Illinois House

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Barack Obama's name is revered in his home state. But the Illinois House has rejected making his birthday a state holiday.

Legislation to make the 44th president's Aug. 4th birthday a state holiday fell six votes short Tuesday. Chicago Democratic Rep. Sonya Harper says it would honor a man who adopted Chicago as his home and served in the Illinois State Senate.

But Rep. Steven Andersson of Geneva suggested it be honorary. The Republican floor leader says even Obama wouldn't want the cash-strapped state to give state workers another paid day off.  

"A Teacher's Library" by Flickr User Angie Garrett / (CC X 2.0)

Illinois House members are picking up education funding reform where they say a commission convened by the governor left off.

Lawmakers gathered Tuesday to discuss proposals to revise the way Illinois finances its public schools. They plan this spring to write legislation to overhaul what many say is an outdated education funding model.

An Illinois legislative package aims to get more local farmers and small businesses into the marketplace.

It streamlines farmers market regulations, which currently vary by county.  The measure also expands the sale of homemade foods and makes it easier for producers to sell raw milk.  State Representative Sonya Harper of Chicago supports the measure.  

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

Two proposals on raising the minimum wage in Illinois will be tackled by the new General Assembly.

The Decatur Herald and Review reports that Senate members have proposed raising the current minimum wage, which is $8.25 an hour, by 50 cents each year until it reaches $11 in 2021 as part of a bipartisan budget package.

A proposed bill by House members, meanwhile, is looking to bump up minimum wage to $15 an hour by October.

Wikipedia

The Illinois House approved a plan meant to help victims of violent crime across the state.  

Many people who commit crime started out as victims. And in some neighborhoods, this can lead to a cycle of trauma and retribution.  The plan would  address the role of trauma in criminal behavior, targeting high-risk, underserved communities. People would be on the ground, building relationships to help victims better deal with their grief and anger. 

 

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