Sean Crawford

Chatham

Advisory Board Ex-Officio

217-206-6408

Sean has led WUIS' news operations since the fall of 2009. He replaced the only other person to do so in the station's history, Rich Bradley. Prior to taking over the News Department, Sean worked as Statehouse Bureau Chief for WUIS and other Illinois Public Radio stations. He spent more than a dozen years on the capitol beat.

Sean  began his broadcasting career at his hometown station in Herrin, Illinois while still in high school.  It was there he learned to cover local government, courts and anything else that made the news.  He spent time in the Joliet area as News Director and Operations Manager for a radio station and worked for a chain of weekly newspapers for two years.  Along with news coverage, he reported heavily on sports and did on-air play by play. 

Sean holds a Master's Degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield. 

"Garden" By HomeSpot HQ / (CC X 2.0)

A plan sitting on the Illinois governor's desk could protect gardeners and some of the places they get seeds.

Seed libraries and seed swaps have become more popular as a way for gardeners to share. However, in some other states, regulations can effectively shut them down. 

Those consumer protections are primarily meant for commercial seed sellers and can require expensive testing to make sure the product is what it claims to be.

Studies show prisoners who stay connected with their families have lower recidivism.  Yet, the cost of keeping in touch is proving quite high for many.  Prison phone call rates are unregulated.

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

An attempt to add a surtax on Illinois millionaires failed in the Illinois House today.

House Speaker and Democrat Michael Madigan has backed the idea that would raise more money for schools. 

Illinois now has a flat tax on everyone. Madigan wants a 3-percent additional tax added on income above one million dollars. 

Voters went along with a statewide advisory referendum on the issue in 2014.

Madigan: "It's time to listen to their voice, not the voice of the 1-percenters."

wiu.edu

As some colleges and universities head toward a fiscal cliff, lawmakers are talking about ways to keep them afloat. 

One plan would only fund five schools. State Rep. Rita Mayfield, a Waukegan Democrat, says money would go to Chicago State University, Western Illinois University, Eastern Illinois University, Northeastern Illinois University, and Southern Illinois University. 

She says those are the schools most at risk of shutting down. 

Springfield-area State Senator Sam McCann, R-Plainview, fended off a challenge Tuesday from fellow Republican Bryce Benton. McCann had been targeted for defeat after defying Gov. Bruce Rauner, also a Republican, on a key vote.

Illinois.gov

Former Illinois Senate President Phil Rock has died at the age of 78.

The Democrat from Oak Park served 14 years in charge of the Senate, the longest tenure in the chamber's history.  He left in 1993. 

In recent years, Rock published his autobiography "Nobody Calls Just To Say Hello."  In an interview with the Illinois Channel, he explained that title.

www.staterepevans33.com

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus plans to organize students to demonstrate over the holiday break if an agreement to end the budget impasse is not reached.

The protest subject will be MAP grants for lower-income students, which have not been funded this fiscal year because of the lack of a spending plan.

Senator Kimberly Lightford, a Maywood Democrat, is the chairwoman of the caucus. 

More people died from drug overdoses in the United States in 2014 than during any previous year on record. The numbers have doubled in just the past 15 years.   

US CPSC

Illinois will soon become just the fourth state to require carbon-monoxide detectors in schools.

    

The law taking effect at the start of the year follows an incident that occurred in Macoupin County in central Illinois where about 150 students and staff members became ill at school. 

Many had to be hospitalized due to a furnace leak in 2014. 

No detectors were in place at the time, although they have since been installed. 

That happened in state Sen. Andy Manar's district. 

AFSCME

The state's largest public employee union remains at odds with Governor Bruce Rauner's administration on a new contract.  

Negotiators for the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees have been meeting with the governor's staff about twice a month since the summer. But AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall says there's been little movement toward a deal.  

"It shouldn't take this long. And this cloud of uncertainty shouldn't continue to hang over the heads of the men and women who serve our community every day," Lindall said.

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