In a sea of what is usually dismal news, here in Illinois we've had a spate of what are clearly political victories for progressives. It began late last year with the passage of the Civil Union law, which allows gay and lesbian couples many of the rights afforded to married, heterosexual partners. Then, in the first few weeks of February the Illinois Senate passed the abolition of the death penalty (yet to be signed by the governor) and an income tax increase of 2%. While I don't have a good analysis of the tax increase, of how it could've been more progressive, I still count it as a victory when the state isn't funding basic operations like schools.
UPDATE: Turns out the Governor Quinn still hasn't signed the bill to end the death penalty in Illinois. This is definitely the time to give Quinn a call and demand that he sign this important bill!
10 months ago