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Gov. JB Pritzker has lately won plaudits from even some conservative opinion-makers for making the right moves on corruption. But I am going to register an objection in a bit.

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The political muscle of ComEd/Exelon aced its last major test in 2016, when the energy companies finally passed what one Illinois House member referred to at the time as a "multibillion dollar corporate bailout" by electricity ratepayers to keep two of its nuclear power plants open.

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One of the provisions of the sweeping state pension reform law passed in 2010 has always stuck in the craw of first responders.

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You might have been asked recently to sign a petition to put a candidate on the ballot in 2020. It's that season and, though a truism, if good people don't run for office, democracy doesn't work. You ought to try running. Here's how.

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.

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Once upon a time, having a job at a newspaper meant working in one of the most imposing buildings in town, inhaling the acrid aroma of fresh ink and the dusty breath of cheap newsprint and feeling mini-earthquakes under our feet every time the presses started to roll. For those of us old eno…

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The governor's top budget people sent a memo last week to agency directors giving them a heads up about what will be required in their annual budget request submissions. They are not easy-peasy asks.

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Whatever else you may believe, you have to commend Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot for trying to live up to her campaign promise of making sure that new economic development isn't concentrated in her city's downtown business district.

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Adults, especially after the age of 30, seem to ask themselves lots of questions to determine if their lives are progressing satisfactorily. Looking back at old Massac Memos, I was doing that in 1983. The odd thing is that I am still asking the same question almost 40 years later.

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I am the first person to admit when discussions began about the Massac County Courthouse I was one of the people hoping the county would decide to build a new courthouse and the old one would get torn down. I had hoped the space would be developed into a nice, Superman-themed park, but that …

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The statement issued by Gov. JB Pritzker's office last Thursday night had some good advice for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who gave what was billed as a "State of the City" address earlier that evening. Lightfoot had outlined the challenges facing the city, including an $838 million budget…

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Although we cannot be sure exactly what occurred two, three or four thousand years ago, it is generally agreed that what we know as democracy, began in what is now Greece. And, even in hard times, the people of Greece still have a democratic government.

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As I mentioned in my last column, sometimes we all need to take a break from our everyday lives. I know when 2019 began I had hoped this would be a good year. Overall, it has been, but there have been some bumps along the way that have been stressful to deal with.

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When House Speaker Michael Madigan announced in February of 2018 that he'd fired Kevin Quinn, the brother of Madigan's alderman and political general, he said he made the decision because of Quinn's "inappropriate conduct" with Alaina Hampton, whom he called a "courageous woman." Hampton had…

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Many rural Midwest towns have become like my stereotype of Appalachia - main streets of mostly empty storefronts; lots of unskilled folks left behind, yearning for jobs "on the line" that are gone forever; too many single mothers struggling to make it on low-wage work, or welfare, lacking th…

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Gov. JB Pritzker signed the $45 billion infrastructure bill into law last week during a three-day fly-around to several Illinois cities.

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When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent res…

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"We are so proud of what we've been able to accomplish this first legislative session of ours," Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton told a TV interviewer earlier this month. "We said that we wanted to think big for the people of Illinois, we said that we wanted to get Springfield back on the track of …

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Back when this state was fairly well-run - meaning, before Illinois voters elected three anti-Springfield "populist" governors in a row - the general rule of thumb was that for every two dollars appropriated to K-12 education, higher education received one dollar.

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With my first legislative session in the General Assembly in the books, now is a good time to take a look back at what occurred, particularly in the final week of session.

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The governor and his top staff showed again last week that they can make things happen under the Statehouse dome.

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As the old saying goes, sometimes history has a way of repeating itself and after the May 20 Massac Unit One board meeting, it would certainly appear the board finds itself in the same situation it was about 20 years ago when it faced problems with aging buildings.

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The agricultural industry provides a variety of opportunities to professionals interested in this often misunderstood field.

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As the spring legislative session nears its end, I want to take a moment to look back on one of the scariest times of the year with the hope that one of you might recognize something and help bring a deranged person to justice.

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If you listen closely to what Democratic state Reps. Sam Yingling and Jonathan Carroll are saying in public about their opposition to Gov. J.B. Pritzker's graduated income tax proposal, they appear to believe that Pritzker's proposed tax rates aren't high enough.

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The Chicago Police Department reported last week that the number of people murdered in the city fell ten percent during the first four months of 2019 compared to last year during the same period.

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There's probably never a good time for a news story about how a source claims you, your wife and your brother-in-law are under federal investigation. But when that report is aired just days before what is likely the most consequential five weeks of your entire governorship, that's definitely…

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Sen. Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) spent more than a year holding hearings and overseeing negotiations which eventually produced SB1829, a massive omnibus bill on sexual harassment.

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Freshman Rep. Terra Costa Howard (D-Glen Ellyn) was reportedly none too pleased when Think Big Illinois began running TV ads in her district.

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We were quite surprised to see the press release sent to area media outlets last week regarding the new duties of Shawnee Community College (SCC) President Dr. Peggy Bradford effective June 15. The joint statement from her and the Board of Trustees stated the resignation was her idea and she…

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Things change in this old world — that’s just a given.  The print journalism industry has taken some knocks and changed a lot over the past 10 to 15 years.  I don’t think newspapers suffered right when the Internet became “a thing.”  But definitely after the introduction of Facebook and Twit…

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We were quite surprised to see the press release sent to area media outlets last week regarding the new duties of Shawnee Community College (SCC) President Dr. Peggy Bradford effective June 15. The joint statement from her and the Board of Trustees stated the resignation was her idea and she…

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Things change in this old world -- that's just a given. The print journalism industry has taken some knocks and changed a lot over the past 10 to 15 years. I don't think newspapers suffered right when the Internet became "a thing." But definitely after the introduction of Facebook and Twitte…

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Are things getting worse, or better? That question bedevils me of late. I say worse, though I will note below that other respected sources say better.

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Now that the Ohio River levels are hopefully continuing to drop and the worst of the flooding appears to be over, local officials can take stock in the things that went well and things that did not go so well and plan for the next time.

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Both Illinois State Senator Dale Fowler and Illinois State Representative Patrick Windhorst voted against Senate Bill 1 due to the effects it could have on small business owners and

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Both Illinois State Senator Dale Fowler and Illinois State Representative Patrick Windhorst voted against Senate Bill 1 due to the effects it could have on small business owners and

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Based on what I hear from atop my perch in rural central Illinois, I worry that my farmer friends may become but serfs to Big Agriculture. That is, farmers provide the labor, soils and risk in service to a very few global chemical and other ag companies. The farmers must buy their inputs fro…

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We’ve known for weeks now that the FBI recorded Chicago Alderman Ed Burke’s mobile phone conversations over a period of eight months, listening in on 9475 calls. And then we discovered that the feds had wired up Chicago Alderman Danny Solis during his own conversations with Burke.

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Twenty-nineteen is the golden anniversary of the last Illinois Constitutional Convention, in 1969. This year also notes the half-century mark in elected office for Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, whose served as a delegate to the convention.

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This past week, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) proposed doubling 2019-20 state school funding, from $8 billion to almost $16 billion, the equivalent of raising the individual income tax rate from 5 to 7 percent. Should the money be available, which it won’t be, the challenge wo…