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  • The Majority Report 02/10/20 - Senate unveils new public safety committee, calls for answers on DCFS insurance switch, and protects aviation repair jobs

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    Senators call for answers on DCFS insurance switch

    Sen. Julie A. Morrison

    SPRINGFIELD — Following a glitch that left more than 2,500 adopted children and former foster children without insurance for days, State Senators Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) and Heather Steans (D-Chicago) led a conversation about the issue and the oversight of Medicaid managed care.

    “The state is responsible for these children and must make sure they have access to health care,” Morrison said. “I wouldn’t want my own child to be enrolled in this poorly managed program.”

    Read more.

     

     

     

     


    Senate Dems unveil public safety priorities

    Sen. Robert PetersCHICAGO — In an effort to improve safety in communities and reform the criminal justice system, the Illinois Senate announced the formation of the Special Committee on Public Safety Thursday.

    The committee, chaired by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago), will be tasked with hearing a number of measures, including one to put a stop to cash bail.

    “I’ve dedicated my adult life toward the fight to reimagine and to win real safety and justice, and last year I passed several laws with this goal in mind, including one to abolish private detention centers,” Peters said. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to personally head up the Special Committee on Public Safety, and I am confident that the committee will lead to a society that is fair, equitable, just and, most importantly, safe.”

    Read more.

     


    Crowe secures override protecting aviation repair jobs Sen. Rachelle Croew

    SPRINGFIELD — Recognizing the necessity of the thousands of highly-skilled, highly-paid jobs jet repair companies provide to people in the state, the Illinois Senate overrode the governor’s veto of House Bill 3902 in a bipartisan manner Wednesday.

    State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) led the efforts to protect jobs in the Metro East.

    “I refused to sit idly by and allow thousands of people to lose their jobs because of a mistake by a former administration,” Crowe said. “Labor workers in the aviation repair industry contribute vital economic growth in the Metro East region and across the state, and this measure is an affirmation of support to them and their families.”

    Read more.

     


    In case you missed it

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Mattie Hunter, Chicago: Will lawmakers finally put the brakes on red-light cameras? | Chicago Sun-Times

    Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, Maywood: Sen. Lightford honors longtime friend Greg Reives | WGEM NBC

    Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: Lawmaker floats plan to cut prescription drug prices | The State Journal-Register

     


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  • The Majority Report 02/03/20 - Black Caucus sets 2020 priorities, Ethics Commission's plan to hold lawmakers accountable and an update on DNA evidence backlogs

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    Black Caucus: State has made great strides, but there's still work to be done

    Illinois Legislative Black Caucus

    SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus (ILBC) responded to Gov. JB Pritzker’s State of the State address on Wednesday.

    Leaders of the Black Caucus discussed key issues brought up by the governor’s address that specifically affect black communities throughout the state, including early childhood education, health care and criminal justice reform.

    Read more.

     

     

     

     


    Ethics commission seeks more accountability for legislative wrongdoers Ethics commission

    SPRINGFIELD — Members of the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform sought input on what could have been done to prevent recent high-profile conflicts of interest and what more must be done to hold lawmakers accountable at a hearing Thursday.

    The joint commission touched on a number of ethical issues, including disclosures of conflict of interest and transparency of finances for public officials.

    State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago), who serves as co-chair of the group, said it is pertinent lawmakers are voting in the best interest of their communities.

    Read more.

     

     


    Mourning families receive update on DNA evidence backlog Sen. Patricia Van Pelt

    SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) listened as families relived the terrible days their loved ones were murdered during a Senate Public Health Law committee hearing Tuesday afternoon.

    “Our voice is not being heard," said Kristena Hopkins, director of Missing and Murdered Women and Girls, whose cousin, Shantieya Smith, was slain back in 2018. “I feel like they want us to just shake it off and keep moving, but I refuse to because she has a eight-year-old daughter who deserves to know what happened to her mom.”

    Read more.

