Latest News

Illinois elects new Governor, General Assembly
On Tuesday Illinoisans chose J.B. Pritzker to become the 43rd Governor of Illinois. They also elected Juliana Stratton as the next Lieutenant Governor and Kwame Raoul to be our new Attorney General. Secretary of State Jesse White, Treasurer Mike Frerichs and Comptroller Susana Mendoza were all re-elected as well. When the new statewide officers are sworn in on January 14, it will be the first time that Democrats have held all six posts since 2007.

ISBE approves recommendations to expand teacher workforce
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) approved a set of recommendations first laid out in the Teach Illinois report to help expand and diversify Illinois’ teacher workforce. The recommendations in the report were the result of a year-long study which included data analysis, focus groups and reviews of research conducted at the state and national level. More than 150 public comments were also considered by ISBE in making their recommendations.

Illinois’ ACT scores improved this year
Illinois high schoolers showed a dramatic increase in 2018 in their scores on the ACT exam, one of the nation’s two major college-preparedness tests. Illinois students who took the exam in 2018 averaged a 23.9 score on the test, out of a possible 36. That is an improvement of 2.5 points from the previous year, and puts Illinois students well ahead of the national average, which stands at 20.8.

State Police preparing for spike in concealed carry renewals
Illinois’ concealed carry license law went into effect in July 2013, and now the first of the five-year licenses are coming due for renewal. The Illinois State Police are getting ready for an expected spike in renewal applications.

96% of Illinois K-12 schools connected to high-speed internet
The EducationSuperHighway; a national non-profit which monitors states’ progress in connecting K-12 schools across the United States to high-speed internet; reported some encouraging numbers for Illinois this month. In all, 96 percent of the K-12 school districts in Illinois are able to access the internet at speeds of 100 kbps per student. This figure is up from only 71 percent three years ago. The median bandwidths have also more than doubled since 2015.

Over 500 bills signed from 2018 spring session
Last week the Governor took action on the last of the 612 bills which passed both houses of the legislature this spring. Overall, he signed 529 bills into law and issued a veto on 83. I was proud to have nine bills which I sponsored pass both houses this spring. All nine were signed into law by the Governor.

Employment picture continues to improve
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has announced that the state’s unemployment rate continued its decline, reaching 4.1 percent in August, the lowest figure on record. Jobs are up by more than 47,000 over the year, led by manufacturing, according to the Director of IDES, Jeff Mays.