Associated Press

no local sales tax grahic
Missouri Department of Revenue

Shoppers in neighboring states like Missouri and Iowa will enjoy a back-to-school sales tax holiday, but it won't be offered to those in Illinois. 

People
University of Illinois

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Phyllis Wise says she is resigning over concerns that what she called ``external issues'' involving her are a distraction to the university.

State of Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner plans to lay off at least 171 state employees because of Illinois' budget crisis.

The Department of Natural Resources will lose 107 people. Many work for the Illinois State Museum, which Rauner has targeted for closure.

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich says in his first statement since entering prison that he'll ``fight on'' in the courts because ``what is at stake is nothing less than the rule of law.''

A published report says Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration has been contacting retired state employees to determine if they're willing to come back on short-term contracts in case of a workers' strike.

An Illinois appellate court has upheld a county judge's decision that state employees should get full pay even during the state's budget crisis.

The Illinois Supreme Court is not ready to weigh in on whether state employees can be paid while the government's in gridlock.

Eastern Illinois Univeristy logo
eiu.edu

Budget cuts at Eastern Illinois University now include furlough days for more than 200 administrative and professional employees. 

The Mattoon Journal-Gazette and the Charleston Times-Courier reports that EIU President David Glassman sent a letter to the university community on Wednesday detailing the furloughs. The furlough will impact 222 Administrative and Professional staffers.  Last month Glassman sent an email letting employees know that layoffs were possible in July.

Happy hour drink specials will make a comeback in Illinois under legislation signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The discounted drink specials have been banned in Illinois since the late 1980's over concerns about excessive drinking and impaired driving.

The number of patients approved to use medical marijuana has been climbing, but slowly. Illinois sent about 100 approval letters in June to patients who qualify for the program.

The president of Eastern Illinois University says the school is considering budget-cutting measures including layoffs.         

The state's most powerful Democrat says the Illinois House will approve a temporary budget to ensure continued services as a new fiscal year starts Wednesday without a spending agreement.

Person
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Searchers have found a 13-year-old Mt. Vernon girl who went missing for more than a day after a taxi dropped her off at a southern Illinois overnight camp.

Governor
Associated Press

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is trying to reassure state employees they will continue to be paid for working if there's no state budget agreement by Wednesday.

Teacher
Facebook

An eastern Illinois teacher has been fired for stepping on a small U.S. flag during a lesson last month.

According to the Journal-Gazette in Mattoon, the Martinsville School District board voted 6-0 Thursday to fire English teacher Jordan Parmenter.

The state of Illinois is having trouble finding a bank or financial company to process the large amounts of cash it anticipates receiving for taxes and fees from its new medical marijuana industry.

The state received no response to a solicitation published last fall. Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs has started a formal process to find out why.

The legal marijuana industry tends to operate with cash only. Experts say banks and credit card companies are wary because the federal government considers marijuana an illegal drug.

Illinois Democrats are sending Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner budget bills even as both sides remain deadlocked over a spending plan.

The House and Senate this week each sent two of nearly two dozen budget bills to Rauner's desk. Senate President John Cullerton's office says more will follow next week.

Rauner and Democrats, who control the Legislature, are at a budget impasse for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Democrats approved a plan that's over $3 billion short of anticipated revenue. They want Rauner to OK a tax increase, but Rauner first wants other reforms.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has said that he wants to reduce Amtrak service in the state starting July 1, but an Amtrak spokesman says the state Department of Transportation hasn't informed the national rail line about any cuts.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari says the company still is accepting bookings for current levels of service. Rauner announced the cuts Friday as he continues to negotiate with Democratic leaders in the Illinois Legislature over the state budget.

 

The Illinois Department of Agriculture is warning county fair operators to take extra precautions this summer to stop the spread of poultry and livestock diseases.

The agency sent letters to more than 100 county fairs urging biosecurity measures. The letter asks local fair officials to adopt a formal plan on disease response or to update existing plans.

State Veterinarian Mark Ernst says the measures are precautionary. So far, no cases of avian flu, which has killed millions of chickens and turkeys nationwide, have been reported in Illinois.

Illinois agriculture officials are hosting buyers from seven foreign countries this week in an effort to increase export sales for the state's pork industry.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture says the buyers are from China, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Thailand and Vietnam. Their tour lasts through Wednesday and includes stops in Red Bud and Teutopolis. The group will visit soybean researchers and family farmers among others.

On Thursday, the group will travel to Des Moines, Iowa, for the World Pork Expo.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and several other insurers are making initial double-digit rate increase requests for some Illinois health plans for 2016.

The federal government Monday posted companies' proposed rate increases of 10 percent or more. The rates are under review and won't be final until October.

Illinois requests are as high as 42 percent for a plan offered by Time Insurance Company. Blue Cross is requesting a 38 percent increase for one plan. Other double-digit hikes were requested by Coventry, Humana and Health Alliance.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's choice for state prisons director has resigned just two months into the job.

Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly says the governor has accepted the resignation of Donald Stolworthy. She did not give a reason for the departure of the 54-year-old former U.S. State Department aide. 

Neither Stolworthy nor his spokeswoman have commented.

A report from Illinois lawmakers has found that state university and community college presidents have enjoyed lavish perks, some worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, that aren't always disclosed to taxpayers.

 

 

An advisory board voted Monday to recommend adding 11 health conditions to the Illinois medical marijuana program. The board rejected three others because of a lack of scientific evidence or, in the case of diabetes, because of concern that marijuana would stimulate appetite in patients who need to watch their diets.

(Nancy Stone, Chicago Tribune)

Illinois' attorney general has filed lawsuits against five companies and is accusing them of scamming people who need to repay student loan debt.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed the lawsuits Monday. She says the scammers charge borrowers costly upfront fees with the false promise that their debt will be forgiven or decreased.

AP Photo/Seth Perlman

Former Illinois Governor Dan Walker has died.

Walker came to fame in 1971 by literally walking the length of Illinois.

He spent much of his time fighting the Democratic machine. In Illinois in the 1970s, that meant fighting Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley.

"I have been trying very hard to bring to this state a Democratic Party that is open. A Democratic Party that is responsive to people. And a Democratic Party that is representative of people all over the state of Illinois, and does not just respond top the wishes of one man in Chicago."

Illinois Department of Corrections

A south-central Illinois teenaged parolee faces up to two decades in federal prison after admitting in court he helped steal assault-style rifles and other firearms from a store in what authorities say was his plot to sell them to protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 19-year-old Dakota Moss of Centralia pleaded guilty Wednesday in East St. Louis to five felony counts, most of them gun-related.

Authorities say Moss played a role in stealing the firearms and 1,000 rounds of ammunition during a November burglary of a Centralia store.

Yahoo! Images

Pop-rock group The Fray and rocker Meat Loaf have been added to the Illinois State Fair grandstand lineup.

Fair officials say Meat Loaf will appear with Styx and Tesla on August 19, followed by The Fray with Andy Grammer on August 20.

Tickets for both shows go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday through Ticketmaster. They'll be on sale at the State Fair Office starting at 9 a.m. on Monday.

Also scheduled to perform at the fair are Sammy Hagar, Justin Moore, Rascal Flatts, Hank Williams Jr., Austin Mahone and more.

File photo

The Illinois State Board of Education has selected a new schools chief.

ABC News

The National Weather Service says one of the tornadoes that struck northern Illinois was an EF-4.

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