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  • Friday, April 19, 2019
    Illinois spends more per student on school administration than any other state, report finds
    Education--Educators/Administrators , Education--Elementary and Secondary (36)
    Illinois spends more on public school administrators per student than any other state in the nation.

    A new analysis of public school spending by the Chicago-based Metropolitan Planning Council found Illinois ...   read more >

  • Thursday, April 18, 2019
    For first time, population in all Illinois' metro areas declines
    Demographics, Census, Statistics , Economy (34)
    U.S. Census data released Thursday showed the population in every one of the state's metropolitan areas declined in the past year for the first time.

    The Chicago metropolitan area, which includes suburban cities and portions of Wisconsin and Indiana, reported the largest population decrease in the nation, shrinking by an ...   read more >

  • Thursday, April 18, 2019
    House Republicans holding town hall in Lake in the Hills over graduated income tax
    Taxes, Graduated/Progressive Reick, Steven--State House, 63 , Ugaste, Dan--State House, 65 , Weber, Tom--State House, 64
    Illinois House Republicans will host a town hall meeting April 27 to discuss Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s plan to replace the state’s constitutionally mandated flat income tax with a graduated income tax.
  • Tuesday, April 16, 2019
    Lawmakers to vote on adding DACA, work visa immigrants to Medicaid rolls
    Immigration (99a) , Medicaid, Managed Care Guzzardi, Will--State House, 39

    The bill would allow legal immigrants in Illinois via the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and on permanent work visas, known as I-766 E...   read more >

  • Monday, April 15, 2019
    Massive borrowing binge on tap in Illinois
    Bonds, Bonding, Borrowing, Debt, Credit Rating , Governor (44) , Pensions (70)
    State politicians are ready to go on another borrowing binge. 

    According to a recent S&P presentation given to bankers and other government officials, Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to borrow another $6 billion from the bond market over the next year. It’s part of his plan to hike taxes, borrow and extend debt repayments to plug the state’s budget holes. As a banker pr...   read more >

  • Monday, April 15, 2019
    Pension Bridge: 3 State Pension Plans Bare All on Funding Messes
    Pensions (70)
    At Pension Bridge, Dick Ingram, Dominic Garcia, and Glen Grell reveal how their programs ended up underfunded.

    What do Illinois, New Mexico, and read more >

  • Monday, April 15, 2019
    Illinois homeowners pay nearly double the national average in property taxes
    Taxes, property (87)
    For all of the outcry and political promises to help property taxes, Illinoisans still pay the second highest rates in the nation.

    A report from ATTOM Data Solutions says the state’s 3.2 million homeowners paid 2.2 percent of their home’s worth in local taxes in 2018. That’s higher than any other state in the nation except New Jersey. The average Illinois homeowner paid $5,00...   read more >

  • Saturday, April 13, 2019
    ‘Collective Bargaining Freedom Act’ signed into law despite case appealed to SCOTUS
    Governor (44) , Right to work , Unions, labor (55)
  • Friday, April 12, 2019
    Measures to promote ballot access for inmates, students advance
    Corrections (74) , Election Issues (not candidates) (39) Aquino, Omar--State Senate, 2 , Righter, Dale--State Senate, 55 , Rose, Chapin--State House, 110 , Sims Jr., Elgie--State House, 34
    The House will take up a couple of measures designed to make it easier for jail inmates and high school students to vote.

    Senate Bill 2090 would require county clerks to facilitate voting for county jail inmates who haven’t been convicted of a crime but are in jail awaiting trial.

    State Sen. Omar Aquino, D-Chicago, said his bill is straightforward and will help ensure everyone ha...   read more >

  • Friday, April 12, 2019
    House bill offers student financial aid to undocumented immigrants
    Education Funding (36a) , Education--Higher (37) Hernandez, Elizabeth "Lisa"--State House, 24 , Skillicorn, Allen--State House, 66
    Bill also applies to transgender individuals who haven’t registered for the draft

    read more >
  • Thursday, April 11, 2019
    Monroe County citizens group wants ordinance to put more restrictions on wind farms
    Energy, Alternative Energy (93)

    A new chapter in the Monroe County wind-farm debate begins.

    The county’s Planning Commission has agreed to work with a citizens group to identify revisions that may be needed to improve its 2012 wind-farm ordinance in light of fast-changing technology and new information on how such farms have affected other communities.

