The Majority Report 11/15/19 - Senate President John J. Cullerton announces his retirement


Senate President John J. Cullerton announces his retirement

Sen. President John J. Cullerton

SPRINGFIELD - At the end of the last day of this year’s veto session, Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) gathered his caucus to announce that he would retire from the Senate in January after 40 years in the legislature and 10 years as president.

Here is the statement President Cullerton released upon his announcement.





In ethics reform bill, Steans increases lobbying transparency

Sen. Heather A. Steans

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Heather Steans is pushing for new ethics reforms in the wake of scandals surrounding numerous Springfield lawmakers in recent months, passing legislation out of the Senate this week.

“Today we took the first steps to reform the disturbing, unacceptable behavior that has rocked state government in recent months,” said Steans (D-Chicago). “Raids, arrests and indictments are not what people expect of their elected officials. While they mean that the ethics laws we already passed are working, and law enforcement is doing its job, it also means we need to change the culture in Springfield, close loopholes, and eliminate grey areas. We need to earn back your trust.”

Steans’ legislation takes aim at the practice of state lawmakers lobbying local units of government. Continue reading.


Castro passes pension consolidation program

Sen. Cristina Castro

SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to lessen the threat of the ongoing pension crisis, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) and the Senate passed a measure that will consolidate certain local pensions.

“The number one budget issue legislators have been dealing with for decades is the pension crisis,” Castro said. “We got a small victory today. Consolidating local pension funds eases some of the burden of the looming crisis while still allowing our state’s brave first responders to receive the pensions they’ve earned.”

The bill is an omnibus package for Fiscal Year 2020 that will enact many changes to pension statute, chief among them the ability to consolidate. Under the bill, the roughly 650 separate pension funds for downstate police officers and firefighters will be consolidated into two individual and separate funds. The consolidation will happen over a 30-month transition period beginning upon the legislation becoming law and is estimated to save $160 million annually while not affecting individual pension amounts. Continue reading.


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