In the 1950s, thriving commerce, strong leadership, and geographical good fortune made Illinois one of the most envied states in the nation. Today, long-festering problems have left it the butt of jokes and threatened it with fiscal catastrophe. In Fixing Illinois, James D. Nowlan and J. Thomas Johnson use their four decades of experience as Springfield veterans and government observers to propose solutions that are sure to ignite debate--and action. Fixing Illinois takes on ills from out-of-control benefits spending to the pension debacle, from high corporate tax rates to the soaring cost of higher education. Avoiding partisanship, Nowlan and Johnson argue for serious decisions and long-term planning that place the good of the state over parochial or regional interests. Among their more than ninety proposals to change the workings of Illinois state government for the better:An overhaul of state pension systems that includes more reasonable benefits and lengthening of the retirement age, among other changes;Broadening of the tax base to include services and reduction in rates;Raising funds with capital construction bonds to update and integrate the antiquated information systems used by state agencies;Uprooting the state's entrenched culture of corruption via public financing of elections, redistricting reform, and revolving door prohibitions for lawmakersPointed, honest, and pragmatic, Fixing Illinois is a plan for effective and honest government that seeks an even nobler end: restoring our faith in Illinois's institutions and reviving a sense of citizenship and state pride.