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Governor proposes new classification of homicides
This week Governor Rauner issued an amendatory veto of House Bill 1468, proposing changes to enhance public safety in Illinois. His proposal included the creation of a new class of homicides, to be known as “death penalty murder” for those 18 or older who murder peace officers, or more than one person and who are convicted “beyond all doubt.”

New legislation would help put Illinois workers back on the job
House Bill 5864, the Blue Collar Jobs Act, was introduced recently to help kick-start construction projects throughout Illinois and create middle class jobs. The plan, which is supported by both business and labor groups, would use the withholding tax paid to construction workers to offer tax incentives to companies which make significant capital improvements in Illinois.


House and Senate Republicans call for adoption of revenue estimate
When you make your household budget, you probably start by considering two questions: what will my expenses be, and how much money will I have to work with. Making a state budget should not be any different. Yet, while we always consider the first question, in recent years we have failed to consider the second one, even though we are required to by the Illinois Constitution. House and Senate Republicans have each filed resolutions calling on the legislature to adopt a revenue estimate in order to begin the budgeting process for fiscal year 2019.

Busy week in advance of House bill deadline
It was a hectic week on the floor of the Illinois House as Friday was the deadline for getting House bills passed by the body. Any House bill not passed by Friday is most likely done for the year. The House met all five days this week and passed dozens of bills, large and small, trying to beat the deadline.

Calls for redistricting reform intensify
Under current Illinois law, the districts for state legislators and members of Congress are redrawn every ten years to reflect the findings of the U.S. Census. The next redistricting will occur in 2021. But our system of mapmaking has a fundamental flaw: the districts are drawn by the very same elected officials who seek to represent those districts. This has led to partisan maps which have cut down on competition.