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Editor’s note: All of these stories were first published in Illinois Issues magazine or on the Illinois Issues blog. They have been updated with new information, and statistics have been updated where new numbers were available. 

The budget

shattered glass illustration
Broken system
by Bruce Rushton

Can Illinois’ antiquated means of generating revenue be overhauled?

Cartoon python squeezing Illinois Capitol closeup
Options for pension reform Plan B may be limited

by Jamey Dunn

Caring for at-risk children

Pair of child’s shoes left outdoors
Preventable deaths

by Kevin McDermott

Children die even when their tragic situations have been reported to DCFS

Pair of child’s shoes left outdoors
Doing right by the kids

by Caitlin Rydinsky

An agreement seeks to improve conditions, care of youth in custody

Poverty and wages

small condemned house
Impoverished in Illinois

story and photographs by Robert Loerzel

One of every three people in this state is poor — in some locales, the situation is particularly dire

young woman with nametag "Underpaid”
Minimum wage

by Amanda Vinicky

The debate is churned up at the state and federal levels


Jamey DunnEditor’s note
by Jamey Dunn

Election stifles policy change in 2014

Ends and Means

by Charles N. Wheeler III
, Columnist
National pundits overplay GOP surge in Illinois