This week’s City of Chicago edition of Public Affairs airs throughout the City:
- Tonight at 8:30 pm and midnight, Cable Ch 21 (CAN TV)
- Tmw night at 9:12 pm, Cable Ch 21 (as the first segment of the Illinois Channel 2 hour package).
The show also airs in:
- In Aurora at 6 pm, Cable Ch 10 this Wed. & Saturday and next Monday
- In Rockford at 8:30 pm, Cable Ch. 17 this Thursday
You can also watch the Public Affairs show 24/7 by clicking here.
Can IL cut property taxes 40% & boost student performance at the same time?
Illinois’ Governor, JB Pritzker (D-Chicago), announced last week he is seeking re-election in November 2022 and Terry Martin and Jeff Berkowitz kick off their assessment of the many issues that are likely to be raised by his four announced Republican opponents and several new candidates who may join the race in the next 60 days.
One of the major issues facing the Governor is Illinois’ 2nd highest property tax in the country, largely attributable to IL’s extraordinary K-12 education spending levels, almost 70% more than Florida and almost 60% more than Indiana (See charts and analysis by Wirepoints).
As Jeff and Terry explain, if IL can cut its spending per pupil per year by about $6600 to match that of Florida, IL could cut property taxes for the average IL taxpayer by about 40 %.
But Gov. Pritzker brags about how much his Administration has boosted education spending, even though as Wirepoints has shown, both Florida and Indiana, spending much less, generally outperform IL in standardized test scores. Berkowitz and Martin predict this Education spending- Property tax issue will be intensely discussed during the 2022 IL gubernatorial campaign.
Further, people continue to complain about the public schools being mostly shut down or in a remote mode during the last year, and that lock down was needless and didn’t make IL safer than “More open” states such as Florida.
Currently, the hot issue across the state is whether kids should have to wear masks when they return to school in the fall. Berkowitz outlines some of the science and data supporting a no mask policy for students.
Berkowitz and Martin discuss the continued concern by parents across the state with Pritzker’s IL State Board of Education (ISBE) and school administrators often promoting and mandating a critical race theory curriculum, notwithstanding their denial of same.
Can Pritzker dodge the issue with his ISBE saying: We only promote “Cultural Responsive Teaching & Leading Standards, not Critical Race Theory.” To many, they appear to be one and the same, with critical race theory often disguised as culturally responsive teaching standards.
Homicides were up by 50 % in Chicago in 2020, and are continuing at that high rate this year, said Berkowitz. If Pritzker’s criminal justice reform is working so well, why is violent crime still going up rapidly as the spending for his programs increases?
Berkowitz and Martin discuss the economy and job growth challenges to the Pritzker administration. During Covid, did Pritzker order and enforce needless IL economy lock-downs instead of focusing on protecting the vulnerable, especially those in Nursing and Vet homes?
In sum, Berkowitz argues that there are at least twenty issue contrasts that actual and potential GOP GOV candidates are chomping at the bit to run on in the 2022 gubernatorial election. If Ken Griffin and other Republican donors step up and match Gov. Pritzker’s expected self- financing of his own campaign and that of legislative candidates to the tune of $150 million and the GOP chosen candidate runs on the key issues, Berkowitz predicts a GOP GOV candidate could beat Gov Pritzker.
Berkowitz predicts one or more new, additional credible candidates will join the GOP GOV race during the next month or two. Pritzker is vulnerable and with the list of four current GOP GOV primary candidates likely to grow to as many six to eight candidates, and with significant funding from Griffin, the GOP chosen candidate could retire Gov. Pritzker.
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