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Monday, Jun 2, 2014

* Let’s take a quick look at some legislation that has been overlooked

Unpaid interns would be included in the state’s ban of sexual harassment in the workplace under one measure. Currently, Illinois law only prohibits the harassment of paid employees. The bill would require employers to act on all reports of sexual harassment.

Two bills would expand protections for adults and children with intellectual disabilities. The first measure would give the Illinois Department on Aging legal protections from being sued for enforcing bans against the abuse of disabled adults. The second proposal would enact new penalties for the abuse of disabled children. The measure would allow police to seize property, such as boats or cars, of adults who abuse children 13 or younger who have severe mental disabilities. […]

In another effort to give people a fair shake and broaden the workforce pool, lawmakers passed a bill that would bar employers from asking on initial job applications if a person has a criminal record. After the applicant has been found qualified for a position and scheduled for an interview, the employer would be able to ask for criminal record disclosure.

* More

In an effort to undo a previously approved law that had over-enforced poker runs, the House and Senate signed off on changes to the rules governing this popular fundraising tool for motorcycle enthusiasts, in which bikers ride from one tavern to another collecting poker hands. The new rules take enforcement out of the hands of the state and gives counties the authority to issue licenses for the events. […]

A proposed new law will require schools to address electronic bullying, even if it doesn’t happen on school grounds. […]

In an effort to stop cities from over-regulating farmers’ markets, a proposed new law would preclude municipalities from passing regulations that are stricter than state laws. […]

In a move that could drive up the cost of school construction, a proposed new law would require all new schools to have storm shelters.

* Money for solar

On May 30, 2014, the Illinois General Assembly passed House Bill 2427, which unlocks $30 million of roughly $54 million in existing state funds for investment in new renewable generation. The $30 million comes from the Renewable Energy Resources Fund (RERF), which is administered by the Illinois Power Agency (IPA). The $30 million is anticipated to be targeted at solar generation, with a focus on “distributed” solar generation, or generation with a name-plate capacity of less than two megawatts. To date the IPA has only made one procurement using the RERF and committed less than $3 million, even though the RERF is anticipated to grow to nearly $130 million this September.

* This bill passed both chambers

A measure, passed by the Illinois House or Representatives [Friday], specifically exempts the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in the northwest suburb from the Smoke Free Illinois Act, which prohibits smoking in public places. The exemption would last until Oct. 1, 2015. […]

Tobacco Plus Convenience Expo, which drew about 4,000 people to its annual meeting in Las Vegas in January, has already held preliminary talks with village officials about holding a second show, said Susan Reuter, president of Branford, Conn.-based Reuter Exposition Services LLC, which puts on the Expo. A Rosemont meeting would likely attract about the same number of people, she said.

Smoking is a necessary part of the show, which is limited to distributors, wholesalers and retailers and other people in the industry, she said. “It’s a type of sampling people do, whether they’re sampling cigars or a new cigarette.”

* And, finally

Republican Bruce Rauner doesn’t have a specific budget plan of his own yet ripped pieces of the Democratic budget Friday, including one spending package that contains $500,000 for a YMCA bearing his name. […]

Yet, one of the bills that makes up the spending package now headed to Gov. Pat Quinn contains a reappropriated $500,000 state grant “to the Rauner Family YMCA for costs associated with capital improvements at the facility.”

Rauner campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf said “the Rauners’ have no personal benefit from the Rauner YMCA.”

“It’s called that because of their generosity in helping fund it,” Schrimpf said of the facility.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


7 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    The Stephens family still has some pull on both sides of the aisle.


  2. - Sir Reel - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    Why is State government spending $500,000 on a local YMCA? The YMCA is a great organization and I’m a member of a local YMCA, but I fail to see the logic of using public funds for this. Especially when many State facilities are in such poor condition, for example State Parks, the Governor’s Mansion, etc. I wonder who’s district the Rauner YMCA is in?


  3. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 12:11 pm:

    Sir Reel, I think there is a legitimate state interest in maintaining viable short-term housing for low-income people, so I don’t think this grant is inappropriate.

    Plus, it’s fun to stay at the YMCA.


  4. - Langhorne - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    “After the applicant has been found qualified for a position and scheduled for an interview, the employer would be able to ask for criminal record disclosure.”

    so what is the benefit to the applicant? the employer just has to pull the applicant thru this hoop, scheduling an interview, and then dump the guy if they want.


  5. - Langhorne - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 12:16 pm:

    the smoking exemption for rosemont should be limited to a number of days per year. say 20, to cover two or three such conventions.


  6. - cover - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 1:09 pm:

    = Plus, it’s fun to stay at the YMCA. =

    Darn you, 47th Ward, now that song is stuck in my head!


  7. - Just Trying to Survive - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 1:55 pm:

    Had to laugh. “In an effort to give people a fair shake and broaden the workforce pool”……..what? For all the millions of unfilled positions awaiting them? As an unemployed professional willing to work for $10/hour I find this amazing.


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