Illinois Politics | WGLT

Illinois Politics

Michael Hill / WGLT

People from different parts of Illinois are agreeing to "mend the gaps" when it comes to issues such as healthcare, taxes, education and pay inequality. Residents from Bloomington, Normal, the Chicago area and other Illinois communities attended a discussion called the "Caucus to Mend the Gaps." The event is part of the "Nuns on the Bus" tour.

Jim Browne / WGLT

U-S Senator Dick Durbin says he's glad Illinois has a stop-gap budget. But he says the year-long budget crisis didn't help reduce urban violence in Illinois.

Il. Dept. Corrections / Facebook via Creative Commons

Federal prosecutors and defense attorneys face a midnight deadline for motions regarding the sentence they'd like former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to receive when his case returns to court for a resentencing hearing next month. 

mikvachallenge.org

Colleagues, friends and family members are paying tribute to Abner Mikva, a former Illinois congressman and judge who died Monday at age 90.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says he regarded Mikva as his "North Star for integrity, independence and progressive values." Durbin says Mikva's "record of public service was proof that the good guys can win without selling their souls."

Mike Miletich / WGLT

The human services sector makes a major contribution to Illinois' economy, but the current budget impasse is making that area suffer. Human services hire more than 1,000 workers in McLean County. With a loss of these jobs, there will be less income to the community through taxes and spending.

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Some $2 billion in road construction projects will be shut down July 1 in Illinois without a state budget agreement. An Associated Press analysis of Illinois Department of Transportation data shows that collectively work on the 19 largest projects is less than halfway done in terms of money spent.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

With just over a week left before the start of the 2017 Fiscal Year, Illinois' Comptroller is warning that hardships caused by the state's budget impasse will grow significantly without further action in Springfield.

While court orders, consent decrees and statutory authorization of some payments will continue, Munger said that $23 billion in existing spending for schools, 911 call centers, domestic violence shelters, federally-funded social and human services and higher education will stop next month without new legislation.

Rodriguez for Congress / Facebook

There were no Democrats on the ballot for Congress in the 18th district when Illinois voters cast primary ballots nearly three months ago. But there will be one on the general election ballot November 8th.

Eureka College history professor Junius Rodriguez was chosen last month by a group of county party leaders in the district, which stretches from Springfield to Peoria to the Mississippi River and also includes parts of McLean County. Rodriguez has toyed with running for the post in the past, but decided against it.

Staff / WGLT

If schools don't open in the fall because of a lack of state funding, children will be hungry. That's according to school superintendents reacting to Governor Bruce Rauner's speech in Bloomington.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

After a speech to school superintendents at the regional alternative school in Bloomington, Governor Bruce Rauner told one of them "hang on, it's going to get rocky." Rauner was referring to the lack of authorized school funding, something he used in the speech to blast House Speaker Mike Madigan. Rauner several times remarked he refused to bail out Chicago Schools

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New court documents provide a window into how the Independent Maps Coalition is trying to fend off a legal challenge. A lawsuit scuttled a similar redistricting effort two years ago.

Daniel Schwen / Flickr via Creative Commons

The economic impact of the potential closure of the Clinton Nuclear plant begins now, not in a year when the plant actually shuts down. Plant Spokesman Brett Nauman says the announcement also means the end of infrastructure improvements and outside work, which involves a significant workforce in the community.

Illinois State Capitol exterior
Justin Brocke / Flickr

The Illinois legislature has sent the governor legislation amending the state law that decides when doctors can object to caring for a patient based on moral principle.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Exelon Corp. says it will shut two Illinois nuclear plants after the Illinois Legislature declined to act on its request for financial support. The company said Thursday it will close the Clinton Power Station in Clinton on June 1, 2017, and the Quad Cities Generating Station in Cordova on June 1, 2018.

Staff / WGLT

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz said he is really disappointed lawmakers have failed to approve a budget for the second consecutive year. The spring session of the General Assembly ended Tuesday night without any viable spending plan. Dietz said this has been bad news for eleven months.

Jim Browne / WGLT

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is spending Wednesday and Thursday taking his budget message on the road.  The legislature finished its spring session Tuesday evening without sending him a spending plan. 

Charlie Schlenker

The McLean County Republican Party has slated Scott Murphy in the District Two County Board race. urphy is already serving on the board after he was appointed following the resignation of Matt Sorensen.

WGLT

School Districts are reviewing their disciplinary codes this summer to prepare for the effect of a new law going into effect with the new school year in the fall.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

You wouldn't have to be sick, to take a sick day under legislation approved Tuesday by the Illinois House.      

PATH

Editors Note:  "Stretched Thin," is examining the effect of the state budget impasse on local social service agencies to put a human face on how the stalemate is affecting the daily lives of Illinois residents.  

Several months ago the Bloomington based social service agency Providing Access To Help kept its doors open and made payroll after much searching and stress about searching for a loan. 

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The Illinois Secretary of State's office says a plan to issue driver's licenses and state identification cards in Illinois that are more secure won't require additional state funding. 

Kelly Taylor / Creative Commons

A plan allowing automatic voter registration in Illinois is advancing through the Legislature despite concerns from the leading state election authority that would have to implement it. 

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Illinois' top political leaders remain divided.  As of Tuesday there will be only eight days left for them to reach a budget deal.

Mid Central Community Action

Editors Note:  "Stretched Thin," is examining the effect of the state budget impasse on local social service agencies to put a human face on how the stalemate is affecting the daily lives of Illinois residents.  

Many human service agencies were forced to react immediately at the end of last June when Governor Bruce Rauner and Lawmakers chose not to agree on a state budget. Among them was Mid Central Community Action in Bloomington.

Jerry Harcharik

An estimated eight thousand union members flooded streets in front of the Illinois Statehouse to protest Governor Bruce Rauner's agenda.

Baby Fold

Editors Note:  Stretched Thin is an ongoing series of interviews with those managing social service agencies through an unprecedented state budget stalemate.  

The CEO of the Baby Fold said she is thrilled that higher education received part of its needs from the state, but human services is at the end of the line. In another part of the GLT series Stretched Thin, Charlie Schlenker talked with Diane Schultz, who said the Baby Fold had already downsized its residential treatment effort and laid off 20 people starting last June.

Charlie Schlenker / Schlenker

A move to cut the McLean County Coroner's salary by six percent has failed soundly. Outgoing County Board member Ben Owens made the motion, saying new hires in businesses often come in at a lower rate than their predecessors. Owens framed the proposal as a money saving move for taxpayers.

Mathew Paul Argall / Creative Commons

Editors Note:  "Stretched Thin," is examining the effect of the state budget impasse on local social service agencies to put a human face on how the stalemate is affecting the daily lives of Illinois residents. 

The head of the Children's Home and Aid Society in Bloomington says the last ten months has done a lot to her organization. During Sound Ideas, Lisa Pieper talked WGLT's Charlie Schlenker about the impact on human services from the state budget standoff over Governor Rauner's turnaround agenda.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

A bipartisan group of lawmakers known as the Budgeteers has forwarded a draft of an outline of a spending plan to the Governor and legislative leaders. It includes spending cuts and revenue increases, but not Governor Bruce Rauner's proposed reforms to the structure of state government.

Alan Levine / Creative Commons

Illinois’ school funding formula relies heavily on property taxes. That leaves districts with low land values to make do with about six thousand dollars per student each year, while districts with thriving businesses can spend up to five times that amount.

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