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Articles filed under State Legislature

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  • Rauner targets Democrats with anti-tax robocalls May 20, 2014 6:53 PM
    Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner’s campaign has dispatched robocalls to constituents of four suburban Democratic state representatives in an effort to pressure the lawmakers to vote against extending Illinois’ income tax hike.

  • Examples of hires’ political connections May 12, 2014 4:02 PM
    Here are examples of state employees with political connections who were hired at the Illinois Department of Transportation under Gov. Pat Quinn. An Associated Press review of emails and other state documents shows that dozens of government jobs involved in a dispute over whether they should be free of politics were filled with candidates who were politically involved or gave campaign money to the governor’s party. The administration says the jobs should be exempt from a court ruling banning political hires because they are policy-making positions. . Kathleen Vehovic is the daughter of former Sangamon County Democratic Party chairman Todd Renfrow. Vehovic was hired to a $39,000-a-year post after holding a temporary position that was “continually renewed” on a 60-day emergency basis, according to the emails. One email said Vehovic was “critical” to bureau operations because she coordinates pre-employment screening for snow removal and highway maintenance workers. Anti-patronage activist Michael Shakman, who has challenged the hiring in federal court, said the job “obviously” should not have been exempt from state hiring rules. Vehovic did not respond to requests for comment left by phone and during a visit to her home. . Doris Bartolotti, of Benton, is listed as the chair of the Franklin County Democratic Committee in an online county directory. Her husband and brother-in-law are county committeemen. State records show her son — who is mayor of a small southern Illinois community — has worked for IDOT since 2004. Reached at her home, Doris Bartolotti — who made about $49,000 at IDOT in 2013 — said she would be happy to discuss her employment but needed to talk with her boss first. She later could not be reached. . Nick Lay of Johnson County is a former county Democratic committeeman. He’s listed as a technical manager IV and made $64,400 last year. When reached, he referred the AP to IDOT for comment. . Former Alderman John Rice got his $84,000-a-year IDOT job months after losing his seat on the Chicago City Council. A 2012 report published by The New York Times about Illinois politics stated that his newly created position of safety manager was never posted, and his application was filed the same day he started work. At the time, an IDOT spokesman denied the job was created just for Rice. Rice could not be reached for comment. . Bill Helm was the former president of the 47th Ward Democratic Party in Chicago who has donated money to Democrats. Helm was deputy supervisor of the Cook County Forest Preserve District under then-county board President Todd Stroger but was replaced shortly after Toni Preckwinkle was elected county board president in November 2010. He was hired a few months later as a deputy director of operations at IDOT. State records show he made about $111,000 last year, but is no longer working at IDOT. A phone message left with Helm’s mother — who confirmed he had left IDOT — was not returned.

  • Moylan schedules satellite office hours May 4, 2014 4:50 PM
    State Rep. Marty Moylan has scheduled satellite office hours for May in Elk Grove Village and Park Ridge.

  • FOIA requests, costs increasing in many municipalities May 4, 2014 6:32 AM
    Some municipal officials are complaining about the cost and time involved in processing a spike in public records requests under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. But First Amendment experts say it is worth the cost to increase transparency of government. “I can't think of anything more important for a governmental body to do,” said Don Craven of the Illinois Press Association.

  • Sente holds mobile office event: May 2, 2014 4:41 PM
    Fifty-ninth district state Rep. Carol Sente will host a mobile office event from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 7, at the Fremont Public Library, 1170 N. Midlothian Road, Mundelein.

  • Elgin mom-to-be taking her Erin’s Law abroad Apr 26, 2014 8:00 AM
    Erin Merryn is taking her campaign for better laws to protect children from sex abuse to Canada, Australia and other countries. Her growing mission isn't slowing down as she prepares for a personal milestone: the birth of her first child. "I am just go, go, go," the Elgin 29-year-old said.

  • Lee Street exit off I-90 wanted but cost an issue Apr 23, 2014 12:06 PM
    A proposed eastbound exit at Lee Street on the Jane Addams Tollway (I-90) is being billed as a boon for local businesses and future economic growth near Des Plaines, Rosemont and O'Hare International Airport, but whether the project becomes a reality may all depend on funding and who pays the bill.

  • I-90 construction progress to be discussed Tuesday Apr 20, 2014 5:26 PM
    A public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday to update residents on the progress of the ongoing Elmhurst Road Interchange project on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90), as well as the possibility of an eastbound exit at Lee Street.

