camera ticketing threshold back to 10 mph, citing an original Illinois Policy Institute investigation showing despite millions of tickets, the city saw a record 72 traffic deaths in the first half of 2022. The city during that time issued the equivalent of 1.4 tickets for every resident in the nation’s third-largest city.

“The data shows it’s not about safety,” Beale told his fellow aldermen. “It’s 1,000% about revenue.”

Speed cameras collected nearly as much ticket revenue in the 16 months after March 1, 2021, when Lightfoot lowered the limit, as the city generated in the three years before her ordinance was implemented. Numerous studies showed the deaths continued to climb despite $207,000 a day in fines.

Reports from Axios and CBS Chicago found traffic deaths around speed cameras increased by as much as 114% compared the pre-policy period, and 44% in areas not under surveillance.

Read on here.

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PritzkerTaxPlan_0307

A typical middle-class family in Illinois faces the highest tax burden of all 50 states and a pandemic recovery that lags the nation, so what have Illinois’ elected leaders decided to do about it

Handed billions of dollars in federal pandemic relief, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly passed a budget that provides tax relief of $556 for the typical family. Most of it expires by this time next year.

Hooray?

While $556 is better than nothing, the changes mainly serve to let Pritzker air re-election ads touting his “relief plan.” He also made sure his largesse was noted through mandatory signs at grocery stores and on gas pumps.

A quick glance at the map shows Pritzker should be anything but proud. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, 33 states, including most of Illinois’ neighbor states, have made long-term changes to help grow their economies. They’ve implemented permanent, pro-growth reforms and tax relief for their residents and businesses.

Illinoisans already pay the second-highest property tax in the nation, live under the most units of local government, face the worst pension crisis in the nation and failed to recover 136,400 jobs lost to the pandemic. They need real relief, not gimmicks.

Read more here.

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Union Label

Illinois’ largest state worker union has a long history of demanding higher taxes. Now AFSCME is funding a state constitutional amendment campaign that will hike property taxes statewide.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees – the largest state worker union in Illinois – is funding a campaign that would guarantee a $2,100 property tax increase for homeowners if passed.

Records with the Illinois State Board of Elections show AFSCME has given at least $100,000 to the campaign supporting Amendment 1, which will be on the ballot Nov. 8.

Misleadingly framed as a “workers’ rights amendment,” Amendment 1 would prevent commonsense reforms to reduce homeowners’ tax burdens while giving government union leaders virtually limitless new ways to demand higher costs from taxpayers.

If it passes, Illinois’ trend of large annual property tax increases will likely grow faster than ever. Gov. J.B. Pritzker has failed to deliver on promised property tax relief during his term – the average family paid $1,913 more during his administration.

Plus, Amendment 1 would guarantee that family pays at least $2,149 in higher property tax bills during the next four years, no matter which politicians win this November or how well they try to follow through on any campaign promises to ease Illinoisans’ tax burdens.

More here.

Related:Illinois Teachers Unions back measure promising $2,149 property tax hike

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220

Most of the public comments voiced during Tuesday evening’s District 220 Board of Education meeting centered around inappropriate content contained in district libraries, and in Summer reading recommendations by staff.  Here is one example:

“Good evening, I’m (name), and I have a fourteen and a sixteen year old here in the District, and I recently became aware of books available in my school to my kids, which you have discussed.

They’re titled, ‘This Book Is Gay,’ and ‘Gender Queer.’ My opposition to these books has nothing to do with their LGBTQ content, but of their pornographic nature.  They discuss in detail how two men can pleasure each other, how to give a proper hand job, and a comic book cartoon demonstrating masturbation and oral sex between men.

These books have mature content that is considered R-rated and I consider X-rated, and I would be just as upset if these books with these pornographic images had heterosexual content as well. Perhaps that’s in the school library, I don’t know.

So, children’s brains gave not developed enough psychologically or emotionally to fully interpret this mature or only for adult content. Research has shown that exposure to pornography can impair a child’s developing brain, social interactions, emotional skills as well as impulse control issues up until their mid-twenties.

Our school libraries are not public libraries. Schools are supposed to be safe environments for our kids (exasperated sigh).

This pornographic content has no place in our schools. Our younger than seventeen age kids can’t go see an R-rated movie on their own, nor should they be allowed to check out these books without parental consent.

Why are these books even in our school libraries, because they’re award winning? Well, they’re not age appropriate, and that’s what we need in our schools. And who’s responsible for putting these books into our schools so our kids have access to them?

Speaking at the High School level I would like to see a system in place where parental consent is required to check out books that would be considered R-rated. And this needs to be a simple process for our kids.

We moved to Barrington in 2008 because of its conservative family values and D-220’s reputation of academic excellence. (Recording briefly cuts out) No parent would willingly send their children to school knowing it was not a safe place for them physically, socially or emotionally. Yet, my kids have access to pornography in school.

The sexualization of our children needs to stop. We need to preserve their childhood innocence. Please, (more static).  I’m losing trust in you.”

This person’s comments can be heard here.  All public comments begin here.

The entire meeting can be heard here.

