Government

Government and Legislature

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

A stopgap budget plan moving through the Illinois General Assembly won't be enough for the Secretary of State to resume mailing reminders of expiring driver's license stickers.

The office announced in September it would stop sending the notices via post because of the budget impasse. A stopgap spending plan will give the Secretary of State’s office $10 million.

But spokesman Dave Druker says they will not use it on the reminders:

“Not at this point,” he said. “We thought paying the landlords and the utilities rated as a higher priority.” 

Associated Press

In a prime-time speech from the Oval Office Sunday night, Obama said that the United States would defeat the threat of terrorism — without compromising American values.

Obama began his third Oval Office address by remembering the 14 Americans who died in Wednesday's attack in San Bernardino, California.

He noted that the FBI has no evidence that the attack was directed by a terrorist organization, but said it was clear the shooters had gone down the "dark path of radicalization."

"This was an act of terrorism," Obama said, "designed to kill innocent people."

Associated Press

President Obama will deliver an Oval Office address at 7 p.m. this evening, discussing the San Bernardino attack and the broader issue of terrorism.

WNIJ News will present live special coverage of the President's remarks, hosted by NPR's Lynn Neary. She will be joined by NPR correspondents for analysis of the speech.

The White House says the president will provide an update on the continuing investigation of the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., which killed 14 people earlier this week.

Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

Illinois' unemployment insurance program will see some changes next year ... the result of something that's rare in Springfield these days as a budget stalemate persists: hard-fought negotiations giving way to a compromise.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration, labor, and business, all agreed on something: changes to the unemployment insurance program.

The measure awaiting the governor's signature would make it easier for businesses to prove worker misconduct.  That could decrease employer’s costs by exempting them from having to pay benefits.

Brian Mackey / Illinois Public Radio

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner spoke in public Wednesday for the first time since Tuesday's big summit with legislative leaders. He says he is still defending his decision not to negotiate a budget until Democrats approve his agenda.

Rauner says he's not expecting quick progress in his standoff with Democrats in the General Assembly. The governor says he wants Illinois to be more business-friendly.

Brian Mackey / Illinois Public Radio

With Illinois in its sixth month without a budget, the state's top political leaders met Tuesday in Springfield. It was the first time they'd all gotten together in months. Was anything accomplished?

In a word: No.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrats who run the Illinois House and Senate seem as divided as ever.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner pledged to save taxpayers money by eliminating some of the state's nearly 7,000 units of government.

Now, a task force is preparing its final recommendations.

Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti is the commission's chairwoman. She says its suggestions could make government more efficient and effective if the Legislature and Rauner choose to implement them.

The suggestions include letting voters decide whether a unit of government should be eliminated.

“At the end of the day, the savings are going to be huge,” Sanguinetti said.

Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / "Money" (CC v. 2.0)

A group of human service providers wants Illinois lawmakers and Governor Bruce Rauner to pass a budget for the current fiscal year and next fiscal year. That’s after it appears the state will go more than half of this fiscal year without one.

Judith Gethner is with Illinois Partners for Human Services. She says they want both to happen in January, so providers can prepare for cuts that are likely to come.

University of Illinois

Illinois public universities are using their reserves to survive while Illinois operates without a budget. But University of Illinois president Tim Killeen says burning through savings at a rate of $76 million per month is not sustainable. 

“It is time to fix this,” Killeen said. “My expectation is that there will be a good outcome or a reasonable outcome in the January/February time frame, at which time we will pick up the ball and run and University of Illinois will go from strength to strength, I assure you of that.” 

Flickr: West Midlands Police / Photo cropped from original

A Chicago Democrat says he hopes a new state law will prevent the very situation that’s playing out over the death of a 17-year-old killed by a Chicago police officer.

The new law sets standards for officers who wear body cameras.

State representative Elgie Sims says it’s significant, given the release of a police dashboard video of the shooting death of Laquan McDonald.

“It only reinforces what we did,” Sims said.

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