Randy Hultgren / YouTube

A northern Illinois congressman is speaking out after recent abductions of civilians by the Islamic State. 


U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren delivered a statement on the House floor this week bringing attention to the religious minorities in the Middle East murdered or taken by the Islamic State.


Illinois Community Arts Groups Face Funding Challenges

17 hours ago
Steve Myers

Betsy Dollar’s office at the Springfield Art Association, which she heads, is a hodgepodge of computers used for digital art classes, important files, various books and pieces of art. Her dog, Jake, who tends to accompany her to work, is napping under the desk. Dollar is in the middle of a messy project, using clay to restore a historic ceiling medallion that was damaged at Edwards Place, a home that is part of the Springfield Art Association campus and was the original center of artistic activity for the group some 100 years ago.

When Gov. Bruce Rauner pledged to increase school funding by $300 million, educators seemed unimpressed.

They’re more excited about House Speaker Michael Madigan’s proposed 3 percent surcharge on income greater than a million dollars. That would provide about a billion dollars to schools.

That move would require a constitutional amendment, but it has gotten backing from a variety of education groups that are often at odds with one another -- teachers unions, school administrators, and everyone in between.

Different states implement Common Core standards in different ways.

Illinois has its own test to determine college readiness, but some parents and teachers are trying to stop it. Critics say it causes problems for students and prevents teaching other subjects.

Illinois students will begin taking the new test -- PARCC, which stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers -- next month. It consists of math and reading exams given to students starting in third grade.

Amanda Vinicky

Just over 50 top state officials came together Wednesday afternoon for their first cabinet meeting with new Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner. Journalists were invited to hear the Republican chief executive's opening remarks.

Rauner's Cabinet gathered in one of the capitol's largest, and nicest, committee rooms; members milled about, making small talk and introductions.

Some were recently appointed by the governor and are new to Illinois government; others are holdovers from former Gov. Pat Quinn's administration.

Victor Yehling

The Rockford area has been neglected for too long, area officials testified Wednesday, and the long-promised project to bring Amtrak passenger rail service to the state’s third-largest city should be reinstated.

More than 150 people crammed into the lower-level auditorium of the Giorgi State Office building to hear testimony supporting restoration of the service.

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey said the city has made major commitments to downtown development, some of which are already under way, that will attract visitors and businesses to the area.

Rachel Otwell

A lack of agreement among Illinois' top political leaders means the state cannot pay for subsidized day care, prison guards' salaries and other needs.

Illinois is out of money for them, with months left in the fiscal year.

Last Wednesday, Republican Governor Bruce Rauner said he and the General Assembly's Democratic leaders were "days away" from a deal.

This week, Rauner said they're "very close" to an understanding.

A major credit rating agency has come out with a blunt assessment of Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed budget for Illinois.

The budget Rauner presented last week calls for massive cuts in state spending -- without any increase in taxes.

Moody's Investor Service dismisses the chance that parts -- let alone all -- of the plan will ever become a reality.

Chicago Mayor Faces Runoff In April

Feb 25, 2015

Chicago’s race for mayor is going to a runoff.  Mayor Rahm Emanuel didn’t get enough votes to win Tuesday’s race. 

Emanuel faced four challengers and now he’s running against Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia in the April seventh election. 

President Obama made a last minute campaign stop in Chicago for his former White House aide, but Emanuel got about 45% of the vote in his run for a second term.  That fell short of the more than 50% needed to win Tuesday’s election.  Garcia received almost 34%. 

NIU Today

A fish found under a half-mile thick ice sheet in Antarctica could imply so much for Northern Illinois University scientists...including extraterrestrial life.