Illinois Information Service

The state's new "Life Insurance Policy Locator Service" has already helped families recover more than one point seven million dollars in benefits.

The service makes it easier for Illinoisans to determine if a loved one who has passed away has any life insurance policies they may not know about.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is asking a judge to tell state employees: No budget, no paycheck.

She’s trying to force an end to the political battle that's devastated Illinois finances over the last 19 months.

The Illinois Senate is ditching its promise to vote on a compromise budget plan by the end of the month.

The plan was to vote on the massive bipartisan effort this week...but Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno says they weren't quite ready.

The number of inmates in Illinois prisons has dropped by nine percent since Governor Bruce Rauner took office nearly two years ago.

Governor Rauner set a goal of reducing the prison population by 25 percent by the year 2025.

The governor says they've really tried to focus on rehabilitating offenders.
 
Efforts to rehabilitate inmates include making sure they have a state ID card as they are released from prison and identifying offenders who might benefit more from substance abuse treatment than sitting in jail.

Jimmy John's sandwich shops won't be able to restrict where their employees get another job under a settlement with Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office.

People
State of Illinois

The state of Illinois is officially filing for a waiver from the federal government to help provide better mental health services to Medicaid recipients.

The waiver would give the state access to two point seven billion dollars in federal Medicaid funds to restructure how the program handles mentally ill patients. Governor Bruce Rauner says the idea is to create a system that focuses on early intervention and prevention.

An innovative new project at the Trail of Tears State Forest in southern Illinois includes cutting down several trees.

You wouldn't think the State Department of Natural Resources would get rid of trees...but DNR Forest Ecologist Ben Snyder says that's exactly what they're doing.

Campsite reservations are now open for those hoping to camp out and watch the solar eclipse in southern Illinois next summer.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources spokesperson Tim Schweizer says you should probably reserve your spot now if you want to get a good seat to view the total solar eclipse on August 21st.

The Du Quoin state fair kicks off in southern Illinois Friday.

Du Quoin fair spokesperson Rebecca Clark says the event runs through Labor Day and includes harness racing, grandstand concerts and plenty of free entertainment.

People
Governor's office

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Tuesday signed into law a measure that would increase the sentences for illegal gun sales.

People with a record of firearms offenses who try to sell guns will face harsher penalties. The governor says the law targets so-called straw purchasers.

People
Governor's office

The New Mt. Vernon Township High School is open for business.

Governor Bruce Rauner joined area lawmakers as well as school and community leaders to officially open the new facility Friday.

Mosquito
PBS

The Illinois Department of Public Health and Environmental Protection Agency are teaming up to reduce the threat of mosquito-borne diseases in Illinois.

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger says the state's backlog of bills may hit 10 billion dollars by the end of the year.

Even though lawmakers passed a stopgap budget...Munger says the bills are still piling up.

People
Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

Governor Rauner toured the state Wednesday to rip the democratic leadership for not approving a balanced budget before Tuesday night's deadline for the spring session.

The Illinois House Wednesday  failed to override Governor Bruce Rauner's veto of a measure that would have required binding arbitration in union contract disputes.

It's a repeat of what happened with a nearly identical measure Rauner also vetoed last year.

A bill fully funding college MAP grants is now headed to the governor's desk.

The measure appropriates 227 million dollars to the grant program for low-income students.

State universities and community colleges would get a boost under a measure approved Thursday by the Illinois Senate.

Several guns bills have been proposed this legislative session in Illinois.

Some of the bills have gained some traction...where others have stalled.

People
Facebook

A group of downstate lawmakers Thursday urged their colleagues to pass a budget that would include equitable funding for public school children.

People
Amanda Vinicky, Illinois Public Radio

Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin - each collects private donations to help run their state fairs. But despite faulty infrastructure that will cost an estimated 180 million dollars to repair ... Illinois does not.

House lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday that would reopen the Hardin County Work Camp.

The camp closed in January as a cost-cutting move.

People
Chicago Tribune

Governor Bruce Rauner and two Illinois lawmakers talked more specifics Tuesday about procurement reform legislation mentioned by the governor last week in his State of the State address.

Illinois will stop giving the ACT college entrance exam and instead start giving high school juniors the rival SAT.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is awarding more than $1 million in Carolyn Adams Ticket for the Cure lottery grants to 37 not-for-profit organizations across Illinois.

There are just a few days left to sign up through the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace if you want coverage to begin January first.

The Illinois Public Health Association and the Illinois Association of Public Health Administrators are calling on lawmakers for help.

State counselors are available to help seniors navigate the current Medicare enrollment period.

The Illinois State Board of Education has developed a toolkit to help educators understand and explain what to expect from the upcoming results for the PARCC exam.

Preliminary scores from the PARCC student assessment test have been released...and more detailed numbers will follow.

The Secretary of State's office says the budget deadlock in Springfield is taking its toll on the office.

With no budget in place...bills to vendors like utility companies aren't getting paid.

The Illinois State Board of Education is releasing preliminary results from the new "PARCC" test, which was developed to assess how much students are learning.

The PARCC test replaces the I-SAT's for grade schoolers and the Prairie State Achievement Exam for 11th graders.

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