Political news

Rules Of Road Change With New Year

Dec 31, 2014
state of Illinois

Procrastinators, delight. 

You can go online just before your license plate sticker expires to buy a new one and have no fear of getting in trouble for having an out-of-date sticker while you wait for the new one to arrive in the mail. 

A new state law allows drivers to temporarily use a receipt as proof. If you are pulled over and get a ticket for a traffic offense, another new law means you no longer have to give up your driver's license as a form of bail.

A memo from Bruce Rauner's budget chief continues to spell out how Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner sees Illinois' financial situation. 

The three page document says, "Illinois' massive budget hole is the direct result of previous governors and General Assemblies giving away benefits they couldn't afford, deploying dishonest budget practices and kicking the can down the road." It lists borrowing, putting off pension payments, and the use of gimmicks as culprits. 

Office of the Illinois Attorney General

A new Illinois law will make it harder for felons to receive a public pension. 

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law that gives the attorney general more power to stop pensions to convicted felons. Legislators sought the change after former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge was allowed to keep his pension after he lied about torturing suspects.

The Illinois Supreme Court in July upheld a lower court ruling that the attorney general could not challenge a Chicago police pension board decision that allowed Burge to keep his taxpayer-supported pension. 

DeKalb County

Voters across DeKalb County will get to cast their thoughts about the influence of money in politics when they go to the polls in April. 

The county board approved a non-binding question that asks voters if they support measures to increase transparency for campaign funding.


Illinois public schools are funded by two main sources--property taxes and state money. State senator Andy Manar, a Democrat from Macoupin County, introduced legislation that would change that formula. 

It didn't make it through the General Assembly last session, but Manar feels confident the issue will be debated again by the new legislature.

“There's only a few people that believe that the state aid formula today, as it exists, works well. And those are the ones that benefit at the expense of the masses from today's system.”

Illinois State Police

Most drivers in Illinois will get to keep their driver’s licenses after being cited for certain traffic offenses. The “Sign and Drive” law goes into effect Jan. 1.

It allows those receiving a citation to sign the document as a guarantee they will either pay the fine or appear in court. But Illinois State Trooper Ross Green says that’s not the case with all moving violations.    

“We would take a driver’s license for the offenses of DUI, drag racing, anything that’s a Class A Misdemeanor, and considered a business offense.”

New Law Protects Working Expectant Mothers

Dec 23, 2014

Pregnant women working in Illinois will have greater job protection under a new law taking effect Jan. 1. The measure requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations and safe working conditions so expectant mothers can work without endangering their health or the health of the child. 

Provisions include limits on lifting; help with manual labor; access to places to sit; more frequent restroom breaks; time off to recover from childbirth; and private break space for breast-feeding and expressing breast milk.

Outgoing Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford handed out nearly $90,000 in one-time payments to 35 non-union employees on Oct. 31.

The State-Journal Register reports that the one-term Republican, who finished last in a four-way gubernatorial primary in March, also gave pay raises to dozens of employees over the past year.

Most of the stipends were for less than $3,000, but Rutherford's former chief of staff received $10,000 on top of her $125,000 salary.

Raises for the 25 nonunion employees ranged from 8 percent to 36 percent.

Fisher House Foundation

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn traveled to Maryland this weekend to visit the Army’s Walter Reed Medical Center. After delivering Christmas cards to wounded service members, Quinn made a pitch to frequent fliers to donate their miles to the family members of patients at facilities like Walter Reed:

You don't have to give all your miles. You can give a portion of those miles to a common fund. You can learn about this at OperationHomefront.org.

state of Illinois

A new law will more than double what Illinois jurors are paid while reducing the size of civil case juries. It’s earning mixed reviews from criminal justice experts.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the measure on Friday. Supporters say it could lead to more diverse juries and offset anticipated costs by cutting back jurors from 12 to 6 in civil cases.