Politics and Government | WGLT

Politics and Government

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State Representative Dan Brady of Bloomington has honored a fallen soldier from Bloomington on the House floor in Springfield.

Brady spoke of 22-year old Joshua Rogers, a 2013 graduate of Normal Community High School, who became an Army Ranger Sergeant.

WGLT

McLean County administrators say a mailing service messed up 4,000 property tax bills and sent them out a week ago.

Those bills went to the individuals or entities who own more than one piece of taxable land in the county.

Hastert To Lose Pension

Apr 26, 2017
Tannen Maury / EPA

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

He’d been collecting about $28,000 a year for his service in the state legislature.

Jeff Bossert / Illinois Public Media

State Representative Carol Ammons says she’ll announce by late June if she’s running for Illinois’ 13th Congressional District in 2018.

For now the Urbana Democrat has formed an exploratory committee to help her decide whether to challenge Republican Congressman Rodney Davis of Taylorville.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Governor Bruce Rauner indicates a key difference in competing school funding bills is a bargaining chip.

Rauner said Chicago Schools should be treated the same as other districts by the state. That came during a tour of the Beer Nuts factory in Bloomington as WGLT asked Rauner about Senator Jason Barickman's school funding formula bill.

Julian Westerhout

The City of Bloomington will investigate repairing a 100-year-old section of Monroe Street with brick instead of paving it over. 

The Council agreed unanimously Monday night to direct staff to design, plan, and bid the repair of brick or replacing the street with new brick.  The move likely saved the 800 block of Monroe from being paved over with asphalt. 

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr

Illinois lawmakers have returned to Springfield as state government is closing on 22 months without a budget.

Governor Bruce Rauner has been saying he’s heard there's good progress on an overall budget deal.

Obama Addresses Chicago Youth

Apr 24, 2017
Stefanie Richardson / Flickr

Barack Obama was back in Chicago for his first big appearance since leaving the White House three months ago.

Obama sat on a University of Chicago stage with six young people to talk about issues he’d like to address now that he’s no longer president.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth said progressives should not get their hopes up about a single payer healthcare insurance system.

Staff / WGLT

The United Way of McLean County is dramatically reducing support for human service agencies.

March for Science.com

Increasing public doubt of scientific findings is prompting a March for Science in Bloomington-Normal.

ISU biologist Scott Sakaluk says he and other researchers feel alarm as laypeople treat science as opinion-based and political.

ISU Credit Rating Unchanged With An Asterisk

Apr 21, 2017
Staff / WGLT

Illinois State University's bond rating remains unchanged, though the Standard and Poor's agency has placed ISU on a credit watch.

That's in recognition of the state budget crisis and a lack of more than $80 million the university would regularly have received in the last two years if not for the deadlock between the governor and lawmakers.

Court Rejects Blagojevich Appeal

Apr 21, 2017
Il. Dept. Corrections / Facebook via Creative Commons

A federal court has taken just three days to reject the appeal of imprisoned former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich seeking a third sentencing.

The unanimous ruling Friday by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago dismissed arguments that the Democrat's trial-court judge should have reduced his 14-year prison term for corruption because of his good behavior behind bars. 

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Congressman Rodney Davis said he is not changing his policy of no Town Hall meetings for the faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University.

Faculty had offered to exclude media and give Davis questions ahead of time. The Taylorville Republican said during a stop in Towanda that the invitation was political.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

The longest serving Town of Normal council member says he was deeply troubled by the recent municipal election.

During a news conference at Uptown Station Wednesday morning, Councilman Jeff Fritzen said he believes Normal mayoral candidate Marc Tiritilli's campaign  was damaging to what many had worked on within the community.

Michael Hill / WGLT

There's debate on the McLean County Board over how much priority to give improvements at an east side intersection.

County Board members agreed on more discussion for the $1.6 million project at Towanda Barnes and Ireland Grove roads.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

The First Female Prime Minister of Norway says every country should have equal opportunity for men or women to become leaders. 

Speaking during an Adlai E. Stevenson Memorial Lecture Series Master Class at Illinois State University, Dr. Gro Brundtland said she knew as a young girl that she lived in a good democratic country, but it wasn't dealing on equal terms for men and women.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

One of the many Democratic candidates for governor says he is the only person that can win over Bruce Rauner.

Bob Daiber is the Madison County Regional Superintendent of Schools. During a stop in Bloomington Wednesday night, Daiber said he wants to improve many areas the current administration has failed at. 

Mike Miletich / WGLT

State Senator Andy Manar says everyone could benefit if Illinois has great equity among school districts. 

During a stop in Bloomington Wednesday night, the Bunker Hill Democrat said the state is harming individuals today by having the least equitable state in the country.

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

The changing nature of retail is affecting cities' ability to provide basic services. As an increasing number of people discover the convenience of online shopping, cities are losing essential sales tax revenue, something internet sellers don't pay.

Unit 5 district offices
Staff / WGLT

The head of the Unit Five School District says he is pushing the panic button firmly about state aid payments. Speaking during GLT's Sound Ideas, Superintendent Mark Daniel said the district will run out of money about the end of the spring legislative session.

"We will not be able to have a balanced budget. So we will be in deficit spending: My great concern is if there is no state budget then how are they going to make payments in the future," said Daniel.

Staff / WGLT

Residents on the southwest side of Bloomington will have to drive slower on a section of Fox Creek Road.

The City Council has approved lowering the speed limit on Fox Creek to 30 miles per hour from West Oakland Avenue to Stonehedges Court.

Matt Molinari / Flickr

Livingston County Prosecutors and law enforcement leaders want the state to boost early childhood block grant funding funding by $50 million. Sheriff Tony Childress said that will allow the state to capture more federal funds for preschool.

Childress was with the States's Attorney and another Sheriff reading books to three and four year olds at a Pontiac grade school.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

The number of mail in ballots received in the Town of Normal Mayor's race is up to eighteen, according to the McLean County Clerk's office.

13 came in the day after the election and another five on Thursday.

CIRA sign under blue sky
Staff / WGLT

Central Illinois Regional Airport leaders are still hoping to create new property taxes for rural McLean County property owners.

The idea first surfaced two years ago, when a federal budget sequester threatened to eliminate funds to operate the airport control tower.

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

Thirteen mail in ballots for Town of Normal races have already arrived at the McLean County Clerk's office the day after the election out of a total of thirty four remaining requested mail in ballots.

Francis Storr / Flickr

Eight years ago Bitcoin was an experimental technology of interest to niche enthusiasts only. The digital currency is much bigger now.

It's traded worldwide. There is even a business presence for it in central Illinois.

Sarah Grammer smiles
Mike Miletich / WGLT

A wave of political involvement sparked by the election of Donald Trump in November has resulted in big changes in Normal Township.

After decades of Republican strength, Democrats took the township supervisor's job and three out of four trustee positions in Tuesday's election.

ladrachok / Flickr via Creative Commons

Election coordinators in McLean County are forecasting only a slight turnout increase from four years ago, in spite of a larger than usual number of candidates and contested races.

But there are pockets of very high turnout. The Village of Lexington is one. There is a mayoral race there.

Staff / WGLT

The Town of Normal will be filling in gaps of the sidewalk system close to Illinois State University. 

The Town Council has approved using over $270,000 of Motor Fuel Tax Funds for sidewalk improvements on Beech Street, Fell Avenue, and University Street. 

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