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.


House returns to Springfield for committee action on bills
The House returned to Springfield on Monday to begin the final week of action before the deadline to have bills out of committee. We started the week with more than 750 bills awaiting action in committees. Any bill not passed out of committee by the end of the week is generally considered to be dead for the year.

Illinois unemployment dips in February
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has announced that the unemployment rate for the state of Illinois has decreased slightly, falling to 4.7% in February. IDES went on to report that nonfarm payrolls increased by 15,200 jobs according preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and released by IDES. Unfortunately, the January jobs report was revised to show a slight drop (-1,300 jobs) instead of the slight gain that had been initially reported (+200 jobs).