Editorial roundup: Illinois | Herald of Rock Hill

Arlington Heights Daily Herald. March 11, 2022.

Editorial: Time to Adjust State Late Fees on Overdue Invoices and Make Sure Suppliers Get Them

Two state laws requiring interest be paid to Illinois suppliers on overdue invoices need to be adjusted, at least

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is proposing to change a law that says the state pays sellers interest when it pays late bills, as well as a law that allows private investors to buy the bills in suffering and to collect these interests. We understand why.

The first law was created in 1993. It states that if the state is late in paying a seller, it must pay 1% per month in additional interest. This equates to an APR of 12%. In the past, sellers weren’t likely to get that much because overdue invoices would be well paid within a year. That was until the overdue backlog that accompanied the infamous state budget stalemate of 2015-17, when the situation deteriorated so badly that lawmakers created the “Pay Providers Program,” a way to get the bills paid with a reward for the investors who pay them. .

The good news about it: the sellers got their money’s worth. The bad news: It cost the state $1 billion in interest, Mendoza says, as overdue bills soared to $16.7 billion. More bad news: About $700 million of that interest has or will go to investors, not sellers.

Mendoza wants to cut interest payments and phase out the investment program, saying bills are now almost caught up. Except they’re not; about $3.5 billion still remains to be paid, although Mendoza says general fund bills are paid within 17 days on average.

“This program allowed private lenders to lend money to state vendors and then collect the 12% interest that state taxpayers had to pay on those overdue bills,” Mendoza said. She argues that these investors were connected. Whether they are or not (wink wink), she’s right.

“I understand that the intent of the law is meant to have a chilling effect on budget makers that compels them to maintain a living budget within its means,” she said. “However, I would say that these interest charges don’t penalize the state government, they penalize the taxpayers.”

Another good point. The huge amount of interest paid – $1 billion, “poof”, as Mendoza puts it – only added to the big debt.

But it’s true, that’s how debt works. Vendors, from lawn services to the county treasurer, often charge us ordinary people a “1% per month late fee” or even 1.5%. It’s not an outrageous concept.

Still, an APR of 12% is a bit steep. To that end, State Senator Laura Murphy, Democrat of Des Plaines, proposed a year ago to cut that rate to the highest of 0.25% per month, for an APR of 3%, twice the annual percentage increase in the consumer price index.

Republican candidate for Mendoza, Shannon Teresi, and others say interest charges should remain a deterrent to prevent lawmakers from overspending in the future. And some say the Prompt Payment Act helps keep sellers from abandoning Illinois for fear of not getting paid.

Ultimately, yes, bills should be paid on time. When they are not, paying sellers late fees along the lines of what Murphy suggests is reasonable. But the program that allows investors to collect interest from sellers only arouses suspicion and should be gone.

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Chicago Grandstand. March 9, 2022.

Editorial: Racial disparities in police stops are easier to find than to fix

A disturbing new report from the city’s top government watchdog offers a painfully familiar conclusion: Black people are far more likely to be stopped by police and subjected to the use of force than any other racial or ethnic group. , but evidence to place blame specifically on race bias remains unclear.

Similar findings led the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois to sue the city and the Chicago Police Department for alleged racial bias in the department’s “stop and search” policies. This case was granted class action status last year.

And similar findings about the use of force in 2017 led the US Department of Justice to file a lawsuit, then sign a consent decree with the city that went into effect in 2019, requiring the CPD to reform its training and practices in the use of force and other areas.

In each case, reformers and community groups have acknowledged improvements in CPD policies and practices, but insist that they are not enough.

The report from the city inspector general’s office finds “strong evidence” that black people are more likely to be stopped by Chicago police than any other racial or ethnic group.

And, when arrested, the city’s top watchdog found, they are more likely to be subjected not only to the use of force, but also to a higher level of force.

Was the apparent disparity explainable by differences other than race, one wonders, such as the differences between high-crime and low-crime districts and neighborhoods?

