Rauner veto could cause chaos for public schools statewide
Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of a simple trailer bill creates potential chaos for every Illinois school that stands to benefit from long-overdue funding reform.

The last-minute veto of Senate Bill 444 -- a piece of technical cleanup legislation requested by the Rauner administration and passed quickly by the General Assembly two months ago -- boggles the mind, said State Senator Steve Stadelman, a vocal advocate for school funding reform since taking office in 2013.

"While the legislative process may sound complicated, the result is not: The governor's action threatens to unravel a long-sought, bipartisan solution to an unfair system for funding public edcuation," Stadelman said.

In November, the General Assembly responded immediately to a request from the Illinois State Board of Education by again passing additional bipartisan legislation to help to more quickly implement the new school funding formula. But rather than promptly sign the resulting SB 444, Rauner sat on the measure and issued an 11th-hour amendatory veto. That veto now could derail implementation of the new formula.

"ISBE is part of the Rauner administration, and ISBE had indicated being ready to move forward as soon as the trailer bill became law," Stadelman said. "Now, because of the governor's inexplicable veto, underfunded schools in Rockford and Harlem, which have been subject to an unfair formula for years, will have to continue waiting."

Lawmakers will address the veto when they return Jan. 30 for the first week of their spring session.
•    WREX-13 report on veto

Free mammograms for women without health insurance
A Silver Lining Foundation is offerings referrals for free mammograms to uninsured women in Winnebago, Boone and Ogle counties with the help of a $15,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois.

To obtain a referral for a free mammogram at Mercyhealth or UW Health-SwedishAmerican, contact ASLF at 877-924-1126.

ASLF, a Chicago-based nonprofit, played a key role in launching Senator Stadelman's Women's Wellness Fair in 2015 and has participated every year since, promoting mammograms for early detection and treatment of breast cancer.

Commission issues mandatory workers' comp reminder
In Illinois, if an employer has one employee, even a part-time employee, the employer must provide workers' compensation insurance. The mandate includes family members of the owner(s) who are employed by the company.

An employer who knowingly and willfully fails to provide workers' compensation insurance may be fined up to $500 for every day of non-compliance, with a minimum fine of of $10,000. Corporate officers who are found to have negligently failed to provide insurance are guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

Sole proprietors, corporate officers and business partners may elected to come under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act or opt out, unless they operate in industries deemed to be extremely hazardous such as construction and trucking.
For more information, call the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission at 312-816-6611 or visit www.iwcc.il.gov.