Statewide update—June 17, 2011

SouthtownStarOrland fire district hires lobbyist, consultant, “They’ve vowed to clamp down on the district’s free-spending ways, but new Orland Fire Protection District trustees have committed the district to paying nearly $160,000 over the next two years for a lobbyist and consultant. Cheryl Axley, a former state senator, will receive $132,000 over two years to lobby on the district’s behalf, while a former district trustee will be paid $26,000 over the coming 12 months to serve as a consultant, according to copies of their contracts obtained by the SouthtownStar under the state’s Freedom of Information law.”

  • Chicago TribuneFew arrests, convictions in campus sex assault cases, “Women who report sexual violence on college campuses seldom see their accused attackers arrested and almost never see them convicted, according to a Tribune survey of several Midwestern universities. The survey of six schools in Illinois and Indiana found that police investigated 171 reported sex crimes since fall 2005, with 12 resulting in arrests and four in convictions. Only one of the convictions stemmed from a student-on-student attack, the most common type of assault.”
  • Peoria Journal StarRockford Catholic Charities to transfer cases, “Rockford’s Catholic Charities opted out of state-funded foster care and adoption placements rather than comply with the new civil unions law when it took effect June 1.”
  • Northwest HeraldTweaks to FOIA law go to Gov. Quinn, “Within weeks of the new FOIA taking effect in 2010, lawmakers began filing a slew of bills aimed at scaling back the reforms they had months prior approved with only one no vote. At least 30 changes to the law were proposed in both spring legislative sessions since, according to Josh Sharp, government relations director for the Illinois Press Association.”
  • (AP) State Journal-RegisterIllinois Supreme Court limits taking prisoners’ savings, “The Illinois Supreme Court calls it “absurd” to let inmates earn money in prison and then take it away to pay the cost of keeping them behind bars. The court dismissed a lawsuit in which the Department of Corrections tried to take $11,000 from the savings of convicted murderer Kensley Hawkins. He saved the money working at a furniture-assembly job at a Joliet prison.”
  • Daily HeraldGrayslake D46 boss cleared in email complaint, “An internal investigation has found Grayslake Elementary District 46 Superintendent Ellen Correll didn’t commit ethics violations, as alleged in a complaint that accused her of sending political emails supporting two board candidates.”
  • Bloomington PantagraphTreatment delay keeps mentally ill woman in county jail, “Marsha Davenport’s mental illness is so severe a judge found her not guilty by reason of insanity in her retail theft and drug cases last month, but she remains in the McLean County jail, a victim of delays in the state’s mental health system.”
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