2021 Year in Review on the Civic Federation Blog

January 07, 2022

The following are summaries of the five most-read posts presented on the Civic Federation’s blog in 2021, listed here in chronological order. The posts examine issues related to taxes, pensions and public safety.

Consumer Taxes in Chicago: Increases and Updates for 2021
January 11, 2021

Annually the Civic Federation releases a report on consumer taxes in the City of Chicago. Consumer taxes are tied to the use or consumption of certain goods and services that can be charged directly to consumers through retail transactions or passed onto consumers by businesses or governments. Consumer taxes in Chicago are imposed at various levels of government including by the City of Chicago, Cook County, the State of Illinois and federal government. This blog highlights the changes that several consumer taxes have undergone since the Civic Federation’s 2020 consumer taxes report was released in February 2020.

Recently, the Federation posted an update for tax changes for 2022, which is available here. The Federation’s full 2022 consumer taxes report will be available later this month.

Summary of Provisions in Illinois House Bill 3653: Criminal Justice Omnibus Bill
February 15, 2021

On January 13, 2021 in the final hours of the lame duck session of the 101st General Assembly, the Illinois House and Senate passed a broad criminal justice reform bill. House Bill 3653 Senate Amendment 2, sponsored by Senator Elgie Sims, Jr. and Representative Justin Slaughter, impacts many aspects of the criminal justice system including policing, pretrial court processes and sentencing and prison policies. [This blog post] is an abbreviated summary of the major provisions included in the bill. The provisions of this Act take effect on July 1, 2021 unless noted otherwise.

Governor Pritzker signed the bill into law on February 22, 2021 as Public Act 101-0652 – dubbed the SAFE-T Act (Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity – Today).

Of note, this Civic Federation blog post is currently the most-read post in the 13-year history of civicfed.org.

Carjacking Incidents in the City of Chicago
April 1, 2021

Vehicular hijacking, commonly referred to as carjacking, has become a point of great concern among City and State officials due to an increase in incidents since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in carjackings follows a national trend, although overall crime in Chicago and across the nation is down. This blog post looks at the numbers and what the experts say can be done about the issue.

Illinois Pension Buyout Update
May 7, 2021

As laid out in many Civic Federation blogs over the last several years, the State’s two pension buyout plans, which were enacted as part of the FY2019 budget legislation, were supposed to generate hundreds of millions of dollars of budgetary savings. But issues with implementation and with the savings projection itself meant that only a very small portion of those savings have actually been recognized. The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability reported in November that none of the three state pension funds whose members qualify for the buyouts reported actuarial savings for the buyouts in FY2020.

Chicago City Council Approves New Police Contract
September 17, 2021

The Chicago City Council approved a new collective bargaining agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) on September 14, 2021. The FOP is the union representing the approximately 11,000 police officers for the City of Chicago, who make up the majority of approximately 13,000 Chicago Police Department employees. The new contract replaces the most recent collective bargaining agreement for police officers that expired on June 30, 2017. Contracts for the approximately 1,500 police supervisors (sergeants, lieutenants and captains) that expired on July 1, 2016 were approved last year.