suntimes
SURGE 
Weather Updates

opinions

Time for all-new plan on pensions

EDITORIAL: Forget pension reform Plan B. It’s time for a new Plan A. The state’s pension cost-cutting law, which was first rendered legally suspect this summer, suffered a major blow on Friday when a state judge ruled it unconstitutional.Unequivocally so.

As prisons swell, Illinois needs wiser policies

EDITORIAL: Illinois needs to get smarter about how it runs its prisons. A new federal census reports the prisons were filled to 173 percent of design capacity as of Sept. 30, one of the worst rates in the nation. The state disputes that, saying it’s at less than 100 percent of operational capacity, which accounts for measures such as putting two inmates in a cell. Clearly, though, the prisons are crowded. We need to do a better job finding alternatives to incarceration that don’t risk public safety.

Out-of-power comet lander deserves praise

EDITORIAL: How about that botched European comet lander, the one that flew for 10 years and then collected data for only 60 hours before running out of power? It’s more than a punch line. Despite the spacecraft’s short stint on the comet, it appears to have been well worth the effort.

Chicago on cusp of election that matters

EDITORIAL: No doubt some voters groaned this week as Rahm Emanuel launched political ads for his re-election. They probably had been looking forward to a respite after the ad barrage leading up to the Nov. 7 vote. But here’s the silver lining. The ads signify the kickoff of a different kind of election than the one we just had. This one will be much more about issues people care about.

NFL passes 1st big test

EDITORIAL: Now we’re getting somewhere. The NFL on Tuesday suspended Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson without pay for at least the rest of the season. Peterson whipped his 4-year-old son with a wooden switch. After several outrageous stumbles — including an initial decision to sit Peterson out just one day and the light initial punishment for player Ray Rice, who knocked his wife unconscious — Tuesday’s move was a big test for a chastened league.

Let gov’s veto on ride sharing rules stand

EDITORIAL: Chicago, home to the state’s only ride sharing networks, recently put rules on the books to regulate ride sharing. Now, Springfield is poised to haul Chicago’s rules off to the junkyard and impose its own. Someone needs to apply the brakes here.

Fighting illegal guns is God’s work

EDITORIAL: Blase Cupich’s arrival as archbishop presents a historic opportunity to turn Chicago away from its horrific gun violence. As Cupich officially assumes his duties Tuesday, we urge him to take a leading and visible role in fighting the devastating flow of illegal guns into our city. Nothing could be more God’s work.

No other choice on immigration reform

EDITORIAL: Go for it, President Obama. Revamp our nation’s broken and inhumane immigration system, as you long ago pledged to do. Do it regardless of the political fallout. Do it because it’s the right thing to do.

Thank you,  Mayor Byrne

EDITORIAL: As the years rolled, the historic importance of Jane Byrne’s singular feat — upending the smug and unresponsive Democratic Machine — became clearer than ever. After Mayor Byrne and Mayor Washington, the old Machine reasserted itself, again under a mayor named Daley, but never again could it take ordinary people, out in the neighborhoods, quite so much for granted.

A good lakefront debate is welcomed

EDITORIAL: The legal fight over constructing the Lucas Museum on precious lakefront property began in earnest on Thursday. That’s good news for Chicago — even if you believe the museum belongs on the lakefront. The more conversation, the better. The more legal wrangling, the better. The more clarity about what belongs on Chicago’s lakefront, the better.

Rauner must lead charge against illegal guns

EDITORIAL: Chicago desperately needs a real leader in the fight to get illegal guns off our blood-stained streets. We believe that leader can and should be Bruce Rauner. Nothing is more important to the future of Chicago.

Let towns decide firefighting staffing levels

EDITORIAL: Just as fires can roar back if not completely doused, bad bills can pop back onto the Legislature’s agenda. Such a bad bill — one that gives labor unions more say in how many firefighters and paramedics towns must hire — is poised to reappear before the Illinois Senate. It should be rejected.

One-man army fights to help dropouts

EDITORIAL: One of Chicago’s most relentless advocates is taking a bow this week. Few in Chicago — the nation, really — deserve the applause more than Jack Wuest. Wuest’s Alternative Schools Network supports 35 second-chance alternative schools and education sites in Chicago, graduating nearly 13,000 former dropouts over the last 15 years. The education group Wuest has run since the early 1970s celebrates its 40th anniversary on Thursday.

Businesses should hire more veterans

EDITORIAL: People who bravely serve our nation in the military shouldn’t have to worry about getting jobs when they return home. Veterans Day is a good time for businesses to re-commit to ensuring that military veterans are finding jobs.

Obamacare needs boost in illinois

EDITORIAL: More than 168,000 people in Illinois get a federal subsidy on their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. For their sake, the Illinois General Assembly should move quickly to make sure those tax considerations continue even if the U.S. Supreme Court next year rules against Obamacare’s current system of subsidies.