The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


March 25, 2014

More school cuts? Look somewhere else

It doesn’t take much imagination to see the growing financial storm that will hit the state of Illinois in the not-so-distant future.

As we reported last week, the state shelled out an obscene $318 million in 2013 in tax receipts (translation: your money) to pay the interest on unpaid bills. To put such a large total in perspective, consider this: $318 million would cover the annual budget of the Illinois State Police.

That’s disturbing, especially since the annual total for interest on unpaid bills more than doubled from 2012. There is some consolation from the total debt being cut from $9 billion, but it’s not the fiscal achievement some incumbent lawmakers will tout in their re-election campaigns.

There also is the matter of the still-unpopular income tax hike that will expire at the end of the year. That will deprive lawmakers of $5 billion in tax dollars every year going forward. That’s a scary thought because the new cash brought in by the income tax hike didn’t provide for both debt retirement and more spending. We’re still in the hole.

Unless the income tax hike is extended, an unlikely prospect before the general election in November, some type of corrective action will be required. It might be possible to raise other taxes and fees to generate $5 billion. But which ones and why? It also might be possible to cut $5 billion in expenses. But which ones and why?

Cutting expenses is the better option, but not in the places lawmakers have preferred in recent years - funding for schools and higher education. Those areas already have taken big cuts, but still there are renewed fears of more cuts ahead for education.

State schools Superintendent Christopher Koch sounded the alarm last week. He said an early revenue blueprint from state lawmakers showed schools facing a nearly $1 billion funding cut beginning July 1. That’s a big slice, especially when compared to the nearly $1 billion increase sought by the Illinois State Board of Education to overcome some of the financial difficulties linked to earlier cuts.

Text Only
  • Off and on the record Let us now praise anonymous sources.The new White House press secretary got into a familiar old spat with the White House press corps the other day over the use of anonymous sources.Josh Earnest — has there ever been a more perfectly named White Hous

    July 25, 2014

  • Be more informed

    Blame the city.That is a favorite pastime of many, including me at times. Driving over that pesky pothole or paying that annual property tax bill can lead to some choice words referencing the city. Nobody takes the brunt of being the scapegoat more t

    July 25, 2014

  • CCC thanks community, collaborators for successful movie night Clinton Community College would like to thank those who participated in the free outdoor movie showing of “Captain America – Winter Soldier” on the evening of Friday, July 18.We are grateful to have such wonderful community collaborators in the Erick

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todd Akin's back again to talk of rape So, Todd Akin is back and he’s talking rape again.You remember what happened last time. The would-be Missouri senator torpedoed his campaign two years ago after suggesting in a TV interview that if a woman is a victim of “legitimate rape,” she is unl

    July 22, 2014

  • Sadness remains as two-year mark passes in cousins' case As most citizens of the Cedar Valley are well aware, July 13 marked two years since the disappearance of cousins Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey of Evansdale.The passage of time provides some semblance of healing, but the sadness, particul

    July 22, 2014

  • UI needs to keep its admission standards high There’s been a lot of talk lately — most of it coming from the leadership of the Iowa state Board of Regents — about the University of Iowa not being passionate enough about its recruitment of in-state undergraduates. Regent president Bruce Rastetter

    July 21, 2014

  • Vote fraud myths meet voting rights reality Before she was allowed to register and vote for the first time in Franklin County, North Carolina, Rosanell Eaton had to read the entire preamble to the U.S. Constitution out loud in front of three men in the county courthouse.Eaton is black. The thr

    July 21, 2014 1 Story

  • 7-21-14 David Helscher mug Prepare for possible effects of Fed's decisions It has been more than 5 years since the Federal Reserve has taken unprecedented steps to support the economy through purchases of Treasury and mortgage-backed debt securities. This has generally been called quantitative easing and has not been withou

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo


With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

     View Results