on Friday, April 24, 2015
“County officials and residents in both Lake and McHenry Counties have been frustrated by so many overlapping units of government for a long time,” said Wheeler. “We’ve seen how helpful this efficiency initiative has been in DuPage County and I’m very pleased we will now be able to benefit from it in Lake and McHenry Counties as well.”
HB 229 grants authority to Lake and McHenry Counties to pass ordinances, which may be ratified by referendum, to remove certain units of local government that perform the same duties as other units of local government, or lack appropriate accountability. The purpose of this is to increase efficiency in local government and help lessen the heavy tax burden already on the backs of families in Lake and McHenry Counties. In addition to being supported by a number of local leaders in both counties, it is also supported by the Better Government Association, Illinois Association of County Board Members, the Illinois Association of Realtors, and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.
“Efficiency in government has been a punch line in Illinois for a long time now,” said Sullivan. “The reality is that efficiency isn’t just a problem in Springfield, but throughout Illinois. While we still need to do much more, this effort has been working in DuPage County and now we have the chance to benefit from it as well. I want to thank Lake County Board Chairman, Aaron Lawlor, for encouraging our support on this measure, and also my colleagues who helped pass it.”
on Friday, April 24, 2015
Dr. Tony Smith has experience in educational management in both the public and the private sector. He is a past superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District, operating public schools in one of the largest cities in California.
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), a nine-member panel appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, is the statewide school board that oversees distribution of state school aid and compliance with state and federal educational mandates. Departing State Superintendent Dr. Christopher Koch was thanked for his 21 years of educational leadership at ISBE, particularly his advocacy for students affected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
on Thursday, April 23, 2015
hearing in Carbondale on Monday, April 13, Sanguinetti and her colleagues continued to learn that many of these burdens are caused by mandates imposed on local governments and school districts from Springfield.
The General Assembly may well be asked, before the end of the 2015 spring session, to look at specific legislative proposals aimed at reducing these burdens. These proposals could include not only mandate reductions, but also suggested changes on local governmental labor-management relations and the consolidation of specific units of local government into efficiency-sized units.
on Wednesday, April 22, 2015
House members spent long hours on the House floor this week. 444 bills had been advanced from House committees and placed on the chamber’s calendar for possible final action. The Illinois House streams live audio and video feeds of its floor action to the general public.
on Tuesday, April 21, 2015
The Illinois House has a unique perspective on Abraham Lincoln; this legislative chamber was Lincoln’s first political home and elected position. The future President served central Illinois in the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th General Assemblies, starting in 1835 and ending in 1842. These were key years in the history of Lincoln’s home town of Springfield, as the aggressive advocacy of Lincoln and his colleagues was decisive in the selection of the Sangamon River community to be Illinois’ permanent state capital. The “Old State Capital,” which still stands in Springfield’s central city, was built in response to Lincoln’s urgings. A legislator’s desk, believed to be Lincoln’s, has been re-installed in the chamber and is seen by tens of thousands of visitors annually.
on Monday, April 20, 2015
HB 208 designates pumpkin pie as the official State pie of Illinois. The bill was approved by the House on Thursday, April 16 by a vote of 108-3-2.
In discussion on the bill, Representative Keith Sommer told his colleagues of the importance of the traditional American dessert to his home town. A canning plant or “cannery” in Morton, Illinois specializes in the washing, peeling, mashing, cooking, and additional processing of fiber-rich pumpkin pulp into the raw material for pie-making. The University of Illinois reports that this plant, combined with the work of area purchasers of whole pumpkins for transport and sale, mean that approximately ninety percent of the pumpkins grown in the United States for commercial sale are cultivated in the region of Peoria, Illinois.
Local soil that is simultaneously rich and sandy, washed down the Illinois Valley by melting glaciers, creates ideal farmers’ plots for pumpkins. The slogan of the Village of Morton is “The Pumpkin Capital of the World.”