Illinois

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

Illinois schools were not spared from the recent state budget cuts. But a $97 million fund was established to help the most cash-strapped districts pay their bills until the end of the school year.

Schools that qualify have limited local resources, a higher concentration of low-income students and very little cash on hand.

Robert Wolfe, who is the chief financial officer of the state school board, says the last minute cuts will affect every school district.

Flickr user Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee / "School of Jumping Silver Carp" (CC BY 2.0)

Asian carp, an invasive species in northern Illinois, may be declining. That eases the concern of them spreading into the Great Lakes.

But the area’s not out of the woods yet.

Matt O’Hara, an Asian carp project leader for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, says the carp can ruin the ecosystems in the Illinois River and its tributaries. That’s because they eat the same food that other native species – such as big-mouth bass – live on.

Be Wary Of Home Repair Scams, Tornado Victims

Apr 14, 2015
Office of the Illinois Attorney General

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is warning against home repair scams after deadly tornadoes struck northern Illinois last week.

Con artists could try to exploit homeowners and local businesses that need repairs due to storm damage.

Communities with the worst damage include Fairdale and Rochelle.

Madigan says to be wary of those who go door-to-door offering such services. Madigan says she's filed four such lawsuits in previous cases where homeowners in suburban Chicago and central Illinois were allegedly cheated out of more than $220,000. 

Could Free Summer School Help Students Graduate?

Apr 14, 2015

The cost of summer school can mean the difference between a child graduating on time or not at all for some Illinois families.

Democrat Mary Flowers, a Representative from Chicago, says students have a constitutional right to a free education. Her measure would waive summer school fees and tuition for indigent children, or if a student must be enrolled in summer school for educational reasons.

State Legislature Is Back In Session

Apr 14, 2015
state of Illinois

Illinois lawmakers return to Springfield today after a two-week spring break to begin work on a budget compromise for next year. A Senate hearing yesterday could indicate a tough road ahead.

Cities and counties in Illinois would see their share of state money cut in half under Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget. Rauner also proposed eliminating state assistance for foster children over age 18.

WUIS

Illinois legislators will return to Springfield this week after a two-week break. There's some suggestion it will have been their last hiatus for a while.

Legislators are set to spend a lot of the next seven weeks in session.

There's a lot to do: Gov. Bruce Rauner is pushing a massive agenda. He wants to overhaul the workers' compensation system, and to give municipalities the ability to rein in labor unions. Plus, there's dealing with a $6 billion deficit.

WUIS

A proposal in the Illinois House would require all state vehicles to be manufactured in North America. Some groups say it would hurt Illinois businesses.

The Department of Transportation and the Illinois Manufacturers Association are among those who oppose House Bill 3438. 

Randy Nehrt of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce says this could actually hurt Illinois businesses, especially those that supply parts to car manufacturers in Mexico.

St. Louis Public Radio

State higher education funding per full time student has dropped more than 26 percent in Missouri and increased almost 50 percent in Illinois over the past five years, according to data compiled by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association.

The stark contrast between the states is due in part to an almost 29 percent variance in enrollment trends; Missouri enrollment has gone up while Illinois enrollment has gone down.

Amanda Vinicky / WUIS

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he choose to award business tax credits to uphold Illinois' trustworthiness with companies, but the Republican's critics are calling it "beyond the pale."

Social service organizations are still reeling from the unexpected news they received a week ago that Gov. Rauner was immediately cutting off their state grants.

No longer would there be money to bury the indigent. Funding for The Autism Program would be eliminated. Funding would be stripped from addiction prevention. Cuts would total $200 million.

National Politicians Congratulate Emanuel On Re-Election

Apr 9, 2015
cityofchicago.org

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel’s phone lit up with calls from some of the country’s most powerful politicians congratulating him on re-election, and Emanuel continues to criticize Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget cuts while leaning on the governor for support.

Emanuel says he heard from two presidents Tuesday. One was Bill Clinton, his former boss.

When Emanuel was asked if that call from a Clinton means he has his mind on returning to Washington D.C. should Hillary Clinton win her unofficial campaign for president next year, Emanuel gave a partly light-hearted answer.

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