Environmentalists are following U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) on the campaign trail this week to counter his "Illinois First" bus tour message.
NextGen Climate Illinois is showing up at Kirk's campaign stops as part of its own bus tour, called "Kirk First." The environmental group wants to hold "Senator Kirk accountable for his actions" and show "voters how he puts his own self interests above those of Illinois."
"Despite what he'd like constituents to believe, Senator Kirk has shown that he does not put 'Illinois First,'" NextGen Climate Illinois spokeswoman Katie Cronin said in a statement. "He has voted to protect tax breaks for Big Oil and has voted to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon pollution. It is clear that Senator Kirk does what he thinks he has to do to get re-elected at the expense of the people of Illinois."
A financial transaction tax would help Wall Street work for Main Street, experts at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute (EPI) argue in a new report.
In light of the Democratic Party endorsing a financial transaction tax in its platform, EPI's report details how much revenue such a policy could raise, putting the figure anywhere between $110 billion to $403 billion annually.
The tax would impose a small levy on trades of stocks, bonds, derivatives and other financial transactions.
With the state budget stalemate nearing the one-year mark, former Illinois Republican Gov. Jim Edgar made a plea Tuesday for "civility," "compromise" and "compassion" in Springfield.
Speaking in Chicago, Edgar said the "best public policy comes out of compromise," explaining that "you can't get things done if you're not willing to meet your adversaries halfway."
"We ought to have checks and balances, but we shouldn't have shouting matches," he added at the "Illinois: Vision for the Future" event, hosted by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform at the Standard Club.
Edgar, who became governor in 1991 and served two terms, said Illinois is currently in the "worst shape" he seen over the 50 years he's been around state government.
"We have so many people out there hurting because government's not solving the problem," he stressed.
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) won the Oregon primary against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, beating the alleged party favorite 56 percent to 44 percent. Sanders narrowly lost the primary in Kentucky, where Independents were not allowed to vote, with the divide between winner and loser being less than 2,000 votes.
Sanders' continued wins -- he has triumphed over Clinton in 20 states -- reinforces the arguments of some who say the presidential process has been rigged in the favor of the former Secretary of State from the start.
State Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) says she is hopeful a bipartisan committee of state lawmakers will have a budget proposal ready to present soon.
Bellock is a member of the budget working group, which was reportedly formed by the governor and is meeting daily. She spoke Monday afternoon at a City Club of Chicago discussion on the Illinois budget. Three other state lawmakers were on the City Club of Chicago panel, including state Sens. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) and Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and state Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills).
The budget working group, Bellock said, is comprised of "budgeteers from all the different (appropriation) committees." The group is "trying to come up with" a budget proposal and is working on "line item after line item after line item," she explained.