Illinois General Assembly News

George Mason professor: ERA might do less today than a decade ago, may not be eligible to be added to Constitution

By Kyla Asbury | Jun 13, 2018

A George Mason University professor believes that if the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) were to be enacted today, it would do less than it would have nearly a decade ago, thanks to the continuing expansion of civil rights, particularly for those identifying as LGBTQ.

Illinois Supreme Court: Man's procedural misstep dooms challenge to 'unconstitutional' IL estate tax

By Jonathan Bilyk | May 24, 2018

A man who claimed the state wrongly used a new state law to collect more than $400,000 in taxes on the estate of his mother, who died four days before the tax law took effect, can’t pursue his claims against the state, because he filed in the wrong court, the Illinois Supreme Court has ruled.

Converting Values: Condo owners on wrong end of deconversions lament lack of legal protections

By Jonathan Bilyk | May 4, 2018

Throughout the Chicago area, real estate investors are using condo deconversions to scoop up condo buildings in the city and suburbs to feed the continued strong market demand for rental apartments. But for those caught on the wrong end of the process, proscribed by a state law process some compare to eminent domain, few options are at their disposal other than to fight for the value of their unit in court.

Appeals court: Chicagoans don't have constitutional right to school board elections

By Jonathan Bilyk | Mar 30, 2018

Chicago residents could have the right to vote in a school board election. But under Illinois’ state constitution, Chicago residents do not necessarily have the right to a school board election, a state appeals court has ruled.

Employer groups ask Rauner to veto Dem-backed bill to transfer enforcement powers from Labor Dept to A/G

By John Sammon | Mar 16, 2018

A prominent Democratic Illinois state lawmaker, who is now seeking his party's nomination as the state's next attorney general, has lined up behind new legislation intended to give the attorney general new powers to pursue businesses embroiled in wage disputes - new powers that will come at the expense of the state's Labor Department, according to business groups.

Petition: Change IL conduct rules to let state regulators discipline lawyer/lawmakers like Silverstein accused of harassment

By Jonathan Bilyk | Mar 15, 2018

In the wake of a decision by Illinois legal profession regulators to not take action against state Sen. Ira Silverstein, who was accused of sexual harassment and who was found by the Illinois Legislative Inspector General to have engaged in behavior “unbecoming of a legislator,” a Chicago law firm has launched a petition drive, asking the Illinois Supreme Court to change Illinois lawyer conduct rules to specifically allow the state to take action against lawyers, including state lawmakers, accused of sexual harassment.

'It's more possible now' - Penn Supreme Court ruling could open gerrymander reform avenue in IL, via courts

By Jonathan Bilyk | Mar 5, 2018

A recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling on the question of partisan gerrymandering could introduce a new avenue for reformers to pursue in breaking the hammerlock on the legislative redistricting process currently held by legislative leaders in the Illinois General Assembly, and other states.

'Public should control process:' Anti-gerrymandering amendment filed in Springfield

By Jonathan Bilyk | Feb 26, 2018

As Illinois courts have repeatedly slapped aside attempts by Illinois voters to wrest control of drawing new legislative district maps from which ever partisans control the Illinois General Assembly, the coalition behind many of those past efforts to place referenda on the Illinois ballot to change the state constitution are now backing a new amendment to combat partisan gerrymandering, with the fight this time beginning in the state legislature.

Class action: IL Treasurer Frerichs mishandling administration of 529 college savings plans

By Scott Holland | Feb 23, 2018

A Lake County resident has sued Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs, accusing him of mishandling the state’s college savings plans and improperly assessing fees on participants.

Cook County judge: Chicago alderman's personal emails, texts generally not subject to FOIA

By Jonathan Bilyk | Jan 31, 2018

Emails and text messages sent and received by Chicago aldermen on their personal accounts and devices generally may not be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, a Cook County judge has ruled, partially thwarting an attempt by Chicago lawyer Ameer Ahmad to uncover what he believed were efforts by his neighbors to use connections to Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno to allegedly improperly block Ahmad from obtaining a permit for a home improvement project.

