Government

Government and Legislature

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

A task force created by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is trying to figure out how to reduce the number of local governments in the state. That group voted Thursday to recommend restrictions on organized labor.

Members listening in via conference call heard an unexpected interlude.

The task force is made of legislators, mayors and a library trustee. During the meeting, they approved recommendations like incentivizing schools to consolidate and encouraging municipalities to share equipment.

Rauner Admin. Progress In Poison Hotline Cuts

Nov 19, 2015
Illinois Poison Center

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration is moving forward with cuts to a poison hotline.

The Illinois Poison Center is a non-profit that includes a hotline to field calls from doctors, hospitals, or just people who are worried about something their kid ingested.

Now, the Poison Center stands to lose 2 million dollars in state money.

Rauner’s administration announced in June it wanted to stop the flow of government money for the program, since there isn’t a state budget. This week, the administration got the go-ahead to make that cut.

Illinois Child Care Bureau

Thousands of Illinois families who lost access to state-subsidized child care this summer are once again eligible.

Governor Bruce Rauner rolled back the program drastically in July, which helps low-income working parents afford daycare. Lawmakers were set to reverse the cuts last week, but Rauner agreed to a deal instead.

Senator Toi Hutchinson helped to negotiate with the governor.

New hearing dates have been set to review charges against the two top officers of the Beloit Police Department.

The Beloit Police and Fire Commission scheduled nine days in January to hear evidence against Beloit Police Chief Norm Jacobs and Deputy Chief Tom Dunkin.

City Manager Lori Luther told a news conference October 13 that Jacobs and Dunkin “grossly mismanaged the department, incurring significant liability for the city and the community as a whole.”

Wikipedia

Republicans in Illinois' Congressional delegation are on board with Governor Bruce Rauner's move to temporarily close the state's borders to Syrian refugees in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris. 

The state's eight Republican House members are also condemning President Obama's plan to let in 10,000 refugees from that country this year.

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

There's no budget deal on the immediate horizon in Illinois, which is set to round out a fifth month without any budget in place. However, two frameworks have just been released.

The drafters hope they'll stimulate movement. 

State Sen. Karen McConnaughay, R-St. Charles, says frustration with the gridlock got her talking months ago with a handful of other rank-and-file legislators from both sides of the aisle and from both chambers of the General Assembly. 

NIU Passes Water Test For Lead

Nov 16, 2015
Steve Johnson / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency requires drinking water testing for lead every three years. Northern Illinois University passed – with one initial exception.

The EPA requires corrective action if 20 percent of a system’s samples have more than 15 parts of lead per billion. Only one NIU fountain -- located in the visual arts building -- tested positive for lead under these criteria. That’s according to an NIU staff memo.

Officials say the unsafe sample was taken from a mechanical hot water heating line. They corrected the problem and drew another sample, which passed.

WUIS

The Illinois Governor and the four legislative leaders won't meet in Springfield this week after all.

The gathering has been postponed until next month.

Even with the state’s ongoing, unprecedented fiscal situation, Wednesday’s meeting would’ve been the first time since the end of May that Gov. Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly's four top Republicans and Democrats all got together.

University of Illinois

The University of Illinois is officially asking Illinois leaders to come to terms on a state budget for the current fiscal year.

At their meeting in Chicago Thursday, the trustees approved a resolution urging an end to the budget impasse, and signed a presentation copy.

U of I President Timothy Killeen says a hiring freeze affecting 230 full-time positions at the university is just one of the cutbacks instituted to cope with the budget delay.

Brian Mackey / Illinois Public Radio

Illinois has gone four and a half months without a budget. It's gone even longer -- five and a half months -- since the governor and leaders of the legislature have all gotten together to talk about it. The last time that happened was at the end of May. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner finally released his plans Friday  for the meeting with legislative leaders next Wednesday in his Springfield office.

Pages