Tom Lisi

Tom reports on statehouse issues for NPR Illinois.  He's currently a Public Affairs Reporting graduate program student at the University of Illinois Springfield.  He graduated from Macalester College.  Tom is from New York City where he also did stand-up and improv and wrote for the Awl and WNYC public radio.

The Illinois Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Illinois High School Association has no obligation to release internal documents.  

The watchdog Better Government Association wanted to get records from the IHSA (which organizes high school athletic tournaments) on its sponsorship deals with the likes of Gatorade and Nike. To this end, it filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act, which  is supposed to make sure anyone can get documents, memos, and even emails from a government body. However, the court treats IHSA as a private non-profit organization.

A state senator from southern Illinois has been recommended as the next U.S. ambassador to Kenya.

The seven Republicans in the Illinois Congressional delegation sent a letter to President Donald Trump saying State Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Vandalia, would be a good candidate for the job. McCarter has done charity work in the east-African country for decades.

He’d still have to be nominated by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Illinois Democrats and senior-citizen groups are challenging Gov. Bruce Rauner’s push to change home health-care services.

With a growing elderly population, Rauner says the state needs more control over how much it pays home health-care workers and what those services include.

Donna Peek is a home health-care aide and member of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). She says Rauner’s plan will upend close relationships between clients and their caregivers.

  Last summer, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a last-minute plan to appropriate state money to public schools. It allowed districts to open on time, but the actual funds for programs such as special education and busing have been slow in coming.

State Comptroller Susana Mendoza is in charge of disbursing the money but says she can't due to lack of cash on hand.

“As of today," she said, "I think our actual cash flow -- our available balance -- might be actually 159 million dollars."

Flick User Chrisitaan Colen/ CC 2.0

The Illinois State Board of Elections says hackers breached the information of up to 80,000 voters last year.

The hackers had access to the system for nearly three weeks before they were detected. They obtained personal information, such as drivers license and social security numbers. Board of Elections IT Director Kevin Turner says there’s no way to know why Illinois was targeted over other states.

"Perhaps they tried other states and weren’t able to get in," Turner says. "They just happened to find the hole in our dike, so to speak."