Illinois House of Representatives

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

After receiving approval from both the Illinois House and Senate, a bill to form a task force to find solutions for metal theft has been signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner.  It goes into effect on January 1, 2016.

In a statement Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea announced Friday that he would be a member of the task force.

Original story from February 15, 2015:

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.

(via Flickr/alkruse24)

Illinois lawmakers are trying to close a loophole that let two lobbyists qualify for retirement benefits as teachers after spending a single day in the classroom.

The measure passed the House on Wednesday and now goes to the state Senate.

It targets two lobbyists for the Illinois Federation of Teachers. They spent one day as substitutes, which allowed them to qualify for the teachers' pension system.

Democratic Rep. Jack franks of Marengo calls it "depressing" that he needed to sponsor legislation to remove them from the pension system.

His bill passed 112-0.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Will be updated.

An Illinois House committee has approved a new, smaller gambling plan that backers hope can survive a threatened veto by Gov. Pat Quinn.

It passed 8-2. Democratic Rep. Lou Lang says the measure could be changed even more before a vote by the full House.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Gov. Pat Quinn wants the "monkey business" of absentee voting by Illinois lawmakers investigated after the
Illinois House overrode his veto on legislation that will raise electric rates to pay to modernize the state's power grid.

Flickr

Legislation to restore salaries for regional school superintendents after they were wiped out by Gov. Pat Quinn has failed in the Illinois House.

The vote Thursday was 59 to 55, but lawmakers can vote again later.

A House Committee had approved the legislation on Tuesday.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

The Illinois House has voted to crack down on public pension abuses.

Lawmakers voted 111-3 Thursday to prevent public employees who served in union positions from receiving pensions from both the government and the union.

The measure sponsored by House Minority Leader Tom Cross also limits the size of pensions. An employee who takes a leave of absence from his public job to serve in a union post must receive a pension based on his public salary before the leave -- not the higher union salary.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Updated 4:38 with more information about the legislation.

Illinois lawmakers have approved major changes to the state's electricity system over Gov. Pat Quinn's veto.

Both the House and Senate voted to override the governor Wednesday.

They rejected Quinn's argument that the legislation guarantees unfair profits to power companies and seriously weakens the oversight power of state regulators.

(via Flickr/alkruse24)

Illinois lawmakers have taken the first steps toward restoring salaries for the state's regional superintendents.

A House committee on Tuesday approved legislation that would take the salaries out of a special tax fund for local government.

Now the full House will consider the plan.

Gov. Pat Quinn used his veto power to eliminate salaries for regional superintendents and their assistants. He said the state shouldn't pay for local officials when money is so tight.

(Illinois House of Representatives via Google Earth)

An Illinois House committee has approved new legislative districts despite opposition from a leading Latino advocacy group. The districts drawn by Democrats advanced on a party-line vote.

You can see the full map, and interact with it, here.

It's not clear when the full House might vote.

(Illinois House of Representatives via Google Earth)

Democrats have released their proposal for new Illinois House districts that would make political life harder for Republicans.

The map was made public Friday afternoon. Democrats plan a hearing on Sunday where more detail may be available and critics can air their concerns.

The proposal throws some Republicans into the same districts.

Others would lose territory that could be used to help elect Democrats.

(via Flickr/alkruse24)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky used in this report.

Legislators have given their equivalent of an "A" to an education measure heralded as landmark. After heavy negotiations, it's on its way to the governor's desk.

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