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Special Project: Rescuing Illinois

The Better Government Association’s Rescuing Illinois Project is an ongoing series of in-depth reports about improving and reforming state government.

The project will conduct a comprehensive analysis of the inner workings of state government to identify irregularities and efficiency problems and to propose responsible solutions and reforms.


  • April 4, 2014

    Beyond Burge

    The City of Chicago has spent more than half a billion dollars for police misconduct-related claims over the past decade or so – and only a fraction of those payouts involve tortuous ex-police Cmdr. Jon Burge.

    Chicago's municipal finances are so precarious, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has shuttered schools, police stations and mental health clinics to save money. Read more...

  • April 4, 2014

    Not Just A Chicago Thing

    Police misconduct allegations span suburban departments, too, and are costing taxpayers in those towns a pretty penny.

    The City of Chicago isn't the only municipality in Cook County with mounting expenses related to police misconduct. Read more...

  • March 31, 2014

    For Cops, Concealed Carry Means New Rules

    New law means police must react differently when they stop people with firearms, a Rescuing Illinois investigation discovers.

    For decades, police officers have been taught to immediately view suspects with guns as potential criminals. Now, that's all starting to change. Read more...

  • February 5, 2014

    Corruption Pays?

    In a bizarre twist, Dixon's record-breaking embezzlement ends up putting the city in solid financial shape, a Rescuing Illinois report reveals.

    The city of Dixon has a new problem and it's probably the last one residents thought they'd have 21 months ago. Read more...

  • February 4, 2014

    Playground Slide

    Maywood Park District’s police department was disbanded in the 1990s amid a massive corruption scandal. Officials in the western suburb are now pushing to resurrect the force – in what critics say is a huge step backwards.

    The Maywood Park District Police Department was shut down in 1997, not a moment too soon. Poorly trained and supervised, park district officers were accused of stealing from suspects, brutalizing residents and buying their way onto the force – $3,000 was reportedly the going price for a badge. Read more...

  • December 8, 2013

    When Wal-Mart Comes Calling

    Government leaders of an affluent Chicago suburb were forced to referee a nasty fight between its residents and a famous Big Box retailer. That battle is over but the store war may only be starting, a BGA Rescuing Illinois report reveals.

    Throughout the past year, the serene Village of Northbrook found itself in an uncomfortable position: Smack in the middle of a spirited brawl between one of the world's biggest and most indomitable companies and a small but determined group of local activists. Read more...

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