Illinois

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...

Business - April 10 2017 | 04-07-2017

Business In Indiana The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay and lesbian employees from workplace discrimination, the first time a federal appellate court has come to that conclusion. The ruling from the...

Rapper Raps Rauner | 03-10-2017

It seemed like such a simple thing. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner offered congrats on Twitter to Chicago music sensation Chance the Rapper for winning a trio of Grammy awards. The rapper said he’d like to meet up with the gov to talk about the city...

Zombie Prep | 03-10-2017

They might not be able to fund the schools or get a budget, but Illinois is darned sure getting ready for the impending zombie invasion. Yes, as CNN reports , lawmakers recently endorsed HR 30 , which encourages all Prairie State residents to adequately...

Rauner Outlines IL Medicaid Revamp | 03-03-2017

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) revealed details of his proposal to overhaul how the Prairie State provides health care to its poorest residents through Medicaid. Tenets would include increasing the number of Medicaid recipients covered under managed care...

Education - January 23 2017 | 01-20-2017

Arizona Declines To Hear HB 2120 The ARIZONA House Education Committee declines to hear HB 2120 , a bill that would have banned colleges from offering classes that promote “resentment or social justice toward a race, gender, religion, political...

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...

Crime - December 19 2016 | 12-16-2016

Crime In IL Hoping to reduce recidivism, ILLINOIS Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signs SB 3368 , which requires the secretary of state's office to issue a standard Illinois ID card to ex-inmates at the time of release. The inmates must present a birth certificate...

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...

Politics In Brief - September 12 2016 | 09-09-2016

Feds Say TX Misleading Voters about Voter ID Requirement The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a motion in federal court accusing TEXAS officials of misleading voters by telling them they can cast a ballot without a form of photo ID specified by...

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...

Hackers Targeting State Election Systems | 09-02-2016

With just a few months to go before the November presidential election, states are finding their election systems in the crosshairs of hackers. In June the Federal Bureau of Investigation informed Arizona officials that Russian hackers had initiated an...

Budgets In Brief - September 5 2016 | 09-02-2016

TX DPS Wants $1B for Border Security The TEXAS Department of Public Safety is seeking an additional $320 million in the state’s next two-year budget - on top of its current funding base of $750 million - to beef up border security. (DALLAS MORNING...

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...

Governors In Brief - August 15 2016 | 08-12-2016

Court Rejects Blago Bid U.S. District Judge James Zagel rejected a request from former ILLINOIS Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) to release him from a COLORADO prison, instead reinstating his 14-year sentence on his 2011 conviction on numerous corruption charges...

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...

PA Passes ‘Netflix Tax’ | 08-05-2016

Part of a $1.3 billion budget bailout passed by Pennsylvania lawmakers and signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf (D) last month was an extension of the state’s 6-percent sales tax to include digital downloads and streaming services. Nicknamed the “Netflix...

Social Policy - August 8 2016 | 08-05-2016

ILLINOIS Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signs HB 6021 , which allows state employees who retired prior to June 2011, and are in either the Illinois Teachers Retirement System, State Universities Retirement System or Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, to establish...

Crime & Punishment - August 1 2016 | 07-29-2016

Crime in Connecticut The CONNECTICUT Supreme Court reaffirms that a 2012 law abolishing the death penalty in the Constitution State applies to both future sentencing and those persons already sentenced to die for their crimes. The court had reached...

IL Budget Troubles Far From Over | 07-29-2016

The recent good news for Illinois is that, as the Cap J reported in July , Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) and the state’s Democrat-controlled Legislature finally agreed on a budget, a $75 billion stopgap spending plan for the 2017 fiscal year that will fund...

Health & Science - August 1 2016 | 07-29-2016

New York Signs AB 3461 NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signs AB 3461 , which requires a court order appointing a guardian to oversee the care of an incapacitated person to identify all individuals who are entitled to notice of a person's death,...

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...

Education - July 18 2016 | 07-15-2016

Education In IL The ILLINOIS State Board of Education announces the Prairie State will stop using the controversial Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers in reading and math, exams based on the Common Core curriculum designed...

IL Gov. Rauner Launches School Funding Task Force | 07-15-2016

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) announced he is creating a bipartisan, 25-person commission to create a new formula for distributing state money to local school districts. The current system, in place for the last two decades, has been widely criticized...

