Change is hard

The CU Fresh Start program requires a lot more than good intentions.

A discussion about the Fresh Start program before the Champaign City Council last week raised more questions than it answered.

Double trouble

Illinois is a state that seems incapable of learning from its mistakes.

Two bits of recent bad news — one a surprise and the other not at all — are a useful reminder why Illinois' economy is in bad shape and, absent a rising national economic tide that lifts all states, won't improve anytime soon.

Balanced budget deep in the red

Gov. Bruce Rauner has been cast by legislators in the villain's role on the budget issue.

A couple months ago — after the big budget battle between the state's Republican governor and the Democratic Legislature — House Speaker Michael Madigan claimed victory.

Garden State's benefit stream

A U.S. senator had a corrupt relationship with a longtime donor and friend. But was it illegal?

The corruption trial of Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., hasn't received much national media attention.

Whoopee, we're not New Jersey

Illinois ranks near the bottom on all measures of fiscal health, according to a new report.

Everyone who's been paying attention knows that the state of the state's finances is dire.

But the Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia adds some discouraging details in its voluminous report "Ranking the States by Fiscal Condition 2017 Edition."

Not giving nominees the slip

The U.S. Senate and politics continue to prevent judges from taking the bench.

There's so much political acrimony going on in Washington these days — President Donald Trump squabbling with his opponent of the day — that one of the biggest and best fights has largely been hidden from view.

Falling by the wayside

First, the field was growing. Now it's starting to thin.

Many people probably didn't know that Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar was running for the Democratic Party's nomination for governor until they heard about his announcement that he's dropping out of the campaign.

Go Heels!

After a "Hail Mary" legal win over the NCAA, coaches and players on the North Carolina basketball team can look forward to the upcoming season with a renewed sense of optimism.

Vermilion County's most generous friend

Even among exceptional people, Lou Mervis stood out as an exception.

With the death of Danville businessman and philanthropist Lou Mervis, the Vermilion County community has lost one of its best and most generous friends.

Soda tax flop

How much is too much?

It's not always obvious when our elected officials cross the line that separates public dismay from public outrage.