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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.

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.

Ten Republican senators voted for at least one bill in the grand bargain. We asked all of them about Gov. Bruce Rauner's role in stopping them from going further.

Democratic state Sen. Daniel Biss says he's running for Illinois governor in 2018.

People
State Journal Register

Gov. Bruce Rauner has taken his confrontation with the state's largest public-employee union to the Supreme Court. 

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Carbondale Police Department

A Carbondale man is wanted for murder in connection to a shooting on the city's northeast side Thursday evening.

Governor Bruce Rauner is accusing three of Illinois’ top Democrats of “coordinating” to shut down state government. All three deny the charge.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is taking her case over state employee pay to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Madigan is asking the justices to review a lower court order that’s kept state workers getting paid during the 20-month budget stalemate.

A group of concerned citizens wants the City of Carbondale to protect immigrants in the community.

Group spokesperson Natalie Long says members proposed an ordinance during Tuesday's City Council meeting.

People
CNN

Governor Bruce Rauner says Illinois wouldn't do very well under congressional Republicans' new health care proposal.

Some conservative groups have also criticized the House GOP's new plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration has filed a lawsuit over the way Illinois' comptroller is handling employee pay.

The lawsuit filed Monday in St. Clair County Circuit Court says Democratic Comptroller Suzanna Mendoza is violating a 2015 court order.

Weather
National Weather Service

The National Weather Service says last week's tornado that tore through parts of southeast Missouri and southern Illinois was an EF-4 - with top winds of 180 miles an hour - and was a half a mile wide.

An Illinois appellate court has temporarily barred Governor Bruce Rauner from imposing his contract terms on the state's largest public-employee union. The 4th District Appellate Court sided with AFSCME ... issuing an order prohibiting immediate action by the Republican governor.

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Benjy Jeffords, WSIU

Governor Bruce Rauner toured some of the storm-ravaged areas in southern Illinois Thursday.

During his stop in Elkville in Jackson County, the governor said the state will provide all the assistance it can to help tornado victims deal with the disaster.

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Assessment teams with the National Weather Service in Paducah were out in full force across the region Wednesday to examine the damage from Tuesday night's tornado outbreak.

Speaking at a news conference in Perryville, Missouri Wednesday, warning coordination meteorologist Rich Shanklin said the twister in Perry County, Missouri was substantial, possibly measuring as an EF-2 or EF-3 twister.

Jackson County Tornado Damage
Benjy Jeffords / WSIU

The last day of February once again brought tornados to Southern Illinois.

Harrisburg endured a lot of damage in 2012…

This time it was a few counties west in Northern Rural Jackson County.

Weather
Kevin Boucher, WSIU

One death has been confirmed in Missouri, and possibly two more in Illinois, after an apparent tornado swept across the Show Me state and Illinois Tuesday.

Illinois moved a few inches closer to having a budget Tuesday.

The state Senate began voting on its so-called “grand bargain.”

The deal has changes to business law long favored by Republicans, and a tax hike members of both parties have said is necessary to balance the state budget.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration has made it easier to find temporary workers in case a major public-employee union strikes.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees state council says hiring replacements would be illegal.

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

The Illinois House is set to return to Springfield this week. Meanwhile, policymakers are still puzzling through last week's budget proposal by Gov, Bruce Rauner, partly because his administration made a significant break with tradition in rolling it out.

The immediate reaction to the governor’s proposal included confusion. Typically, the top budget aides to the governor meet with their counterparts in the legislature before the big speech. But not the Rauner administration.

State Rep. Greg Harris, a Democrat from Chicago, says this is “unprecedented territory.”

Several months after first being mentioned as a possible candidate for governor of Illinois, Cheri Bustos has decided against it.

Monday, the 17th district congresswoman from East Moline said she will run for re-election next year instead.

SIU's President says candidates for Carbondale campus Chancellor could be on campus soon.

Governor Bruce Rauner has consistently praised the Senate leadership in its bi-partisan approach to create a spending plan called the Grand Bargain.

During his budget address Wednesday, Rauner repeated his call for term limits, worker's compensation and pension reform and reining in state employee health insurance costs.

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.

People
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.

Did you know that the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline ends in rural Southern Illinois - about 75 miles east of St. Louis? When completed, the pipeline will flow into the Patoka Tank Farm where crude oil is stored before being sent on to Midwestern refineries. St. Louis Public Radio's Mary Leonard tells us about those who live at the end of the pipeline.

Democrats say no. Rauner says yes. Brian Mackey tries to figure out who's right.

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