The Illinois Department of Insurance is warning consumers that a Florida-based company is illegally marketing home warranty services to residents in the state. The agency says Arkidus Home Protection continues to market the warranties despite a previous cease and desist order from the Illinois Insurance Department. They say the state of Florida has taken similar action against Arkidus for illegal activity. The company markets warranties for household appliances via the Internet.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says the toughest issue for the state is its worst-in-the-nation public pension system, but he only made scattered references to it throughout his State of the State address Wednesday. Quinn supports Senate Bill 1, which would increase contributions and reduce benefits. The bill sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton failed to get a House vote. Illinois has nearly $100 billion in unfunded liability.
An Illinois Senate committee has approved legalizing gay marriage for the second time in a month. The Executive Committee voted 9-5 yesterday to move legislation giving marital rights to same sex couples to the Senate floor. The Democrats have a 40-member majority and say they have the votes needed. The same committee OK'd a similar measure just after the New Year in the final days of the last General Assembly. But a floor vote was scuttled because supporters feared they were short of the 30 necessary votes.
Gov. Steve Beshear says disagreement among gambling advocates has made it unlikely that the Legislature can pass a constitutional amendment on casinos this year. Beshear says Kentucky's horse racing industry is divided on how to proceed, which has weakened the chances of passing an amendment.
Despite a long history of wagering on horses, Kentucky has a constitutional ban on casino-style gambling. And many lawmakers have been reluctant to vote to change that, knowing they may face disapproving constituents in future elections.
Illinois officials and the physicians they regulate are at odds over how to fairly cover the costs of a unit that investigates complaints against doctors. Officials from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation want the legislature to authorize them to increase doctor licensing fees from $100 to $250 a year.
Legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois is expected to come up in a Senate committee meeting today and could see a floor vote on Valentine's Day. Democratic Senator Heather Steans is the bill’s sponsor. She says it's on the executive committee's agenda, and she's confident it has the support to pass the Senate next week.
An Illinois House committee has approved additional funding for state programs in a plan that takes advantage of new money for road building and shifts the savings from a closed prison to child-welfare services. The Executive Committee voted Monday to send the measure to the House floor. Transportation advocates want quick action on a $675 million addition to transit-construction plans so that more concrete can be laid this spring.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam may be able to negotiate beneficial terms for the state to participate in federally-funded Medicaid expansion. But his GOP colleagues in the Legislature may not let him get to that point. Republican bills before both chambers of the General Assembly would prohibit the governor from pursuing an expansion to TennCare, the state's expanded Medicaid program.
Murray State University basketball player Zaveral "Zay" Jackson has accepted a plea deal on two charges of wanton endangerment. 20-year-old Jackson agreed to the deal Monday in McCracken County. He will serve 60 days, including 11 days credit for time served. He has 49 days left with three years of supervised probation.
State lawmakers return to Frankfort today to take on some of the Commonwealth's most pressing issues, including finding a way to shore up the financially troubled pension plan for government retirees. The Legislature met for a week in early January to elect House and Senate leaders, then took a three-week break.