Current News

Seat Check Saturday in Illinois for Child Passenger Safety Week

Common car-seat mistakes can have deadly consequences. With 59 percent of child car seats installed incorrectly, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is encouraging motorists to take advantage of “National Seat Check Saturday” on Sept. 23, with nearly 100 free car-seat safety checks planned throughout the state and listed at BuckleUpIllinois.org.

Civil Asset Forfeiture Revamp Becomes Law

This week, the Governor also signed legislation to restructure Illinois’ civil forfeiture laws. House Bill 303 seeks to strike the proper balance between targeting criminal enterprise and safeguarding the rights of innocent property owners. The new law seeks to improve the current system by providing increased protections for property owners and requiring greater accountability from law enforcement.

EDGE Tax Credit Signing

On Sept. 18, the long-awaited overhaul of the Illinois Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credit legislation was signed into law.

Veterans’ Suicide Task Force law allows IDVA to expand programs

Legislation signed by the Governor last week outlines provisions for the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) to implement recommendations provided by the Veterans’ Suicide Task Force to expand programs to benefit veterans—especially those from high-casualty combat units.

Firefighters Memorial Fund to be used for scholarships for families of fallen firefighters

To honor firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty and their families, a new law sponsored by Senate Republicans requires that the Illinois Firefighters Memorial Fund must be used to provide scholarships for the children and spouses to pursue a secondary education. The legislation, House Bill 2550, was signed into law by Gov. Rauner on Sept.8.

New law modifies police education requirements for qualified college students

The job candidate pool for Illinois police will soon grow thanks to legislation (House Bill 305) sponsored by Senate Republicans that will waive police education requirements for applicants completing their bachelor’s degree. The bill was signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner on Sept. 8.

Consumer Alert: Massive Equifax Data Breach

Equifax announced late last week that it suffered a breach affecting at least 143 million Americans. Information compromised in the breach includes Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, names, dates of birth, credit card numbers and addresses. This creates an ideal opportunity for impacted people to become victims of identity theft.

Legislators, Rezin, take bipartisan effort to end gerrymandering to U.S. Supreme Court

A number of Senate Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Rezin, joined current and former legislators from around the country to voice their support for fair legislative maps by signing on to an Amicus Curie brief filed in the United States Supreme Court urging the Court to end the practice of political gerrymandering.

Joint legislative hearing held on cannabis regulation and taxation proposal

During the week, the Senate and House Appropriations committees held a joint hearing on Senate Bill 316, a proposal to legalize the taxation and regulation of recreational cannabis. The hearing focused on the issue of public safety and the potential ramifications of legalization and sales of recreational marijuana in the communities.

Gov. Rauner creates task force targeting opioid abuse

Gov. Rauner signed an Executive Order Sept. 6 creating the Governor’s Opioid Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force. The Task Force, co-chaired by Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti and Dr. Nirav D. Shah, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, will look at strategies to tackle the escalating opioid crisis in Illinois, aiming to stop its spread, reduce the number of opioid-related deaths, and aid in the recovery of individuals with opioid-use disorder.

Schools start to see funding from state

The Comptroller’s office began transmitting on Sept. 7 $541 million in General State Aid to schools throughout Illinois. These payments contain the funds that were due to schools on Aug. 10 and 20. The next $264 million payment, due Sept. 10, is scheduled to be transmitted on Sept. 8. In total, schools will receive $805 million this week.

Governor announces plan to pay down bill backlog

Gov. Rauner announced a refinancing plan Sept. 7 to pay down a portion of the state’s $15.4 billion bill backlog. While advocating for spending reforms and policies that will help Illinois’ economy to grow and become more competitive, Rauner acknowledged that Illinois has been in deficit spending for many years, resulting in the state’s large and growing unpaid bill backlog.

Republicans lead on education reform

Passed during the week by the House and Senate, Senate Bill 1947 utilizes data and widely-accepted best practices to determine how to send funding where it is needed most and where it will help the most students.

Great Lakes Basin Railroad rejected

Today the Surface Transportation Board rejected the application filed by Great Lakes Basin Transportation, Inc., for authority to construct and operate a rail line in the states of Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana.

Trust Act signed into law

The Governor signed legislation – known as the Trust Act – that will prevent law enforcement officials across the state from detaining individuals based solely on their immigration status.