Amanda Vinicky / WUIS

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is standing by his decision to backtrack on cuts to a low-income daycare program. 

That comes even as Democrats in the Illinois House failed to pass legislation that would have forced Rauner to undo his changes to the state’s Child Care Assistance Program.

The program is meant to help parents out of poverty by subsidizing daycare, so they can work or go to school.

It’s been about six months since students took the PARCC exam. Despite officials saying the tests will be graded by the end of the school year, results are not yet posted.

Illinois high schools are expected to receive test results in the next couple of weeks, and schools should receive test results from 3rd through 8th grades by the beginning of next month. That’s according to an Illinois State Board of Education memo.

Efforts To Double Property Tax Break Continue

Nov 10, 2015
Flickr user Daniel Borman / "Money, Money, Money" (CC BY 2.0)

There are efforts at the State capitol to double a property tax break for Illinois homeowners. 

The push comes from Chicago’s mayor and would double the homestead exemption across the state. For homeowners, it would increase their deduction for taxes they pay on their residence. 

It comes at a time when Gov. Bruce Rauner calls for a property tax freeze. 

Mike Klemens is a consultant who does research for a taxpayer interest group. He says property taxes got a lot of attention in Illinois in the ‘80s and ‘90s … but not so much lately.

Thousands of low-income families would once again be able to get state help paying for child care under a compromise deal introduced Monday by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Rauner had been responsible for changes that cut the families off from the program in the first place. He unilaterally raised eligibility standards so a parent making minimum wage no longer qualified.

After a months-long ruckus, the Republican governor says he'll expand eligibility once again. 

Higher Ed Focus Of Illinois Legislative Meeting

Nov 9, 2015
state of Illinois

Illinois legislators will return to Springfield Tuesday ... with no prospect of finalizing a budget for the state. 

So what will they do during the one-day session?

Steve Brown, state House Speaker Michael Madigan’s spokesman, says the plight of Illinois universities and community colleges will be in the spotlight during that meeting.

University of Illinois

The Illinois economy continues to grow … but at a slower rate than a few months ago. That’s according to a monthly economic report from the University of Illinois.

The U of I Flash Index fell to 105.8 in October from 106 in September. Though any number over 100 indicates growth in the state's economy, this is the third month of decline for the index.

The report's author Fred Giertz says the slower growth is a reflection of a bigger global trend -- including slowdowns in Europe and China.

Three insurers have sued Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs over an attempt to seek records on life insurance policies.

Frerichs said Monday an audit was sought to find unpaid death benefits because returning unclaimed property is part of his office's mission. 

Frerichs says beneficiaries might be unaware policies exist. The information received would be checked against a federal death database.

The lawsuit filed last week in Sangamon County argues the treasurer doesn't have such authority; it says the companies pay benefits if there's a claim and proof of death.

Hannah Meisel / Illinois Public Radio

Mike Madigan is running for the Illinois General Assembly.

No, the other one.

Urbana businessman and city council member Mike Madigan is running for the 52nd state senate district, he announced Monday in Champaign.

Madigan is the owner of Hickory River restaurants in Urbana, Peoria, Springfield and Decatur and has served on the city council since May 2013. He's the only Republican in that heavily Democratic body.

While he may have the name in common with longtime Democratic House Speaker Madigan, this Madigan says the similarities pretty much end there.

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner doesn’t appear to have high hopes for his next meeting with Democratic leadership.

As Illinois enters its fifth month without a budget, Gov. Rauner and his political opponents have agreed to meet in public in the coming weeks. There, Rauner says they’ll talk about his priorities, which may include limits on collective bargaining, along with raising taxes and how much the state government spends.

All of those topics have been non-starters. That’s why Rauner told reporters he thinks the meeting is more for show, than to come up with a deal.

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

The diversity makeup of Illinois schools is changing. That’s according to information released by the state.

If you moved every desk, from every Illinois school, into one giant classroom, more than half of the kids in those seats would be students of color.

That's on par with national figures. Last year, the U.S. Department of Education signaled that minorities would outnumber whites at the nation's public schools.