Archive for the ‘Look For The Union Label’ Category

1525 S Grove

1525 South Grove Avenue

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. Topics on their agenda include:

  • Consideration to Approve 2024-25 Academic Calendar
  • Consideration and Approval of Settlement of Altria Group Portion of Vaping Litigation.
  • Consideration that the Board approve and authorize the Superintendent or designee to sign the purchase and sale agreement for real estate for purchase of 1525 S. Grove Avenue, Unit 103, Barrington, Illinois, in substantially the form presented to the Board and further authorize the Board president, secretary, Superintendent or designees, and the Board attorney to prepare and execute all documents necessary to effectuate the purchase.
  • BHS Course Offerings, and
  • Fine and Performing Arts Presentation

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will be live-streamed on the district YouTube channel.

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A horse on Lori Brock’s farm jumps in the air while wearing a shirt that says ‘I say neigh to Gotion.’ Photo: Lori Brock | Contributed photo

A Michigan nonprofit organization intends to sue a Chinese company that is planning to build a battery plant in Illinois.

The Mecosta Environmental and Security Alliance is hoping to stop the construction of a proposed electric vehicle battery plant by Gotion, Incorporated near Big Rapids, Michigan. With the help of millions of dollars in state and federal tax credits, Gotion plans to build a similar plant in Manteno, Illinois.

Related:Emerging scandal: Why are we giving $8 billion to Chinese company with CCP ties to build a $2 billion IL battery factory?,” Federal taxpayers will fund billions more than actual cost of Illinois battery plant to be owned by Chinese company with alleged CCP ties,” “Hefty Illinois tax incentive package helps lure Chinese EV battery plant

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IL Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Gotion High-Tech Chairman Li Zhen at the Sept. 8 announcement of The Illinois – Gotion deal

Some politicians are taking notice of the absurdity of subsidizing a Chinese technology company, Gotion. The electric vehicle battery maker is linked to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and it recently inked a deal with the State of Illinois to build a $2 billion plant in Illinois.

However, the insane size of the subsidies being granted remains to be recognized.

On Wednesday, two members of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party wrote to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, imploring her and Congress to take immediate action to stop the CCP from exploiting U.S. taxpayer dollars.

The letter from committee Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Rep. John Moolenaar (R-MI) specifically addressed a very similar Gotion battery production project in Michigan, and the same issues apply to the Illinois project.

The letter documents connections between Gotion and the CCP:

Gotion High-Tech Co. is a PRC company that has direct ties to the CCP and state-owned financial institutions. Gotion has been an active participant in the PRC-based version of the “Thousands Talent Program,” a program the FBI itself says encourages theft of trade secrets and economic espionage. Gotion has established multiple “Communist Party Units” within its operations and has publicly sought PRC provincial government support for its desire to expand its operations overseas. Even when courting major Western investment, Gotion has been adamant about retaining PRC-based control, including requiring that Volkswagen give up part of its voting rights, despite Volkswagen acquiring over 25 percent of the company. [Footnotes omitted.]

“It is perplexing,” says the letter, that the U.S. government would perpetuate China’s domination of key technology “by actively supporting CCP-backed companies expanding their foothold in the U.S. market, especially in a crucial sector such as lithium-ion battery manufacturing.”

Perplexing, indeed.

Read more here.

Related: Federal taxpayers will fund billions more than actual cost of Illinois battery plant to be owned by Chinese company with alleged CCP ties,” “Hefty Illinois tax incentive package helps lure Chinese EV battery plant

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JB China

State of Illinois tax incentives exceeding half a billion dollars are a comparatively small part of taxpayer money that will go to Gotion, Inc. for an electric vehicle (EV) battery factory in Illinois.

Through federal tax credits alone, which so far are going mostly unreported, Gotion will be paid billions more than its construction costs.

In other words, taxpayers will be paying many times over the cost of a new factory they will not own.

It will be owned, instead, by Gotion, and Gotion is widely reported to have close connections to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Here are the details:

Governor JB Pritzker announced the state’s deal with Gotion on Friday for construction of the project in Manteno, southwest of Chicago. The plant is expected to cost $2 billion and employ 2,600 workers. Gotion’s total incentive package from the State of Illinois is valued at $536 million, according to Pritzker’s announcement. In addition, Kankakee County agreed to cap property taxes paid on the approximately 150-acre property at $2 million per year for the next 30 years.

The state incentive package alone, exceeding $206,000 per worker, is exceptionally high in comparison to typical plant-siting location incentives around the nation other than battery factories. “The average incentive deal in the U.S. might be around US$50,000 per job,” although it’s not unusual for highly capital-intensive projects to receive incentives of over US$100,000 per job.” That’s according to senior economist at the WE Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, quoted in the Financial Times.

However, those subsidies are dwarfed by huge federal tax credits now being lavished on new battery producers under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which devoted $783 billion to global warming and green energy spending. President Biden recently admitted that the act was not about inflation reduction. It has been heavily criticized as climate extremism.

Under that law, owners of new EV battery plants get tax credits based on the production capacity of the plant, and those credits have been massive, often in the billions of dollars per plant.

