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Estate planning and DRA regulations

Posted on February 25, 2011 by James R. Covington
The Department of Healthcare and Family Services has issued another set of regulations implementing the federal Deficit Reduction Act. These regs will be voted on by the Joint Committee of Administrative Rules in Springfield on April 12. These regs have a powerful impact on estate planning, older Americans, and their families. The regs and related information may be found here. Members of JCAR include these legislators.

ISBA, CBA urge Illinois Congressional delegation to support LSC funding

Posted on February 24, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
Illinois State Bar Association President Mark D. Hassakis and Chicago Bar Association President Terri L. Mascherin have co-authored a letter urging U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and two other members of the Illinois delegation to support keeping funding for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) at level funding for the 2011 fiscal year. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $70 million cut in LSC funding on Feb. 19. An earlier vote to cut all LSC funding failed. Click here to read the letter.

Repeal of Torrens Title System

Posted on February 14, 2011 by James R. Covington
Senate Bill 1746 (Trotter, D-Chicago) repeals the  Registered (Torrens) Title Act on  Jan. 1, 2014. It may be found at this link.

Sheila Murphy urges Gov. Quinn to sign death penalty ban

Posted on February 10, 2011 by Chris Bonjean
Retired Cook County Judge Sheila M. Murphy has written a letter to the editor published by the Chicago Tribune urging Gov. Quinn to sign the death penalty ban. Read it here.

Constitutional amendment affecting pensions

Posted on February 5, 2011 by James R. Covington
HJRCA 5 (Madigan, D-Chicago) any governmental entity that seeks to  increase a pension benefit to receive a 3/5 super-majority vote of its legislative branch for that benefit to become effective. If the chief executive vetoes an increase in a pension benefit, then the body's legislative branch must have 2/3 votes to override that veto. Speaker Madigan's fact sheet in support of this amendment may be found here. A copy of the proposed amendment may be found here. This applies to the General Assembly, school boards, and any other unit of local government.

FOIA and attorney-client privilege

Posted on January 30, 2011 by James R. Covington
Senate Bill 39 (Garrett, D-Lake Forest) amends the Freedom of Information Act to require a public body to disclose communications and materials between it and its attorney-lobbyist concerning either lobbying to be performed on behalf of the public body or the expenditure of public moneys for goods or services to be provided by the attorney-lobbyist on behalf of the public body. Scheduled for hearing in Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday.

Workers' compensation hearings

Posted on December 14, 2010 by James R. Covington
The House Special Committee on Workers' Compensation Reform is scheduled to meet tomorrow in Bloomington-Normal at 1:00 p.m. and in Mt. Vernon on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. The postings for these hearings may be found here.

Workers' compensation hearings

Posted on December 10, 2010 by James R. Covington
The Senate Special Committee on Workers' Compensation Reform held a hearing in Chicago Wednesday. The written testimony submitted may be found here.

Workers' compensation hearings

Posted on December 6, 2010 by James R. Covington
The Senate and House have created special committees to review and recommend changes in Illinois' Workers' Compensation system before the 96th General Assembly adjourns on Jan. 12, 2011. The next hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 8, at the Thompson Center in Chicago at 10:00 in Room 16-503. The Senate has posted some of the written testimony received by some of the groups that have appeared, which may be found here. The business community's recommendations include the following: (1) Require causation that the accident was the prevailing factor in causing the medical condition or disability. (2) Change the rules on wage-loss differential awards. (3) Change the medical fee schedule. (4) Allow employers to choose the treating physician. (5) Require use of the AMA guidelines for ratings of disability.

Civil unions passes in Illinois

Posted on December 1, 2010 by James R. Covington
Senate Bill 1716 recognizes civil unions in Illinois and just passed both chambers of the General Assembly. It will be sent to Governor Quinn, who has indicated that he will sign it into law. Here's how the senators voted (32-24-1)