state of illinois

People
Illinois General Assembly

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

Higher Education and money
WSIU / WSIU

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.

Sam Werkmeister, a father of two, nearly died six times last year.

He started taking pain pills to get through shifts at a restaurant. That led him to a full-blown addiction to opioids. After a relapse last summer, it took Werkmeister six months to gather the courage to go back into treatment. 

“It’s called carfentanil, and it’s really cheap,” he said, as he sat on a worn couch in the Granite City group home he shares with a half dozen other men. “It destroyed my life.”

Moody's Investors Service says it will review most of Illinois' public universities for potential credit downgrades over the next three months.

People
Jim Meadows, WILL

J.B. Pritzker brought his campaign for governor to the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana Monday.  The billionaire venture capitalist is trying to establish himself as the progressive choice for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

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.

Governor Bruce Rauner is now accusing Illinois House Democrats of killing a deal to end the budget impasse.

When the so-called grand bargain failed last month - Senate Democrats said it was because Rauner had pulled Republican votes away from the compromise.

People
Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

Governor Bruce Rauner brought his campaign tour to southern Illinois Wednesday.

Speaking to a group of supporters and workers at Aisin Manufacturing in Marion, the governor says Illinois government is broken and his turnaround agenda items are needed to fix it.

A Republican state senator from Bloomington Wednesday became the third legislator to introduce a competing education funding plan.

Illinois State Capitol
Illinois Public Radio

The Illinois General Assembly left the capital city last week for a two-week spring break _ without progress on an annual budget.

The Illinois House wants to tap incoming but unallocated revenue to relieve struggling universities and human services.

The House voted 64-45 Thursday to authorize spending $817 million that is sitting in special funds during a two-yearlong budget holdup.

House Democrats are working on a proposal to fund fiscally starving social services and higher education.

The more than 750 million dollar plan uses money sitting in unused special state funds, directing dollars towards state colleges and universities as well as MAP grants.

Seventeen school superintendents sued the state of Illinois Wednesday.  They're asking Governor Bruce Rauner and the state board of education to come up with a funding formula that would help schools meet the state's learning standards.

The Illinois Supreme Court will NOT take up the case of union negotiations in state government — at least not yet.

The administration of Gov. Bruce Rauner says it's gone as far as it can go in negotiations with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME.

The Illinois Senate's leader is promoting legislation he says will protect immigrants from Trump administration actions.

The Illinois General Assembly is considering legislation meant to expand privacy rights on the Internet. Two of the bills cleared procedural hurdles Thursday in the House, but they both have powerful opponents.

If you’ve spent any amount of time online, chances are you’ve been confronted with a long privacy policy. And if you’re like most people, you scroll to the bottom and click “accept” — without reading it.

Map
Associated Press

Some voters last fall found out Illinois makes it illegal to take a selfie with your ballot. State lawmakers are looking to change that.

It’s been two years since Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner unveiled his Republican “Turnaround Agenda.” On Wednesday, a group of rank-and-file Democratic legislators responded with their own “Comeback Agenda.”

Illinois' budget impasse has prompted another "doomsday scenario" at Southern Illinois University – which could be voted on as early as next week.

School funding has been one of the most hotly debated issues in the statehouse, but in recent days, there’s been a glimmer of hope. A Democrat filed new funding plan, and a key Republican in the Illinois Senate appeared to endorse it, issuing a statement saying that he was “cautiously optimistic.” Was this the beginning of a bipartisan solution? We decided to do a reality check.

 

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says Gov. Bruce Rauner is making “false statements” about the speaker’s position on selling a state building in Chicago.

On Tuesday, Rauner repeatedly declined opportunities to refute Madigan’s allegations.

Ten years ago, Cindy Bonnet found out she was getting new neighbors in Nora, Illinois: 10,000 cows. It’s what’s known in the industry as a “concentrated animal feeding operation,” or CAFO: basically a big cow warehouse, with a giant trough under it to catch their waste.


At the very southernmost tip of Illinois, the pancake flat cornfields give way to the rolling, forested hills of the Delta.

Here, at the windy confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, it feels more southern than Midwest when you arrive at the old river port and factory town of Cairo, once made famous in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

But Twain might not recognize Cairo today.

A new poll by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute shows almost ¾ of Illinoisans surveyed say they would supported the decriminalization of marijuana.

The poll found 74% of the people support or strongly support the decriminalization of pot where people in possession of small amounts for personal consumption would not be prosecuted, but could be fined.

The Grand Bargain is a package of interlocking legislation designed to break the budget impasse. How important is school funding to that deal? Important enough that leaders titled it Senate Bill One. Under the plan filed by Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), the state would freeze funding at current levels. Any additional dollars would be distributed based on each district’s demographics and unique needs, channeling the bulk of the money toward low-income districts.

A Cook County judge says the state can't withhold payment from Illinois lawmakers in the absence of a budget.

The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday decided not to answer a question about whether non-profit hospitals must pay property taxes. The case began with Carle Hospital in Urbana, but has implications across Illinois.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner recently announced that he wants to replace guards in prison watchtowers with security cameras, in an effort to cut down on overtime costs for the cash-strapped state.  In this report WSIU radio spoke with  Eddie Caumiant is a Regional Director with AFSCME Council 31, the Union which represents prison guards.

Prisons
Illinois Department of Corrections

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to replace guards in prison watchtowers with security cameras. It's an effort to cut down on overtime costs for the cash-strapped state.

Pages