State Roundup: New dates announced in special election to replace Schock

From Illinois News Network
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The U.S. Department of Justice filed a document in Chicago federal court Monday stating a July 7 primary and Sept. 10 general election to replace former U.S. Congressman Aaron Schock, who resigned from his post representing the 18th Congressional District last month amid questions about his office expenses.

A judge must approve the proposed dates.

AFSCME calls administration contract suggestions ‘unsafe and unfair’

In a Bargaining Bulletin for State Employees, AFSCME notified its members that proposals by the governor would strip safeguards, making the workplace “unsafe and unfair,” WMAY reports. Contract negotiations are underway between the union and Rauner administration. The Administration’s proposed changes include modifications to mandatory overtime, subcontracting, layoffs and grievance procedures, which AFSCME says will make it harder for the union to fight for employees.

Service providers face cuts, decide future

After a drop of $26 million in state grants, service providers are nervous, the Associated Press is reporting. A total of $3.4 million for immigrant assimilation assistance and $3.1 million for youth services for children between 7 and 17 has been cut to help patch a $1.6 billion hole in the current year’s budget. Organizations that provide these services will have to make changes to their offerings in order to accommodate for the decrease in funding.

Rauner makes first round of clemency recommendations

In his first round of clemency petitions, Governor Bruce Rauner rejected 57 of 59 petitions and granted pardons to two individuals. 43-year-old Neil Hebert was convicted of a burglary in 1979. He served two years’ probation and Friday’s announcement allows him to request to have his record expunged. Rauner has nearly 3,000 clemency petitions left from the previous administrations. Rauner’s spokeswoman Catherine Kelly told the AP via email his office will be reviewing the petitions on a regular basis, but a timetable has not been set.

More cannabis-approved conditions requested, one new distributor approved

The Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board will review 22 petitions to add 14 medical conditions to the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. A hearing is scheduled for May 4. Advocates have asked conditions and diseases such as anorexia, anxiety, diabetes, migraines, IBS, osteoarthritis and post traumatic stress disorder, among others, be considered. The board will hear testimony before making a recommendation.

In other news, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced the qualification of one applicant and disqualification of another seeking to register as a dispensing organization in Illinois. Health Central, LLC was selected as qualified in Districts 9 and 11. District 9 includes Cass, Christian, Logan, Mason, Menard, Morgan and Sangamon counties and District 11 is comprised of Bound, Clinton, Madison, Monroe and St. Clair counties.

Illinois 50 out of 51 in property tax friendliness

WalletHub released its report of the states with the highest and lowest property taxes. The average American spends $2,089 on property taxes. In Illinois that number is $3,939. Of the 51 states, Illinois ranks 50th in terms of average property tax payments, with New Jersey coming in at number 51. While the Land of Lincoln’s property tax rate sits just shy of $4,000, Hawaii, which ranks No. 1 on the list, comes in just over $400, where resident’s average property tax is $482. The research also found that “red” states impose lower real estate property taxes than “blue” states. Taxes in the average blue state are 39 percent higher than those in average red states.

AG Madigan’s office to oversee Tuesday elections

Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced today that her office will be monitoring elections throughout Illinois on Tuesday to ensure voters rights are being protected. Madigan urged voters to call her office if they encounter suspected improper or illegal activity.

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