A report from one of the nation’s leading credit rating agencies says Illinois and New Jersey are the two states least-equipped to handle another recession. While “the probability of a recession beginning within the next year appears to be low,” according to the release Monday by Moody’s Investors Service, “[New Jersey and Illinois] are likely to face more difficult challenges than other states” in dealing with it.
Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday briefed lawmakers on a proposed capital improvements plan that calls for spending $41.5 billion on transportation, education, public health and other infrastructure projects over six years, funded by a host of new or increased taxes and fees.
A test required for teacher licensing that many argue has contributed to the state’s teacher shortage might soon be suspended. The Illinois Senate on Thursday passed and sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker House Bill 423, which would put what is known as the “test of basic skills” on hold until July 1, 2025, while state officials try to determine whether that will help relieve the state’s teacher shortage.
Illinois House Republican leadership will brief their members Monday on a balanced budget proposal which they say the governor’s office won’t listen to, according to an internal caucus memo obtained by Capitol News Illinois on Friday.
Illinois falls short in providing the funding and worker compensation to keep the health care services industry stable, advocates representing various organizations from around the state said this week. While requests for substance abuse and mental health services have increased, organizations that provide them have been underfunded for at least a decade, one said.
A Democratic state lawmaker called Senate President John Cullerton’s proposal to raise Illinois’ usage tax on tobacco products “too unreasonable” at a time when the General Assembly is considering a slew of other tax hikes. Rep. Thaddeus Jones, from Calumet City, said the plan would turn Illinois into a “job creator” for surrounding states.
Illinois House Republicans called a news conference Thursday to unveil a “fiscal year 2020 balanced budget proposal” in the form of a one-page document detailing $2.6 billion more in revenue than House working groups had previously planned for. “The important part here is we're not presenting a plan and saying ‘take it or leave it,’” Deputy Minority Leader Tom Demmer, R-Dixon, said.
Nearly 300 advocates came to the Capitol on Thursday to say community homes are better and more cost-efficient places for people with disabilities to live rather than state institutions. The asked for more state funding than what Gov. J.B. Pritzker has proposed in his budget plan.
A bill that would ban for-profit immigrant detention centers in Illinois is now on its way to Gov. J.B. Pritzker. The Illinois Senate voted 34-to-14 on Thursday to pass House Bill 2020. It previously passed the House on April 10 by a vote of 85-to-26.
Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said lawmakers have to move quickly before the city’s chances to build a casino are “virtually eliminated” by a northern rival. Just 15 minutes away in Beloit, Wisconsin, the Ho-Chunk Nation tribe awaits federal approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to build a casino there, the Beloit Daily News has reported.
With only two weeks remaining in the 2019 regular session, Democrats in the Illinois House say they are close to securing the 71 votes needed to pass one of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s top priorities, a constitutional amendment to replace the state’s “flat” income tax system with a multi-bracket “graduated” tax that would impose higher rates on higher levels of income.
Democratic lawmakers demanded their colleagues take action on a controversial, sweeping reproductive health care bill at a rally Wednesday just outside the Statehouse. Their call for the Reproductive Health Act to get a committee hearing comes amid recent action by other states to restrict access to abortion procedures.
Some provisions that advocates for recreational marijuana legalization have said are the most important facets of their bill faced the stiffest questions at a legislative hearing Wednesday. Deputy Gov. Christian Mitchell said Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office is willing to negotiate the expungement matter as lawmakers questioned the process laid out in the current bill.
Senate Bill 7, the bill that would legalize adult-use recreational marijuana in Illinois, is a 533-page piece of legislation that sets standards for regulating the production, sale and taxation of marijuana, how licenses would be allocated, and how people with previous marijuana-related criminal convictions could have their records expunged.
Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker vowed Wednesday to carry out all of the recommendations in a new, independent report that calls for sweeping reforms at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to prevent future deaths of children who have been in foster care or other child welfare programs.
Wednesday at the Capitol, representatives of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce joined one Democrat and two Republican lawmakers who said they are ready to take the lead on an infrastructure bill, and all sources of revenue – including hikes to the motor fuel tax and vehicle registration fees – are on the table.