Senate President John Cullerton
The Senate’s overwhelming rejection of House Speaker Michael Madigan’s fix for a $97 billion retirement-plan crisis leaves lawmakers heading into their final day in the Capitol on Friday with the state’s most pressing crisis continuing to stare them in the face.
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.
Gun owners could carry concealed weapons in Illinois, the last state in the nation to prohibit it, under legislation that swept through the House Friday with the backing of the powerful Democratic speaker from Chicago, a city torn by violence despite what critics claim are the nation’s toughest firearms restrictions.
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 voted Thursday to send a union-supported pension reform bill to the House, leaving lawmakers with two competing proposals for dealing with the nation’s worst state pension crisis just weeks before the Legislature is scheduled to adjourn.
Labor leaders threatened a lawsuit Wednesday over House Speaker Michael Madigan’s pension-reform proposal to lower the retirement benefits of public employees in Illinois, but a committee advanced the plan anyway.
Sen. President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, plans to strip language that would legalize Internet gambling from the bill, after it had become clear that the governor and some legislators who supported previous gambling bills had concerns that could derail passage of the larger package.
The Illinois House Wednesday approved a measure to allow physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients with specific terminal illnesses or debilitating medical conditions.
A day after Gov. Pat Quinn upbraided lawmakers for inaction on the state’s multibillion-dollar pension mess, House members found a proposal they could get behind, backing a measure to limit the salary on which a public employee’s retirement benefits could be based.
Governor Quinn says he found this his toughest budget to deliver to Illinois lawmakers, and it’s getting criticism from both sides of the aisle, reports WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore.
An Illinois Senate committee has approved legalizing gay marriage for the second time in a month.
Eight people were slain in various shootings in Chicago over the weekend, but Chicago police maintain their crime-fighting strategies are working.
Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) said Monday that the state is only hurting itself by failing to take action to resolve its ballooning pension debt and declining credit rating.
After two days of snags in moving the issue, Sen. Heather Steans finally won committee approval by an 8-5 vote Thursday evening, sending the measure next to the floor.
Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) and other Democrats were sounding the alarm Thursday about what they said might be potential voter suppression in this state.
Faced with an employee pension crisis that could become his biggest challenge, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday he is putting his full force behind getting lawmakers in Springfield to achieve an overhaul of the state’s pension systems.
Gov. Pat Quinn and the state’s four legislative leaders remained split on how to fix the state’s severely underfunded public pension systems, though the governor did signal a shift in philosophy regarding teacher pensions.
Prospects for pension reform in Illinois improved measurably late Wednesday night, when House Speaker Mike Madigan dropped his proposal to make public schools and state universities pay retirement costs for their employees, rather than the state.