Bill to benefit nuclear energy providers moves ahead
State lawmakers are looking to give Exelon, and wind and solar power providers, the ability to sell energy to a state authority. Opponents say the measure will give preferential pricing over coal and natural gas energy sources. The measure advanced despite lawmakers from central and southern Illinois saying the power industries in their areas were being ignored.
Committee could vote on bill to require state audit of private foundation
The Illinois Senate Executive Committee this afternoon could hear a measure from state Sen. Andy Manar to require the Auditor General audit the private Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation. Earlier this month Manar got a bill through committee to have the governor appoint the director of the private board. The foundation was meant to support the public library and museum, but has come under more scrutiny for seeking tax dollars to pay off a large loan.
Attorney General’s Office collects nearly $1 billion
Illinois’ attorney general is touting the office collected nearly $1 billion for the state in 2018. Attorney General Kwame Raoul, who took office in January, announced the office collected $991 million. $37 million of that will go into pensions. The money is from a variety of settlements and other collections lawsuits.
USDA tells Illinois to deliver food stamps on time
The U.S. Department of Agriculture told Illinois officials the state has until April 21 to either improve its timeliness rate for food stamp delivery to over 95 percent or to give USDA a game plan on how they’ll get compliant. The USDA said Illinois officials didn’t meet benchmarks for the period April through September 2017, when timeliness metrics were at 90 percent.
New bill would stiffen penalties for texting behind the wheel
Illinois lawmakers are working on creating a harsher penalty for people who cause a serious injury to another person while texting and driving. Under the proposal, a driver who causes harm to another while distracted by using a phone or other electronic device would face a $1,000 fine and a year without a license. Currently, the penalty is $75, along with other punishments for dangerous driving.
State police study options for testing backlog of rape kits
Illinois State Police Acting Director Brendan Kelly says the agency is looking at every avenue to cut down on the backlog of DNA tests for sexual assault kits. Kelly said he’s ordering investigators and forensics experts to utilize whatever tools they can to speed up the process. He also said they will need more people, but couldn’t immediately say how much it would cost.