Heartland Alliance

The Illinois poverty rate hovers above pre-recession levels at about 14 percent, according to Census numbers released Thursday.

Meanwhile, income in Illinois is stagnant, according to numbers crunched by the Chicago-based Heartland Alliance. 

This is likely a consequence of the state's budget woes, says Kimberly Drew, an economic security specialist at the alliance.

“Many of our anti-poverty programs are essentially imploding because they are not receiving funding,” Drew said. “And this has very real consequences in people's lives."

College of DuPage

Trustees of a suburban Chicago college have voted to void the contract of its embattled president about a month after beginning the process of firing him.

College of DuPage trustees voted 4-3 Thursday night to void Robert Breuder's contract. He's on paid administrative leave and is set to retire in March. 

The Many Walks Of Life On A Greyhound Bus

Sep 17, 2015
Katie Finlon / WNIJ

The line goes from Chicago to Davenport, Iowa each day. 

I was curious what the experience was like for those riders. So I took a little round trip from DeKalb to Davenport.

I didn't even board the westbound 8:30 a.m. bus before two women shared their reasons for their trips.


A federal judge has ordered the State of Illinois to fund Medicaid services for seniors living at home rather than at a nursing facility during the budget impasse.

Cindy Cunningham is with two providers who asked the court to force payments. She says Wednesday’s order will help caretakers who have taken out personal loans to keep their companies afloat.

“We’ve been without payments since July,” Cunningham said. “Our houses are on the line. Our businesses are on the line.”

Loyola University School of Law

Illinois’s child welfare agency wants to do a better job taking care of its most troubled kids - and they have a plan.

The idea is that kids who have suffered abuse or witnessed violence would be placed with families with no more than two wards per home. The parents in these foster homes would get special training and at least one would stay home full time.

state of Illinois

The Illinois comptroller says an income tax increase won’t solve the state’s budget problems.

In January, the tax rate fell from 5 percent to 3.75 percent. But Comptroller Leslie Munger says in order to make up a 12 billion dollar budget gap, the state would need to raise the income tax to more than seven percent.
“For a family that earns $50,000 dollars a year, that means an additional $1,500 dollars a year just paid out in taxes alone,” Munger said.


Families with babies, from birth until they're three years old, are eligible for state assistance to help their children learn and grow. It's called early intervention. But without a budget, Illinois stopped paying the therapists who provide these services.

Now, the comptroller and the governor's administration says they've come up with a way to pay again, even though Illinois still has no budget in place.

When Tamiko Schaefer's baby Daniel was about six months old, she started noticing something.

Rock Valley College Teachers Begin Strike

Sep 16, 2015
Rock Valley College

Rock Valley College faculty members went on strike today after negotiators for the college declared an impasse Tuesday night without responding to the faculty association’s latest proposal on a five-year wage increase plan.

Following a meeting to plan specific strategy, faculty members started picketing at all three entrances of the college.

Update: Wednesday 5:26 P.M. A federal judge has ruled that in-home services for senior citizens are covered by Medicaid and should be funded, despite the budget impasse.

Attorneys for the State of Illinois are expected back in federal court today. The state is being challenged for not funding in-home care for seniors during the budget impasse.

Congressman John Shimkus says he supports efforts in Washington to block federal funding to Planned Parenthood, but he doesn’t favor a government shutdown over the issue.

The fifteenth district Republican says voters have demanded de-funding after secretly-recorded videos surfaced of Planned Parenthood officials allegedly discussing selling fetal organs.

The organization has said those videos were heavily edited and denied it’s done anything illegal.