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Social service agencies are reeling from sudden budget cuts. But more could be on the way.

Some Democrats say they were taken off guard when, two weeks after legislators and Gov. Bruce Rauner passed a law to handle the budget through June, Rauner's administration said certain programs would be cut off.

Grants for a quit-smoking hotline, support for autistic kids and funding for a teen after-school program were all eliminated. In some cases, workers have been laid off, and services were discontinued.

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.

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.

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.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Public universities in Illinois continue to lobby lawmakers in hopes of preventing deep cuts to education. On Tuesday, State Comptroller Leslie Munger toured Northern Illinois University to get a sense of what a 31 percent reduction in state funding would mean to the school.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Scientists who depend on federal funding for their research could find themselves on more secure ground in the future. 

Senator Dick Durbin met with researchers at Northern Illinois University Tuesday to talk about two proposals that would guarantee increases in research and development funding.

Election 2015 Highlights

Apr 8, 2015

The Chicago mayoral race may have been the highest profile contest in northern Illinois, but it wasn't the only game in town. Voters weighed in on referenda and chose local leaders in a number of contests.

cityofchicago.org

Rahm Emanuel says he will be a better mayor for Chicago in his second term, thanks to the strong campaign run by his opponent, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. Emanuel defeated Garcia in the city’s first-ever mayoral runoff.

  Emanuel thanked voters for “putting me through my paces” during a speech Tuesday night at a union hall. He had failed to win a majority in a five candidate race in February, forcing the runoff. 

What Happens To Empty Seats In Local Elections?

Apr 7, 2015
Flickr user Brendan C / "Local Election Ballot" (CC BY 2.0)

Local elections are being held today throughout Illinois. Some races are contested and some uncontested, but others have no candidates on the ballot.

What happens then? 

More than 115 seats out of about 1,600 races in 19 northern Illinois counties do not have registered candidates.

That's about seven percent of all the seats up for grabs in this election. Those seats include Education Service Region trustees within Boone and Winnebago Counties and the Village President seat in Campus.

Kirk Won't Lend Support To LaHood In 18th District Election

Apr 7, 2015
WTTW

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk isn't lending his support to anyone yet in the race to replace former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock in the 18th Illinois Congressional District.

Kirk says he's letting his fellow Republicans choose their candidate for a special election. He declined to endorse the current front-runner, state Sen. Darin LaHood.

"I would say Darin has the right family name for Peoria leadership because his dad is so well-loved," he said, referring to long-time Congressman Ray LaHood.

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