Government

Government and Legislature

Bill Whittiker / CC by 2.0

Governor Bruce Rauner's administration says it will close the youth correctional facility in Kewanee.

Juvenile Justice Director Candice Jones says closing the facility, which opened in 2001, will save money, improve rehabilitation of young offenders, and improve community safety. She did not say how much money shuttering the center would save or how those savings would be used.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

DeKalb-area education leaders, students, and service providers held a rally Thursday at Northern Illinois University to send a

   message to state lawmakers: end the budget impasse.

There were no organized chants, no waving signs -- but there IS a social media hashtag: #RallyForIL

Students from NIU and Kishwaukee College were among the community members who spoke up about how the lack of a state budget hurts them, especially the hold on MAP grants, which help pay for their schooling.

Barack Obama/flickr

The fate of Illinois' budget impasse could be influenced by the leader of the free world. At least, that's what Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder is hoping for.

The state owes the city of Springfield more than $7 million in unpaid utility bills because there's no state budget. Langfelder says he hopes President Barack Obama's speech to state lawmakers Wednesday will help forge a budget compromise.

Greg Younger / cc by 2.0

 

Wisconsin’s governor has signed a bill legalizing concealed switchblades and knives. Scott Walker signed the measure Saturday at an annual National Rifle Association gathering in Wisconsin.  Walker says Wisconsin citizens have the fundamental right to defend themselves. 

Manufacturing, selling, transporting, purchasing, or possessing a switchblade has been illegal in Wisconsin for decades. The Republican bill eliminates that prohibition as well as permits anyone who can legally possess a gun to carry concealed knives of any length without a concealed carry license. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Three teens were arrested in Rockford this weekend, suspected of stealing cars and using them during recent crime sprees.

Rockford Assistant Deputy Police Chief Doug Pann says juvenile crime was the major factor in a big increase in violent crime in the city last year.

“We’ve got some groups we know are engaging in the robberies and auto thefts. It’s all tied together," he said. "We’ve been working on this for several months now, identifying them and getting them off the street. And we will continue to do that until it stops.”

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.

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