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Budget Fix heads to Governor

After weeks of negotiations, Gov. Rauner and legislative leaders agreed to a solution during the week to patch a massive $1.6 billion hole in the current-year budget. The legislative package, which is contained in two separate bills, passed with strong bipartisan majorities in both chambers and is now headed to the Governor for his signature.

Lawmakers to Focus on FY 16 budget

With the Fiscal Year 2015 budget shortfall addressed, lawmakers will now shift their focus to the upcoming budget for Fiscal Year 2016, which starts July 1.

Film studio returns grant

A Chicago-based film studio has returned an eyebrow-raising $10 million grant after Gov. Rauner demanded its return. A Senate Republican lawmaker has requested the Attorney General look into the matter.

Senate Executive Committee advances major bills

Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) moved two health-related bills through the Executive Committee during the week.

Bobcat season, round two

Last year, former Gov. Quinn vetoed bipartisan legislation to create a bobcat hunting/trapping season, which was proposed by his own Department of Natural Resources. Now both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees have once again advanced similar legislative proposals.

Senator Righter's 2:00 Drill: A Good Start

For the first time in more than a decade, we have a balanced budget in Springfield. It's a "good start" to turning Illinois around. That's the theme of my latest 2:00 Drill.

Senator Righter: A good start

Oftentimes in life, we can look to an occurrence or happening and recognize it to be one of those “the momentum has shifted” moments, when the outlook of what may lie ahead changes significantly.

Negotiations to Fill Budget Hole Again Delayed

State prisons, childcare facilities and many other state-run programs are struggling to fund essential services as yet another week passes without any progress made to fix the $1.6 billion budget hole advanced by Democrat leaders in the current budget. Though Gov. Rauner has repeatedly asked for the tools to fix the crisis created by his Democrat predecessor, Democrat leaders in the House and Senate have continued to delay a resolution to repair the deficit they caused.

Local Government and Unfunded Mandates Task Force

Created to help identify ways to help streamline and consolidate local governments, the Local Government and Unfunded Task Force, chaired by Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, aims to help make Illinois government more effective and efficient.

Open Meetings Act Reforms Advance to Senate

Three Republican Senators are now spearheading efforts in the Senate to advance legislation that seeks to enforce transparency and accountability of government meetings, after the measure unanimously passed the House.

Media Highlights Need for Change at DCFS

DCFS came under fire this week, after an investigation led by WBEZ found that the agency has frequently relied on juvenile facilities in Cook County to provide temporary housing until the welfare agency manages to find suitable homes to place kids who are wards of the state.

Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day (IGOLD) at the Capitol

Hundreds of Illinois gun owners headed to the Capitol on March 18 for the annual Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day (IGOLD) to advocate for their Second Amendment rights.

State Police Announce Modernization of Gun Licensing Process

While gun owners rallied in Springfield this week, the Illinois State Police (ISP) announced on March 16 the Agency will begin accepting online FOID applications beginning March 16, to provide a more streamlined and modernized application process.

Legislation Proposed to Pay for Body Cams

Helping local police departments pay for body cameras if they become mandatory is the aim of legislation sponsored by State Sen. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon).

COLLEGE ILLINOIS! ® 529 PREPAID TUITION PROGRAM ANNOUNCES DRAW YOUR DREAMS COLORING CONTEST FOR KIDS

College Illinois!®, the state’s only 529 prepaid tuition program, has announced its first "Draw your Dreams" coloring contest, offering future college students an opportunity to win one of three $529 gift cards.