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Cullerton issues statement on the FY15 Budget

JJC-15budgetIllinois Senate President John Cullerton issued the following statement regarding the FY15 budget sent to Governor Pat Quinn:

“This maintenance budget allows us to provide level funding for key priorities and services. The effect of the budget is to avert doomsday cuts by deferrals, borrowing and increasing our backlog of bills.

Admittedly, this budget reverses some of the progress that we have made in recent years.  Since we passed the income tax increase in 2011, we have paid down $3.6 billion in old bills and fully funded our ballooning pension payments.

Delgado legislation will help make communities safer (VIDEO)

DelgadoLiquorHB1463State Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago) is sponsoring legislation that will help make communities safer by closing businesses where criminal activities take place. 

“The purpose of the legislation is to target liquor stores that permit illegal activities in and around their establishment,” Delgado said.  “By closing the premises for up to 30 days, the local liquor control commissioner will have more time to prepare a case while reducing illegal activity in the area while the establishment is closed.”

Raoul modernizes the criminal lineup for better eyewitness ID

lineupSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) won Senate approval today for legislation he introduced to bring the criminal suspect lineup into the 21st century and prevent false identifications. The measure requires law enforcement agencies to videotape lineups whenever possible and encourages them to embrace methods, such as computer-generated lineups and independent administrators, that have been shown to result in more reliable identifications.

“Eyewitness identification, while a valuable tool in prosecution, is notoriously unreliable unless handled carefully,” said Raoul, who worked for several years as a prosecutor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office after earning his law degree in 1993. “Memories and perceptions can change over time and in stressful circumstances, and it is imperative that criminal lineups be conducted in a rigorous and impartial manner to reduce the incidence of false identifications and, ultimately, false convictions that ruin lives and let the real perpetrators walk free.”

Senate votes to ratify Equal Rights Amendment (AUDIO)

052214 js 1322RERA would add legal equality for women to the U.S. Constitution

SPRINGFIELD – Today, the Illinois Senate approved a resolution to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. If three-fifths of House members agree, Illinois will become the 36th state to ratify the ERA, and only two additional states will need to sign on in order to reach the three-fourths threshold for constitutional amendments.

“Generations of women have struggled simply to establish as one of our nation’s core values that discrimination based on gender is wrong, yet this issue is as timely and urgent as ever,” said State Senator Heather Steans (D - Chicago), sponsor of the resolution. “From equal pay to equal health care access to fair treatment on college campuses, women’s rights are at risk as long as they are not protected in the Constitution.”

The Equal Rights Amendment reads, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Congress first sent the amendment to the states for ratification in 1972.

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