Top News

St. Clair Co. judge backs union, denies AG request to order state to stop paying workers amid impasse

Cook County Record Feb. 16, 2017, 8:08pm

St. Clair Co. judge denies AG Madigan's request to order state to stop paying workers amid impasse

Judge rejects ex-Gov. Quinn's lawsuit challenging power of Chicago mayor to appoint school board

Jonathan Bilyk Feb. 14, 2017, 12:47pm

Saying nothing in federal law entitles Chicago residents to a right to an elected school board, a federal judge has tossed a lawsuit from a group of plaintiffs, including parents of Chicago Public Schools students and former Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn, who had asked the court to side with their contentions that a state law granting the mayor of Chicago the power to appoint members of the Chicago Board of Education was discriminatory and violated their voting rights.

Reform or distraction: Chicago sports teams seek workers comp changes for athletes in budget deal

Stephanie N. Grimoldby Feb. 7, 2017, 4:07pm

With the state's financial situation hinging in part on a deal to reform some state worker's compensation rules, Chicago's major pro sports franchises have jumped in, seeking a measure allowing them to stop paying workers comp to athletes at age 35. The teams say it's necessary to change rules that bear no resemblance to the realities of their business, and allow athletes who play for teams in other states with less generous workers comp systems the chance to "forum shop."

Illinois' bailout bill for two Exelon power plants unique, unprecedented, needed more review, attorney says

Robert Lawson Jan. 18, 2017, 6:15pm

In early December, Democrats and Republicans in Springfield, including Gov. Bruce Rauner, agreed on an energy bailout bill in the Legislature to keep two Exelon nuclear generator plants operating at a cost of as much as $4.54 per month per Illinois ratepayer. But a Chicago lawyer who has advised industrial businesses and governments on energy-related issues for more than two decades said the 503-page bailout bill, which rewrote major provisions of both the Illinois Public Utilities Act and the Illinois Power Agency Act, should have received a more thorough review before becoming law.

Legislators may override governor's veto of plan to automatically sign up voters

Dawn Geske Nov. 25, 2016, 9:55am

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois legislators are looking to make voting even easier by overriding the governor’s veto of a bill designed to register voters when they apply for driver’s licenses.

Voters OK'd term limits for their towns, but barriers make applying limits statewide difficult

Taryn Phaneuf Nov. 22, 2016, 6:34pm

On Election Day, four Cook County communities took action on an issue that many voters in Illinois want to see addressed on a much larger scale: term limits.

Illinois employers could be fined for asking employee to like or retweet employer social media posts

Karen Kidd Nov. 18, 2016, 5:27pm

Illinois employers who try to boost their social media presence by having employees participate in their Facebook, Twitter and other online activities should reconsider that practice, a labor and employment attorney said during a recent interview.

Election Day voter registration cleared for IL this November; judges refuse to rush appeal

Jonathan Bilyk Oct. 7, 2016, 5:05pm

Election Day voter registration will be allowed this November at all polling places in Cook County and Illinois’ other more populated counties, after a federal appeals court refused to speed up proceedings in the case, pushing briefing in the matter back to Nov. 10, two days after Election Day.

Judge slaps down Illinois Election Day voter registration system, saying it dilutes rural citizens' rights

Jonathan Bilyk Sep. 27, 2016, 12:41pm

A federal judge has prohibited Illinois’ most populated counties from continuing to register voters at polling places on Election Day, saying the way the system is currently set up in the state violates the rights of people voting in Illinois’ more rural regions.

New laws requiring greater accommodation of pregnant workers, may require employers to shift mindset

Dawn Geske Sep. 22, 2016, 11:34am

Pregnant workers are getting some relief as more states pass legislation to prevent discrimination in the workplace in addition to providing accommodations during their pregnancy.

IL high court's remap rehearing denial erects 'roadblock that seems insurmountable' to reform: Dissent

Jonathan Bilyk Sep. 20, 2016, 3:56pm

Saying the Illinois Supreme Court missed out on an opportunity to provide helpful guidance to citizens seeking to exercise their constitutional rights, as well as to more fully explain its decision in light of longstanding precedent, the man who will serve as the court’s next chief justice, together with two of his colleagues on the state high court, teed off on the court majority’s decision to simply deny a request to rehear arguments over a proposed amendment intended to rewrite the ways Illin

Illinois employers should prepare now to track paid leave benefits under new law, attorney says

Karen Kidd Sep. 8, 2016, 10:20pm

Illinois employers should prepare for the state's new Employee Sick Leave Act, which allows employees to use paid personal sick leave benefits to take care of family members, a labor and employment attorney said in a recent interview.

TIF revenue up in Chicago, but it may not be helping where needed most, clerk's report says

Carrie Salls Aug. 8, 2016, 8:52pm

Revenue collected in the city of Chicago's Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts will increase 23.9 percent this year, according to a report recently issued by Cook County Clerk David Orr. But it appears that failing neighborhoods that need revitalization the most are not seeing as much benefit from TIF, relative to areas that are already thriving.

Congressional candidate, Liberty Justice Center challenge IL Election Day voter registration program

Scott Holland Aug. 4, 2016, 3:50pm

A Western Illinois Republican Congressional candidate has partnered with a Chicago-based public-interest litigation group to challenge Illinois’ Election Day voter registration program, saying the state’s system is unfairly slanted to favor counties with the biggest populations and, by extension, to boost the likelihood of Democratic candidates succeeding at the polls. 

IL legislation to update disability access laws not likely to harm businesses, chamber says

Emma Gallimore Jul. 5, 2016, 11:10am

Updates to accessibility guidelines won’t have much of an effect on businesses but will bring regulations up to date with federal law, said a spokesperson from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

IL Supreme Court takes down law granting special tax break to Moline aviation business

Jonathan Bilyk Jun. 16, 2016, 5:41pm

The Illinois Supreme Court has taken down a special tax break for a western Illinois aviation service, declaring state lawmakers lacked the constitutional authority to extend to the business a property tax exemption held by a public airport authority, costing the local school district and other local governments a tidy sum in unpaid property taxes.

New IL legislation updates data breach law to cover more tech, speed required consumer notifications

Dawn Brotherton Jun. 16, 2016, 3:00pm

Gov. Bruce Rauner last month signed House Bill 1260, a law supporters say would update Illinois’ data breach notice law to make it more consistent with state-of-the-art technology. 

Independent Maps supporters' filing: Redistricting amendment fits IL constitution

Dan Churney Jun. 13, 2016, 12:02pm

Supporters of a proposed amendment that would reform how state legislative districts are laid out, have struck back at a lawsuit to block a referendum on the amendment, which was filed by a group aligned with Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, saying the amendment – contrary to what opponents claim – would comply with the state constitution. 

Group connected to Madigan, Emanuel sues to block redistricting amendment from ballot

Jonathan Bilyk May 12, 2016, 5:50pm

An attorney connected to powerful Democratic Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan has filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court to block a referendum from landing on the ballot, which would ask Illinois voters to reform the way Illinois creates the legislative districts from which state lawmakers are elected.

Appeals court rules posting records to a government website may not be enough to justify FOIA rejection

Jacob Bielanski Apr. 5, 2016, 2:57pm

A recent ruling in Illinois appellate court could challenge just how free governments are to deny public records requests simply because those records are available on a website.