Government

Government and Legislature

Flickr user Jim Bowen / "Illinois State Capitol" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner are trying to craft a short-term budget deal to ensure schools open this fall and social service programs are funded while an epic battle over a long-term spending plan continues.

Two House committee planned on meeting Wednesday evening and lawmakers are scheduled to be in session Thursday with the expectation that they can vote on a plan. The Republican governor and Democrats who control the Legislature have spent several hours the last two days trying to agree on a deal.

DUI Enforcement Will Intensify This Weekend

Jun 29, 2016
Phil Masterton/WNIJ

Fourth of July weekend will be a “No Refusal” weekend in Winnebago County for drivers who are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato is moving ahead with an idea from South Beloit Police Chief Dean Stiegemeier, to intensify DUI enforcement.

Stiegemeier had success with a similar program while he was deputy police chief in Carpentersville in Kane County.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

A week from today is a shameful anniversary for Illinois. It will mean the state has gone a full year without a complete budget.

          

Bruce Rauner has been at the state's helm since last January -- which means he'll be governor for at least another two and a half years.

Back in May, Democratic State Representative Lou Lang remarked:

“…That it was entirely possible that there would not be an agreed budget during the entire four years of Bruce Rauner's governorship."

State of Illinois

Illinois legislators who have been working privately for the past month to craft a temporary budget have one drafted, but that doesn't make it a done deal.

Illinois lawmakers will return to Springfield Wednesday. That’s only two days before the new fiscal year begins and the end of a full year of the state having no budget.

The strain of going nearly a year without a budget coupled with doubt that a full deal can be reached  in the near future have made a stopgap budget the priority.

Dan Libman

Restaurants within a few northern Illinois counties will have to complete a new alcohol training program by July 1.

Voices for Creative Non-Violence / vcnv.org

A 125-mile walk from Chicago to Thomson ends Saturday for a group protesting solitary confinement. 

Voices for Creative Non-Violence holds a rally outside Thomson Prison, where the federal government plans to add as many as 19-hundred isolation cells. The group’s co-coordinator Kathy Kelly says she hopes Thomson residents will join their rally.  She says she sees this as “the beginning of an opportunity to learn more from people in this little town of 600.”

summit.fbi.gov

As Illinois draws close to entering its second year without a budget, one of its many unpaid bills threatens to provoke a dispute with the nation's top crime-fighting force.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that the state owes $3 million to the FBI for processing fingerprints and conducting background checks.

The debt is now so long overdue that it could be turned over to the federal government's collection agency - the Treasury Department.

Rockford Police Department

Rockford City Council will determine the next step in the case of a police officer who wants to return to duty after being fired five years ago. Oda Poole was one of two officers involved in the 2009 shooting of Mark Barmore, an unarmed man who was killed in a church daycare center. 

FLICKR User Jim Bowen

The prospects that Illinois' nearly yearlong budget stalemate will soon end are quickly diminishing even though Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner says he's still "hopeful" for a deal.

Legislative leaders were meeting with Rauner Thursday afternoon. But Democrats have so far ignored Rauner's calls for compromise.

House Democrats have approved their own budget that the governor says is $7 billion out of balance.

His aides say he'll likely veto it if the plan gets to his desk. It includes education funding but Rauner hasn't said what he'll do with that portion of the plan.

Winnebago County

A former Winnebago County purchasing director was charged with two counts of embezzlement.

Sally Claassen was charged with taking at least $5,000 from county funds in 2014 and again last year. Court documents also say Claassen must return more than $450,000 to federal authorities, but the indictment does not say exactly how much Claassen is accused of stealing.

Pages