  • Kotowski to receive award from Des Plaines hospital Apr 18, 2014 4:22 PM
    Presence Holy Family Medical Center in Des Plaines will present State Sen. Dan Kotowski with its Inspire Award for exceptional community service on Tuesday, April 22, at the hospital.

  • ‘Epidemic’ of heroin addiction facing state, house committee hears Apr 17, 2014 2:52 PM
    Members of the recently formed Illinois House Task Force on Heroin heard testimony in Arlington Heights Thursday morning about treatment and prevention for what has been called an epidemic sweeping the state. This was the second of four meetings being held around Illinois to get ideas for legislative fixes that might help stem the growing tide of heroin addiction, overdose and death in Illinois. “This is a plague that is spreading,” said state Rep. David Harris of Arlington Hts.

  • Gun owners criticize aspects of new concealed carry law Apr 17, 2014 5:30 AM
    An informational meeting held by Democratic state Rep. Elaine Nekritz in Wheeling Wednesday, which was intended to clarify some gray areas of Illinois’ new concealed carry law, largely focused on the criticisms of current gun owners who described themselves as responsible and law-abiding. James Hopkins came all the way from Antioch to share his thoughts before an audience of about 50 at the Indian Trails Public Library.

  • Politics of scare tactics unproductive Apr 16, 2014 5:00 AM
    A Daily Herald editorial says the state rifle association's truth-bending tactics to protect gun rights are problematic on several levels.

  • Moeller takes oath of office in 43rd District Mar 31, 2014 4:49 AM
    Pledging to serve in bipartisan fashion and reach out to all parts of her new constituency, former Elgin City Council member Anna Moeller was sworn in Sunday as the new state representative for the 43rd District. Moeller replaces Keith Farnham, who resigned earlier this month amid a federal investigation.

  • Elgin councilwoman Anna Moeller selected to fill Farnham’s seat Mar 29, 2014 6:34 PM
    Democratic leaders have selected Elgin Councilwoman Anna Moeller to fill the Illinois House seat left vacant by the resignation of Keith Farnam. Moeller will be officially sworn in Sunday, officials said. Kane County Republican leaders said Moeller’s selection “opens the door” for a GOP victory in November.

  • Farnham’s replacement to be selected Saturday Mar 28, 2014 6:08 PM
    Local Democratic Party leaders will meet Saturday to select a new state representative for the 43rd District, who will take the oath of office on Sunday, officials said in a news release Friday afternoon. Elgin businessman Kevin Echevarria is among candidates interviewed by Democratic officials for the seat left vacant by Keith Farnham’s March 19 resignation, Kane County Democratic Party Chairman Mark Guethle confirmed Friday.Another candidate is Elgin Councilwoman Anna Moeller. Kane County Board member Cristina Castro said she also talked to Democratic officials about the vacant House seat.

  • Editorial: Study waterway agency before pulling plug Mar 28, 2014 5:00 AM
    A Daily Herald editorial says state Sen. Terry Link was right to pull down his proposal to eliminate the Fox Waterway Agency in favor of more study. Now, let's do the study.

  • Elgin councilwoman among 8 candidates for Farnham’s seat Mar 27, 2014 4:12 PM
    Elgin Councilwoman Anna Moeller is among eight candidates interested in the seat left vacant after Keith Farnham’ resignation as state House representative, officials said Thursday. Kane County Democratic Party Chairman Mark Guethle said local leaders are vetting the candidates and are trying to make a choice as soon as possible. Kane County Board member Cristina Castro said she also talked to Democratic officials about the seat.

  • Heroin task force meets: Mar 21, 2014 5:53 PM
    A public hearing of the Youth Heroin Use Task Force will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, Pavilion B, 1475 E. Belvidere Road (Route 120) Grayslake.

  • Bill would waive hunting, fishing fees for seniors Mar 20, 2014 5:28 PM
    Legislation proposed by state Rep. Jack Franks, a Marengo Democraqt, woud waive hunting and fishing license fees for Illinois seniors. Fishing licenses typically cost $15 and hunting licenses cost $12.50. But residents who are 65 and older pay only half the price.

  • Matune won’t challenge vote in ‘tough’ 81st House race Mar 20, 2014 2:39 PM
    Both Republican candidates for the 81st state House seat in the Downers Grove and Naperville area say the race they waged for their party’s nomination was “tough,” but both also say it’s over. Challenger Keith Matune, who lost by 153 votes, now has conceded the race and said he will not seek a recount of votes from any of the district’s precincts in DuPage and Will counties.

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