Senator Kwame Raoul, chairman of the pension reform conference committee, shared his thoughts with the media prior to the initial public hearing.
“This is not about appearances. This is not about having hearings for the sake of having hearings. This is about solving a problem,” said Raoul. “Everybody perceives themselves as knowing what the answer is or knowing what exactly the problem is, but no one can put their finger on it and that’s the responsibility of this committee. One of the first things we have to do is get a handle on what these differences are.”
To listen to Senator Raoul’s full press conference click the following:
It seems like just yesterday Stanley’s Cup came to visit the State Capitol on its tour during the Chicago Blackhawks’ reign as National Hockey League Champions in 2010, and now we’re poised for another celebration.
With a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins, the Blackhawks secured their second Stanley Cup within the last four years.
Of course, not everyone is lucky enough to be a Blackhawks fan, but their run at the cup may be a reason for many Illinoisans to celebrate.
According to a recent Crain’s article, “the Blackhawks contribute close to $6 million a year to the city and county through the amusement tax,” or five percent of Chicago’s annual revenue from the ticket tax.
Therefore, Blackhawks fan or not, enjoy the Cup.
A new report by Transportation for America says one in 12 Illinois bridges is structurally deficient. Nationally, the transportation advocacy group estimates 11 percent of bridges require significant maintenance, rehabilitation or replacement; Illinois’ 8.7 percent is better than the national rate.
Transportation for America’s website says the three worst Illinois counties for deficient bridges are Wabash, Shelby and White, each with more than 20 percent deficient. The lowest deficiency rates for Illinois counties are Kendall, Massac and Ogle, with 0.8, 1.5 and 1.9 percent respectively. The average age of bridges in Illinois is 40 years, while the average age of deficient bridges is 70 years. Illinois ranks 35th in the US for deficient bridges.
The Illinois Senate today moved to non-concur to Senate Bill 1 as amended by the House. This was the first step toward an agreed conference committee to resolve the pension crisis. The Illinois House then acted to refuse to recede from their amendment and create the committee on reform.
The conference committee will be comprised of 10 members. Five will be appointed from the Senate, three appointed by the President and two appointed by the Minority Leader. Five additional members will be appointed by the House. Three will be appointed by the Speaker and two appointed by the Minority Leader.
With the court-imposed July 9 deadline looming, senators are asking the governor to take swift action on a bipartisan concealed-carry legislation that passed both chambers of the General Assembly last month.
Yesterday, several Senate Democrats urged Quinn to act quickly to sign the bill to prevent a public safety crisis should he fail to act. The governor also is facing increasing pressure from state's attorneys in several downstate counties who say they are no longer going to uphold the current ban.
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