State Sen. Dale Righter will serve on the Legislative Public Safety Group, after being appointed by Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady March 20. The Legislative Public Safety Group is a bipartisan group of lawmakers from both the Senate and House who are tasked with working with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Administration to develop legislative proposals to support various public safety issues. These include school safety, mental health, interstate crime prevention, repeat gun offenders, concentrated crime force deployments, and economic revitalization.
Gov. Rauner signed bipartisan legislation that protects safety net and rural hospitals while ensuring continued federal support for quality healthcare to more than three million Illinoisans.
More light was shed on the state’s sweeping opioid epidemic, as the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that last year Illinois emergency rooms experienced a 66 percent spike in opioid overdoses.
The Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees met for the fourth time to resume their conversations with new data about the outbreaks and sequence of events at the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy. The meeting took place at the Bilandic Building in Chicago on March 5.
The Senate Task Force on Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Awareness and Prevention met for a very sensitive matter that involves an open investigation on sexual harassment at a multinational company.
The Senate passed several different gun control bills during the week. Sen. Righter voted against both of them.
The Senate also passed legislation (Senate Bill 1773 and Senate Bill 1573) to update a Medicaid assessment system that ensures that hospitals across the state will continue to receive federal funding. The program is fully financed by hospitals and the federal government—there is no cost to the state.
The Senate advanced legislation seeking to increase participation of medical professionals in the program that would place epinephrine auto-injectors (EpiPens) in the hands of law enforcement across the state.
Our road-map in 2018 for a balanced budget first and foremost, must include cuts. Tax increases are not on the table. Funding only our priorities and respecting taxpayer dollars being sent to Springfield is what the people of Illinois rightfully demand.
Legislation approved this week in the Senate Judiciary Committee would protect law enforcement officers and medical professionals from liability when they use EpiPens in emergencies.
A bill voted out of the Senate Public Health Committee would raise the legal smoking age to 21. Senate Bill 2332 would set the legal age to buy or use tobacco products, electronic cigarettes, and alternative nicotine products at 21 years of age. It eliminates the prohibition against minors possessing cigars, cigarettes, "smokeless tobacco, or tobacco in any of its forms."
The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee continued its efforts to learn more about the Legionella outbreak at the Quincy Veterans’ Home. Lawmakers discussed the state’s response to the outbreak in a joint Senate/House of Representatives hearing on Feb. 7.
Creating more jobs, spending within the state’s means, ending the practice of borrowing to cover the state’s deficits, addressing the state’s pension crisis, and lowering the tax burden on families and businesses were some major themes Gov. Rauner pushed during his annual State of the State Address Jan. 31.
More than $45 million additional dollars is now projected to head to Chicago Public Schools at the expense of the vast majority of school districts throughout the state. This, after Democratic majorities in the House and Senate overrode the Governor’s Amendatory Veto of Senate Bill 444 on Jan. 31, making it law.
“Be Alarmed!”, a new program being pushed by the State Fire Marshal and Illinois Fire Safety Alliance will provide free smoke alarms, education about fire safety, and proper smoke alarm installation to people throughout the state through their local fire departments.
Both the state and federal governments are now accepting 2017 income tax returns. The Illinois Department of Revenue says that filing tax returns electronically and using direct deposit is the fastest way to get your refund. They expect refunds will be issued four weeks from the time a return is filed electronically.
State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) issued the following reaction in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s State of the State Address Jan. 31.
Many jobs continue to pay women less than their male counterparts who are performing the same job duties. Legislation filed at the Statehouse would help close the wage gap between men and women.
The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) will begin accepting 2017 individual state returns on Jan. 29, the same day that the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will begin accepting federal individual income tax returns.
Illinois lawmakers will return to the Capitol next week for three scheduled days of session on Jan. 30 and 31, and Feb. 1, which will include the Governor’s State of the State Address on Jan. 31 during a joint session of both chambers held in the House of Representatives.
Lawmakers from both the Senate and House held the fourth in a series of joint committee hearings to discuss the possibility of legalizing and taxing cannabis for recreational use in Illinois.
Illinois motorists would have the option to register their vehicles for more than one year at a time under Senate Bill 2293, which would allow motorists, beginning in 2020, to register their vehicles for one or two years.
A bipartisan measure introduced during the week would set aside $16.3 million from the School Infrastructure Fund for the expansion of high-speed Internet to rural schools and school infrastructure costs related to the expansion.
“Step Two” is twofold. First, more cuts to the budget in order to achieve balance. There will not be another tax increase, so in order to avoid burdening the next generation with billions more in deficit spending that generates even more in unpaid bills, any projected deficit must be dealt with through spending reductions alone. That is a reality with which almost every legislative Democrat will struggle, and even many Republicans, despite rhetoric to the contrary.
State Sen. Dale Righter praised Gov. Bruce Rauner for signing legislation that substantially reduces startup, annual filing and other fees for limited liability companies (LLCs), the organizational structure preferred by many of Illinois’ 1.2 million small businesses.
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