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President Barack Obama will address the General Assembly today, video will be available starting at 1:10 p.m. You can watch the President's address by clicking here.
Under State and federal law, owners and operators of motor vehicles that are licensed from addresses located in so-called “non-attainment” areas must submit their vehicles to automatic vehicle re-inspections. Most large U.S. urban areas, including greater Chicago and greater St. Louis, are non-attainment areas. The presence in the air of significant products of internal combustion engines – typically ozone – is enough to get a region designated as a non-compliant metropolitan area. Vehicles that fail their emissions inspections must get repaired and re-tested. Presentation of an Illinois emissions pass is required as a condition of renewing a stickered Illinois motor vehicle license plate and being allowed to use the vehicle.
After studying existing redundancies in State of Illinois management operations, Governor Bruce Rauner issued an executive order. The order directs that State information-technology (IT) operations be moved from the various departments of which they were parts to form the new Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology. These operations currently employ approximately 1,700 State personnel specializing in information technology solutions and maintenance. Executive Order 16-01 was issued on Monday, January 25.

Under the State’s charts of organization that existed up until this week, each of the more than 100 State departments, bureaus, and agencies that operate under the overall supervision of the Governor had the right to operate separate, free-standing IT offices. Over time, this created significant barriers to operational productivity. Different offices developed more than 1,000 separate and incompatible software solutions, at least one of which dates back to 1974. Once adopted, these platforms became embedded into operations.
Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month, a time to recognize the role of African Americans in U.S. history. Below is a partial list of notable African-Americans with ties to Illinois.

1779
Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable
The first settler and resident of Chicago

Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable was born in San Marc, Haiti, in 1745. Not very much is known about Du Sable's early life. It is known, however, that Du Sable's mother was probably killed by the Spanish when he was ten. In 1764 Du Sable and his friend Jacques Clemorgan moved from Haiti to New Orleans. Du Sable was eventually thankful for moving to New
Orleans because it was here that he and his friend Clemorgan met their future partner of a trading post in New Orleans, and later in what would become Peoria, Illinois. The young man Du Sable and Clemorgan met was Choctaw, a Native American from the Great Lakes. At the time, Choctaw was working at a Catholic mission. Read more.
The Illinois House reconvened on Wednesday, January 27, to hear Governor Bruce Rauner’s State of the State Address and begin to discuss new bills introduced by members for committee consideration and floor debate during the 2016 spring session. At the top of every list of discussion, however, was the continued impasse affecting the FY16 budget.

On Thursday, January 28, Illinois House and Senate Democrats passed SB 2043. The bill, as amended in the House, was a measure appropriating more than $700 million in unfunded money for higher education. If the bill were to become law, it would add to the existing total of $6.6 billion in State unpaid bills. The bill followed up on the established pattern and practice of Illinois Democrats to ignore their constitutional mandate to enact a balanced budget. Gov. Rauner has stated that he will veto SB 2043. The bill did not break the impasse in the FY16 budget process.
In an effort to promote good conservation practices and community goodwill, Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) has launched a Clothing and Textile program as a means to keep hundreds of thousands pounds of materials from area landfills. Additional benefits include: energy and water conservation, reduction in pollution and carbon footprint, among others. Mundelein residents are encouraged to participate in the program to ensure its success. A clothing and textile collection bin is located at Mundelein Park District), 1401 N. Midlothian Rd.

Under the program, SWALCO is accepting:
-New or gently used clothing and textile donations of all kinds. These items will be reused, re-purposed, or recycled.
-New and gently used pillows, cushions, and rugs cannot be accepted. SWALCO has been receiving these items and currently they cannot be reused or recycled and they quickly fill up the bins.
-Shoes should be recycled separately through the Reuse-A-Shoe (RAS) program. SWALCO’s year-round RAS sites: http://www.swalco.org/Collections/Shoes/Pages/default.aspx.