Illinois political leaders are remembering Judy Baar Topinka.
Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn says he's "heartbroken" about the death of Republican state Comptroller. Topinka's office says she died early Wednesday after suffering a stroke. Quinn called her "a trailblazer in every sense of the word" and a "force of nature."
Gov.-Elect Bruce Rauner, a fellow Republican, remembered Topinka for her "magnetic, one-of-a-kind personality." He said she cared "about what was best for the people" of Illinois.
The death of Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka raises questions about how to fill her post. According to the state Constitution, it's up to the Governor to appoint a successor until the next election. But election officials are unsure about the process.
That's because the term ends January 12 and an election has already been held. State Board of Elections Director Rupert Borgsmiller says they are not sure how to handle it: "Nobody knows at this point by looking at the Constitution and the election code itself."
It looks like Congress can avert a government shutdown, as tomorrow’s deadline to approve a spending bill approaches. Northern Illinois Congressman Randy Hultgren says there’s still a lot to pull together in the next few days.
Illinois lawmakers approved eavesdropping restrictions to replace those the state Supreme Court struck down.
The Senate voted yesterday to prohibit recording private conversations without the consent of everyone involved.
The measure exempts recording police in the line of duty, loud conversations in public or cheering fans at a ballgame. Critics objected the bill does not include provisions for police to wear body cameras.
The measure goes to Gov. Pat Quinn, who has not said if he will sign it.
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 lawmakers passed driver regulations for ridesharers.
The House and Senate approved creating statewide regulations yesterday for drivers working for services such as Uber and Lyft. It includes modified insurance requirements, background checks and a zero-tolerance substance policy.
Illinois Senators approved a plan last night that would hike the state's minimum wage to eleven dollars an hour.
Jackie Collins, a Chicago Democrat, says that would improve quality of life for low-income workers, and reduce their need for government assistance.
"I believe that what we are doing here, we will send a message to those corporations - the multi-billionaire corporations, that no longer will we support sub-par wages, in the knowledge that the government will help their workers afford food, housing and healthcare."
The Illinois General Assembly voted to make same-day voter registration a permanent feature of state elections.
Democrats allowed it for the first time in this year’s election. As with most changes to election law, there was a fierce debate. Republicans charged Democrats rushed it through and the changes open the door to voter fraud.
But Barbara Flynn Currie, the Democratic Majority Leader, says that’s not true.