Illinois General Assembly

Schools are scheduled to receive their first payment from the state for the coming school year in just three days, but that can’t happen until the Illinois legislature approves a new evidence-based funding model.

Lawmakers have several choices:

Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

The top Democrats and Republicans of the Illinois General Assembly met Sunday for the first time this year, and there are some signs of progress.

House Speaker Michael Madigan has consistently objected to Gov. Bruce Rauner making his political and economic agenda a prerequisite for passing a budget. At Sunday's meeting, Madigan said Republicans were still talking about what he calls “off-budget” issues. That, he said, “prompted me to add items to the off-budget list.”

Flickr user / Victor "Handcuffs" (CC BY 2.0)

The Illinois General Assembly has approved legislation intended to make it easier to hold drug dealers accountable when their customers overdose.

After eight years in the Army, Evan Rushing had PTSD. One day last year, he drove to St. Louis to buy heroin. It was a bad batch; he overdosed and died.

Evan’s mother, Janice, said police identified the dealer who sold the drugs. Prosecutors couldn’t charge him with drug-induced homicide though, because Rushing bought the heroin in Missouri.

State of Illinois

Today was the last day of the annual legislative session in the state capitol. It also happens to be the 700th day since Illinois last had a real budget.
Democrats – who hold a majority in both chambers of the General Assembly -- still aren’t saying whether they plan to do anything about that.
This is third year in which House Democrats have put themselves in this same position: going up to the end of session without a clear path on the budget.

Flickr user Eric E Castro / "The Tampon Fairy" (CC V 2.0)

The Illinois General Assembly passed legislation requiring public schools to provide free feminine hygiene products in girls' bathrooms.

It would apply for schools with grades six through 12.

State Rep. Litesa Wallace, a Democrat from Rockford, sponsored the legislation.

"This is another way to make sure that we not only are keeping the young lady discreet and with dignity; it's a public health issue,” she said.

Wallace said it's no different from supplying hand soap and paper towels.

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