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Lisa Ryan/WUIS

As Illinois faces major budget problems, everyone has a different answer for which services to cut and which taxes to raise.

Mike Nobis is worried. His commercial printing company has been in Quincy, Ill., for 108 years. He says he's struggling to compete with other companies, especially those across the border in Missouri.

The current Illinois sales tax does not cover most services. Nobis says that, if the sales tax is expanded to cover the printing industry, he might go out of business.

Lawmakers Hear Calls For Changes To Worker's Comp

May 5, 2015
thefreemanagency.com

The Illinois House continues to debate the state's workers' compensation system.

Businesses say workers' comp is one of their biggest competitive disadvantages compared with companies in neighboring states.

That's why it's at the top of Gov. Bruce Rauner's so-called Turnaround Agenda.

The Republican proposes narrowing who's eligible for workers' compensation benefits, and lowering what doctors get paid when taking on work comp cases.

Illinois law requires that a contribution worth $1,000 or more has to be reported to the State Board of Elections.  And if it's just before an election, it has to happen right away.

After spending nearly $65 million, Gov. Bruce Rauner's campaign has been assessed for a report that was received late, according to director Steve Sandvoss, who says he can't give details.

"In light of fairness to the respondent and due fairness principles, we don't comment publicly on the nature of an ongoing proceeding,” he said, “but rather, we'll let the process bear itself out.

de.wikipedia.org

Federal lawmakers from Illinois and Missouri want the Obama Administration to scrap a proposed rule defining so-called “Waters of the United States.” They say the proposal gives the federal government too much control over water in yards and on farms.

Missouri Republican Vicky Hartzler is one of several lawmakers co-sponsoring legislation to block the new rule. Illinois U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis also is a sponsor for the bill.

rampcil.org

A group of social service advocates is out with a report looking at how northern Illinois would be affected by Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget cuts. The RAMP Center for Independent Living is one of the agencies involved in the Responsible Budget Coalition’s analysis. 

It’s not a direct budget cut for RAMP; it’s a proposal to reduce the number of clients served by its Home Services Program by making it more difficult to qualify.

Where Is Ex-Rep. Aaron Schock?

May 1, 2015

An attorney pursuing a federal lawsuit against former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock of Peoria says he can’t find the beleaguered Republican ex-lawmaker to serve him in the civil case.

Daniel Kurowski filed the lawsuit on April 15 on behalf of Chicago resident Howard Foster, who donated $500 to Schock’s campaign in 2012. Kurowski told U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood that he has been unable to locate Schock to serve papers.

Flickr user Daniel Borman / "Money, Money, Money" (CC BY 2.0)

A top official with Gov. Bruce Rauner's office confirms Illinois will restore $26 million in funding for a tobacco quitline, programs for autistic children and other social service grants. 

Projections show the state is taking in more money than expected.  While some cuts will remain, the windfall frees up money to reverse the cuts Rauner made with little warning on Good Friday, in early April.

The news has Joanne Guthrie-Gard beaming. 

"I'm ecstatic," she said. "I'm so excited."

Lawmakers Push For More Concussion Awareness

Apr 29, 2015
WUIS

A proposal in the Illinois Senate would make sure students are completely recovered from concussions before returning to athletics or the classroom.

Each year, there are 200,000 concussion-related emergency room visits for children and teenagers in the U.S. For one Chicago lawmaker, that’s not just a statistic.

Both of Democratic Sen. Kwame Raoul's kids have sustained concussions. Raoul says his teenage daughter, Mizan, is still recovering from one she received one when she was playing basketball in January. At first, nobody realized it was a concussion.

Flickr user Jim Bowen / "Illinois State Capitol" (CC BY 2.0)

Legislators have begun to discuss Gov. Bruce Rauner's agenda.

They split into seven so-called working groups. Members of both parties and chambers will meet with aides from the governor's office to talk about issues like workers' compensation, limits on torts, and taxes.

Flickr user Ryo Chijiiwa / "Tommy Guns" (CC BY 2.0)

The Illinois State Rifle Association president expects an appeal of a court ruling that upheld a Chicago suburb's ban on assault weapons. 

A panel of the 7th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago declared Highland Park's assault weapons ban constitutional.

A dissenting opinion says individual citizens, not the government, should decide the most effective means of defense. However, the majority opinion says the gun ban does not violate the Second Amendment because it gives would-be owners other options, including buying a handgun. 

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