Latest News

Capital – Transportation Bills 
Capital bills become law: $1.1 billion to be spent on transportation projects. The 2014 capital plan centers on $1.0 billion for shovel-ready Illinois Department of Transportation projects, primarily road resurfacing and bridge renewal and repair. $100 million is included for grants to local governments for local capital projects; it is expected that these will also mostly be transportation projects, although the definition of road and street work on the local level also includes other infrastructure repairs such as the rebuilding of local sidewalks and curbs.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has announced cancellations in the Late Winter Deer Season for the 2014/2015 season that will affect hunters in Menard & Sangamon counties. According to the IDNR, Illinois strategy is shifting from deer herd reduction to maintaining or increasing deer populations. As a result, NO permits will be issued for Late Winter Deer Season 2014/2015 for hunting in Menard and Sangamon Counties. Read more on Rep. Rich Brauer's website.
For the second time in a week, a coalition of business and labor organizations called on Gov. Pat Quinn's administration to move faster in getting hydraulic fracturing rules in place.

The group, called "Growing Resources and Opportunity for the Workforce in Illinois," gathered in the Capitol to say the state is losing out on jobs and investment that go along with the controversial oil and gas extraction process.

Read the story by Kurt Erickson in the Herald & Review.


Newly released emails from Gov. Pat Quinn’s office show politics appeared to trump credentials when deciding how big a serving some nonprofits should get from his now-tarnished $54.5 million Neighborhood Recovery Initiative anti-violence grant program.

Emails from Quinn’s former top aides recount how Cook County Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough, a Maywood Democrat who had been the suburb’s state representative, approached Quinn’s administration in January 2011 to oppose giving NRI funding to a longtime social service provider in Maywood. Dave McKinney and Frank Main have the story in the Chicago SunTimes.
The Illinois Department of State Police is recruiting Forensic Science Trainees and has posted 20 positions for  training in Sangamon and Cook Counties on the Work4Illinois webpage.

The Forensic Scientist Trainee position requires an undergraduate degree in forensic science or one of the natural sciences. Commonly recognized natural sciences include college/university majors in disciplines such as agricultural science, animal science, biochemistry, biology, botany, chemistry, geology, medical technology, physics, preliminary medicine, and zoology.

Trainees are paid while learning their new profession.

You'll find more information about the trainee positions and program on the ISP employment webpage.


Taxpayers in Illinois pay an additional $1,038 per person in taxes because of the state's corruption, according to a recent study by two university professors.

The cost of corruption, however, is much higher than that.

John Mikesell, from Indiana University and Cheol Liu, from the City University of Hong Kong, determined that that 10 most corrupt U.S. States – which includes Illinois – would have spent 5.2 percent less between 1997 and 2008 if they had only an average amount of corruption.

The analysis also found that the most corrupt states spend less on elementary, high school and college eduction, health care and hospitals than their less corrupt counterparts.  Read the Herald-Review opinion piece in its entirety.

Audits – NRI Scandal
Commission to reconvene October 8th; more than 100,000 missing emails could contain key evidence in growing scandal. The General Assembly’s Legislative Audit Commission has opened a new round of hearings to further reassert oversight responsibility over the activities of the former Illinois Violence Prevention Authority (IVPA) and its troubled, Chicago-based Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI) program. This $54.5 million, taxpayer-funded initiative sought to use social-work grants to reduce violent crime rates in troubled neighborhoods located within Chicago and nearby suburbs. A February 2014 State audit, performed by the Auditor General at the urging of Rep. David Reis and other Republican lawmakers, disclosed comprehensive failures in the fiscal controls and executive governance of the program. Meanwhile, violent crime continued to affect targeted Chicago neighborhoods.