Rauner Rallies Republicans As Budget Deadline Approaches

Illinois Democrats say they will not pass Governor Bruce Rauner's last-minute pitch for a stopgap state budget, at least not Tuesday, the final day of the legislature's regular spring session. Just days ago, Rauner's office nixed the idea of a temporary budget -- saying it'd kick the can down the road. Now, he's had a "turnaround." He's pushing a plan to fund schools, finally pay what's owed to cash-starved social service agencies, and generally keep things running through the calendar year....
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Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Anywhere you go in America, you are never far from railroad tracks. Someone has to maintain all of those tracks. And someone has to build the machines to do it. That’s why the owners of a Rockford company want Congress to know railway maintenance is a five-billion dollar industry that deserves support.  

"RIP Aisle 10" By Flickr User Quinn Dombrowski / (CC X 2.0)

Illinois House members have approved a plan that would make feminine hygiene products more affordable for women by exempting them from the state sales tax.

The Senate approved the proposal by a vote of 59-0 on Tuesday. The plan goes to Gov. Bruce Rauner next.

The measure that would make tampons, menstrual cups and other feminine hygiene products tax-exempt is a part of a national movement to eliminate the so called "pink tax."

Supporters of the plan say the higher tax on women's products is discriminatory.

As the deadline for a state budget draws near, public school systems are watching closely.  

School administrators are concerned about changes to the state funding formula, which determines how money is distributed among the state’s many districts.  In the legislature, the debate has been over how money could be shifted to provide more equal levels of funding.  However, two superintendents in Northern Illinois think there’s more to the issue.  Retired Riverdale Elementary School Superintendent Sarah Willy says it’s impossible to evaluate the formula without full funding. 

Illinois Senate Passes Plan To Reopen State Museum

14 hours ago
WSIU

  The Illinois Senate passed legislation Monday allowing the state museum to reopen. Governor Bruce Rauner closed it last fall to save money.

 

Under the legislation, sponsored by Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, the formerly free museum would start charging an admissions fee. It would also create a not-for-profit foundation for the state fairgrounds, reducing reliance on taxpayer money.

The Jews who immigrated to America in the early 20th century brought with them their history as a persecuted people. Many were fleeing pogroms and anti-Semitic attacks in Europe, and those experiences bonded them to other groups that also faced discrimination.

The Illinois House has approved a plan to expand the state's medical marijuana pilot program by two-and-a-half years and add post-traumatic stress disorder and terminal illness to the list of allowed conditions.

Lawmakers voted 86-27 on Monday to advance the measure, which Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner supports.

It now goes to the Senate, where it's expected to pass.

Illinois' four-year pilot program is set to sunset at the end of 2017. Under the bill, it will continue to July 1, 2020.

Steve Johnson / Flickr/Creative Commons

Illinois lawmakers are commissioning a report from the state's Environmental Protection Agency in an effort to better monitor lead levels in state water supplies.

A resolution the House Environment Committee approved Monday would require the state agency to conduct a study of lead in Illinois drinking water and publish results online. The agency would present a report to Gov. Bruce Rauner and the state Legislature between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31.

Fantasy Sports Proposal Appears To Have Stalled

May 30, 2016

A measure that would legalize fantasy sports in Illinois is dead for the remainder of the spring legislative session. 

Brian Mackey

Illinois legislators took time during session today to honor troops killed in war.

Senator Mike Hastings is a Democrat from Tinley Park, and also a combat veteran.

He says Memorial Day is a day to honor the fallen.

"But I also think that it's a day to remember what you learned from their lives. And it's an obligation amongst yourselves to share their memories, to ensure that they're not forgotten," Hastings said.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Communities across the country hold parades and ceremonies for Memorial Day.  An incomplete list of observances in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin follows. Cities are listed in alphabetical order. Unless otherwise noted (*), the events take place on Monday, May 30.

Algonquin holds a Memorial Day Ceremony at 10:30 a.m.at Riverfront Park, 201 N. Harrison St. The ceremony will include guest speakers and singers, 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps

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