* This seems like a good idea…
A suburban lawmaker’s plan to let 17-year-olds vote in primary elections if they will turn 18 before the November election won preliminary approval Monday.
State Rep. Carol Sente’s plan would apply only to elections in even-numbered years, not local elections like the one earlier this month.
She argues that if young voters are going to vote in a November election, they should get a say in who the candidates are in the primary. […]
Illinois wouldn’t be alone if the state allowed 17-year-olds to vote in primaries. Twenty other states already do, and a couple others are weighing the idea.
I don’t see how it could hurt and it appears to make sense.
* I don’t necessarily agree with this…
There ought to be a law against your property tax bill increasing when the value of your home decreases. […]
I wrote about House Bill 89 last year. It would have amended the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL), commonly known as the “tax cap,” to freeze the amount that a taxing district can raise its annual tax levy if the collective value of homes in the district has decreased during the previous year.
“In Illinois, more than 28 percent of homes were underwater as of Jan. 1, yet taxing bodies act as though they are victims and continue to ask for more every year,” Franks said in a statement. “In fact, homeowners are being victimized by an unfair and outdated system, and it is driving people out of the state.”
Property taxes aren’t like sales taxes. When sales drop, those tax receipts also drop. But property taxes are supposed to be a more stable revenue source, so if your home value drops, that doesn’t mean local governments and schools need less money. It’s the only “elastic” tax in existence, I think. But people are definitely struggling and the property tax is not based on the ability to pay. So, I’m kinda torn.
* While many people hate double-dipping, the General Assembly is supposed to be a part-time citizens legislature, so it takes all kinds. But I can see both sides of this one…
House Bill 3250, the Public Service Act, would place limits on the number of elected offices a person can hold.
It states that an elected official may not hold more than one public office simultaneously and specifies that the limitation applies whether or not elected officials receive compensation for a public office. […]
The Illinois attorney general’s office has issued opinions about certain public offices having a conflict of interest with others. But those are very narrowly defined, and the problem comes up often. […]
It concerns me that legislators have also held the post of township supervisor in the Southland.
State Rep. Robert Rita (D-Blue Island) is supervisor of Calumet Township and state Rep. Al Riley (D-Olympia Fields) is supervisor of Rich Township.
Bridgeview Mayor Steven Landek is also a state senator. He replaced Lou Viverito in the Senate. Viverito is the longtime Stickney Township supervisor.
* The Illinois Policy Institute hates this bill, but a pause might be prudent while this concept is checked out a bit and regulations considered…
As local school boards rejected [last’] week a request from a proposed online charter school that would draw students from its schools, state lawmakers appear poised to slap a hold on the creation of virtual schools until regulations and guidelines to govern them can be crafted.
State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora, introduced legislation Thursday to place a one-year moratorium on web-based virtual charter schools. […]
“This is the first time Illinois has ever seen anything like this,” Chapa LaVia said. “And I’m not willing to risk something that would be detrimental to our children and our schools.”
Chapa LaVia’s legislation has passed a state House committee, and is headed to the full chamber for a possible vote.
The legislation arose in response to a proposal from Illinois Virtual Learning Solutions to open the Illinois Virtual Charter School at Fox River Valley.
The online school was proposed to include students from 18 school districts in Kane, DeKalb, DuPage, Kendall, McHenry and Will counties, and would be funded by local district funds, estimated at up to $8,000 per student.
While the nonprofit Illinois Virtual Learning Solutions would govern the virtual school, it has said actual operations for the school would be handled by Virginia-based, for-profit company K12 Inc.
The virtual school concept is in place in other states, including Tennessee and Florida. But officials in those two states have raised questions over the virtual charter school operations, noting participating students’ low test scores, among other issues.
* RTA claims companies running ’sham’ offices
* Proposal would keep 17-year-old felons in juvenile court
* House passes bill to ease juvenile court age limit
* Illinois House approves bill to keep more juveniles out of adult court
* Lawmakers Strengthen Child Pornography Prosecutions
* Illinois House approves fine for tossing cigarettes
* ComEd urges Quinn to sign bill to help smart meter project
* Does it matter if districts cover teacher pension contributions?
* Editorial: Tanning salons no place for teens
* Bahamas Foreign Affairs Minister remarks to Illinois House of Representatives: So against this background, we are looking at the possibility of appointing an Honorary Consul, with residence in Chicago, to assist with enhancing the bilateral relationship between our two peoples. We have asked a Chicagoan with Bahamian roots Michael Fountain if this is something he would consider and of course this is subject to your governmental approvals at the federal level. I seek your support in this. We think Mr. Fountain would do an excellent job.