“Overall, our outcomes are improving despite insufficient state investment in programs and schools. We must build on the progress of K–12 funding reform and ensure our early childhood and postsecondary programs are fully and equitably funded so students and families have access to the resources they need to thrive,” Advance Illinois said in its 2019 “The State We’re In” report.
Aunt Martha’s Health & Wellness, the only Illinois organization currently participating in the federal family planning program, was awarded more than double its initial grant after several providers across the country declined their funding in response to a Trump administration rule change.
A Republican state lawmaker said Wednesday she plans to introduce legislation to establish a State Ethics Task Force to tighten ethics rules within Illinois government.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker and his wife, M.K. Pritzker, reported more than $6 million in gross income last year, about $5.5 million of which was federally taxable, according to a nine-page summary of 2018 state and federal tax returns released by his campaign Tuesday. The governor’s campaign did not, however, release any tax return documentation regarding trust funds which benefit the Pritzkers.
Illinois made substantial progress in securing its election systems since Russian government officials hacked into its voter registration database in 2016, but more needs to be done to protect those systems heading into the 2020 elections. That was the message two Illinois election officials delivered to a congressional committee Tuesday.
The Illinois State Board of Education is scheduled to vote on its legislative agenda for the upcoming fall veto session and regular spring 2020 legislative session when it meets in East St. Louis this week. On the agenda for that regular meeting are recommendations for a pair of trailer bills for the fall veto session and safeguards relating to educator misconduct to be discussed in spring session.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity introduced a five-year economic plan this week, focusing on six industries that can boost the state’s economy and a variety of programs to build its workforce and encourage population growth. It’s the first such plan since former Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn released his in July 2014, when he declared, “Illinois is in the midst of a resurgence.”
A Republican lawmaker has filed legislation to reinstate the death penalty in Illinois, calling it an “effective tool” to dissuade violent crime. Barrington Hills Rep. David McSweeney first announced his intention to introduce the bill in August, after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, killed 31 people.
Senate Democrats on Friday released copies of the full, unredacted search warrant that was executed on state Sen. Martin Sandoval’s office Sept. 24, and it reveals a wide-ranging probe into possible corruption involving a red-light camera company, construction businesses, a large utility company and other Chicago-area politicians.
Lawmakers will aim to pass a law capping out-of-pocket insulin costs at $100 per one month’s supply when they return for the fall veto session, the bill’s sponsors announced Friday at a Chicago news conference. State Sen. Steve Stadelman, a Loves Park Democrat, said the issue was personal to his family as well — his teenage son has type 1 Diabetes and the sticker price for the drug is more than $1,400.
Deputy Gov. Christian Mitchell said Gov. J.B. Pritzker “would be pleased to sign either or both” of two bills which pertain to emissions of ethylene oxide, a gas used in medical supply sterilization and manufacturing processes which has been designated as cancer-causing by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
A task force Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker formed in February is recommending the state consolidate 649 suburban and downstate police and firefighter pension funds into just two, saying the move would generate billions of dollars in additional earnings over the next 20 years while cutting administrative costs. But it stopped short of recommending consolidation of other state retirement funds.
Nine Democratic lawmakers are calling on Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul to investigate the business practices of the College Board and sale of data it collects from students who take the SAT and PSAT exams. The action comes about a week before high school students throughout the state are due to take the PSAT, which among other things is used to determine eligibility for National Merit Scholarships.
A new state law allowing voters in McHenry County to more easily dissolve their townships already appears headed for tests in court and on the ballot. Two township road districts in the county filed a lawsuit challenging the law’s constitutionality. Meanwhile, residents in McHenry Township have to put a dissolution question on the March ballot.
A package of bills aimed at transforming the state’s energy landscape appears unlikely to move during the upcoming fall veto session after Gov. J.B. Pritzker was less than optimistic on the subject this week at an unrelated Chicago news conference. “It’s certainly something that’s being considered as part of a broader energy package,” Pritzker said of the Clean Energy Jobs Act. “I don’t know that we’ll be able to get to it during the veto session.”
Bipartisan support appears to be building in the Illinois General Assembly for a statewide ban on red-light cameras. Those are devices that some municipalities install at intersections to detect drivers running through red lights or turning without coming to a full stop. Critics of those devices, however, argue they serve only to generate revenue and are a potential source of political corruption.