Illinois

State Legislature Is Back In Session

Apr 14, 2015
state of Illinois

Illinois lawmakers return to Springfield today after a two-week spring break to begin work on a budget compromise for next year. A Senate hearing yesterday could indicate a tough road ahead.

Cities and counties in Illinois would see their share of state money cut in half under Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget. Rauner also proposed eliminating state assistance for foster children over age 18.

WUIS

Illinois legislators will return to Springfield this week after a two-week break. There's some suggestion it will have been their last hiatus for a while.

Legislators are set to spend a lot of the next seven weeks in session.

There's a lot to do: Gov. Bruce Rauner is pushing a massive agenda. He wants to overhaul the workers' compensation system, and to give municipalities the ability to rein in labor unions. Plus, there's dealing with a $6 billion deficit.

WUIS

A proposal in the Illinois House would require all state vehicles to be manufactured in North America. Some groups say it would hurt Illinois businesses.

The Department of Transportation and the Illinois Manufacturers Association are among those who oppose House Bill 3438. 

Randy Nehrt of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce says this could actually hurt Illinois businesses, especially those that supply parts to car manufacturers in Mexico.

St. Louis Public Radio

State higher education funding per full time student has dropped more than 26 percent in Missouri and increased almost 50 percent in Illinois over the past five years, according to data compiled by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.

The stark contrast between the states is due in part to an almost 29 percent variance in enrollment trends; Missouri enrollment has gone up while Illinois enrollment has gone down.

Amanda Vinicky / WUIS

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he choose to award business tax credits to uphold Illinois' trustworthiness with companies, but the Republican's critics are calling it "beyond the pale."

Social service organizations are still reeling from the unexpected news they received a week ago that Gov. Rauner was immediately cutting off their state grants.

No longer would there be money to bury the indigent. Funding for The Autism Program would be eliminated. Funding would be stripped from addiction prevention. Cuts would total $200 million.

National Politicians Congratulate Emanuel On Re-Election

Apr 9, 2015
cityofchicago.org

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel’s phone lit up with calls from some of the country’s most powerful politicians congratulating him on re-election, and Emanuel continues to criticize Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget cuts while leaning on the governor for support.

Emanuel says he heard from two presidents Tuesday. One was Bill Clinton, his former boss.

When Emanuel was asked if that call from a Clinton means he has his mind on returning to Washington D.C. should Hillary Clinton win her unofficial campaign for president next year, Emanuel gave a partly light-hearted answer.

va.gov

Long waits for medical care persist at Illinois veteran’s hospitals.

That’s despite efforts to hire more doctors, open more clinics and allow some patients to see private practice physicians as an alternative. 

An Associated Press review of government data finds nearly 20,000 medical appointments completed at the state's five major VA centers from September through February failed to meet the health system's timeliness goal. They call for patients to be seen within a month.

The AP examined waiting times at 940 VA hospitals and outpatient clinics nationwide.

Election 2015 Highlights

Apr 8, 2015

The Chicago mayoral race may have been the highest profile contest in northern Illinois, but it wasn't the only game in town. Voters weighed in on referenda and chose local leaders in a number of contests.

What Happens To Empty Seats In Local Elections?

Apr 7, 2015
Flickr user Brendan C / "Local Election Ballot" (CC BY 2.0)

Local elections are being held today throughout Illinois. Some races are contested and some uncontested, but others have no candidates on the ballot.

What happens then? 

More than 115 seats out of about 1,600 races in 19 northern Illinois counties do not have registered candidates.

That's about seven percent of all the seats up for grabs in this election. Those seats include Education Service Region trustees within Boone and Winnebago Counties and the Village President seat in Campus.

Kirk Won't Lend Support To LaHood In 18th District Election

Apr 7, 2015
WTTW

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk isn't lending his support to anyone yet in the race to replace former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock in the 18th Illinois Congressional District.

Kirk says he's letting his fellow Republicans choose their candidate for a special election. He declined to endorse the current front-runner, state Sen. Darin LaHood.

"I would say Darin has the right family name for Peoria leadership because his dad is so well-loved," he said, referring to long-time Congressman Ray LaHood.

Pages