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...

IL Passes Stopgap Budget | 07-08-2016

In 1991 Illinois went 18 days without a state budget. Then-Gov. Jim Edgar (R) said at the time that the state had never experienced a budget delay like it. That delay doesn’t seem quite so shocking now that the state has just become the first...

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...

IL Bond Sale Produces Mixed Results | 07-01-2016

Illinois completed a $550 million bond sale last month but had to settle for a 3.75 percent interest rate on bonds with maturities ranging from one to 25 years, well below the 2 percent rate states in better financial shape can get in the current market...

Dire Budget Situation in IL Prompts Unusual Bond Sale Warning | 06-17-2016

In the prospectus for its $550 million bond sale scheduled for June 16, Illinois warned potential buyers for the first time that if it missed a payment - something else it has never done - they might not be able to immediately collect on their investment...

Budgets In Brief - June 20 2016 | 06-17-2016

Constitutional Income Tax Cap Advances in NC NORTH CAROLINA’s Senate Finance Committee advanced a proposed constitutional amendment ( SB 817 ) last week that would cap state income taxes at 5.5 percent. If approved by the General Assembly the...

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...

Governors In Brief - June 6 2016 | 06-03-2016

IL Gov. Rauner, Lawmakers Expand Medical Pot ILLINOIS Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) and legislative leaders agreed to a compromise to extend and expand the Prairie State’s pilot medical marijuana program. Under the agreement, the program will continue...

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...

Crime & Punishment - May 23 2016 | 05-20-2016

AZ, OH, OK Delay Executions Pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer announces it will enact protocols to ensure states are no longer able to use drugs it provides as part of carrying out a lethal injection execution. At least 20 other U.S. and European...

Majority of States Looking at Daily Fantasy Sports | 05-13-2016

Thirty-three states have considered legislation related to daily fantasy sports this year, according to LegalSportsReport.com and LexisNexis State Net legislative data. DFS bills have been passed in four states, including Virginia, which enacted two....

IL Budget Writers Lapped by Counterparts in 15 Other States | 05-13-2016

Of the 31 states that approve budgets on an annual basis (the rest do so biannually), 15 have already enacted a budget for the 2017 fiscal year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Illinois is not one of those states. In...

Drone Laws Passed In Over Half of States In Last Few Years | 05-05-2016

Since 2013, 27 states have enacted laws addressing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The laws generally define what UAS or drones are and specify how they can be used by law enforcement...

States Consider Raising Legal Age For Tobacco | 04-29-2016

At least 11 states have considered measures this session mimicking Hawaii’s newly implemented law that raises the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products to 21, according to LexisNexis State Net ’s legislative database. California’s...

Flurry of Remote Sales Tax Bills in States This Year | 04-08-2016

At least a dozen states have introduced legislation in 2016 related to out-of-state, or remote, sales taxes, according to LexisNexis State Net’s legislative tracking database. Most of the bills have been aimed at expanding the definition of a state...

More States Oppose Obama Immigration Policy Than Support | 03-18-2016

Texas and twenty-five other states have filed suit to block President Obama’s executive actions in November shielding undocumented immigrants from deportation for three years, according to the Pew Research Center. Twelve states have filed an amicus...

Few States Focusing On Self-Driving Vehicles | 03-11-2016

Since 2011, when Nevada became the first state to authorize the operation of self-driving cars, five other states -- California, Florida, Michigan, North Dakota and Tennessee -- have enacted legislation, and Arizona’s governor has issued an executive...

Majority of States Have Good Samaritan Laws | 03-04-2016

States have enacted numerous laws to combat the epidemic of opioid-related deaths plaguing much of the United States. Most common are so-called “Good Samaritan” laws that generally give a person civil or criminal immunity for seeking help...

New Meaning for 'Can't Afford College' in IL | 03-04-2016

Public universities in Illinois are facing financial crisis with the state in the ninth month of disagreement between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrat-controlled legislature over the state’s budget. None of the 57 public universities...

Rauner Issues IL Budget Ultimatum | 02-19-2016

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) proffered two options for the coming budget year - which is still in a stalemate over the current year budget: If lawmakers will go along with a slate of reforms he campaigned on but has so far been unable to pass, he will...