House tried to fix this, Senate blocking it

By: Diane Benjamin On April 22nd the Illinois House passed HB 2523 116 to 0. For once every Democrat and every Republican agreed: https://ilga.gov/legislation/votehistory/102/house/10200HB2523_04222021_027000T.pdf What is HB 2523? This bill amends the language in the original bill that created the Police Officers Pension Investment Fund. Remember when pension funds were consolidated to hopefully perform better? […]

Normal is even worse

By: Diane Benjamin h/t a reader I wonder if Kathleen Lorenz thinks this makes the “professional staff” that can’t be questioned look good? That “professional staff” creates the budget, did they skip funding pensions? I wonder what will happen if Stan Nord mentions this at a meeting! I can predict: Link to the Bloomington data: […]

Looking bad Bloomington!

By: Diane Benjamin h/t a reader Stay tuned, Normal is next. Wirepoints.org analyzed the pensions funding for 175 Illinois communities. Lots of other information is also included. Bloomington received a “D” rating. The results prove how much government has grown in 19 years and how the increased revenue wasn’t used for essential items like funding […]

Chris Koos: Desperato

By: Diane Benjamin Remember the Eagles song Desperato? That should be the Chris Koos theme song. He has NOTHING to run on so he is now personally attacking Marc Tiritilli instead of addressing the issues. Chris is a divisive leader because he knows people don’t want the things he wants. Marc Tiritilli is running to […]

The Systemic Racism Myth

By: Diane Benjamin At the WGLT mayoral debate the good leftist host had to bring up systemic racism, that discussion kept him from asking about real issues. You are expected to believe minorities can not succeed because whites won’t let them. Obviously it’s a myth because their are countless successful minorities. Obviously it is a […]

Proof of the Koos debt

By: Diane Benjamin I could write MANY stories about last night’s Bloomington Council meeting. I might write more, I might not. I didn’t want you to miss this graphic: Every citizen of Normal is in twice as much debt as those who live in Bloomington. That is why the end of the Uptown TIF is […]

Is Normal Fooling you?

By: Diane Benjamin Since Chris Koos, Kevin McCarthy, Scott Preston, and Chemberly Cummings want your vote April 6th, does this look like something they would do to get it? The Normal Council held a 9 hour budget session yesterday. Surprise! They aren’t going to raise property taxes this year. Instead they are rearranging money they […]

Illinois is the WORST State for Middle Class Families

This is Kiplinger, not some conservative outlet trying to play politics: https://www.kiplinger.com/taxes/state-tax/601614/least-tax-friendly-states-for-middle-class-families?rid=EML-today&rmrecid=2482908579&utm_campaign=20210126-today&utm_medium=email&utm_source=today Before both Bloomington and Normal decide to raise property taxes, and Unit 5 does again – these were the rates: District 87: 5.144810 City of Bloomington: 1.090100 Unit 5: 5.355410 Town of Normal: 1.032630

I wonder how Bloomington and Normal will explain this:

By: Diane Benjamin The Bloomington City Council is meeting Monday night. The ICE hater s will be out in force because Donna Boelen’s council initiative is on the agenda. The far left doesn’t think laws are material to any conversation. http://bloomingtonil.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1098&Inline=True At last Monday’s meeting the City auditor stated Bloomington is paying more than necessary […]

Miscellaneous Normal

By: Diane Benjamin Numerous items Normal citizens need to know: Below is part of an email written by Stan Nord. The yellow is City Manager Pam Reece’s response to his email. Pam does not understand citizens saw Target being looted and the destruction to police vehicles while the police did nothing. They know Mayor Chris […]

Three hours and twenty minutes!

By: Diane Benjamin Normal has gone from 10 minute meetings with no discussion before spending millions of dollars to bloviating just to hear themselves talk. I can’t possibly recap everything that happened, so I will pick what I think is important. The other media can fill you in on what the Town thinks happened. Last […]

Normal’s 2 1/2 hour meeting

By: Diane Benjamin Just a reminder: Chemberly Cummings wants to make laws in Springfield to control you, but she refuses to say the Pledge of Allegiance. She put the red sign over her camera. She hates America and is unfit for ANY office. She did not get her internet connection fixed, the quality is still […]

Normal’s TOTAL debt

By: Diane Benjamin From the Illinois Comptrollers website: https://illinoiscomptroller.gov/financial-data/local-government-division/local-government-data/processsearchresults/?DisplayMode=GETAFR&AFRDesiredData=Indebtedness&Code=064/095/31&CFY=2020&Menu=Yes&PrintIt=No Bond debt and “Other” = $85,752,874 Note: The Town only paid off $2,205,000 the entire year. Keep in mind NO principal is being paid on some of the loans, just interest. They forgot to say what “other” is: (did the same in 2019 and 2018) Pensions […]

