Local

Illinois
6:07 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Lawmakers Dodge Legislation On Term Limits

Credit state of Illinois

Even as workers are gathering signatures to get a term limits question on the November ballot via citizens' initiative,  lawmakers turned down the opportunity to do the same. 

Voters get the final say in whether Illinois' constitution should be amended or not.  And they may well have that opportunity come fall.

But there are two ways to get to that point --  supermajorities in both chambers of the General Assembly can vote for a constitutional amendment question.

Or hundreds of thousands of voters can sign a petition.

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Illinois
6:00 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Could Cap And Trade Solve Illinois' Financial Woes?

University of Illinois finance professor Don Fullerton
Credit Institute of Government and Public Affairs

An Illinois professor says state government could improve its financial predicament and lower greenhouse gas emissions at the same time.   Don Fullerton is proposing what's known as a "cap and trade" program where a limit is placed on emissions.  Going above the level would cost operations like coal fired power plants.  But even he admits it's unlikely to happen anytime soon.  He spoke with Illinois Public Radio's Sean Crawford about the idea:

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Rockford
6:00 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Rockford Team Claims National Wheelchair Basketball Title

Credit Rockford Park District

Rockford's youth wheelchair basketball team won its first national title over the weekend. According to a news release from the Rockford Park District, the Junior Chariots won the Junior Varsity Division of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association tournament Saturday in Kentucky. 

About the Team

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Federal
9:34 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Job Openings Posted For Thomson Prison

Jenna Dooley WNIJ

Hiring is underway for the long-shuttered Thomson Prison in northwest Illinois.

Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesperson Chris Burke confirmed to WNIJ Friday morning that there are 15 job openings for Thomson through USAJobs.gov. He did not have specifics of those positions.

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2 Chainz
1:25 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Rapper Scheduled For Convo Faces Drug Charge

Tauheed Epps/2 Chainz

A Northern Illinois University Convocation Center official declined comment Friday on whether recent drug charges will affect the scheduled performance of rapper 2 Chainz on April 27.

Heather Priest, assistant director of marketing, said she was aware of the charges against Tauheed Epps, who was arrested June 11, 2013, in Los Angeles.  He was formally charged Thursday with felony possession of codeine, a common ingredient in prescription cough medicine and in the street drug sizzurp.

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Illinois
8:07 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Governor Criticized For Dodging Appointment Deadline

Julie Hamos (L) Manny Flores (R)

Some Illinois Republicans are criticizing Governor Pat Quinn for his handling of two appointees. The state Senators say he used a legal loophole to gain time to get the officials confirmed.

Quinn faced a deadline Friday to re-appoint Julie Hamos as director of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. He was also scheduled to appoint Manny Flores as head of the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Quinn withdrew the nominations and then immediately resubmitted them, effectively resetting the clock.

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Education
5:43 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Coal Curriculum To Continue In Illinois Schools

Credit Dept. of Energy

A group of lawmakers don't like the idea that Illinois students are forced to learn how great coal is.  But they failed in an effort to take that requirement out of state law.

Rep. David Harris, R-Arlington Heights, says the legislation would prevent the state from doing anything to promote coal.

"Well if you're from Southern Illinois, let me tell you something: this is an attack on coal," Harris said.

Rep. Deborah Conroy, D-Elmhurst, says Illinois has a lot of energy sources -- wind, nuclear, even geothermal -- and shouldn't promote just one.

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Illinois
5:09 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Graduated Income Tax Proposal Gains Traction

Credit state of Illinois

Advocates for a graduated income tax are making gains in the Illinois General Assembly. A Senate panel passed it out of committee. That plan appears to be gaining some support in the House, even after a different version of a graduated tax was nixed last week by a committee. Opponents say the proposal is bad for the business climate. Todd Maisch, with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, points to Illinois' high unemployment rate.  He says individuals and small businesses in a position to create jobs would be taxed out of the market.

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Politics
7:13 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Quinn Brings MAP Proposal To NIU

Governor Quinn at NIU

Governor Pat Quinn visited Northern Illinois University Thursday. He was there to promote his plan to boost funding for the state's Monetary Award Program, which provides scholarships to low-income college students.

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Business
2:57 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Series Reveals The Secret Life Of A Food Stamp

Credit Marketplace and Slate

Marketplace and Slate continue their series The Secret Life of a Food Stamp by asking: What if Wal-Mart paid its employees more?

Slate's Andrew Bouve produced a video which estimates how much more Wal-Mart might have to charge for some products, if it raised wages high enough so that a typical worker would no longer qualify for food stamps.

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