Illinois

Brian Mackey

Illinois lawmakers are considering a pair of proposals that would change the way legislative districts are drawn every decade.

The issue is one that first-term Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has asked lawmakers to address to ensure maps for congressional and state legislative seats are drawn fairly.

It's one of the matters he wants lawmakers to tackle as a condition to resolving the 10-month budget stalemate.

Currently, the majority party draws the maps.

village of Hebron

The president of a small-town village in Illinois says he won't step down from his position after being charged with drug possession.

Hebron Village President John Jacobson faced an angry crowd of more than 50 people Monday at the first meeting of local officials since his March arrest.

Authorities say they found cocaine and two crack pipes in his home after a woman had alerted paramedics.

According to a police report, the woman said Jacobson had become unresponsive after smoking crack cocaine and drinking alcohol throughout the night.

wiu.edu

As some colleges and universities head toward a fiscal cliff, lawmakers are talking about ways to keep them afloat. 

One plan would only fund five schools. State Rep. Rita Mayfield, a Waukegan Democrat, says money would go to Chicago State University, Western Illinois University, Eastern Illinois University, Northeastern Illinois University, and Southern Illinois University. 

She says those are the schools most at risk of shutting down. 

State of Illinois

R​ape crisis centers have had to scale back services because of the budget stalemate - which is headed toward its tenth month.

There are about thirty in the state - all part of the same coalition.

The Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault is one ... it serves 11 counties in central Illinois ... and helps over 500 people annually.

It provides counseling, and medical and legal advice for victims.

Shelley Vaughan heads it ... she says she's had to lay-off employees and stop doing rural outreach.

Danielle Guerra / Daily Chronicle

Jack McCullough, released from prison last Friday after the DeKalb County State's Attorney concluded he was wrongly convicted in the 1957 killing of a schoolgirl, says he intends to sue Illinois.

McCullough spoke to The Associated Press on Sunday, two days after a judge vacated his 2012 conviction in the slaying of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph in Sycamore.

He says about his imprisonment: "They didn't just punish me - they punished my whole family."

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger says she and other officeholders will have to wait for their paychecks just like others in the state during the budget impasse.

Munger says it isn't fair that she, members of the General Assembly and other state officeholders get their paychecks on time during the budget stalemate, while social service organizations and small companies that do business with Illinois must wait.

The failure to pass a budget created a crisis that is now stretching into its tenth month. It left the state nearly 8 billion dollars in debt.

Flickr user Images Money / "Tax" (CC BY 2.0)

All Illinois residents -- no matter how rich, no matter how poor -- pay the same income tax rate. Now a plan is afoot to change that with a constitutional amendment, where the wealthy would pay more.

A pair of Democratic legislators are trying to likewise move Illinois from a flat to a graduated income tax.

Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie says those who are well off need to do more to help the state.

Under his four-tiered plan, anyone making more than a million dollars would pay 9.75 percent, which is more than double today's rate of 3.75 percent.

CREDIT "COURTROOM ONE GAVEL" BY FLICKR USER BETH CORTEZ-NEAVEL / (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois State Senator Patricia Van Pelt is sponsoring legislation to expand protections for teenagers accused of murder.

She says they can't make the legal decisions required to waive legal rights. 

State law mandates lawyers be present when police officers aggressively question teenagers aged 12 and under who are accused of murder or sex crimes. 

But youth between 13-and-17 years old can waive their right to a lawyer during interrogations.

WUIS

Members of the Illinois House Friday voted 65 to 37 to set a floor for the number of state employees providing health care in state prisons.  

Representative Greg Harris -- a Chicago Democrat -- says Illinois can't afford to reduce what is already inadequate health care.

"There have been numerous lawsuits and some class action cases regarding both physical and behavioral health for the Dept. of Corrections," Harris said.

The state prison system is opposed.

Illinois contracts with a private company – Wexford -- to provide health care to prisoners.

The widow of a suburban Chicago police officer who authorities say staged his suicide to make it appear he was killed on duty has applied for her late husband's pension as she awaits trial on conspiracy charges.

Melodie Gliniewicz's husband, Fox Lake police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, died Sept. 1.

Authorities say he staged his suicide because he feared discovery of his embezzlement of a youth program.

Her attorney, Brian Smith, says she is entitled to the pension and that criminal charges to which she has pleaded not guilty to should have no bearing.

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