The Tennessee State Library and Archives is hosting a workshop to help individuals gather and record information for family history. It’s scheduled for June 1st at 9:30 a.m. in the TSLA auditorium. Author Jim Taulman will oversee the event. He has 35 years of writing and editorial experience and is a member of the Association of Personal Historians. The session is free to the public, but reservations are required due to limited seating in the auditorium.
The sponsor of legislation before the Illinois State Senate legalizing medical marijuana use said there are sufficient protections for motorists in the bill. Senator William Haine said the proposal requires users to submit to a field sobriety test if they're pulled over by police while driving.
The Tennessee Department of Education has rolled out a new package of incentives to help bring the best teachers to the state's worst schools. The department is offering to pay $7,000 signing bonuses to every new top-rated teacher who agrees to teach for at least two years in the some of the worst-performing schools in the state.
The Middle Tennessee Council of the Boy Scouts says it is not supporting a proposal to partially lift the group's long-standing exclusion of gays. In a statement released yesterday, the Nashville-based council said it will vote to support the current national membership policy at the Boy Scouts of America's National Council meeting during the week of May 20 in Texas.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a measure to change the way the state considers injured workers' claims. The Republican governor held a ceremonial signing at a foundry in Clarksville yesterday. A major feature of the measure is that it removes workers' compensation cases from the state's trial courts and instead creates special panels appointed by the governor to hear claims and appeals. The legislation passed the Senate 28-2, and the House approved it 68-24.
Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is moving forward with a plan to require local school districts to pay their share of teacher pensions. Currently the state covers pension payments for teachers in suburban Chicago and downstate Illinois. Madigan says it's a "free lunch" for those districts. He says the practice has exacerbated Illinois' nearly $100 billion crisis and "should come to an end as soon as possible."
A conference geared toward helping minority students get into the college of their choice is scheduled for June at Eastern Kentucky University. The Council on Postsecondary Education is accepting registrations for the event, which will be held June 28-29. It will be the council's 26th year for the Academically Proficient High School Junior and Senior Diversity Conference.
Federal watchdogs say they're launching an effort to bolster labor-law compliance involving hand-harvested crops in Illinois and Missouri. The U.S. Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division announced the initiative yesterday. The intent is to safeguard agricultural workers against violations of fair labor, visa, migrant, seasonal agriculture worker and sanitation laws.
A union-backed approach for dealing with Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension crisis is getting its first full airing. A Senate committee will hold a hearing today on the new legislative proposal. The measure gives workers and retirees a choice of benefit packages. Senate President John Cullerton says the plan saves money and would survive a court challenge.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has announced that federal grants worth $28 million will be distributed to qualifying community groups that want to help educate consumers about the new online marketplace for health insurance. The state will accept applications through May 30. The national health overhaul law requires insurance marketplaces to be operating in every state by October 1.