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SB 1590 directs the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to study any application for a permit to operate a storage site for the disposal of discarded motor vehicle tires. Representative Reginald Phillips was the lead sponsor of this Public Act (P.A. 99-396) in the House; it was signed into law on Tuesday.

HB 1335, co-sponsored by Representatives David Harris and John Anthony, affects patients who have been diagnosed with conditions that, in the absence of additional treatment, are likely to result in death. Under current law, health providers cannot prescribe or provide investigational drugs, biological products, or medical devices to Illinois patients until the items in these categories have been fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – a time-consuming process that often takes many years.  The Right to Try Act gives medical professionals the right to prescribe or provide items in these categories to members of this group of patients if they are very ill, and shields these medical care providers and professionals from professional discipline based on these unapproved medical products.

One ugly law that Illinois has imposed on its residents is a requirement that when the ownership of a motor vehicle moves from a late husband to his widow, or from a late wife to her widower, the surviving partner is required to pay a full vehicle transfer fee in order to get a new title and protect his or her right to legally own and drive the vehicle.

The automatic 2% “cost of living” pay increase was scheduled to automatically go into effect for the State fiscal year starting July 1, 2015. Many House Republican members do not think the General Assembly deserves to enjoy a pay hike at a time when many Illinois workers have their pay and benefits frozen or cannot find work at all. HB 576 freezes cost-of-living adjustments and other benefit compensations for General Assembly members and other high-ranking elected and appointed State officials in FY16. The bill received final General Assembly approval on August 5, and was sent to the Governor.
House Republicans unanimously supported and helped pass HB 576, and all 47 Republican members were co-sponsors of the measure in the House. The Governor has expressed support for the concept of freezing the pay of Illinois’ top elected officials, and is expected to sign the bill.  
FY16 Budget Crisis
Budget stalemate continues in Springfield. As the State of Illinois entered the fourth week of the new fiscal year without a balanced budget in place, the Democrat majority again refused to negotiate in good faith and instead continued their piece-meal approach to the budget crisis.

State Employee Pay Update
Illinois state workers’ paychecks go out as court fight continues. Comptroller Leslie Munger forged ahead with plans to send out full paychecks to state workers Wednesday, despite an ongoing court battle over whether public employees can be paid while state government operates without a budget.

SPRINGFIELD - Just in time for the 42nd Annual Chatham Sweet Corn Festival, Governor Rauner today signed legislation designating sweet corn as the official state vegetable of Illinois. The bill was sponsored in the House by State Rep. Raymond Poe (R-Springfield) and State Sen. Sam McCann (R-Carlinville) in the Senate. It was brought about through the efforts of the 4th grade students at Chatham Elementary School.