Suburban officials and lawmakers say a Chicago alderman's idea to tax suburbanites who dare drive on city streets would likely backfire.


State Rep. David McSweeney, a Barrington Hills Republican, called the plan a terrible idea Saturday.

"If Chicago is going to talk about raising money, they should be encouraging everyone to visit, not discouraging everyone who drives in," McSweeney said. "This congestion tax currently being discussed is an absolutely terrible idea that would hurt Chicago and the state by, ultimately, making Chicago less competitive."

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Illinois will start paying for a program to help care for young children with disabilities, Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger announced Wednesday.

The early intervention service is one of many on the list of state programs not getting money since July 1 as Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic lawmakers battle over the state budget.

But Munger said Wednesday that the services can be paid through a federal consent decree, and she said she'll start the process of arranging for the payments.

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Illinois taxpayers spent $1.23 million last year to provide health insurance to state lawmakers despite the fact that the jobs are part-time and the state is broke...

“This is a part-time job. There is absolutely no reason that it should have health insurance and a pension provided, especially at a time like this when the state is hurting financially,” said State Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills.

McSweeney, along with 33 other lawmakers — about one-fifth of the General Assembly — are refusing to accept the health insurance benefits.

“If it is more generous than what other people are getting, they should at least scale it back, but I say eliminate it,” he said.

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