Illinois

Will State Elections Bring Statehouses Closer to Balance? | 06-15-2018

Lauren Arthur is not a household word, except perhaps in the neighborhood of suburban Kansas City, Missouri, where she lives. But Arthur, who on June 5 won a special election to fill a vacancy in the Missouri state senate, epitomizes the high hopes of...

Budgets in Brief - June 18 2018 | 06-15-2018

MANY STATES SHORT ON UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FUNDS: Twenty-eight states don’t have enough money in their unemployment insurance trust funds to get through the next economic downturn, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Labor . Eleven...

Half of States Have Considered Internet Privacy Bills in 2017-18 | 06-08-2018

At least 27 states have considered but only two, Oregon and Virginia, have passed legislation dealing with internet privacy in the current session, according to information compiled from the National Conference of State Legislatures and LexisNexis State...

Sports Wagering Not a Sure Bet for States | 06-01-2018

The Supreme Court’s May 14 decision to strike down a federal prohibition on sports gambling may well turn out to be the financial boon many observers believe it can be. But getting there is going to be easier in some states than in others, and state...

Many States Have Considered Sports Betting Bills in 2018 | 06-01-2018

Nineteen states have considered legislation related to sports betting in 2018, according to information compiled from the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Legal Sports Report and LexisNexis State Net . One state, West Virginia, has passed...

Education - June 4 2018 | 06-01-2018

IL Senate Approves HB 4870 The ILLINOIS Senate approves HB 4870 , legislation that would allow sick students who qualify for medical marijuana to consume it on school premises, as long as they don’t smoke it and school officials agree that it...

More States Considering ACA Medicaid Expansion | 05-18-2018

Thirty-two states have expanded Medicaid in accordance with the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act but letting states decide whether or not to implement the Medicaid expansion provided for by the federal law. A budget proposal...

Budgets in Brief - May 14 2018 | 05-11-2018

CA ECONOMY NOW WORLD’S 5TH LARGEST CALIFORNIA’s economy has surpassed that of the United Kingdom to become the world’s fifth-largest, according to data released this month by the U.S. Department of Commerce. California’s 2017...

More Than Half of States Allow Marijuana Use | 05-04-2018

Twenty-nine states have passed laws broadly legalizing the use of marijuana. Twenty of those states allow the use of the drug for medical purposes, such as pain relief or the control of nausea. Nine states have legalized recreational use of marijuana...

Governors in Brief - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

BROWN REACHES DEAL ON CA NATIONAL GUARD USE...OR DOES HE? After a week of jousting with the Trump administration, it is still unclear if CALIFORNIA Gov. Jerry Brown (D) will order the deployment of the California National Guard to the state’s...

Social Policy - April 23 2018 | 04-20-2018

PA House Approves HB 2050 The PENNSYLVANIA House approves HB 2050 , which would make it a crime for doctors to perform an abortion based on the belief the expected child is likely to have Down syndrome. It moves to the Senate (PENNLIVE). PA House...

The Local Front - April 2 2018 | 03-30-2018

CA City Council Adopts Ordinance The city of LOS ALAMOS, CALIFORNIA adopts an ordinance exempting itself from the Golden State’s so-called “sanctuary state” law that restricts local law enforcement’s cooperation with federal...

Half of States Use Commissions for Redistricting | 03-16-2018

Commissions, rather than legislatures, have primary responsibility for drawing state legislative and/or congressional districts in 13 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In another 12 states, commissions either assist legislators...

Over Half of States Seeking to Maintain ‘Net Neutrality’ | 03-02-2018

At least 29 states have introduced legislation this year aimed at reinstating the requirement that internet service providers treat all content the same in terms of price and accessibility, which was eliminated last year with the Federal Communications...

Helping the Dreamers: The Clock is Ticking | 02-16-2018

States have a vital stake in federal action to rescue the beleaguered program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Instituted by President Barack Obama in 2012 by executive order, DACA has protected from deportation nearly 800,000 young...

States With Most to Lose by Elimination of SALT Deduction | 12-15-2017

Taxpayers in nine high-income, high-tax states claimed more than 60 percent of the state and local tax (SALT) deductions on federal tax returns nationwide in 2014, according to the Tax Foundation. Seven of those states, which include California, where...