Early Voting starts tomorrow. DON’T!

by: Diane Benjamin In my opinion voting in September for an election in November is lamebrained, dim-witted, and unintelligent. There will be “October surprises”, the presidential debates don’t even start until next week. The ONLY reason to vote now is to pretend you investigated all the candidates and have determined which ones represent your values. […]

We are being lied to about MANY things – the FAIR TAX is one of them

See this link: https://wirepoints.org/heres-the-central-misleading-claim-constantly-made-about-the-fair-tax-proposal-quicktake/ Excerpts from the article: Don’t be deceived: The State of Illinois can not live within their means. The Progressive Tax Amendment is just the latest scheme to get more of your money. Instead of reforming un-affordable pensions, they want more of your money. Jobs will be lost and more people will […]

A FAIR TAX is the same rate for all

By: Diane Benjamin The mantra of the left is Equality – unless you earn more money than somebody else. Equality is not stealing a higher percentage of income from the people who earned it. A completely FAIR tax is taking the same percent from everyone. The proposed change to the Illinois Constitution to Tax The […]

Normal: Financial Trends report is immaterial

By: Diane Benjamin During Tuesday’s night Normal Town Council meeting much was made about the Financial Trends Reports and what a valuable tool it is. This year it isn’t. It recaps what happened from 4/1/2019 through 3/31/2020. Something happened around the time this report ends: Glance through the report. It contains little current information: http://normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/17189/Financial-Trend-and-Condition-Report-FY2019-20 […]

David Blumenshine – Why he is running

By:  Diane Benjamin It doesn’t make sense to send the same representatives to Springfield over and over and over when Illinois is in a death spiral of debt.  Pensions need reformed, we don’t need a progressive tax that will chase high income job creators out of the state. We need fighters in Springfield, we don’t […]

Pension Millionaires

By:  Diane Benjamin The below proves yet again why you should vote NO to the Democrats Constitutional Amendment for a progressive income tax.  Pensions Pensions Pensions! Below are the top 31 pensions being collected in Illinois.  Keep in mind, these people aren’t working for a dime they are currently receive.  An organization called Taxpayers United […]

More on Normal’s credit rating AND debt

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal reported the same credit ratings in their financial statements that I reported in this story:  https://blnnews.com/2019/12/07/moodys-normal-doesnt-have-a-aaa-credit-rating/ PDF page 33:  https://normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/15625/CAFR19-FINAL-DOC What they failed to tell you is that Fitch is owned by a French company and is the smallest of the “Big Three” ratings companies.    https://www.sapling.com/7319147/sp-moodys-fitch-ratings S&P doesn’t not have […]

Bloomington’s debt ISN’T the Coliseum!

By:  Diane Benjamin Yes, I know I posted this yesterday.  I wouldn’t be re-posting this picture if it wasn’t vital to understanding what is happening to Illinois. Government across Illinois exists for government employees. It does not exist to handle problems citizens can not handle themselves.  This is the proof: An overwhelming percent of the […]

Why Bloomington can’t fix the roads

By:  Diane Benjamin The financial statements for Bloomington’s year ended 4/30/19 are finally being presented at Council Monday night:  https://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=23337 The chart below shows the long term debt.   Why can’t the roads be fixed?  Because retired employees need paid.  OPEB is Other Post Employment Benefits.  Look closely at these numbers! PDF page 31 This chart […]

See the Pension Problem Here:

By:  Diane Benjamin Normal has 136 retired employees collecting a pension.  The information below is from OpenTheBooks.com    https://www.openthebooks.com/Pension/TownNormal At Monday’s Council meeting Karyn Smith asked the Finance Director how much employees contribute.  Police and Fire contribute between 9.8 and 9.9%.  Other employees contribute 4.5%.  All will also receive Social Security.  See the video at […]

IML’s latest Fleece

By:  Diane Benjamin I’ve written many stories about the Illinois Municipal League.  This organization works for cities, not the people paying their bills.  This is their latest plan: It all sounds wonderful until you look at the facts. All of these funding numbers come from the Comptroller’s website, the latest numbers for Bloomington and Normal […]

Four B’s and an R (Gas Tax)

By:  Diane Benjamin Dan Brady, Bill Brady, Jason Barickman, Tom Bennett, and Chapin Rose I bet the gas prices are killing your budget.  Lawmakers never understand you have to cut your budget in other places to pay their tax increases.  You have less money to spend, therefore tax revenue, like sales tax, will decrease.  You […]

Bloomington Council last night

By:  Diane Benjamin The meeting was scripted with pre-determined results, there was very little discussion on anything. The Public Hearing started with a presentation of how the Federal Grant money (CDBG) will be spent.  No one commented, it wouldn’t have changed the vote anyway.  People were urged to take the survey to determine how next […]