News

Negotiations to Fill Budget Hole Again Delayed

State prisons, childcare facilities and many other state-run programs are struggling to fund essential services as yet another week passes without any progress made to fix the $1.6 billion budget hole advanced by Democrat leaders in the current budget. Though Gov. Rauner has repeatedly asked for the tools to fix the crisis created by his Democrat predecessor, Democrat leaders in the House and Senate have continued to delay a resolution to repair the deficit they caused.

Local Government and Unfunded Mandates Task Force

Created to help identify ways to help streamline and consolidate local governments, the Local Government and Unfunded Task Force, chaired by Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, aims to help make Illinois government more effective and efficient.

Open Meetings Act Reforms Advance to Senate

Three Republican Senators are now spearheading efforts in the Senate to advance legislation that seeks to enforce transparency and accountability of government meetings, after the measure unanimously passed the House.

Media Highlights Need for Change at DCFS

DCFS came under fire this week, after an investigation led by WBEZ found that the agency has frequently relied on juvenile facilities in Cook County to provide temporary housing until the welfare agency manages to find suitable homes to place kids who are wards of the state.

Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day (IGOLD) at the Capitol

Hundreds of Illinois gun owners headed to the Capitol on March 18 for the annual Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day (IGOLD) to advocate for their Second Amendment rights.

State Police Announce Modernization of Gun Licensing Process

While gun owners rallied in Springfield this week, the Illinois State Police (ISP) announced on March 16 the Agency will begin accepting online FOID applications beginning March 16, to provide a more streamlined and modernized application process.

Legislation Proposed to Pay for Body Cams

Helping local police departments pay for body cameras if they become mandatory is the aim of legislation sponsored by State Sen. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon).

COLLEGE ILLINOIS! ® 529 PREPAID TUITION PROGRAM ANNOUNCES DRAW YOUR DREAMS COLORING CONTEST FOR KIDS

College Illinois!®, the state’s only 529 prepaid tuition program, has announced its first "Draw your Dreams" coloring contest, offering future college students an opportunity to win one of three $529 gift cards.

Officials Aim to Modernize and Expedite Licensing Process for Efficiency

The Illinois State Police (ISP) today announced the Agency will begin accepting on-line FOID applications beginning March 16, 2015, to provide a more streamlined and modernized application process.

Illinois’ Agriculture Leader Tours Major Decatur Employers

On March 13, Phil Nelson, the Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, visited Decatur at the invitation of State Senator Chapin Rose. Nelson and Rose, along with Dennis Hughes and Mike Stacey from the Macon County Farm Bureau, toured ADM. Rose and Nelson also toured Tate and Lyle.

Rose praises U of I Board for approving medical school

Calling it “bold action,” State Sen. Chapin Rose applauds the March 12 decision by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees to establish a new academic medical school in Urbana in conjunction with Carle Health System.

Budget Transparency

Two legislative proposals promoting budget transparency and sunshine are pending before the Senate this spring, sponsored by State Sen. Michael Connelly (R-Wheaton). The measures would impact how the budget process is conducted at the state and local level.

Public Pension Reform at the State Supreme Court

The Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments March 11 on a public pension reform law passed in 2013 that would change how pensions for state employees are calculated and paid. The law would affect four state retirement systems: Teachers, Universities (including community colleges), State Employees and the General Assembly. Among other provisions, it included a reduction in annual cost-of-living adjustments on pension benefits and creation of an optional 401-K style savings plan.

Economics 101 for Elected Officials

Illinois elected officials who deal annually with budgets, pensions, programs and services would be required to undergo an eight-hour course on economics every two years under legislation sponsored by State Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford).

School Safety Redo

There is a renewed effort underway at the Capitol to improve school security and student safety. Sponsored by State Sen. Neil Anderson (R-Rock Island), Senate Bill 1340 would create a statewide School Security and Standards Task Force to help schools improve their active security measures and overall safety and security of buildings and classrooms.