2018: A Year of Living Dangerously | 12-15-2017

The shadow of President Donald Trump and the Republican tax bill will hover over state governing bodies in 2018, a year of midterm elections that Tim Storey, political analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures, says will be “a referendum...

Most States Taking Action on Cybersecurity | 12-08-2017

As of Oct. 30 at least 43 states had introduced over 240 bills and resolutions related to cybersecurity this year, according to analysis of LexisNexis State Net data by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Twenty-seven of those states have enacted...

More Familiar Issues Likely to Draw State Lawmakers’ Attention in 2018 | 12-08-2017

As SNCJ ’s Rich Ehisen reported last week, some of the issues likely to receive the most attention from state lawmakers next year are those that are already familiar, such as health care, the opioid epidemic and sexual harassment. Here are several...

Governors in Brief - November 20 2017 | 11-17-2017

RAUNER SIGNS TWO IL ANTI-HARASSMENT BILLS : ILLINOIS Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signed two measures last week aimed at curbing sexual harassment in the Prairie State statehouse. The measures require all lawmakers, lobbyists and state employees to undergo...

Sexual Harassment Prevalent Problem in Statehouses | 11-03-2017

Incidents of sexual harassment or sexual assault involving female state lawmakers, legislative staff or lobbyists have been reported recently in at least 16 states. The legislatures in all of those states have training programs or policies in place to...

Lawmakers Look to End Harassment Under the Dome | 11-03-2017

What started as a flood of allegations of sexual harassment and assault against powerful Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has morphed into an ever-widening outcry against such outrages regularly committed by men in all workplaces, including statehouses...

Business - October 2 2017 | 09-29-2017

Business In Wisconsin A WISCONSIN Appeals Court upholds the Badger State’s right-to-work law, which bars unions and employers from requiring that all employees pay fees to join a union, either in membership dues or “fair share” payments...

Politics In Brief - October 2 2017 | 09-29-2017

DHS CONTACTS STATES ABOUT 2016 ELECTION HACKING The Department of Homeland Security directly notified election officials in 21 states last month that they had been targeted by hackers connected to the Russian government during the 2016 election campaign...

Governors In Brief - September 11 2017 | 09-08-2017

CHRISTIE PROPOSES NEW NJ OPIOID RULE NEW JERSEY Gov. Chris Christie (R) announced a new rule prohibiting prescribers of opioid medications from accepting meals and uncapped compensation for speaking engagements, consulting work, and other services...

Budgets In Brief - September 4 2017 | 09-01-2017

IL APPROVES EDUCATION FUNDING REFORM ILLINOIS lawmakers passed legislation last week overhauling the way state money is distributed to local school districts to ensure that more funding goes to poorer schools. Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) was expected to...

Budgets In Brief - June 19 2017 | 06-16-2017

IL Gov Calls Special Budget Session ILLINOIS Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) has called a special session to try to end the state’s unprecedented budget impasse that has already drug on for two years and will enter its third on July 1. The special session...

NJ Casinos Get Big Boost From Online Gambling | 06-09-2017

For the last several years, New Jersey casino revenue has been declining by an average of 7.6 percent a year. But through April of this year, total casino gambling revenue was up 1.7 percent over the same period last year. The reason for the change of...

Budgets In Brief - June 5 2017 | 06-02-2017

Tax Swap In Works In LA The LOUISIANA House passed a pair of bills last week ( HB 359 and HB 360 ) that would establish flat tax rates for individuals of 3.95 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively, while eliminating the state deduction for federal...

States Pushing Ahead With Private Sector Pension Plans | 06-02-2017

Undaunted by opposition from Wall Street, Congress and the Trump administration – or by potential litigation down the road – a growing number of states are moving forward with implementing state-run pension plans for millions of private-sector...

Business - May 15 2017 | 05-12-2017

Illinois Approves SB 1502 The ILLINOIS Senate approves SB 1502 , a measure that would require online companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon to disclose to consumers what data about them has been collected and shared with third parties. It is...

Politics In Brief - May 15 2017 | 05-12-2017

Congress Blocks State Retirement Plans Congress voted to eliminate an Obama-administration rule removing regulatory hurdles obstructing states from creating retirement programs for workers who don’t have access to retirement plans through their...

Soda Tax Fizzles In Santa Fe | 05-12-2017

For the past couple of years, taxes on sodas and other sugary drinks have been on a roll. In November 2014 Berkeley, California became the first city to pass such a tax. And that levy’s dual benefit of raising new revenue while reducing the consumption...

