FILE - Illinois State Capitol

The dome of the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois.

State employees to get $370 million in back pay

Come the end of September, $370 million in back pay will be going to tens of thousands of state employees from early career raises from a contract that expired back in 2015.

The courts sided with unions in a fight with former Gov. Bruce Rauner that the raises must be paid, though the State Journal-Register reports the interest on the back pay has yet to be calculated.

The AFSCME union, which endorsed Gov. J.B. Pritzker, is voting to ratify its first new contract with the state since 2015.

Opponent-funded poll shows support falling for progressive tax proposal

New polling found a ballot initiative to change Illinois’ flat income tax to one with higher rates for higher earners may be off to a rocky start.

A We Ask America poll of 800 likely Illinois voters shows support for a progressive tax stood at 51 percent.

That’s down eight percentage points since February. Think Big Illinois, a progressive nonprofit with ties to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, has spent $5 million to promote the amendment.

Critics have said a progressive tax is a blank check for politicians to toy with rates year-after-year.

Cahokia Mounds offers hike with archaeologists

This Saturday at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, visitors can hike with archaeologists, or take a beginners class on shaping flint tools.

Pending the weather, the three-mile hike is free and starts at 9:30 a.m. The flint tool class starts at noon Saturday and costs $30.

Preregistration is required. Information is online at cahokiamounds.org.