     


    In case you missed it

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Melinda Bush, Grayslake: State law seeks to improve harassment protection in the workplace | The Daily Northwestern

    Senator Rachelle Crowe, Glen Carbon: Illinois adds $4.1M to opioid battle, Crowe says support needs have been ID’d | The Telegraph

    Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton, Western Springs: Senate bill would outlaw using live animals as carnival prizes | Daily Herald

    Senator Ram Villivalam, Chicago: Lawmakers aim to end state-to-state corporate poaching | Daily Herald

     


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  • The Majority Report 01/17/20 - Ethics commission considers full diclosure of lobbying

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    Ethics commission considers full disclosure of lobbying

    Sen. Elgie R. Sims

    CHICAGO — Across Illinois on a daily basis, people are likely being paid to lobby governments without ever having to register as lobbyists or disclose any information.

    It’s a reality that emerged Wednesday from the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform. Illinois state government, the city of Chicago and Cook County are the main entities that require lobbyist registration and disclosure. But there are hundreds of units of local government throughout Illinois. By and large, those entities have no such lobbying requirements.

    “I think it’s naïve for anyone to think those are the only three places where lobbying is going on,” said Senator Elgie R. Sims, a joint commission co-chair. “If the public has the right to know in these jurisdictions, why shouldn’t it know everywhere else? We need a more holistic approach to lobbying throughout Illinois, because it seems to me there’s a lot probably going on in the dark right now.” Read more.

     


    New law allows earlier access to senior tax break Seniors

    SPRINGFIELD — A new measure sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) that would accelerate access to a property tax break for seniors was signed into law Tuesday.

    “This bill is an opportunity to test a more efficient process while still providing the same or better level of service,” Ellman said. “This particular example prioritizes the needs of seniors on fixed-incomes and ensures awareness of relief programs available to our older population. I will continue to seek more efficient processes that serve Illinoisans.” Read more.

     

     


    Castro wants to close legislative pay loophole Sen. Cristina Castro

    SPRINGFIELD — A loophole in legislative pay law allowing legislators to receive an entire month’s pay despite not serving the full month would be closed under a proposal by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).

    “In any other job, a person would not be compensated for an entire month if they only worked one day,” Castro said. “This is a glaring loophole that has been exploited far too many times at the taxpayers’ expense, and I’m sick of it. It needs to be closed.” Read more.

     

     

     

     


    In case you missed it

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Michael Hastings, Tinley Park: ISVMA gives Senator Hastings its president’s award as leader | Patch

    Senator Linda Holmes, Aurora: Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton visits Kane County jail to discuss criminal justice reform | Kane County Chronicle

    Senator Laura Murphy, Des Plaines: After another pedestrian is hurt, lawmakers want safety improvements along Touhy Avenue | Daily Herald

     


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    Lightford minimum wage increase now under effect
  • The Majority Report 01/13/20 - Lawmakers react to possible rape-cover up, seek answers of abuse of seclusion rooms

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    Women's caucus reacts to possible rape cover-up

    Illinois State Senate Women's Caucus

    SPRINGFIELD – Outraged by a possible sexual assault cover-up, the Illinois Senate Women’s Caucus is asking anyone with information to come forward.

    The request comes in response to a WBEZ article regarding a 2012 email to officials within then-Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration that references someone keeping quiet about “the rape in Champaign.”

    “That email is horrifying. If anyone has any information about this crime, please contact authorities. Sexual assault will not be tolerated. We need to get to the bottom of this and hold people accountable,” said Senator Linda Holmes, an Aurora Democrat and co-chair of the Senate Women’s Caucus. Read more.

     

      


    Lawmakers seek answers to abuse of seclusion rooms Joint Education Committee

    CHICAGO – Members of the joint bipartisan Illinois Senate and House Education Committees met Tuesday to examine the abuse of seclusion rooms in public schools.

    State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) introduced Senate Bill 2315 to ban the use of these rooms as a punitive measure.

    “We must end the abusive practice of de facto solitary confinement and improper use of restraints,” Gillespie said. “At the same time we must meet the unique needs of students, honor their dignity and ensure a safe environment for all. This is the needle we must thread with our legislation, and I look forward to working closely with all the stakeholders to achieve immediate and sustainable changes to the culture and practices in our schools.” Read more.

