Budget crisis shuts down classes at Northeastern Illinois University
As the state's public universities struggle under the lack of a budget, Northeastern Illinois University announced it will cancel three days of classes to cut costs. Illinois Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez, Chicago, spoke up in support of the university and called out Governor Rauner for his failure to produce a state budget that supports higher education.
"As a proud graduate of Northeastern Illinois University, it breaks my heart to see my alma mater facing this hardship because we have a governor whose refusal to negotiate a budget is dismantling higher education in Illinois," Martinez said.
"A high percentage of Northeastern Illinois University students are Latinos, making it a critically important institution for advancing academic and career opportunities for many students in my district and in the Latino community. I support Northeastern Illinois University Interim President Richard J. Helldobler's call for the state to fund higher education. The state needs to support state schools."
Murphy and Manar work with Treasurer to return unclaimed property
Senators Laura Murphy, Des Plaines, and Andy Manar, Bunker Hill, are working with Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs to return thousands of dollars in unclaimed property to constituents through the treasurer's I-Cash program.
By law, the state treasurer must safeguard unclaimed property until its rightful owner can be found. Currently, the Treasurer's Office is holding approximately $2.7 billion in recovered cash and working with legislators to find its rightful owners.
Steans seeks public input on recreational marijuana legalization
At a press conference on April 12, Senator Heather Steans, Chicago, and Representative Kelly Cassidy, Chicago, announced plans to hold the first subject matter hearing on legalizing recreational marijuana at 12 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, in the Bilandic building.
"Rep. Cassidy and I are committed to gathering feedback about how legalizing recreational marijuana would affect the state from a large variety of interest groups," Steans said. "We have received overwhelming support for this legislation but do not plan to move forward hastily. We want to ensure that there is ample time for organizations and individuals to present testimony and for us to adjust the legislation based on information presented in hearings."
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Senator Cristina Castro, Elgin: Elgin ESL students get crash course on uncertain adult education funding (Chicago Tribune)
Senator Don Harmon, Oak Park: Confiscation laws set for an overhaul (Chicago Daily Law Bulletin)
Senator Linda Holmes, Aurora: Fox Valley social service officials say funding in uncharted waters (Chicago Tribune)
Senator Toi Hutchinson, Chicago Heights: State Senator and NIU alumna talks ethics in the age of ‘alternative facts' (Northern Public Radio)
Senator David Koehler, Peoria: State Sen. Koehler talks budget impasse (Central Illinois Proud)
Senator Terry Link, Vernon Hills: Link plan to elect Lake County chairman at large moves forward (Chicago Tribune)
Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: Despite expected nursing shortage, Decatur fortunate with options (Herald & Review)
Senator Heather Steans, Chicago: Some state lawmakers say it's time to legalize recreational marijuana (CBS Chicago)
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