Senate enacts term limits on first day
The Illinois Senate began its 100th session Wednesday by imposing term limits on Senate leaders and a call from the Senate President for an end to the political rhetoric that has plunged Illinois into a nearly two-year budget impasse.
“How about we try governing for a bit,” Senate President John Cullerton said in his inaugural speech. “That’s what the people sent us here to do.”
Cullerton’s comments follow recent efforts by Senate leaders in both parties to assemble a sweeping budget and reform plan to solve the state’s lingering financial problems. The proposal was unveiled earlier this week and constituted the first 13 pieces of legislation filed in the new session.
The Senate President said the goal is for the Senate to act swiftly in the new session to restore economic stability in Illinois.
“Frankly, I think the state’s been shaken up enough. Let’s make Illinois great again,” he said. “I think we’ve made it clear that the Senate’s not afraid to take tough votes to solve problems and move this state forward. So let’s get to it.”
Among the first votes taken Wednesday was the approval of rules to govern Senate proceedings. Added to the official rules was a term limit for the Senate President and Minority Leader. The term limit, sponsored by Senator Julie Morrison, D-Deerfield, was approved 58-0 and took effect immediately in the Senate.
In the news: Senate adopts leadership term limits
In the news: Talk of cooperation, governing in Illinois Senate
In the news: Senate president calls for end of permanent campaign
In the news: Senators celebrate term limit success
Lead-protection measure goes to governor
Sponsored by Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago), the measure requires water sources in certain buildings constructed before 2000 to be tested for lead. Parents would have to be notified if samples exceed certain levels.
“Lead exposure in children is a serious issue that can cause developmental delays and learning disabilities,” Steans said. “We need to proactively tackle the issue of lead exposure in schools and arm parents with information. That’s exactly what this legislation does.”
Senator Donne Trotter, a Chicago Democrat, co-sponsored the legislation.
“If we don’t address this issue in schools now, we are going to continue to see huge disparities in education,” Trotter said. “Older schools in heavy low-income and minority areas are much more likely to be affected, leading to developmental delays, learning disabilities and many other significant health problems. That is why lead testing is so important.”
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MEMBERS IN THE NEWS
Senator Scott Bennett, Champaign: Illinois Senate passes resolution on term limits (WAND-TV, Decatur)
Senator Daniel Biss, Evanston: Biss slates town hall in Evanston (Journal & Topics Newspapers, Des Plaines)
Senator Cristina Castro, Elgin: Elgin event in solidary with women’s marches Jan. 21 (Daily Herald, Arlington Heights)
Senator Tom Cullerton, Villa Park: DuPage referendum fix awaiting governor’s signature (Daily Herald, Arlington Heights)
Senator Bill Haine, Alton: Haine, Senate approve term limits for leadership (Alton Telegraph)
Senator Mattie Hunter, Chicago: Health advocates optimistic about sugary drink tax proposal (Lawndale News)
Senator Dave Koehler, Peoria: Criminal justice reforms get 11th hour push (Peoria Public Radio)
Senator Terry Link, Vernon Hills: Springfield remembers Obama as ‘a Chicago guy… an Illinois guy’ (Chicago Sun-Times)
Senator Julie Morrison, Deerfield: North Shore legislators craft new laws (Daily North Shore)
Senator Kwame Raoul, Chicago: Dealing with repeat gun offenders (Alton Daily News)
Senator Steve Stadelman, Rockford: Budget plan may draw bipartisan support (Beloit Daily News)
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