Government

Government and Legislature

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.

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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.  

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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.

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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.

Landmarks Illinois

Landmarks Illinois says 11 building in the state are in danger of being lost forever because there's no money to make capital improvements. Most of the sites are publicly owned, and local governments are facing the choice of their resources to rehabilitate these buildings or tearing them down.

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

The Illinois Senate today moved swiftly to approve a spending plan the House passed yesterday.

It authorizes spending nearly 4 billion dollars on higher education and social services -- two areas that have been caught without funding during a prolonged political fight. But Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno says it doesn't mean universities or programs would actually get money. 

Radogno says the state has none to give.

"If you vote for this, you're voting for a hollow promise,” Radogno said. “Let's look at the bills that have funding." 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Rockford’s mayor wants to expand the system his city used to end homelessness among veterans. Larry Morrissey delivered his 11th annual State of the City address Wednesday night. He says it means identifying the city’s toughest challenges, focusing the right people on solutions, and tracking results. Morrissey calls it "collective impact" and would like to tackle the problem of child abuse using the same technique.

eEgin police department

Rockford's Board of Fire and Police Commissioners announced their pick Thursday for the city's next police chief: Dan O'Shea of the Elgin Police Department.

O'Shea is Elgin's Police Operations Bureau Commander. He beat out Rockford Assistant Deputy Chief Doug Pann for the position. A third finalist dropped out earlier this week after he was offered a contract extension at his current position in Racine, Wisconsin.

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