While many across the state are enjoying putting away their mittens and scarves, farmers are considering what Illinois’ mild winter means for this year’s farming prospects. This winter, Illinois reportedly received less than half-an-inch of precipitation and 60 percent less snow fall than average, causing concern that Illinois’ warm winter may have unintended consequences for farmers and moisture levels of soil.
On February 23, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) announced the highly anticipated outcome of a member-wide vote on strike authorization.
Finding itself falling to the bottom of yet another state comparison ranking, Illinois ranked 34th nationally in well-being in a recently released report published by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). However, the report stressed that there was “cause for optimism,” praising the state’s “tremendous assets” and successes of neighboring states.
In the days following Gov. Bruce Rauner’s annual budget address, Senate lawmakers once again returned their attention to negotiating a resolution to Illinois’ ongoing budget crisis.
Illinois legislators, representatives from the state Department of Public Health, and health advocates gathered in Capitol Feb. 15 to spread awareness of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women campaign, and to encourage Illinois women to unite in the fight against heart disease and stroke.
Legislation has been introduced to grow Illinois’ bio-based economy, building upon the state’s strong agricultural base and seeking to provide new products and markets derived from grain commodities and their by-products.
Sen. Righter says he is ready to work with the Governor and his fellow lawmakers to put aside the divisive rhetoric and make the kind of tough decisions necessary to pass a balanced budget and enacting the critical reforms that will provide stability and growth to our state.”
Gov. Rauner outlined budget options to a joint session of legislators in the House of Representatives, during his third annual Budget Address Feb. 15.
"The reason we are in this financial mess is because state government, for more than a decade, has spent more than what it takes in. A balanced budget solution must first demonstrate to taxpayers that the behavior of the past will not be the behavior of the future." - Sen. Righter
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is asking for additional input from the public in developing its Long Range Transportation Plan.
The Senate voted Feb. 8 on four of 13 measures that make up the budget framework Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and Democrat Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) have been negotiating. Opposed to taking a piecemeal approach, Senate Republicans held firm in their call for the budget package to be voted on in its entirety, not as individual pieces of legislation.
State Sen. Dale Righter received the Award for Conservative Excellence from The American Conservative Union (ACU) for 2016 for his perfect conservative voting record in the Illinois Senate.
The Illinois Senate could vote next week on a bipartisan budget framework that would produce a balanced state budget, move Illinois forward economically and in job creation, and turn Illinois around fiscally.
With contract negotiations stalled between AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees) Council 31, Illinois’ largest public employee union, and Gov. Rauner’s administration, members of AFSCME began voting this week to authorize a strike. The vote will continue through Feb. 19.
The Education Funding Reform Commission issued its report to the General Assembly Feb. 1, highlighting ideas for how the legislature could craft a bipartisan solution to the issue of creating a new and improved school funding formula. The bipartisan framework issued by the Commission comes after the group of 25 lawmakers from both parties and chambers and five members appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner, met for 75 hours over the last six months.