FILE - Illinois State Capitol

The dome of the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Content Exchange

Illinois has second-highest property taxes

With an average effective real estate tax rate of 2.27%, Illinois has the second highest property taxes in the nation, according to a new report from WalletHub. The consumer finance website puts the Land of Lincoln behind only New Jersey. While Illinois ranked No. 1 for having zero vehicle property tax, the state’s median real-estate tax on a $195,000 home is around $4,400.

Calls mounting to change police reform law

Groups are already calling for the legislature to bring about changes to a sweeping police reform and criminal justice overhaul measure the governor signed Monday. The Illinois Municipal League suggested delaying some provisions and repealing others. State Sen. John Curran said lawmakers need to clean up aspects of the bill he said will bring about unintended consequences and make communities less safe.

Madigan out as Democratic chair

In a matter of weeks, Michael Madigan has given up the titles that have bestowed him decades of historic political and legislative power over Illinois. Madigan announced Monday that he’s stepped down from his position as chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois, a role he’s held since 1998. Last month, Madigan lost a bid for Speaker of the House, a seat he held for all but two years since 1983. He resigned from the House last week.

Reactions to controversial police reform bill roll in 

Reactions poured in after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 3653. The ACLU of Illinois said it is excited about the changes to policing and the criminal justice system. The prison reform group John Howard Association also praised the new law. But the Illinois Law Enforcement Coalition made of police labor and management said the law hurts law-abiding citizens the most.

Lausch clock ticking

John Lausch, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois that’s been investigating and prosecuting corruption in various levels of Illinois government, is expected to resign within a week, unless there’s a change of heart from the Biden administration. There’s bipartisan insistence Lausch be kept on by the Biden administration to finish his investigations. It’s unclear if their calls will be heard.

COVID-19 numbers remain low

The state continues to see low COVID-19 positive cases. In the last 24 hours, public health officials reported 1,246 positive cases, the lowest since 1,076 positive cases were reported in one day on July 28, 2020. There hasn’t been an update to the 43 positive COVID-19 variants since last week. The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU is also the lowest it’s been since early October.

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