Sep 01



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Office Information

Springfield Office:
Senator 26th District
108B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-8010
(217) 782-4243 FAX
District Office:
111 North Avenue
Suite 211
Barrington, IL  60010
(847) 277-7100
(847) 277-7101 FAX
Judge Temporary Injunction Against Lake Co. Election Commission Law

During the spring legislative session the General Assembly passed a law, applying only to Lake County, stripping oversight of elections from the County Clerk and turning it over to a special appointed election commission.  In response Senator Duffy sponsored and filed Senate Bill 2592, which would keep elections authority with the Lake County Clerk’s office.

As the saga continues, a recent ruling has granted a temporary injunction against this law preventing the Lake County Chief Judge from appointing members to the election commission.  

Under the current system in Lake County, election authority rests with the County Clerk who is elected, and thus held accountable by the voters.  This new Election Board would be appointed and not directly held accountable by the people of Lake County.

Cell Phone Driving Ban

Under a new law taking effect January 1, Illinois residents will no longer be allowed to talk on cell phones unless they utilize hands-free technology. Illinois is one among a dozen states with similar laws banning the use of cell phones while driving, and already has a prohibition in place for texting and driving.

New Law Sets Speed Limit at 70 MPH in 2014

On January 1 Illinois’ traffic will move a little faster as the state’s speed limit increases to 70 MPH under a new law.  Senate Bill 2356, co-sponsored by Senator Duffy, will bring Illinois’ speed limit in line with most of the rest of the country.

The new law updates speed limits to reflect the reality of current driving speeds in Illinois and other states. Interstates were designed for a higher rate of speed, and currently there are 34 states with speed limits of 70 mph or higher.  All of Illinois’ neighboring states, except Wisconsin, have speed limits of 70 mph.  Fifteen states have speed limits of 75 mph and one state has a speed limit of 85 mph.

Bipartisan Committee Tackles Education Formula

On Monday, August 19, the bipartisan Senate Advisory Committee on Education Funding met in Springfield to hear testimony from the Illinois State Board of Education and others concerning disparities in education funding in Illinois.  The committee was formed in response to a Senate Republican study of school funding that drew attention to shifts in school-aid funding and called into question certain school financing decisions that have been largely made behind closed doors and without public scrutiny.

School funding in Illinois is a complex and multi-faceted system involving several funding formulas that, in recent years, have been skewed so that some districts benefit disproportionately.  The general state-aid formula, created as a “resource equalizer” was intended to provide equal state funding to school districts across the state. Over the past decade specialized formulas for property tax and poverty grants have skyrocketed and core education funding has flatlined.  As a result, more and more state dollars have been directed to schools in Chicago and away from downstate and suburban school districts with little or no debate among public policy makers.

New Law Sponsored by Duffy Targets Transit Board Pensions

On July 23, the Governor signed a bill sponsored by State Senator Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington) that will prohibit future members of Chicago-area mass transit boards from receiving pension benefits or health insurance benefits.  Members of these boards have been mired in scandal in recent years and, according to Duffy, taxpayers shouldn’t be picking up the bill for pensions and health benefits for “political appointees of political friends.”

House Bill 140 eliminates the generous healthcare and pension benefits given to the appointees of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) Board, Suburban Bus Board (Pace), Commuter Rail Board (Metra) and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Board, who oversee Chicago-area mass transit operations. Those currently in office will still keep their benefits; however, if current officeholders accept a reappointment, they will lose the benefits they had accrued.

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