Quick hits: Illinois news in brief

By Illinois News Network

Progressive tax talks get underway 

As the Illinois state Senate moves forward with a proposed constitutional amendment to change the flat tax to a structure with higher rates for higher earners, Gov. J.B. Pritzker is telling Republican opponents to come up with their own plan of address the state’s finances.

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin said Republicans have been pushing for pro-growth policies, to reduce property taxes, and prioritize pension debt and backlogged bills instead of tax hikes.

Senators raise questions about $100 million child care program surplus

A couple of state Senators from opposite sides of the aisle want the Illinois Department of Human Services to figure out why there’s a surplus of $100 million in the Child Care Assistance Program.

DHS is looking to increase the threshold a family is eligible for assistance to 200 percent of the federal poverty line, but there are millions in the current budget that hasn’t been delivered to families that are eligible at the current 185 percent FPL but aren’t taking up the benefit.

Bill aimed at HIV prevention for children as young as 12 moves ahead

A bill in the Illinois House would allow at-risk minors as young as 12 to independently get and take HIV prevention medication.

The bill now awaits consideration in the Senate.

State Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst said the state can’t argue that minors are responsible enough to take an HIV prophylactic but not able to decide whether or not to smoke until 21.

Transportation, law enforcement launch new safe-driving campaign

Illinois transportation and law enforcement officials want you to pay attention in work zones.

Their “Drive Like You Work Here” campaign coincides with National Work Zone Awareness Week.

They urge drivers to slow down, avoid distractions and proceed cautiously in and around any construction sites or stopped vehicles.

Keeping Internet Devices Safe Act gets OK from committee 

A measure scheduled to be heard in a Senate committee this morning would require that technology companies disclose if their products are listening in on users.

The Keeping Internet Devices Safe, or KIDS act would require companies to put a notice of how and what their devices record in the products’ terms of service.

Proponents say it’s a common-sense bill to protect consumers using integrated smart technology.

Iconic cafe gets recognition in Congress

The iconic Ariston Cafe along Rt. 66 in Litchfield was recognized in the halls of Congress in Washington D.C.

Taylorville U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis recognized the 95th anniversary of the cafe which originally opened in Carlinville in 1924, before Rt. 66 was created. The Ariston moved along the Mother Road in Litchfield in 1935.

It’s Illinois fifth-longest running restaurant.