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Metro East faces multi-million dollar cuts under budget proposal

Joint Appropriations I and II Committee hearing at SIU-EEDWARDSVILLE — The Illinois State Senate held a joint Appropriations I and II Committee hearing to collect testimony about the impact the governor’s proposed budget cuts would have on the Metro East economy. Representatives from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, local health care organizations, and the cities of Edwardsville, Belleville and Benld all attended.

Under the proposal, SIUE would face a $20 million funding decrease. University officials testified that the cuts could force them to raise tuition and cut vital programs.

Read more: Metro East faces multi-million dollar cuts under budget proposal

   

Sullivan passes developmental disability FOID updates

sullivan-DD-foidSPRINGFIELD – Brent Nicholson is a hunter and has been his whole life. Growing up, his father took Brent and his brother hunting, Brent passed the hunter safety course as a minor and when he turned 18 he applied for and received his Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) card.

Brent carried that FOID card for 13 years until last summer, when the Quincy native received a letter from the Illinois State Police requiring him to surrender his FOID card.

Read more: Sullivan passes developmental disability FOID updates

   

Martinez, McGuire concerned about immigrant welcoming centers funds (VIDEO)

martinez-welcome-centerThe Illinois Department of Human Services oversees Illinois Welcoming Centers, facilities to provide immigrant and refugee individuals and families with services, information and classes to assist in their path towards successful integration to the state.

The centers consolidate access to services from many state agencies, and their staff has been specially trained to work with the immigrant and refugee community. Information includes health, social, educational, employment, rehabilitation and homeownership services.

Read more: Martinez, McGuire concerned about immigrant welcoming centers funds (VIDEO)

   

Sex trafficking victims protected by Mulroe's Senate measure

mulroe-traffickingSPRINGFIELD – Victims of human trafficking would receive newfound protections under a proposed law sponsored by Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) that cleared the Illinois Senate today.

Mulroe’s Senate Bill 1588 would provide victims of sex trafficking with an affirmative defense when charged with prostitution. By using an affirmative defense, the legal ramifications of criminal charges would be defeated by that action.

Read more: Sex trafficking victims protected by Mulroe's Senate measure

   

Cunningham bill to eliminate annual reapplication of Homestead Exemption passes Illinois Senate

041415CM0234SPRINGFIELD — Legislation sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) to eliminate the need for an annual reapplication for the Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption has passed the Illinois Senate.  
 
The Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption, a residential property tax exemption for Illinois residents aged 65 or older, is designed to help senior citizens financially.  Most years, the information needed to qualify for the exemption does not change. But state law requires seniors in Cook County to file paperwork annually and in some cases, to make trips to county courthouses to ensure they qualify, creating a hardship for those the exemption is intended to help.

Read more: Cunningham bill to eliminate annual reapplication of Homestead Exemption passes Illinois Senate

   

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