Lang Helps Make Illinois Government Information Easier to Get, Confident Quinn Would Sign Law

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois state government bureaucracy would need to make government information more accessible to taxpayers under legislation the Illinois House approved Wednesday.

House legislators voted 116-0 to reform the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie)

State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie)

The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), requires state agencies to respond to requests for documents more quickly. It also assigns responsibility to Illinois Attorney General for ruling on and mediating disputes between citizens and bureaucrats, giving the Attorney General power to impose civil penalties on bureaucrats who deliberately ignore the law.

“In an effort to clean up in the wake of Rod Blagojevich, it’s important that we take this step to let people know we’re as serious about reform as we told them we would be,” said Lang, a Deputy House Majority Leader.

The legislation now moves to the state Senate. If approved by the Senate, Lang is confident Governor Pat Quinn will sign the measure.

“As a champion of Freedom of Information Act reform, I am confident Governor Quinn would sign this bill into law if it reaches his desk,” said Lang.

The General Assembly is schduled to adjourn on May 31.

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Lou Lang Wins Passage of $29 Billion State Construction Program to Fix Roads, Schools, Bridges, Parks, Mass Transit

(Springfield, IL) — The Illinois House on Thursday approved a $29 billion capital plan to build or rebuild schools, roads, bridges, public parks, and mass transit.

The House supported the legislation to fund the plan passed 86-30, but the bills to spend the money each

Deputy House Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie)

Deputy House Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie)

passed 117-0. Many House Republicans opposed the revenue bills, but voted in favor of the spending.

“This construction program represents Illinois’ economic stimulus package,” said State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), the chief sponsor of the legislation.

“This is the bill that will put thousands of our people to work, repair the infrastructure of our state and do great things moving forward for the citizens and the economy of the state of Illinois,” Lang said.

This is the first Illinois capital program in more than 10 years, Lang notes.

“This new construction program represents a significant, and some ways a historic, achievement by the Illinois General Assembly,” said Lang. “We have put the dysfunction of the Blagojevich years behind us.”
Some of the construction highlights include:

  • $2.8 billion in new road projects
  • $1.5 billion for school construction
  • $1.4 billion for universities and community colleges
  • $150 million for Amtrak
  • $2 billion for public transportation: 10 percent for downstate, the rest to the Chicago area
  • $875 million for environmental and water projects
  • $150 million for state parks

For the RTA, the capital plan provides $1.8 billion, plus $900 million in the recent “mini” capital bill, bringing to $2.7 billion from the state for mass transit infrastructure needs in the Chicago area.

Governor Pat Quinn has announced that he will not sign the capital bill until lawmakers approve new state budget. For that reason, Lang initiated a parliamentary maneuver to withhold the bills from Quinn until the Governor commits to signing the measures.

“When the governor is ready to sign the bill, I’ll send it to him,” said Lang

Lawmakers are scheduled to adjourn on May 31.

Quinn’s 1st 100 Days – Lang, Murphy Comment on Fox-TV

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Quinn’s 1st 100 Days-“He Started Off on a Good Foot…”

“I think he started off on a good foot and then he took the extraordinary step of proposing a huge tax increase, huge pension changes all of which met significant resistance,” said State Representative Lou Lang (D-Skokie)