    The near-unanimous vote (18 in favor with one absten...   read more >

  • Thursday, April 11, 2019
    Bipartisan coalition backs Illinois' private school scholarship program
    Education--Elementary and Secondary (36) McSweeney, David--State House, 52
    Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s plan to phase out the state’s private school tuition program has new opposition in the General Assembly after a number of Democrats joined a Republican's bill to try to keep the program through its five-year pilot program.

    read more >

  • Thursday, April 11, 2019
    Despite ‘five-alarm fire’ over potential auction of Lincoln artifacts quieting, lawmakers seek audit of private foundation
    Historic Preservation, historic sites (50) , Libraries/literacy (80c) Butler, Tim--State House, 87 , Manar, Andy--State Senate, 48
    Concerns have quieted over artifacts connected to Abraham Lincoln possibly going to auction if millions of dollars aren’t raised for a private foundation, a couple of state lawmakers say.

    The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Foundation is a private entity created by state statute and meant to support the public museum, which houses valuable artifacts connected to Lincoln a...   read more >

  • Thursday, April 11, 2019
    DHS seeks bigger budget, including $107 million for higher minimum wage
    Budget--State (8) , Human Services (75) , Minimum Wage (10) Righter, Dale--State Senate, 55 , Villivalam, Ram--State Senate, 8
    The Illinois Department of Human Services, which has one of the largest line items in the proposed budget for the coming fiscal year, is seeking additional money to cover the cost of the state's new minimum wage and expand access to child care assistance.

    A Senate appropriations committee discussed Senate Bill 2228 this week. The measure asks for a total of $6.8 billion for DHS. Among the vari...   read more >

  • Thursday, April 11, 2019
    Illinois House once again approves $40,000 minimum teacher salary
    Education--Educators/Administrators Bourne, Avery---State House, 95 , Stuart, Katie--State House, 112
    It looks like some teachers in Illinois are going to get a raise this time around. 

    The Illinois House once again put its stamp of approval on a plan to require schools to pay teachers at least $40,000 a year by the 2023-...   read more >

  • Thursday, April 11, 2019
    Illinois House passes bill to allow minors STI prevention starting at 12 without parents
    Children, Teens (19) , Health (49) Cassidy, Kelly--State House, 14 , Hammond, Norine--State House, 93 , Parkhurst, Lindsay--State House, 79 , Robinson Jr., Lamont--State House, 5
    A bill that passed the Illinois House would allow at-risk minors as young as 12 to independently receive and take HIV prevention medication.

    The legislation would allow minors as young as 12 to see a doctor and receive contraceptives, including an HIV prevention drug, without notifying or getting consent from a parent.

    Sponsoring state Rep. Lamont Robinson Jr. said the bill was designe...   read more >

  • Wednesday, April 10, 2019
    Note to legislators and judges: Do your jobs!
    Budget--State (8) , Courts (27) , Legislature (56)
    Note to state legislators: “You are required by the state constitution to pass a balanced budget.”

    Response: “Make us.”

    Note to state Supreme Court: “Please affirm the obligation of state legislators to pass balanced budgets.”

    Response: “Gee, do we have to?”

    Maybe that’s an oversimplification of current conditions in...   read more >

  • Tuesday, April 9, 2019
    Illinois lawmakers look to start college savings accounts
    Education--Higher (37) Gabel, Robyn--State House, 18 , Wehrli, Grant--State House, 41
    The state of Illinois may soon provide the seed money for kids in the state to go to college.

    The Illinois House last week approved a plan to create a college savings fund for every child born or adopted in Illinois starting in 2021.

    The state would provide an initial $50 investment. That $50 could grow, and families could access the money starting when a child turns ten.

    ...   read more >

  • Tuesday, April 9, 2019
    Republicans push back on progressive tax as debate heats up
    Governor (44) , Taxes, Graduated/Progressive , Taxes, income (86) Bailey, Darren--State House, 109 , Batinick, Mark--State House, 97 , Ford, La Shawn--State House, 8 , Martwick, Robert--State House, 19 , Welch, Emanuel "Chris"--State House, 7

    The debate over how Illinois should tax income is getting heated amid reports that the Democrats, who control both chambers of the state legislature with supermajorities, may not have enough support to pass the graduated tax plan that Gov. J.B. Pritzker's is counting on to stabilize the state's finances and pay for the promises he made on the campaign trail.

    Pritzker is pushing to chang...   read more >

  • Monday, April 8, 2019
    Sen. Jason Plummer: Don’t be fooled, history is repeating itself
    Taxes, Graduated/Progressive Plummer, Jason--State Senate, 54

    Illinois Review