23

Sep

2017

County Executive Larry Walsh proposes $551 million budget for Will County

Author: Editor

Will County Executive Larry Walsh proposed a balanced $551 million budget, a lower property tax rate and further consolidation of government services in 2018, in his annual budget address during Thursday's county board meeting.

It reflects flat revenues, the reduction of $2.4 million in state funds, and an increase of $300,000 for salaries but not the added costs of a new five-year bargaining agreement with the 750 employees in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1028, which was approved at this meeting, according to the executive. 

The new contract is expected to the cost an additional $2.2 million in its first year, which is spread across all county departments, Walsh said later.

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Categories: Local Issues, Larry Walsh

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17

Sep

2017

Will County freight plan balances growth, livability, officials say

Author: Editor

By its very title, the Will County Community Friendly Freight Mobility Plan sounds like an "oxymoron," but the 238-page document does attempt to balance the needs of economic development with residents' quality of life, officials said.

The final draft of the long-awaited plan was presented to the county board's Executive Committee Thursday, and may be formally approved by the full board at its meeting this Thursday.

 

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Categories: Local Issues

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13

Dec

2016

The Trump Promise Tracker

Author: Editor

The Fact Checker is pleased to announce the launch of its very first presidential promise tracker: the Trump Promise Tracker.

Since the Fact Checker was relaunched in 2011, we had missed the start of President Obama’s term, and so it was too late to track his 2008 promises. But, with a new president, we can start afresh.

During the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump made more than 280 promises, though many were contradictory or just uttered in a single campaign event. So that posed a conundrum: What would be a good list of promises to track that Trump was really serious about? We did not think it would be fair to rate a promise that might have been tossed out without much serious discussion by the candidate and his staff.

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14

Feb

2015

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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6

Feb

2015

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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