Attorney General, ICC called on to investigate ComEd allegations

Serious allegations that ComEd may have improperly used ratepayer funds prompted State Sen. Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington) to call on Attorney General Lisa Madigan and ICC Chairman Brien Sheahan to take immediate action to protect ComEd ratepayers.

Legislation would create School Safety Task Force

Senate Bill 1340 creates the School Security and Standards Task Force to study the current security conditions, make recommendations and draft minimum standards for schools to provide a safer learning environment for students. The Task Force is to submit its report to the General Assembly and the Governor.

Workers’ compensation reform legislation makes Illinois more competitive

Senate Bill 846 would require an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance to pay a claim only if the employee’s injury was caused primarily by a workplace accident. Under current law, any connection to a workplace accident, regardless of how remote, obliges the workers’ compensation policy to cover 100% of the costs associated with the injury.

Medicaid legislation seeks greater accountability—and taxpayer savings

Responding to new reports that Illinois paid millions for medical services for persons already recorded as dead, legislation has been introduced intending to weed out Medicaid waste, fraud, and abuse; make the system work for the people who truly need the benefits; and save Illinois tax dollars.

Review of ‘Common Core’

As educators across Illinois prepare to begin administering the federal “Common Core” assessment tests, a Senate Resolution encourages the State Board of Education to opt out of the Common Core State Standards until a thorough review of associated costs can be conducted. Senate Resolution 89 also advances the creation of a state plan identifying how to provide the funding necessary for school districts to comply with the controversial new Common Core standards.

New IDNR Director visits Wolf and Eagle Creek facilities

The new Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), Wayne Rosenthal, toured the Wolf and Eagle Creek IDNR sites – including the now shuttered Eagle Creek resort facility at the invitation of State Sen. Chapin Rose.

AARP Thanks Sen. Rose for Introduction of Illinois Care Act Legislation

More than 2 million Illinoisans are caregivers – their unpaid work is valued at $18.8 billion annually. In growing numbers, Illinoisans and Americans are providing critical, unpaid care for their loved ones – whether it’s an aging parent, an ill spouse or a child or sibling with disabilities. They work long hours without respite and they need support.

Rose Praises Governor Rauner’s Trustee Selections

In response to Governor Bruce Rauner selecting Ramon Cepeda and Jill Smart on February 24, and the earlier reappointment of Ed McMillan, to serve on the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, State Senator Chapin Rose is calling Governor Rauner’s three selections “refreshing.”

Session summary: Feb. 16-20, 2015

On Feb. 18, Gov. Rauner outlined his $31.5 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget proposal to a joint session of Illinois lawmakers. His plan eliminates $6.2 billion structural deficit; relies on no tax increases or borrowing; includes $500 million to pay down unpaid bill backlog; increases K-12 education spending by roughly $300 million; increases early childhood education funding by $25 million; provides the most money for education general state aid in Illinois history; focuses on core function

Senator Rose Introduces Higher Ed MAP Grant Reform In Effort to Do More With Less

State Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) filed four pieces of legislation at the statehouse Feb. 20 aimed at protecting the integrity of the Monetary Award Program or MAP Grants, while also respecting taxpayers who pay for the student assistance program.

Senator Rose releases statement after Governor Rauner’s Budget Address

“Over half a decade ago, I called for an immediate five percent across the board cut to the state budget, but no one listened. Not only did no one listen, they increased spending, created new programs, and spent wildly out of control. It was unsustainable and the day of reckoning is here."

Executive Order: Rauner creates commission to study criminal justice system

Saying Illinois is in “desperate need of criminal justice reform,” Gov. Rauner issued an Executive Order Feb. 11 creating a new commission charged with identifying ways to reform the criminal justice system and sentencing laws in the state.

Executive Order: “Fair share” dues targeted

On Feb. 9, Gov. Rauner signed an Executive Order preventing public employee unions from collecting mandatory dues from certain employees. Calling them “unfair share” dues, Rauner said there are currently 6,500 state employees who have opted out of the union but are still required to pay dues to help finance certain union activities.

Budget preview: Funding for schools

While Illinois residents wait to hear what Gov. Rauner will propose during his first budget address on Feb. 18, the state’s chief executive says he’s confident schools and other critical programs can be fully funded.

Money for court reporters reaching a breaking point

Besides immediate budget concerns for prisons and daycare programs, Illinois could soon run out of money for the state’s court reporters. The Rauner Administration said the state program faces a more than $14 million budget gap, and funds will be exhausted by the end of March. The Rauner Administration says they are working with lawmakers right now to identify a solution to these revenue shortfalls.