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  • Friday, January 24, 2020
    ‘Litany’ of issues need to be addressed to stem Illinois’ population decline, state officials say
    Comptroller (21) , Demographics, Census, Statistics Anderson, Neil--State Senate, 36 , Plummer, Jason--State Senate, 54
    State policymakers are looking at ways to help stem Illinois’ population loss.

    U.S. Census data shows Illinois led the nation in the past decade in terms of population decline, losing nearly 160,000 in just six years.

    Treasurer Michael Frerichs understands people want security and a plan to stabilize the state’s finances moving forward.

    “In the Treasurer's off...   read more >

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  • Friday, January 24, 2020
    Illinois private school tuition program reports big opening night for applications
    Education--Elementary and Secondary (36)
    Tens of thousands of students hoping to go to the private school of their choice tuition-free signed up in the opening hours of availability at the state’s largest private school tuition granting organization.

    Empower Illinois, one of the state’s scholarship-granting organizations for the Invest in Kids program, opened up its application portal for the 2020-2021 school year. In les...   read more >

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  • Friday, January 24, 2020
    How To Achieve A Fair Public Pension Reform In Illinois: The Target Benefit Pension Plan
    Pensions (70)
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  • Friday, January 24, 2020
    Medline shuts down Waukegan plant to comply with Illinois' new ethylene oxide emissions law
    Environment (41)
    WAUKEGAN, Ill. (WLS) -- Medline Industries has temporarily closed in north suburban Waukegan as it works to meet new state standards for ethylene oxide, a cancer-causing chemical.

    Results from recent air testing has detected higher levels of cancer-causing ethylene oxide near two plants in Lake County, Illinois.

    In a written statement to AB...   read more >

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  • Thursday, January 23, 2020
    Despite marginal increase in some Illinois pension funding ratios, state still 'worst in the nation,' watchdog says
    Auditor General (21) , Governor (44) , Pensions (70)
    Although funding ratios for three of the state’s five public sector pension funds increased, a public finance watchdog said Illinois taxpayers still face a debt crisis.

    The Auditor General released financial audits of the State Employees, Judges and General Assembly retirement systems.

    The audits showed the total liability for two of the funds increased while the total liability ...   read more >

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  • Thursday, January 23, 2020
    The High Cost Of Rejecting Public Pension Reform In Illinois
    Chicago Mayor (16) , Governor (44) , Pensions (70)

    Once more, from the top: here is why public pension reform matters.

    read more >

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  • Thursday, January 23, 2020
    Powerful union pushes for 'right to work' ban in Illinois
    Business (10) , Governor (44) , Right to work , Unions, labor (55) Brady, Bill--State Senate, 44 , Madigan, Michael--State House, 22 , Villivalam, Ram--State Senate, 8

    It's proposing an amendment to the state constitution. Business groups are fi...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, January 22, 2020
    Illinois manufacturers' group says state’s economic growth held back by state policies
    Business (10) , Demographics, Census, Statistics , Economy (34) , Labor (55)
    Illinois' economy grew in the third quarter of 2019, but at a slower pace than the national average, something the state’s leading manufacturers’ group said was due in part to the state's business and tax policies.

    U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis gross domestic product data showed Illinois grew by 1.4 percent in the third quarter of 2019. That’s faster than Delaware, wh...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, January 22, 2020
    Illinois Supreme Court could decide if smell of marijuana is enough to justify police search
    Courts (27) , Legal System (27) , Marijuana, Medical, Recreational , Police (28) , Recreational Marijuana
    The Illinois Supreme Court could decide if police officers can use the smell of marijuana as probable cause to search a vehicle during a traffic stop.

    The state’s high court heard arguments in a case from Decatur. In that case, police pulled over a man after they thought...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, January 22, 2020
    Lawmaker again files bill to require elected officials to wear body cams to reduce corruption
    Ethics, Campaign Reform, Transparency (12a) , Legislature (56) , Pay to Play, Corruption Cabello, John--State House, 68
    One state lawmaker has a plan to reduce political corruption in Illinois.

    read more >

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  • Wednesday, January 22, 2020
    New bill would allow Illinois library districts to tax local cannabis sales
    Libraries/literacy (80c) , Marijuana, Medical, Recreational , Recreational Marijuana , Taxes, sales (88) Didech, Daniel--State House, 59
    A bill filed in Springfield could allow local libraries to get a cut of the taxes on recreational cannabis sales, but it would come at the potential expense of county-level taxes. 

    House Bill 4135 would al...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, January 22, 2020
    State task force to release report on ways to help children with incarcerated parents
    Children, Teens (19) , Corrections (74) Ramirez, Delia--State House, 4
    Illinois state lawmakers and advocates are drafting a plan to help people often overlooked by the criminal justice system: The children of the incarcerated. 

    The Task Force on Children of Incarcerated Parents  read more >

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  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020
    Ahead of March primary, Republicans demand hearing over non-citizen voter registration errors
    Election Issues (not candidates) (39) , Secretary of State (80) Butler, Tim--State House, 87 , Madigan, Michael--State House, 22
    With early voting for the March primary set to begin early next month, Illinois House Republicans demanded an immediate hearing into how the Secretary of State's Office improperly caused voter registration cards to be sent to hundreds of non-citizens.

