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Sen. Righter's 2:00 Drill: Why are we not in Springfield?

I know many of you are beyond frustrated with a lack of a state budget right now. I share your frustrations. Today marks the 100th day of the fiscal year without a state budget. That is unacceptable. You might be wondering, why are lawmakers not in Springfield trying to solve this problem? Why is it important to have reforms tied to the budget? Who is holding up a compromise and why is this madness continuing?

Senate Republicans: Pass a balanced budget with reforms that can create jobs, boost economy

With no state budget in place, Illinoisans are being called upon to take more responsibility for renewal of their license plates. The Secretary of State’s Office has announced suspension of its mailed license plate renewal program, savings nearly $450,000 a month in postage money.

Farmers make major harvest progress

A warm, mostly dry week gave farmers several days of good conditions to continue with the 2015 harvest. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 30% of the Illinois corn crop is now

October is Thrombosis Awareness Month in Illinois

The month of October is now recognized in Illinois as Thrombosis Awareness Month, thanks to legislation sponsored by Senator Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry) and adopted by the Senate earlier this year. Ap

Harvest now at full speed

Most Illinois farmers are now in the thick of their 2015 harvest as the majority of both corn and soybeans have matured and are drying down.

Uncertainty continues for Illinois economy

While Speaker Madigan and President Cullerton resist pro-jobs reforms in Springfield, Illinois’ economy continues to struggle statewide.

Courts driving state funding

As the state continues to operate despite the ongoing budget stalemate, a number of services and programs have turned to the court system to enforce state payment. As a result, the courts have become increasingly involved in dictating state expenditures, with many programs and services being funded through court orders and consent decrees.

Blue-collar jobs struggling in Illinois

A deeper dive into the latest jobs figures reveals a troubling picture for a backbone of Illinois’ economy: blue-collar jobs. Illinois lost 2,200 manufacturing jobs in August alone; 10,000 since the start of the year; and more than 300,000 since the turn of the century.

Preliminary PARCC results released

Preliminary statewide results from last spring’s Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers Exam (PARCC) were released this week, causing concern for some as a number of Illinois students fell short of expectations. State Schools Superintendent Tony Smith, however, stressed that these results should serve as a baseline for schools and student and cautions against using them to “shame or punish” anyone.

Payments to early intervention providers go out

On Wednesday, Illinois Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger announced that her office would immediately begin making payments to early intervention providers who work with disabled infants and toddlers to create developmental strategies.

Goernor Encourages Balanced Budget

Emphasizing the negative impact the ongoing budget stalemate has on many state services and programs, Governor Bruce Rauner reached out to members of the General Assembly this week to once again encourage lawmakers to work with him to pass a state budget that includes economy-boosting, money-saving reforms.

Comptroller issues state budget warning

State Comptroller Leslie Munger says the state’s backlog of unpaid bills could hit $8 billion by the end of the year if the state continues to operate without a state budget, while the Governor’s budget office told a Senate panel this week the state is on track to spend more than $38 billion this year.

Illinois gets dismal rankings for its liability systems

IIlinois is ranked 48th overall in a survey released during the week surveying business leaders on the fairness and reasonableness of state liability systems by Harris Poll, a global polling firm. Cook County/Chicago received the ranking of the second worst local jurisdictions, in terms of having a fair and reasonable litigation environment. Madison County, Illinois, was tied for third worst in that category.

Democrats make false promises with the budget

Senate Democrats continued to play party politics with the budget impasse, muscling through Senate Bill 2046, which they said would pay for human services, municipalities, and lottery winners.

New law enforces public disclosure of severance agreements

All severance agreements involving government employees will now be subject to public scrutiny and investigation after Gov. Rauner signed House Bill 303 into law on Sept. 10.