Government

Government and Legislature

City of Rockford / rockfordil.gov

There are big plans for an important part of Rockford’s downtown. Thursday night, the public gathered at Memorial Hall to hear about the future of Davis Park.

hhs.gov

It’s time to sign up or pay up. The deadline for getting an insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act is Sunday. 

You either have health insurance Monday or face fines -- big fines, starting at $695. Kathleen Falk is the Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She says there are a lot of reasons people haven’t registered yet, including still not being convinced they can finally get an insurance company to cover them.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Supporters and opponents of a proposed gambling complex in southern DeKalb County turned out Tuesday for a meeting with federal officials. It was the first step in a long study of how 24-hour bingo parlors will affect the village of Shabbona.

Carl Nelson/WNIJ

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner delivers his second State of the State address tomorrow.  

  If you're curious about what Rauner will say, you're not alone. So is Senate President John Cullerton, a Democrat.

"Eager to hear what the governor's plans are on Wednesday, but it's in bad shape, and we want to change it.

ncai.org

The federal government wants to hear from the public tonight about how they think they’ll be affected by a gambling facility in Shabbona. 

A proposed entertainment complex offering 24-hour bingo has been in the works for years on Potawatomi Nation land near Shabbona, in southern DeKalb County. Tonight, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs hosts a public hearing at Kishwaukee College. It’s the first step in the process of developing an environmental impact study of the project.

Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

The state's largest private provider of social-service programs is closing 30 programs serving 4,700 people because of the budget impasse. 

Lutheran Social Services of Illinois announced Friday it is laying off 750 employees -- about 43 percent of its staff. 

President and CEO Mark Stutrud says the state owes $6 million. He says the nonprofit can no longer rely on bank credit or its fundraising foundation to cover its costs. 

Planned Parenthood

The state Senate has passed a bill that would strip Planned Parenthood of federal grant money.

That measure would require the state to apply for federal Title X grant money, which currently all goes to Planned Parenthood.

The money can't be used for abortions. Under the bill, abortion providers couldn't get any money; the grants instead would go to the state's Well Woman program, which provides breast and cervical cancer screenings.

The move would cost Planned Parenthood about $3 million per year.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A major overhaul of DeKalb County’s jail is on target to be finished by the summer of 2018. Sycamore’s city council got an update at its meeting this week on the progress of the $35-million jail expansion.

Wikipedia

Democratic legislative leaders say they want to hear bold plans from Gov. Scott Walker during today’s State of the State address.

Rep. Peter Barca and Sen. Jennifer Shilling said yesterday that the Republican governor needs to work with them to strengthen the state's middle class and improve its infrastructure.

They say Democrats have a suite of proposals aimed at boosting working families, including creating a child care tax credit, expanding broadband access in rural areas and restructuring student loan debt.

Rockford Police Complete Change To A New Look

Jan 16, 2016
Rockford Police Department

The Rockford Police Department will completes its transition to single-color uniforms this weekend, part of a national trend of police departments to standard navy blue uniforms.

All sworn officers -- from patrolman to chief -- will be outfitted the same regardless of rank. Command staff is indicated by bars or stars on the collar, and insignia on the left cuff which represents years of service for each officer. Each hash mark signifies five years of service.

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