The Majority Report 01/24/16 - On the same page


Senate President attempts to sort out governor's pension confusion

Senate President attempts to sort out governor's pension confusionWith confusion swirling over pension reform proposals announced by Gov. Bruce Rauner last week, Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton suggested stepping back, getting any such proposals in writing and then seeing if there really is agreement.

"Given the confusion, the best thing to do at this point is to get a proposal drafted so we know for sure what we all agree on. It's important to make sure we're all on the same page," the Senate President said the day after the governor announced a deal at a news conference and then proceeded to describe a plan that the Senate President didn't support.

GOP pension plan fizzles >
Read the history of the state's pension problems >




Senate Dems criticize GOP takeover talk, say Chicago plan is DOA

Senate Dems criticize GOP takeover talk, say Chicago plan is DOAGov. Rauner's vetoes may have triggered a now 7-month budget impasse, but that didn't stop Republican legislative leaders from suggesting the state was somehow in a position to take over Chicago schools. Senate Democrats denounced the idea.

"Chicago is not a third world country to be seized by a government. This is not our path to success. All of our leaders need to treat Chicago students and teachers with respect, value them as equally as any other student or teacher and be willing to proactively restructure our education system for the next generation," said Senate Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford, a Maywood Democrat.

"I do not trust the governor's ability to manage Chicago Public Schools any more than his willingness to properly manage the state's budget. The out-of-tune, out-of-step Republican leaders are using this tactic as a distractor. No one in Chicago or the state is fooled," said Assistant Majority Leader Donne Trotter, (D-Chicago, 17th).

"The governor has forced the state into a financial crisis, and now he wants to take over one of the biggest public school systems in the nation. I find it hard to believe that this decision has the best interest of CPS students and families in mind. We need to get CPS back on level ground, not force it into bankruptcy and then allow the governor to treat it like another business," said State Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago), the chairman of the Senate Education Committee.

What other Senate Democrats had to say >


Van Pelt demands accountability at Chicago Police Department

Van Pelt demands accountability at Chicago Police DepartmentState Sen. Patricia Van Pelt, a Chicago Democrat, is among the lawmakers pushing for stiffer accountability within police departments in the wake of the Laquan McDonald killing. Van Pelt had a news conference last week to promote her legislative agenda.

"Today, I stood with colleagues and members of the community to call for accountability within the Chicago Police Department," Van Pelt said.

Her proposals expand and protect the public's access to police videos and other records.





Biss: only a budget can stop unraveling of Illinois' social safety net

Biss: only a budget can stop unraveling of Illinois' social safety netSen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) responded to news late last week that Lutheran Social Services of Illinois is embarking on mass program closures and layoffs as a result of the state budget impasse.

"There is no long-term gain to be found in destroying Illinois' network of human services, yet that is exactly what is happening now. This is a disaster," said Biss, chairman of the Illinois Senate Human Services Committee.

Human services disaster >




Manar, Scherer introduce legislation to pay CWLP

Manar, Scherer introduce legislation to pay CWLPThe state of Illinois owes Springfield's City, Water, Light and Power more than $9 million in unpaid and overdue utility bills as a result of vetoes by Gov. Rauner. State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and Representative Sue Scherer (D-Decatur) have introduced legislation requiring the state to pay these bills.

"There's no way any normal customer could go half a year without paying utility bills. The state is still a customer and its failure to pay is having a $9 million impact on Springfield and its residents who face potential increased utility costs," Manar said.

Light bill overdue >



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