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Fallen police officers honored

Hundreds of police officers from across Illinois came to the Capitol May 4 to honor the lives and the service of those officers, from years and decades past until today, who gave their lives during the line of duty.

Good-faith negotiations continue

Senate Republicans continue their good-faith negotiations, taking the time needed to hammer out the important details of passing a full-year, balanced budget with commonsense reforms that will put Illinois’ fiscal house in order and create a solid foundation for future budgeting and economic stability. Such reforms include a property tax freeze, spending reform and caps, and jobs creation.

Changing the short-term budgeting mindset

Throughout the budget reform process, Senate Republicans have held firm to the fact that the General Assembly must stop repeating the mistakes of the past. Senate Republicans say it makes no sense for Democrat leaders to keep passing the same types of budgets over and over again, and expecting different results.

Ceremony honors firefighters

On May 9, hundreds of firefighters from across the state gathered in Springfield to remember fallen firefighters who lost their lives to protect Illinoisans. The 24th Annual Illinois Fallen Firefighters Memorial and Fire Fighting Medal of Honor Awards Ceremony also honored individual firefighters for extraordinary acts of bravery and heroism to protect fellow firefighters and civilians.

Demonstration of school technology

Students from across Illinois came to Springfield May 9 to participate in TECH 2017, a demonstration of school technology.

Illinois Legislative Shadow Day

On May 10, 60 youth in foster care, as well as alumni from such programs from across the state, were paired with members of the General Assembly, as part of Illinois Shadow Day 2017.

Ensuring property tax relief for disabled veterans during a move

Disabled veterans who qualified for the Disabled Veterans Standard Homestead Exemption for their previous home would qualify for a pro-rated exemption for their new home when they move, under legislation passed by the Senate April 26.

Allowing accessibility symbol for regular/specialty license plates passes Senate

Those with disabilities would be able to have the accessibility symbol on a regular or specialty license plate, under legislation passed by the Senate April 25. Right now, people with disabilities can only get the accessibility symbol on the Person with Disabilities Plate or the Disabled Veteran Plate.

Nurses in Illinois, other states could work across state lines

Nurses in Illinois would have more flexibility to work in other states, under legislation passed by the Senate April 25. Senate Bill 677 allows Illinois to join 25 other states that are part of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), which allows for Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses in Illinois to be recognized in other compact member states. The legislation would also allow nurses in NLC states, such as Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, and Kentucky, to work in Illinois.

School funding reform proposal shows good results

Legislation that would fund Illinois schools in a more equitable way show good results for school districts under a simulation by the ISBE, which forecasts that school districts across the state would receive either the same amount of funding they are receiving now or more under the legislation.

Helping DCFS investigate child abuse

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) would be allowed to access certain prescription drug records of families with children in custody, under legislation passed by the Senate April 26. The goal is a more thorough investigation into cases of child abuse and neglect especially when opioid use and abuse could be a factor.

Sen. Rooney advances first bill

Receiving unanimous support and cementing his position in the Illinois General Assembly, State Sen. Tom Rooney (R-Rolling Meadows) carried his first bill through the Senate on April 27.

New education funding legislation would advance true parity for schools

After years of bipartisan negotiations, two legislative proposals have been advanced to reduce the inequity and inadequacy that has plagued the state’s more than 800 school districts, and truly address questions of school funding parity.

State offers help as April 18 deadline to file tax returns looms

With less than a week left to file federal and state income tax returns, the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) is reminding taxpayers to file as soon as they can.

Commonsense reforms

Senate and House Republican lawmakers came together this week to reiterate their call for a long-term budget solution for the people of Illinois. The legislators noted that a real budget plan incorporating commonsense reforms will improve Illinois’ economy and provide financial stability. Those commonsense reforms include a property tax freeze, spending reform and caps, job creation, term limits, fair maps and pension reform.