Illinois Public Radio

A new statewide poll shows Republican President Donald Trump may weigh down Illinois’ GOP candidates in the midterm election.

Governor Bruce Rauner attempted to reset his election campaign Thursday.

Rauner gathered about 65 supporters in a hotel ballroom in downtown Chicago.

After years of declining enrollment, the latest numbers from Eastern Illinois University show that trend is reversing.

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University of Illinois

A monthly index shows the Illinois economy expanding at its highest level in more than two years.

The August Flash Index topped 105, on a scale where anything above 100 reflects economic growth.

Late last week, Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a measure that would’ve given Illinois school teachers a base salary of 40-thousand-dollars by the year 20-22.

But, State Senator Andy Manar, who sponsored the legislation, says he’s hoping to save it.

The University of Illinois Urbana campus is hoping a new free tuition program will help boost in-state enrollment.   But, officials don’t know how much of a boost the program will provide.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner last week vetoed several immigration related proposals ... earning the ire of advocates and some lawmakers in the General Assembly.

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill this weekend that would have raised the minimum salary for Illinois public school teachers to $40,000 by 2022.

In his veto message, Rauner says legislation isn’t the best way to raise teacher pay.

A new law mandates the Illinois Department of Public Health to begin screening babies for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, or SMA… a neurodegenerative disorder linked to infant death.

SMA is an inherited muscle disorder… it affects the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord… which limits the patient’s ability to walk, eat, or breathe. Children with the disease typically die before 18 months.

Governor Bruce Rauner wants changes made to a bill meant to reduce the state’s backlog of Medicaid applications.

State Senator Scott Bennett wants an override of the governor’s amendatory veto in the fall.

A national study comparing general school funding dollars with the amount spent on staff benefits singled out Illinois, and not in a good way.

 

The study tracked spending on K-12 education for the years 2005 through 2014. And nationwide, spending increased slightly… But spending on benefits for school staff? That increased much more.

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State of Illinois

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Wednesday signed a package of bills aimed at improving mental health throughout the state, especially in rural and underserved areas. 

It’s like facetiming your doctor… telemedicine allows patients to connect with mental and behavioral health specialists from a distance, and with this new legislation, Medicaid beneficiaries will now have access to these services.

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Sangamon Co. Jail

A staff member for Republican Congressman Rodney Davis’ campaign was arrested Wednesday night. He’s been charged with aggravated battery at a campaign event for Davis’ opponent. He was fired Thursday.

Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law several bills last week -- that proponents claim will reduce the state’s teacher shortage.

The state’s largest teachers union - the Illinois Education Association - says the legislation doesn’t do enough to solve the problem.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner was sued Friday by a group of former state employees who want their jobs back.

In 2016, Rauner issued a press release saying his administration had ended a “patronage hiring scandal” at the Illinois Department of Transportation.

The Illinois State Fair kicks off next week with the Twilight parade on Thursday, Aug. 9.

State Fair attendance for 2017 hit just over 500-thousand and State Fair Manager Luke Sailer says he’s hoping for even more… trying to bring in guests with new attractions like the fair’s first roller coaster and dropping beer prices from $5 to $4.

Parents of bright kids, listen up.

A new Illinois law will give gifted children the chance to move ahead in public school. 

Illinois’ agriculture sector has been through trade disruptions in the past …  but what they’re dealing with right NOW ... is different.  

Mark Gebhards is Executive Director of Government Affairs & Commodities with the Illinois Farm Bureau … he says corn and soybean farmers have weathered other trade disagreements … like the tariffs they’re currently facing from China. 

A Congressman from Illinois is working on a bill he says will encourage drug companies to develop new antibiotics.

More than 23,000 Americans a year die from bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

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Flickr: Brianna Laugher

Planned Parenthood of Illinois is speaking out against proposed changes to the only federal program that provides funding for birth control. Those changes include a so-called "gag rule" that could affect thousands of Illinois residents.

A series of state laws meant to reduce the number of kids getting kicked out of school appears to have worked.But, they also seem to have magnified racial disparities in school discipline.

New research from the University of Illinois finds products of omega-3 fatty acid metabolism show anti-cancer properties in mice.

We have a better picture of the money fight that’s happening in the race for Illinois governor.

 

Both of the major party candidates have largely funded their own campaigns. They’re both really rich.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a pair of gun-related bills into law Monday.

One measure allows a judge to order police to take away someone’s guns and registration for up to six months - if that person is thought to be a threat to others.

There are Illinois connections in Friday's indictments related to Russian hacking around the 2016 elections.

The indictment accuses Russian military intelligence of hacking the website of an unnamed state board of elections, identified only as “SBOE 1.”

Illinois has traditionally used a competitive grant process to parcel out money for preschools.

In the past, that competition was limited to programs that had a history of getting state funds.

Farmers are entering their 5th year of low crop prices ... and now soybeans have reached a 10-year low, in part due to Chinese tariffs.

Economists say this could be a pivotal year for Illinois farmers.

Governor Bruce Rauner profited from a health care firm that works with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement detention centers – according to a recent report from Politico.

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United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Southern Illinois' two republican congressmen back President Trump's new Supreme Court nominee.

In written statements, Murphysboro's Mike Bost says Judge Brett Kavanaugh is highly qualified and will interpret the U.S. Constitution in the spirit of the Founders.

Collinsville's John Shimkus says Kavanaugh is exactly the kind of judge needed on the Supreme Court because he bases decisions on the Constitution and the rule of law.

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Illinois Public Radio

A panel is traveling across Illinois to hear about what it's like to be a female in politics.

The  Anti-Harassment, Equality and Access Panel is hosting listening sessions to hear about sexual harassment in the political workplace.

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