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Property Taxation

A proposed change to the Illinois Constitution would effectively transfer power over taxpayer money to government worker unions. The trend of property tax hikes would likely grow even worse during the next four years.

It’s election season in Illinois, and politicians are running on the promise of property tax relief as usual, including every major candidate for governor.

Illinois’ property taxes are already the second-highest in the nation and a major reason taxpayers are fleeing to lower-tax states. That problem could be made worse on Nov. 8 when voters will be asked to decide the fate of Amendment 1, a tax hike disguised as a “workers rights amendment.”

The change would prevent commonsense reforms to reduce homeowners’ tax burdens while giving government union leaders virtually limitless new ways to demand higher costs from taxpayers. If it passes, Illinois’ trend of large annual property tax increases will likely grow faster than ever. Gov. J.B. Pritzker has failed to deliver on property tax relief during his term – the average family paid $1,913 more during his administration.

Amendment 1 would guarantee that family pays at least $2,149 in higher property tax bills over the next four years, no matter which politicians win this November or how well they try to follow through on their promises.

This is a conservative estimate, assuming the rapid growth of Illinois’ property tax burden holds steady. It’s likely property taxes would grow at an even faster rate, because Amendment 1 would give Illinois government unions unprecedented bargaining powers that don’t exist in any other state. Exactly how much faster is an open question.

Read on here.

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Pump Price

Price at the pump in Barrington this morning.

The average gallon of gas in Illinois has surpassed $5 a gallon, according to AAA. At $5.13 on average, Illinois is the only Midwest state over the $5 mark.

Regular gas and diesel in Illinois reached their highest recorded prices of $5.13 and $5.31 respectively on June 1. Record prices are taking their toll on businesses and consumers across the state.

Brett Retherford of Annawan, Illinois, drives 80 miles round trip to work daily.

“It affects your pocketbook every day. So, I don’t know how else to put it: It’s frustrating,” Retherford said.

Every state is reeling with elevated gas prices, but Illinois’ second-highest gas tax in the nation piles on to already soaring gas prices. Only six states have higher gas prices than Illinois.

“Gasoline is $1.05 more than it was on Feb. 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine,” AAA Illinois spokesperson Molly Hart wrote.

More here.

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Gas

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s campaign gimmick to delay his next gas tax increase assumes Illinois drivers have a short memory. One working mom says her $72 fill-up is a regular reminder of just how many taxes Pritzker has imposed.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s recent campaign ad features a guy in buffalo plaid at a gas pump claiming the six-month delay in the automatic gas tax hike “means relief for us, not for oil companies.”

There’s no mention of how Pritzker was the one who doubled the gas tax and built in the automatic annual increase he is delaying, but a working mom of three certainly remembers.

“I recall when Pritzker instituted the gas tax hikes in 2019 and we immediately saw prices jump 20 cents per gallon. Now I think they are up about 40 cents per gallon from when he took office. So $35 for a 16-gallon fill-up is now $72 for the same,” said Gina Williams, a working mom of three.

Pritzker doubled the state gas tax from 19 cents to 38 cents in 2019 as part of a $45 billion infrastructure plan that included plenty of pork projects. The increase also included inflation-based automatic gas tax increases every July 1, a tool which allows lawmakers to avoid unpopular votes to continually raise the gas tax.

The hike initially drove Illinois gas taxes to the No. 3 spot nationally from No. 10 less than a year after it was enacted. Continued hikes have bumped Illinois up to No. 2.

Worst of all, Pritzker’s ad fails to tell voters the gas taxes resume shortly after the election. Drivers face two automatic increases in 2023: the 2.2-cent increase delayed to Jan. 1 and then the regular automatic increase on July 1, 2023, projected to be 3.8 cents a gallon.

Read more here.

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Gov.-Pritzker-signing

Two bills on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk would spend $20 million to add license plate monitoring cameras to 6,600 miles of highways in 22 counties. Civil rights groups fret about abuse. Illinois State Police can’t say they increase safety.

Two bills on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk could expand Illinois highway camera monitoring program to cover 6,600 more miles of road across 22 counties as the General Assembly looks to crack down on expressway crime before November elections.

House Bill 260 and House Bill 448 – passed alongside 80 other proposals in the final day of the legislative session – would see the governor expand a license plate monitoring pilot program from Cook County to the rest of Illinois with $20 million in new funding.

The measure would add hundreds of new cameras while increasing the number of crimes the cameras can be used to investigate and number of parties who can prosecute them.

While lawmakers argue the bills could assist in the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed on state expressways, the Illinois State Police note they have been unable to quantify the number of crimes solved by the cameras during the Cook County pilot program.

Civil liberty groups opposed to the devices said there is a lack of transparency that leaves the program ripe for abuse. There is no information on how cameras are placed, there is a ban on drivers reviewing footage when charged with violations and there are requirements for law enforcement to delete video 120 days after recording – essentially destroying the evidence.

ISP spokesman Melaney Arnold said the agency would finalize and share camera locations only after the bill was signed into law. The new legislation notably excludes explicit guidance on which roadways would receive the additional monitoring.

More here.

Related:Highway camera expansion covering 6,600 miles of road in 22 counties awaits Pritzker’s signature

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