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:
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.
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.
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.