Editorials: Around Illinois: Gun violence, taxes and education

Editorials: Around Illinois: Gun violence, taxes and education

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The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan

We don't know how or when this horrific saga of gun violence gripping southern Illinois will end. Unfortunately, we feel certain that more heart-rending chapters of loss will be written before we reach a resolution.

Although reports of shootings ebb and flow, it seems the region can't go 10 days without an incident — whether it be in Carbondale, Harrisburg, Marion or elsewhere. Outwardly, southern Illinoisans live in what appears to be an idyllic area — small towns with tree-lined streets, rivers, lakes and hills. But we are hardly immune from the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our nation.

The harsh lesson is that legally purchased guns are as deadly as black market or stolen weapons. Legally purchased bullets don't discriminate between friend or foe, they don't discriminate by race, creed or age when they tear through flesh, break bones or destroy vital organs.

Why do so many people seem incapable of understanding that pulling the trigger is an act that can't be undone? Why do so many of us not realize the finality, the gravity of that simple action?

These questions will have to be answered honestly and completely before we as a community, before the United States as a nation can begin to address this grisly epidemic of shootings.

In the meantime, we are left to mourn those who left this world entirely too early. It's an empty, haunting feeling.

The (Champaign) News-Gazette

Public officials in some states see income taxes as the path to economic salvation, a surefire way to pay for what programs legislators can come up with.

Other states also see them as granting legislators authority to tax income the same way, except they perceive that unlimited power as a surefire road to the nether regions, not salvation.

Texas falls in the latter camp, which explains why voters there overwhelmingly (75 percent) passed a constitutional amendment prohibiting a state income tax.

In Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker is pushing for passage of an amendment to the Illinois Constitution in the November 2020 election that would replace the current flat-tax mandate with progressive rates — steadily increasing tax rates on rising levels of income.

Passing a state constitutional amendment requires supermajority support from voters, and so far, it's unclear where Illinoisans stand on the issue.

But it's very clear how Texas voters feel about state income taxes. They're against progressive income taxes, flat taxes, any kind of income taxes.

(Arlington Heights) Daily Herald

Experts cite various reasons for a continuing decline in community college enrollment:

. In a booming economy, it's easier for young people to find opportunities elsewhere, whether it be at four-year institutions or in private businesses and industries hungry for workers.

. Enrollment peaked in 2010, driven by a historic recession that had spurred tens of thousands of older adults to turn to community colleges for retraining in marketable skills and professions.

. The college-age population is declining.

Economic and demographic fluctuations will always pose challenges for community college enrollment. But by monitoring economic and social trends, adapting to changes and maintaining close relationships with the local businesses and industries who will employ their graduates, the schools can remain — and are remaining — among the best values in higher education and local scholastic treasures.


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