Politics and Government | WGLT

Politics and Government

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Nearly 6,000 people were out of work in Bloomington-Normal in January and looking for a job.

The state Department of Employment Security reported unemployment rates increased in most major metro areas in the state including the Twin Cities.

Staff / WGLT

The Normal Town Council will consider a new public comment policy to replace one the Illinois Attorney General has called illegal.

The Town currently prevents members of the public from addressing the council more than once every 45 days.

The Public Access Counselor for the Attorney General's Office said that violates the Open Meetings Act.

Staff / WGLT

Illinois People's Action and local faith leaders are calling for the Bloomington and Normal councils to keep families together. 

IPA held a news conference at Bloomington's Unitarian Universalist Church Thursday focusing on a welcoming ordinance for the Twin Cities. 

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The closure of Macy's in Eastland Mall is a symbol of retail upheaval nationwide according to Bloomington City Council candidates in wards one, five, and seven.

Seth Perlman / Associated Press

Congressman Rodney Davis said he stands behind the American Healthcare Act as written, though he expects it to change significantly before passage.

The Congressional Budget Office indicates older Americans would pay much more for coverage than under the Affordable Care Act.

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Congressional candidate and emergency room physician Dr. David Gill thinks Obamacare should be fixed, not repealed and the first step is to address insurance company involvement. 

Gill, a Democrat, has announced he's running against Republican incumbent Rodney Davis who represents Illinois' 13th District.  Gill spoke against the GOP's Affordable Health Care Act Tuesday night at a Stand Up For Justice rally on the lawn of the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts.

Staff / WGLT

The Bloomington Fire Department continues to lobby for a northeast side fire station. 

But, Fire Chief Brian Mohr said Monday night he doesn't expect that to happen soon. Mohr told the city council response times are too long to the northeast side, which puts stress on other parts of the system.

Staff / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council will receive the FY 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report tonight. 

Baker Tilly LLC were awarded the audit contract by Bloomington last year.

Staff / WGLT

The Journal Times newspaper in Racine, Wisconsin reports Bloomington City Manager David Hales is one of three finalists for City Administrator in that Milwaukee suburb.

However, in a statement to WGLT, Hales states he took himself out of the running for the Racine post.

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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 has kept state workers getting paid during the 20-month budget stalemate.

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The New York Times is raising the question of Tax and Accounting Fraud by Peoria-based Caterpillar, Incorporated, not just negligence in taxes owed. Citing a confidential report to federal investigators, the Times alleges Caterpillar did not comply with either U.S. tax law or U.S. financial reporting rules.

Leslie Robinson of the Accounting Department at Dartmouth is the author of the report. The story quoted Robinson saying she believed the company's non compliance was deliberate and primarily with the intention of maintaining a higher share price.

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The GOP proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is on the table.

The GOP Plan offers tax credits instead of individual subsidies for coverage. The credit starts going away as incomes rise.

Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner has named two new members of the Liquor Commission.

They are Realtor Jack Bataoel and Lindsay Powell, who works in Marketing at Growmark.

Staff / WGLT

Members of the Normal Town Council say the City of Bloomington needs to reconsider their move to terminate the Metro Zone agreement in order to regain trust. 

During Monday night's meeting, Mayor Chris Koos said the contract isn't terminated yet because both municipalities need to negotiate before any changes are made.

Vote Today sign on a sidewalk
Ken Chui

There will be two candidates left for Bloomington Mayor by the time polls close in today's primary election. 

Incumbent Mayor Tari Renner is being opposed by current council members Diana Hauman and Kevin Lower, as well as retired fire-fighter Robert Fike, and former talk-radio host Ian Bayne.

Bloomington Election Commission Executive Director Paul Shannon said there were just over 5,800 total voters by 4 p.m. 

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

The City of Bloomington has officially ended its participation in the Metro Zone with the Town of Normal.

Aldermen voted 7-2 Monday night to approve the move toward a new process of joint collaboration within the Twin Cities. 

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McLean County Government is planning a behavioral health forum as part of its continued focus on mental health issues.

County Board Chair John McIntyre said it will be May 18th.

Staff / WGLT

The union representing Metcom workers in McLean County is heading back to the bargaining table with the county right after approval of the latest contract.

That's because the 23 members of the bargaining unit have been working on an expired agreement for more than a year.

Illinois State University

We're currently in a time of tumult, anger, and fear over immigration in this country.

This figured prominently during the presidential campaign and continues with the deportation enforcement policy of the Trump administration.

Jon Norton / WGLT

Local progressive groups continue to pressure 13th district Republican Congressman Rodney Davis and 18th district Congressman Darin LaHood to conduct live town hall meetings during the Congressional recess.  About 40 sign waving people rallied over the noon hour at uptown Circle adjacent to Davis' office Thursday. 

A number of speakers voiced their displeasure with Davis' support of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. 

Michael Hill / WGLT

Bloomington Alderman Diana Hauman is breaking with Mayor Tari Renner over the Metro Zone agreement.

Renner supports dissolving the partnership with Normal covering taxes, services, and infrastructure on the west side of town.

WGLT Staff

A new business coming to the Twin Cities is looking to build a partnership with District 87.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is still concerned that a growing number of people are leaving the state.

During a stop in Normal Wednesday, Rauner said lower property taxes and more jobs could help keep people in Illinois. 

WGLT Staff

The Heartland Community College Board of Trustees approved a small tuition increase Tuesday night. 

Staff / WGLT

The first of two Democrats to announce a formal campaign for governor says he wants a "new deal" for Illinois. Ameya Pawar visited Normal and talked about his vision for the state in a Sound Ideas interview.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

A redesign of truck routes in Bloomington probably won't change where commercial haulers go all that much. Aldermen signaled in a work session Monday night they want to keep the current case-by-case restriction policy, for now.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Downtown revitalization figured strongly in answers during the GLT Bloomington Mayoral candidates forum.

Alderman Kevin Lower said during the event at Illinois State University's University Galleries, the city is not paying enough attention to the periphery of the community.

Staff / WGLT

McLean County Sheriff Jon Sandage said he is not seeing a big change in immigration enforcement yet from the Trump Administration.

President Trump has made border security and deportation of undocumented immigrants a centerpiece of his policy.

Rich Saal / The State Journal-Register/Pool

Governor Bruce Rauner is finally weighing in on a bipartisan deal meant to end Illinois’ budget stalemate. Rauner shot down a key component of the compromise during his budget speech.

Rauner was kept out of the Senate negotiations from the start. He has since praised them in general but refused to get into specifics until now. In his budget speech to the General Assembly Rauner said he does support expanding the sales tax to cover more services but he opposes taxing groceries and drugs.

McLean County Health Department sign
Staff / WGLT

The Assistant Administrator at the McLean County Health Department will take the top job on an interim basis.

Cathy Coverston-Anderson has been at the agency for more than seven years. Anderson has a graduate degree in public health from Harvard.

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