Deep Blue News

/Deep Blue News/

Poll Shows Majority Of Illinois Voters Oppose Tax Hikes

A new poll shows that most registered voters in Illinois want to close the state’s $4 billion budget gap through spending cuts rather than tax increases, and more than half want to see public pensions cut to address the deficit. The pension problem has been enduring.  Illinois is barely able to pay its employees - firemen, police, park workers and so forth - their pensions. It owns a $30 billion debt. MarketWatch says it has the worst pension reform situation in the nation. Senators have been creating and eliminating plans for years. Toni Preckwinkle suggested a sales tax; Bruce Rauner wants to cut pension benefits. Politicians remain undecided. Meanwhile,  a poll produced by Americans for Prosperity of Illinois surveyed 600 registered Illinois voters. Sixty-six percent called for state-spending to be cut while only 15% - not even a third of the people surveyed - proposed raising taxes. Four percent elected [...]

By |2016-02-09T17:07:54-06:00February 9th, 2016|English Articles|Comments Off on Poll Shows Majority Of Illinois Voters Oppose Tax Hikes

How Many Millionaires in Illinois?

  Illinois ranks No. 20 in the nation for the number of millionaires per capita according to the recent Phoenix Marketing report. The Phoenix Global Wealth Monitor (PMI) that released this report provides annual estimates of affluent ($1000k + in investible assets) and high net worth ($1mm + in investable assets) households throughout the nation. This year marks the first time that America has over 1 million Pentamillionaire (or households with $5mm + in investible assets) . The number of Pentamillionaire households grew up 18,000 up from last year’s 926,000. Illinois increased by 13,796 from 2014 to 280,266 in 2015.  It decreased by 4,000 between 2013 and 2014. Few other states relinquished their rankings. The following are the top 10 states (percentages based on rate of millionaires per state population): Maryland (7.7%) Connecticut (7.3%) Hawaii (7.25%) New Jersey (7.24%) Alaska (6.85%) Massachusetts (6.8%) New Hampshire (6.8%) Virginia (6.7%) Delaware (6.4%) [...]

By |2016-02-09T17:05:56-06:00February 5th, 2016|English Articles|Comments Off on How Many Millionaires in Illinois?

Still No Budget for Illinois but Pension Deal Back in the News

    Illinois politicians are still vacillating on their budget. Meanwhile, Gov. Bruce Rauner and Senate President John Cullerton have shaken hands on pension reform legislation, and that bill is now being drafted. Let’s hope. Because pension bills in the past have run the gauntlet of controversy and opposition. The union, for one, may not so readily accept this new plan. The plan seems simple and passably attractive.  It focuses on giving state employees a choice. For instance, an employee who wants to keep the 3 percent, compounded cost-of-living benefits payable in retirement would have to accept a lower pensionable salary. On the other hand, the employee could take the higher salary while working but get smaller cost-of-living raises while in retirement. Supporters of the Cullerton plan say it could save Illinois about $1 billion annually. They expect the plan to be opposed. Cullerton is more optimistic. Certainly the Illinois [...]

By |2016-02-09T17:08:26-06:00February 2nd, 2016|English Articles|Comments Off on Still No Budget for Illinois but Pension Deal Back in the News

State Without a Budget

  Illinois is in a fix. Thousands of Illinoisans and organizations have been terribly affected by the Illinois budget crisis, and that number continues to grow every day. Apparently, the state will have to notch its belt since rumblings from Springfield indicate that money will only be produced by March or April if at all. Background Ever since 1215, on the fields of Runnymede, when the barons of England forced King John to sign the Magna Carta, the legislative branch has held the power of the purse in the Anglo-American tradition of government. The budget is renewed every three years and is collated from the budgets of the various agencies who send their lists to the Office of Management and Budget. The results reflect the governor’s priorities and interests as well as the projected money the state has to spend in a given fiscal year. Problem is that in an [...]

By |2016-02-05T16:11:08-06:00January 28th, 2016|English Articles, Local Events|Comments Off on State Without a Budget

What’s Your City’s Credit Score?

It’s amazing how much the three digit number of a person’s credit score tells about the financial habits of that person as anyone would know if they try to rent or buy a home, seek a loan, or otherwise find themselves in a situation where another wants to run your FICO score. WalletHub did just that the other week using TransUnion to compare the average credit scores of residents in 2,570 U.S. cities as of September 2015. To their figurative credit, they listed each of these cities and pointed out the 30 that were in the top 99th percentile. Curious to know how your financial habits compare with your neighbors or maybe you wonder where the people who are most likely to repay their debts live? Wonder no longer. Turn here for the news. The Villages in Florida top the list hitting an almost 800 score (the average score of [...]

By |2016-02-09T17:17:52-06:00January 17th, 2016|English Articles|Comments Off on What’s Your City’s Credit Score?

Here’s Your Turf for Retirement!

