Associated Press

The Illinois Senate's "grand bargain" budget compromise comes down to three pieces of legislation.

There's a $36.5 billion outline for spending in the fiscal year that begins July 1. The state hasn't had a budget since 2015 because of wrangling between Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The Illinois Senate has adjourned without taking action on remaining items from the ``grand bargain'' budget compromise.

Democrats who run the chamber had said they might push forward Thursday with remaining items after approving several parts of the compromise on Wednesday.

The Illinois Senate has scheduled a do-over for some pieces of legislation that are part of the so-called grand bargain budget compromise.

Democrats who control the Senate on Tuesday used a procedure to move bills that have already been approved by the Senate back into position for votes again.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says she's seeking a fifth term next year.

Madigan revealed her 2018 plans last week during an unrelated news conference in Chicago. The Democrat is already the longest-serving attorney general in the state's history.

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Chicago Tribune

The Obama Presidential Center will not be a part of the presidential library network operated by the National Archives and Records Administration.

The Chicago Tribune reports the move will free the Obama Foundation from amassing an endowment equivalent to 60 percent of the construction cost.

People
Champaign News Gazette

Three University of Illinois football players are charged with burglary and robbery after what they claimed to be a prank on a fellow dormitory resident.

The Illinois Senate is plunging back into the ``grand bargain'' budget compromise with three weeks remaining in the legislative session.

The Senate voted to give local governments flexibility on paying debts. It's one of the few measures with bipartisan support in a package that's supposed to help break a logjam on a state budget deal.

Illinois officials have released detailed plans for how they'll reintroduce a giant fish that was thought to be extinct from the state's waters.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced Monday that it's published a management plan for alligator gar, which includes goals and objectives.

A Chicago tax policy and research group is urging Illinois lawmakers to pass a full budget instead of ``piecemeal'' solutions in the final weeks of the legislative session.

The Civic Federation said Tuesday that to close an estimated $4.6 billion deficit Illinois needs spending restraints, increased revenues and borrowing for unpaid bills.

Northern Illinois University officials say there will be 150 staff position reductions as the school tries to cut expenses.

The Democratic speaker of the Illinois House has appointed envoys to find areas of compromise on a state budget deal with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Speaker Michael Madigan said Monday that Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie of Chicago is one of four House Democrats who will seek common ground with the GOP administration on the state's first full budget since 2015.

Attorneys for social service providers suing Illinois over lack of payment during the budget impasse have presented oral arguments before an appeals court.

The Pay Now Illinois coalition sued last year in Cook County seeking to force the state to honor contracts during the two-year stalemate. But, a Cook County judge dismissed the lawsuit, saying it belonged in a higher court.

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Jordan Maddox, WSIU Radio

With more rain expected in the region, volunteers in are filling hundreds of sandbags to save some areas that are inching closer and closer to high water.

Volunteers are bagging the sand at the former Curwood Plant on North 19th Street in Murphysboro.

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Governor Bruce Rauner is activating the state's Emergency Operations Center to help flooded communities.

The center helps coordinate emergency and relief efforts to rain soaked areas. The governor says a big focus now is on river flooding that will increase throughout the week.

The Illinois Comptroller says increased revenues coming into the state during tax season have allowed her to release more than $800 million in payments for health care services.

The administration of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says it wants a judge to decide whether state employees who were improperly hired under former Gov. Pat Quinn should keep union contract job protections.

A new report by a court-appointed watchdog charged with looking into patronage hiring at the Illinois transportation department details how friends and relatives of top Democrats were hired under former Gov. Pat Quinn, even as many had little or no experience.

March
Chicago Tribune

The Democratic-controlled Illinois House has approved public funding for all abortions.        

The House voted 62-55 Tuesday to allow state-employee health insurance or Medicaid to cover abortions. Medicaid currently covers abortions in limited cases.        

The Illinois House wants to tap incoming but unallocated revenue to relieve struggling universities and human services.

The House voted 64-45 Thursday to authorize spending $817 million that is sitting in special funds during a two-yearlong budget holdup.

Seventeen school superintendents sued the state of Illinois Wednesday.  They're asking Governor Bruce Rauner and the state board of education to come up with a funding formula that would help schools meet the state's learning standards.

The Illinois Senate's leader is promoting legislation he says will protect immigrants from Trump administration actions.

Democratic state Sen. Andy Manar says he will remain in the Illinois Senate rather than run for governor in 2018.

In an emailed statement Friday, the Bunker Hill resident says he plans to continue being "a strong voice for the citizens of Central Illinois" in the Legislature.

Despite February  job losses in the Transportation, Utilities and the Trade sectors, the February unemployment rate in Illinois declined point three percentage points to 5.4 percent.  According to the latest numbers released today (Thursday) Illinois Department of Employment Security nonfarm payrolls increased by over 25–thousand jobs last month with the biggest growth in the Education and Health Services, Government and Construction areas.  Jeff Mays, IDES Director noted that neighboring states experienced positive growth in manufacturing jobs, Illinois has not.  Illinois's overall 5.4 per

People
ABC 7 Chicago

Prosecutors say an appeals court shouldn't grant former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich a third sentencing hearing.

Their filing Thursday comes on the day the Illinois Democrat started his sixth year in prison for corruption, including trying to trade an appointment to ex-President Barack Obama's old Senate seat for campaign cash.

The University of Illinois is proposing a financial aid package designed to keep students at Illinois schools.

The U of I's "Invest in Illinoisans" plan would provide 170 million dollars a year in aid to undergrads and hopefully stem the tide of kids heading to other states.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's office arranged to pay half of the salary for the political ally he hired last month from an employee health care account that is $4 billion behind on paying bills.

Republican Leslie Munger is one of Rauner's deputy governors. Documents reviewed by The Associated Press show that half her $138,000 salary is set to come from health insurance premiums paid by state employees.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration has filed a lawsuit over the way Illinois' comptroller is handling employee pay.

The lawsuit filed Monday in St. Clair County Circuit Court says Democratic Comptroller Suzanna Mendoza is violating a 2015 court order.

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tristatehomepage.com

The National Weather Service says a tornado that killed a southeastern Illinois man and caused damage in adjacent Indiana had winds of more than 130 mph.

A weather service survey team determined that Tuesday night's tornado that killed 71-year-old Thomas McCord in Crossville, in White County, was an EF-3 tornado. Those storms carry winds of between 136 mph and 165 mph.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration has made it easier to find temporary workers in case a major public-employee union strikes.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees state council says hiring replacements would be illegal.

An Illinois House committee has cleared a proposal that would require public universities to admit first-time freshman applicants who finish with a GPA in the top 10 percent of their high school's graduating class.

The News-Gazette reports the House Higher Education Committee passed the bill Wednesday despite opposition from the University of Illinois and the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

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