Report Renews Calls For Consolidation, Service Sharing Of Illinois’ 9,000 Local Governments

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois has long held the record for the most units of local government in any state — 8,923 local taxing bodies to be exact, according to a recent report by the Chicago-based Civic Federation. This total is higher than estimates from other government officials, including the U.S. Census Bureau, Illinois Department of Revenue, and state Comptroller’s […]

House Transportation Committee Moves Two Bills In First Meeting of New Session

SPRINGFIELD — The state House Transportation committee advanced two bills to the House floor Monday in its first meeting of the 102nd General Assembly. The first bill would make spending by the Illinois Department of Transportation more transparent and accessible to the public. House Bill 253 would establish a new asset management program for IDOT. The bill […]

Ex-Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan Resigns Seat

SPRINGFIELD  — Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has resigned from the seat he’s held for the last 50 years effective Thursday. Madigan went from being the longest-serving House Speaker in the nation to a mere state representative on Jan. 13 — the day he passed his Speaker’s gavel to Chris Welch, who makes history […]

Reactions Differ To Pritzker’s Proposed Corporate Tax Changes

Rotunda of Illinois State Capitol

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. JB Pritzker’s proposed $41.6 billion spending plan for the coming fiscal year relies, in part, on ending nine tax incentives for businesses in an effort to preserve an estimated $932 million in state revenues. However, Pritzker’s proposal to end what he called “unaffordable corporate loopholes” would require action by the Illinois General […]

No Hike In Slimmer Illinois Budget, Reliance On Fed Aid

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday presented a slimmer state budget with no income tax increases but a reliance on federal relief from the COVD-19 pandemic, transfers from other funds and elimination of hundreds of millions of dollars of corporate tax breaks needing legislative approval. Pritzker, a man devoted to, and sometimes guided by, […]

Illinois House Adopts New Rules On Partisan Lines

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House adopted new rules on Wednesday that Democrats say are intended to make the legislative process more transparent, but Republicans argue they don’t go far enough in reforming how the General Assembly operates. The new rules represent one of the first attempts by newly-elected House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch to break from the […]

By 2050, Illinois Would Use Only Renewable Energy Under Bill

First solar farm

SPRINGFIELD — Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly are reviving a plan to make Illinois reliant only on renewable power sources by 2050 with policies and regulations to encourage a switch to generating energy from such sustainable sources as wind and solar. The Clean Energy Jobs Act has a new boost with the election of […]

Republican State Lawmakers Call for Citizen-Led Referendums and Recalls

SPRINGFIELD – Republican state lawmakers — who are in the super-minority in the state legislature —introduced a package of election-focused bills aimed at making it easier for citizens to be involved in revising the state’s constitution, repealing legislation, and removing public officials from office. In a combined press conference Wednesday, GOP leaders in the Illinois House […]

Speaker Welch Releases Committee Assignments, February Session Plans

SPRINGFIELD — On Thursday, Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch announced the committees and their respective chairs for the 102nd General Assembly, including the addition of six new committees. The committee announcement comes as Welch canceled all but one of the House session days that had been set for next month. Lawmakers in the House […]

State School Board Member Criticizes New Graduation Requirements

Champaign Central High School

SPRINGFIELD – New high school graduation requirements that were part of an omnibus education bill passed during the lame duck session are drawing criticism from some members of the Illinois State Board of Education. Those new requirements were included in House Bill 2170, Amendment 3, which was introduced by Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood. They include the addition […]

Mitigations Scaled Back In All Regions Of State; HS Sports Allowed

SPRINGFIELD – All regions of the state had moved out of Tier 3 mitigations as of Friday, Jan. 22, as the COVID-19 health metrics continue to show improvement statewide. “With all regions of Illinois now out of Tier 3, we can now see that the entire state is headed down the right path,”said Illinois Department of […]

Bill Allows Victims To Collect Pretrial Interest On Civil Damages

State Capitol of Illinois

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois General Assembly last week pushed through legislation to allow victims in all personal injury and wrongful death cases to collect interest on money they were awarded by a court starting from the moment the alleged injury or death took place. House Bill 3360 is meant to deter companies or individuals who are sued […]

Education Bill To Revamp Social Studies Classes

Rotunda of Illinois State Capitol

SPRINGFIELD – Social studies classes in Illinois public schools are about to get a major overhaul, with more emphasis on Black history and the contributions of other underrepresented groups to American culture. In addition, within the next few years, all school districts in the state will be required to offer computer science courses and more […]

Statehouse Reporter Expects ‘Gridlock’ On Budget Cuts

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced more than $700 million in budget cuts this week for the current fiscal year. Pritzker says these cuts are just the beginning, and that he’ll need to work with the General Assembly on additional cuts of more than $1 billion. Illinois Newsroom’s Brian Moline spoke with Illinois Public […]

Black Caucus Calls For Racial Equity In Education

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus continued to set the stage for its fall legislative agenda Wednesday, calling a news conference and committee hearing to discuss education policy. Education and workforce development make up one of four pillars on the agenda unveiled by the caucus earlier this month. The others are criminal justice reform, […]