    State officials said 574 people who indicated they weren't U.S. citizens were sent voter registration cards by mistake in the past 18 ...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020
    New Illinois Senate President makes progressive income tax top priority
    Taxes, Graduated/Progressive , Taxes, income (86) Anderson, Neil--State Senate, 36 , Cullerton, John--State Senate, 6 , Harmon, Don--State Senate, 39 , Plummer, Jason--State Senate, 54
    Illinois' new Senate President said the progressive income tax will be one of his top priorities, but Republicans worry the proposed tax structure would make Illinois less competitive at a time when the state's population is declining.

    New Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, faces a number of challenges heading into the start of the spring legislative session next week. Among the...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020
    A Tale Of Two Markets: How Illinois Succeeded In Rollout Of Adult-Use Cannabis And Why Massachusetts Floundered
    Marijuana, Medical, Recreational , Recreational Marijuana

    The rollout of marijuana legalization in Illinois has been well covered by the press for the first few weeks of 2020, primarily due to the long lines and sky-hig...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020
    One-party rule enabled property tax dysfunction
    Legislature (56) , Taxes, property (87) Chesney, Andrew--State House, 89 , McCombie, Tony M.--State House, 71

    Joining a chorus of fed-up legislators recognizing overburdened taxpayers deserve real property tax reform in Illinois, we must blow the whistle on the actions, and inactions, of the Illinois Property Tax Reform Task For...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020
    State Board of Elections admits non-U.S. citizens may have voted illegally in 2018
    Election Issues (not candidates) (39) , Immigration (99a)
    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — The Illinois State Board of Elections acknowledged that out of 574 non-U.S. citizens who were inadvertently registered to vote in Illinois, an unknown number of them may have voted illegally in the 2018 election.

    “We do know that some of them voted” in the 2018 election, s...   read more >

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  • Sunday, January 19, 2020
    Illinois officials correct error that added more than 500 possible non-citizens to voter rolls
    Election Issues (not candidates) (39) , Immigration (99a)
    Illinois’ automatic voter registration program, though not fully-implemented, appears to have allowed more than 500 non-citizens onto various county’s election registries. 

    In letters first obtained by Bloomington-based political blogger Diane Benjamin, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office notified the State Board of Elections that a keypad glitch in the non-REAL ID ...   read more >

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  • Sunday, January 19, 2020
    Pritzker announces expansion of free tuition program for University of Illinois schools
    Education--Higher (37)
    More than half of Illinois’ households would qualify to be able to send a student to the University of Illinois with tuition paid for by taxpayers this fall after changes made at the request of the governor.

    The University of Illinois will expand its tuition assistance program to cover half of the households in the state, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said.

    The announcement came one day aft...   read more >

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  • Sunday, January 19, 2020
    Proposed highway project focus of task force report
    Road construction, Construction (91a) , Transportation (91) Schimpf, Paul--State Senate, 58
    The Southwest Illinois Connector Task Force has released its final recommendations. 

    The task force was created by a resolution introduced by State Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo.

    The task force was created to study the cost, feasibility and environmental impact of a proposed four-lane divided highway between Waterloo and Murphysboro.

    The group also looked at the short and ...   read more >

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  • Saturday, January 18, 2020
    Illinois farmers helped by latest U.S. trade deals, but many questions remain
    Agriculture (2) , Foreign affairs (99)

    Experts say gains from China agreement and USMCA need to be proven

    SPRINGFIELD – Illinois farmers will get a much-needed lift from two international trade agreements approved by the federal government this week, but experts are uncertain if their situations will improve in the long term.

    After exchanging hundreds of ...   read more >

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  • Saturday, January 18, 2020
    New ‘Rape In Champaign’ Disclosure: State Braced For Senator’s ‘Extremely Negative Reaction’
    Governor (44) , Legislators (former) (58) , Lobbyists (12a) , Sexual assault, Sex Crime (96)
    A former member of Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker’s cabinet appears to have taken a more aggressive role than previously known in safeguarding the state job of a campaign volunteer tied to the “rape in Champaign” email scandal, newly obtained records show.

    Pritzker, a Democrat, ousted former state Agriculture Director John Sullivan on Monday as a result of the furor created by WBE...   read more >

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  • Friday, January 17, 2020
    Illinois lawmaker files bill to end automatic pay raises for legislators
    Legislature (56) , Pay Raises Murphy, Mike -- State House, 99
    A state lawmaker has filed a bill to end automatic pay hikes for state legislators. 

    Every year, lawmakers must vote to freeze their own pay, or it goes up according to the statute. In 2019, lawmakers left that language out of the budget and got raises of about $1,600 a year. 

    State Rep. Mike Murphy’s bill would remove the automatic cost-of-living adjustments and requir...   read more >

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  • Friday, January 17, 2020
    Illinois’ congressional delegation mixed on cannabis legalization
    Marijuana, Medical, Recreational
    With Illinois now more than two weeks into the legalization of cannabis for adult recreational use, some Illinois congressmen are sounding off on if the federal government should follow suit.

    Illinois was the eleventh state to legalize cannabis for recreational sales. Before Jan. 1, Illinois decriminalized possession of small amounts before it went legal at the beginning of the year. Before th...   read more >

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  • Friday, January 17, 2020
    Pritzker, lawmakers look to end cash bail, mandatory minimums and expand deferred prosecution
    Crime (28) , Governor (44)
    Gov. J.B. Pritzker plans to make criminal justice reform a major focus in the years ahead.

    The governor recently took part in a fireside chat about his administration’s Justice, Equity and Opportunity Initiative. Afterward, he laid out some of the things he wants to tackle over the next three years.

    “One of those things is working on ending cash bail,” Pritzker said. ...   read more >

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