The Illinois Senate left Springfield Thursday without voting on a bipartisan effort to end Illinois' budget stalemate. But hope springs eternal.
The so-called grand bargain — devised earlier this month by the Senate's top leadership — was like a chili recipe where the cooks keep swapping ingredients. The latest version would increase the income tax by one-and-a-quarter percentage points, and further decrease government pensions.
It would also fully fund Illinois government for the first time since 2015.
Illinois' best hope of protecting its endangered wetland birds may be to shore up their natural habitats.
Each spring, herons, egrets, blackbirds and terns migrate to this state's wetlands to mate, nest and breed. But these ecosystems, so rich in bird life, also are the most threatened, says Steve Bailey of the Illinois Natural History Survey. In fact, 90 percent of this state's original wetlands are gone. As a result, such species as the black and yellow-crowned night herons and the snowy egret are declining in Illinois.