News

Schock Challenges Possible Civil Contempt Citation

15 hours ago
Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Former Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock appeared before a federal judge in Springfield this week to challenge a possible civil contempt citation. 

U.S. Attorney's office spokeswoman Sharon Paul says the hearings relate to whether Schock failed to comply with the judge’s order to produce campaign and congressional records.

The matter was postponed, pending a status conference next month. 

Paul declined to comment whether this week’s hearings are related to a grand jury investigation into allegations of Schock’s improper campaign spending.

DCFS: 'We Have Stepped Up Our Game' On Runaway Kids

16 hours ago
DCFS

Illinois’s child welfare agency says it’s doing a better job of tracking youth who run away.

That’s after an audit showed the Department of Children and Family Services was failing to keep tabs on those young people.

George Sheldon, the head of the agency, says runaways tend to be teenagers who have low self-esteem with few relatives to turn to - and sometimes are victims of human trafficking.

“These are the perfect victims,” Sheldon said. “So I think we have stepped up our game.”

No Pay Increase For U Of I Employees Until Budget Deal

16 hours ago
WUIS

University of Illinois employees won't see pay raises, at least until a state budget is finalized. 

Nearly a month into the new fiscal year, the university is still waiting to see the impact of budget negotiations.

Without a budget in place, President Timothy Killeen sent a letter to the campuses that says the U of I is temporarily deferring consideration of a salary program.   Usually, those pay increases kick in around the time classes start in August.  Killeen says the decision will impact all personnel.

Salon workers are being offered training on helping clients who are victims of domestic abuse by Safe Passage in DeKalb.

The “Cut It Out” Program is a national curriculum that was developed by the Beauty Professionals Association along with Great Clips. It’s a one hour training program that can be provided to anyone who does any type of professional beauty or salon work and conducted by anyone who works for an agency like Safe Passage.

WUIS

You’ll be able to get your fill of corn dogs and lemon shakeups as usual when state fairs get underway next month. 

Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan said that without a budget, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner does not have the power to spend on Illinois’ two state fairs.  But both events are moving forward.

Without a state budget, funding has halted for social services and other programs. Rauner’s administration has not made clear how it intends to pay for fair expenses.

McHenry Sheriff / First Electronic Newspaper / McHenry County Blog

A McHenry County newspaper won a five-figure settlement against the sheriff's office over a Freedom of Information Act violation. 

On top of a $5,000 civic penalty, Judge Thomas Meyer ruled the McHenry County Sheriff's office has to pay about $80,000 in attorneys fees for First Electronic Newspaper publisher Pete Gonigam's lawyer. 

Brandy Quance is the assistant state's attorney in McHenry County who represented the sheriff's office in the case. She said the ruling was based on another disclosure of information in the report. 

Brian Mackey/WUIS

Governor Bruce Rauner has vetoed legislation that would have blocked public-employee strikes and management lockouts of those workers. He vetoed the bill in part because it was based on what he called the false premise he has been unreasonable in negotiating with state workers.

The governor also complained about the measure's plan to resolve contract-negotiation impasses with binding arbitration. 

Illinois ranks tenth among all 50 states and Washington, D.C., for the quality of its public school systems, according to a new study.

The state ranked first in the percentage of high school graduates who completed the ACT and second in the average SAT score, personal-finance website WalletHub reported. It also ranked above average – in 23rd place – in the dropout rate.

Illinois was just below average in bullying incidents, placing 26th, and in school safety, ranked at 27th. The statewide pupil-teacher ratio earned a ranking of 30th.

statefairmuseum.org

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s office says the Illinois State Fair will take place next month, with or without a budget.

House Speaker Michael Madigan says the administration gave up the legal power to spend money on the fair. The governor vetoed most of the budget approved by the legislature -- including the funding for the event.

“He had options under the constitution…today, there is no budget and there is no spending authority,” Madigan said. 

Six-Year Highway Bill Stalls In U.S. Senate

Jul 29, 2015
KWMU

Efforts by the Senate to pass a six-year highway bill have stalled.  Instead, the House is scheduled to vote today on another short-term extension and then leave town for its five-week August Break.

If approved, it will be the 34th short-term extension since 2009, but Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt says it will likely be the last, for years to come. He says both the House and Senate are committed to using this extension to work out details for a five or six year highway bill.

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