State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz has been working with members of the LGBT community to change Illinois marriage laws. Find out what legislative challenges she faces.
Illinois General Assembly
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Saturday, December 22, 2012
The bad news: Job growth in Illinois is too slow, and prison inmates probably watch better TV than you. The good news: Your lawmaker is one of the highest paid in the nation.
Feeling all warm and full of good cheer? Bah! Here's a little something to satisfy the Scrooge in you before the spirit of Christmas takes hold. We Need More Jobs: At 8.7 percent, the Illinois unemployment rate is 1 percent above the national rate. And job creation is improving at a faster clip all around us, in Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Iowa and Missouri, on average, according to Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner at the Illinois Policy Institute. "The reality is Illinois’ poor policies aren't allowing the state to participate fully in the national recovery. If only Illinois’ unemployment rate were equal to the average of its neighbors, 100,000 more Illinoisans would be working. Yes, jobs are slowly returning to the state, but that’s …
Saturday, December 15, 2012
The representatives and senators leaving office in January 2013 will see millions of dollars in pension payments, figures far more sizable than they would've seen in the private sector.
Are you worried about your own retirement? With the downturn in the economy, did your 401k and savings take a big hit? If so, you're like millions of other Americans forced to confront a dramatically different outlook for their post-work years. But one group of pensioners is largely insulated from such concerns — outgoing Illinois lawmakers. The retirement benefits Illinois legislators receive are far more generous than those most of their constituents could collect working full-time jobs, reports Scott Reeder of the Reeder Report, using data from an Illinois Policy Institute analysis in a piece published on Watchdog.org. The anticipated pension benefits of the 34 lawmakers who will depart the state legislature in January show these …
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Illinois is considering changes to the way it funds mandated busing for local school districts. At a recent Lincoln-Way school board meeting, Supt. Lawrence Wyllie said transportation is something the district needs to look at.
Local school districts have been forced to consider transportation costs in the face of declining state aid, and if the state Board of Education has its way schools here could face even more issues. The Illinois State Board of Education is considering legislation that would eliminate a mandate for school districts to pay for some transportation costs. "If they do that and they cut off the funding entirely, we’re going to need to make a decision about whether we bus our kids or not," said Supt. Lawrence Wyllie, of the Lincoln-Way High School District 210, at a recent school board meeting. Currently, most districts are required to fund the busing costs for students who live more than 1.5 miles away from their school. The state reimburses …
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Bills proposed in the state legislature would ban customers younger than 18 from using indoor tanning salons, something that isn't making those businesses happy. What do you think? Is this a good idea?
The incoming weather doesn't just signal the arrival of spring, but it also marks the busy season for tanning salons as winter hibernators flock to the boutiques to add some color to their otherwise pale skin. And a large portion of those tanners heading to the salons will be high school-aged girls preparing for their upcoming proms. But bills in the Illinois House and Senate could pull the plug on that customer base, making it illegal for minors to use tanning beds, the Chicago Tribune reports. The proposed measures come on the heels of a Mayo Clinic study showing an increase in melanoma cases among girls, as well as claims by dermatologists linking tanning beds to skin cancers, the report stated. The authors of the study, which was …
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The Illinois House is considering legislation that would add a 2 percent tax to ammunition sales. The money would go to trauma care centers in high crime areas, including Chicago.
Illinois gun owners could face a 2 percent tax on ammunition if proposed legislation makes its way through the General Assembly. House Bill 5167 is expected to yield up to $1.2 million a year, according to Illinois Statehouse News. The Illinois Department of Public Health would give the revenue to trauma care centers in high crime areas, including Chicago. A co-sponsor of the bill said it's part of the "fight against gun crime," but National Rifle Association lobbyist Todd Vandermyde argued it's an “unconstitutional poll tax." "The law-abiding citizens are essentially paying for the criminals' actions," said Robert Wise, co-owner of Downrange Sports gun shop in New Lenox. That's an argument state legislators have echoed, because they …
Friday, December 30, 2011
More than 200 new state laws go into effect on Jan. 1. We spotlight the substantial ones and point you to some of the more unusual pieces of legislation.
We received an early Christmas present from State Sen. Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and the General Assembly. Radogno's office sent a press release Dec. 19 detailing the new laws that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2012. While most people were busy spending time with their relatives over the holidays, we were going through the 214 laws, figuring out what lifestyle changes we were going to need to make. We've highlighted the most signficant—and in some cases, most interesting—of these new laws, so you don't have to spend the beginning of the new year wondering why you're chilling your heels in the local pokey. Seat Belts for the Back Seat: Adults riding in the back seat of a vehicle must wear a seat belt. Offenders could face a $25 fine. "…
State Sen. Maggie Crotty (D-Oak Forest) wants to spend more time with her family, report says.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
In the last hearing to be held on a plan to close the facility, concerned family members, hospital officials and state politicians expressed doubt and fear over the lack of alternatives to the Tinley Park Mental Health Center.
As of Tuesday morning, Nancy Jones' 42-year-old mentally ill son was out on the street. And there's really nothing she could do about it. "We're just in agony right now because we love him and we want to help him and there's no help," said the Shorewood resident Tuesday. "Nobody cares in this state. It's just heartbreaking for us." Jones was among several hundred people gathered in Orland Park Tuesday at a hearing on Gov. Pat Quinn's decision to close the Tinley Park Mental Health Center. READ: Public Hearing: Weigh in Next Week on Quinn's Plan to Close the Mental Health Center Many in attendence at the Georgios Banquets hall wore bright orange "Save the Tinley Park Mental Health Center" T-shirts. About 50 people from advocacy groups, …
Thursday, January 13, 2011
The four legislators who cover Tinley Park were split down party lines in the recent vote that banned the death penalty.
The Illinois State Senate voted to ban the death penalty in a 32-25 vote Tuesday afternoon. The ban passed the House last week and now heads to Gov. Pat Quinn for approval. Illinois has not carried out an execution since former Gov. George Ryan placed a moratorium on the death penalty 10 years ago. That decision came after several Death Row inmates were found to be innocent. According to an article by Reuters, Quinn said he must "reflect" on the issue before deciding whether to sign the bill into law. Here's how your local legislators voted (a "Yes" vote means the legislator voted in favor of the ban):