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Debt Transparency Act becomes law after Senate overrides governor’s veto

transparencySPRINGFIELD – A day after Illinois’ bill backlog reached $16.7 billion, members of the state Senate rejected a system that allows government agencies to conceal unpaid invoices from the comptroller and taxpayers for months on end.

The Illinois Senate on Wednesday voted to override the governor’s veto of the Debt Transparency Act, a commonsense measure that demands better accounting and reporting practices by state agencies so that officials can understand the true extent of the bill backlog at any given time.

Senate President outlines next steps in addressing ethics, harassment issues as General Assembly returns to session

jjc 070417SPRINGFIELD -- Senate President John J. Cullerton issued the following statement regarding next steps to address ethics and sexual harassment complaints now that the Illinois Legislative Ethics Commission has an inspector general.

 “I want to make it clear that there should be zero tolerance for sexual harassment and intimidation in any workplace, and the Illinois General Assembly is no exception.”

Red tape deterring too many teachers from coming to Illinois

manar lightford 110617DECATUR – Teachers around the country often skip over Illinois when they’re looking for a job because of low starting salaries, licensure difficulties, lack of mentoring and other issues, Senators Andy Manar, Kimberly Lightford and Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant and members of the Senate Education Committee learned Monday during a hearing about the statewide teacher shortage.

“Today’s hearing allowed us to learn from people on the front lines of public education about the barriers that keep teachers from seeking jobs in very good school districts across Illinois,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and a member of the Illinois Senate’s Education Committee, which convened its hearing Monday afternoon at Decatur Public Schools’ Keil Administration Building.

Senate President announces leadership change, harassment awareness training, anticipated inspector hiring

jjc analysisSPRINGFIELD – Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton announced Wednesday that Senator Ira Silverstein will no longer serve on the Senate Democratic leadership team. Senator Silverstein resigned from the Majority Caucus Chair post effective immediately.

The post carries a $20,649 annual stipend. It will remain vacant for the immediate future.

Cullerton also announced that a professionally led sexual harassment awareness training seminar for senators will be scheduled for next week. The Senate is in session next week.