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About 100 people turned out at the Levy Center in Evanston Monday night to hear two state representatives paint a mostly gloomy picture of the state of affairs in Springfield.

State Representatives Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) and Laura Fine (D-Glenview) said lawmakers tried to reach compromises with the governor on a variety of issues.

Fine said the legislature passed two proposals designed to meet Gov. Rauner’s demand for workers compensation reform. One would let the state regulate rates insurers charge for workers comp coverage, the other would set up a not-for-profit agency to offer the insurance — a concept already used, Fine said, in more than 20 other states.

Fine said its still unclear whether the governor will accept those proposals.

Gabel said that the legislature also adopted measures that would make it easier to consolidate local units of government — something already done in Evanston when voters opted to have the city take over the role of the former township government.

Fine said another measure the governor wanted that the legislature acted on was procurement reform — streamlining the state purchasing process, with an expected savings of $500 million a year.

Residents at the Levy Center meeting.

But a compromise on adopting a state budget once again was not reached, again leaving the state’s fiscal future very much in doubt — with one bond rating agency threatening to lower the state’s rating into junk bond territory.

The lawmakers did point to some signs of bipartisan agreement — including unanimous passage of an automatic voter registration bill, which Gabel said she’s hopeful the governor will sign.

Under that bill eligible residents who visited a Secretary of State’s office to renew their drivers license, or any of several other state agencies, would automatically be registered to vote.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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5 Comments

  1. Legislative Recap
    Could someone tell me why we have these 2 Madigan puppets as representatives?

    Procurement reform saving $500 million? What about pension reform and addressing the $130 billion in unfunded liabilities?

  2. Gabel & Fine
    I don’t mind that Gabel and Fine have been re-elected again and again. What I bothers me is that they vote for Madigan as their party leader. Does this mean that they agree with Madigan’s lack of ethics and agree with his leadership that has dragged the state to the lowest financial level in the country.

    Or, did they vote with him to gain favor and avoid his punishment for not bowing before him.

  3. Any questions around the

    Any questions around the proven ‘institutional racism’ of the current Cook County property tax system — as declared by a University of Chicago professor as part of the Tribune’s fantastic investigative reporting?  The same corrupt system benefiting real estate attorneys such as Mike Madigan and the Suffredin father / son duo (County Board and newly elected Evanston Alderman)?  Surely other elected officials in the democratic party were there.  

    Any questions around union-supported multi billionaire JB Pritzker gaming the Property Tax Assessment system to reduce his tax burden by tens of thousands of dollars.  Let that sink in:  a billionaire democrat gaming the system to avoid paying their fair share — money which is needed to support schools and the underpriviliged.  Any other Progressives filing appeals?

    I suspect not as raising such issues would unlikely be tolerated.

    1. Taxes

      This meeting was Monday. The Trib story came out Tuesday.

      — Bill

      1. Thanks for the clarification,

        Thanks for the clarification, although I suppose the ‘JB’ comment stands.  Perhaps next meeting with our elected officials.  

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