One group closely researching the subsidies is GJF, Good Jobs First, a worker-oriented policy group in Washington, D.C. Their July report details the credits for recent battery plant announcements.

The tax “credit alone is large enough to cover each facility’s initial capital investment cost and wage bill for the first several years of production,” the group found.

Read much more here.

Related:Illinois lands Chinese EV battery plant as Pritzker, Duckworth seek more deals with Asian companies,” “Hefty Illinois tax incentive package helps lure Chinese EV battery plant

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Union Label

A total of 177 Illinois state employees have been determined to have obtained Paycheck Protection Program loans based on falsified information. That’s according to the Office of Executive Inspector General, which put the dollar amount of fraud found “so far” at $4.5 million.

The OEIG released the report Tuesday. The summary shows 132 Department of Human Services employees, 25 Department of Children and Family Services employees, eight Department of Healthcare and Family Services employees, four Department of Employment Security employees, three employees each from the Department of Public Health and Department of Veterans’ Affairs and one at each of the Department of Revenue and the Department of Natural Resources have been identified “so far.”

“To date, the improper loans identified in these founded reports total more than $4.5 million in public funds,” the report said. “The OEIG’s PPP investigation project remains ongoing. These numbers do not reflect a final total of OEIG founded reports or a final total for any particular agency.”

Illinois’ OEIG investigation was initiated in 2022 to examine whether employees with the state of Illinois abused the federal taxpayer-funded program. PPP was instituted at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 to assist businesses in keeping employees paid when state governments across the country limited economic activity in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus.

Read more here.

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“Every fall the Board of Education selects its priorities for the upcoming school year. At the Sept. 5 meeting, Board members approved six priorities for the 2023-24 school year. Each priority aligns with the district’s six strategic priorities that were developed as part of Barrington 220’s strategic plan, Framework 220.

The priorities include:

  • Personalized Learning
  • Future Readiness
  • Inclusive Education
  • Health & Well-being
  • Community Partnerships & Communication
  • Stewardship

Within each priority, there are measurable objectives. This school year the district is focusing on one or two objectives in each priority. “

Click here to learn more about each priority and objective.

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220 Admin

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. Topics on their agenda include:

  • Approve Settlement (Abeyance) Agreement with Student A.
  • Consideration to Approve 2023-24 Board Priorities
  • First Reading of Board Policy, and
  • Additional Uses of Mobile Board Meeting System

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will be live-streamed on the district YouTube channel.

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First lady Jill Biden

An Illinois grassroots nonprofit organization is sounding off on the Biden administration’s economic policies.

First Lady Jill Biden paid a visit to Chicago Wednesday to talk to unions and about “Bidenomics,” a political slogan coined for President Joe Biden’s economic agenda.

“President Biden and I understand the middle class because we are from the middle class,” she said during an appearance at the McCormick Center.

The president and first lady have been crisscrossing the country trying to sell the policies to Americans.

Jason Hefley, Illinois State director for Americans for Prosperity, said with the Biden administration spending more and Illinoisans earning less, the past two years of this administration have been detrimental for Illinois families.

“While they’re patting themselves on the back, they really need to be talking to the hard-working families of Illinois and the country about the real pressures they are facing at the gas station, at the grocery store and buying a home,” said Hefley.

Many apparently are not sold when it comes to the state of the economy or Biden’s performance.

The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll, conducted in conjunction with Noble Predictive Insights, found that 49% of voters say Biden is not a strong leader compared to 36% who say the opposite. The survey also found that 49% say Biden does not have the judgment to serve effectively, while 40% say he does. The survey also found that a solid majority of 66% of those surveyed say the country is headed in the wrong direction and slightly over half, 54%, disapprove of the job Biden is doing.

In a recent poll by the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, just 36% of Americans approve of the president’s handling of the economy.

Read more here.

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The new report published by Headset found Illinoisans are paying 89% more for the average cannabis item than the rest of the nation. Researchers attribute the high prices to stifled competition.

A new report found Illinois has some of the highest cannabis prices in the country, with the most expensive item prices among states studied.

The study published by Headset found Illinoisans pay 89% more on average for cannabis products than the rest of the U.S. market.

Despite the high prices, researchers said the state captured $950 million in total cannabis sales from January through June of 2023. They noted sales growth has declined rapidly since legalization, with just a 2% increase in demand in the first half of this year compared to the same period a year earlier. They said that was likely to get worse with Missouri legalizing recreational weed.

As of June 2023, Illinois is the third-largest cannabis market in the U.S., trailing only Michigan and California.

While the report found cannabis product prices are slowly falling with time, Headset researchers concluded Illinois’ existing high cannabis prices likely stem from a lack of competition.

Researchers said a small number of brands are operating in the market and there’s a high degree of vertical integration. The report found 68% of total state sales came from just 10 brands. Illinois has few retailers compared to other states, but 55 new retail licenses should improve the market.

Illinoisans pay the second-highest taxes in the nation to buy recreational marijuana, which pushes consumers to other states and unregulated sellers.

Read more here.

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