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  • Wednesday, October 16, 2019
    Chicago public-private partnership to get $1.2 billion for infrastructure projects
    Capital Development Board, Capital Construction Plan (14) , Governor (44)
    Chicago is set to get more than $1.2 billion for infrastructure projects from state and federal taxpayers.

    The majority comes from the state's recently enacted infrastructure plan, which doubled the state’s gas tax.

    Gov. J.B. Pritzker joined state, local and federal officials Tuesday at A. Phillip Randolph Elementary School in Chicago to tell students about projects the infrastru...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, October 16, 2019
    Exelon Utilities CEO abruptly retires as utility is pulled into federal investigation of Sen. Martin Sandoval
    Ethics, Campaign Reform, Transparency (12a) , Pay to Play, Corruption , Utilities (94) Madigan, Michael--State House, 22 , Sandoval, Martin--State Senate, 11
    The CEO of Exelon Utilities abruptly retired amid questions about the company's lobbying activity and connection to Martin Sandoval, a Democratic Illinois state senator at the center of a vast federal corruption investigation. 

    The company made the announcement about CEO Anne Pramaggiore's retirement Tuesday.

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  • Wednesday, October 16, 2019
    Local officials still have questions about recreational cannabis with three months before new law takes effect
    Recreational Marijuana
    Municipal officials continue to navigate the finer points of the state's new recreational marijuana law, including what they can and cannot do to regulate use at the local level.

    Illinois recreational cannabis law takes effect Jan. 1. However, many municipalities are still debating on the local rules they’ll set for any potential sale of the federally-prohibited drug. Ancel Glink attorne...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, October 16, 2019
    Several Illinois cities among nation's slowest-growing, new analysis shows
    Demographics, Census, Statistics , Economic Development (35)
    Several Illinois cities ranked among the slowest-growing cities in the nation, according to a new analysis from the personal finance website WalletHub.

    WalletHub ranked the...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, October 16, 2019
    Some Illinois lawmakers want to pass pension consolidation measure during fall session
    Governor (44) , Pensions (70) Batinick, Mark--State House, 97 , Martwick, Robert--State House, 19
    Some Illinois lawmakers want the upcoming veto session this fall to focus on a task force recommendation to consolidate 649 downstate local police and firefighter pension funds into two funds.

    Two lawmakers said the plan was a small reform to address the state’s high property taxes and underfunded pensions.

    Gov. J.B. Pritzker unveiled a plan proposed by the Pension Consolidation ...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, October 16, 2019
    Facing A Seven-Figure Fine For Protecting Her Tenants’ Constitutional Rights, Illinois Woman Fights Back
    Constitutions (24) , Local Government (60)
    Zion, Illinois city inspectors want to come in and look around Dorice and Robert Pierce’s home, an apartment the couple has rented from building owner Josefina Lozano for nearly two decades. The inspectors don’t have any reason to suspect code violations, but they insist on coming...   read more >
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  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019
    Will Illinois lawmakers go further than its 'strictest-in-the world' regulations on ethylene oxide? Officials say yes
    Environment (41) , EPA (41) Durkin, Jim--State House, 82
    Even though Illinois has the toughest regulations on a controversial, but widely-used, cleaning agent, lawmakers appear ready to move closer to an all-out ban on it.

    Illinois’ House Energy and Environment Committee previewed measures that would further restrict the use of ethylene oxide, a sterilizing agent used to remove organic matter from medical equipment. It’s been found to be...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019
    Peabody to close Saline County's Arclar Complex, including Wildcat Hills Mine
    Coal (20)

    EQUALITY — Peabody Energy announced Monday that the Arclar Complex in Saline County is expected to cease production in the middle of December because of “uneconomic mining conditions.”

    The closure will affect about 225 workers at the Wildcat Hills Mine and nearby Willow Lake Preparation Plant, a coal processing facility, both located at 430 Long Lane Road in Equal...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019
    McSweeney pitches plan to restore death penalty
    Death penalty (27a) McSweeney, David--State House, 52

    SPRINGFIELD – State Rep. David McSweeney has filed legislation to reinstate the death penalty in Illinois, calling it an “effective tool” to dissuade violent crime.

    The Capital Crimes Litigation Act of 2019, filed Thursday, would restore the state death penalty law to what it was eight years ago, before former Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law eliminating the measure. Its pu...   read more >

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  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019
    Illinois’ automatic voter registration delays worry experts
    Election Issues (not candidates) (39)

    CHICAGO — Illinois’ top leaders trumpeted the benefits of automatic voter registration when signing a bipartisan plan in 2017 to change how the state...   read more >

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  • Friday, October 11, 2019
    Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants lawmakers to consolidate 649 police, fire funds into two funds during veto session
    Local Government (60) , Pensions (70)
    Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants lawmakers to pass legislation in the upcoming legislative session to consolidate the state’s 649 local police and fire pension funds into two funds in an effort to reduce taxpayer costs.

    Lawmakers have six days scheduled for the fall session. They return for three days beginning Oct. 28. The governor said he wants lawmakers to tackle what he said was the state...   read more >

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  • Friday, October 11, 2019
    Holder joins 116th race
    Candidates--Legislative (11) Reitz, Nathan--State House, 116
    The Republican field for state representative of the 116th district got a little more crowded, as David M. Holder announced his candidacy.

    Holder, 65, of Baldwin, has served on the Randolph County Board since December 2010 and is currently the board’s chairman. 

    “I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve the citizens of our county over the past nine years, ...   read more >

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  • Friday, October 11, 2019
    Illinois farmers expect to harvest less this year
    Agriculture (2)
    As the fight for trade deals continues in Washington, Illinois farmers are expected to harvest less than last year.

