perfect average mainstream

UPDATE: President Barack Obama cited this report in his speech to the Illinois General Assembly on February 10, saying:

"I just saw a story the other day showing that if you rank all 50 states across categories like education levels and household incomes, and race and religion, the one state that most closely mirrors America as a whole is Illinois, this state."


Illinois’ diversity catapulted it to the top of a new ranking of states best suited to host the country’s earliest presidential primary contests because they best reflect the makeup of the United States.

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Illinois has lower tax rates than neighboring statesIllinois’ finances would look very different today if it adopted tax systems like its Midwestern neighbors do, according to a new video that breaks down the differences.

That’s the message Illinois Senate President John Cullerton has been delivering around the state for years and that the Illinois Economic Policy Institute acknowledged in its new video that explains how Illinois stacks up against Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri and Iowa.

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baseball and taxes

A star athlete making millions of dollars in St. Louis falls into Missouri’s top, 7 percent tax bracket. Compare that to the flat 3.75 percent income tax in Illinois and you begin to see why the Cubs might be having such success raiding the Cardinals’ of their prized free agents this off-season.

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Analysis: Middle class faring better in Illinois than Wisconsin, Indiana or MichiganThose who hold up Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan as beacons of successful state economic policy may want to chew on a new report that shows the middle class is shrinking in those states faster than elsewhere in the nation.

That’s according to a Pew Charitable Trusts review of U.S. Census figures, the American Community Survey and other data between 2000 and 2013.

The percentage of middle-class households dropped nationwide, but Illinois is doing a better job of protecting the middle class than some of its Midwestern counterparts, the analysis shows. Middle-class households are struggling more in Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan – each of which became right-to-work states under Republican governors during the period that Pew researchers evaluated.

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WorkersComp110515

A recent study credits Illinois’ 2011 workers’ compensation reforms with now lowering average payments below neighboring Indiana’s.

The law passed four years ago cut fees by 30 percent, which led to a 15 percent drop in medical payments over a 12-month period that ended in Sept. 30, 2013. Workers’ compensation insurance rates also began to fall.

As a result, Illinois is seeing lower payments even as basic worker protections are upheld and Illinois workers, on average, make 27 percent more than their counterparts in Indiana.

Illinois is one of three states that showed declines in payment from 2010-11 to 2013-14.

Crain’s: Illinois workers' comp costs fall below Indiana, Wisconsin

Insurance Journal: Illinois Workers’ Comp Premium Rate High but Improving

Illinois vs. Indiana – Workers’ Compensation

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