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DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES

Embattled DCFS director grilled by Legislative Audit Commission over massive failures. Since December, nine children have died under DCFS' watch. Meanwhile, DCFS Director Marc Smith has been held in contempt of court 12 times for failing to place children in state care appropriately.
 
CHILDREN

Eight children have died on DCFS’ watch in last eight months; Durkin calls for hearings on DCFS failures. Eight children have died since December while cases of neglect or abuse were under investigation by the Department of Children and Family Services.

The DCFS director has been held in contempt of court a dozen times since January for the agency's failures in properly caring for or protecting children. 

CRIME

Victim, former police officer, criticizes Pritzker for commuting sentences of attacker. House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, alongside Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara and former Chicago Police Department Officer Robert Mizera, criticized Gov. J.B. Pritzker at a Tuesday news conference for his handling of the Prisoner Review Board.  

ENERGY

Illinois one of more than ten U.S. states where price of motor fuel passes $5.00/gallon; Democrats block action. The dismal news, already familiar to many motorists, was made official by the American Automobile Association (AAA) in their ongoing gas prices survey of the 50 states. Other states with gas prices above $5.00/gallon this week included Arizona, California, and Michigan. Motor fuel was slightly cheaper in the U.S. Southern states, but could not be bought for less than $4.25 a gallon anywhere. High prices for crude oil, and surging motorist demand in the traditional summer driving season, were blamed for the high gas prices.  

CRIME

Durkin says Time for Reform as Pritzker’s Prisoner Review Board Releases Convicted Murderers. Just ahead of the Memorial Day Weekend, Governor J.B. Pritzker’s Prisoner Review Board (PRB) voted to release two convicted murderers, prompting renewed calls from House Republican Leader Jim Durkin to reform the board.

“Governor Pritzker needs to stop appointing PRB members that disregard the rights of victims. His record on public safety has made Illinois a consequence-free state for criminals,” said Durkin. 

ENERGY

Illinois House holds joint hearing on rising energy prices in Ameren territory. On Thursday, May 26, the House Energy & Environment and Public Utilities Committees held a joint hearing at the Capitol to discuss rising energy prices for Ameren customers in downstate Illinois.

Ameren Illinois customers received an email Wednesday warning about higher prices on the horizon this summer. State lawmakers had the opportunity to ask energy leaders why this is happening and what they could do to help Thursday.

“The primary reason you will see an increase in your monthly bill is because of the increase in the electric supply costs, which are collected on your utility bill and paid directly to power generators,” the utility wrote to customers. “Ameren Illinois does not profit from these charges.” 

CHILDREN

Pritzker excuses for DCFS failures are endangering children; HGOP calls for change in leadership at DCFS. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin issued the following statement as DCFS Director Marc Smith has been held in contempt of court for a shocking 11th time. The record 11th citation concerns the case of an 11-year-old girl who was physically abused while in DCFS care and is considered a danger to herself and others. She has spent months waiting for appropriate placement in a secure residential treatment center.