WBEZ | legislation http://www.wbez.org/tags/legislation Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Lawmakers: Federal involvement needed to curb illegal gun trafficking http://www.wbez.org/news/lawmakers-federal-involvement-needed-curb-illegal-gun-trafficking-108456 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Gun Checks_130819_AYC.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Lawmakers said Illinois&rsquo;s new gun law needs federal involvement to truly stop or even curb illegal gun trafficking.</p><p>Illinois Governor Pat Quinn this weekend signed a new law that requires gun owners to report within 72 hours any lost or stolen gun .</p><p>The law also requires background checks for all gun purchases, including private sales.</p><p>But State Senator Kwame Raoul said there&rsquo;s more to be done.</p><p>&ldquo;We can continue to do (more) at the state level, but the reality is a lot of the gun trafficking occurs across the state lines,&rdquo; Raoul said. &ldquo;Enacting law is only one measure that we can do to combat gun violence, but we also need the help from the federal level.&rdquo;</p><p>Cook County State&rsquo;s Attorney Anita Alvarez said the new requirement gives police more control in keeping track of illegal firearms.</p><p>&ldquo;This lost or stolen requirement will help police identify suspicious patterns of behavior by persons who fail to file reports yet continually claim their guns were lost or stolen after they are recovered at a crime scene,&rdquo; she said in a press release.</p><p>Illinois is the 9th state to require the reporting of lost or stolen guns. Michigan and Ohio are the only two nearby states with the same requirement.</p><p>The reporting requirement takes effect immediately, and the new background check system will start in the beginning of next year.</p><p><em>Aimee Chen is a WBEZ business reporting intern. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/AimeeYuyiChen">@AimeeYuyiChen</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 19 Aug 2013 16:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/lawmakers-federal-involvement-needed-curb-illegal-gun-trafficking-108456 House didn't take up budget override for prisons http://www.wbez.org/news/house-didnt-take-budget-override-prisons-104213 <p><p>SPRINGFIELD, Ill.&nbsp; &mdash; Gov. Pat Quinn&#39;s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-suggest-closings-consolidations-96621">budget cuts</a> that will force the closure of some prisons and other state facilities will stand.</p><p>The Illinois House didn&#39;t consider an override vote Wednesday before adjourning on the last day of veto session.</p><p>A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan says the speaker didn&#39;t think it was necessary action to take.</p><p>Last week, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-senate-overrides-quinns-prison-cuts-104072">the Senate voted</a> to reject cuts of $56 million to funds for the Tamms high-security prison and other sites.</p><p>Quinn opposed the override.</p><p>He called Wednesday&#39;s decision by House members not to call for a vote a victory for taxpayers.</p><p>He wants to improve child-protection program funding.</p><p>His administration argues that Tamms and some juvenile detention centers are underutilized and that developmentally disabled residents in state institutions would fare better in community settings.</p></p> Wed, 05 Dec 2012 13:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/house-didnt-take-budget-override-prisons-104213 Frustrated Illinois lawmakers pitch pension fix http://www.wbez.org/news/frustrated-illinois-lawmakers-pitch-pension-fix-104197 <p><p>A group of Illinois legislators is introducing a new way to start fixing the state&rsquo;s massively under-funded pension system.</p><p>For the better part of 2012, Illinois politicians have been talking about the state&rsquo;s now $96 billion unfunded pension liabilities in drastic terms. It was no different at a Wednesday morning news conference.</p><p>&ldquo;Without some changes, Illinois will be sent into fiscal oblivion,&rdquo; Democratic State Rep. Elaine Nekritz said. Nekritz chairs the Personnel and Pensions Committee in the House.</p><p>Nekritz is proposing a new measure taking bits and pieces of other proposals that have already been talked about including the controversial shifting of pension costs from the state to local school districts to pay teachers&rsquo; retirements, something many Republicans oppose because they say it will cause local property taxes to go up.</p><p>&ldquo;There will be stakeholders that say that it doesn&rsquo;t go far enough. There will be stakeholders that say it&rsquo;s unconstitutional, it goes too far, in which case I would agree with Goldilocks that maybe this is the one that&rsquo;s just about right,&rdquo; Nekritz said.