A day after supporters of same-sex marriage rallied at the Illinois Capitol, opponents had their turn. Thousands gathered at the statehouse Wednesday, Oct. 23, urging the Illinois House to uphold traditional marriage.
The event started with a prayer led by Monsignor Carl Kemme, of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn disputes a fellow top Democrat's statements that the state's $100 billion pension shortfall is not a crisis. Senate President John Cullerton said the shortfall is not an "imminent" crisis, but finding a solution can keep the state's income taxes down. Quinn has a different perspective:
"I think it is a matter of extreme emergency. It's urgent -- whatever word you want to use," Quinn said.
Rockford Public Schools leaders received a $1.2 million arts grant. It comes through the U.S. Department of Education. It integrates arts as a way to help students who struggle with math. Administrators hope to kick off the program in January.
Rain didn't stop advocates for same-sex marriage, who rallied under umbrellas by the hundreds in front of the Illinois Capitol today. A measure to legalize same-sex marriage passed the state Senate earlier this year, but has stalled in the Illinois House.
A multimillion-dollar Northern Illinois University research project in the Antarctic has been canceled. The National Science Foundation scrapped the project due to logistical delays caused by the recent government shutdown.
A majority of Rockford Public Schools show an early trend in higher reading scores on annual state tests. According to a news release from the district, twenty-three schools, or 59 percent, show growth in the past two years. It includes the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (grades 3-8) and Prairie State Achievement Exam (given to juniors).
Illinois is continuing to deal with the effects of the federal government shutdown. The state agency that handles unemployment says hundreds of laid-off federal workers have to pay back their benefits.
During the shutdown, the Illinois Department of Employment Security had a significant spike in calls from laid off federal workers.
A few thousand applied for benefits, and 577 ultimately collected money.
Department Director Jay Rowell says there's nothing wrong with this.