Government

Government and Legislature

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A major overhaul of DeKalb County’s jail is on target to be finished by the summer of 2018. Sycamore’s city council got an update at its meeting this week on the progress of the $35-million jail expansion.

Wikipedia

Democratic legislative leaders say they want to hear bold plans from Gov. Scott Walker during today’s State of the State address.

Rep. Peter Barca and Sen. Jennifer Shilling said yesterday that the Republican governor needs to work with them to strengthen the state's middle class and improve its infrastructure.

They say Democrats have a suite of proposals aimed at boosting working families, including creating a child care tax credit, expanding broadband access in rural areas and restructuring student loan debt.

Rockford Police Complete Change To A New Look

Jan 16, 2016
Rockford Police Department

The Rockford Police Department will completes its transition to single-color uniforms this weekend, part of a national trend of police departments to standard navy blue uniforms.

All sworn officers -- from patrolman to chief -- will be outfitted the same regardless of rank. Command staff is indicated by bars or stars on the collar, and insignia on the left cuff which represents years of service for each officer. Each hash mark signifies five years of service.

AFSCME31.ORG

The rift between Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and the state's public employee union has escalated.

Rauner announced Friday he's asking the state labor board to decide if negotiations with AFSCME have reached an impasse. A few days ago in an interview with Illinois Public Radio, Rauner -- a Republican -- said his bargaining team is spinning its wheels.

After roughly one year -- about 67 sessions -- he claimed "AFSCME has refused to compromise off of their starting position, which was status quo with major increases in compensation, and other issues." 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The familiar orange and black monarch butterfly has become a much rarer sight over the past few decades. There’s a growing movement to restore the habitat along the monarch’s migratory path. A new federal grant enlists farmers in the effort.

Vijay Kumar Koulampet, CC BY-SA 3.0 / via Wikimedia Commons

The Wisconsin state Assembly has approved a tougher penalty for hiding a corpse.

Right now, hiding a corpse is a Class G felony that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. The Republican-authored bill would classify the crime as a more severe Class F felony punishable by up to 12.5 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

The Assembly approved the bill on a voice vote Tuesday. The Senate approved the bill on a voice vote in June.

State of Illinois

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is observing his first anniversary in office.

Rauner campaigned on a promise to shake up Springfield. On that account, at least, he has succeeded. Illinois is in the midst of a historic budget impasse -- with no signs of it coming to an end.

Critics, including Democratic Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie, lay the blame on the governor.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Time is running out for people who haven’t signed up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act

Sen. Durbin: More Money For Medical Research

Jan 11, 2016
durbin.senate.gov

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin visited Southern Illinois University’s School of Medicine Friday to announce an increase in federal funding for medical research for this year.

Senator Durbin said the federal government will pay an extra $2 billion more than last year to study and treat diseases.

The Democrat held up a 3-D model of an infant heart with a birth defect as an example of how advances in medical research can help families.

His late daughter, Christine, had the same heart defect as the 3-D model when she was born.

Secretary of State

If you have not gotten your passport yet due to Real ID compliance issues in Illinois, no need to worry. The effectiveness date for the act has been extended.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says there will be no I.D.-related security changes at airports for at least two years. The department previously said the act would go into effect after Sunday.

Pages