Politics

Politics
6:45 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Illinois General Assembly Approves Rideshare Regulations

Credit Uber

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. 

Read more
Politics
6:26 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Illinois Senators Approve Wage Hike...Without House

Credit Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / "Money" (CC v. 2.0)

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."

Read more
Politics
6:19 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Illinois Lawmakers Pass Same-Day Voter Registration

Credit Flickr user / kristin_a (Meringue Bake Shop) "Vote!" (CC BY 2.0)

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.

Read more
Minimum Wage
7:38 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Illinois Lawmakers Say Wage Increase 'Unlikely'

Illinois lawmakers won't consider increasing the state's minimum wage to $11 as they wind down their fall session. 

The Associated Press reports the House Speaker’s spokesman Steve Brown said "complications" made it unlikely for a wage hike to be passed this year.

Sen. Kim Lightford, a Maywood Democrat, is the plan's sponsor.

"We're trying to find a balance to allow for a wage increase, to support the business community, and to keep the city of Chicago thriving."

Chicago passed its own $13-an-hour wage hike yesterday.

Read more
Healthcare
7:09 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Illinois May Run Its Own Health Marketplace

Credit Flickr user / Images Money "Healthcare Costs" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois may soon run its own healthcare marketplace under the Affordable Care Act. The General Assembly is working against a New Year's deadline to create its own exchange.  That, or risk losing millions of dollars from the federal government.  When the Affordable Care Act went into effect last year, Illinoisans began signing up for healthcare in a marketplace technically run by the federal government.

Read more
Politics
6:58 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Chicago Aldermen Voting On City Minimum Wage

Chicago aldermen are expected to vote on raising the minimum wage today. But Illinois lawmakers might not let Chicago go as high as it wants. The debate over the minimum wage in Springfield is two-fold. One - is what is the appropriate minimum wage for Illinois. And two - is whether the City of Chicago should have a higher minimum wage than the rest of the state. Steve Brown is a spokesman for the Democratic Speaker of the House. He says leaders are trying to see if there’s support for letting Chicago set its own rate. But for now - the Speaker isn’t showing his cards. 

Read more
Politics
6:42 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Same-Day Voter Registration May Stay

Credit League of Women Voters

Lawmakers will consider keeping same-day voter registration for Illinois' general election. 

A bill sponsored by State Sen. Don Harmon is scheduled to be presented today in a House committee. It would make permanent a measure passed last spring that allowed same-day voting registration and extended early voting.

The original legislation made the changes effective only for the general election.

Harmon says same-day registration was a successful experiment that's worth continuing. Republicans argued the provisions were intended solely to boost Democratic turnout. 

Read more
Politics
6:39 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Chicago City Council Holds Special Minimum Wage Meetings

Credit Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / "Money" (CC v. 2.0)

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to pre-empt state action on local minimum wages. 

The City Council is planning special meetings to raise the city's minimum wage to 13 dollars an hour. A work force committee will meet today and a special council meeting is on Tuesday.

Officials are worried business groups will push for Springfield legislation that prohibits municipalities raising their minimum wage higher than the state's.

Read more
Illinois
6:48 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Quinn Grants Clemency To 126 People

Credit Wikipedia

Governor Pat Quinn granted clemency to 126 people Wednesday. Some of the crimes of those pardoned date back to the 1970s.

A number of them have been waiting for a decision for nearly a decade. A backlog of clemency requests built up under ex-governor Rod Blagojevich, who acted on very few appeals.

Ken Tupy serves with the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. He says the board makes recommendations on each case, but the governor doesn't have to follow it.

Read more
Illinois
6:19 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Rauner Gives Budget, Immigration Insight

Credit www.twitter.com/brucerauner

The next Illinois governor is telling state agencies to prepare for budget cuts.

Republican Bruce Rauner is scheduled to be sworn in next month. That’s also when the state’s income tax is scheduled to drop - meaning less revenue. Rauner says he’s been meeting with the department heads who will present recommended cuts.

"We’ve had a budget that has been passed and is managed to that is nowhere near balanced. And we hope and believe that the department heads should be planning and preparing for a budget that actually is balanced."

Read more

Pages