• RSS News – Lou Lang

    • This RSS feed URL is deprecated January 21, 2018
      This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
    • Gambling expansion in Illinois no sure bet - The State Journal-Register January 14, 2018
      The State Journal-RegisterGambling expansion in Illinois no sure betThe State Journal-RegisterLou Lang, D-Skokie. “If this is going to be a viable legal business, we don't want to be behind 30 other states who have legalized it.” Lang, though careful not to stake out a position, said the legislature will likely hold committee hearings on the ...and more […]
    • Lawmakers to discuss legalizing sports betting - IllinoisHomePage.net January 9, 2018
      IllinoisHomePage.netLawmakers to discuss legalizing sports bettingIllinoisHomePage.netILLINOIS (WCIA) -- Look out sports fans, your team's next big win could get even more exciting. That's because the state may let you earn some winnings, legally. Lawmakers could be putting sports betting on the table. But the proposition has just been ...
    • Action Ridge group talks Equal Rights Amendment support in Park Ridge - Chicago Tribune January 9, 2018
      Chicago TribuneAction Ridge group talks Equal Rights Amendment support in Park RidgeChicago TribuneThe meeting, held by the local social outreach group Action Ridge, featured a presentation by Eden Nissani, outreach coordinator for Democratic State Rep. Lou Lang, a long-time sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment bill in the Illinois House. Nissani ...and mor […]
    • State's Opioid Action Plan proposes solutions. But does it go far enough? - Belleville News-Democrat December 23, 2017
      Belleville News-DemocratState's Opioid Action Plan proposes solutions. But does it go far enough?Belleville News-DemocratSpeaking for the governor's office, Sanguinetti took issue with Lang's assessment. “We're hoping not to go the political route like it seems Lou Lang wants to,” she said. “There is enforcement, and we respectfully disag […]
    • Illinois Sports Betting Bill Surfaces As Interest Ramps Up Across The US - Legal Sports Report January 4, 2018
      Legal Sports ReportIllinois Sports Betting Bill Surfaces As Interest Ramps Up Across The USLegal Sports ReportWhat we know so far about the Illinois sports betting effort. H 4214 is just a placeholder bill for now, but the intent appears to be to fill it with language that would regulate sports wagering in the state. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Lou Lang ...
    • Illinois Legislature ethics commission under fire for neglecting complaints - Illinois News Network January 6, 2018
      Illinois News NetworkIllinois Legislature ethics commission under fire for neglecting complaintsIllinois News NetworkTerry Link, D-Vernon Hills, Chairman, state Rep. Norine Hammond R-Macomb, state Sen. Cristina Castro, D-Elgin, state Rep. Chad Hays, R-Catlin, state Sen. Michael Connelly, R-Lisle, state Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, state Sen. Karen McConnaughay, […]
    • This Week In Sports Law: NFL Concussion Attorney Fees, Corey Coleman Sued, Brady's Agent's Conflict - Forbes January 7, 2018
      ForbesThis Week In Sports Law: NFL Concussion Attorney Fees, Corey Coleman Sued, Brady's Agent's ConflictForbesIllinois State Representative Lou Lang has filed a sports betting bill within the state that, like other states discussing such legislation, has no true effect on the ability to engage in sports betting unless there is a change first at th […]
    • What's happening in Park Ridge: Action Ridge meets to talk Equal Rights Amendment - Chicago Tribune January 2, 2018
      Chicago TribuneWhat's happening in Park Ridge: Action Ridge meets to talk Equal Rights AmendmentChicago TribuneAction Ridge, a Park Ridge-based group dedicated to social causes, will meet Monday to discuss the Equal Rights Amendment and how to support ratification in Illinois, the group announced. The meeting, which is open to the community, will take p […]
    • Ethics group under fire for 'neglecting' complaints - Jacksonville Journal-Courier January 7, 2018
      Jacksonville Journal-CourierEthics group under fire for 'neglecting' complaintsJacksonville Journal-CourierLou Lang, D-Skokie; state Sen. Karen McConnaughay, R-St. Charles; and state Rep. Arthur Turner, D-Chicago. In the three years of vacancy, dozens of complaints piled up. Porter recently told the commission that only 10 were valid. She suggested […]
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Rutherford, Topinka Divisions Stall Quinn Effort to Overcome Bills Backlog

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka can both agree on a plan to merge their offices, but short-term borrowing is a different thing.

Republicans opposed Gov. Pat Quinn‘s plan to borrow $8.75 billion to help the state pay off its debt of $9 billion to $10 billion. Quinn wants to borrow $2 billion in short-term loans to help pay the state’s backlog of bills.

Any short-term borrowing must win the OK from both financial offices.

Rutherford, a Republican, met privately with Quinn, a Democrat, and his budget office staff. Rutherford said he told the governor he doesn’t approve of a multi-billion dollar borrowing plan, which would require repayment with interest at the end of 14 years.

“I told him I don’t support the $8.7 billion borrowing plan; 14-year payment ballooned at the end,” Rutherford said. “I said ‘I don’t support any of that stuff, but I will work with you on short-term borrowing, which I can either sign-off on that or not.’”

States were provided with about $80 billion from the federal stimulus fund, which provides an enhanced Medicaid match rate to hospitals and nursing homes if states make payments within 30 days. Since March 31, Illinois’ match dropped from 59 percent to 57 percent early this month. By July 1, the match will drop to 50 percent.

“We do not want to leave over $200 million in federal match on the table,” Quinn’s spokeswoman Kelly Kraft said.

“We want to get this debt restructured, so we can take advantage of an extra $200 million that we could use for programs in our state. We want to get these bills paid. And the sooner we do that, the more match we get.”

The comptroller’s office estimates the state has $4.7 billion in unpaid bills as of Tuesday afternoon.

Comptroller’s spokesman Brad Hahn said Topinka has discussed with Quinn about taking advantage of federal dollars through Medicaid match. But at the moment, Hahn said Topinka doesn’t believe in short-term borrowing.

Lawmakers would need to approve the 2012 state budget at the end of session on May 31, so they only would have a month to pay off any short-term borrowing, Hahn said. Any short-term borrowing must be paid by the end of fiscal year on June 30, Hahn said.

“Regardless of the situation, Comptroller Topinka is always willing to sit down and have a discussion and look at options on the best long-term financial interests of the state,” Hahn said. “But she is certainly very hesitant on borrowing on any level, at this point.”

Quinn needs to win support from Republicans in both chambers for any borrowing measure, which requires a three-fifths vote. The governor and his office have discussed with both the treasurer and comptroller solutions to the state’s budget challenges, Kraft said.

“Our goal here, and I think everyone’s goal here, is to get our bills paid, and we want to come up with a solution so that we could restructure our debt to get our bills paid as quickly as possible,” Kraft said. “And so far, we feel that these discussions have been very constructive.”

Despite the personal and corporate income tax increase enacted in January expected to generate $7 billion for the state, Quinn called for borrowing to clear out the state’s pile of unpaid bills.

Rutherford said Democrat and Republican lawmakers in Springfield need to come together to resolve the state’s finances.

“I am cautiously optimistic that before this is all over at the end of May, that we will be able to have some kind of a reasonable effort on the finances of our state,” Rutherford said. “The two biggest sticking points will be the public pensions and workers’ comp.”

Lawmakers, meanwhile, have introduced proposals to reform the state’s public pension and workers’ compensation systems.

Diane S.W. Lee, Illinois Statehouse News

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