Editorial: In midst of assaults, we must defend principles of First Amendment

Author: Editor

Today, the Daily Herald editorial board joins more than 200 similar boards at newspapers across the country in a cause we've been championing for years -- the protection of America's free press against an unprecedented assault from the highest office of the nation's government.

Consider this description from one of our first editorials on the topic in December 2016: "Why we're saying (that the press is under assault) -- why it needs to be said, why it needs to be shouted unapologetically -- is because it's dangerous.

"It undermines our democracy. 

"It allows those in power to say, 'Ignore the facts no matter what the facts may be.'

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Will County to spend $72,400 to take over Aurora precincts

Author: Editor

The Will County clerk’s office expects to spend $72,400 its first year of taking over seven precincts previously handled by the Aurora Election Commission, officials said Thursday.

The commission was dissolved by a referendum in the March primary after 84 years of conducting elections in the city of Aurora, which grew to include parts of Will, Kane, Kendall and DuPage counties. The vast majority of the precincts – 53 – are in Kane County, with three in Kendall. DuPage has its own election commission, which handles 10 Aurora precincts.

Will County will consolidate its seven precincts into four – Precincts 31, 32, 33 and 34 – and provide election services for those 6,502 registered voters beginning with the November general election, said Judy Weidmeyer, chief deputy clerk in Will County.

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Categories: Local Issues, State Issues





A War on Workers in Illinois

Author: Editor

As one of his first official acts, the new Republican governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner, issued an executive order this week that would weaken state unions by barring them from assessing fees on some of the workers they represent in collective bargaining. Worse, the damage from the order could reach far beyond Illinois.

At issue are so called “fair share” fees. In a unionized workplace, a union must extend collectively bargained pay raises and other benefits to nonmembers. The nonmembers — about 15 percent of unionized state employees in Illinois — do not have to pay union dues or contribute to the union’s political activities. Instead, under the law in Illinois and in many other states, they must pay the union a fair-share fee, which is less than full dues, to cover the cost of collective bargaining undertaken on their behalf.

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The dangers of Illinois as a 'right to work' state

Author: Editor

Gov. Rauner has asked state and local lawmakers to consider adopting union-free business zones. So let’s imagine Illinois as a “right to work” state.

First a clarification. The phrase “right to work” is a misnomer that has little to do with the right of a person to seek and accept gainful employment. Anti-union proponents use “right to work” to refer to an option under federal labor law that allows workers employed by a unionized employer to receive the full benefits of a labor contract without paying for any of the cost to gain those benefits. In fact, no employee anywhere in the country has to join a union and no employer has to sign a labor agreement.

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New law holds county appointees more accountable

Author: Editor

A new measure signed into law gives Will County Board members more authority to remove county appointees who violate ethics standards.

It’s a move welcomed by county appointees such as Nick Palmer, chief of staff for Will County Executive Larry Walsh. Palmer was appointed by Walsh in 2004 as deputy chief of staff but was later promoted to chief of staff in 2010.

“I think it’s good. It’s what I’ve always known,” Palmer said Friday. “If it restores any confidence of the taxpayers in the board, I think that’s a positive thing. It could also discourage people who might want to do something that’s not in the public’s best interest. Hopefully it discourages them because they know people are watching.”

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