Government

Government and Legislature

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.

Greg Younger / cc by 2.0

 

Wisconsin’s governor has signed a bill legalizing concealed switchblades and knives. Scott Walker signed the measure Saturday at an annual National Rifle Association gathering in Wisconsin.  Walker says Wisconsin citizens have the fundamental right to defend themselves. 

Manufacturing, selling, transporting, purchasing, or possessing a switchblade has been illegal in Wisconsin for decades. The Republican bill eliminates that prohibition as well as permits anyone who can legally possess a gun to carry concealed knives of any length without a concealed carry license. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Three teens were arrested in Rockford this weekend, suspected of stealing cars and using them during recent crime sprees.

Rockford Assistant Deputy Police Chief Doug Pann says juvenile crime was the major factor in a big increase in violent crime in the city last year.

“We’ve got some groups we know are engaging in the robberies and auto thefts. It’s all tied together," he said. "We’ve been working on this for several months now, identifying them and getting them off the street. And we will continue to do that until it stops.”

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