Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he doesn't want to call the General Assembly into special session for votes on a budget even though there are just 10 days left in the fiscal year.

The Republican told reporters Tuesday that special sessions in the recent past have produced only hotter tempers.

Rauner says he'll "evaluate options" in the coming days to avoid the shutdown of ongoing projects and delays to the opening of public schools.

Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

The state budget impasse has forced schools to come up with plans for how they’ll open next year without state funding.

    

It’s a decision which schools that operate year-round have to confront sooner than most.  

Some school districts designate just a handful of buildings to operate year-round, but in Rock Island, every school is on that schedule.

The school board has considered cost-saving measures, like eliminating athletics and band, as well as debt options like opening a line of credit.

uber.com

A Chicago City Council committee has advanced plans to increase regulations for ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft.

The proposal requires similar regulations on Uber and Lyft drivers as taxi drivers, including fingerprinting as part of a criminal background check.

Drug tests and city debt checks would also be required.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Uber and Lyft officials have opposed the proposed regulations. The companies argue it'll cut into the number of drivers available.

There are approximately 90,000 registered Uber and Lyft Drivers in Chicago.

"Electronic Stethescope" By Flickr User Ted Eytan / (CC BY 2.0)

More than half of the states have disclosed how much higher their health care premiums could be next year under the Affordable Care Act, but Illinois isn't expected to do so for more than a month.

The Chicago Tribune reports that consumer advocates are frustrated because Illinois residents won't get their first look at proposed 2017 premiums until Aug. 1, about a month before the state Department of Insurance has to complete its review of rate information.

Illinois Lottery

Illinois Lottery officials say they support a short-term budget proposed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner because it would pay lottery winners.

The state of Illinois remains without a budget after Rauner and Democratic leaders couldn't come to an agreement. Last year lottery winners sued when the state withheld winnings because of lack of a budget.

A patchwork plan allowed lottery winners to eventually be paid but it expires June 30, the end of the budget year.

"END CONSTRUCTION" BY FLICKR USER CHRIS LASHER / (CC X 2.0)

Illinois has borrowed $550 million for construction at what Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration says is a record-low interest rate despite the state's beleaguered financial position.

Rauner's office announced Thursday that it sold $550 million in bonds at an interest rate of 3.7 percent. That's below the 4 percent interest offered when it sold $480 million in January.

Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly contends it's the lowest interest rate in history among similarly situated general obligation bonds.

CREDIT "BLOGGING?" BY FLICKR USER ANONYMOUS ACCOUNT / (CC BY 2.0)

There are about 12,000 unclaimed property items in Illinois which could soon be gone.

    

According to a news release, Treasurer Michael Frerich’s office will hold an auction online from June 20-24.

Some of the items include collectible coins, gold jewelry, and sterling dinnerware worth $45,000.

Private entities must try at least five years to locate the owner before unclaimed property is surrendered to the treasurer’s office.

elliottaviation.com

The Illinois Constitution says you can’t have laws targeting individual people or businesses.

To get around that, lawmakers will sometimes pass bills that seem general but everyone knows who’s benefiting.

That’s what happened for Elliott Aviation, which services private and corporate planes in Moline.

In order to encourage expansion here in Illinois rather than in Iowa, lawmakers voted to eliminate property tax bills for private aviation companies at Quad City International Airport.

The local school district sued, saying the law would cost it $150,000 a year.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The DeKalb County State’s Attorney announced charges Thursday against four men in an investigation involving $436,000 worth of cocaine.

Those charged include: Edgar Eduardo Mendez Pena of LaGrulla, Texas, Manuel Alejandro Alvaraz of Rio Grande City, Texas, Roger Gonzalez of Brownsville, Texas and Jesus Cepeda of Aurora, Illinois. 

The cocaine trafficking investigation involved Task Force Officers assigned to Homeland Security Investigations.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Counties across northern Illinois are part of a state-wide test this week for distributing medical supplies in case of a public health emergency.

The mass dispensing plan required by the state will measure how quickly county public health systems can distribute medicine and medical supplies during a public health emergency. State health officials say it will simulate a bioterrorism attack, but similar tactics also can be applied for large-scale disease outbreaks.

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