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Nothing for Rauner, anyone else to be happy about amid financial chaos, says Senate President

happy raunerSPRINGFIELD -- With a financial crisis erupting around his administration, Governor Bruce Rauner recently told a Chicago columnist that he’s the happiest he’s been in 20 years.

Senate President John Cullerton was asked for his response and said there’s nothing for the governor or anyone else to be happy about.

“This is really an embarrassment,” Cullerton told reporters at a Capitol news conference. “We owe $15 billion. We’ve been downgraded. People are not being paid. People are not being served. There’s people who aren’t getting breast cancer screenings because of this. ... It’s just sad. It’s totally avoidable.”

Manar: If SB1124 was a final project, Barickman would earn an F

reportcardSPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement regarding the unveiling of a new school funding formula this morning:

“The spring legislative session ended more than three weeks ago. Senator Barickman missed the deadline,” Manar said. “If his latest proposal was a final project, he’d earn an F because not only did he turn it in late, he showed up looking for his teacher after everyone had gone home and the school doors were locked for the summer.”

Tom Cullerton to Governor Rauner: “The time to act is now”

tc 052417VILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) urges Governor Bruce Rauner to sign Senate 3, bipartisan government consolidation, into law today.

Senate Bill 3 is based on Cullerton’s DuPage County government consolidation model that is expected to save taxpayers more than $100 million over the next 20 years.

“The time to act is now,” Cullerton said. “This is a no brainer. I ask Governor Rauner to sign this legislation today to empower local bodies to eliminate and combine services. The best way for local government to lower property taxes is find efficiencies. This one step will improve government services and lower property taxes without sacrificing the needs of residents.”

Senate Democrats: Bail decisions should not be based on ability to pay

bail reformToday, a new law passed by the Senate to base bail decisions on a defendant’s threat to public safety and flight risk rather than their ability to pay bail became law. The Bail Reform Act of 2017, sponsored by State Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago), was signed by the governor and goes into effect immediately.

“Pretrial release must not focus on the defendants’ ability to pay,” said Trotter. “This new law allows the courts to look at the threat to the public safety or their risk of failure to appear.”

Senate Bill 2034 grants a number of rights to defendants, including the right to a public defender or attorney at their bail hearing, the right to a new bail hearing, and that any bail set should be non-monetary and that the court should address the risk in the least restrictive way possible.