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ELECTIONS
Federal and State Lawmakers Demand Accountability and Action to Preserve Integrity of Illinois Elections. With early and absentee voting set to start on February 6, U.S. Congressman Rodney Davis, and Illinois State Representatives Tim Butler, Avery Bourne, Mike Murphy, Dan Brady and C.D. Davidsmeyer are demanding accountability and immediate action to preserve the integrity of the March 17 primary election
Census Workers in 1960.
Photo from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. 
Two hundred years ago, Illinois participated in its first decennial census as one of the nation’s 24 states. Completed on the first Monday in August of 1820, it produced the first official snapshot of Illinois’ demographics as a state.

The Census was authorized by Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, with the instruction that it take place “within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress,” which worked out to 1790, “and within every subsequent Term of ten Years.” It was originally spelled out in the Constitution as being necessary for the purposes of apportionment of seats in the population-based House of Representatives. With Illinois attaining statehood in 1818, its first census as a state would be conducted in 1820.
With early and absentee voting set to start on February 6, U.S. Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville), and Illinois State Representatives Tim Butler (R-Springfield), Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville), Mike Murphy (R-Springfield), Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) and CD Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville) are demanding accountability and immediate action to preserve the integrity of the March 17 primary election.

On December 18, 2019, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office notified the State Board of Elections that a “programming error” led to well over 500 non-citizens being registered to vote over a 17-month period. The letter was not made public until last week.
TAXES
House Republicans continue to push for property tax relief despite Democrat-controlled task force failure. Illinois House Republicans will continue to fight this spring for property tax relief families need and deserve, despite the latest Democrat-controlled task force’s failure to deliver.

At a Capitol press conference this week, Representatives Dan Brady, Tim Butler, Mike Murphy and Tom Bennett said the final task force report was another missed opportunity, but won’t be the final word. 
Every January the Capitol building at 2nd and Monroe in Springfield sees an influx of people: legislators, staff, lobbyists, press and everyday Illinoisans who come to the grand old building to observe the workings of the Illinois General Assembly.

The building has stood since the late 19th-century, and has undergone a series of overhauls and rearrangements in its 150 years. All of this movement and renovation might inspire an old-timer (in some cases a really old-timer) to look at a certain spot in the Capitol and ask a question that begins with the words, “didn’t this used to be….”
CORRUPTION
Durkin calls for investigation after shocking email from Madigan confidant hints at rape cover-up, ghost payrolling. The call came following the disclosure that a powerful former lobbyist with close ties to House Speaker Michael Madigan, had sent an email to top officials in then-Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration referring to what appeared to be the cover-up of an incident of sexual assault.

In the 2012 email, then-lobbyist Michael McClain urged two top Quinn aides to avoid firing a state worker facing a disciplinary case by arguing that the worker had “kept his mouth shut on Jones’ ghost workers, the rape in Champaign and other items.” 
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was among the most important pieces of legislation passed in the 20th Century, or perhaps in all of American history. The effort to pass the law was driven by some of the towering figures of the 1960s: Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson in the White House, Hubert Humphrey in the Senate and Dr. Martin Luther King on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

But its passage would ultimately come down to a rather unlikely figure, the bespectacled, eminently-quotable senator from Illinois, Everett McKinley Dirksen.