New laws seek to give Illinois’ colleges and universities the necessary tools to attract in-state students, advancing improved financial aid plans, a more liberal application of credit transfers, and increased student counseling support.
New state laws will streamline veteran identification services and make it easier for homeless veterans to access critical medical benefits they have earned. House Bill 4848 requires health care providers to provide one free, complete copy of a patient’s medical records if the patient is an indigent homeless veteran.
A new law seeks to increase Illinois seniors’ access to high-speed Internet and provide more convenience with permanent identification cards.
A package of legislation was signed this week to benefit Illinois farmers and ag businesses. With more than 72,000 farmers and 2,400 food manufacturers in the state, Illinois leads the nation in food processing, and ag commodities businesses produce $19 billion annually—and billions more is stimulated by ag-related industry.
In response to the state’s ongoing teacher shortage, new laws intended to cut red tape for teachers and offer more teaching opportunities for military spouses, were recently signed into law.
State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon), State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet), State Rep. Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville), and State Rep. John Cavaletto (R-Salem) are encouraging senior citizens to come to their free Senior Health Fair on Aug. 22, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Effingham Armory (1206 W Temple Ave.)
State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) announced August 13 that he will ask Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) to give the appropriate Senate committee subpoena power, in order to force Chicago Public Schools (CPS) officials forward if they continue their silence amidst numerous incidents of sexual abuse, harassment, and assault within CPS, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
A new law recently signed by the Governor will boost protections for Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) workers, in the wake of a violent attack on a local DCFS worker last year that led to her death in February.
On July 31, the Governor signed legislation that encourages medical professionals’ participation in the initiative to equip police officers with epinephrine auto-injectors (also known as EpiPens) for allergy-related emergencies.
During the last 10 years, delays in getting individuals approved for nursing home care have led to a backlog of 15,000 cases, with some taking up to a year to resolve. The problems stemmed from a complicated bureaucratic process of rules and regulations at the Federal and State levels, an antiquated computer system, and a staffing shortage.
Saving taxpayers’ money and improving efficiency are the goals of a government reform measure signed into law this week allowing affected county clerk’s offices to absorb the functions of their separate county election commissions.
The River Edge Redevelopment Zone (RERZ) Historic Tax Credit, which is a vital economic tool that has fostered the reuse of historic buildings throughout the state, has now been expanded to other communities statewide.
The 2018 Illinois State Fair gets underway Aug. 9 in Springfield. The 11-day event, which brings hundreds of thousands of people though its gates, celebrates agriculture, the state’s number one employer and driver of the state’s economy.
Legislation (House Bill 2354) signed into law during the week will allow family members or law enforcement to petition the court to have firearms removed from individuals believed to be a danger to themselves or others,. Another measure (Senate Bill 3256) was signed to extend the current 72-hour waiting period for handguns to include all guns purchased in Illinois.
The Governor also this week signed Senate Bill 3128, the Quincy Veterans’ Home Rehabilitation Act, allowing for the state to move forward on an expansion at the current facility while reducing red tape on future construction to allow the state to proceed more expediently on the project.
On July 17, the office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal and Gov. Rauner announced the recipients of the Small Firefighting and Ambulance Service Equipment Grant Program, also known as the Small Equipment Grant Program.
A recent report from the Anderson Economic Group shows Illinois ranks 35th in the country in business tax burden, up from 32nd a year before. The findings, however, were from the latest fiscal year data available, 2016, which came before the corporate and personal income tax rates were increased in 2017.
A researcher from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) says unlike other states, most overdoses and opioid-related deaths in Illinois are caused by heroin use. James Swartz says it is also often in combination of potent synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl and carfentanyl.
Corn and soybeans across Illinois are enjoying a strong growing season this year thanks to Mother Nature. According to the latest Crop Progress and Conditions Report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 81 percent of corn is considered in good to excellent condition right now. For soybeans, it’s 72 percent.
In response to the state’s ongoing teacher shortage, House Bill 5627 was recently signed into law seeking to help draw educators to Illinois, retain existing teachers and assist former teachers interested in returning to the classroom. Proponents say the new law offers common-sense changes to help ease Illinois’ growing teacher shortage as legislators explore long-term solutions to the growing crisis.
A state pilot program on competency-based graduation requirements was recently expanded under Senate Bill 2941, legislation recently signed into law that will place a greater emphasis on a student’s level and quality of education, as opposed to hours simply spent in a classroom.
The Secretary of State’s office this week began the “opt-in” voter registration at driver service facilities as part of the state’s new Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) law that was signed in August 2017. The AVR was advanced as a way to both modernize and simplify the state’s voter registration process.
On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision about Janus v. AFSCME. The court held that forcing government employees who do not wish to join the union to pay “fair share” union dues violates the First Amendment, and States and public-sector unions may no longer extract fair share fees (agency fees) from non-consenting employees.
Gov. Bruce Rauner recently announced that the federal government has approved the state’s plan to protect safety-net and rural hospitals while ensuring continued federal support for quality healthcare to more than three million Illinoisans.
State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) issued the following statement in response the U.S. Supreme Court ruling against a California state law that would have required crisis pregnancy centers to provide women with information about state-provided abortion. Similar legislation was signed into law in 2016 in Illinois.
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