Illinois tackles childhood mental health

Illinois was one of ten states selected to participate in a ZERO TO THREE Policy Center meeting to advance state policy related to improving infant and early childhood mental health. ZERO TO THREE is a non-profit organization that works to ensure all babies and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their well-being and development.

Gov. Rauner announces Health Care Fraud Elimination Task Force findings

On October 19, Governor Bruce Rauner announced the recommendations from the Health Care Fraud Elimination Task Force. The task force, created in April, was tasked with looking strategically and comprehensively into fraud, waste and abuse in taxpayer-funded programs.

Property taxes remain the focus for School Funding Reform Commission

Property taxes were again the topic of discussion during the sixth Illinois School Funding Reform Commission meeting on October 19. Commission members continued their conversation from the October 5 meeting on how property taxes influence school funding.

Cutting red tape in Illinois

Governor Bruce Rauner recently created the Illinois Competitiveness Council. The council will review all agency rules and regulations with the hope of cutting the red tape in Illinois and saving the state $250 million over the next decade.

Poll: Voters Looking for Reform in Illinois

A new poll of registered Illinois voters by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute released Oct. 10 reflect the public’s view that good government reforms are needed in state government to take Illinois in a different direction from the failed policies of the previous two administrations.

Illinois Law Becomes Model Policy for States

Illinois’ recently enacted ban on synthetic drugs might be adopted by other states thanks in part to the endorsement of the policy by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an association of state lawmakers from across the nation.

Courtroom Changes for Juvenile Suspects

The Illinois Supreme Court recently adopted new rules that ban the use of physical restraints on child suspects in juvenile court. New Supreme Court Rule 943 declares that restraints should not be used “unless the court finds, after a hearing, that such restraints are necessary to prevent physical harm to the minor or another, the minor has a history of disruptive behavior that presents a risk of harm, or there is a well-founded belief that the minor presents a substantial flight risk.”

Reforming Medicaid

On Oct. 13, Gov. Rauner's Administration officially submitted a Medicaid waiver proposal to the federal government to improve state programs for behavioral healthcare.

University of Illinois sees the largest number of freshman in school history

The University of Illinois campus in Champaign is busier this year thanks in large part to a record number of freshman—7,593 freshman students are hitting the books, one of the five biggest freshman classes in the country.

Survey finds Illinoisans support term limits, redistricting efforts by wide margins

A survey released Oct. 5 by the Paul Simon Institute found Illinoisans overwhelmingly support term limits and independent redistricting efforts.

Senate Committee explores removing statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases

The Senate Criminal Law Committee met Oct. 4 in Chicago to hear testimony and discuss legislative proposals on removing the statute of limitations on child sex abuse crimes. Illinois’ current law says sexual abuse against a child must be reported and prosecuted within 20 years of the victim turning 18 years old.

Illinois’ credit rating takes a hit

Citing Illinois’ massively underfunded pension liability as a major financial pressure, S&P Global Ratings dropped the state’s credit rating one notch to BBB on Sept. 30. Illinois is facing an unfunded pension liability of more than $111 billion, the largest in the country.

Illinois’ property tax system topic of latest Illinois School Funding Reform Commission

Meeting for the fifth time, the bipartisan Illinois School Funding Reform Commission discussed Illinois’ property tax system and its implications for school funding during its meeting Oct. 5.

Serving Those Who Served

A new statewide program, called Serving Those Who Served, asks Illinoisans to participate in volunteer service projects focused on benefiting Illinois veterans. This is the first year for this program, which will run through the month of November, and is planned to become an annual event.

Schools Encouraged to Participate in International Walk to School Day on Oct. 5

IDOT is encouraging schools throughout the state to participate in the 20th Annual International Walk to School Day on Oct. 5. Launched in 2000, International Walk to School Day is an opportunity for schools to promote walking to and from school, while also encouraging children to improve their own health in ways that benefit the environment.