State Senate week in review
From press release
SPRINGFIELD—A hearing on gerrymandering reform that had been delayed twice before, is finally set to be held July 29 in Chicago.
State Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) explained gerrymandering is the practice of drawing legislative district boundaries to give an advantage to a particular candidate or party. Illinois has been sharply criticized for its system of drawing state legislative and congressional district boundaries because it allows politicians to pick their voters, rather than allowing the voters to pick their representatives.
The hearing, initially set for July 15, was first pushed back to July 22, before finally being posted for the 29th.
Sen. Syverson said that reforming the state’s system of drawing legislative district boundaries is essential to address the excessive partisanship and lack of accountability that has plagued Illinois state government. Many reform proponents fear that by consistently pushing back redistricting hearings, legislative leaders who benefit from partisan gerrymandering are purposely undermining genuine reform efforts. Proponents of redistricting reform argue that restoring accountability to Illinois government must begin with the most basic function of democracyelections. And, to assure fair and competitive elections, it is vital to take the politics out of drawing legislative and congressional districts.
It is unknown whether these delays will impact other redistricting hearings, which were originally scheduled to take place in Peoria in August, Carbondale in September and Springfield in October.
comes from combining
and the name of Elbridge Gerry, the governor of Massachusetts from 1810 to 1812. In 1821, Gerry signed into law a redistricting plan that was designed to benefit his political party. The term was first used in the Boston Gazette of March 26, 1812, to describe a district that the newspaper likened to the shape of a salamander. The newspaper referred to the district as a
Legislation recently signed into law includes:
Funeral Homes (HB 1353/PA 96-0048): Allows the Secretary of DFPR to suspend the funeral home licenses of facilities that pose an imminent danger to the public.
Internet Gaming (HB 617/PA 96-0047): Specifies ways that consumers who utilize an Internet game service can easily cancel that service online.
Adoption Leave (SB 35): Allows public school teachers to take a 30-day sick leave after adopting a child.
Business Authority (SB 1389): Changes terminology used by the Secretary of State when granting corporations the authority to conduct business.
Child Support (SB 100): Allows a sheriff or a private process server to provide proof of notice that a person is withholding income for child support.
Dental Clinics (SB 1393): Establishes a grant program to develop comprehensive dental clinics in order to increase Medicaid recipients’ access to dental providers.
Disabled Parking (SB 1541): Allows police to seize a disabled parking decal if the decal is being misused.
Education Grants (SB 1453): Adds psychology and physical and mental health professionals to the list of health-related school programs eligible for Health Services Education Grants.
Elevators (SB 149): Makes changes to the Elevator Safety Board, and pushes certain compliance dates pursuant to the new elevator safety code established by the Elevator Safety Board.
Elimination of Poverty (SB 1330): Requires the Governor’s Office to provide administrative support for the Commission on the Elimination of Poverty.
Emergency Shelters (SB 204): Requires Illinois’ nine public universities’ buildings must be made available for emergency purposes.
Eviction (SB 1053): Changes the time an eviction is enforceable from 90 days to 120 days.
Fishing Equipment (SB 1269): Establishes an educational program to discourage the use and sale of lead fishing equipment, which can be harmful to the environment.
Incarcerated Persons (SB 1404): Requires the state to develop informational materials for distribution to the children and families of incarcerated persons.
Newspaper Definition (SB 291): Modifies the definition of newspaper for legal notices.
Physicians Assistants (SB 1487): Allows physician assistants to provide medical care in an emergency situation without the supervision of a physician.
Prevailing Wage (SB 223): Requires public utility companies that contract with an outside contractor on any construction project to pay prevailing wage.
Residential Services (SB 1372): Requires DCFS to work with other state agencies that require residential services for children to develop program requirements and rates that are no less than the performance-based rates established by DCFS.
School Business Officials (SB 187): Allows individuals seeking the chief school business official endorsement to consider two years of university-approved practical experience as an alternative to a master’s degree and two years of administrative experience in school business management.
School Superintendents (SB 1276): Mandates all new school superintendents complete a two-year mentoring program.
School Zone Fines (SB 75): Allows school districts to use fines from speeding tickets given in school zones for a wider variety of programs.
Social Workers (SB 1507): Establishes that social workers can only share privileged information with those who have a professional responsibility to the client.
from the July 29-August 4, 2009, issue
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