state of Illinois

A $260,000 donation to Republican incumbent Leslie Munger's bid for Illinois comptroller has lifted the caps on political contributions and guarantees a big-money race against Democrat Susana Mendoza.

According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, the money is a loan from Munger's husband, attorney John Munger.

Munger's spokesman says the donation is "balancing the playing field."

Mendoza, Chicago's city clerk, called it "beyond the pale."

"Courtroom One Gavel" by Flickr User Beth Cortez-Neavel / (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois is more than a year behind on payments to people who've been wronged by state government.

These individuals can seek compensation through the Court of Claims.  Its caseload ranges from injuries caused by state workers, to the pleas of people unjustly imprisoned for crimes they did not commit.

Claims Court Chief Justice Peter Birnbaum says the court hasn't let the budget impasse interfere with its work.

Early Voting Launches This Week In Illinois

Sep 26, 2016
Flickr user / kristin_a (Meringue Bake Shop) "Vote!" (CC BY 2.0)

DeKalb County residents can start casting their ballots Thursday at the Legislative Center at 200 N. Main St in Sycamore.

Early voting will also open at other locations in late October.

Doug Johnson, DeKalb County’s Clerk and Recorder, expects a big turnout this year.

"Knowing that it’s a presidential election -- if waiting until Election Day, you might have some lines to stand in. But if you early vote, you will have an opportunity to miss that," Johnson said.

"stethoscope" by flickr use rosmary (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois insurance regulators are reminding customers of Land of Lincoln Health that they must enroll in a new health insurance policy with a different company by the end of the month or they'll have a gap in coverage.

Land of Lincoln began shutting down in July after crippling financial losses.

The 3-year-old nonprofit's failure left 49,000 Illinois policyholders searching for new coverage.

"Swings" By Flickr User halfrain / (CC X 2.0)

A record number of youth have been killed while in the care of Illinois' Department of Children and Family Services, many of them victims of Chicago's gang violence.

The Chicago Tribune reports 11 youths died during a two-year period that ended June 30, 2015.

A confidential Office of the Inspector General report obtained by the newspaper notes societal problems such as poverty played a role. It also identifies failures in the state system.

Many teens were placed for long periods in emergency shelters or in homes located in rival gang territories.