Government

Government and Legislature

A police group says the lack of a state budget is making Illinois a more dangerous place to live.

Rauner touted proposals that would begin to inch toward his goal of reducing Illinois’ prison population by 25 percent over the next decade. But elsewhere in the Capitol, law enforcement officials warned that the lack of a state budget means crime prevention programs are shutting down.

“I am upset at the governor," Tom Weitzel, the police chief in Riverside, said.

Flickr user Matt A.J. / "Marco Rubio" (CC V 2.0)

The divide between Republicans about who their presidential nominee should be is playing out in harsh tones ahead of the Illinois primary.

Dan Duffy is a state senator from Chicago’s northwest suburbs. He’s an Illinois delegate for Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

Duffy says he’s tried to get Donald Trump supporters in Illinois to switch to his candidate.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Students at Rockford’s Guilford High School showed off their latest high-tech projects to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner today.

Rauner stopped by the school to talk about education funding and to check out their innovative engineering-track programs. He pledged to increase K through 12 funding and reduce state mandates on schools.

The Republican governor also clued the students in on the partisan battles that were blocking progress on a state budget.

Sarah Mueller / Illinois Public Radio

The Fantasy Sports Trade Association and its 300 members -- which include ESPN and Yahoo -- are backing legislation that would make daily fantasy games legal in Illinois. It would also characterize the contests as games of skill.

Peter Schoenke, the association's chairman, said more than two million Illinois residents play the games for free and for cash prizes. He said studies show that there's more involved to winning than just leaving it up to fate.

Illinois State Museum / state of Illinois

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner appointed three new members of the Illinois State Museum board last week.

The three new board members are Donna Sack of Naperville, Brian Anderson of Rochester and Roger Taylor of Galesburg, according to a news release.

Sack has almost 30 years of museum and association management experience and is executive director of the Association of Midwest Museums.  

You can vote, join the military and buy cigarettes at the age of 18 -- for now. 

The legal age to smoke in Illinois would increase from 18 to 21 under legislation introduced in Springfield.

"If we can guide them through these late teens and into their 20s without a nicotine addiction, it's more likely they will never become tobacco users," said Dr. Ronald Johnson, a physician in Pittsfield.

Johnson says Illinois public college campuses already are smoke-free.

Illinois Board of Higher Education

The budget that Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed this week recommends a 16 percent cut to higher education. This year's proposed cut sounds gentler than the 32 percent reduction Rauner recommended last year. But instead of being spread across higher education, virtually all of the pain would fall upon the state's universities. 

These proposed reductions come after higher education has gone without state funding of any kind for more than seven months.

Planned Parenthood

Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker has signed legislation that would cut millions of taxpayer dollars for Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin.  

Walker signed the two bills Thursday at Life's Connection, a clinic in Waukesha that counsels in abortion alternatives.  

One bill restricts how much Planned Parenthood can be reimbursed for prescription drugs. The change is estimated to cost the agency about $4.5 million annually.  

Wisconsin Man Allowed To Wear Colander In License Picture

Feb 18, 2016
wikipedia.org

A Madison man has won his fight to wear a pasta strainer on his head for his driver's license photo.

The state wasn't too keen about Michael Schumacher's desire to wear the colander on his head for the photo. Schumacher got an attorney involved and the state granted his request, but told him to tip the strainer back so his full face could be seen.

"Drone and Moon" by Don McCullough / CC by 2.0

The crime of smuggling contraband to prisoners has progressed beyond the old “file in a cake” trick. Illinois lawmakers are looking into preventing prison deliveries by drones.

 

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