Suburban Political Recount
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday introduced new Iran sanctions legislation - long a hallmark issue for the Highland Park Republican.
The new legislation - cosponsored by West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, Republican Susan Collins, of Maine, Florida Democrat Bill Nelson and Texas Republican John Cornyn - targets Iran's overseas foreign exchange assets generated as a result of prohibited activities or held by designated Iranian entities.
Elizabeth Roskam, wife of House GOP Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam, of Wheaton, is showing her art collection beginning this weekend and continuing through the rest of the month at the Glen Ellyn Public Library. The collection will include a portion of her “Capitol Dome” collection as well as paintings of things she’s seen all over the world.
Roskam's website shows some of her newest paintings and some of the media attention she’s gotten from them. If you've ever visited Rep. Roskam in Washington, he has several of her paintings in his both his Cannon House office and his space inside the Capitol. He even gives out stationary with her “Off to the Dome” painting on the front to visiting Illinoisans.
Check out this video via Illinois Channel and Capitol Fax, where state Sen. Matt Murphy talks before the annual House vs. Senate softball game about the potential for being injured.
He starts talking at the 5:43 mark and is asked about the potential for injury.
"You know, I've been knocking on wood all day," he says in his pregame interview. "One of these years I'm gonna be too old. I just don't know what year it is."
Of course, Murphy had extensive knee surgery Friday after injuring his knee in Wednesday's game.
Officials from Aurora University this week met with lawmakers in Springfield to ask for $5 million toward a new building on campus.
The new building would be used to house a math and science-focused school for 200 students from Aurora-area districts 128, 131, 204 and 308. The concept of the school was approved by lawmakers several years ago.
Aurora University President Rebecca Sherrick said the focus will be on practical science kids can eventually use.
"It's chemistry in order to solve larger problems," Sherrick said.
Of course, asking the state for money at a time when it can't pay the bills it already owes is a challenge.
U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider's campaign is circulating a fundraising email suggesting that the Deerfield Democrat's 2012 election opponent, Republican Robert Dold of Kenilworth, is going to take another shot in 2014.
It's pretty direct: "We just got word that former Republican Congressman Bob Dold has decided to run again."
Here's the thing. The National Republican Campaign Committee says he hasn't decided yet.
"The NRCC is hopeful Mr. Dold will make a decision in the coming days to run for his seat again in 2014," said NRCC spokeswoman Katie Prill.
It wouldn't be a shock if Dold made the run. The race for the 10th Congressional District in Lake and Cook counties was the closest race in the suburbs in 2012. And any number of factors could tip it in either direction.
Whether same-sex marriage is approved in Illinois is coming down to a handful of votes, so a lawmaker who hasn't picked a side yet might get extra attention from all angles.
State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, an Aurora Democrat, is one of them. She told us she wants to know for sure how her constituents feel.
So far, she says, they are "really evenly split." Her district includes much of Aurora and North Aurora.
"I'm still getting information from the district and citizens," Chapa LaVia said.
Some of that information came via demonstrators on both sides of the issue at her office this weekend. Here are videos from both sides, first posted at Capitol Fax.
We learned this afternoon that legislation that would send epilepsy data to a national registry passed the state Senate.
State Sen. Dan Kotowski - diagnosed, himself, with epilepsy at 13 - worked with Tom Stanton, the executive director of the Danny Did Foundation, to put together the proposal. Stanton's nephew Danny died at age 4 from a seizure that occurred in his sleep.
"Coroners and medical examiners can play a key role in recording instances unexpected death in epilepsy, and this data will help to educate the public on its causes and signs," Kotowski, a Park Ridge Democrat, said in a statement.
We didn't plan this, but the day before we ran a story about the possible importance of suburban Senate Democrats to the Illinois pensions debate, The Associated Press offered a story about how suburbs across the country are important to the gun debate nationwide.
Packed with married women and political independents, vote-rich communities like these are starting — in the wake of a string of shooting massacres — to act more like urban centers that long have been concerned with the threat of local gun violence and have favored stricter laws. Those include the expansion of background checks, viewed by gun control advocates as a way to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from buying firearms.