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The [Friday] Papers

"The passage of a state budget won't answer all the questions nonprofits have, particularly those whacked by the two-year budget impasse," Crain's reports.

"How are they going to pay everybody?" said Merri Ex, CEO of Family Focus, which recently received enough funds from the state comptroller's office to delay planned layoffs and program cessations. "It'll take a long time before (the state) catches up."

If ever. Think of the devastation wrought by one man's maniacal pursuit of changing workman's comp rules to award injured workers less money.

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"Ex pointed to court orders for payments: On June 30, U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow ordered the state to pay $586 million a month in Medicaid payments. Another federal court order mandates payments to Family Focus and other social-services agencies that have contracts with the Department of Children & Family Services. Ex also is wary of contracts not backed by appropriations. 'Even though it's in the budget, is the money there?' she said. 'The takeaway is, people don't feel secure. They just don't.'"

Passage of a state budget may be the end of the governor's evisceration of social services, but the beginning of a new, tough slog.

"The state owes about $5 million, for example, to Lutheran Child and Family Services of River Forest. Earlier this year, the agency laid off 100 staffers, or 25 percent of its workforce, and shut down nine programs. CEO Mike Bertrand is doubtful that the budget will help the agency restore the programs or rehire the workers. The agency has signed about $24 million in state contracts for fiscal 2018, Bertrand said."

For example. Extrapolate at will.

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Taxing Narrative
"Rauner had invited news cameras to a tavern in Chicago's Hegewisch neighborhood, where he was joined by local businesspeople who complained about high property taxes. Rauner took the opportunity to rail against Madigan 'and his subordinates' for 'using leverage of suffering' to raise taxes," the Tribune reported.

Comment from our very own Tim Willette: "This stuff always drives me nuts. Cut people's taxes in half and you'll still find people who say they pay too much. The question should be what does the government do that benefits you directly that you would be willing to give up in exchange for a tax cut? Everything else is just selfishness. I don't have kids, therefore we shouldn't spend any money on schools. Etc."

Indeed. The media's framing doesn't help - it's almost wholly focused on taxes going up (and going up to a slightly less rate than the state imposed when Bruce Rauner took office; and a rate that is the same for you as it is for Ken Griffin) instead of the restoration of basic government services. For example, you won't find headlines that say "Agreement Reached To Fund State Government." But that's essentially what just happened.

Tim: And I'm assuming that 4.95% is not a top rate but the only rate, meaning short the personal deduction the janitor at Rauner's company pays the same rate that he does. And he's complaining?

Steve: Indeed, it's the only rate. Illinois, astonishingly, has a flat tax, the wet dream of the likes of Steve Forbes and Jack Kemp. Also, people have so little context. Property taxes in Chicago are not that high, relatively speaking, and when you look at income tax rates for states throughout the Midwest, Illinois is a bargain.

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Also:

+1 except most of their articles are bad.

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Via Politico Illinois:

Income tax hike: package would increase the state's personal income tax from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent and corporate income tax from 5.25 percent to 7 percent.

That hike in the corporate income tax rate, along with the closing of some corporate loopholes, is getting underplayed amidst the focus on personal income tax rates.

How it affects you: The Daily Herald's Jamie Sotonoff breaks down the impact if the budget passes:
  • A single person who earns $34,000 a year would pay an additional $382 a year.
  • A family of three making $75,000 a year would pay an additional $822 a year.
  • A family of four earning $150,000 a year would pay an additional $1,695 a year.
  • A 66-year-old retiree who has $5,000 in taxable earnings plus Social Security and pension income, which are not taxed in Illinois, would pay an additional $22 a year.

Among neighboring states, Wisconsin's graduated income tax ranges from 4 percent to 7.65 percent, Indiana's is 3.23 percent, Iowa's ranges from 0.36 percent to 8.98 percent, Missouri's is 1.5 percent to 6 percent, and Kentucky's is 2 percent to 6 percent, according to the Tax Foundation.

See, progressive taxation goes lower as well as higher.

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Morality Play
"The trajectory we are on right now is immoral. We have to have a budget," said state Rep. Michael Unes, one of 10 House Republicans (and one Senate Republican) to break with the governor and vote for the budget. "For me today, right here, right now, this is the sword that I'm willing to die on. And if it costs me my seat, so be it."

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The Leads
"After more than two years of political sparring, missed payments to creditors and plunging credit ratings, Illinois did on Thursday what most states do every year. It finished a budget."

- The New York Times

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"The Illinois House voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's vetoes of a budget package, giving the state its first spending blueprint in more than two years and ending the nation's longest fiscal stalemate since at least the Great Depression."

- AP

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"Seeking to restore stability to a state government teetering on the abyss, lawmakers on Thursday turned aside Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's opposition to a major income tax increase and a spending plan, ending a record-setting impasse.

"Illinois had gone 736 days without a budget, and the final seven packed in plenty of statehouse drama. Tempers flared, threats were issued, alliances shifted. A surprise tax hike vote over a long holiday weekend was met with a quick veto by a governor who'd dug in his heels. Lawmakers, though, stood their ground, with members of both parties coming together long enough to override.

"Even that final vote was not without delay, however, as the Capitol was locked down for two hours after a hazardous materials team went in to test white powder that was thrown into the reception area of the governor's office.

"Tests proved negative, even as a woman was taken in for questioning after being handcuffed. When the session got underway, House Speaker Michael Madigan's Democrats were joined by about one-fifth of House Republicans, who broke ranks with Rauner. As a result, the state income tax rate will rise from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent, costing an extra $1,200 a year for a family with a net income of $100,000."

- Chicago Tribune

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Budget Twitter:

Assignment Desk: Interview those siblings.

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Beachwood Photo Booth: Elvis At The Golden Nugget
Window dressing.

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Elite Public Schools Fail The Diversity Test
Including Payton.

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Bill Graham's Rock Revolution
At the Illinois Holocaust Museum. Really.

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Corn Kings & One-Horse Thieves
A plain-spoken history of mid-Illinois.

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Beachwood Sports Radio: Highway To Cubs Hell
Hangover City, with special guest Andrew Reilly. Plus: The White Sox Are The Cleveland Browns; The Bulls Got Ripped Off, Man!; Meet Your 2019 Stanley Cup Champions!; Greatest Bears Game Ever Coming This Christmas Eve!; and Schweinsteiger!

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The Week In Chicago Rock
Is in pre-production.

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BeachBook

In The World's Best Economy, Housing Prices Are Falling - Because That's What Housing Prices Are Supposed To Do.

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Extreme Wealth Is Bad For Everyone - Especially The Wealthy.

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TweetWood
A sampling.

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The Beachwood Tronc Line: Bag it.



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Posted on July 7, 2017


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock Including Riot Fest Highlights.
TV - 24 Hours With WYCC.
POLITICS - Wolfpack vs. Obama.
SPORTS - Joe Maddon's Magical Mystery Tour.

BOOKS - Why Al-Qaeda Is Still Strong.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Beachwood Photo Booth: Mural Man.


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