An Illinois legislator is calling for free tuition at state universities.

With the pile of unpaid Illinois bills topping $10 billion, Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, acknowledges it’s not a short-term goal.

“But, I want that to be the guide star. I want that to be the objective that we work toward,” he said. “And this year, I want us to pass something that’s going to make college a little more affordable and reduce the burden of debt on working families.”

He declined to give any specifics on what that “something” might be.

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

Jurors have convicted a northern Illinois man of killing his wife with a baseball bat in 2012 and dumping her body in the Rock River.

Todd Smith was found guilty of murder Wednesday in a Rockford courtroom. He is to be sentenced March 22, when he faces a term of life in prison.

The jury also found that the allegation that the murder was accompanied by exceptionally brutal and heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty was proven, according to Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato. 

Opposition Arises To State Senate Budget Plan

Jan 25, 2017
Flickr user Jim Bowen / "Illinois State Capitol" (CC BY 2.0)

The Illinois Senate is putting the brakes on a compromise budget plan, but a key Democrat says there still could be a floor vote this week.

Oak Park Sen. Don Harmon, President Pro Tempore of the Senate and Democratic Executive Committee Chairman, says some members weren't ready to vote on the massive proposal designed to break a nearly two-year budget deadlock with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Senate President John Cullerton, a Democrat, says he understands their narrow concerns.

Declaring himself “frustrated by the slow pace of change here in Springfield,” Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner described the State of the State as needing compromise and additional reform to accomplish its goals.

He touted great “strides in ethics reform” since taking office two years ago and “modernizing and streamlining” state government and making information more accessible to citizens.

The 2017 Illinois State Of The State Address

Jan 25, 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen: It is an honor to stand with you today to discuss the State of our State.