Illinois Senate

  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." 

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