Sanctuary Cities Split Country | 04-28-2017

To anyone who has watched the national political culture split into two poles over the last decade or so, it should be little surprise that the country is moving in opposite directions on so-called sanctuary cities, those which bar local officials from...

Majority of States Have Expanded Medicaid Under ACA | 12-16-2016

Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid in accordance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but left to states discretion by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius in...

Politics In Brief - October 17 2016 | 10-14-2016

Effort to Reverse Gun Control Laws Fails in CA An effort to qualify referendums for the November 2018 ballot on six gun control laws passed in CALIFORNIA this year has failed. Organizers only managed to collect an average of about 166,000 signatures...

Business - September 5 2016 | 09-02-2016

California Approves SB 1063 The CALIFORNIA Assembly approves SB 1063 , which bars employers from paying workers based on race or ethnicity. The bill moves to Gov. Jerry Brown (D) for consideration (LEXISNEXIS STATE NET). California Gives Endorsement...

Social Policy - September 5 2016 | 09-02-2016

California Approves SB 1234 The CALIFORNIA Senate gives final approval to SB 1234 , which would create a state-sponsored retirement plan for workers employed by companies that don’t offer a retirement savings plan of their own. Employers would...

Business - August 22 2016 | 08-19-2016

New Jersey Signs SB 1923 NEW JERSEY Gov. Chris Christie (R) signs SB 1923 , legislation that bars the state’s public worker pension fund from investing in companies that refuse to do business with Israel. The Garden State becomes the third state...

Public Pension Return Rates Lagging In States | 08-19-2016

Investment returns for large public pension plans in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015 were significantly lower than the plans’ assumed rates of return, according to money management news source Pensions & Investments . The one-year return...

Crime & Punishment - August 22 2016 | 08-19-2016

California Approves SB 443 The CALIFORNIA Assembly approves SB 443 , which would shield people arrested for but not convicted of crimes from having police seize less than $40,000 of their cash assets. The bill returns to the Senate (SACRAMENTO BEE...

Education - August 22 2016 | 08-19-2016

California Approves SB 1257 The CALIFORNIA Senate gives final approval to SB 1257 , which would require Golden State law students to perform a minimum of 50 hours of pro bono legal work before being allowed to take the bar exam. The measure moves to...

Most States Allow Transportation Network Companies | 08-12-2016

Thirty-seven states have passed laws regulating transportation network companies (TNCs), according to the R Street Institute and LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking database. The most recent addition to that group is Delaware, where Gov...

Daily Fantasy Sports Industry Has Some Successes, Momentum | 08-05-2016

The daily fantasy sports industry had a few wins this spring in its first full year of pushing to make its games explicitly legal across the country. And while the question of whether the games are legal remains unclear in much of the nation, and their...

Crime & Punishment - August 8 2016 | 08-05-2016

The DELAWARE Supreme Court rules that the First State’s death penalty law is unconstitutional because it allows judges, and not juries, the final say on whether to impose a death sentence. Legislation to bar capital punishment passed the Senate...

Texas et al Win Challenge To Obama Immigration Policy | 07-15-2016

Twenty-five states joined Texas in challenging President Obama’s executive actions on immigration policy in November 2014, expanding temporary relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants. Fifteen states also filed amicus, or “friend...

Gun Rights Movement Suffers Setbacks in Courts | 07-08-2016

Last month a full panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled 7-4 in Peruta v. San Diego that “the right to keep and bear arms” granted by the Second Amendment doesn’t extend to concealed weapons. The case originated...

Little Correlation Between Gun Laws and Worst Mass Shootings | 07-08-2016

Three of the eight states where the deadliest mass shootings since 1984 have occurred - California, Connecticut and New York - are among those with the strictest gun laws, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. None of those shootings took...

Potpourri - June 13 2016 | 06-10-2016

Concealed In CA The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rules that CALIFORNIA counties may restrict permits for carrying concealed firearms in public. The ruling overturns a 2014 decision that tossed out a Golden State requiring people to show cause...

Majority of States Have Minimum Wage Higher Than Federal Standard | 05-20-2016

As of last month, 29 states had a minimum wage that was higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two of those states, California and New York, have also passed laws that will gradually...