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State Week: Confederate Railroad Canceled; Service Tax Talk

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Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker canceled an upcoming performance by the band Confederate Railroad at the DuQuoin State Fair. 

The move was not all that surprising, given that he frequently refers to his administration as the most diverse and inclusive in the history of Illinois. Will he pay a price with voters in Southern Illinois?

Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is looking at expanding the sales tax to include services. Neighboring states tax everything from dry cleaning and boat storage (Wisconsin) to haircuts and Turkish baths (Iowa).

The idea has support among groups that study the state budget — they say Illinois’ tax structure has not kept up with the modern economy. But politicians — including Gov. Pritzker — have been more wary of the approach.

Sean Crawford hosts with regular panelists Charlie Wheeler and Brian Mackey, and guest Amanda Vinicky of Chicago Tonight, which airs on PBS station WTTW.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
The former director of the Public Affairs Reporting (PAR) graduate program is Professor Charles N. Wheeler III, a veteran newsman who came to the University of Illinois at Springfield following a 24-year career at the Chicago Sun-Times.
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