A top Illinois Democrat says pension boosts for public employees should require more support in the General Assembly before becoming law. House Speaker Michael Madigan is proposing a constitutional amendment to require a three-fifths vote of the House and Senate for any legislation that increases retirement benefits. A simple majority is required now. The state owes its pension systems $80 billion. The Legislature would have to approve the idea by May 6 to put the question before voters in the November election.
A legislative battle over abortions and ultrasounds has reached the Illinois House floor. Abortion opponents want to require that women be given the option of seeing an ultrasound image of their fetus before undergoing an abortion. Unlike proposals in some other states, it would not force women to obtain an ultrasound. Abortion-rights advocates are fighting the bill.
Catholic bishops have issued a stern warning about the potential consequences if Kentucky lawmakers approve a proposal to legalize casinos. Catholic Conference of Kentucky executive director Patrick Delahanty distributed a letter to state senators today detailing the concerns of the state's four Bishops who represent some 400,000 parishioners in the state.
“A lot of this opposition is for us is because this is not a reliable source of income, it’s regressive in nature, and we need to find better ways to meet the needs of Kentuckians.”
After weeks of waiting, Governor Steve Beshear and state Senator Damon Thayer have unveiled their constitutional amendment for expanded gambling.
The amendment allows for up to seven casinos in Kentucky, but five must be at horse racing tracks. The two free-standing casinos cannot be within sixty miles of a track, regardless of whether that track has a casino.