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Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Illinois House Democrats are taking their time in considering the state budget plan sent them this week by the Senate.

Chicago Rep. Greg Harris is the Democrats' budget negotiator. He says lawmakers' first goal is to review the $39.7 billion spending plan and put it in a form the public can understand. 

The House plans hearings to solicit public input despite the looming May 31 scheduled adjournment date for the General Assembly. 

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Lawyers for a sexual-abuse victim of Dennis Hastert and the former U.S. House speaker himself say he's seeking a settlement of a lawsuit filed over a broken $3.5 million hush-money pact.

Attorney John Ellis said Wednesday he has asked Kristi Browne, who represents the victim, to name a settlement price. The lawsuit seeks $1.8 million, which is the outstanding balance of the pact each party says the other one broke.

Browne says Ellis's request was made before a court hearing. In the hearing, Ellis and Browne arranged their next court date for Aug. 28.

"P1070904_DxO" by Flickr User Selka / (CC X 2.0)

Illinois Democrats are asking Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration for more information about state leases of private warehouses.

The Senate Appropriations Committee questioned agency directors Thursday over decisions to lease property instead of using existing state buildings to store records.

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The DeKalb County Planning and Zoning Committee passed to the full board a California company’s request to install wind-testing towers in South Grove Township.

The Illinois Senate passed legislation Wednesday that would remove AT&T’s obligation to maintain the old technology.

That requirement dates back many decades when Illinois granted AT&T a telephone monopoly in the state’s metropolitan areas. In exchange, the company agreed to maintain the network of wires for all residences.

A hundred years ago, a predecessor company called American Telephone & Telegraph owned and operated nearly all telephone lines in the country.

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