A dash for cash

Legislative furlough days have gone the way of the dinosaur.

Illinois' fiscal hard times are not at an end — unfortunately, they're not even at the beginning of the end.

A campaign is not a garden party

Elections ought not to be about discord, but they should be about differences.

It's nice — in the sense of reassuring — that the local Democratic and Republican candidates for the Illinois House of Representatives are promising to run a positive election campaign.

But "nice" can be interpreted in more than one way.

School funding formula has to go

The state's school funding formula is a perversion of the concept of helping those most in need.

Considering that the longest journey begins with but one step, proposed legislation revising the state's K-12 school aid formula made remarkable progress in the recently completed session of the General Assembly.

A race for clerk?

Did the Democrats get their man?

Since it's always better for voters to have a choice, congratulations are due to local Democrats for finding a challenger for incumbent Republican Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten.

Profit shortfall

Unkept promises have the private managers of the state lottery in trouble.

The Illinois State Lottery makes a lot of money, but not as much as its private-sector managers promised when they won a state contract to take over the program four years ago.

As a consequence, there's talk among legislators about what action, if any, they should take.

Taliban trade complicated issue

President Obama is standing by a decision he made to trade hostages with the Taliban.

Although the release of an American soldier held hostage by the Taliban was initially cast as an Obama administration triumph, it's quickly become an intensely controversial issue raising a number of difficult subjects.

Term limits still a go

Collecting the 300,000 signatures necessary to put a state constitutional amendment on the ballot is a tough slog.

One of two game-changing state constitutional amendments has passed muster with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

But big hurdles remain before a proposal to limit the terms of state legislators is put before the voters.

A sorry spectacle

Illinois legislators are running for re-election and running from tough decisions.

Risk-averse legislators staggered out of Springfield over the weekend, having passed a budget plan that calls for spending $35.7 billion but leaving open the question of how it will be funded.

VA secretary exits the stage

The resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki is only a first step.

When the Washington, D.C., scalp hunters focus on a target, they almost always claim their prize.

No problem

There's nothing wrong with rejecting solutions to non-problems.

It's not often that government deserves praise for what it doesn't do. But kudos to members of the Champaign Park Board for turning their backs on what's apparently a trend in Illinois and across the country — banning smoking in open-air, public places.

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