Rep. Harris: Keep Illinois Income Tax Hike to Protect Education, Other Services

(Chicago) – State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), chair of a top House budget panel, yesterday called for maintaining Illinois’ income tax increase to avoid “massive” Illinois budget cuts. In a Facebook post on Thursday night, Harris, Chair of the House Human Services Appropriations Committee, which has oversight over nearly $18 billion of the Illinois budget, outlined the “massive… [Continue Reading]

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House State Budget Update

On February 25, 2014, the Illinois House unanimously approved HR842 which determined the amount of General Revenue Funds (GRF) that can be appropriated in the next fiscal year (FY!5) to be $34,395,000,000.  You can see the Resolution here:  http://ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=842&GAID=12&DocTypeID=HR&LegId=81331&SessionID=85&GA=98     This estimate includes the effect of ½ year of loss of revenue if the… [Continue Reading]

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Lawmakers say DCFS faces ‘horrendous’ challenges

BY KERRY LESTER Associated Press March 8, 2014 SPRINGFIELD, ILL. — Two Democratic lawmakers involved in overseeing the troubled Illinois Department of Children and Family Services say the agency faces “horrendous” challenges in the year ahead as officials deal with yet another search for a new child-welfare chief, anticipated budget cuts and election year politics. Officials… [Continue Reading]

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FY15 Revenue Projections & Budget Implications

As we begin to plan for the adopting the FY15 budget, despite previous cost cutting, program reforms and improving revenue pictures, the precipitous drop in state revenue in the middle of our coming fiscal year will have profound impacts.  In an effort to live within our means, we have passed budgets that have cut several… [Continue Reading]

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Pension Reform Legislation

Yesterday the General Assembly passed and sent to the Governor legislation dealing with the unfunded liabilities of the 4 state pension systems (TRS, SURS, SERS and General Assembly). The Governor has indicated he will sign this legislation into law. It would not take effect until July 1, 2014. In addition, there will undoubtedly be court… [Continue Reading]

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Editorial: The slow, difficult task of historic change

By The Daily Herald Editorial Board History is not easily budged. The U.S. Constitution, now considered one of the pre-eminent civil rights documents in human history, was four years in the making and upon its final acceptance by a sharply divided delegation, ratification by the requisite nine colonies was by no means certain. In 1864,… [Continue Reading]

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Gay marriage bill-signing a victory for equality, defeat for intolerance

A huge crowd is expected Wednesday at the University of Illinois at Chicago to watch history unfold. After years of struggle and many false starts, Gov. Pat Quinn will sign Illinois’ same-sex marriage bill with great fanfare. At the same time, not to be outdone, a rogue bishop in Springfield will preside over a prayer… [Continue Reading]

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History was written by these victors: Brown

Sixty-one state representatives made history Tuesday in the Illinois House with their votes to legalize gay marriage, and it took practically every one of them to make it happen. But some deserve special recognition for the history books. Rep. Greg Harris, the Chicago Democrat who was the bill’s chief sponsor, was a noble figure, strong… [Continue Reading]

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Editorial: A historic vote

After several hours of deeply emotional and personal testimony, the Illinois House on Tuesday took a historic vote for personal freedom. The House approved same-sex marriage. The “yes” votes came from Chicago and the suburbs, from the Quad Cities and Peoria, from as far south as Collinsville. Many Democrats — and three Republicans — secured… [Continue Reading]

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Getting to ‘Yes’ on gay marriage

With just over a week before the fall legislative session in Springfield begins, a debate is brewing about whether to call the same-sex marriage bill for a vote, come what may. Supporters are achingly close to the 60 votes needed for passage in the Illinois House but appear still to be shy of the golden… [Continue Reading]

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