Illinois Governor Pat Quinn wants lawmakers to return to Springfield later this month, but some legislators aren't sure why.
Quinn released a statement Thursday criticizing lawmakers for failing to address the state's nearly 100-billion dollar pension shortfall and calling a special session which begins June 19th. The announcement follows news that Moody's Investors Service is lowering Illinois' credit rating. But a spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan says he believes the special session is to deal with guns, not pensions.
Quinn is currently considering conceal-carry legislation that was passed last week. Quinn hasn't said if he'll sign the plan. If he vetoes it, lawmakers could override the veto.
SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) — The Illinois attorney general's office says the federal appellate court has given the state an extra 30 days to lift its ban on concealed weapons.
The court on Tuesday granted Attorney General Lisa Madigan's request to allow Gov. Pat Quinn more time to review legislation passed last week.
However, on issuing its ruling, the court said it would not issue another extension of its mandate past the new deadline of July 9.
Illinois was the last state in the union banning the concealed carrying of guns when, in December, the court struck down the ban. The court gave lawmakers until June 8 to legalize the concealed carry of firearms.
Madigan said the Sunday date would have shortened the time set in the state constitution to allow Quinn to review legislation.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn, a manufacturers' association and representatives from the oil and gas industry are praising a measure to regulate high-volume oil and gas drilling in Illinois.
The House overwhelmingly approved the plan Thursday.
The bill outlines rules that energy companies would have to follow during hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."
The executive vice president of the Illinois Oil and Gas Association says efforts on the compromise bill were "monumental. The head of the Illinois Manufacturing Association says it'll create jobs.
Ann Alexander is a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council who helped craft the regulations. She says it's good to see Illinois moving forward with public protections.
Opponents worry it would cause air and water pollution and deplete water resources.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers have overridden Gov. Pat Quinn's veto of legislation that addresses so-called Smart Grid technology.
The Illinois House voted Wednesday to again approve the legislation, a day after the Senate approved it for a second time. Quinn vetoed it May 6, saying the proposal weakened oversight and forced automatic rate hikes.
ComEd and Ameren pushed the bill to clarify legislation allowing the utilities to raise rates to fund the high-tech system. But the Illinois Commerce Commission and both utilities disagreed over implementation. ComEd filed an appeal over technical matters and faces a lawsuit over installation delays.
ComEd says with the new law the average residential customer will pay 40 cents more a month starting in 2014 and 80 cents more in 2017.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Senate has again approved a plan to address so-called Smart Grid technology over the objection of Gov. Pat Quinn.
Senators voted 44-11 Tuesday to override Quinn's veto earlier this month. Quinn claimed the bill undermined oversight and would force automatic rate hikes.
Senate President John Cullerton disputed those claims. A three-fifths majority was needed. It now heads to the House.
ComEd pushed the bill as a way to clarify 2011 legislation allowing utilities to raise rates to fund a high-tech system. But executing it has been tricky.
The Illinois Commerce Commission and ComEd disagreed over implementation. ComEd filed a court appeal over technical matters and faces a class-action lawsuit over installation delays.
The proposal clarifies some of those issues and hastens installation.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says he hopes a bill that would kick-start high-volume oil and gas drilling passes "swiftly" through the Illinois House and Senate after a House committee voted to send it to the full House.
The House Executive Committee voted 11-0 Tuesday to approve a measure regulating hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" - the use of high-pressure mixtures of water, sand or gravel and chemicals to crack rock formations deep underground and release oil and natural gas.
Proponents say it's safe and would create jobs in cash-strapped southern Illinois. Quinn has promised to sign the bill.
Opponents worry that fracking could cause air and water pollution and deplete water resources.
They favor a two-year moratorium on the practice, but House and Senate bills calling for a pause have been stalled.
Springfield, IL - AP - Gov. Pat Quinn says Illinois has a chance to make history before the end of the legislative session this month on the issues of pension reform and same-sex marriage.
The Chicago Democrat says he wants lawmakers to approve an overhaul of the state's nearly $100 billion pension crisis by the end of the month and send it to his desk. Lawmakers also have a proposal on the table that would make Illinois the 13th state to legalize gay marriage.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says House Speaker Michael Madigan's pension-reform plan deserves a Senate vote.
The Democratic governor said the proposal is comprehensive.
Illinois has nearly $100 billion in pension debt because of years of state underfunding.
Senate President John Cullerton has a different idea he plans to call for a vote Thursday afternoon. Public employee unions back that proposal.
The House approved the Madigan bill last week. It would require employees to pay 2 percent more toward retirement benefits. It would reduce annual cost-of-living increases for retirees and raise the retirement age for workers under 45.
Cullerton's proposal would offer employees a choice between health insurance or cost-of-living increases. He says it would survive a court challenge.
CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says income tax revenue for 2013 will top forecasts by $1.3 billion. He says he'll put the money toward the billions the state owes in unpaid bills.
The governor's office said Tuesday the money was a one-time windfall resulting from businesses and individuals selling assets or taking early dividends in anticipation of higher federal tax rates.
Quinn says the money is welcome but a one-time bump in revenue will not help fix the problem in the long run.
Illinois owes billions to businesses, charities and local governments performing some of the state's most essential services. The problem adds to the state's huge financial mess, which includes a soaring public pension crisis.
Quinn said Tuesday the focus must be on "restoring Illinois to full fiscal responsibility."
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn says the Illinois House should act quickly to approve a pension-reform package because the state's economy depends on it.
House Speaker Michael Madigan's plan to increase employee contributions and trim benefits is scheduled for a House vote Thursday.
Years of state underfunding of pension accounts has left Illinois $97 billion short of covering future obligations.
The Democratic governor says the liability grows by $17 million a day. He says Illinois' economy won't fully recover until reform is approved.
But union representatives told a House committee Wednesday the opposite is true. Illinois Education Association President Cinda Klickna says cutting pension benefits takes away money retirees spend in local communities and especially hits teachers who don't have Social Security benefits.