(WTTW News)

Civic Federation President Joseph Ferguson called the complicated proposal to phase out the city’s decades-long reliance on tax increment financing districts, known as TIFs, “sensible” and “responsible.”

Leighton Criminal Court Building (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

According to findings from the Civic Federation and the League of Women Voters of Cook County, the Pretrial Fairness Act has worked as intended during the first six months of its implementation.

Former Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Dec. 12, 2023. (WTTW News)

Joe Ferguson spent 12 years as the corruption-busting watchdog of Chicago government — proving to be a thorn in the side of both the Emanuel and Lightfoot administrations.

Chicago City Hall. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

The working group formed by Mayor Brandon Johnson in June to tackle Chicago’s acutely underfunded pensions has yet to craft a comprehensive plan to address one of the major fiscal challenges facing the city.

Chicago City Hall. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

The working group formed by Mayor Brandon Johnson to tackle Chicago’s acutely underfunded pensions is set to meet for the first time this week to confront one of the major fiscal challenges facing Chicago’s new leader.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks during a virtual Chicago City Council meeting on Monday, Nov. 16, 2020. (WTTW News via City of Chicago)

A trio of budget ordinances backed by progressive aldermen failed to advance Monday, as a fiscal watchdog warned that Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan to borrow $15 million to avoid layoffs and refinance an additional $1.7 billion was potentially perilous.

Civic Federation President Laurence Msall

Stern warnings on state budget prospects from a nonpartisan fiscal watchdog.

Harry S. Truman College (Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr)

Students within the City Colleges of Chicago won’t see any tuition hike this fall as the state’s largest community college district works through its first full budget in more than two years.

(Éovart Caçeir at English Wikipedia)

The political inertia that’s left Illinois without a budget can’t continue, according to a report released Tuesday by the non-partisan Civic Federation. 


Can the city and Chicago Public Schools get on the road to fiscal health without bankruptcy? Lessons from other cities.

Laurence Msall of the Civic Federation shares his reaction to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s state of the state address on Jan. 25 on “Chicago Tonight.”

The state of Illinois will not get out of its budget hole without a significant income tax hike, according to a new report issued by the Civic Federation, a fiscal watchdog group.

Laurence Msall of the Civic Federation

The day before Chicago Public Schools board members are set to vote on the district’s budget for fiscal year 2017, some analysts are expressing concerns.

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger tightens state lawmakers' belts, hoping to force a budget deal. Will that work to break the deadlock?

New taxes – and lots of them. That's what Illinois will need to dig out of its current fiscal mess, according to a new report from the Civic Federation.

“Unachievable.” That's what fiscal watchdog group The Civic Federation calls Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed 2016 fiscal budget in a new report released today. And the report comes a day after Rauner gave an unprecedented speech to the Chicago City Council, saying city officials shouldn't expect a bail out from the state. Tonight we talk with a panel of experts about what this means for the city and the state.

Illinois is one of only three states that does not tax retirement income. That cost the state $2.2 billion in FY 2013, and along with other tax breaks the total revenue the state is foregoing is close to $9 billion. Is it time to reassess and end at least some of these tax breaks? Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, is just back from Springfield and joins us to share his thoughts.