Government

Government and Legislature

pixabay.com

One of the primary ways that local governments get revenue is through property taxes. The amount of each property tax bill is determined by what various government entities need and the value of each home or business to be taxed. In this week’s Friday Forum, we look at how that value is determined and what you can do if you think they’re asking for too much.

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza says state government has begun paying off a significant chunk of overdue bills.

Illinois owes vendors more than $16.7 billion dollars as a result of significant growth during the two-year budget standoff. Mendoza said $4.5 billion in payments – more than a quarter of the total -- went out Wednesday night. 

“Two billion of that will be spent on group health insurance payments," she said. "These are folks like dentists, who have been waiting often more than two years to get paid for services already rendered."

The Illinois General Assembly has enacted a new set of protections for people with student loan debt.

Gov. Bruce Rauner had vetoed the bill because, he said, it would encroach on the federal government’s responsibilities. But 32 Republicans in the House joined Democrats in voting Tuesday to override the governor's veto.

Bill sponsor Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, says the bill deserved bipartisan support.

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.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

A very important election issue isn’t on the ballot. It involves finding enough judges or inspectors to make sure election days run smoothly. In this week's Friday Forum, WNIJ's Katie Finlon looks at the efforts involved in filling those seats.

County and municipal officials already are starting to recruit election judges (the Illinois title) or inspectors  (the Wisconsin term) for next year’s election cycle. Some say it can be difficult to fill those necessary roles in all of their precincts.

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