Top News

Illinois government has been deadlocked on a state budget for 23 months. During that time, the once-perfunctory job of comptroller has gained in power and prominence.

Two key figures in the middle of Illinois' political impasse continue to jockey for position. Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic Senate President John Cullerton each spoke to Illinois Public Radio's WBEZ...

Operations are getting back to normal at Franklin Hospital, after an evacuation Sunday.

WSIU/Monica Tichenor

On this edition of WSIU InFocus, we visit with the Interim Director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, Jak Tichenor, and John Jackson, of the Institute, about what lies ahead for the State of Illinois as lawmakers recently ended the regular Spring Legislative Session without agreeing on a full budget.

The Illinois Senate has approved a $5 billion income tax increase to fund what Democrats say would be a balanced, $37.3 billion budget.

A Democratic majority pushed the measures through despite opposition from Republicans.

Updated at 4:30 a.m. ET

Police in Manchester, England, confirm 22 people dead at Manchester Arena following an explosion after a concert by Ariana Grande. Nearly 60 people have been injured.

Authorities say they believe one man detonated an improvised explosive device, and was killed in the explosion. Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of the Greater Manchester Police said in a news conference,

Democratic State Sen. Andy Manar, of Bunker Hill, is accusing Gov. Bruce Rauner of trying to kill his school funding legislation. He says the administration fed erroneous information to a Republican operative's website.

The story in question appears in the Kankakee Times, one of a dozen community news organs created by Dan Proft. Proft runs a political action committee supported by Rauner.

A woman who was instrumental in the development of Title IX says the SIU athletic department may have an uphill battle in defending against a complaint it violated the 1972 law.

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights is investigating a Title IX complaint against Saluki athletics following a decision to eliminate the men's and women's tennis teams earlier this year.

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.   

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.

People
Facebook

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

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

Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is putting his heart into attacking the Republican health care bill — literally.

Durbin is citing his own recent cardiac procedure to point out what he and other Democrats say are flaws in the legislation.

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.

Flooding
Brian Flath, WSIU

Heavy rains forced evacuations and closed roads across the region over the weekend, and experts say we're not out of the woods yet.

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.

An appeals court is considering whether Illinois' imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich should get a third sentencing hearing.

Dr Elwell
Benjy Jeffords / WSIU

The first of four finalists for SIU Carbondale Chancellor visited the campus Tuesday. 

Dr. J.S. “Jeff” Elwell answered questions from the hiring committee, as well as campus leaders and others. 

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.

SIU
Jennifer Fuller, WSIU

A procedural move stymied plans to allow SIU Carbondale to borrow from SIU Edwardsville Thursday, but leaders say the idea isn’t dead.

SIU Trustees are discussing what to do about the cash crunch on the Carbondale campus as they meet this week.

April 4, 2017 Election Results

Apr 4, 2017

Voters went to the polls on April 4 to select their choices to lead local government bodies, including school boards, city councils, and more. Results are unofficial, and will be finalized later this month:

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.

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.”

Potential Cuts Spur Words of Support for SIU

Mar 30, 2017

The head of the SIU-C faculty union says the administration is doing a good job of communicating the financial emergency with his members.

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

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.

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.

Pages