Illinois Senate

"Writing? Yeah." By Flickr User Caleb Roenigk / (CC X 2.0)

A measure that would give Illinois adoptees more information about why they were adopted is heading to the governor's desk. 

The plan sponsored by Democratic state Rep. Ann Williams and state Sen. Toi Hutchinson would require state adoption agencies to give adoptees age 18 and older information detailing the reasons for the adoption.

Illinois Senate members approved the plan Tuesday on a 53-0 vote. It now goes to Gov. Bruce Rauner.

  Illinois senators are calling for a ban on unnecessary government travel to two states with bathroom laws targeting transgender individuals.

The resolution, which passed a state Senate committee Tuesday, caused spirited debate.

 

It urges North Carolina and Mississippi to repeal laws that requires people to use the bathroom of the gender they were assigned at birth, rather than their gender identity.   It also urges Governor Bruce Rauner to restrict travel to those states.

Brian Mackey

The Illinois Senate has adopted a plan that would create a uniform, interstate process for drawing political boundaries.

Chicago Democratic Sen. Kwame Raoul's plan was adopted 42-6 Thursday. He says it answers the call President Barack Obama made in February when he addressed the Illinois General Assembly in which he once served.

Obama called for fair redistricting processes that eliminated drawing boundaries to favor one party over another.

State of Illinois

 The Illinois Senate approved a big change to the way Illinois funds schools yesterday, but that doesn't ensure anything will change. 

It's the third iteration of a plan crafted by State Senator Andy Manar, a Democrat from Bunker Hill. His proposal overhauls the formula used to distribute state aid, sending more to districts with high concentrations of poverty. But Republicans decry the plan as a bailout for Chicago schools.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

A $454 million bill to increase funding for financially struggling Illinois colleges and universities has cleared the state Senate.

Lawmakers approved the bill on a near unanimous vote and sent the measure to the House on Thursday.

Democrats who control the Legislature and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner have been unable to agree on a budget since July 1, and higher education institutions have been forced to lay off staff.

Last month, lawmakers used $600 million left over in an education fund to help colleges make it through the summer.

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." 

"Day 68..." By Flickr User Sonia Belviso / (CC BY 2.0)

Legislation has been introduced in the Illinois Senate to raise the age to purchase tobacco products in the state from 18 to 21.

Democratic state Sen. John Mulroe of Chicago says he hopes the bill he's sponsoring will decrease the number of young people who start smoking.

But the Illinois Retail Merchants Association says those affected by the change would find other ways to obtain tobacco products.

"Drug Store" by Flickr User Consumerist Dot Com / (CC BY 2.0)

The Illinois Senate is considering legislation to exempt feminine hygiene and incontinence products from the state sales tax. 

Lawmakers passed the measure out of committee yesterday.

Democrat Melinda Bush calls it an unfair tax on women and seniors, who frequently buy these items.

"They're spending hundreds of dollars every couple weeks on the products. You can imagine if you're in Chicago where it's 10.25 percent.  I mean, literally, these are utility bills for our seniors,” Bush said.

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.

Illinois Senate Approves Pension Overhaul

May 10, 2013

The Illinois Senate has approved an overhaul of the state's pension systems. It comes a week after the House approved a more severe set of benefit cuts.

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