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Legislative Watch

Illinois Legislative Session Ends, but Battles Over Deficit and Taxes Are Only Beginning

CHICAGO — With an unresolved state budget deficit and a mounting standoff over fundamental issues like tax increases and business regulations, Illinois’s political leaders are braced for a long, difficult fight in the aftermath of a legislative session that officially came to an end Sunday night. “We’re […]

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Debate over civics: Should it be required for graduation in Illinois?

For the first time in a decade, the state is preparing to add another requirement to the list of classes high school students must take to get their diplomas — a civics course — and it’s generating controversy, confusion and opposition. Last weekend, the state Senate passed […]

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Rauner starts budget cuts to force Dems to negotiate on his agenda

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Tuesday said he will cut spending on programs that help the poor with child care costs and help the elderly stay out of nursing homes, nix the proposed Illiana toll road, close state museums and suspend tax credits for businesses and film production. […]

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Illinois Dems not budging on Pacific trade deal

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and his team continued to try to rally support for his Pacific trade deal on Wednesday, making absolutely no progress with Illinois Democrats in Congress. When I wrote about Obama pushing Democrats to vote for his trade pact in early May, Rep. […]

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Rauner to aides: Jobs about to become ‘even harder’ amid standoff

Gov. Bruce Rauner told his Cabinet members Wednesday that their jobs are about to become “even harder” because state agencies need to prepare for “the very real possibility” that they will have to run government without a budget amid an escalating standoff with Democrats who control the […]

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Legislature OKs bill to keep more juvenile offenders out of adult court

Illinois’ latest effort toward criminal justice reform has been heralded as a return to the state’s roots as a pioneer in the treatment of juvenile offenders. State lawmakers on Sunday passed a bill that would reduce the number of juveniles automatically transferred to adult court. At issue […]

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Rauner appoints 28 to new criminal justice reform commission

Gov. Bruce Rauner has named 28 people to a new commission that will look at criminal justice and sentencing reform in Illinois. The Republican governor announced his appointments on Tuesday. They include experts from nonprofits, academia and law enforcement as well as lawmakers. The new Commission on […]

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Madigan sends message to Rauner with budget vote

As Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner was talking to Chicago aldermen about his agenda Wednesday, Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan was delivering his own message 200 miles away at the Capitol. With lawmakers and the governor still far apart on a budget ahead of scheduled adjournment May 31, […]

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Council panel endorses $5.5 million reparations fund for Burge victims

Setting aside concerns that the heirs of torture victims of notorious Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge would get short shrift, a City Council committee on Tuesday endorsed a $5.5 million reparations package for those preyed upon by Burge and his so-called midnight crew of rogue detectives. Under […]

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UPDATE: IL law enforcement could soon use database to catch drivers without car insurance

If you’re driving around without car insurance in Illinois, experts will tell you that you’re taking a risk.  State leaders are creating a new tool to catch even more people without coverage. License and proof of insurance– what police want to see when they pull you over.  […]

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