Illinois Information Service

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.

A comprehensive package to fight the growing problem of heroin abuse is set to become law in Illinois.

The House and the Senate have now both overridden the governor's partial veto of the bill...requiring Medicaid coverage of heroin treatment and addiction services.

Comptroller Leslie Munger says Illinois' unpaid bills backlog could potentially jump past $8 billion by next year without a state budget.

Munger reiterated the consequences of having no spending plan to legislators and Gov. Bruce Rauner Wednesday. Both sides remain at impasse for the fiscal year that started back on July 1.

New federal rules designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants have coal advocates speaking out.

A bi-partisan group of lawmakers Wednesday talked about the need for Illinois to have time to digest the 2,000-page Clean Power Plan.

Human service providers from throughout Illinois spoke to the media Tuesday in Springfield about the impact of the state budget stalemate.

Seatbelt usage in Illinois has hit an all-time high.

A little more than 95 percent of Illinois drivers and front seat passengers are wearing their safety belt...up from 94 percent last year.

Illinois' Attorney General is asking a judge to clarify what the state can and can't pay for, when there's no budget in place.

Lisa Madigan says state law and the constitution place severe constraints that limit the government's ability to pay its bills.

Investment fraud costs Illinois residents millions of dollars each year.

Secretary of State Jesse White announced the kick-off of a new public awareness campaign aimed at encouraging people to investigate before they invest.

Secretary of State spokesperson Dave Druker says they want to remind people that they should "investigate before they invest" and make sure their advisor or broker is legit.

He says victims of investment scams are oftentimes seniors.

Before investing, visit www.AvoidTheScam.net.

 

May was warm and wet in Illinois.

State climatologist Jim Angel says statewide average rainfall was five point six inches last month...which is about an inch above normal. He says a few areas like Red Bud received more than nine inches of rain in May.

He says the driest area was in southeastern Illinois...mainly along the Indiana border from around Champaign to Carmi.

May was warmer than normal...by more than two degrees.

(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.

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