Government

Government and Legislature

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.

 

Who will replace Justice Antonin Scalia is a campaign issue, as evidenced by Saturday’s Republican debate. The GOP presidential candidates agreed the Senate should not confirm President Obama's nominee, whoever it is.

The President has the Constitutional duty to name a successor to the late Supreme Court Associate Justice.

Bill Whittiker / CC by 2.0

Governor Bruce Rauner's administration says it will close the youth correctional facility in Kewanee.

Juvenile Justice Director Candice Jones says closing the facility, which opened in 2001, will save money, improve rehabilitation of young offenders, and improve community safety. She did not say how much money shuttering the center would save or how those savings would be used.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

DeKalb-area education leaders, students, and service providers held a rally Thursday at Northern Illinois University to send a

   message to state lawmakers: end the budget impasse.

There were no organized chants, no waving signs -- but there IS a social media hashtag: #RallyForIL

Students from NIU and Kishwaukee College were among the community members who spoke up about how the lack of a state budget hurts them, especially the hold on MAP grants, which help pay for their schooling.

Barack Obama/flickr

The fate of Illinois' budget impasse could be influenced by the leader of the free world. At least, that's what Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder is hoping for.

The state owes the city of Springfield more than $7 million in unpaid utility bills because there's no state budget. Langfelder says he hopes President Barack Obama's speech to state lawmakers Wednesday will help forge a budget compromise.

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