Energy Bill Negotiations Head To House After Talks Once Again Derailed

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate approved an energy bill in the early hours of Wednesday morning but it’s likely to change as negotiations continue in the House, which has not set a date as to when it will return. A lead negotiator in the House said time is of the essence with key deadlines arriving […]

Still No State Energy Deal As Deadlines Near

Legislation to get Illinois on track to 100 percent clean energy in the next few decades has been on hold this entire summer. But overnight in Springfield, the Illinois Senate broke a months-long stalemate on negotiations as high stakes deadlines get closer. Senate President Don Harmon pushed for his chamber to vote on legislation he […]

News Special: Redistricting In Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – It happens once a decade. Political boundaries are redrawn. The impact is huge. It will dictate who represents you in congress, the Illinois legislature and many other offices. It will also help determine what government decisions are made. Still, many voters are unclear about the process and its importance. The new maps are […]

Legislative Proposal Would Allow Noncitizens To Vote In School Board Elections

A proposal in the Illinois Senate would allow noncitizens to vote in local school board elections. But even supporters of the proposal say the legislation is not yet ready for primetime. Since at least 1996, it has been illegal for noncitizens to vote in federal elections. Certain municipalities across the country, however, have allowed the practice for […]

Senate Adjourns With No Energy Deal, But Harmon ‘Confident’ One Is Still Near

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate adjourned Tuesday without calling a comprehensive energy regulatory reform package for a vote. After adjournment, Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, made a statement similar to one he made June 1 after the Senate failed to call an energy bill for a vote ahead of the regular session adjournment. “There […]

Lawmakers Pass Stricter Ethics Standards, Some Republicans Say They’re Watered Down

SPRINGFIELD – Shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday, the Illinois Senate passed a bill aiming to improve ethics standards for elected officials after it was filed just hours earlier. An amendment to Senate Bill 539, introduced by Sen. Ann Gillespie, D-Arlington Heights, passed with bipartisan approval despite House Republicans’ concerns that it was watered down.   “This […]

Senate Passes Bill Providing Release Path For Terminally Ill Prisoners

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate advanced a bill Wednesday that would give the Prisoner Review Board additional authority to consider early release for prisoners who have petitioned for such action due to medical incapacity or terminal illness. House Bill 3665, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. John Connor, D-Lockport, was heavily debated on the Senate […]

Bill Creating Mental Illness, Substance Abuse Housing Recovery Program Passes

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate passed a bill Wednesday which would create a new housing program for individuals living with mental illness or substance use disorders. House Bill 449 creates the “Housing is Recovery Pilot Program Act,” a new program which would offer bridge rental subsidies to individuals at high risk for “unnecessary institutionalization” due to mental illness, […]

Senate Passes Medicare, Tax Zone Legislation

SPRINGFIELD – Capping off a slow legislative week as the General Assembly grapples with drawing redistricting maps, the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year and massive energy overhaul legislation, the Senate passed 14 bills Thursday, most of them unanimously. Senate Bill 1747, introduced by Grayslake Democratic Sen. Melinda Bush as the Illinois Energy Transition […]

Delivery Service Rules, Limits On Governor’s Authority Over Unions Advance

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate worked through a long list of bills Thursday as lawmakers prepared to enter the final stretch of the 2021 session. Those bills included new restrictions on third-party delivery services such as DoorDash, limits on the governor’s authority to interfere with collective bargaining agreements and new requirements to collect data on […]

Illinois General Assembly Passes Hundreds of Bills As Session End Approaches

SPRINGFIELD — The state Senate and House passed more than 750 bills between them last week, addressing isolated timeouts in schools, youth vaping, teaching Muslim history, the commemoration of Juneteenth and automatic voter registration in prisons, among other topics. Friday was the deadline for the General Assembly to pass bills out of each chamber, for […]

Lawmakers, Pritzker Administration Spar Over Projected Fiscal Year Revenues

Illinois State Senate

SPRINGFIELD – Members of an Illinois Senate committee sparred with officials from Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration Friday in a hearing on tax changes proposed by the governor in an effort to balance the state’s budget for the 2022 fiscal year. The Senate Revenue and Appropriations committees held the joint hearing, questioning the directors of the […]

Bill Protects Actions, Statements Made In Restorative Programs From Use In Court

Rotunda of Illinois State Capitol

SPRINGFIELD – A bill that would prevent statements and actions made by participants in restorative justice programs from being used in court proceedings passed the Illinois Senate on Wednesday in partisan vote. Senate Bill 64, introduced by Chicago Democrat Sen. Robert Peters, would make “anything said or done” in the course of a restorative justice […]

Expansion Of Vote By Mail, Curbside Voting Will Head To Governor

SPRINGFIELD — A bill to expand the use of vote-by-mail and curbside voting in future elections passed the Illinois Senate Thursday, meaning it needs only a signature from the governor to become law. House Bill 1871, which was approved by the House last week, would revise the state election code to make permanent some of […]