Energy was high at the Coronado Theater last night: it has been more than seven months since Transform Rockford held its first community rally there, asking people to help create an ambitious plan for the city.
The state took in over a billion dollars more in taxes than the prior year, thanks to an uptick in sales tax money. Personal income tax revenue also rose , but the amount coming from corporate income taxes dropped. It's something Jim Muschinske, a budget forecaster for the state, said was predicted.
"That was not unexpected. In fact, we actually did better this fiscal year than what was initially assumed back when the budget was passed," Muschinske said.
A new survey of the nation's top colleges and universities will help shape legislation addressing on-campus sexual assaults. U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri calls it “disturbing” that 41 percent of the responding institutions said they have not carried out any sexual assault investigations in five years.
“Which means they are saying there has been zero incidents of sexual assault on their campuses. That is hard to believe and obviously very problematic,” McCaskill said.
It has taken hundreds of people pulling together at dozens of community meetings to get to this point: tonight, the group “Transform Rockford” will reveal its draft of a vision for the city at a rally at the Coronado Theater, starting at 6:30.
Despite Democratic majorities and a push from the governor, Illinois' legislative session adjourned without a bump in the minimum wage.
Lawmakers settled for putting a non-binding question on the November ballot asking if that's something voters want.
Part of the problem was that legislators from downstate -- from both parties -- were against a hike.
Andrew Biggs says it doesn't make sense to make sense to have a national, or even statewide, minimum wage. Biggs is a scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, a D.C. think tank that leans toward free enterprise.
Treasurer Dan Rutherford dismissed the officials after an investigation by the treasurer's inspector general. The Associated Press obtained letters from Rutherford's office indicating Patrick Carlson, George Daglas and Ashvin Lad were fired earlier this month. Each for allegedly violating timekeeping policies and falsifying records.
Officials will track the spending habits of fairgoers in more than a dozen Illinois counties this summer. It's part of an effort to get an idea of the economic impact of agricultural fairs.
The surveys are organized by the University of Illinois Extension and the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs. The project began last month at the Greene County Fair and includes DeKalb and Whiteside counties.
More money is on the way for Illinois communities devastated by last fall's tornadoes. Officials are making available more than $11 million dollars of state relief. Governor Pat Quinn announced the city of Washington is getting the majority of those funds. The community will use the money to repair streets and sidewalks. It's part of an overall package to help local governments recoup some of the costs associated with storm cleanup. That’s after the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied assistance.