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Righter: Speaker Madigan, House Democrats kill EIU funding legislation

Legislation that sailed through the Illinois Senate May 5 that would have directed more critical funding to Eastern Illinois University, other universities, and community colleges during the state’s ongoing budget impasse is now essentially dead, according to State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon).

Secretary of State's Office rolls out centralized issuing of driver’s licenses

Beginning this month, Illinois residents will get a newly designed driver’s license and a new process to obtain or renew their old one. Under the new process, called Central Issuance, customers at Secretary of State Driver Service facilities will no longer immediately be issued a new permanent driver’s license/ID card at the end of the application process.

Daily Fantasy Sports regulation passes Senate

Popular online fantasy sports gaming websites, such as DraftKings and FanDuel, drew attention on May 19 when an effort to regulate daily fantasy sports in Illinois passed by a narrow margin in the Illinois Senate. However, the proposal’s future is uncertain—following the vote, a procedural maneuver was filed that placed the proposal on hold and prevented it from moving forward to the House.

Budget talks continue, reform compromise remains elusive

Republican and Democrat legislative leaders met with the Governor this week to discuss the potential for compromise on the budget and reform proposals. As the state quickly approaches what would be a full fiscal year without a budget, some Democrat legislative leaders have indicated a balanced budget may never be approved.

Human services funding clears both chambers

Both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation to provide $714 million to human services programs. The legislation was aimed at providing stopgap funding to help keep struggling services and providers keep their doors open.

Downstate lawmakers work to protect downstate coal jobs

A bipartisan group of lawmakers from both chambers gathered at the Capitol on May 10 to voice their support for an innovative plan aimed at reviving Illinois’ coal industry.

Senate Democrats ram through dangerous school funding bill

Democrat Senators took advantage of confusion and misinformation to narrowly pass a bill they touted as the answer to the state’s broken school funding formula. But according to data released by the Illinois State Board of Education, the proposal would represent a windfall of approximately $750 million for Chicago Public Schools (CPS), while shuffling around the limited remaining dollars between the majority of the state’s school districts.

General Assembly passes legislation to help battle life-threatening allergic reactions

The House and Senate have approved legislation to expand access to epinephrine auto-injectors (epi-pens) to treat life-threatening allergic reactions, honoring Annie LeGere, a young Elmhurst girl who died in August 2015.

Lawmakers push for movement on procurement reform

Republican legislators were joined by the directors of the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Capital Development Board and Central Management Services in calling for the General Assembly to advance legislation that would save Illinois taxpayers $500 million annually through procurement reform.

Righter: Education funding reform legislation is wrong

State Sen. Dale Righter issued the following statement in reference to Senate Bill 231, an education funding reform proposal that passed the Illinois Senate May 10.

Honor your hero: Submit loved one for recognition on Memorial Day Remembrance Wall

The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon), and the Illinois Senate Republican caucus are teaming up to honor and remember the sacrifice of the brave servicemen and servicewomen who have passed away.

Righter supports bipartisan legislation to fund EIU, Lake Land College, MAP grants

Legislation that would direct more critical funding to universities, community colleges, and students who receive MAP grants during the state’s ongoing budget impasse was approved by the Illinois Senate May 5.

Voters will see measure to protect road funds on November ballot

Voters in November will be given the opportunity to decide if funding for the state’s roads should be off limits to other agencies or programs, with the approval this week by the General Assembly of a proposed state constitutional amendment known as the “Transportation Fund Lock Box.”

Flawed school funding plan pending in Senate

Downstate and suburban school districts could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in state aid every year under a controversial school funding formula currently being debated at the Capitol, according to data released by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

Senate moves yet another bipartisan budget measure to House

The Senate passed legislation May 5 to direct greater funding to students who receive Monetary Assistance Program (MAP) grants, ensure universities and community colleges can remain open, and provide more certainty for students, faculty and staff during the state’s ongoing budget impasse.