Illinois

State Says Tax Refunds May Be Delayed

Jan 20, 2015
State of Illinois

Illinois residents shouldn't expect speedy state income tax refunds this year. 

The state Revenue Department says they'll be delayed by new security measures meant to deter identity theft and fraud.

Officials say it could take a week or longer, instead of days, to get returns once taxes are filed. Both paper and electronic filings will be affected, though e-filings still will be quicker.

Officials aren't identifying the safety measures to prevent someone from bypassing them.

Rauner Signs Minorities, Veterans Order

Jan 20, 2015

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed an executive order requiring state agencies and contractors to report how many minorities and veterans are in training and apprentice programs. 

Rauner signed the order yesterday after participating in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day service event.

The measure applies to labor organizations, contractors and subcontractors. They all must report the information within 30 days.

twitter.com/BruceRauner

During his campaign, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner continually blamed "union bosses" for contributing to the state's financial woes. 

Now he's making direct appeals to workers. 

It wasn't just the campaign; during his inaugural address, Rauner touched again on what labor leaders consider an anti-union theme. He said Illinois has an ethical crisis because taxpayers “see government union bosses negotiating sweetheart deals across the table from governors they've spent tens of millions of dollars to help elect."

DCFS Gets New Interim Director

Jan 19, 2015
DCFS

The state agency charged with protecting vulnerable children gets a new interim director today. 

Governor Bruce Rauner is still searching for a permanent director of Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services. 

Cynthia Tate takes over DCFS today on an interim basis while a search for a permanent director continues. She replaces Bobbie Gregg - who hadn’t even been on the job for a year.

Gregg was the latest in a string of directors for the troubled agency - which has been criticized for neglecting youth in its care. 

state of Illinois

The Illinois Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer and appointed Comptroller used their post-inaugural remarks to highlighted the accomplishments and goals after Gov. Bruce Rauner's inauguration Monday.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan said she speaks for families and communities and helps them fight against identity theft and data breaches. The Democrat said trying to fight for equality for Illinois citizens is why she takes the oath of office.

Quinn Issues Three Executive Orders

Jan 13, 2015

Right before leaving the governorship, Pat Quinn quietly issued three executive orders on the minimum wage, tax returns and public access to data.

Quinn's office didn't publicly announce the orders yesterday, but they were posted online later.

One order requires state vendors and subcontractors to pay a $10 minimum wage, which is more than the state's $8.25 rate. Another requires governors to make income tax returns public on or before May every year. The third requires the state to make data from agencies publicly available through an online portal.

WUIS

The president of the Illinois Senate is continuing to withhold a piece of legislation from Gov. Pat Quinn.

At the tail end of its session, the General Assembly rushed to pass a measure that makes it easier for Illinois' big utilities--Ameren and Commonwealth Edison--to charge more for delivering power.

The companies say it's necessary so they can continue to improve the electric grid. But legislators' quick action came to an abrupt halt when Senate President John Cullerton used a parliamentary maneuver to keep the measure from going to Gov. Quinn.

Rauner Inauguration Aired Live Today

Jan 12, 2015
twitter.com/BruceRauner

Republican Bruce Rauner will take office today as Illinois' 42nd governor. 

There will be a morning prayer service followed by the swearing in of constitutional officers.

Rauner beat Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in November's election and will be the first GOP governor since George Ryan left in 2003. There will be an open house at the Old State Capitol and a dinner, capped off by a concert featuring country star Toby Keith.

Special Election For Comptroller Becoming More Likely

Jan 8, 2015
state of Illinois

Chances the state will hold a special election for comptroller in 2016 have improved, now that the Illinois House Speaker has signaled his support. Lawmakers will be back in Springfield for special session today to vote on it.

Speaker Michael Madigan's spokesman, Steve Brown, says Madigan will support giving voters a say, instead of allowing an appointee to take over long-term.

Brown had previously only said that Madigan believed the future of the comptroller's office was a matter to be settled by the executive branch.

state of Illinois

Illinois lawmakers missed a Jan. 1 deadline to approve a state-run health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. Without its own exchange, the state forfeits millions of federal dollars while leaving consumers vulnerable to paying more for insurance.

Illinois was facing dual deadlines last month when lawmakers made a final effort to create its own marketplace. The first was the looming New Year---which they blew past last week, losing out on as much as $270 million.

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