Governor Bruce Rauner continued acting on legislation that had passed the Illinois General Assembly this past spring and the State Fire Marshal announced $2.2 million in grants for local fire departments to purchase equipment.
Since mid-May, IDPH has received confirmation of 243 cases of cyclosporiasis, an intestinal illness caused by the microscopic Cyclospora parasite. Of those, 92 reported eating salads produced for McDonald’s restaurants in the days before becoming ill.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal has recently determined the recipients of the Fiscal Year 2018 Small Equipment Grant Program. There are 100 departments taking a share of the $2.2 million in awarded funds, including eight recipients in and around Senate District 58
Randy Dunn is out as president of the Southern Illinois University system. Dunn has agreed to a voluntary separation from the university. Dunn will be on leave effective Tuesday. July 16, before his official termination on July 30.
A new report from an economic research group highlights the growing and high tax burden Illinois businesses are facing, ranking Illinois 35th in the country. The report is another example of why Senate Republicans are pushing pro-jobs and pro-economic reforms at the Statehouse.
Also this week, a researcher from the University of Illinois at Chicago says Illinois is different than other states in that most opioid-related deaths are being caused by heroin use, as opposed to prescription opioids. One statewide project is trying to help curb the opioid problem while Illinois is also implementing its Opioid Action Plan.
The Benchmark plan serves as a minimum scope of benefits that most health plans sold in Illinois must cover. The Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) hosted an electronic public notice and comment period to solicit recommendations from the public this past Spring. Based on the analysis of the comments and the expertise of the providers and researchers, DOI revised the Benchmark Plan with the aim of reducing addiction and overdose.
New laws have been signed seeking to address the state’s growing teacher shortage, and better prepare Illinois students for the demands of college and the workforce.
The “opt-in” phase of the state’s Automatic Voter Registration law also began this week, allowing residents to update their voter status at the DMV, which will be sent immediately to election officials.
The SIUC-led Strategic Planning Studies for the World Shooting and Recreational Complex and Pyramid State Park kicked off this week; the federal government approved a plan to protect rural hospitals; and Illinois residents are encouraged to celebrate the coming Fourth of July holiday safely.
With summer in full swing so are summer activities. The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) would like to remind residents to be safe this summer.
The Illinois Explosives Act is administered by the IDNR Office of Mines and Minerals’ Explosives and Aggregate Division. The Division is staffed by trained blasting specialists located throughout Illinois. In addition to requiring comprehensive licensing, training, and examination for individuals, the law requires that unattended display fireworks and explosives must be stored in an explosives magazine, storage facility, or container that is inspected and certified by IDNR.
The “Bicentennial and Beyond! The Illinois Legacy Collection” exhibition will open to the public with a special reception on Friday, June 29 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public, and will include complimentary soft drinks, light appetizers, a cash bar, and music provided by the Virgil Rhodes and his band “Footprints.” Those interested in attending should RSVP by emailing Leslie.Cline@illinois.gov or calling 217-782-0909.
The federal government has approved the state’s plan to protect safety net and rural hospitals while ensuring continued federal support for quality healthcare to more than three million Illinoisans.
Senate lawmakers joined their House counterparts in Chicago this week for an emotional hearing in response to a recent media investigation revealing systemic sexual abuse and assaults have taken place within the Chicago Public School system over the last decade.
Also this week, state officials applauded progress on the Illinois Innovation Network and the highly anticipated Discovery Partnership Institute, a cutting edge innovative research and development initiative that is expect to serve as an economic engine in Illinois and the Midwest. Additionally, officials highlighted the benefits of the state’s new adoption tax credit, while public health experts caution Illinois residents to protect themselves against mosquitoes following confirmation of the state’s first reported human case of West Nile virus in 2018.
The City of Sparta is a step closer to seeing water and sewer bond payments that have been owed dating back to 2017. The Fiscal Year 2019 budget plan calls for making due on the payments.
The Illinois Senate has adjourned for the summer. Senator Schimpf is back in district, holding regular office hours, touring local businesses, and meeting with constituents.
One of Senator Paul Schimpf’s “8 for ‘18” legislative priorities was ensuring that state employees received the back pay they were owed. He has been a longtime advocate for honoring the promises made to these AFSCME workers and voted in favor of the FY 2019 Budget on May 30, 2018.
Confiscated and abandoned property auctions are conducted by the IDNR approximately every five years. As required by law, all proceeds from these auctions are deposited into the State Wildlife and Fish Fund. The last auction conducted in 2013 netted $53,145.00.
As the second year of the 100th General Assembly wrapped at the end of May, lawmakers left Springfield having passed more than 600 bills and a balanced budget. Governor Bruce Rauner didn’t waste any time before signing the budget into law on Monday, June 4.
Also last week, special emphasis was placed on the authorization of critical funding for the Illinois Veterans’ Home at Quincy, and the allotment of $241 million toward projects to improve mobility of freight throughout the state.
College students who receive MAP grants will have a greater sense of financial security each school year thanks to changes to the program. The state is now guaranteeing MAP grants for four years rather than annually.
The Resolution, SJR54 called for the study of the cost, feasibility, and environmental impact of a proposed four lane divided highway from Waterloo to Murphysboro. The bill is left stuck on the House Resolutions Calendar—while lawmakers are back in their districts for summer.
The Illinois Senate remained in session this week. In addition to voting in favor of a budget and taking part in committee hearings, Senator Schimpf held a press conference regarding progress made in the Higher Education Working Group. He also voted, “yes,” to appropriate $63 million to cover back wages owed to some 24,000 state workers.
Senator Schimpf, a cosponsor of the bill, voted yes on the measure on Wednesday, May 30, as he has been a strong advocate for honoring the promises made to the men and women who put in the work, but never got the pay they were promised.
Illinois Senate passes FY2019 budget - 56-2. Sen. Schimpf has shared that his ideal budget would have spent less money and paid down some of the state’s debt. Regardless, he says this balanced budget allows both houses to avoid another impasse that would have devastated the state.
During a special meeting held in Springfield on Wednesday, May 30, the SIU Board of Trustees rejected a resolution to split the system into two separate institutions.
Illinois Department of Transportation to spending $11.05 Billion in statewide road and bridge improvements. The planned upgrades will impact infrastructure in Monroe, St. Clair, Randolph, Perry, Jackson, Union, Jefferson, Washington Counties, and more. The plan is set to start in 2019 and run through 2024.
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