Latest News

In support of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP) asked the Governor of the State of Illinois to declare April 24th through 28th as Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week in an effort to bring attention to the dangers and consequences associated with driving distracted. Governor Rauner issued the proclamation and both houses passed resolutions identifying April 24th through the 28th as Illinois Distracted Driving Awareness Week.

The ILACP, in partnership with AAA, and supported by the Illinois State Police, SafetyServe.com, the National Safety Council, the Illinois Insurance Association, almost 300 law enforcement/fire agencies and supporters from the private sector throughout Illinois, will work together during this week to educate motorists on all aspects of distracted driving.  Read more.


According to a study by the Pew Charitable Trust, the
 total unfunded pension liability for Illinois accounts for 10%
of the unfunded pension liabilities of the entire country.
The gap between the total assets reported by state pension systems across the United States and the benefits promised to workers, now reported as the net pension liability, reached $1.1 trillion in fiscal year 2015, the most recent year for which complete data are available. That represents an increase of $157 billion, or 17 percent, from 2014.

A state pension plan’s annual funded ratio gives an end-of-fiscal-year snapshot of the assets as a proportion of its accrued liabilities. In aggregate, the funded ratio of these plans dropped to 72 percent in 2015, down from 75 percent in 2014. Investment returns that fell short of expectations proved to be the largest contributor to the worsening fiscal position, with median overall returns of 3.6 percent.1 On average, state pension plans had assumed a long-run investment return of twice that—7.6 percent—for fiscal 2015.

Though final data for 2016 are not yet available, low returns will also be reflected there. Based on returns averaging 1.0 percent for that year, the net pension liability is expected to increase by close to $200 billion and reach about $1.3 trillion. Market volatility will also have a significant impact on cost predictability in the near and long terms.

Expected increases in the nationwide funding gap of more than $350 billion over two years—primarily because of lower-than-forecast investment returns—will require policymakers in many states to choose from often difficult options: paying more into state pension plans and potentially crowding out other spending in their budgets, or letting funding levels drop and pushing costs into the future. Read more by the Pew Charitable Trust.

Sam Stewart has spent most of the years since he graduated from United Township High School in 1998 in prison, and he is set to complete his third prison sentence next year — with no plans to come back.

"This will be my last time," Mr. Stewart said Tuesday at the new Kewanee Life Skills Re-Entry Center, where he's housed. His confidence is motivated by a desire to be with a young son, and bolstered, he said, by the center's skills training and respect from the staff.

"They really care," he said. "They want to help you. This place, they're definitely more focused on going home than just doing time. They're trying to prepare you and give you the necessary skills to succeed once you get home and not come back, instead of just sticking you in a cell." Read the entire QCOnline story.

Cloaked under the description of “privacy” legislation, a package of bills under consideration in Springfield takes solid aim at two of the state’s key economic performers — small businesses and the burgeoning tech industry in Illinois.

These bills include complex compliance regulations, which would apply to businesses of all sizes, but would place an enormous burden on small businesses statewide.

The “Right to Know” bill (House Bill 2774) would require any business with a website — even a local flower shop or pizza parlor — to draft privacy policies longer and more confusing than anything required by existing law and to create new IT systems — at best, a complex and expensive undertaking; at worst, impossible to implement — to respond to consumer requests under threat of liability. Read the opinion piece in SJ-R.


Budget – Lack of progress
No progress on Illinois budget; Moody’s warns Illinois of further downgrades. While the Illinois House has held a series of “pro forma” hearings on the budgetary requests and needs of Illinois state agencies, there are no State budget numbers for FY17 or FY18. FY17 is ending on June 30, 2017, without a written budget, and FY18 will start on July 1, 2018. Under State law and the Constitution of Illinois, the General Assembly is mandated to approve a balanced budget that will guide State spending for the approaching fiscal year. The Constitution requires that this budget not commit to spend more money than is expected to come in during the fiscal year. The legislature did not fulfill this mandate for FY17, and is not making progress to do this for FY18. As March 2017 ended, Illinois had more than $12 billion in unpaid bills on file with or under the supervision of the Office of the Comptroller of Illinois.
Gov. Bruce Rauner is moving ahead with plans to make the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum a separate state agency.

Rauner will issue an executive order Friday making the ALPLM a standalone facility, an idea first floated three years ago by House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago.

Rauner's order will also place the remaining functions of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency under the Department of Natural Resources.