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Attorney General, ICC called on to investigate ComEd allegations

Serious allegations that ComEd may have improperly used ratepayer funds prompted State Sen. Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington) to call on Attorney General Lisa Madigan and ICC Chairman Brien Sheahan to take immediate action to protect ComEd ratepayers.

Legislation would create School Safety Task Force

Senate Bill 1340 creates the School Security and Standards Task Force to study the current security conditions, make recommendations and draft minimum standards for schools to provide a safer learning environment for students. The Task Force is to submit its report to the General Assembly and the Governor.

Medicaid legislation seeks greater accountability—and taxpayer savings

Responding to new reports that Illinois paid millions for medical services for persons already recorded as dead, legislation has been introduced intending to weed out Medicaid waste, fraud, and abuse; make the system work for the people who truly need the benefits; and save Illinois tax dollars.

Review of ‘Common Core’

As educators across Illinois prepare to begin administering the federal “Common Core” assessment tests, a Senate Resolution encourages the State Board of Education to opt out of the Common Core State Standards until a thorough review of associated costs can be conducted. Senate Resolution 89 also advances the creation of a state plan identifying how to provide the funding necessary for school districts to comply with the controversial new Common Core standards.

Workers’ compensation reform legislation makes Illinois more competitive

Seeking to help Illinois attract investment, create jobs, and end fraud and abuse, State Sen. Dale Righter filed legislation that would add “primary causation” to Illinois’ workers’ compensation law.

Session summary: Feb. 16-20, 2015

On Feb. 18, Gov. Rauner outlined his $31.5 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 budget proposal to a joint session of Illinois lawmakers. His plan eliminates $6.2 billion structural deficit; relies on no tax increases or borrowing; includes $500 million to pay down unpaid bill backlog; increases K-12 education spending by roughly $300 million; increases early childhood education funding by $25 million; provides the most money for education general state aid in Illinois history; focuses on core function

Senator Righter releases statement on Governor Rauner’s Budget Address

“Today, the General Assembly and the citizens of Illinois experienced something not seen from a governor in over a decade – a realistic assessment of the state’s fiscal and economic woes. The six billion dollar deficit is a crisis in every meaning of the word, created by years of chronic over-spending."

Righter pushes to fully fund Foundation Levels for schools

State Senator Dale Righter filed legislation that would help all school districts in the state and end the practice of only giving 89% of what each district is supposed to receive in state aid, otherwise known as “proration,” by fully funding the state’s “Foundation Level.”

Executive Order: Rauner creates commission to study criminal justice system

Saying Illinois is in “desperate need of criminal justice reform,” Gov. Rauner issued an Executive Order Feb. 11 creating a new commission charged with identifying ways to reform the criminal justice system and sentencing laws in the state.

Executive Order: “Fair share” dues targeted

On Feb. 9, Gov. Rauner signed an Executive Order preventing public employee unions from collecting mandatory dues from certain employees. Calling them “unfair share” dues, Rauner said there are currently 6,500 state employees who have opted out of the union but are still required to pay dues to help finance certain union activities.

Budget preview: Funding for schools

While Illinois residents wait to hear what Gov. Rauner will propose during his first budget address on Feb. 18, the state’s chief executive says he’s confident schools and other critical programs can be fully funded.

Money for court reporters reaching a breaking point

Besides immediate budget concerns for prisons and daycare programs, Illinois could soon run out of money for the state’s court reporters. The Rauner Administration said the state program faces a more than $14 million budget gap, and funds will be exhausted by the end of March. The Rauner Administration says they are working with lawmakers right now to identify a solution to these revenue shortfalls.

Education funding reform legislation introduced

The ongoing discussion of how to reform Illinois’ education funding system continued during the week, as State Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) introduced legislation to change the system for funding schools. Barickman was joined by the education reform alliance known as “Vision 20/20.”

Senator Righter reminds Lawrence County area residents his office is open every Tuesday in Lawrenceville

State Senator Dale Righter is reminding people in Lawrenceville, Lawrence County, and surrounding counties, he has an office in Lawrenceville and is encouraging anyone with questions or concerns about state government to stop by.

Righter Legislation Seeks to Bring Integrity and Savings Back to Illinois’ Medicaid System

In light of a recent report from the Illinois Auditor General that found the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (DHFS) paid $3.7 million for medical services to more than 1,000 people who were already recorded as dead, State Senator Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) filed legislation to take waste, fraud, and abuse out of the Medicaid system by making it work correctly and honestly for people who actually need the benefits and for Illinois taxpayers.