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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.

 

  • August 20, 2014

    City Inspectors General: Watchdogs On A Leash

    They launch hundreds of investigations but results are lackluster, a BGA Rescuing Illinois report reveals.

    The City of Chicago spends millions of taxpayer dollars every year on inspectors general, a post that in the U.S. heralds back to before the Revolutionary War's Continental Army, and whose local mission today is fighting corruption, fraud and waste in the trenches of municipal government. Read more...

  • August 5, 2014

    Suburban Pension Peril

    Money in dozens of Chicago-area police and fire pension funds is drying up – which should be a big worry not only for current and future retirees, but taxpayers, a BGA Rescuing Illinois investigation discovers.

    There are 217 police and fire pension funds in suburban Cook County. The taxpayer-supported systems, with collective assets of nearly $5 billion, are intended to provide public safety workers and their families with stable retirement incomes. Read more...

  • April 28, 2014

    Pension Free-For-All

    Public pension systems in the Chicago area have little or no oversight when it comes to trustees and staff members accepting gifts and other freebies from vendors or prospective vendors.

    For some Wall Street money managers, picking up the tab at dinner or giving away hot concert tickets can be a small price to pay to curry favor among public officials in charge of multi-billion-dollar retirement accounts. Read more...

  • 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...

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