Berrios lawsuit: Cook County ethics ordinance illegally limits his campaign cash, imposes fines

By Scott Holland | Jan 31, 2018

Cook County Assessor and chairman of the county's Democratic Party Joe Berrios has sued the Cook County Board over campaign donation limits.

Illinois law reducing LLC fees will help make Prairie State a bit more business friendly, attorney says

By David Hutton | Jan 30, 2018

A woman is suing Union Medical Center, Cityscape Landscape LLC, Beef-Boners Union and Chicago Title Land Trust Company for allegedly taking insufficient measures to prevent injuries. And that's good for small businesses and the entire state, a local attorney says.

GOP state lawmakers join Supreme Court brief asking to reject challenge to compulsory union fees

By Jonathan Bilyk | Jan 22, 2018

A group of nine Republicans currently serving in the Illinois General Assembly, including two rookie state lawmakers, have signed their names to a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the court to uphold the state’s ability to allow unions to extract fees from government employees who don’t wish to join a union, arguing the country’s founding federalist principles should allow the 50 states to decide such policy questions for themselves.

Pro-life lawmakers, groups appeal Springfield judge's refusal to block IL abortion funding law

By The Cook County Record | Jan 2, 2018

A group of pro-life Illinois state legislators, anti-abortion organizations and the Springfield Roman Catholic diocese have indicated they will continue their legal fight to stop the state of Illinois from using taxpayer money to fund abortions, filing notices to appeal a Springfield judge’s decision to deny them the injunction they sought to block the state law authorizing public funding for what they estimate could be “tens of thousands” of abortions each year.

Attorney says Second Circuit decision in Illinois biometric data case provides roadmap to deal with future cases

By John Sammon | Dec 14, 2017

A Chicago-area attorney is advising employers that they should take more steps to make sure they are protected from lawsuits alleging the improper storage of fingerprints and other so-called biometric identifying information gathered from employees. And, he said, the attorneys representing them can look to a recent decision from a New York federal appeals court for guidance on one successful avenue of defense.

Attorney: New bill banning employment salary inquiries likely in Illinois, despite veto loss

By David Hutton | Dec 5, 2017

In the wake of a veto of legislation to amend the Illinois Equal Pay Act, lawmakers in the state have been left to sift through the rejected proposal and find a foundation to serve as a model for the next proposal.

Illinois law requiring taxpayers to pay for abortions faces court challenge; no funding source ID'd, suit says

By Michael Carroll | Dec 4, 2017

Anti-abortion groups have filed a lawsuit challenging an Illinois law that clears the way for the public funding of elective abortions beginning on Jan. 1, saying the legislation violates the Illinois state constitution's requirements that lawmakers first identify where the tens of millions of dollars will come from to pay for more than 40,000 abortions per year.

Sexual harassment accusations continue to roil IL assembly, but very different from private sector cases

By Karen Kidd | Nov 8, 2017

As sexual harassment scandals spread in the Illinois General Assembly, some lawmakers are calling for still more action to empower investigators to pull the curtain back on what has been described as a rampant culture of abuse in Springfield. However, unlike private sector employers, state officials don't face a realistic threat of lawsuits over their actions, says a lawyer who specializes in such harassment cases.

Illinois Supreme Court to decide if hospitals will have to pay property taxes

By Dee Thompson | Nov 7, 2017

The Illinois Supreme Court recently agreed to hear arguments in another case addressing whether hospitals should be exempted from paying property taxes, marking the second time this year the court will tackle the question weighing on hospitals and local governments across the state.

Spike in IL lawsuits vs employers over fingerprints, other biometric data may be just the beginning

By John Sammon and Jonathan Bilyk | Oct 12, 2017

A spike in the number of lawsuits in Illinois over biometrics data is a result of such data becoming more commonly used or misused by both business and social media. But whatever the reason, businesses should look for more and more of these lawsuits in coming days, a Washington, D.C.-based labor and employment attorney warns, thanks to a unique facet of Illinois' law

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