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Quick Hit
by Progress Illinois
Tue Dec 13, 2011

Op-Ed: Corporations Wield Power Over Illinois Legislature

The following is a statement from Make Wall Street Pay Illinois on the passage of SB 397.

Make Wall Street Pay Illinois is deeply disappointed in the State Senate’s action today and we call on Governor Pat Quinn to veto this fundamentally flawed piece of legislation. SB 397 is a corporate welfare bill that sends Illinois’ budget priorities in the exact wrong direction.

To add insult to injury, CME Group and other large corporations demonstrated that they have the power to convene the entire state legislature. The only reason the General Assembly met yesterday and today was to pass this tax break. Do such massive corporate interests have more power than Speaker Mike Madigan, Senator John Cullerton or Governor Pat Quinn? The laid-off teachers, fire-fighters and social service providers deserve urgent attention but do not call the legislature when things did not go their way in the legislature.

Quick Hit
by Progress Illinois
Mon Dec 12, 2011

Op-Ed: Passage Of CME Tax Break Fuels Growing Income Inequality, Ignores Voice Of The 99%

The following is from Keith Kelleher, president of SEIU* Healthcare Illinois and Indiana, on the passage of the tax break package passed by the Illinois House earlier today.

By granting a large tax break today to one of Illinois’ most prosperous companies, the Illinois House has concentrated more wealth in the hands of the rich, even as average workers are literally taking to the streets to decry growing income inequality.

While we applaud the House for passing a separate bill that expands the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-wage households, the benefits of this measure are eclipsed by the magnitude of the tax breaks lawmakers approved for the state’s corporate heavyweights. For every one dollar in tax breaks the House has given to workers struggling to propel themselves out of poverty, it has doled out nearly two dollars to corporations.

PI Original
by Progress Illinois
Mon Dec 5, 2011

TIF Abuse Buoys Downtown Fat Cats, As Neighborhoods Suffer (VIDEO)

Grassroots Collaborative offers a look at the "gross misuse" of tax increment financing funds in Chicago's downtown area, explaining how it comes at the expense of some already-struggling neighborhoods.

Quick Hit
by Aaron Krager
Mon Nov 21, 2011

Occupy Chicago Holds Breadline Over CME Tax Break (VIDEO)

Occupy Chicago participants formed a breadline Friday afternoon to protest budget cuts and proposed legislation aimed at giving tax breaks to large corporations. The Illinois General Assembly is expected to vote on Senate bill 405 next week, a measure that would provide massive tax cuts totaling more than $100 million for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE).  The bill comes in a time of economic turmoil with the state facing an $8 billion budget deficit in the upcoming year, according to the Civic Federation.

PI Original
by Matthew Blake
Fri Nov 11, 2011

Unfinished Business: A Veto Session Roundup

The Illinois General Assembly’s 2011 veto session was supposed to end Thursday, but an extra day – November 29 – was tacked on after an impasse on big tax break legislation for financial exchanges.

PI Original
by David Milton Brent
Thu Nov 10, 2011

As Corporate Tax Break Package Expands, So Does Opposition

The Illinois state legislature this week is debating several versions of a tax break package aimed at incentivizing corporations to remain in Illinois. Community groups have responded with strong opposition to aspects of the current plan.