     


    Belt helps create military liason for IDFPR Sen. Christopher Belt

    SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) sponsored an initiative that lead to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation hiring its first military liaison to help military families through the licensure process.

    The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation created a military liaison position to help service members and their spouses navigate the licensure process. Read more.

     

     

     


    In case you missed it

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Patrick Joyce, Essex: Talks continue in bringing natural gas to Pembroke Township | Daily Journal

    Senators Kimberly Lightford and Heather Steans, Chicago: Transgender daughters are a bond between Kim Lightford, Heather Steans | Chicago Sun-Times

    Senator Julie Morrison, Deerfield: State lawmakers say new FDA policy on vaping doesn’t go far enough | The Daily Herald

    Senator Celina Villanueva, Chicago: Representative Villanueva occupies vacated seat once held by Senator Sandoval | Lawndale News

     


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    Lightford minimum wage increase now under effect
  • The Majority Report 01/06/20 - A glance at new laws that took effect Jan. 1 and a look back at the top laws from the 2010s

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    More than 250 new laws take effect Jan. 1

    New Laws 2020

    On behalf of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus, we want to wish you a happy holiday season and a new year filled with health, happiness and prosperity.

    With the start of the new year comes more than 250 new laws. Legalization of adult-use cannabis, an increased minimum wage and new regulations on kennels are just a few recently passed measures that take effect Jan. 1, 2020.

    Read the full list of new laws here.

    Watch our slideshow about the new initiatives here.

     

      


    Lightford minimum wage increase now under effect Sen. Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford

    SPRINGFIELD — Minimum wage earners statewide will see a $1 per hour increase their next paycheck under a law spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) that was signed in February to gradually increase Illinois’ minimum wage to $15 by January 2025.

    “Many working families have waited for this increase for almost a decade,” Lightford said. “I stand firmly on the belief that workers deserve a decent wage and I am committed to standing with them as we continue the fight for a living wage.” Read more.

     

     


    Murphy law gives students ability to self-administer medication Sen. Laura Murphy

    SPRINGFIELD — Students are now allowed to self-administer prescribed medication while at school under a law sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).
    Murphy’s measure requires schools to allow students with an action plan to self-administer prescribed medication with permission from their parent or guardian. Read more.

     

     

     

     


    In case you missed it

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senate President John J. Cullerton, Chicago: Illinois Senate President John Cullerton talks about Blagojevich, bipartisanship and changes brought by social media as his time in Springfield comes to an end | Chicago Tribune

    Sen. Linda Holmes, Aurora: No one wants the dreaded callback after a mammogram. Under a new Illinois law, at least there's a good chance you won't have to pay | Tucson.com

    Sen. Heather Steans, Chicago: Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Illinois | CBS Chicago

     


    Copyright 2020 - Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus - All Rights Reserved

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    Lightford minimum wage increase now under effect
  • The Majority Report 12/23/19 - More than 250 new laws take effect Jan. 1

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    More than 250 new laws take effect Jan. 1

    New Laws 2020

    On behalf of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus, we want to wish you a happy holiday season and a new year filled with health, happiness and prosperity.

    With the start of the new year comes more than 250 new laws. Legalization of adult-use cannabis, an increased minimum wage and new regulations on kennels are just a few recently passed measures that take effect Jan. 1, 2020.

    Read the full list of new laws here.

    Watch our slideshow about the new initiatives here.

     

      


    Copyright 2019 - Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus - All Rights Reserved

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  • The Majority Report 12/16/19 - Senators Protecting and Promoting the People of Illinois


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    Bertino-Tarrant protects consumers across Will County

    Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant

    SPRINGFIELD — Starting Jan. 1, 2020, Illinois residents’ genetic testing results will be protected, thanks to State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

    Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) championed House Bill 2189, which prohibits companies that provide direct-to-consumer commercial genetic testing such as ancestry.com and 23andMe, from sharing any test results with health or life insurance companies without the consumer’s consent. Read more.

     

     

     


    State keeps promise to Machesney Park

    Rock River

    ROCKFORD — On Tuesday, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) announced that the state is finally reimbursing the Village of Machesney Park for the boat ramp built on the Rock River back in 2015.

