Government

Government and Legislature

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.

Rockford Police Department

One of three men in the running to become Rockford’s next police chief has dropped out.

Racine, Wisconsin Chief Art Howell was given a contract extension to keep him in his current position.

The two remaining candidates are Rockford Assistant deputy chief Doug Pann and Dan O’Shea of the Elgin Police Department. They met with the public Tuesday at a forum in Rockford.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A massive hospital expansion can move forward after Rockford City Council approved it last night.

Aldermen voted 12 to 1 in favor of MercyRockford Health System’s $485-million project. The campus will be located on the city’s far northeast side and focus on health care for women and children. It’s in addition to MercyRockford’s west side campus, which some fear will be abandoned in the expansion.

Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

Illinois's overdue bills are 16 percent higher than previously reported. They could top ten billion dollars by end of the fiscal year.

   

 

Chicago Eliminates 'Tampon Tax'

Mar 16, 2016
Flickr user Eric E Castro / "The Tampon Fairy" (CC V 2.0)

The Chicago City Council eliminated a city sales tax on feminine hygiene projects this week.

The vote followed a recommendation by the City Council’s finance committee last week, which was made without opposition.

The items are taxed at 10 and a quarter percent in Chicago.

The vote will remove Chicago’s portion of the tax, which is about 1 and a quarter percent. It will still include state and Cook County sales tax.

As a result of the vote, tampons and sanitary napkins are now characterized as medical necessities so they can be exempted.

Follow Your Money: State Offers Status Of Tax Returns

Mar 14, 2016
state of Illinois

Illinois’ Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger is encouraging taxpayers to register for the Tax Refund Alert System. The system is set up so users may track the status of their 2015 refund and see when the Comptroller’s Office has processed their tax return.

Finalists in the search for a new Rockford Police Chief will be announced early next week, according to the Rockford Board of Fire and Police Commissioners.

The new chief will fill the position left vacant by Chet Epperson, who retired last November.

With the help of search firm IOS Solutions, the board is winnowing the 26 qualified applicants. The board is scheduled to review applications and select three or four finalists at its meeting next Monday. 

Brian Mackey / Illinois Public Radio

It’s been 10 months since the Illinois Supreme Court struck down the state’s last attempt at a pension overhaul. Legislators have yet to decide what to do about Illinois’ worst-in-the-nation pension debt, but they are beginning to weigh their options.

One set of proposals would let employees collect their pension as a single payment when they retire.

A new measure would force people to get state IDs when they’re released from the Illinois Department of Corrections.

It took Deangelo Hampton two months to get an ID after he was released from prison.

“They talking about you can use your jail stuff to get state IDs, that’s just a lie,” Hampton said. “We went through a lot.”

The state doesn’t allow prisoners to use their release papers to prove their identity. Many former prisoners don’t have their birth certificate or social security card.

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