Ill. Policy Institute: Jake Gets Out of Jail‏

Going Nuclear
What a difference five years makes. Back then, when Republicans were toying with the notion of ramming a bill through Congress, it was a “naked power grab” and a constitutional crisis. Today, however, such a move is apparently okey-dokey. You can watch the painful evidence by clicking on the video above.

Spend, Then Tax, Then Repeat
“Illinois government,” the Chicago Tribune reported yesterday, “is staring down the barrel of an explosive financial mess.” Indeed. In a few weeks, Governor Quinn will release his 2011 budget—and he’s dropping hints that a large tax hike could be involved.

On Tuesday, our executive vice president Kristina Rasmussen testified at the state Capitol, spelling out common-sense ways to tackle our budget woes without raising taxes. You can read her testimony here.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget launched, a website that allows Illinois residents to provide feedback that “will be used to shape the state’s fiscal year 2011 budget.” Log on and make your voice heard…and stay tuned for our comprehensive alternative budget proposal, launching in mid-March.

Doing Time? I’m Having the Time of My Life!
Remember when Jake got out of jail in “The Blues Brothers,” and he had to have his brother Elwood pick him up in an old, beat-up police car? My, how times have changed. According to, the state Department of Corrections spent $604,711.55 on travel expenses for paroled and discharged prisoners. You can learn more here…or visit What will you uncover?

Stop! In the Name of…Money?
There are at least 853 red light cameras in Illinois, with seemingly more being put up every day. The stated motivation for the cameras has always been public safety. However, many studies now show red light cameras cause an increase in accidents instead of preventing them. In his latest article, Brian Costin explains that once the rhetoric is stripped away, it is clear red light camera programs are not about safety–and all about revenue.

Copyright Publius Forum 2001