SPRINGFIELD — Without rancor, the Illinois House on Wednesday passed legislation to tune up the state’s unemployment insurance program. The legislation sponsored by Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Belleville, eliminates the “Social Security offset” in that it allows recently separated workers eligible for Social Security to receive full unemployment insurance benefits.
Simon Poll: Southern Illinoisans are ticked off; Eighty percent unhappy with direction of state, nation
“These results probably reflect some of Illinois’ current conflicts. Most polls show that more people feel their state is doing better than the nation. Not here,” said John Jackson, a visiting professor at the institute.
SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday painted his side of the budget-impasse picture, saying that while his department heads are saving the state millions, he needs his agenda items to restore faith in Illinois government and invigorate the economy. Democrats said the governor’s speech was just more of the same and argued that Rauner needs to address the budget crisis without making his proposals preconditions.
SPRINGFIELD -- A pause in state layoffs won’t stop the planned closures of the state’s museum system nor its shooting facilities near Sparta, Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration has announced. The state museum in Springfield, four related facilities around the state and the World Shooting and Recreational Complex at Sparta in Southern Illinois are under the control of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which reports to the governor.
SPRINGFIELD — Thursday marked another day of activity but little visible movement in the state Capitol. The House Revenue and Finance committee began hearing testimony on a call from the city of Chicago for an increase in the general homestead property tax exemption, or amount the state subtracts from homeowner’s assessed valuation as a form of tax break.
State employee unions have returned to court in an effort to lock in continued pay for the fiscal year, get medical claims paid, stop layoffs and retain step pay raises and semi-automatic promotions despite lack of a contract. At the end of June, Illinois entered fiscal year 2016 without a budget and without new labor contracts, and its biggest unions sought to make sure their members in state government continued to be paid. The unions have so far succeeded in the courts, and their members co
SPRINGFIELD — House Democrats on Wednesday came up three votes short in their attempt to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the “no strike-no lockout” or interest arbitration bill. Although knowing the attendance put him one Democrat shy of his full 71 members present — the same number of votes needed for a successful override attempt — House Speaker Michael Madigan let the vote roll forward. Backers of Senate Bill 1229 put up 67 votes in the House when the bill originally passed.
SPRINGFIELD — At the moment, one four-digit number — 1229 — is the watchword for the struggle between first-year Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrats who hold supermajorities in the General Assembly. That struggle is anticipated to come to a head Wednesday in the House, when Democrats are expected to attempt an override of Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 1229, the interest arbitration or “no-strike/no-lockout” bill. The measure would allow mandatory arbitration should either the state o
Lawmaker: State can raise $3.9B without taxing most; But GOP, big business may not to rush to embrace plan
SPRINGFIELD — Rep. Jack Franks thinks he’s found a path to lead Illinois out of its budget wasteland or least get it well along the way. Franks, a Democrat from Marengo, says he’s working on a bill that could generate nearly $3.9 billion without raising taxes. “I think this is the path out,” Franks said.
SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday said he’s again proposing legislation for a two-year freeze on local property taxes combined with what he calls local cost controls. This time, the governor added what it appears he hoped would be sweeteners for the financially troubled Chicago Public Schools system, including two years worth of CPS pension payments made by the state at about $200 million each.
SPRINGFIELD — The governor and House Democrats are going at it again. This time, it’s over an attempt by the House Democrats to change Senate Bill 2042, the measure the Senate easily passed last week to authorize the state to spend about $4.8 billion in federal money otherwise being held up by the lack of state budget. Rauner likes the legislation the way the Senate passed it.
SPRINGFIELD — State employees can keep getting their regular paychecks for the near future, another state court has ruled. In a ruling entered Friday, the Fifth District Appellate Court refused to overturn a circuit court’s order that state employees continue to be paid — despite the lack of a state budget — while those employees pursue a lawsuit.