state of illinois

The Illinois Senate has adjourned without taking action on remaining items from the ``grand bargain'' budget compromise.

Democrats who run the chamber had said they might push forward Thursday with remaining items after approving several parts of the compromise on Wednesday.

The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that the Illinois High School Association has no obligation to release internal documents.

The court said the IHSA is not subject to Freedom of Information laws, calling it a private non-profit, not a governmental body.  FOIA, as it's often called, allows anyone to request records related to government work.

The Senate has approved a $36.5 billion budget that was initiated by minority Republicans. But, it turned down authority to implement it.

The Democratic-controlled chamber voted 31-21 to approve the proposed outlay for the year that begins July 1.

Higher education has been among the areas feeling the state budget impasse as funding has been cut.  It has forced some schools to reduce classes, lay off employees and, in some cases, close for several days. 

But a review of enrollment indicates small and mid-sized public universities are taking a double hit.   

The Illinois Senate has scheduled a do-over for some pieces of legislation that are part of the so-called grand bargain budget compromise.

Democrats who control the Senate on Tuesday used a procedure to move bills that have already been approved by the Senate back into position for votes again.

Both the Illinois House and Senate return to work in Springfield today. Just over two weeks remain before the annual legislative session is scheduled to end.

Illinois’ top political leaders continue to blame each other for the nearly two-year-long budget impasse.

Democratic Senate President John Cullerton held a press conference this week after Republicans wouldn’t take a vote to end the budget stalemate.

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State lawmakers in Springfield say they’re still working to reach a budget compromise, with three weeks remaining in the legislative session.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Interim Director Jak Tichenor about this week's episode of Illinois Lawmakers and what's happening in the Illinois General Assembly.

With Illinois lawmakers struggling to agree on a state budget, the Illinois Senate unanimously passed a contingency plan … for dentists.

Illinois is literally two years behind in paying health insurance bills for state employees. It’s affecting doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers.

The Illinois Senate is plunging back into the ``grand bargain'' budget compromise with three weeks remaining in the legislative session.

The Senate voted to give local governments flexibility on paying debts. It's one of the few measures with bipartisan support in a package that's supposed to help break a logjam on a state budget deal.

A Chicago tax policy and research group is urging Illinois lawmakers to pass a full budget instead of ``piecemeal'' solutions in the final weeks of the legislative session.

The Civic Federation said Tuesday that to close an estimated $4.6 billion deficit Illinois needs spending restraints, increased revenues and borrowing for unpaid bills.

The Democratic speaker of the Illinois House has appointed envoys to find areas of compromise on a state budget deal with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Speaker Michael Madigan said Monday that Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie of Chicago is one of four House Democrats who will seek common ground with the GOP administration on the state's first full budget since 2015.

Illinois is again at the center of a national movement involving the Equal Rights Amendment, 35 years after the state failed to ratify it.

SIU Trustees will decide this week whether to approve borrowing between the Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses, and appoint a new chancellor for SIUC.

The State Board of Elections says hackers gained access to the information of 80,000 Illinois voters — including their social security numbers and driver’s licenses.

Elections officials say hackers had access to Illinois’ system for nearly three weeks before they were detected. They did get access to personal information, but officials say that’s about it.

The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs is compiling a list of businesses that offer military discounts.

A 2015 law was designed to connect veterans and active duty service members with businesses interested in offering discounts and promotions.

A state audit found the Veterans' Discount Program was not implemented. The department responded that it wasn't developed due to staff turnover and other priorities.

Attorneys for social service providers suing Illinois over lack of payment during the budget impasse have presented oral arguments before an appeals court.

The Pay Now Illinois coalition sued last year in Cook County seeking to force the state to honor contracts during the two-year stalemate. But, a Cook County judge dismissed the lawsuit, saying it belonged in a higher court.

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Chicago Sun-Times

The head of Illinois’ child welfare agency is defending the decision to leave a toddler in a Joliet Township house where she was later found dead.

George Sheldon answered questions about the incident Wednesday at a state Senate hearing in Springfield.

The state budget impasse has left Illinois months behind in payment to downstate mass transit agencies. That's led to cuts in service from Kankakee to Jacksonville.

They agencies are funded in part by local sales tax collections. But that money has to pass through state government. Even after another $19.3 million dollars was released Monday, the Illinois comptroller's office says the state still owes transit agencies $70 million dollars.

House republicans says the governor's office is rescinding the layoff of 124 Illinois Department of Corrections nurses.

The plan was to replace the nurses with private contractors...but Representative Tim Butler of Springfield says they will not lose their jobs after all. He says he hopes both sides can return to the bargaining table very soon.

The Illinois Comptroller says increased revenues coming into the state during tax season have allowed her to release more than $800 million in payments for health care services.

The administration of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says it wants a judge to decide whether state employees who were improperly hired under former Gov. Pat Quinn should keep union contract job protections.

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An Illinois retirement board is terminating former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert's state pension.

He'd been collecting about 28-thousand dollars a year for his service in the state legislature.

A new report by a court-appointed watchdog charged with looking into patronage hiring at the Illinois transportation department details how friends and relatives of top Democrats were hired under former Gov. Pat Quinn, even as many had little or no experience.

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Chicago Tribune

The Democratic-controlled Illinois House has approved public funding for all abortions.        

The House voted 62-55 Tuesday to allow state-employee health insurance or Medicaid to cover abortions. Medicaid currently covers abortions in limited cases.        

SIU President Randy Dunn talks with WSIU's Jennifer Fuller about recent credit downgrades and warnings, and how the university can rebound from difficult financial issues.

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Illinois General Assembly

Members of the SIUC Campus community got a chance to hear from their two state senators Thursday.

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Just days after Moody's warned of a potential credit downgrade for Illinois' public universities, Standard & Poor's took action to lower the credit of a couple - and placed three on a negative watch list.

A proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next five years is making its way through the state legislature.

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