The Majority Report 04/17/16 - Advancing solutions in Illinois


Advancing solutions to Illinois' problems

TrotterSB2046Senate Democrats last week advanced proposals to alleviate pain from the state budget stalemate and to bring fairness to school funding in Illinois.

Senate Bill 2046 was delivered to the governor's desk Thursday. It's a stopgap measure to get much-needed money to public universities and community colleges, human service providers, the state’s college tuition assistance program – all of which are threatened because of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s continuing budget impasse with the Legislature.

“We again gave the governor an opportunity to stand by his repeated promises to invest in a competitive, compassionate Illinois," said Senator Laura Murphy of Des Plaines.

Gov. Rauner vetoed past legislative attempts to help him provide state money to these vital services.

Meanwhile, Senator Andy Manar’s school funding reform plan passed out of committee, even as Gov. Rauner’s Illinois State Board of Education continues to withhold calculations that would provide clarity about the effects of the plan on individual school districts.

• Crain’s: Legislature OKs $3.9B for colleges, social services
• The State Journal-Register: Revised school funding formula clears first hurdle in Senate
• Pantagraph editorial: School funding formula needs to change
• Ottawa Times editorial: Manar plan will help suffering districts
• WSIL-TV: School leaders call for new funding formula
• WGN Radio: Manar looking to change public school funding
• Ultimas Noticias, Melrose Park: New measure to reform education financing in Illinois


Rauner convenes first leaders' meeting since December

Rauner convenes first leaders' meeting since December

Gov. Rauner hastily convened a meeting of legislative leaders on Tuesday, the same day he released figures showing education funding plan would slash millions of dollars from schools statewide, even though he has said no schools should lose money.

Among the top losers under Rauner’s plan are Chicago Public Schools, Indian Prairie, East St. Louis, Woodland, North Chicago, Cahokia, Lincoln Way, Addison, Granite City and Berwyn.

• By the numbers: A breakdown of Rauner's winners and losers
• Unfair: Students in Senator Linda Holmes’ district discover school funding math doesn’t add up
• Chicago Sun-Times editorial: Rauner school-funding plan stiffs Chicago schools
• Canton Daily Ledger: Local districts lose under governor's funding plan
• Daily Southtown columnist: Rauner skips chance to restore fairness to school funding in Illinois


Collins wants to protect businesses from predatory lenders

Collins wants to protect businesses from predatory lendersSenator Jacqueline Collins of Chicago is working on legislation to protect small businesses from predatory online lenders that offer high-interest loans.

Senate Bill 2865 would require alternative lenders to disclose their interest rates, would limit certain fees and would establish standards to protect business owners from economic distress by requiring lenders to assess borrowers’ ability to repay loans.

Small-business loans are far less regulated than residential mortgage lending, banks and credit unions. Online small-business lenders are becoming increasingly common and often prey on distressed small-business owners who find themselves up at 2 a.m. worrying about how to make payroll the following week.

“Our goal is to craft a law that maintains access to capital for small business owners who need it, yet protects them from deceptive practices, excessive fees and loans they ultimately cannot repay,” Collins said.


In case you missed it


Senator Daniel Biss of Evanston is among the experts featured in a new documentary about the retirement savings crisis that is unfolding in the United States.

The film, “When I’m 65: Rethinking Retirement in America,” was produced by Detroit Public TV.

About 75 million Americans don't have access to employee-sponsored retirement savings plans.

Biss sponsored the Secure Choice legislation that Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law, making Illinois the first state to enact an automatic retirement savings law.


Illinois Senate Black Caucus: Caucus supports measure to fund social services (Chicago Defender)

Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Shorewood: Legislation would offer unpaid leave for grieving parents (WJOL-AM, Joliet)

Senator Bill Cunningham, Chicago: College of DuPage severance controversy lives on in statewide proposals (Daily Herald, Arlington Heights)

Senator Iris Martinez, Chicago: Martinez distressed by Chicago Police Department report (

Senator John Sullivan, Rushville: Hearing on ethanol tax breaks stirs small-engine debate (The State Journal-Register, Springfield)

Senator Patricia Van Pelt, Chicago: Bill assuring lawyers for juvenile murder suspects delayed (Fox Illinois)


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