Illinois

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

A new poll says Illinois voters are divided on what to do about the state’s financial problems.

The poll puts Illinois' deficit at $10 billion, and gives voters three choices for how to fix it: raise taxes, cut "waste and inefficiency," or both.

Cuts were the most popular answer at 45 percent. Just 11 percent favored only raising taxes; about a third said do both.

Paradoxically, when you ask voters about specific areas to cut, most are rejected. Support was strongest for spending on education, poor people, and individuals with disabilities.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Dozens of DeKalb residents spent the beginning of their Saint Patrick’s Day in a DeKalb high school auditorium.

Just before 8 a.m. Friday morning, more than thirty friends and family members of students in DeKalb High School’s marching band watched a live stream of the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin, Ireland – some spectators being students who caught some of the live stream before classes. They were waiting for that exact moment – when they could see the band march through.

DeKalb resident Greg Anderson specifically came to watch his daughter Emily perform.

US Marshalls Service

Prosecutors say an appeals court shouldn't grant former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich a third sentencing hearing.

Their filing Thursday comes on the day the Illinois Democrat started his sixth year in prison for corruption, including trying to trade an appointment to ex-President Barack Obama's old Senate seat for campaign cash.

Illinois state lawmakers are planning to assess how Medicaid cuts proposed by President Donald Trump's administration could impact vulnerable residents.

House Speaker Michael Madigan earlier this week asked Democratic state Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago to hold a hearing Thursday morning on what the changes could mean for Illinois. Harris chairs the Appropriations-Human Services Committee.

Madigan on Wednesday estimated that 1 in 4 Illinoisans would be impacted by congressional Republicans' plans to alter the Medicaid system by providing a set lump sum payment to states.

State lawmakers are closer to reviving an effort that failed last year to bring automatic voter registration to Illinois.

Democratic state Sen. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill is sponsoring a measure that would allow residents to automatically register to vote when they visit certain state agencies. A Senate committee sent it to the floor Wednesday on a 10-3 vote. Lawmakers approved a similar proposal last year, but Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed it over concerns it lacked necessary safeguards.

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