Latest News

Illinois helping Puerto Rico
In the aftermath of the devastating hurricane which struck Puerto Rico, disaster assistance resources from Illinois have been making their way to the U.S. territory in the Caribbean. The assistance comes in response to the major health and safety threats following the landfall of the Category 4 Hurricane Maria, whose rain and winds causes significant damage to the island’s infrastructure.

Conor’s Law will train law enforcement to better ensure safety of impaired young people
Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed SB 2185 into law. The bill, also known as Conor’s Law, is legislation that requires law enforcement agencies to develop policies for how they will handle arrests of intoxicated young people, including how the agency will care for them and what attempts they will make to contact a responsible adult. This new law is meant to ensure the safety of impaired underage individuals by keeping them from harming themselves or others.

Governor signs EDGE tax credit overhaul into law
Governor Rauner has signed legislation which I co-sponsored that overhauls the EDGE Tax Credit Program and adds some much-needed transparency and taxpayer protections.

The EDGE tax credit program is important to local economic development which incentivizes job creation, growth and competitiveness in the state. The new law extends the program until June 30, 2022.
Illinois Education Secretary Dr. Beth Purvis to join national nonprofit
Illinois’ Secretary of Education Dr. Beth Purvis left the Office of the Governor at the end of last week. Dr. Purvis has joined the staff of a national nonprofit organization where she will oversee educational philanthropy.

Governor Rauner announces borrowing plan to pay down bill backlog
Governor Rauner announced last week that he intends to exercise borrowing authority to issue $6 billion in bonds to pay down a portion of the state’s bill backlog. The Governor’s action came after a thorough review of the out-of-balance budget passed by the General Assembly in July. I voted No on this budget which raised taxes on Illinois residents without addressing any of state government’s long-term problems.

Unemployment rate drops in all Illinois metro areas
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has issued a report which provides us with information about the unemployment rates in each of Illinois’ 12 metropolitan areas. The good news was that each of the 12 metropolitan areas had a lower jobless rate in July 2017 than it had been twelve months earlier, with an especially significant drop in Chicago (currently 4.8%, which is down from 6.0% a year ago). 

Education funding reform legislation passed
After a long summer of negotiations, the House passed historic education funding reform legislation this week which includes a K-12 funding record level. The bill we passed takes ideas from the Governor’s bipartisan School Funding Reform Commission and from the recent negotiations. It is a compromise approach to fix the broken formula. Governing requires compromise, and it took compromise to get the needed bipartisan support to pass this into law.