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Event at UI Research Park

Governor Rauner and UI Research Park Director, Laura Frerichs, joined together on Sunday to welcome Uber to Champaign-Urbana. The launch took place at EnterpriseWorks tech incubator at the University of Illinois Research Park. The Governor spoke about building the tech sector in Illinois, supporting education, and a business friendly environment for entrepreneurs. Following the event, Governor Rauner took a tour of EnterpriseWorks and talked with several companies.


Laura Frerichs has been chosen by the Governor to co-chair the Innovate Illinois Advisory Council, which signals the Governor’s recognition of the importance of the University of Illinois and our role in innovation and economic development for the entire state of Illinois.

Executive Orders

Gov. Rauner on Monday issued an executive order requiring his administration to cease enforcement of “fair share” provisions in collective bargaining agreements with state employees. Under the order EO 15-13, state agencies were directed to place all fair share deductions – fees paid to the union by non-union members which are used to pay for non-political expenses, such as collective bargaining negotiators and grievance representation – into escrow.

On Wednesday, Rauner issued a separate EO 15-14 establishing the Illinois State Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform. The panel is tasked with making recommendations “for amendments to state law that will reduce the state’s current prison population by 25% by 2025 through maximizing uniformity, certainty, consistency, and adequacy of the state’s criminal sentencing structure.

Executive Appointments

Gov. Rauner on Friday named Jim Schultz as director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the state’s economic development agency. Schultz is chairman of Open Prairie Ventures, a private equity firm based in Effingham.                                                                                    

The governor also selected Gregory Bassi, currently a lawyer with Barnes & Thornburg, to serve as the director of the Illinois Department of Human Services.


The Senate reconvenes on Tuesday, Feb. 17, and the House will return on Wednesday, Feb. 18.  Also on Wednesday, Gov. Bruce Rauner will address a joint session of the legislature and deliver his budget proposal for FY 2016. More details on the state’s fiscal condition, his specific spending plans, and proposed program and service reductions are expected at that time.

Committee Activity

The House and Senate will spend the next few weeks considering legislation at the committee level. Meanwhile, appropriations committees will begin reviewing and holding hearings on the governor’s proposed FY 2016 budget.

University of Illinois Committee Schedule

State Relations Weekly Report Legislation

2015 State Relations' Events, Save the Date
  • February 18th Budget Address
  • February 25th All Capitol U of I Caucus event (Brick house Downtown Springfield)
  • March 4th legislative basketball game watch party (Driftwood Springfield)
  • March 5th Ag Day breakfast
  • March 10th U of I Caucus meeting with Dr. Killeen
  • March 11th UIS Alumni in Government Breakfast
  • March 14th Labor Education Advisory Board
  • March 19th House and Senate Appropriations Hearing
  • April 15th Student Day at the Capitol & lunch with U of I Caucus
  • May 6th May Alumni in Government reception (invite U of I Caucus)
  • May 7th UI Day at the Capitol with BOT
99th General Assembly 2015 Legislative Calendar

Gov. Rauner is scheduled to give his Budget Address on February 18th. The Senate will be back in session on February 17th and the House on February 18th.

Senate Committee schedule

House Committee schedule

Illinois State Senate 2015 calendar

Illinois House of Representatives 2015 calendar

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