Illinois Senate

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.

The Illinois Senate Tuesday approved drivers' licenses for immigrants who came to the U-S illegally. The legislation has bipartisan support.

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