Illinois General Assembly
Saying he wants the state to do more to keep people out of prison, Gov. Bruce Rauner has formed a commission to study possible changes to the state’s criminal justice system.
A day after outlining an ambitious agenda for his first year in office, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner Thursday was confronted with a state budget that is millions of dollars short for programs such as subsidized day care that are rapidly running out of money.
Gov. Bruce Rauner laid out a first-year agenda Wednesday he said will help Illinois better compete with its neighbors, largely by stripping power from labor unions, shrinking the size of government and making the state more attractive to companies looking to create jobs.
The Republican’s first State of the State address, scheduled for noon Wednesday before the General Assembly in Springfield, comes as some state agencies and programs already are running out of money this year and with Illinois facing an even greater budget gap next year.
House and Senate Democrats will seek to protect their own interests and constituencies in eventual negotiations with Rauner. While he speaks of the need for steep budget cuts, they’ll likely seek to protect social services, state workers and Medicaid recipients.
A conservative Republican lawmaker from Wheaton has teamed up with a liberal Democrat from Chicago in an effort to make Illinois a “right to try” state.
Recent police-caused deaths in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City and an ongoing concern about racial sensitivity is behind a set of police reform bills sponsored by Illinois Democrats, who say measured steps are needed to address the underlying issues.
Gov. Bruce Rauner said he will propose a number of reforms to turn the state around, and indicated they would involve making Illinois more attractive to businesses while slashing spending on everything from health insurance for the poor to public-worker pensions and the state’s payroll.
Rauner’s inauguration ceremony was scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield. He was set to take the oath of office along with Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Secretary of State Jesse White, Treasurer Mike Frerichs, and Comptroller Leslie Munger.
The head of the agency that oversees children who are wards of the state told state lawmakers Wednesday that a revolving door at the top is partly to blame for abuses that have plagued the department for decades.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Monday giving Illinois’ attorney general more power to stop pension payments to convicted felons.
Gov. Pat Quinn was moving to call a special session of the Illinois General Assembly next month to vote on legislation to set up a special election in 2016 for the Illinois State Comptroller’s office.
The case involves the pension fix lawmakers and Gov. Pat Quinn adopted last year. The law cut retirement benefits and made other changes to help fill a $111 billion deficit in five state pensions systems caused by years of state underfunding.
Fast food and home healthcare workers were rallying in the River North neighborhood early Thursday, hoping to keep the pressure on state lawmakers to raise the minimum wage.
Illinois lawmakers face a number of issues as they wind down their fall veto session but won’t consider increasing the state’s minimum wage. Votes could come Wednesday on an expanded election law and a state health-insurance exchange.
Aldermen have set the stage to hike the city’s minimum wage to $13 an hour over the next four-and-a-half years, under a measure the City Council is expected to approve Tuesday.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said she expects the state’s highest court could take up the state’s landmark pension overhaul plan by the end of January, now that a lower court judge has ruled it unconstitutional.
With state lawmakers set to return to Springfield for three days of veto session later this week, and then again in early December, advocates for a higher minimum wage were urging the legislature to act on a measure to increase the minimum wage in Illinois to $10 an hour.
The Chicago Democrat approved the bipartisan legislation that will also provide lawmakers with opportunities to attend popular ribbon-cutting ceremonies in an election year.
A law enacted last year authorized a four-year pilot project that will expire in 2017. So far, not a single marijuana seed has been planted. But now that rules have been approved, the state agencies running the program can start posting applications for a limited number of grower and retailer permits.