Low-income, working parents are once again fighting for help from the state for childcare.

Since July, Illinois drastically reduced who's eligible for the state's daycare assistance program. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner made the change, he says, to save money.

For nearly two hours Tuesday at a hearing in Springfield, daycare providers and parents -- like Chante Morrison -- pressed Rauner to cancel the rollbacks.

Morrison is a single mother of two girls from Galesburg.

"I wanna work; my children need to know that you have to work to succeed," Morrison said.

Twitter / ECC

A suburban Chicago community college was recognized by state officials for completing a campus safety initiative. 

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency announced Elgin Community College received the “Ready to Respond Campus” designation.

The goal of the program is to help students, administration and faculty prepare for hazards and emergencies. That includes campus shootings.

To get the status, a college or university has to develop a violence prevention plan and start a campus outreach and education campaign.

state of Illinois

Leaders of several state universities and community colleges are sounding the alarm as they begin month three of receiving no money from Illinois. 

State support for Illinois’s 12 public universities and its 49 community colleges is the largest part of the state government that isn’t being funded during Springfield’s budget impasse.

While the state’s bigger schools, like the University of Illinois, are able to truck along without much impact on students, the situation at Eastern Illinois University is much more dire, officials say.

State of Illinois

Illinois public colleges and universities have become collateral damage in the state’s months-long budget impasse, fueled by political stalemate between Illinois’ Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and the democratically-controlled General Assembly.

Rauner says he’s willing to consider more state revenue to pay for support to items like public colleges and universities, but only if lawmakers pass his pro-business, union-weakening “Turnaround Agenda” first.

ConAgra Foods

Governor Bruce Rauner says Illinois will see a net gain of jobs from a  Fortune 500 company that just received state tax breaks. 

ConAgra already employees Illinois workers, but it's transferring them from Naperville to Chicago. That’s part of a larger move to the city from its headquarters in Omaha.

Brian Mackey

Illinois has gone more than three months without a budget, but state government is anything but shut down.

Court orders and existing law made it possible for the largest chunks of the state's financial obligations to be paid ... except for the state's 12 public colleges and universities. That includes the University of Illinois, where Governor Bruce Rauner dedicated on Friday the opening of a veteran’s center on the school's Urbana campus.


Hundreds of artists and administrators met last week to discuss the state of the arts in Illinois.

Politics dominated the discussion, with a focus on ever-shrinking budgets for many arts groups. That includes the Illinois Arts Council Agency, which is the state department that oversees government spending on the arts.

Funding for the council has diminished from about $20 million dollars in 2007 to less than $9 million in 2012.

Ra Joy heads Arts Alliance Illinois, which is the state's largest such advocacy and membership group.

WNIJ’s Gas Price Monday: Oct. 5, 2015

Oct 5, 2015
Carl Nelson/WNIJ

Illinois gas changes remained relatively stagnant from last week.

A gallon of regular gas in the Rockford area costs $2.39. That’s a few cents more than a week ago but almost a dollar less than a year ago.

Chicago prices are at $2.93 per gallon. There are no changes in price from last week, but that’s still almost a dollar less than a year ago.

The state average is $2.50 per gallon. That’s one cent more than last week but almost a dollar cheaper than it was a year ago.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is set to give the opening address to her Midwest counterparts aimed at preventing and addressing gender-based violence.

The two-day conference will cover issues including domestic abuse and sexual assaults on college campuses.

Madigan is the chairwoman of the Midwest region's National Association of Attorneys General. The group is comprised of attorneys general from 11 states.

Madigan helped draft legislation that requires college campuses to have policies about reporting incidents and notifying survivors of their rights.

state of Illinois

Two Illinois legislators are finalists for a bigger job in state government. Frank Mautino and Elaine Nekritz -- both Democrats in the Illinois House -- are among the finalists to be auditor general next year.

State Senator Jason Barickman, a Republican from Bloomington, is on the commission that helped narrow the field. Barickman says he's optimistic the next auditor general will be selected before the current one retires at the end of this year.