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The Majority Report 04/06/18 - Senate President to Rauner: Take action on gun laws


Senate President presses Rauner to act on gun violence

Sen. President John J. CullertonIn the past few months, millions of motivated people around the country have rallied to demand action on gun reform from their representatives.

IIllinois lawmakers took action by passing several pieces of gun safety legislation and supported students who walked out in protest of gun violence.

Gov. Bruce Rauner responded by vetoing legislation that would require gun dealers to be licensed by the state and instead called for a task force to study the connection between mental health and public safety.

Rauner, however, has a long history of slashing funding for mental health programs, leaving thousands of people without needed services and costing people their jobs.

Senate President John Cullerton recently pointed out Rauner's inconsistencies in an opinion piece, calling on the governor to act rather than form yet another government group.

"Millions of people across this country joined March For Our Lives rallies," Cullerton wrote. "They didn't demand more government meetings. They demand action, and I think they deserve it. Before assembling another batch of bureaucrats to ponder possibilities, the governor should take action on what's right in front of him."

Senator Don Harmon, the sponsor of the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, is urging the governor to reconsider his opposition to the measure. Click here to sign a petition telling Gov. Rauner to support licensing gun dealers at the state level. Petition signatures will be delivered to his desk.

House Bill 1468, sponsored by Senator Julie Morrison, is currently on Rauner's desk and would extend the waiting period to purchase assault weapons. Two other measures that ban bump stocks and raise the age limit to purchase assault weapons await concurrence in the House.

You can read Senate President Cullerton's opinion piece here:

Guest view: Rauner can prove he's serious about mental health, guns (Quad-City Times)
John Cullerton: Gov. Rauner, don't silence gun safety movement (State Journal-Register)
Cullerton: We need action on existing gun bills, not more work groups (Daily Herald)


Schools to receive new money from education funding overhaul

School buses

llinois schools will soon see millions in new funding through the education funding overhaul passed by the Senate last year.

The Illinois State Board of Education on Thursday issued vouchers to the state comptroller that clear the way for local school districts to begin receiving money under Illinois' new evidence-based model of funding public schools.

The distribution - which is based on detailed enrollment figures, district-specific student learning needs, available local resources and other data - is the first step toward right-sizing state support for every school district. No schools will ever receive less state funding than they do today under the new plan.

"The data we have now reinforces what we already knew: that there is astonishing unfairness in how school districts around Illinois are funded," said Senator Andy Manar, who sponsored the school funding reform legislation. "There are school districts in this state with more than double the amount of resources it should take to educate their particular students, while other school districts have barely half of what they need. It's been this way for years, and it's going to come to an end."

Read more HERE.

In the news:
Decatur schools will receive $2.3M more in state funding under new formula (Herald & Review)
New funding money to finally be released (State Journal-Register)


Senators prepare for possibility of legalizing sports betting in Illinois

Sen. Steve Stadelman

Senators heard expert testimony this week on what legal sports betting could look like in Illinois at a Senate Gaming Committee hearing chaired by Senator Steve Stadelman.

There is currently a federal ban on sports betting, but the Supreme Court is considering a decision to overturn it. Thursday's hearing was intended to discuss the regulatory framework necessary to legalize sports betting at the state level.

"We know people are already participating in sports betting illegally," Stadelman said. "If the federal ban is overturned, this is an opportunity for us to create a regulated, legal market in Illinois that brings in revenue and keeps us competitive with our neighboring states."

Senator Napoleon Harris is the sponsor of legislation that would allow in-person or online sports betting in Illinois if the Supreme Court overturns the federal ban.

Senate Bill 3432 would require a $10,000 licensing fee and a $5,000 license renewal fee for interactive sports wagering platforms. It also imposes a 12.5 percent tax on gross sports wagering revenue and a 1 percent integrity fee for sporting organizations.

"Our state continues to struggle financially, and we have an opportunity to gain much-needed revenue for education, human services and infrastructure should the federal sports wagering ban be struck down," Harris, a former NFL linebacker, said. "We know that sports fans enjoy betting, and the state should offer a secure and legal way to do so."

In the news:
Illinois lawmakers weigh sports gambling, as NBA and MLB officials back the idea (Chicago Tribune)
Illinois lawmakers consider legalized sports betting (Rockford Register Star)
Could sports betting come to Illinois? Lawmakers listen to options (Pantagraph)


Hunter encourages organ donation during Donate Life Month

Sen. Mattie Hunter, Sec. of State Jesse White

April is National Donate Life Month, and advocates and organizers around the country are encouraging individuals to register as organ, eye and tissue donors.

Senator Mattie Hunter reminded Illinoisans this week that, thanks to a law she passed with Secretary of State Jesse White, 16- and 17-year-olds can now register as organ donors when they receive their driver's license or identification card. Since the law went into effect, nearly 12,000 teens have registered to be donors in the state of Illinois.

"Organ donation is so important," Hunter said. "Choosing to give life to another is a wonderful gift. Nearly 5,000 people are on the waitlist for organ or tissue donations, and about 300 people die each year because they aren't able to get an organ donation in time. Opening this donor registry has broadened the number of participants which will ultimately save countless lives."

Click HERE for more information on how to become an organ donor in Illinois.


In case you missed it


Senator Scott Bennett, Champaign: UI student group's town hall on gun violence filled to capacity | News-Gazette

Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Shorewood: Bertino-Tarrant to help residents find utility bill savings | Chicago Tribune

Senator Tom Cullerton, Villa Park: Behind the link: The Legionnaires' emails Rauner doesn't want lawmakers to see | WBEZ Chicago

Senator Bill Cunningham, Chicago: Illinois Senate Panel takes up internet sports betting | Northern Public Radio

Senator Bill Haine, Alton: SIUE Distinguished Service Award to Sen. Haine | PRWeb

Senator Don Harmon, Oak Park: Can expanding the state's medical cannabis program help curb the opioid crisis? | Chicago Sun-Times

Senator Napoleon Harris, Harvey: Illinois lawmakers to discuss sports gambling today | WGN-TV

Senator Mattie Hunter, Chicago: Hunter encourages organ donation during donate life month | Public Now

Senator Heather Steans, Chicago: Editorial: Appalling delays leave medical marijuana patients in pain | Chicago Sun-Times


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