The state’s backlog of bills is slowly diminishing as heavy-duty payments make their way across accounts. Meanwhile, voter registration takes center stage as the focus of many voters’ ire.

  • Cancellation – The 11:00 a.m. meeting of the House Restorative Justice Committee in Chicago on probation and parole in Illinois has been cancelled. At the time of publication, no legislation has been assigned to the committee, and the committee has not announced a rescheduled meeting time.

  • 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – The Juvenile Justice Commission will hold its bi-monthly meeting on the first floor of the Department of Human Services building, 401 S. Clinton, in Chicago. The public is invited to join via teleconference by dialing (888) 494-4032 and using conference code 5329547331#. Ongoing projects for the commission include developing mental health opportunities for the Youth Division Task Force. No agenda has yet been posted for the meeting.

  • 12:00 p.m – A joint meeting of the Senate Telecommunications and Information Technology and House Elections & Campaign Finance Committees will be held in Chicago at the Bilandic Building, in room C-600 on the 6th floor. In a subject matter hearing, the committees will discuss the state Board of Elections’ participation in the Interstate Crosscheck Voter Registration Program. Crosscheck has begun garnering significant attentionfrom Democrats across the state, particularly from Cook County residents, who accuse the voter registration tool of becoming a means of voter suppression in the hands of certain lawmakers. More than 320 witness slips have already been registered in opposition to the state’s participation.

  • 2:30 p.m. – Gov. Bruce Rauner will join Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) today to announce the development of an off-highway vehicle trail facility in Sahara Woods. The announcement will be held at Sahara Woods State Fish and Wildlife Area, Dept. of Natural Resources Site Office, 1210 Tipple Road, Carrier Mills.

  • From the press release inbox we learn that Comptroller Susana Mendozahas issued enough payments toward the bill backlog that it has fallen from $16.7 billion to $9.5 billion after she used $6.48 billion in bond proceeds to into the debt, “along with more than $1 billion in federal reimbursements from the payment of medical bills.” Mendoza’s office said in the weeks to come, it expects further federal matching funds: “Office of the Comptroller has released more than $3.5 billion in medical vouchers, which are eligible for federal reimbursements. Almost $4 billion has gone toward state health insurance claims owed to medical providers. State taxpayers were accruing 9-12 percent interest on many of those bills. Reducing the interest payments to the 3.5 percent rate the state got on its bonds will save taxpayers billions of dollars over the life of the bonds.”

  • Rauner’s office announced today the U.S. Small Business Administration “approved the state’s request for assistance to help people and businesses in northeastern Illinois recover from severe storms and floods that occurred July 11-27.”
  • In the state’s ongoing opioid addiction battle Attorney General Lisa Madigan, along with 43 other attorneys general, “sent a letter to congressional leaders urging them to repeal a 2016 federal law demanding registered drug manufacturers and distributors that have willfully contributed to the nation’s oversupply of opioids be held accountable.” Meanwhile, a central Illinois state’s attorney is trying to help law enforcement by donating money from a special account to give to four different agencies in Ford County.