A report from State Senator Karen McConnauhay:
Senator McConnaughay’s Legislative Update: August 1, 2016
In anticipation of the fall veto session, Governor Rauner stopped by various cities recently to discuss the issue of term limits. He urged residents to reach out to their legislators and rally for an amendment to add term limits to the ballot in November. He, in partnership with Republican Leader Christine Radogno, have been pushing to place this important decision in the hands of the voters.
The Governor has signed dozens of bills into law in the last several weeks, including bipartisan legislation I worked on with Representative Tryon and Metra, which doubles the fine for drivers attempting to cross railroad tracks while warning systems are active. Our hope is that this initiative will limit the number of railroad-related deaths and injuries, as Illinois was ranked second for highest railroad fatalities in the nation last year.
In the news of pension reform, a new law aims to increase the transparency of pension “spiking” within the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund. It states that if a retiring employee’s reportable monthly income is to increase by more than six percent, the raise must be presented at a local government meeting — to discourage local entities from providing end-of-career boosts to employees.
See below for more Illinois news and laws, and as always, I hope you will contact me with any questions or concerns you may have. You can also visit my legislative website at www.senatormcconnaughay.com.
State Senator for the 33rd District
New law targets child abuse and neglect cases against military
A new law will increase collaboration between state government and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) on child abuse and neglect cases filed against members of the military.
House Bill 4425 was introduced at the urging of the DoD, and will require the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to notify the DoD if a member of the Armed Forces is named as the alleged perpetrator in a child abuse or neglect report. If the accused is a member of the Illinois National Guard, DCFS is also required to notify the Office of the Adjutant General.
Legionnaires’ disease hits Veterans Home in Quincy again
Two new cases of Legionnaires’ disease were discovered at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy. A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs would not disclose the condition of the two residents affected, but noted there have been no deaths.
Last year, Legionnaires’ disease led to 53 illnesses and 12 deaths at the same facility. The Centers for Disease Control announced the bacteria that causes a severe form of pneumonia was most likely spread by the home’s aging water system, which is 129 years old. This week, while touring the home to review the newly installed $5 million water treatment plant and delivery system, Gov. Rauner noted that “we cannot let it happen again.”
Illinois Lottery seeks new private management partner
On July 28, Gov. Rauner and the Illinois Lottery announced the release of a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a new private management partner. The new private management partner will share the Lottery’s goals of increasing profits to the state, responsibly broadening its player base, introducing new technology and innovation, and ensuring responsiveness to public needs and concerns.
In 2010, the previous administration poorly negotiated a contract, which resulted in the private manager consistently underperforming while being allowed to circumvent FOIA laws and withhold information from the Lottery and the public. The previous administration did attempt to terminate the contract in a deal that would have cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars had it been allowed to go through. The Rauner Administration fought the implementation of that prior termination agreement and renegotiated its terms to improve taxpayer protections and save $22 million in immediate savings and $28 million overall for taxpayers.
“Our goal is to continue to provide the beloved games of the Lottery while also driving value for taxpayers,” Rauner said in a press release announcing the RFP.