The Latest: Moody's puts Illinois under review for downgrade

Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks in July during a news conference in Chicago.

AP

CHICAGO — Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed a plan pushed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan aimed at protecting students who take out college loans.

Madigan says the proposal was intended to fight abuse and failures in the industry, part of an investigation and lawsuit her office brought against a loan servicing company. The measure would, among other things, require servicers to provide students detailed information, including their repayment options.

Rauner rejected the plan Friday, saying the intent is "laudable," but the bill "encroaches on the federal government's responsibilities" and would make the complex student loan process more confusing.

Madigan, a Democrat, accused the Republican governor of failing to "stand up" for students.

Backers plan to seek an override, which requires three-fifths majority House and Senate votes.

A roundup of other weekend actions by Rauner:

Governor rejects treasurer's unclaimed life insurance plan

Rauner has used his amendatory veto powers to rewrite an unclaimed life insurance benefits proposal backed by the Illinois treasurer.

The measure would've required insurance companies to compare lapsed policies back to 2000 against federal death files to verify a policyholder has died and benefits have been paid.

Democratic Treasurer Michael Frerichs supported the plan. Proponents, including consumer advocates, say it'll guard against insurance companies' unscrupulous practices.

The Republican governor announced his rewrite Friday, saying he supports the intent but the plan is "inequitable and potentially unconstitutional." He says it unfairly forces companies to search for policies and goes further than current law.

Frerichs said in a Saturday statement that Rauner sided with "greedy life insurance companies" and took away his office's tool to "catch companies in the act."

Two employment-related measures rejected

Rauner vetoed a proposal limiting what employers screening job applicants can ask, including prior wage or salary history.

Rauner rejected the plan Friday, saying he supports the effort but Illinois should follow Massachusetts' lead, which prevents salary inquiries before the job offer, among other things.

Supporters say the proposal would've addressed Illinois' gender wage gap.

Rauner also vetoed a measure increasing penalties for employer wage theft. It was brought by state Sen. Daniel Biss, a Democrat seeking his party's nomination in the 2018 gubernatorial race. Rauner, a Republican, is seeking re-election.

Rauner says there's "little evidence" of a need to make failure to pay wages a felony instead of a misdemeanor.

Biss calls the veto "out of touch."

Rauner OKs creation of Muslim advisory council

Rauner approved the creation of the Illinois Muslim American Advisory Council.

The Republican signed the plan into law on Friday without offering comment.

The council's purpose is to advise the governor and legislators on policy issues affecting Muslim Americans and immigrants. It'll be made up of 21 members, appointed by the governor and legislative leaders. The group is required to meet monthly and issue policy recommendations.

Proponents say establishing the council sends a welcoming message to Muslims.

Opponents question resources used on advisory councils.

Former Gov. Pat Quinn had established a similar group by executive order in 2011, but the group disbanded when Rauner took office in 2015.

Illinois has over 500,000 Muslims and more than 300 mosques.

Governor OKs Illinois' official pet, exercise and wildflower

Rauner approved measures designating Illinois' official exercise, wildflower and pet.

They are cycling, milkweed and dogs and cats adopted from shelters.

The state symbols came in a package of more than 150 bills the Republican governor acted on Friday.

Illinois has had official symbols for over a century. The violet became the state flower in 1908 after school children voted on it. Popcorn was designated as Illinois' official snack in 2003.

But not everyone likes the idea.

Republican state Sen. Tom Rooney of Rolling Meadows has proposed repealing designations saying they're overused and their meaning gets diluted. His measure is in a committee.

Governor nixes plan aimed at improving trampoline safety

Rauner rejected a plan aimed at regulating trampoline parks, citing a "new mandate on businesses" in the state.

The Republican vetoed the proposal on Friday, one of many bills he acted on.

The plan would have let the state establish new fees, rules and regulations, including requiring trampoline courts to meet operation and maintenance standards.

Proponents say the new rules would improve safety as the indoor jumping trend has spread and injuries have soared.

Opponents objected to the costs.

In his veto message, Rauner said Illinois already suffers from a "bloated administrative code" and there are excessive fees and paperwork for doing business. He says "miring small and new businesses in red tape" hinders growth and competition.

Angry
0
Sad
0
Funny
0
Wow
0
Love
0

Load comments