Illinois

WNIJ's Gas Price Monday: January 11, 2016

Jan 11, 2016
Carl Nelson/WNIJ

For the most part, gas prices across the state are below $2 per gallon.

According to AAA, a gallon of regular gas in the Rockford area costs $1.87 on average. That’s four cents less than last week and about nine cents less than last year.

Chicago prices are at $2.32 per gallon. That's two cents less than last week and about 13 cents less than a year ago.

Secretary of State

If you have not gotten your passport yet due to Real ID compliance issues in Illinois, no need to worry. The effectiveness date for the act has been extended.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says there will be no I.D.-related security changes at airports for at least two years. The department previously said the act would go into effect after Sunday.

UPDATE: 1/8/16: The request to move the case from Chicago's Eastern Division to Rockford's Western Division has been granted. Jackson's attorney, Alejandro Caffarelli confirmed the decision to WNIJ.

Background

Keith Jackson has been NIU’s Comptroller since 1999. He was placed on paid administrative leave, and filed a federal wrongful-termination lawsuit Oct. 2 against Northern Illinois University, the Board of Trustees, President Doug Baker, and former interim CFO Nancy Suttenfield.

Dem. Moeller Dodges Bullet From Political Mixup

Jan 8, 2016
ilga.gov

Democrat Anna Moeller may have dodged a bullet as she seeks election to hold onto her seat in the Illinois House. The State Board of Elections made a decision yesterday.

Rep. Moeller, who’s from Elgin, registered to run – as a Democrat. She then signed a petition in support of a Republican getting on the ballot to run for Kane County Recorder.

A local woman complained because primary candidates have to align with one party or the other.

afscme.org

Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration is outlining a new compensation system for state workers that includes merit pay and bonuses for employees who save taxpayers money.

General counsel Jason Barclay says the administration is implementing the system for members of 17 labor unions that signed new collective bargaining agreements last year.

In a memo to state agency directors, Barclay says the Republican governor has offered a similar compensation package to Illinois' largest state-employee union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

It's a week into the New Year, and gyms across the country are packed with people who've vowed to get in shape. Our Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky had resolved to be one of them, but admits that already, she's fallen short. Maybe Illinois' leaders will have better luck. Vinicky asked around for their civic-minded resolutions.

No matter your political persuasion, given the stalemate that's gripping the state, we can all agree that Illinois could use some self-improvements.

Credit Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

Beginning Sunday, Missourians and Illinoisans will no longer be able to use their state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards as acceptable forms of identification to enter most federal facilities, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

But the clock has not yet started on limiting their use to board commercial airplanes.

Federal officials are increasing pressure on several states to bring their driver’s license programs into compliance with the REAL ID Act of 2005. The states that are out of compliance include Missouri and Illinois.

CASS HERRINGTON / PEORIA PUBLIC RADIO

Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced a $25 million federal grant for the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center in Peoria Thurs. The aim is to help local manufacturers compete in a rapidly changing industry.

The Peoria-based consultant advises and trains manufacturing companies on ways to increase profits, sustainability and cost-savings. The bulk of IMEC’s clients are small to mid-size companies. That’s why Democratic Senator Durbin says the funding will help give small businesses in Illinois a leg-up in the tech-driven, global market.

Carle Foundation Hospital

An Illinois appeals court decision is reopening a statewide dispute over whether hospitals should be exempt from paying property taxes worth millions of dollars to local governments.

The Illinois 4th District Appellate Court ruled Tuesday that part of a 2012 law is unconstitutional that allows state hospitals to avoid paying property taxes.

Laurence Msall of the Civic Federation says the Illinois Department of Revenue needs direction from the Legislature and Gov. Bruce Rauner on handling applications from hospitals seeking tax exemptions.

Flu Reports Down In Illinois Amid Warm December

Jan 7, 2016

Health officials say reports of influenza are down this winter in Illinois compared with recent years.

Data from the Illinois Department of Public Health show that that from Dec. 20 to Dec. 26, there were 49 flu-related intensive care unit admissions and two outbreaks. During roughly the same time last year, there were 323 ICU admissions and 70 outbreaks statewide.

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