A little-noticed bill passed both the Illinois House and Senate that will generate $300 to $400 million a year for local governments, including $95-127 million for the Regional Transportation Authority. The bill (SB3362) will help capture sales tax revenue from more out of state retailers and in-state retailers who ship to Illinoisans in out-of-state locations.

During the last couple weeks of the spring state legislative session, Senate President Don Harmon got whacked twice by allies, including Governor JB Pritzker, but still managed to keep his cool.

As you’ve probably heard by now, Illinois Republican Party Chair Don Tracy announced his resignation last week, apparently effective the day after the Republican National Convention concludes on July 18.

“What was supposed to be a simple storage warehouse for the Metra transit agency has now buried the nation's fourth-busiest commuter rail system in a sinking money pit, the ABC7 I-Team has learned.” The Chicago broadcast station’s scoop last week is an almost perfect encapsulation of why northeastern Illinois’ mass-transit fiefdoms need to be busted and reformed.

A state law essentially designed to prevent Republicans from appointing legislative candidates to the ballot after the March primary was ruled unconstitutional by a Sangamon County judge last week, but her ruling only applied to the fourteen Republican plaintiffs in the case who are running for the Illinois House and Senate.

Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch gave added meaning to the phrase “winning ugly” during last Wednesday’s early-morning hours. I’ve never seen anything like it, so let’s take a look. House members were told to be in their seats by noon on Tuesday after the Senate had easily passed the entire budget package on Sunday.

I’m not sure I’ve seen a stranger roll-call than last week’s House vote on Senate Bill 2978. The data privacy bill is an initiative of Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, and he was on the House floor during the debate. The far-right ginned up social-media opposition to the bill by claiming that it would allow non-citizens to vote. More than 1,400 electronic witness slips have so far been filed in opposition.

Back in April, the Executive Director of the American Nurses Association Illinois Susan Swart told my associate Isabel Miller that advanced-practice registered nurses are losing their jobs because of ongoing and severe state licensing delays. Swart said some of those nurses are waiting “a year to eighteen months” to get their licenses from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

Much of the Illinois Statehouse appeared to be girding itself for battle with Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson before his Springfield visit last week.

Governor JB Pritzker unexpectedly moved away last week from his long-standing opposition to taxing services, saying he didn’t want to start taking ideas off the table as lawmakers search for ways to fund and reform the Chicago region’s mass-transit system. A major business group predictably pushed back.

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