Here are the ten best places in Illinois that Niche - a research site that helps people  explore what a place is really like - determined would suit you if and once you retire. Niche came to their conclusion by evaluating several factors that may interest retirees. These include similar age population, housing costs, property taxes, crime rates, weather and access to things like restaurants, golf courses and doctors. You'd think that Northfield, Highland Park, or Deerfield would match the profile. Strangely enough, Niche omitted these suburbs. Niche analyzed more than 4,200 towns and ranked more than 1,600. Here are their results. 10) Carlinville, IL Macoupin County 9) Benton, IL Franklin County 8) Fairfield, IL Wayne County 7) Du Quoin, IL Perry County 6) Flora, IL Clay County 5) Jerseyville, IL Jersey County 4) Metropolis, IL Massac County 3) Olney, IL Richland County 2) Eureka, IL Woodford County 1) Marion, [...]

By |2016-02-09T17:12:07-06:00January 6th, 2016|English Articles|Comments Off on Here’s Your Turf for Retirement!

SchoolDigger Ranks the 3 Best Elementary, Middle and High Schools in NW Suburbs

SchoolDigger, a website that evaluates K-12 school performance, updated its rankings of the best elementary, middle and high schools in Illinois using the recently released Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test scores. As with any rankings, it is important to realize that this is not a definitive list. Rankings vary according to the scoring methodology used – and PARCC, in particular, or standardized test scores, in general, are arguably not the only indicator of a school’s success. Regardless, here are the top three elementary, middle and high schools in the NW suburbs of Illinois, according to SchoolDigger’s latest rankings. Top Three Elementary Schools South Park Elementary School | Deerfield Enrollment: 497 Percent low-income students: 0.0% Average standard score: 98.45 Willowbrook Elementary School | Glenview Enrollment: 310 Percent low-income students: 1.3% Average standard score: 98.74 Shabonee School | Northbrook Enrollment: 390 Percent low-income students: 3.3% Average standard score: 98.89 Top Three [...]

By |2015-12-31T20:14:31-06:00December 31st, 2015|Local Events|Comments Off on SchoolDigger Ranks the 3 Best Elementary, Middle and High Schools in NW Suburbs

Right to Work is About Our Right to Pay

Critics wonder what the fuss is about. Lincolnshire has just exempted its employees from paying union dues and opponents want to sue. Why? In Monday night’s 5-1 vote, north suburban Lincolnshire created Illinois’ first private sector “right-to-work” municipality. Private sector unionized employees working in Lincolnshire will now have the choice of whether or not to pay union dues, and a union worker cannot be fired for not paying dues. According to the Union Business website, Union fees and monthly dues depend on the type of Employer and your particular wage rate. Initiation fees are from $75 to $600, and dues range from $17 to $85. Monthly union dues are generally two and a half times your hourly wage rate. So if you earn $18 an hour expect to pay $44 to your work union. For some employees, such as teachers, this is a goodly part of their wage. Earlier this [...]

By |2016-02-09T17:13:11-06:00December 27th, 2015|Local Events|Comments Off on Right to Work is About Our Right to Pay

Cue The Buddies – Special Gifts Theater gives kids with special needs a chance to take the stage

Special Gifts Theater is  bringing you the Wizard of Oz and Shrek on February 20th, March 5th and 12th, and April 23rd. Special Gifts Theater (SGT) is the brainchild of Susan B. Field a former occupational  therapist. In 2000, her two sons had left for college, she was feeling pretty lonesome and as she tells it: “one night during family dinner.. my daughter turned to me and asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up…. I confided my dreams of starting a theater company for children with special needs.” Her children immediately set to work; her middle son designed the logo and her daughter  named it.  They adapted scripts to the children's abilities, made fliers, printed tickets, did technical work, and taught their mother  choreography. Three years later Special Gifts Theater is still going strong. In 2005, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) were [...]

By |2016-02-09T17:14:08-06:00December 16th, 2015|Local Events|Comments Off on Cue The Buddies – Special Gifts Theater gives kids with special needs a chance to take the stage

Top 10 Holiday Events in Chicagoland and Northern Illinois

It's almost impossible to pick out ten events from the hundreds of local events listed in online directories. We think that you’ll agree that each of the events chosen are major happenings and will interest both children and adults. Happy Holidays! Holidays of Light at the Museum of Science and Industry: For over ten years now, the Holidays of Light has featured different customs, traditions and festivals celebrated by other cultures in various countries around the world. For example, you can learn about and experience Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan and Diwali. During the holiday season there are special performances through December. The Art Institute's Holiday Gifts for the City- The Wreathing of the Lions is a much cherished holiday gift in Chicago. This year the 23rd Annual Wreathing of the Lions takes place on Friday, November 28th at 10am with all the appropriate fanfare and pageantry in front of the Art [...]

By |2015-12-10T19:01:52-06:00December 10th, 2015|Local Events|Comments Off on Top 10 Holiday Events in Chicagoland and Northern Illinois