House passes minimum wage increase
The Illinois House this week passed legislation which would raise the statewide minimum wage from its current level of $8.25 an hour to a new rate of $15 an hour by 2025. The increases would occur gradually, beginning on January 1 of next year. Under this new structure, Illinois would have the highest minimum wage in the Midwest and would be tied with California and New York for the highest in the nation.

Illinois has 11th highest tax burden in the nation
An evaluation of the tax structures of all 50 states by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation has discovered that residents of 38 of the 50 states will have lower state and local per-capita tax burdens than Illinoisans will this year.

Rep. Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City) spoke in debate last week about the proposed rules which will govern the way the Illinois House of Representatives conducts its business over the next two years. Bennett raised concerns about the way the rules allow bills and amendments to be brought up for votes with little or no notice. Despite his and other members' objections, the proposed rules resolution was adopted.
101st General Assembly kicks off spring session
The House convened on Tuesday for the first of eleven consecutive weeks in Springfield. More than 1400 bills have already been introduced, with as many as 4000 expected.