Illinois

WSIU Television

Every day, Illinois adds another 11 million dollars in new debt.  In a state that has not had a full budget for almost two years it looks like lawmakers will work past the May 31st adjournment date.  Interim director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Jak Tichenor says that not since the great depression has a state gone this far without a budget.  He says it won’t be a quick fix, because of all of the moving parts involved.  Tichenor says, for example, IF the Affordable Care Act is repealed in the future, Illinois will have to pick up the tab for those extra  650-thousand residents

WSIU/Kevin Boucher

In just over five weeks, the 100th Illinois General Assembly is scheduled adjourn and many educators are hoping that  House Bill 2808 will become passed.  The bill  seeks to change the state's 20 year old funding system for public schools.  Currently, local property taxes fund school districts.  Which means that wealthier districts can spend more money per student than less wealthy districts.  House Bill 2808 seeks to drastically alter the funding model by incorporating a new Evidence Based Model which looks at each individual school district's particular  needs to determine how much state

Illinois' population losses are frequently cited in debates over the state's tax rates and business laws.

Last year, Census figures show Illinois was tied for the greatest rate of people leaving the state.

A majority of state workers in Illinois' largest public employee union have voted to authorize a strike.

A group of Illinois legislators are pushing an agenda intended to help farmers who sell at local markets.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Analyst John Jackson about Gov. Bruce Rauner's 2017 Budget Address.

SIU President Randy Dunn says Governor Rauner's Budget Address gives him hope that a compromise may be on the horizon when it comes to a state spending plan.

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Monica Tichenor / WSIU Public Broadcasting

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller interviews Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Interim Director and Illinois Lawmakers Host Jak Tichenor about Gov. Bruce Rauner's 2017 Budget Address.

Illinois State of the Budget Address (VIDEO)

Feb 15, 2017

Today at noon, Gov. Bruce Rauner will deliver his third annual State of the Budget Address to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly.

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WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar, who is running for Illinois Governor on the Democratic ticket.

Missouri will no longer require workers who benefit from collective bargaining to pay union dues. That means Illinois is going to be surrounded by so-called right-to-work states.

A major credit rating agency has again downgraded Illinois' rating, citing the "unprecedented failure" to approve a state budget.

A group of lawmakers has agreed on a framework for making the way Illinois funds its schools more equitable. But whether it will lead to a long-elusive legislative fix remains to be seen.

A leader in the Illinois House says while he won't talk about specifics, he supports an expansion of gaming in the state - which could include a project in southern Illinois.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) as the Illinois General Assembly begins its 100th session.

In the second part of the interview, Bryant goes on to say she's optimistic a compromise can be found on the state's budget crisis. She says she's encouraged by discussions on potential workers compensation reform, among others.

Conservationists working to make Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville a unit of the National Park Service say they will continue their efforts under the new administration of President Donald Trump.

Staffers with the nonprofit HeartLands Conservancy had hoped that former President Barack Obama would declare Cahokia Mounds a national monument before leaving office on Friday, but that didn't happen.

Ed Weilbacher, vice president of HeartLands, says an executive order by Obama would have fast-tracked the process, but he said the effort will continue. He noted that local congressional leaders support the possibility of legislative action to bring the site into the national park system.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller interviews SIU President Randy Dunn.

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Brian Flath, WSIU

Six area Child Advocacy Centers are getting a financial bump, thanks to the local Rotary District.

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Jennifer Fuller, WSIU

Governor Bruce Rauner and other state education leaders visited Carbondale Community High School Friday, where he signed legislation aimed at helping schools hire more full-time and substitute teachers.

As 2016 winds to a close, WSIU InFocus takes a look back at the people and stories that made headlines here.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU President Randy Dunn, as the university waits for state funding to pay for the second half of the fiscal year.

Members of the Electoral College in Illinois are poised to officially cast their votes.

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DaleFowler.org

Harrisburg Mayor Dale Fowler will soon serve southeastern Illinois as the State Senator for the 59th District. WSIU's Jennifer Fuller sat down with Fowler to talk about his goals and priorities ahead of inauguration day.

If you were a soldier in World War II, a furlough was something to look forward to. It was a sanctioned leave of absence from your normal duties, a chance to relax and go have some fun. In today's economy, the word furlough has lost some of its luster. It still connotes time off, but without pay.

Tomorrow, Jeff Brownfield, who represents university civil service employees, will appear before the General Assembly's rules committee to ask lawmakers to approve a measure allowing state schools to require employees to take as many as 15 days off without pay.

Illinois legislators will only get a brief post-election respite from politics; a week from Wednesday they’ll be back in Springfield to begin the veto session.The current makeup of the General Assembly will remain in place for that, but come the new year -- when the Capitol welcomes a new set of lawmakers elected Tuesday night -- the balance of power will shift, slightly.

Election Day is like the Super Bowl of politics.

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Monica Tichenor / WSIU Public Broadcasting

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Interim Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Director Jak Tichenor about the ramifications of Election 2016 in Illinois.

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WTTW, Chicago Tonight

University leaders say they’re living with the uncertainty that’s come with more than a year without a full state budget – and still not sure what the future holds across Illinois.

Several downstate mass transit districts say they are on the verge of shutdown — or have already shut down.

Thousands of people rely on the services to get to medical appointments, the grocery store, or even work. And in turn the services rely on the state of Illinois for their funding.

Improving The Forest, By Removing Trees

Oct 14, 2016
Illinois Department of Natural Resources

The Illinois Department of Conservation, in cooperation with various conservation partners, is conducting a program designed to increase the number of Oak and Hickory trees in a small section of the Trail of Tears State Forest in western Union County.

Illinois Made Honors Three Local Makers

Sep 29, 2016
WSIU/Kevin Boucher

In July of 2016, the Illinois Department of Commerce's Office of Tourism launched the Illinois Made program, a tourism-building initiative designed to create nationwide, and worldwide awareness of the many small, unique southern Illinois businesses that make products uniquely from Illinois materials.

The Director of the Illinois  Office of Tourism's Director Cory Jobe recently visited three southern Illinois businesses to recognize them for their efforts and to present them with a commemorative  Illinois Made plaque which officially recognizes the business as being uniquely Illinoisan.

The three businesses recently honored and inducted into the Illinois Made program are:  Longshadow Gardens in Pomona Illinois,  Apple Knocker Hard Cider in Cobden and Scratch Brewing Company in Ava.  In this feature we visit with Jobe and the Owners of Scratch Brewing Company.

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