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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.


  • September 24, 2015
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    State Prison Reform Plan Held Captive

    It’s called RANA and its impact could be significant but only if Illinois’ Dept. of Corrections unlocks the program, a Rescuing Illinois report reveals. Read more...


  • August 19, 2015
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    State Parks' Cash Crunch: $720 Million For Repairs

    Illinois' inability to fix or upgrade hundreds of basic projects threatens the environment and pubic safety, according to a BGA Rescuing Illinois investigation. Read more...


  • June 25, 2015
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    Pain on Way: Illinois' Budget Cuts Hit Home

    Cash-strapped cities, towns and suburbs set to slash public safety, reduce pension costs, tap rainy day funds and explore bankruptcy, a BGA Rescuing Illinois report finds. Read more...


  • June 10, 2015
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    Rahm Not Hearing O'Hare Noise Gripes

    Until political pressure began to mount, Chicago's mayor ignored a community group upset about noise from airport runway expansion and its impact on neighborhood home values, quality of life. Now what? A BGA Rescuing Illinois report examines the controversy. Read more...

  • April 11, 2015

    Mike Madigan's Folly? Don't Be So Sure

    Illinois' controversial "millionaires' tax," one of Democratic House Speaker Michael J. Madigan's top revenue-generating ideas and legislative causes, is alive and kicking even as it stirs continuing resistance from opposing lawmakers, Gov. Bruce Rauner and business interests, a BGA Rescuing Illinois report finds. Read more...

  • March 4, 2015

    Rauner's Long Shot: Right-to-Work Zones

    Governor Bruce Rauner's bid to establish statewide "right-to-work zones," one of the major initiatives of his emerging state economic development plan, could become a rallying cry in Illinois' city halls and county seats. But it's a long way from becoming a reality, a BGA Rescuing Illinois examination finds. Read more...

  • February 14, 2015

    Staff Overtime Soars At Illinois Prisons

    The state Department of Corrections racked up a whopping $320 million in overtime and additional compensation pay over five years, a BGA Rescuing Illinois report reveals.

    The worker who out-earned almost every rank-and-file employee in the Illinois prison system in 2014 was not a corrections officer, administrator or counselor. It was a nurse who more than doubled her annual income working overtime at the Stateville Correctional Center near Joliet. Read more...

  • December 6, 2014

    Next Up: Illinois Municipal Bankruptcy?

    Debt-burdened local governments explore the contentious option of going to court to cut, reorganize and dump their financial obligations, a Rescuing Illinois report reveals.

    At its recent annual conference the Illinois Municipal League, a century old adviser and advocate for local government, took the unprecedented step of sponsoring an in-depth session on a volatile topic: hometown bankruptcies. Read more...

  • November 17, 2014

    Biz Lights Up For Illinois Medical Marijuana

    Wealthy investors count on secrecy, profits and expansion as new law takes off, a BGA Rescuing Illinois report reveals.

    The 900 block of West Lake Street is the northern border of a meatpacking and warehousing district now occupied by trendy restaurants and bars. Read more...

  • October 15, 2014

    Illinois Public Hospitals Pay $180 Million For Wrongful Death Cases

    Payments range from multimillion dollar settlements to tens of thousands for 184 cases, a BGA Rescuing Illinois investigation found.

    Public hospitals in Illinois paid more than $180 million over the past decade for patient deaths at the taxpayer-supported institutions, a figure that points to numerous medical errors despite efforts to reduce mistakes, a Better Government Association investigation found. Read more...

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