Illinois Senators approved a plan last night that would hike the state's minimum wage to eleven dollars an hour.
Jackie Collins, a Chicago Democrat, says that would improve quality of life for low-income workers, and reduce their need for government assistance.
"I believe that what we are doing here, we will send a message to those corporations - the multi-billionaire corporations, that no longer will we support sub-par wages, in the knowledge that the government will help their workers afford food, housing and healthcare."
The Illinois General Assembly voted to make same-day voter registration a permanent feature of state elections.
Democrats allowed it for the first time in this year’s election. As with most changes to election law, there was a fierce debate. Republicans charged Democrats rushed it through and the changes open the door to voter fraud.
But Barbara Flynn Currie, the Democratic Majority Leader, says that’s not true.
The current school year is barely half-finished, but the Rockford School District is seeking youngsters to enroll in kindergarten and sign up for the Montessori pre-kindergarten program lottery for Fall 2015. Incoming kindergartners must turn 5 and pre-kindergarten students must turn 4 on or before Sept. 1, 2015, to be eligible. Parents/guardians applying for the Montessori pre-k lottery must complete an application and attend a mandatory orientation at Maria Montessori School.
Illinois may soon run its own healthcare marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. The General Assembly is working against a New Year's deadline to create its own exchange. That, or risk losing millions of dollars from the federal government. When the Affordable Care Act went into effect last year, Illinoisans began signing up for healthcare in a marketplace technically run by the federal government.
A spokesman for Exelon's Byron station confirms there are economic pressures on the Byron, Clinton and Quad Cities facilities. The spokesman tells WNIJ that Exelon sent lawmakers information in the hopes they gain a better understanding of the value of these nuclear facilities to the state economy and the impact of closing at-risk facilities early.
For State Senator Mike Frerichs, Election Day stretched for two weeks longer than his colleagues, as he waited on results in the extremely tight race for Illinois State Treasurer.
But the Democrat from Champaign finally pulled ahead of his opponent, Republican Tom Cross, by more than 9,000 votes, and was officially declared the winner on Sunday.
He's got a little more than a month before being sworn in, and, as he tells Illinois Public Radio's/Media's Hannah Meisel, he's trying to learn all he can, including tips from outgoing state treasurer, Republican Dan Rutherford.