Illinois Public Radio

Governor Pat Quinn's proposed budget cuts to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are so severe, the agency's chief of staff says it's on the brink of closing.

University of Illinois

University of Illinois' Board of Trustees says they want the university's president to rebuild support among faculty.

Illinois lawmakers are considering whether to end a benefit that lets university employees send their kids to state colleges for half-price. A measure is now before the full house that could bring the practice to an end.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel has gotten a proposal for a statewide handgun registry through an Illinois House committee.

Illinois will remain a smoke free state.  The Illinois House Tuesday afternoon voted down a measure that critics say would have eroded the statewide ban.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is defending his plan to close the Tamms Correctional Center.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission says Eric Zarnikow is its new executive director.

The Illinois Senate is  considering whether high school students should be required to take an extra year of math before graduation.

Former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar has concerns about the state closing the Tamms super-max prison.

Illinois lawmakers are considering a ban on the bumper pads that line baby cribs. Backers of the legislation says the pads have suffocated and strangled infants.

University of Illinois

About a hundred faculty members at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have signed a letter, urging U of I President Michael Hogan to step down.

Democrats are telling the Illinois Supreme Court that Republican attempts to toss the legislative map are too little, too late.

Lee Shares Up

Feb 23, 2012

 Newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises has completed another step on its road to financial health.

The U-S Postal Service announced plans Thursday to close several mail processing centers around the region.

A proposed law could help reduce the problem of copper theft.

Governor Pat Quinn says he's prepared to cut the state budget back to levels Illinois hasn't seen in more than four years.

Illinois has seen an increase in foreclosures. The firm RealtyTrac reports there was a 9 percent increase in January compared to the same time last year.

The state of Illinois is hoping President Obama will allow it to drop out of the No Child Left Behind law.

Illinois is the second most corrupt state according to a report released Wednesday by the Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

Governor Pat Quinn has named former central Illinois lawmaker Robert Flider as Illinois' new Director of Agriculture.

Republicans have asked the Illinois Supreme Court to throw out the new map of state legislative districts.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn wants to reduce the cost of the state's Medicaid health care system for the poor.

Doctors who agree to treat Medicaid patients will get paid less for doing it under one scenario Quinn is considering.  It deals with something called "the reimbursement rate." For example, a dentist might get about $75 for filling a cavity for someone with private insurance. But for a Medicaid patient, the dentist only receives about $30 from the state. 

Crime victims are fighting for greater standing in the Illinois court system.  

The Illinois House has approved a measure that would constitutionally guarantee it.  Victims of crimes and their family members want to be notified whenever an attacker's prison sentence could be reduced.   They want their safety to be a mandatory consideration when a judge decides bail, or conviction terms.   And they want to speak during those proceedings.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is shrugging off poll numbers that show a majority of residents disapprove of the job he's doing.  

A Chicago Tribune poll found 54% of Illinois residents are unhappy with Governor Quinn.  The Governor, however, says no worries... Quinn says polls come up and down and he's  pretty resilient. Quinn says he thinks the people of Illinois understand you have to have a Governor with the fortitude to take on the difficult challenges that need to be addressed to make Illinois a better state.  

Amanda Vinicky, Illinois Public Radio

Former Polish President Lech Walesa is headed back to his homeland after visiting Illinois this week.

Chicago  mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing for a statewide handgun registry.

Mayor Emanuel says handgun violence affects all of Illinois - NOT just the city of Chicago. But he admits it could be difficult to get downstate lawmakers on the same page. Emanuel says he didn't go into this because he thought it would be a slam dunk.

Against a backdrop of business leaders gathered at State Farm Insurance in Bloomington, Governor Pat Quinn Thursday detailed his Illinois Pathways Initiative.

State Board of Elections

Thursday was the first day Illinois voters could request an absentee ballot for next month's primary.

Residents can vote in person or by mail after filling out an application. Jim Tenuto works for the State Board of Elections. He says absentee voting is a good option for those who will be out of state on March 20th or have difficulty leaving their homes. He says  the trend seems to be making it easier for people to vote.
 
Early voting starts February 27th.

An Illinois House committee has voted to ban drivers from talking on their cell phones unless they are using a hands free device.

It's going to take a lot to fix Illinois' troubled college savings program. That's the message legislators heard Tuesday while grilling the head of the state agency that oversees College Illinois.

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