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House approves minimum wage increase to $15, Senate ready to vote

minwage 053017Today the Illinois House approved Senate Bill 81 which increases the minimum wage in Illinois. The measure was initiated in the Senate and increases the minimum wage over five years to $15 per hour by January 1, 2022.

Senate President John J. Cullerton statement on House approval of a minimum wage increase:

“The Senate has been waiting a long time for this. I hope that my assurances that this will get a vote in the Senate helped give the House members the courage to do the right thing. The Senate is ready to take this up if the House can get the paperwork over to us.”

Harmon advances two-year ban on bobcat hunting in northern Illinois

bobcatSPRINGFIELD – Illinois would halt bobcat hunting in most northern counties for two years to allow time for more scientific research about the animal’s population under legislation approved by the state Senate Monday.

House Bill 3399 was sponsored by Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) and was the result of lengthy negotiations among Harmon, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Trappers Association.

Suburban ‘Breakfast Club’ high school makes cameo in unfolding state spending controversy

maine north bcFor most people in Illinois, the last time they caught a glimpse of Maine North High School, the “Breakfast Club” crew was getting picked up from detention as John Bender headed across the football field, fist raised in defiant victory.

The movie went on to reach icon status, but Maine North’s future wasn’t as bright. The school had already closed when it was used for the John Hughes film. It ultimately ended up owned by the state of Illinois.

Funding for Champaign-Urbana domestic violence shelter in Senate budget

bennett dv champaignSPRINGFIELD – Courage Connection, the Champaign-based domestic violence shelter devastated by the state’s budget impasse, would be funded under the budget plan passed by the Illinois Senate this week.

Originally opened in 1971, the shelter is considered to be the first domestic violence shelter in the nation. Since then, the shelter has helped tens of thousands of people find a safe place to stay for the night.

Courage Connection includes four facilities that provide a safe haven for victims of domestic violence, allowing them to focus on rebuilding their life.