Illinois

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.

The agency that investigates police misconduct in Chicago says the city's police department needs a policy that prohibits officers from engaging in any kind of discrimination.

The recommendation from the Independent Police Review Authority's chief administrator, Sharon Fairley, came after the agency suggested firing an officer who was accused of using a racial slur about President Barack Obama.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Fairley said other officers "were not as forthcoming as they should be" about the remark when IPRA interviewed them.

An Illinois appeals court has reinstated a wrongful death lawsuit against a Northern Illinois University fraternity by the family of a pledge who died in 2012.

The Daily Herald reports the family of David Bogenberger sued the NIU chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha, arguing the fraternity and its members were responsible for Bogenberger's death because pledges were required to participate in excessive drinking to gain membership. 

The 19-year-old died in 2012 with a blood alcohol level of .43 percent after a fraternity party.  

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan promised to call lawmakers into session weekly, but he canceled a planned session scheduled for today. He's already canceled several of these meetings.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner openly berated Madigan for his decision. But Madigan says bipartisan "working groups" are making progress on the budget.

Lawmakers have different approaches to finding a compromise between Republicans and Democrats. 

Rockford-area Rep. Litesa Wallace, a  Democrat, says there’s no reason to call lawmakers back into session.

WNIJ

Former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has launched a petition drive to impose a Chicago mayor term limit and create an elected consumer advocate position.

The Chicago Democrat announced efforts Sunday, tipping his hat to his past signature drives.

If he gets enough signatures, the two referendums could be on ballots as early as November. However, Quinn says getting nearly 53,000 valid signatures before an Aug. 8 deadline would be challenging.

Brian Mackey

Illinois US Senator Dick Durbin continues to tamp down speculation that he might run for governor in 2018.

Illinois is approaching a full year without a budget — owing largely to the stalemate between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and the Democrats who control the legislature.

That has some Democrats looking ahead to 2018 — whispering about Durbin as a possible candidate.

mapamendment.org

A measure giving Illinois voters a chance to decide if an independent commission should draw the state's political boundaries is a step closer to the ballot.

The State Board of Elections voted Monday that the group called the Independent Map Amendment appeared to have enough valid signatures for the constitutional amendment and is ready for ballot certification in August.

However, a lawsuit against the amendment is pending which could keep it from the ballot. In 2014, a judge ruled a similar measure was unconstitutional.

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