</p><p>Republican State Rep. David Harris from Chicago&rsquo;s Northwest suburbs joined them in support of the plan.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m reflecting my district. I&rsquo;m not reflecting my leadership in any way here,&rdquo; Harris said.</p><p>Harris is breaking from Republican leadership in supporting the cost shift proposal. Harris said schools in his district can afford to take on those costs.</p><p>House Republican Leader Tom Cross said he met with the governor&rsquo;s office a few times during the veto session to talk pensions, but expects the debate to continue until lawmakers return in January.</p><p>Legislators also have to consider whether an agreed-upon solution would survive a legal challenge from labor groups. Lawmakers could address the matter as early as January.</p></p> Wed, 05 Dec 2012 08:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/frustrated-illinois-lawmakers-pitch-pension-fix-104197 Proposal for Illinois to borrow $4B to pay bills http://www.wbez.org/news/proposal-illinois-borrow-4b-pay-bills-104052 <p><p>SPRINGFIELD, Ill.&nbsp; &mdash; A state lawmaker is proposing Illinois borrow $4 billion to pay its overdue bills, saying agencies and vendors who do business with the state are in dire straits and need to be paid.</p><p>The bill from Rep. Esther Golar, a Chicago Democrat, would allow Illinois to borrow the money and use it toward bills more than a month past due as of September.</p><p>But Republican Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka said Tuesday the worst thing the state could do is take on more debt.</p><p>Topinka said her office currently has nearly 170,000 outstanding bills totaling $7.1 billion. But she said as the economy improves, the state is making progress paying down the backlog.</p><p>Golar asked for more time before the House Executive Committee votes.</p></p> Tue, 27 Nov 2012 16:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/proposal-illinois-borrow-4b-pay-bills-104052 New Illinois law beefs up efforts to reunite lost pets http://www.wbez.org/story/new-illinois-law-beefs-efforts-reunite-lost-pets-90073 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-03/AP11072018881.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A new law means shelters will have to try harder to reunite lost pets with their owners.&nbsp;</p><p>The legislation Gov. Pat Quinn signed Wednesday requires shelters to scan twice for microchips. The first scan would be within 24 hours of the animal's arrival and a second scan before it's adopted, transferred or euthanized.&nbsp;</p><p>Shelters also are required to reach out to the person registered with the animal's microchip by phone or email. Currently they only need to send a letter, a process that can be ineffective if the owner has moved.</p><p>Quinn says pets are part of people's families and the state wants to do everything possible to reunite lost animals with their owners.</p><p>Quinn's own dog, Bailey, recently died.</p></p> Wed, 03 Aug 2011 18:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/new-illinois-law-beefs-efforts-reunite-lost-pets-90073 Quinn signs law increasing gun violence penalties http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-signs-law-increasing-gun-violence-penalties-90049 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-03/RS819_AP110601082693.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation increasing&nbsp;penalties for convicted felons who are found carrying guns.&nbsp;</p><p>Under the law, signed Tuesday, felons convicted of unlawful use&nbsp;or possession of a weapon face two to 10 years behind bars.&nbsp;</p><p>Additional violations by felons caught with guns while on parole&nbsp;or supervised release will carry a sentence of three to 14 years in&nbsp;prison.&nbsp;</p><p>The measure was sponsored by Sen. Tony Munoz of Chicago and Rep. Michael Zalewski of Summit, both Democrats, in response to the&nbsp;shooting death of Chicago Police Officer Thomas Wortham. He was&nbsp;killed outside his home during an attempted robbery last year.&nbsp;Suspects in his death had previous gun charge convictions.</p><p>In signing the bill, Quinn said the law will ensure safer&nbsp;neighborhoods for families across Illinois.</p></p> Wed, 03 Aug 2011 15:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-signs-law-increasing-gun-violence-penalties-90049 Cost of FAA shutdown could exceed $1 billion http://www.wbez.org/story/cost-faa-shutdown-could-exceed-1-billion-89975 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-02/AP11072815528.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The congressional standoff that has shut down&nbsp;the Federal Aviation Administration continues, with no end in sight&nbsp;until September if the Senate doesn't act this week.