Illinois
5:37 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Senate Panel Approves Legislation Raising Illinois' Minimum Wage

Credit WNIJ

Senator Kim Lightford (D-Maywood) has been working to raise Illinois' minimum wage for years. She wants to see it gradually boosted to $10.65 an hour. She says a minimum wage should be a "living wage."

"If you're still relying on government assistance, then we're really not doing ourselves a service in government because our goal is to move as many people off government assistance and allow them to be reliable themselves," Lightford said.

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Illinois Supreme Court
5:37 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Illinois Supreme Court Finds Eavesdropping Law Unconstitutional

Credit WNIJ

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled the state’s eavesdropping law is unconstitutional. The law made it illegal to record anyone without their permission. Gabe Plotkin is one of the attorneys who fought to have the rules thrown out.

"Citizens have a right to record what their government actors are doing in public and this statute said, 'no you can’t, and if you do we will prosecute you.' By striking down the statute on its face, it’s a victory for the people in Illinois who want to make sure that their government is acting as it should be."

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Rockford
5:36 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Transform Rockford Schedules Public Input Sessions

Transform Rockford, a regional long-term planning effort to improve the social and economic condition of the Rockford Region, will host its final Community Visioning Sessions on March 22 and March 31.

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Illinois
5:10 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Election Over, Quinn Prepares For Budget Address

Credit Brian Mackey

With the primary election behind him, Governor Pat Quinn is pivoting to next week's budget address. He's expected to present plans for an income tax increase scheduled to expire at the end of this year. A report from his budget office says if it is allowed to expire, it will mean a shortfall of $1.9 billion dollars in 2015. Quinn's budget address is scheduled for Wednesday.

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Pipelines
5:07 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Flanagan South Pipeline To Be Ready By Summer

Construction of Flanagan South Pipeline in Livingston County, Illinois (Summer 2013)
Credit Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

A 600-mile oil pipeline is nearing completion in Illinois. When it's done, the Flanagan South project from Canada-based Enbridge is expected to carry 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day. It crosses several states, starting near Pontiac, Illinois to a hub in Cushing, Oklahoma.

Construction began in August of 2013. Enbridge spokeswoman Katie Lange says the pipeline should be in service by the summer.

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Illinois
5:07 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Elgin Lawmaker Cites Health Reasons For Resignation

An Elgin state lawmaker has stepped down.  Representative Keith Farnham says he has been battling serious health issues for years, and in coming months those health issues will require his full attention.

"The right thing to do for the people of the 43rd District is to make sure they have a dedicated, qualified and full-time advocate in our communities and in the State Capitol," he writes.

Last week, federal agents searched Farnham's Elgin office and home.

Officials say they can give no more specifics, as the investigation is ongoing.

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Election 2014
4:07 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Rematch In Illinois' 14th Congressional District

Matt Streb, chair of NIU's political science department

For the second time, Dennis Anderson won the Democratic primary in the 14th U.S. House district. That means he's in a rematch this November with incumbent Randy Hultgren, who defeated Anderson in 2012. The district covers McHenry County and reaches into the DeKalb County city of Sycamore.

Northern Illinois University political scientist, Matt Streb, says Anderson again faces an uphill battle:

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Election 2014
10:30 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Caruana, Springer Win Winnebago Sheriff Bids

Gary Caruana (R) and Bob Springer (D) will face off this fall in the race for Winnebago County Sheriff.
Credit candidate photos

A field of seven Winnebago County Sheriff candidates was narrowed to two last night.  

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Election 2014
9:31 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Cross Wins GOP Treasurer Primary

Tom Cross

Former Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross of Oswego has been declared the winner of the Republican primary race for state Treasurer. He defeated DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogan.

Cross resigned his legislative seat in the fall to seek the post held by defeated Republican gubernatorial hopeful Dan Rutherford. Cross has said that, if elected, he will sue the General Assembly and governor if they don't create a balance budget.

Cross will face Democratic State Sen. Mike Frerichs, of Champaign, in the fall election. Frerichs was unopposed in the primary.

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Election 2014
9:23 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Rauner Holds On In GOP; Quinn Wins Big

Bruce Rauner

Republican venture capitalist Bruce Rauner posted a strong lead Tuesday early in the primary race to face incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn in the fall general election.

But as the night wore on, State Sen. Kirk Dillard rebounded from a 9-point deficit to a margin of only 3 percentage points behind.

Labor organizations had backed Dillard for a period, but they pulled their overt support recently.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, State Sen. Bill Brady and outgoing State Treasurer Dan Rutherford were very far behind and had conceded the election.

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