Mendoza urges automatic payments into ‘rainy day fund’

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is pushing legislation that would require the state to make automatic deposits into its so-called “rainy day fund” whenever certain financial conditions are met. Officially known as the Budget Stabilization Fund, it was created in 2001 as a reserve so the state could pay its bills in a timely […]

Bill aims to rein in Apple, Google app stores

SPRINGFIELD – Two bills pending in the Illinois General Assembly would rein in the ability of tech giants like Apple and Google to dictate how transactions are conducted, and how much of a cut they receive from those transactions, when consumers make certain kinds of purchases using smartphone apps. If enacted, the bill would make […]

Former Sen. Tom Cullerton pleads guilty to embezzlement

SPRINGFIELD – Former state Sen. Tom Cullerton pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of embezzlement and could face more than a year in federal prison. During a plea hearing in federal court in Chicago, Cullerton admitted that he received pay and benefits from the Teamsters Joint Council 25 during 2015 while doing little or no […]

McCuskey takes the helm at Legislative Inspector General’s Office

SPRINGFIELD – Michael McCuskey assumed his role of legislative inspector general this week, bringing 32 years of judicial experience to the position charged with investigating lawmaker misconduct. “I want them to be a little scared of me,” McCuskey, in an interview, said of the lawmakers who appointed him on Feb. 17. For the first time, […]

Tom Cullerton resigns Senate seat, reportedly plans to plead guilty to federal charges

SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park, resigned his seat Wednesday and will reportedly plead guilty next month to federal corruption charges. Cullerton, 52, a former chairman of the Senate Labor Committee, was first elected to the Senate in 2012 and was seated in 2013. In August 2019, he was indicted on multiple charges […]

Illinois Democrats vote to remove 9 maskless Republicans from House chamber

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House voted to remove nine Republican members from the House floor Thursday afternoon for their refusal to comply with face covering requirements, delaying the start of the legislative session for the third straight day. In a 66-39 vote, Democrats voted to remove Reps. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, Blaine Wilhour, […]

GOP members challenge Illinois House floor mask mandate

SPRINGFIELD – Confusion and pushback regarding the enforcement of masks mandates spilled over onto the House Floor Wednesday afternoon during the chamber’s regular legislative session after Republicans refused to comply with face covering requirements. Amid the pandemic, lawmakers approved House rules requiring face coverings to be worn in the chamber unless eating, drinking or speaking […]

Republicans announce effort to repeal SAFE-T Act, Democrats call it ‘all for show’

SPRINGFIELD – Republicans are calling for their Democratic counterparts in the Illinois House to join them in efforts to repeal criminal justice reforms, known as the Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today Act, commonly known as the SAFE-T Act. Reps. Patrick Windhorst, R-Metropolis, Ryan Spain, R-Peoria, and Deanne Mazzochi, R-Elmhurst, joined House GOP Leader Jim Durkin, […]

Welch reflects on first year as House speaker

SPRINGFIELD – One year after being named speaker of the Illinois House, Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch says he is proud of the accomplishments he and his colleagues achieved and he looks forward to building on that record. “I actually thought 2021 was one heck of a year,” the Hillside Democrat said during a recent interview. […]

Lawmakers prepare for shortened 2022 session

SPRINGFIELD – The 2022 session of the Illinois General Assembly will be even shorter than originally planned due to a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, Democratic leaders announced. The session was originally scheduled to start this week with three meeting days – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. But leaders announced last week that they will meet […]

Oral arguments to begin Tuesday in redistricting cases

SPRINGFIELD – A three-judge federal court panel in Chicago will begin hearing oral arguments Tuesday in three cases that could determine the makeup of state legislative maps in the Chicago area and Metro East region for the next 10 years. The panel announced during a status hearing Friday that it will go ahead with in-person […]

Congressional redistricting plan clears General Assembly

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers gave final approval in the early hours of Friday morning to a new congressional redistricting plan that divides the state into 17 districts, one fewer than it currently has due to its loss of population since the 2010 U.S. Census. It was the fourth draft plan that legislative Democrats had proposed […]

Bill allowing in-state college sports betting will head to governor

SPRINGFIELD – Betting on in-state college sports could become legal with the stroke of the governor’s pen after lawmakers in the General Assembly approved an amendment to the state’s sports betting law Thursday. The amendment to House Bill 3136 passed both the House and Senate with vast bipartisan support, reaching the threshold necessary for it to take […]

UPDATE: Repeal of parental notice of abortion clears House

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House late Wednesday gave final passage to a bill that repeals the state’s Parental Notice of Abortion Act, clearing the way for Gov. JB Pritzker to sign it into law. The bill narrowly passed out of the Senate on Tuesday night on a 32-22 vote, with three Democrats voting no and […]