Illinois

"Window" By Flickr User Sam Howzit / (CC BY 2.0)

A new survey of Illinois human service providers shows nearly two-thirds have cut programs because of the state budget standoff, leaving almost 1 million people without services.

The United Way of Illinois released results Wednesday of a survey of 429 agencies that have contracts with the state. Illinois owes those waiting to be paid an average of $525,000.

The percentage of agencies that have made cuts was up from 48 percent in January.

Wikipedia

A judge in Chicago has agreed to release former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds from jail as he awaits trial on misdemeanor tax charges.

Thursday's ruling requires the Illinois Democrat to wear an electronic-monitoring device so authorities can keep tabs on him.

Reynolds is accused of failing to file tax returns from 2009 to 2012. He was jailed in April after violating bond conditions when traveling in Africa.

Dan Libman

Restaurants within a few northern Illinois counties will have to complete a new alcohol training program by July 1.

Flickr user Ryo Chijiiwa / "Tommy Guns" (CC BY 2.0)

In the wake of the recent mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub, an Illinois legislator has a plan he says is a new path to keeping firearms from terrorists.

    

A plan before Congress seeks to ban anyone on the terrorism watch list from being able to buy a gun.

The proposal just introduced by Illinois State Representative Greg Harris, a Chicago Democrat, takes another tack.

It would essentially prevent anyone charged with making a terrorist threat from having gun.

Brian Mackey

In the political gridlock that’s seized Illinois government, much of the attention has centered on the fight between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democratic leaders in the General Assembly.

But a new analysis says someone else should share the blame: voters. The people of Illinois are giving politicians contradictory instructions -- namely, keep taxes low but state services high.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he doesn't want to call the General Assembly into special session for votes on a budget even though there are just 10 days left in the fiscal year.

The Republican told reporters Tuesday that special sessions in the recent past have produced only hotter tempers.

Rauner says he'll "evaluate options" in the coming days to avoid the shutdown of ongoing projects and delays to the opening of public schools.

Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

The state budget impasse has forced schools to come up with plans for how they’ll open next year without state funding.

    

It’s a decision which schools that operate year-round have to confront sooner than most.  

Some school districts designate just a handful of buildings to operate year-round, but in Rock Island, every school is on that schedule.

The school board has considered cost-saving measures, like eliminating athletics and band, as well as debt options like opening a line of credit.

uber.com

A Chicago City Council committee has advanced plans to increase regulations for ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft.

The proposal requires similar regulations on Uber and Lyft drivers as taxi drivers, including fingerprinting as part of a criminal background check.

Drug tests and city debt checks would also be required.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Uber and Lyft officials have opposed the proposed regulations. The companies argue it'll cut into the number of drivers available.

There are approximately 90,000 registered Uber and Lyft Drivers in Chicago.

"Electronic Stethescope" By Flickr User Ted Eytan / (CC BY 2.0)

More than half of the states have disclosed how much higher their health care premiums could be next year under the Affordable Care Act, but Illinois isn't expected to do so for more than a month.

The Chicago Tribune reports that consumer advocates are frustrated because Illinois residents won't get their first look at proposed 2017 premiums until Aug. 1, about a month before the state Department of Insurance has to complete its review of rate information.

Illinois Lottery

Illinois Lottery officials say they support a short-term budget proposed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner because it would pay lottery winners.

The state of Illinois remains without a budget after Rauner and Democratic leaders couldn't come to an agreement. Last year lottery winners sued when the state withheld winnings because of lack of a budget.

A patchwork plan allowed lottery winners to eventually be paid but it expires June 30, the end of the budget year.

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