Government

Government and Legislature

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.

ISAWWA.org

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency resumed sending out vehicle emissions test notices last month. That puts an additional requirement on certain drivers who want to renew their license plates after June 1.

The Illinois Secretary of State’s office suspended the required emissions tests last December because the IEPA stopped sending out notices to motorists, due to the state budget impasse.

U.S. Government

The Supreme Court won't reconsider its decision to reject former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's of his corruption convictions.

The justices on Monday denied without comment a long-shot petition urging the court to take another look at the case.

The court first turned down Blagojevich's appeal on March 28. He challenged an appeals court ruling that said Blagojevich crossed the line when he sought money in exchange for naming someone to fill the vacant Senate seat once occupied by President Barack Obama.

State of Illinois

Illinois mayors and first responders want state lawmakers to protect them from lawsuits when responding to emergencies.

Brad Cole, with the Illinois Municipal League, says there was a long-held notion that government employees could serve the general public without fear of being sued. But he says the Illinois Supreme Court recently struck down that principle.

Cole says he wants a law passed to bring it back.

seiu.imagepointe.com

A union representing home-care workers says a cap on care for people with disabilities violates the law. They've filed a charge against Governor Bruce Rauner's administration.

The charge filed by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Illinois says the state's Department of Human Services should have negotiated with the union over a limit on overtime hours that took effect this month. A federal rule took effect at the beginning of this year, which required time-and-a-half pay for home-care work over 40 hours.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The man behind an $8-billion plan to route train traffic around Chicago met with the public in a forum in Grundy County Monday night. Great Lakes Basin Railroad co-founder Frank Patton was in the hot seat. A very hot seat.

To Avoid Another Crundwell, Dixon Changes Government

Apr 25, 2016
City of Dixon, Illinois

The city of Dixon radically restructured its government to a council-manager format. The changes come in the wake of the Rita Crundwell embezzlement scandal.  Officials hope these adjustments will prevent a similar case of fraud.  

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

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger says she and other officeholders will have to wait for their paychecks just like others in the state during the budget impasse.

Munger says it isn't fair that she, members of the General Assembly and other state officeholders get their paychecks on time during the budget stalemate, while social service organizations and small companies that do business with Illinois must wait.

The failure to pass a budget created a crisis that is now stretching into its tenth month. It left the state nearly 8 billion dollars in debt.

Flickr user Images Money / "Tax" (CC BY 2.0)

All Illinois residents -- no matter how rich, no matter how poor -- pay the same income tax rate. Now a plan is afoot to change that with a constitutional amendment, where the wealthy would pay more.

A pair of Democratic legislators are trying to likewise move Illinois from a flat to a graduated income tax.

Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie says those who are well off need to do more to help the state.

Under his four-tiered plan, anyone making more than a million dollars would pay 9.75 percent, which is more than double today's rate of 3.75 percent.

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