Illinois

mapamendment.org

A coalition wanting to change the state's redistricting process has cleared a big first hurdle. But it has another one ahead.

The State Board Of Elections says the group Independent Maps did collect enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot. Enough of them passed a sample test by the elections board.

Two years ago, a similar effort fell flat when the petitions failed to get that clearance. 

That doesn't mean the redistricting question will for sure make it on the November ballot.

Exelon

Nuclear energy are in Springfield today in a last-ditch effort to save two of Exelon's Illinois plants.

The energy behemoth says unless legislators pass a law by the end of this month, it will shut down the plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities.

Jeff Bartz -- who's from Colona -- says that would lead to a loss of thousands of jobs, and wipe out a big part of the regional tax base. Bartz says nuclear power has advantages.

fbi.gov

Authorities have identified a man found dead after two FBI agents were shot and wounded while trying to serve an arrest warrant at a suburban Chicago home.

A Cook County medical examiner's office spokeswoman says the dead man was 50-year-old Melvin Toran. She says a cause of death hasn't been determined because an autopsy is pending.

The Illinois Department of Corrections website says Toran was paroled from prison on Feb. 18, 2013. It does not indicate what he was convicted of.

State of Illinois

Illinois' top political leaders remain divided. Tomorrow there will be only eight days left for them to reach a budget deal.

It's crunch time, says Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno:

"It is critically important that we complete this task within the next eight days or it becomes much more difficult."

More difficult, because it takes a supermajority -- rather than a simple one -- to pass a budget after the end of this month.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has gone out of his way to strike an optimistic tone that it can happen.

Flickr user / kristin_a (Meringue Bake Shop) "Vote!" (CC BY 2.0)

A plan allowing automatic voter registration in Illinois is advancing through the Legislature despite concerns from the leading state election authority that would have to implement it.

Backers want Illinois to join Oregon, California and West Virginia in modernizing voter registration. They say it cleans up voter rolls and boosts civic participation.

However, the Illinois State Board of Elections says it's opposed because officials don't currently have a program to put it into place and it could cost millions of dollars.

U.S. Government

The Supreme Court won't reconsider its decision to reject former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's of his corruption convictions.

The justices on Monday denied without comment a long-shot petition urging the court to take another look at the case.

The court first turned down Blagojevich's appeal on March 28. He challenged an appeals court ruling that said Blagojevich crossed the line when he sought money in exchange for naming someone to fill the vacant Senate seat once occupied by President Barack Obama.

Illinois GOP Convention Discusses Trump, Same-Sex Issues

May 23, 2016

Illinois Republicans discussed many topics in Peoria at their 2016 convention over the weekend.

 

Party leaders called for party unity behind the November GOP ticket, despite rarely mentioning presumptive nominee Donald Trump’s name. They also have a resounding, but divisive, answer to whether the state party platform includes an acceptance of same-sex marriages.

 

City of Rockford

Two Auburn High School students in Rockford won a sign contest meant to reduce speeding in neighborhoods.

Out of 35 submissions overall, Angelica Morales and Chase Heim were named as the winners during a city council meeting for their design with the slogan, “Slow down. Kids matter.”

Both students won a city and park district prize package that included movie tickets and passes for various city activities.

Rockford traffic engineer Jeremy Carter says the number one complaint the city traffic division gets is speeding in residential areas.

illinois.gov

The Kewanee corrections site which Gov. Bruce Rauner is closing to young detainees will be converted to adult prisoner use.

The Republican's administration confirmed several lawmakers' announcement Friday that the 15-year-old facility won't be mothballed in July.

Corrections Department spokeswoman Nicole Wilson says the agency is just beginning to plan a transition as officials analyze best uses.

Rauner announced this year he would close Kewanee because of a declining population of incarcerated youth and a multibillion-dollar deficit.

Steve Johnson / Flickr/Creative Commons

Water service to a Chicago public school has been cut after tests revealed an elevated lead level.

Officials said Friday that water coolers have been delivered to Tanner Elementary School in the South Side Grand Crossing neighborhood.

The lead was discovered as the district tested water at 32 Chicago schools.

Lead was found in the water of six schools at levels below Environmental Protection Agency standards. Testing will now be done at 250 additional schools, most built before 1986.

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