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Local Columnists

TALKING POINTS: 'Illinois is back'

So declared Gov. JB Pritzker at the end of the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly nearly two weeks ago. Some folks are probably leaning more toward “Illinois is Toast” after sweeping legislation on everything from new gambling opportunities to infrastructure and other capital improvements. And don’t forget there’s the possibility of big changes in your annual state income rate. That’s not to mention raising taxes on gasoline and a few other things.

Now Illinois citizens can research and study each page of all that legislation and figure it out for themselves.

That could make for some interesting summer time research.

And don’t forget to discuss it all personally with those who represent you in Springfield. Hopefully they can explain it all.

Is Illinois “back” or is really “toast”?

Nice raise state reps and senators

More than a few Illinois taxpayers have to be rather incensed at the perhaps deliberate inability of legislators to cut off an automatic $1,600 pay raise for themselves this spring.

Hopefully it’ll shove them up to a higher tax rate, if the new graduated income tax package is approved by voters next year.

Or maybe they’ll spend it at their local constituents’ businesses or on their own local property taxes.

And furthermore,
we’re important too

What? No gambling casino for Starved Rock Country?

Geez, other areas of the state are apparently getting in on the gambling gold mine, thanks to the governor and the legislature.

There are lots of places along the Illinois, Vermillion and Fox rivers and maybe even Indian Creek that might be perfect for a big casino-hotel complex.

Oh well, maybe next time.

School’s out for
a short summer recess

At least in Starved Rock Country there are plenty of good solid educational and recreational summer programs for young people.

Local YMCA’s, libraries, city rec departments and youth athletic leagues provide a whole host of opportunities to keep kids busy and still learning.

A special “thanks” goes to all adults and young people who spend time providing those programs either as volunteers or paid staff.

Summer breaks seem to get shorter every year but kids you really have no excuse to complain; “there’s nothing to do” or “I’m bored.”

OK boys and girls, you can put down your iPad, phone or other device and go out, play and maybe experience something new this summer break.

JIM FRENCH, of Ottawa, is retired after 43 years in radio broadcasting, including 33 in Ottawa. You can reach him through The Times by emailing newsroom@mywebtimes.com.

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