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Illinois fails financial checkup

A checkup of Illinois' financial health tops today's headlines from Reboot Illinois. Spoiler alert: Illinois failed it. Read on to find out more.

SAY AAH The Mercatus Center at George Mason University gave all 50 states a thorough exam for financial health. Illinois did not fare well. We've boiled it down to the best and worst states in three important categories in this graphic.

AND MORE If you like the graphic above, don't miss the complete study, with lots of numbered maps that highlight Illinois' place at the bottom of the nation's financial shame list. It's here.

JOBS, JOBS, JOBS OK, not to pile on here, but the Mercatus Center study comes on the heels of Moody's Analytics projecting Illinois as dead last in the nation for job creation in 2014. Here's an interactive map that shows where Moody's thinks job growth will happen this year.

HARRIS V. QUINN Pam Harris is a Lake County mom who wanted only to care for her severely disabled son. Instead, she's found herself in a fight with one of Illinois' biggest unions and her name on a U.S. Supreme Court case that could reshape labor law in America. Scott Reeder was in Washington this week for oral arguments and filed this report.

DID WE MENTION JOBS? The Chicago Tribune is tired of the minimum wage dominating the employment discussion in the governor's race. It's got some suggestions for making a dent in the state's fourth-worst-in-the-nation unemployment rate. We sum them up here.

SOUND OFF ON TAX FAIRNESS When big corporations in Illinois don't want to pay taxes, they threaten to leave and then receive big tax breaks for staying. This isn't fair, especially to the many small businesses who pay their taxes and don't have the political or financial muscle to strong-arm the state for tax breaks. Nor is it fair to other taxpayers, who shoulder the burden of what the big guys don't pay. Tell your legislators in Springfield that you want this to end. Our Sound Off tool makes it easy. A few clicks will tell you who your legislators are and let you send them a message. It's fast, easy and effective. Click here and get started.

HEADLINES Here are the top news stories in Illinois today:

  • 5. Bill Brady believes that, going forward, every time a school district gives a teacher a pay raise, the school district needs to also pay the pension cost of that pay raise. (Daily Herald)
    4. Tio Hardiman’s gubernatorial campaign might be short on funds, but it’s long on passion. (NBC Chicago)
    3. Despite the Chicago Board of Education scaling back the number of charter schools approved, Mayor Emanuel’s school policy critics are still not pleased. (Chicago Tribune)
    2. The Chicago Board of Education approved seven of 17 proposed new charter schools. (Chicago Tribune)
    1. Opinion: The minimum wage debate is taking the focus away from the fact Illinois is desperate for jobs. (Chicago Tribune)

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