Recent News

Senate Week in Review: November 17-21, 2014

The first week of the fall veto session ended with lawmakers on the Senate Executive Committee advancing legislation that would increase the state’s minimum wage to $11 over the next three years.

Minimum wage increase moves through Senate

On Nov. 19, Democrat legislative leaders pushed a measure through the Senate Executive Committee that would increase the state’s minimum wage from the current $8.25 per hour to $10 per hour on July 1, 2015.

Illinois Lawmakers Act on Gubernatorial Vetoes

The Senate on Nov. 20 voted 44-5-1 to override Gov. Quinn’s veto of Senate Bill 2015, legislation that increases the speed limit on Illinois toll highways to 70 miles-per-hour. Senate Bill 2015 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

2014 Veto Session Preview

Despite previous speculation, it is unlikely an extension of the tax increase will be on the agenda. However, a minimum wage hike could be considered by the General Assembly, and the House of Representatives has planned a November 18 “subject-matter-only” hearing on a controversial education funding reform measure, Senate Bill 16.

Honoring America’s Servicemen and Servicewomen

Senator Christine Radogno offers her sincere thanks to the American military veterans who have answered the call to duty. As a democracy, our country stands out from other nations that have been devastated and crippled by tyranny. It was the selfless patriotism and unparalleled courage of our veterans that secured the many freedoms we enjoy each and every day.

Fracking rules approved

Members of JCAR passed hydraulic fracturing rules on Nov. 6 as part of their consent agenda, which meant no debate on the issue took place during the meeting.

Constitutional amendments approved by voters

Two new amendments to the Illinois Constitution, which were placed on the ballot by the General Assembly, were approved by voters. These amendments are effective once the election results are certified.

Thousands submit paperwork to use medical marijuana

The Illinois Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed that approximately 8,000 people have begun the process of submitting paperwork to use medical marijuana, though only 1,500 have submitted all the required documentation.

Fitch Ratings: Where does Illinois stack up?

On Nov. 3, Fitch Ratings issued an extensive comparison of the three states with the lowest credit ratings: Illinois, California and New Jersey. These are the only three states rated below the “AA” category by Fitch.

Amazon, Cronus and Coyote Logistics announce plans to establish facilities in Illinois

Illinois received positive economic news this week, as Amazon Inc., Cronus Chemicals and Coyote Logistics announced plans to either establish future facilities in Illinois or, in the case of Coyote Logistics, expand its already existing location.

Illinois ranked 31st in business tax climate, 45th in job growth

Cronus, Amazon and Coyote Logistics’ plans to expand in Illinois are a boon for the state, particularly when taking into account the results of two separate studies that placed Illinois in the bottom half of states when it comes to business tax climate and job growth.

Good and bad news on local pensions

A report from the legislature’s bipartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) is a mix of good and bad news on municipal pensions in Illinois.

Medicare open enrollment begins

It’s once again time for Medicare participants to consider changes to their healthcare plans. The annual open enrollment period for Medicare Advantage and “Part D” prescription plans is now underway.

Report looks at Medicare options

In conjunction with the Medicare open enrollment period, the Kaiser Family Foundation has issued two reports analyzing key market changes in Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug programs.

Judge orders stop to Quinn patronage abuse

A federal judge has sided with a longtime anti-patronage crusader, ruling that hiring practices at the state’s Department of Transportation have been so corrupted by political influence under Governor Pat Quinn and his predecessor that a federal monitor is now needed.