</p><p>Lawmakers risk losing more than $1 billion in revenue from&nbsp;ticket taxes that the airline collects. The authority to collect&nbsp;those taxes has expired. House Republicans say the sticking point&nbsp;is their demand that the Senate cut $16.5 million from a $200 million budget for rural air service subsidies.&nbsp;</p><p>The shutdown is less than two weeks old and already the&nbsp;government has lost more than $250 million in revenue.</p><p>The House has left for its August recess. The Senate is expected&nbsp;to follow this week. Lost revenue from uncollected airline ticket&nbsp;taxes could exceed $1.2 billion before lawmakers return to work in&nbsp;September.</p></p> Tue, 02 Aug 2011 15:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/cost-faa-shutdown-could-exceed-1-billion-89975 Gov. Pat Quinn signs workers' compensation reform http://www.wbez.org/story/gov-quinn-sign-workers-compensation-reform-88443 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-28/106065831.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a major overhaul of Illinois' workers compensation system.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Quinn signed the legislation Tuesday at a Navistar plant in the Chicago suburb of Melrose Park. Quinn says the bill would help companies large and small save money and be more competitive, while protecting workers injured on the job.</p><p>The changes include a 30 percent reduction in medical payments. Other reforms include letting payments for carpal tunnel syndrome last only 28 1/2 weeks, instead of 40. New guidelines also will make it harder for intoxicated workers to win claims.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The changes are supposed to cut between $500 million and $700&nbsp;million from the $3 billion workers' compensation system.</p><p>Republicans lawmakers didn't think the workers compensation reforms went far enough.</p></p> Tue, 28 Jun 2011 15:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/gov-quinn-sign-workers-compensation-reform-88443 Quinn signs new seat belt law http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-signs-new-seat-belt-law-88401 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-27/Quinn Seatbelts podium.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Every car passenger in Illinois will soon have to buckle up. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill today that requires it.&nbsp; Before this seemingly common sense law, backseat passengers 18 years or older weren't required to wear a seatbelt.</p><p>Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White explained why backseat passengers need to be restrained.</p><p>He said, "If by chance they are not buckled up, then of course they could become a human missile for those in the front of the vehicle."&nbsp;</p><p>But the law still exempts riders in buses, emergency vehicles and those in the backseat of taxis. Illinois Senate President John Cullerton sponsored the bill with the late GOP Rep. Mark Beaubien.</p><p>Regarding the taxi exemption, Cullerton said, "A lot of times in taxi cabs, the seatbelts are not maintained properly and it's hard to find them. I know I have trouble myself digging down to try to find them sometimes."&nbsp;Cullerton said he hopes taxis will be added to the bill sometime later on.</p><p>The new law will take effect January 1, 2012.</p><p>Meanwhile just before the seatbelt press conference, a taxi cab crashed into a downtown Chicago building - killing a pedestrian and seriously injuring the driver and backseat passenger.<br> <br> &nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 27 Jun 2011 17:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/quinn-signs-new-seat-belt-law-88401 Examining Gov. Pat Quinn's recent legislative moves in Springfield http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-03/examining-gov-pat-quinns-recent-legislative-moves-springfield-87369 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-03/quinn hudzik.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>As Illinois Governor Pat Quinn reviews more than 600 bills sent to him by the General Assembly he holds a powerful tool to get the job done: the veto pen.<br> <br> After being largely invisible during the spring session, Gov. Quinn is now in the driver’s seat on a number of controversial bills, including: gambling, an electric rate hike and workers compensation reform, just to name a few. So, what will he do with his power?<br> <br> To find out, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> turned to Kristen McQueary; she's the state government reporter for WBEZ and the <a href="http://www.chicagonewscoop.org/" target="_blank">Chicago News Cooperative</a>.</p></p> Fri, 03 Jun 2011 13:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-03/examining-gov-pat-quinns-recent-legislative-moves-springfield-87369