    “Frankly, this should have happened earlier,” Stadelman said. “This is proof that Illinois is turning a fiscal corner and is finally keeping its promises to communities like Machesney Park.” Read more.

     

     

     


    Harris creates access to statewide projects for minorities Sen. Napoleon Harris III

    SPRINGFIELD — More minority owned business will be included in statewide construction projects under a proposal sponsored by Senator Napoleon Harris, III (D-Harvey) which was signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker Tuesday.

    “In order to build a healthy and comprehensive economy, we must supply minority businesses with full and fair access to local and state contraction opportunities.” Harris said. “I applaud Governor Pritzker for seeing the significance of this measure, and hope to see local governments taking advantage of the state’s model business enterprise program to decrease the inequality gap for minority, veterans and female-owned businesses.” Read more.

     


    In case you missed it

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Shorewood: Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant urges residents to buy safe toys | Patch

    Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: Sen. Manar to kick off golden apple program to tackle state's teacher shortage crisis | RiverBender

    Senator Ram Villivalam, Chicago: Menorah added to holiday display in Capitol | The Daily Herald

     


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  • The Majority Report 12/09/19 - Harris participates in National Day of Giving, Pritzker signs ethics, cannabis bills

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    Harris donates $2,500 to Rocky Clark Scholarship Fund

    Rocky Clark Memorial Scholarship

    SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Napoleon Harris III (D-Chicago) donated $2,500 to the Rocky Clark Memorial Scholarship Tuesday as part of the National Day of Giving.

    "Schools across the state must continue to prioritize the education and well-being of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Harris said. “South Suburban College is doing an amazing job to provide resources to promote equity for students with disabilities, and I am pleased to support this cause.”

    Continue reading.

     

     


    Pritzker signs Steans' tweaks to new cannabis law

    Gov. Pritzker

    CHICAGO — State Senator Heather A. Steans (D-Chicago) stood alongside Gov. JB Pritzer as he signed her bill that finalizes and clarifies certain parts of the new cannabis bill, just a month before cannabis cultivation and sale becomes legal.

    “When we embarked on the long road to legalization of adult-use cannabis, we set out not just to end bad drug policy and lay the groundwork for opportunity in a new industry,” Steans said. “We also sought ways to make amends for how drug enforcement has ravaged communities. As we stand poised for legalization on Jan. 1, I want to thank everyone who worked tirelessly to make this legislation a reality, and I want to remind all of us that to ensure we see justice, we must listen to the community and respond to their concerns swiftly.”

    Continue reading.

     

     


    Murphy pushes to increase lobbying transparency Sen. Laura Murphy

    SPRINGFIELD — Lobbyists are now required to disclose more information regarding their clients and relationships to local government units under new legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines).

    “It’s clear that we need to introduce larger reforms to change the way elected officials do business,” said Murphy, who served as chief co-sponsor of the legislation in the Senate. “Increasing lobbying transparency is just a start—there’s much more still to do.”

    Continue reading.

     

     


    In case you missed it

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Scott Bennett, Champaign and Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: IDOA accepting applications for Cover Crop Premium Discount Program | Lincoln Daily News

    Senator Patrick Joyce, Essex: State Senator Joyce to Host Winter Clothing Drive | WCSJ News

    Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: Pritzker signs Manar’s paraprofessional bill | The Telegraph

    Senator Heather A. Steans, Chicago: Pritzker, stakeholders talk next phases of legalized marijuana rollout | mySuburbanLife

     


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  • The Majority Report 11/25/19 - Patrick Joyce joins the Illinois Senate for the 40th District

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    Patrick Joyce joins the Illinois Senate for the 40th District

    Sen. Patrick Joyce

    SPRINGFIELD-- The Senate welcomed its newest member last week: Patrick Joyce from Essex. Joyce was sworn into office at Kankakee Community College.

    Joyce replaces Toi Hutchinson as state senator for the 40th Legislative District. Hutchinson left to lead the Pritzker administration's recreational cannabis rollout as it becomes legal on January 1.

    “It is an honor to follow the outstanding Senator Hutchinson. I would like to thank her for the excellent job she has done for Kankakee and the South Suburbs,” Joyce said. Continue reading.

