Illinois

ilga.gov

Questions continue to swirl regarding irregular campaign expenses reported by Auditor General Frank Mautino from his time as a Democratic state representative.

Republican legislators formally requested in February that Mautino explain the spending.

State Representative Grant Wehrli of Naperville says three months later ... they're still waiting.

He and other Republicans held a press conference expressing their frustration. They also released a copy of a letter they just sent Mautino ... saying his delay is eroding the public's trust in his office.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

A $454 million bill to increase funding for financially struggling Illinois colleges and universities has cleared the state Senate.

Lawmakers approved the bill on a near unanimous vote and sent the measure to the House on Thursday.

Democrats who control the Legislature and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner have been unable to agree on a budget since July 1, and higher education institutions have been forced to lay off staff.

Last month, lawmakers used $600 million left over in an education fund to help colleges make it through the summer.

anitaalvarez.com

Cook County's embattled state's attorney has asked to recuse her office from prosecuting a case involving a white Chicago police officer who shot a black teenager 16 times.

If the judge approves, it would clear the way for the appointment of a special prosecutor, which activists and civil rights attorneys have demanded.

Cook County Circuit Judge Vincent Gaughan said Thursday that announce his decision about the request June 2.

An Illinois lawmaker is responding to the Dennis Hastert hush-money case with a proposal to give prosecutors the right to pursue child sex abuse charges no matter how long ago the crimes occurred.

The former U.S. House Speaker was sentenced to 15 months in prison last week in a hush-money case that revealed accusations he sexually abused teenagers decades ago while coaching high school wrestling in Yorkville, Illinois.

Hastert was prosecuted for breaking federal banking rules but not on the sex-abuse allegations because of a statute of limitations.

Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

Five dozen social service agencies working without pay for nearly a year because of the Illinois state budget stalemate are suing Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Pay Now Illinois — a group of 64 contract providers claiming they're owed $100 million — filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court.

The Republican's stalemate with legislative Democrats over a budget that should have started July 1 has entered its 11th month.

IDOL

OSHA inspectors conclude the amputation of a 21-year-old's fingers last fall was preventable at Custom Aluminum Products in South Elgin. Federal inspectors found the employer should have installed proper safety guards to keep operator's hands out of the metal press' danger zone.

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Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

With two months remaining in the current budget year ... Governor Bruce Rauner says Illinois has run out of cash.

He's pushing for a two-year spending plan.

"I'm recommending we do a budget that's for 2016 and 2017. Frankly, we're out of money for 2016. There's nothing that we can do really productive for 2016. We should get a grand bargain for both years, and do the right thing for the long term,” Rauner said.

Rauner -- a Republican -- has held out on a complete budget … as he presses for Democrats to adopt to an agenda THEY say will harm the middle class.

University of Illinois police say two more large swastikas have been discovered drawn in campus buildings.

Police say the new swastikas were found by a campus employee on Sunday in an elevator and a wall in the Armory indoor track and field center.

Three other similar swastikas were found in campus buildings on Thursday. The 2-foot-tall symbols were drawn with markers.

Police spokesman Patrick Wade said Monday that like in the earlier incident, investigators have made no arrests and do not yet have any suspects.

Students living illegally in the U.S. who struggle to pay for college because they don't qualify for financial aid are urging Illinois lawmakers to make them eligible for state help.

    

Legislation that passed the state Senate this month with bipartisan support would make Illinois among the few states in the country that let immigrant students get financial aid regardless of their legal status.

The measure is awaiting action in the Illinois House.

Illinois patients who want to use medical marijuana legally will try again to expand the program to include chronic pain, diabetes, migraine and other health conditions.

Monday's meeting of the state's Medical Cannabis Advisory Board could lead to new recommendations, but Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration has twice before rejected the board's suggestions.

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