Columns

Columns

Jim Dey | State report: Illinois' economy is strong, rife with problems

If circumstances turn sour in 2020 — as some economists predict — state government could be in deep financial trouble.

Those are among the conclusions contained in a February report by the state's Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.

Jim Dey | Is injury caused by prison baking machine 'cruel and unusual punishment'?

Under the category of "Marks, Scars and Tattoos," the state prison inmates' website description of Joel Jackson states, "None recorded."

If Illinois corrections department officials would take a second look, they'd notice Jackson has four fingers missing from his right hand.

Real Talk | Democrats, the rise of reparations and universalism

Since emancipation, reparationists have struggled to place compensation for enslavement and subsequent racial oppression on the country's agenda.

George Will | So, Schultz would spoil splendor of party duopoly?

WASHINGTON — As an upbeat Howard Schultz tucked into lunch here recently, he was having a good week because Democrats were having an awful one. The former Starbucks CEO, who is contemplating a plunge into politics, knows that his narrow path to the presidency as an independent depends on the Democratic Party becoming as offensive as the Republican Party has become.

Jim Dey | With election recently over, tax campaign in its infancy

Gov. J.B. Pritzker had two calendar dates in mind when he presented his recent budget address to Illinois legislators.

The first — July 1 — is just around the corner. It's the date when what Pritzker calls his$39 billion "bridge" budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year takes effect.

Dan McCaleb | Illinois facing jobs crisis with latest policy initiatives

With no warning, an Illinois community learned this week it is losing almost 1,400 jobs.

Is the decision by Fiat Chrysler to lay off 1,371 workers at its plant in Belvidere in north central Illinois the result of hurtful policy positions by freshman Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Democratic supermajorities in the General Assembly?

Scott Reeder | Detailing one journalist's sacrifice for truth

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." — Edmund Burke

SPRINGFIELD — Michael Leathers is a good man who did something.

And it cost him his job.

Back in 2002, he was the editor of Illinois Baptist, a newspaper covering Southern Baptist congregations across the Land of Lincoln.

Jim Dey | Academic paper: 'Crisis' is wrong way to go on pension issue

Gov. J.B. Pritzker last week presented a complicated, comprehensive $39 billion budget proposal to the General Assembly.

Jim Dey | Close call on inmate's sentence draws judicial ire

Stung by judicial criticism of its allegedly unprofessional handling of a Champaign County inmate's appeal, the Office of the State Appellate Defender has not yet decided how it will respond.

"We just basically don't know what we're going to do. We're still digesting the opinion," said John McCarthy, the deputy defender in charge of the Springfield office.

Jim Dey | Slim margin for error in Pritzker's guesswork budget

When new Gov. J.B. Pritzker appeared before legislators last week to deliver his $39 billion budget proposal, reaction to it was, unsurprisingly, delivered along partisan lines.

Majority Democrats embraced Pritzker's spending plan while minority Republicans didn't see much in it to like.

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