Illinois Public Radio

Illinois is losing residents.

Common explanations for why include high taxes, unfriendly business policies or the state's growing pension debt.

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NPR Illinois

Illinois will soon mint commemorative coins to mark the state’s 200th birthday. Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs unveiled the final design Monday in Springfield.

The biggest labor union representing Illinois state workers was back in court Wednesday.

AFSCME wants a panel of appellate judges to order Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration back to the negotiating table.

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Illinois Public Radio/WILL

Ronald Pressman says everyone needs to think ahead to retirement, whether that time is far in the future, or just a few years away. He says baby boomers need to make sure their retirement benefits live as long as they do ---- and millennials need to act now to make sure their plans for retirement get off to a good start.

Pressman is the CEO for Institutional Financial Services at the non-profit financial services organization TIAA (which underwrites All Things Considered and other NPR programs that air on WSIU Radio). 

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Chicago Sun Times

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner was asked Tuesday whether he would support a shorter prison sentence for Rod Blagojevich.

President Trump told reporters last week he thought Blagojevich was “very unfairly treated” and was thinking about commuting the former governor's 14-year sentence.

Illinois lawmakers have reached an agreement on a new budget hours before the May 31st deadline.

State Senator Heather Steans, a Chicago Democrat, says the package is similar to what Governor Bruce Rauner proposed. She says the final product is a result of compromise.  

Legislation that would split Southern Illinois University's board of trustees into two separate organizations may be put on ice to allow time for an independent study.

Students at Dixon High School are safe after a shooting in the school around 8:00 Wednesday morning. Police say a 19-year-old student entered the school with a gun and fired shots near the gym, where graduation practice was taking place.

He was pursued by the school’s resource officer, who shot him in the shoulder outside of the building. The shooter was taken into custody. Dixon Police Chief Steven Howell credits active shooter training with preventing casualties.

Former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar says the state won't be able to deal with long standing problems this year because of the election.

Speaking at an NPR Illinois forum in Springfield Thursday - Edgar commented on the partisan atmosphere at the statehouse.

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Senate Democrats Twitter Account

Ongoing budget talks at the Illinois Statehouse have shown no real sign of progress.

This week, Senate Democrats pressed Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration this week to explain its proposal to shift pension costs to local school districts.

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NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers recognized some special guests in the chambers Wednesday: Sister Jean Delores Schmidt and a few of the Loyola Ramblers.

The Loyola Ramblers busted a lot of brackets and captured the hearts of many when the men’s basketball team, as an 11 seed, made it all the way to the Final Four in the NCAA March Madness tournament.

With time against them, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and top  leaders met again Tuesday morning to talk about adopting a budget before next month.

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Illinois CMS

lllinois' 3 million Medicaid users will soon have more access to mental health and substance abuse treatments.

Officials in Washington, D.C. ok’d a new state program that sets aside about $2 billion in Medicaid funds for the services.

Ameren has agreed to disclose its plans to reduce the environmental and health risks of coal ash in Illinois and Missouri.

Company shareholders narrowly approved a proposal requiring Ameren to disclose any water contamination at its current and former coal plants during its annual meeting in Peoria Thursday.

The Illinois House and Senate passed a measure Thursday that would require the governor to disclose his total office staff ... and pay them all from his own payroll.

It started as an initiative called the "Truth in Hiring Act" ... which came from Comptroller Susana Mendoza, a Democrat up for re-election.

Decades ago, deer hunters were required to add blaze orange to their wardrobe to cut down on hunting accidents.

As the law stands, hunters using firearms must wear 4-hundred square inches of blaze orange clothing, along with a blaze orange hat... but lawmakers are considering a new fashion choice: blaze pink.

Governor Bruce Rauner has a track record of handing the toughest topics to small bipartisan panels of legislators.

These so-called working groups have been tasked with solving the budget, pensions, and criminal justice reform. And weeks after the Florida mass shooting, he formed a working group on public safety. But like the others, that group meets in private.

The head of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs is resigning.

Erica Jeffries has been in charge during multiple Legionnaires' disease outbreaks at a Quincy veterans' home.

A long-fought battle between state government and the AFSCME union came to the forefront again Thursday.

State government workers from the union rallied at the capitol to call for periodic raises they say the state owes them.

The Illinois General Assembly was unable to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of a measure to license gun shops. The deadline passed Wednesday.

People caught texting and driving on Illinois roadways could risk losing their licenses under a measure being considered by state lawmakers.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has won another term as chair of the state Democratic Party - which works to elect Democrats to office.

Madigan says he's encouraged by the support he's getting from the party's committee members - even after one member voted against him.

The Illinois House Friday failed to pass legislation meant to protect health insurance benefits under Obamacare.

The measure would prevent Illinois from seeking waivers from the federal law's requirements - like the one that say insurance companies cannot exclude people with pre-existing conditions.

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Associated Press

Another candidate is complicating Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s reelection campaign.

Thursday, state Senator Sam McCann, a Republican from Plainview, announced a third-party bid for the state’s top office. 

Illinois lawmakers are considering legislation that aims to address mental health parity in the state.

An idea being floated at the statehouse would urge public schools to cover the historic contributions of LGBTQ people.

The school code has already been changed to promote historically marginalized groups like women and African-Americans. The Illinois Family Institute opposes the measure.

The Jackson County Health Department and county sheriff's office are holding a medication disposal event Saturday.

They say the initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has reported a third death linked to synthetic cannabinoids since early March.

The state Illinois will finally begin sending local school districts more than $350 million dollars to equalize school funding.  The funds, set to go out next week, come as the result of the reform battle waged in the General Assembly over the past several years.

Planning for the state fair is in full swing, but Illinois has yet to pay all the costs for last year’s fair … and the one before.

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