Unfortunately, despite the “strong evidence” in the data it offers, the IG report does not say so. It sticks strictly to its data-gathering role and leaves the conclusions to the rest of us.

Nonetheless, the report, which examines incidents from October 17, 2017, to February 8, 2020, offers data that shows the frequency of stops and use of force was more likely to correlate with the race of the suspect than with the crime. rates or other factors in the police districts where the stops took place.

Citywide, when a police stop led to the use of force, more than 83% of incidents involved a black person, according to the IG report, a racial slant that has remained generally consistent regardless regardless of the proportion of black residents in the district.

In the Near North Police District, for example, where blacks made up just 7.9% of the population, they accounted for 73.5% of police checks, in Auburn Gresham, where blacks are in the majority at 95.9% , they represented 97.2% of controls. .

At a given investigative check, blacks were subjected to a body search 1.5 times more frequently than non-blacks, and were also subjected to a pat-down 1.5 times more frequently than non-blacks. -Black.

Across the city, white people were either underrepresented or proportionately represented — relative to their share of police stops — in being subjected to the use of force.

In contrast, Hispanic people were found to be more likely than non-Hispanic people to face a higher level force option in most cases of subjects who would have used lethal force.

As concerning and even alarming as some will find such statistics, this sounds like old news to seasoned police reformers and community leaders. It is reassuring to have confirmed suspicions, but further studies are needed to determine the true nature and depth of the suspected bias and, more importantly, to develop effective solutions.

It is understandable that some community leaders persist in calling for community solutions and municipal leaders should heed this. Cooperation between the police and the neighborhoods they serve has been hard to come by after years of suspicion and resentment on both sides.

Police stops and interrogations can and should be an effective tool in the fight against crime. But when unjust racial or ethnic disparities lead to growing mistrust of law enforcement, even by victims of crime and potential witnesses, only criminals benefit.

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Herald and Review of Decatur. March 11, 2022.

Editorial: Disappointing way to part ways

VIPs lined up in the early morning of March 6, 2020, aboard a 6 a.m. jet flight from Decatur to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.

Upon their return, the band arrived in front of a crowd of supporters, served hors d’oeuvres from the airport’s Red Barn Kitchen restaurant, and band members from the Lutheran School Association played outside near the track.

The arrival of SkyWest’s jet service to Decatur was the successful conclusion of a years-long effort, one that included disappointments and missteps and repeated attempts to secure the service.

The thought that day was, finally, a city the size of Decatur had a victory.

SkyWest has filed a 90-day notice of termination of service at Decatur Airport due to a shortage of pilots in the aviation industry. SkyWest must continue to serve Decatur until the Department of Transportation provides a replacement.

SkyWest’s arrival here has been a victory here the same way it has been a victory in cities like Clarksburg, West Virginia; Dodge City, Kansas; Scottsbluff, Nebraska; Rochester, Minnesota; Mason City, Iowa; Cape Girardeau, Missouri and Paducah, Kentucky.

All of these cities are also losing access to SkyWest, for the same reason.

SkyWest also cited pilot shortages last month when announcing scheduled changes to its Decatur flights. SkyWest has disabled services to cities across the country for months.

The start of SkyWest’s service to Decatur was in March 2020. VIPs on the Decatur flight included Representative Rodney Davis and Decatur Mayor Julie Moore Wolfe. After the ceremony at the airport, they both went to a roundtable at Crossing Healthcare. Experts and health officials were meeting to discuss the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

That day, a sixth case was confirmed in Illinois. In 10 days, the country essentially shut down.

The airline industry is one of many businesses clearly and deeply affected by the consequences of COVID-19. As with service workers and teachers, a break from business as usual may have raised doubts about becoming or remaining a pilot.

A number of reasons could also be added to a blame list. Has there been a public reassessment of air travel? Is there an ongoing review of career paths, pushing people away from certain careers after they’ve been experienced? What other industries will be unexpectedly negatively affected as we slowly move away from the coronavirus?

These questions weren’t on anyone’s mind in March 2020. We can only hope to regard this moment as a temporary slip.

TO FINISH

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