Senate Republicans have consistently said raising taxes would hurt consumers and could have a deadly effect on job-creation at a time when Illinois is already suffering from some of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Republicans also point out that any tax increase, without core reforms to state government, will only offer temporary relief and lead to even more tax hikes in the future.
FIGHTING CORRUPTION AT METRA
On July 28, a Senate Committee met in Chicago to discuss Metra – Chicago and suburban Chicago’s commuter rail system – after an internal Metra investigation revealed serious financial abuses and misconduct by the organization’s former executive director. During the hearing, lawmakers, local officials and Metra administrators agreed that an inspector general must be installed to investigate corruption at Metra.
A similar independent inspector general will be established at the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority under legislation that was signed into law this week. The Toll Highway Authority had long been considered to be fraught with political patronage and “pay-to-play” deals.
Metra Chairman Carole Doris noted that Metra authorities have employed a temporary security firm to conduct internal investigations until a permanent inspector general is hired. Though Metra had planned to hire an inspector general, authorities were receptive to working with involved parties on how the position should best be filled.