Illinois House

"NOT 100% EFFECTIVE" BY FLICKR USER NATE GRIGG / (CC BY 2.0)

The Illinois House passed legislation today requiring health insurance plans to cover birth control.

Democratic Rep. Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook says this is already federal law, but the proposal's aim is to ensure women in Illinois have access by allowing a 12-month prescription. 

The measure had significant pushback from representatives who oppose abortion because it includes emergency contraception. 

​Republican Rep. Dwight Kay, of Glen Carbon, says the legislation is burdensome to businesses.

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

The Illinois Senate today moved swiftly to approve a spending plan the House passed yesterday.

It authorizes spending nearly 4 billion dollars on higher education and social services -- two areas that have been caught without funding during a prolonged political fight. But Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno says it doesn't mean universities or programs would actually get money. 

Radogno says the state has none to give.

"If you vote for this, you're voting for a hollow promise,” Radogno said. “Let's look at the bills that have funding." 

State of Illinois

For the first time in three weeks, state representatives will convene Thursday in Springfield.

Not much has changed in those three weeks. There's still no agreement between Democratic legislators and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on a state budget.

But representatives are back anyway, and they do have some budget measures on the table.

For one, they're set to discuss Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposal to exempt some middle-class homeowners from paying higher property taxes.

State of Illinois

State legislators are done with their work until Republican Bruce Rauner becomes governor next month. Members of the House finished their work Wednesday, and after a morning of debate, the Senate adjourned yesterday afternoon.  The General Assembly meets over a two year cycle.  This one is coming to a somewhat lackluster close. Though the House declared itself totally done, Senate President John Cullerton is leaving open the possibility of calling legislators back to Springfield. "But it's not anticipated we'll be having any more action.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Rockford has a new state representative. Litesa Wallace was chosen from five finalists today to replace retired 67th District Democrat Chuck Jefferson. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

State Representative Chuck Jefferson surprised constituents and political watchers alike by quietly submitting his resignation. The Rockford Democrat has served in the State House since 2001. 

Brian Mackey / Illinois Public Radio

Illinois House members went from “doomsday” to “middle-of-the-road” when they approved a scaled-back budget for 2015. 

Illinois Public Radio

The Illinois House overwhelmingly rejected  a so-called "doomsday budget" today -- one that does NOT rely on extending 20-11's income tax hike. It would have imposed deep cuts across Illinois government.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Next week, Republican voters in the 75th Illinois House District will choose the person they want to represent them in the general election this fall. The choice comes down to the man who has attracted positive national attention during his half-year in office and a long-time county government leader. 

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Republican State Representative Kay Hatcher announced last fall she wouldn’t run for the 50th district seat she has held since 2009. It didn’t take long for four Republicans and a Democrat to come forward and announce their intentions to replace her. We continue our primary election previews with a look at the candidates in the district that covers portions of southern Kane and northern Kendall counties. 

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