Illinois House of Representatives

When copper piping like this is stolen, it can be costly to replace.
via Flickr/nectarous

Illinois Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, has introduced a bill to form a task force of metal theft experts. Together they would work to find long-term solutions. He introduced a similar bill last year that passed in the House but not the Senate.

Hoffman said he is sponsoring the bill because of an increase in metal theft recently in the Metro East — everything from copper lines on utility poles to air conditioner coils and carburetors.

Office of Rep. Jay Hoffman.

The Illinois House is considering whether to ban law enforcement agencies in the state from requiring officers to meet traffic ticket quotas.

The measure which passed the Senate last week would prevent departments from using ticket quotas in officer performance evaluations.

Democratic Rep. Jay Hoffman of Swansea is sponsoring the legislation.

Flickr/Jason Dunnivant

Legislators and lobbyists will once again fill Illinois' capitol this week, as the General Assembly returns from a two-week break. 

This is the time the legislative session ratchets up - as it will until a scheduled May 31 adjournment.

The Senate will take up legislation already approved by the House, or vice versa -- either killing proposals or sending them to the governor's desk.  For example: a proposal to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois.  It passed the Senate, but is awaiting a vote in the House.

We already know that budgets and austerity measures are controversial, especially when it concerns the pensions of public employees. Wisconsin is solid proof. But if you need another reminder of just how combustive it gets when you mix politics, unions and public employees, just take a look at this video:

(via Flickr/kev_hickey_uk)

 

Updated 3:42 p.m. with Illinois Public Radio story.

Reporting by Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey used in this report.

Although the NATO protests in Chicago have come and gone, today the Illinois House took a second crack at making it legal to create audio recordings of police. This time the legislation passed.

(via Flickr/Jennifer_Boriss)

An Illinois House committee wants to take away a perk for government retirees who get a big break on health insurance.

State employees who work for 20 years pay no insurance premium in retirement. A measure to end that benefit cleared the  House Executive Committee, which is controlled by Democrats, without opposition Wednesday.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees opposes the legislation.

(via Flickr/MoneyBlogNewz)

Legislation that would prohibit employers from seeking job applicants' social network passwords is on hold in the Illinois House.

Democratic Rep. La Shawn Ford's measure would allow job-seekers to file lawsuits if asked for access to sites like Facebook. Bosses could still ask for usernames that would allow them to view public information on the sites.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Will be updated. For the latest updates on this story, follow Illinois Public Radio reporter @AmandaVinicky on Twitter.

Updated 2:58 p.m. with input of Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.

Updated 2:29 p.m. - replaces story on passage of bill for working poor with version encompassing passage of both bills.

The Illinois House has approved tax breaks for businesses, including some big names that are threatening to leave the state.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Update: Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky reports via Twitter that the two lobbyists in question - David Piccioli and Steve Preckwinkle - believe the pension reform bill is unconstitutional and are reviewing legal options.

The Illinois General Assembly has sent legislation to Gov. Pat Quinn that would curb pension abuses.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

The Illinois House approved a plan to pay regional school superintendents after Gov. Pat Quinn erased funding for their salaries last summer.

The House voted 74-36 Wednesday to use local property tax funds to pay superintendents and their assistants in 44 regional education offices. It would pay them for just one year.

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