The Illinois Legislature approved a historic plan Tuesday to eliminate the state’s $100 billion pension shortfall, a vote that proponents described as critical to repairing the state’s deeply troubled finances but that faces the immediate threat of a legal challenge from labor unions.
After more than five months of work, Illinois’ legislative leaders announced Wednesday they’ve reached a deal to help solve the state’s $100 billion pension problem, considered the nation’s worst.
A historic vote Tuesday in the Illinois House positioned that state to become the largest in the heartland to legalize gay marriage, following months of arduous lobbying efforts by both sides in President Barack Obama’s home state.
Opponents of legislation to legalize gay marriage in Illinois rallied Wednesday outside the state Capitol, one day after thousands held their own event to urge lawmakers to approve it.
Supporters of gay marriage in Illinois say now is the time for lawmakers to give it the okay, and headed to Springfield by the busload on Tuesday to deliver their message, but it remained unclear if there were enough votes in the House to send same-sex marriage legislation to the governor.
The new leader of Illinois House Republicans said Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s push for tougher penalties for gun crimes could be a good thing, but also expensive.
His predecessor, state Rep. Tom Cross of Oswego, stepped down to run for state treasurer. Cross held the position for a decade.
Powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan said Thursday he asked senior staff at Metra to consider a pay raise for an associate who was employed at the commuter rail agency, but withdrew the recommendation after Metra’s then-CEO expressed discomfort over it.
Illinois lawmakers have voted to reject a set of changes Gov. Pat Quinn made to legislation allowing the carrying of concealed firearms in Illinois.
All 11 Metra Board members — as well as former Metra CEO Alex Clifford — are being asked to appear July 11 before a legislative committee delving into a hefty severance package that could reap Clifford nearly $750,000 over more than two years, lawmakers said Wednesday.
As the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act and opened the door for California to resume same-sex marriages, Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) called on the state legislature to “get its act together” and approve gay marriage in Illinois.
Gov. Pat Quinn and lawmakers are working on a new plan to solve the state’s $97 billion pension crisis that involves forming a bipartisan committee and reconvening the Legislature again in July.
The House Republicans’ plan would create a new tax credit for families who earn less than $150,000 a year and send their kids to accredited Illinois schools, as well as a new tax deduction for using college savings programs.
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan might not be in touch with Gov. Pat Quinn, but there might be some behind-the-scenes work ahead to resolve the state’s pension reform impasse before a special session of the General Assembly on June 19.
A study by the We Are One Illinois coalition shows that if half of employees and retirees choose to forgo post-career health insurance as part of Senate President John Cullerton’s proposal, the state’s debt to two health insurance programs would be cut in half, by $26 billion.
The Democrat-controlled Legislature began piecing together a new state budget Tuesday that avoids the steep cuts of recent years and also gave final approval to a historic expansion of Medicaid, as Republicans accused their colleagues across the aisle of having “an insatiable appetite to spend money we don’t have.”
Majority Democrats on the committee drove the 10-6 vote in favor of the bill by Sen. Kwame Raoul Raoul said he doesn’t know how many votes he has on the floor or when he’ll call it.
The proposal says drivers must use hands-free devices or speakerphone features.
A concealed-carry gun deal brokered by House Speaker Michael Madigan cleared a House committee Thursday, but its prospects were unclear across the Capitol in the Senate because of the way it would curb existing local gun laws.
The Illinois Senate has passed a measure that would require parents to send their kids to school before their 7th birthday, in a vote that broke down along party lines.