General Assembly

spplawyers.com

The Illinois General Assembly finally has chosen someone to investigate ethics complaints against state legislators and staff. 

Julie Porter, a former federal prosecutor based in Evanston, was appointed as temporary legislative inspector general following a weekend telephone conference call of eight lawmakers assigned to oversee ethics in the legislature.

Jenna Dooley

Illinois lawmakers are continuing to leave the General Assembly. So far this year, 19 state senators and representatives have retired, announced plans to run for another office, or said they won’t seek re-election.

Among them is Steve Andersson of Geneva, who says he’s tired of what he calls “intolerance” in his Republican Party. Speaking on the public television program Chicago Tonight, he pointed to a recent House vote on whether to name a highway after former president Barack Obama.

Dan Stroud / Flickr.com/dstroud (cc-by-nc)

A group of Illinois lawmakers are pushing an agenda intended to help farmers who sell at local markets.

Their legislation covers a variety of issues. One bill would set uniform fees and sanitation requirements at farmers markets across the state.

Lindsay Record, director of the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, says more people are going to farmers markets, but that isn't translating into better business.

“We actually received reports from across the states from farmers that sales are down," Record says. "So people are there, but maybe they aren’t purchasing.”

Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / "Money" (CC v. 2.0)

Illinois’ top politicians are divided on how to end their feud over passing a full budget. 

Republicans are holding out for Governor Bruce Rauner’s agenda.  It includes changes to workers compensation and imposes term limits on lawmakers.

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin says Republicans will be happy to talk about balancing the budget if these measures are implemented. 

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Although the Illinois state budget for Fiscal Year 2016 still has not been decided, Gov. Bruce Rauner did take action on 24 pieces of legislation last Friday.

The news release from his office, however, provided absolutely no real information about what he had approved. Here is one example of how the “information” provided by the Gov. Rauner’s press office was sent out:

Bill No.: SB 38
An Act Concerning Employment
Action: Signed     
Effective: January 1, 2016

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