"dentist" by Flickr User wonderferret / (CC X 2.0)

With Illinois lawmakers struggling to agree on a state budget, the state Senate unanimously passed a contingency plan to get some money for dentists.

Illinois is literally two years behind in paying health insurance bills for state employees, which affects doctors, hospitals and other health care providers.

Dentists may soon find relief, though. Sen. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign, is sponsoring legislation that would allow private lenders to effectively buy the debt. The dentists would get paid, and the state would owe the lenders, plus interest.

Crowd Boos Rauner's Speech At CSU Commencement

May 11, 2017
Phil Masterton / WNIJ

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner received a rough reception from graduates at Chicago State University’s commencement Thursday at the financially struggling school's  campus on the South Side.

But the crowd did not celebrate the presence of Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Student trustee Paris Griffin addressed her fellow graduates at the predominantly African-American university.

Standing right in front of Rauner on stage, Griffin rehashed how she and other students protested the governor last year because their school was being starved of state funds.

A judge says a Chicago police officer charged in the shooting death of black teenager Laquan McDonald can't skip any court hearings.

Jason Van Dyke's lawyer has been arguing that Van Dyke shouldn't be forced to attend hearings because he's been verbally abused and physically jostled by protesters when he comes to court. Van Dyke's father said the same thing at a hearing Thursday.

However, Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan ruled that Van Dyke must keep attending the hearings. The judge promised to beef up courthouse security.   

A suburban Chicago judge has delayed deciding whether to dismiss charges against a police officer's widow accused of helping her late husband steal thousands from a youth program.

Lake County Judge James Booras said Thursday that he will take up the issue again on June 13 in the case, the Daily Herald reports. Melodie Gliniewicz has pleaded not guilty to being involved in her late husband's scheme to steal money from the Fox Lake police program.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

The University of Illinois System has launched a three-year, $60 million initiative to recruit top faculty to its universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield.

University President Tim Killeen announced the effort Thursday, the News-Gazette reports. Killeen says the objective is to bring in tenured, high-achieving faculty in a broad range of academic disciplines.

The plan is dubbed the President's Distinguished Faculty Recruitment Program.