* 11:14 am - The Senate just SB2494, which would create a pilot school vouchers program for Chicago elementary schools. It would impact about 22,000 students.
Whew, I wouldn’t want to be a teachers union lobbyist this week, man. “If they would just vote down a tax increase this week we’d have the trifecta,” cracked one union official a few minutes ago.
* 11:15 am - The Senate is now taking up the red light camera bill, SB935.
* 11:51 am - The bill, which was a compromise worked out by Senate President John Cullerton, passed 45-10.
* 11:56 am - Also today, the Senate approved a supplemental approp bill…
Over Republican objections, the Illinois Senate endorsed legislation Thursday that will assure the state’s prison guards get paid in June.
Democrats argued the stopgap spending measure is needed because the budget approved last summer was based on Gov. Pat Quinn laying off hundreds of prison guards.
But the union representing the workers was able to block the move, meaning the state will still have to pay the employees. The shortfall — expected to affect the state’s June payroll — is about $31 million.
Republicans complained the Illinois Department of Corrections should cut its spending on things like cookies and cable television for inmates in order to make up the shortfall.
“The mismanagement from this administration does not warrant more money,” said state Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine.
And the governor is getting his tax credit bill…
A $50 million job creation program is headed to Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk.
In action Thursday, the Illinois Senate unanimously approved a plan to give small business owners a $2,500 tax credit for each full-time position created in the next year.
It would affect people hired at a rate of $13.75 or above at companies that have fewer 50 employees. The program would be capped at 20,000 workers.