News

Sunshine paying dividends for farmers

Less rain last week enabled farmers to get back into the fields, while the sunshine is helping crops improve as well.

Pay hike rejected

After extensive criticism from Republican lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner, a two-percent pay hike for lawmakers that took effect on July 1 was rejected in the House on July 28 by a vote of 101-1. House Bill 576 has been sent to the Senate, and could be considered by Senate lawmakers when they convene on Aug. 4.

State Fair returns to Springfield

In just a matter of weeks, Springfield will welcome tens of thousands of fairgoers, as the fairgrounds open for the annual Illinois State Fair. Scheduled to run from Aug. 13 to Aug. 23, the fair promises something for everyone to enjoy.

Prison population on the decline, still overcrowded

The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) is reporting its lowest inmate population in almost five years. Yet, facilities remain overcrowded and population numbers continue to be a concern as state resources are stretched.

Illinois sparks tourists’ interest

Illinois continues to welcome growing tourist numbers and their economic benefits for the fourth straight year in a row.

Legislation introduced to limit ‘pension perks’

In an effort to address what many consider excessive compensatory abuses and practices within the public sector field of post-secondary education, Senate Bill 2162 has been introduced to eliminate housing or vehicle allowances from being calculated into the “earnings” of a member of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, State Universities, and the Downstate Teacher Pension funds for pensionable purposes.

Bills signed into law

Gov. Rauner took action on a number of bills throughout the week. For a complete list, please visit the Senate Action page of the Senate Republican Caucus Web by clicking here.

Area lawmakers host FREE senior health fair August 5 in Effingham

Area seniors are invited to a free Senior Health and Information Fair August 5 at the Effingham Armory. The event is sponsored by State Sens, Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon), Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) and Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) and State Rep. John Cavaletto (R-Salem).

Need for compromise

House lawmakers returned to Springfield July 21 for hearings that Democrat legislative leaders said showed the perils of adopting Rauner’s pro-business agenda. The Senate has its next session days scheduled for Aug. 4 and 5.

Audit Commission accepting applications for Auditor General post

The Legislative Audit Commission will be accepting applications through Aug. 19 from persons interested in appointment as State Auditor General.

Law could help save millions

A new law that would end state payments to benefit recipients who are deceased could save taxpayers millions of dollars.

Four companies close during 10-day period

A recent report by the Illinois Policy Institute states that in a 10-day period in July, four manufacturers announced that they will be shutting down their operations in Illinois.

Governor seeks federal flood relief for crops

On July 23, Gov. Rauner sent a letter to USDA officials requesting all counties in Illinois experiencing crop damage related to recent flooding be included in a Secretarial Disaster Declaration.

Bills signed into law

Gov. Rauner took action on a number of bills during the week. A complete list is available on the Senate Action page of the Senate Republican Caucus Web site at http://senategop.state.il.us/AbouttheSenate/SenateAction.aspx

State Museum Hearing

Also during the week, the Legislature’s bipartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CoGFA) held a hearing about the possibility of closing the Illinois State Museum as part of ongoing preparations for state spending reductions should the budget impasse continue.