     

     

     

     


    Sims, Castro join ethics commission

    Sen. Elgie R. Sims Jr.

    CHICAGO—To respond to recent allegations involving Springfield lawmakers and prevent future wrongdoing, State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) has been named as the co-chair of a new joint legislative commission that will recommend changes to state ethics laws. Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) has also been appointed to the commission.

    “The last several months have seen very troubling developments and the people of Illinois expect us to be and do better,” Sims said. “For the people to have faith in their government we must hold ourselves to the highest of standards, and when public officials do wrong, they should face the consequences. Those are the beliefs that will guide me as I serve on this commission.” Continue reading.

     

     


    Lightford leads discussion on new cannabis law Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford

    BROADVIEW – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) led a discussion at a town hall hosted by Broadview Mayor Katrina Thompson on the implementation of the new Illinois cannabis law that goes into effect on Jan. 1.

    The town hall covered the legislative, business and law enforcement perspectives of legalizing cannabis and gave residents a chance to have their questions answered.

    “Mayor Thompson and I wanted to bring information on the new cannabis law to make sure our local communities understand how they can get involved in the new industry, and if they choose to, how to use cannabis within the restrictions in the law,” Lightford said. Continue reading.

     


    Ellman pursues property tax breaks for seniors Sen. Laura Ellman

    SPRINGFIELD – Cook County seniors would see access to property tax break sooner under legislation by State Senator Laura Ellman that has passed the Senate unopposed.

    “My goal was always to simplify this application process as much as possible,” said Ellman, (D-Naperville), the measure’s chief sponsor. “Rather than subjecting our seniors to an unnecessary reapplication process, we’re making things easier on them while also giving more people the chance to benefit from property tax breaks.” Continue reading.

     

     

     


    In case you missed it

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Laura Fine, Glenview: Niles West students organize forum on immigration issues | Chicago Tribune

    Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: Manar honored for ag education work | The Telegraph

    Senator Heather Steans, Chicago: 'No bars, no restaurants:' Marijuana trailer bill clarifies allowable public use | JournalStar

     


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


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    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.

     


    In case you missed it

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Christopher Belt, Centreville: Simon Leadership Program helps prepare students for college | WSIL 3 ABC

    Senator Rachelle Crowe, Glen Carbon: Crowe Champions Initiative Keeping Aviation Repair Industry in Illinois | Riverbender

    Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton, Western Springs: Glowiak Hilton seeks task force to study impacts of 5G networks | Chicago Tribune

    Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: Illinois Senate gives final approval to insulin price bill | The State Journal-Register

    Senator Laura Murphy, Des Plaines: Are Illinois tollway payment machines shortchanging cash-paying drivers? | Daily Herald

     


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  • Illinois Senate welcomes Indian Consul General

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  • The Majority Report - July 29, 2019 (AUDIO)

    The Majority Report - July 29, 2019 - Murphy promotes mental health resources for students


  • The Majority Report - August 26, 2019 (AUDIO)

    The Majority Report - August 26, 2019 - Manar law to increase minimum teacher salary


  • The Majority Report - September 3, 2019 (AUDIO)

    The Majority Report - September 3, 2019 - Martinez law works to protect students from sexual abuse


  • The Majority Report - July 22, 2019 (AUDIO)

    The Majority Report - July 22, 2019 - Manar seeks review of Land of Lincoln Goodwill state contracts


  • The Majority Report - July 15, 2019 (AUDIO)

    The Majority Report - July 15, 2019 - Senators work in district on job creation, fraud prevention


  • The Majority Report - July 8, 2019 (AUDIO)

    The Majority Report - July 8, 2019 - Take a look: New laws are in effect


  • The Majority Report - July 1, 2019 (AUDIO)

    The Majority Report - July 1, 2019 - Steans, Hutchinson bill legalizing adult-use cannabis is law


  • The Majority Report - June 24, 2019 (AUDIO)

    The Majority Report - June 24, 2019 - Mulroe retires from Senate to become circuit court judge


  • The Majority Report - June 10, 2019 (AUDIO)

    The Majority Report - June 10, 2019 - Senate Democrats pass major legislation during landmark session