    The United States Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service released its latest Illinois crop production estimates on Thursday. The expected yields for corn dropped further.

    “NASS forecasts the 2019 corn yield to be 179 bushels per acre, d...   read more >

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  • Friday, October 11, 2019
    Illinois lawmakers expected to take up vape flavor ban later this month
    Tobacco, Smoking Ban, E-Cigarettes
    The American Lung Association of Illinois wants lawmakers to take up measures to ban flavored vaping products, but a vape shop manager said the industry is willing to work on a compromise.

    Hundreds of cases of lung illness and dozens of deaths around the country have been linked to vaping. Evidence suggests those lung problems were the result of illicit and unregulated products, but the U.S. F...   read more >

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  • Friday, October 11, 2019
    Illinois man serving prison sentence for possession of 42 pounds of THC-infused chocolate seeks clemency
    Marijuana, Medical, Recreational , Recreational Marijuana
    A medical marijuana patient worried his cancer will return is asking Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker for clemency after being sentenced to prison for buying 42 pounds of chocolate infused with cannabis.

    Kane County Circuit Judge Clint Hull sentenced Thomas J. Franzen, a 37-year-old from Montgomery, to four years in prison in June...   read more >

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  • Friday, October 11, 2019
    Sandoval resigns as chair of Senate Transportation Committee after release of search warrant sheds light on federal corruption probe
    Ethics, Campaign Reform, Transparency (12a) , Pay to Play, Corruption , Red Light Cameras Cullerton, John--State Senate, 6 , Madigan, Michael--State House, 22 , Sandoval, Martin--State Senate, 11
    Illinois state Sen. Martin Sandoval resigned his post as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee Friday shortly after the release of an unredacted search warrant that federal agents used to raid his office in Springfield.

    The warrant...   read more >

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  • Friday, October 11, 2019
    Constitutionality of consolidation law challenged in court by townships
    Local Government (60) Link, Terry--State Senate, 30 , McSweeney, David--State House, 52 , Reick, Steven--State House, 63

    Sponsor calls legal challenge a ‘nuisance’; ballot question brewing in McHenry Township

    Two towns...   read more >

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  • Friday, October 11, 2019
    Task force recommends merging local pension funds in Illinois
    Local Government (60) , Pensions (70)
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  • Thursday, October 10, 2019
    Illinois cannabis group expects only minor changes to state's recreational cannabis program during veto session
    Legislators (former) (58) , Recreational Marijuana Morgan, Bob--State House, 58
    The state’s adult-use cannabis program is set to launch Jan. 1, but lawmakers could still make some changes to the legislation before then.

    Recreational sales, possession limits and the ability for medical cannabis cardholders to grow up to five plants at home is all set to begin Jan. 1.

    Pam Althoff, executive director of the Cannabis Business Association of Illinois, said she an...   read more >

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  • Thursday, October 10, 2019
    School districts across Illinois prepare for possible strikes
    Education--Educators/Administrators , Education--Elementary and Secondary (36)
    A number of school districts across Illinois are preparing for teachers to walk out of classrooms as soon as next week as contract negotiations with unions break down. 

    Although 2019 could potentially see more teacher strikes in Illinois than the state has seen in a decade, the most high-profile strike looming this month is between the Chicago Teachers Union and Chicago Public Schools. Th...   read more >

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  • Thursday, October 10, 2019
    State lawmaker pushes to repeal Illinois’ gas tax hike
    Taxes, gasoline (88) Cullerton, John--State Senate, 6 , Murphy, Mike -- State House, 99 , Sandoval, Martin--State Senate, 11 , Skillicorn, Allen--State House, 66
    A state lawmaker is calling for a repeal of Illinois’ recent gas tax hike.

    Illinois drivers paid nearly $100 million more in gas taxes in July than in the same month in 2018 after lawmakers doubled the state's gas tax to pay for infrastructure projects. The state's gas tax increased from 19 cents a gallon to 38 cents a gallon on July 1. It was part of a slew of tax and fee increases that...   read more >

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  • Thursday, October 10, 2019
    Taxpayers tired of deluxe government
    Budget--State (8) , Budgets--Local , Local Government (60)

    That is the opportunity presented by an upcoming March referendum in McHenry Township, where voters will consider whether to abolish township government.

    In advance of this vote, ...   read more >

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  • Thursday, October 10, 2019
    Murphysboro teacher's union reaches tentative agreement with school district
    Education--Educators/Administrators , Education--Elementary and Secondary (36)

    Both posts say that school will be back in ses...   read more >

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  • Thursday, October 10, 2019
    ComEd, Exelon get another federal subpoena
    Ethics, Campaign Reform, Transparency (12a) , Pay to Play, Corruption , Utilities (94) Sandoval, Martin--State Senate, 11

    The companies now are being asked for records of communications with state Sen. Martin Sandoval, whose offices were recently raided, and undisclosed others.


    Commonwealth Edison is again enmeshed in a federal investigation of corruption in Illinois politics.

    The utility, along with parent Exelon, received a grand jury subpoena Oct. 4 requiring “...   read more >

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  • Wednesday, October 9, 2019
    Illinois’ data center tax incentives called ‘corporate welfare’
    Taxes, misc. (89) Demmer, Tom--State House, 90 , Sims Jr., Elgie--State House, 34
    A data center tax credit touted by a bipartisan group of state lawmakers and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is being called corporate welfare by a group that supports free enterprise.

    Pritzker joined a group of bipartisan state lawmakers this week at a data center in Chicago. He talked about how Illinois has great resources, a strong workforce and is the hub of infrastructure, including large com...   read more >

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