Associated Press

State of Illinois

Illinois is chasing a moving target as it tries to dig out of the nation's worst budget crisis, and $7.5 billion worth of unpaid bills hadn't even been sent to the official who writes the checks by the end of June.

The Associated Press obtained the review, conducted by Comptroller Susana Mendoza's office. Although many of those unprocessed bills have since been paid, the office says a similar amount have replaced them.

That's in addition to $9 billion worth of checks that are at the office but being delayed because the state lacks the money to pay them.

"Teachers Pet" by Flickr User Matthew / (CC X 2.0)

Illinois education officials say the elimination of some requirements for teacher licenses has streamlined the licensing process and hasn't sacrificed the state's high standards.

The Chicago Tribune reports the changes to the licensing laws began in 2011. Some allow aspiring teachers to bypass certain coursework and exams.

Some administrators say those changes have helped fill jobs in areas with teacher shortages.

Lawyers for Dennis Hastert say the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives “adamantly denies'' he sodomized a fourth-grader in a bathroom stall in the early 1970s.

In a legal brief filed this week in Kendall County Circuit Court, Hastert attorney John Ellis argues the lawsuit filed by the alleged victim should be dismissed.

The lawsuit, filed in May, said the attack occurred either in 1973 or 1974, when the alleged victim was in fourth grade.

Screenshot from YouTube

Democratic candidate for governor Chris Kennedy's newly announced running mate says he wants to address the "senseless violence" that plagues Illinois and took his son's life earlier this summer.

Kennedy on Thursday introduced Chicago political activist Ra Joy as his lieutenant governor candidate in the 2018 campaign.

"MY NEW LAPTOP" BY FLICKR USER CHRISTOPHER BULLE / (CC X 2.0)

Four Democrats and two Republicans broke with the majorities of their parties in the Wisconsin Assembly vote over a $3 billion incentive package for Foxconn Technology Group.

The Assembly passed the bill Thursday on a 64-31 vote, sending it to Gov. Scott Walker. The bill was passed to entice Foxconn to build a massive flat-screen display factory in southeast Wisconsin.

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