Summary: IlliNoise is a podcast answering your questions about the Illinois state government, how it works, and how it impacts your community.
Since I launched this podcast, I’ve gotten questions that cover a pretty broad range of topics in Illinois government. But there’s one topic—one particularly notorious individual—that folks are really curious about. I heard from 6 people who all asked more or less the same question about House Speaker Mike Madigan: How did he get so much power? And how does he keep it? To answer this question we’ll take a history lesson in machine politics, we’ll learn a little something about partisan gerrymandering, and we’ll follow the money in Illinois politics. Finally, we’ll consider what Madigan’s legacy might be, whenever he leaves office.
I know, I know you just got done thinking about taxes for the year. But bare with me! When you’re slogging through tax forms, it’s hard to take a step back and consider, why do my taxes work the the way they do? And who decided that? Lindsay Welbers has been thinking about all these things, and she’s wondering if maybe there’s a better way. She sent us this great question: Is it a pipe dream to have a progressive tax in Illinois? Lindsay already knows a thing or two about tax policy, but if you have no clue what we’re talking about, don’t worry! I will break it all down. We’ll discuss how our tax system works now, how it could change, and whether any of that would result in you getting a tax break. Plus we’ll learn a thing or two about the Illinois Constitution!
This show is usually about state government and how it works. But there are lots of other kinds of government in Illinois. There's cities, counties, school districts, and more! Today we're looking into what each of those governments do, what power they hold, and how they interact with each other.
This is the very first episode of IlliNoise! Moving forward this show is going to be built entirely around your questions about our state government. But this week and this week only, I’m digging into a question of my own: What exactly does the Illinois Attorney General do? I’ve been wondering about this for a little while, because back in September our current attorney general Lisa Madigan announced that she wouldn’t be seeking reelection this year. Our state’s primaries coming up in March. So that means Illinois voters need to decide who they want to be our next attorney general really soon. But I don’t think I can decide who is most qualified for the job until I know what the job is. So I asked Law360 reporter Hannah Meisel to help me out.