Politics and Government | WGLT

Politics and Government

Staff / WGLT

People in the Twin Cities may notice more signs popping up, but they aren't promoting political candidates.

The welcome signs are printed in three languages with the same message: No matter where you are from, we're glad you're our neighbor. 

Staff / WGLT

State Senator Bill Brady, (R) Bloomington, is now on a higher rung of Senate leadership.

Minority Leader Christine Radogno has picked Brady as Deputy Leader, his first time in that role.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner says city finances are strong.

Renner gave his State of the City address at the start of the City Council meeting Monday night.

Renner said the city has become a model for others to follow and has the second highest bond rating possible.

Illinois State Capitol exterior
Justin Brocke / Flickr

Details of a massive, bipartisan compromise meant to end Illinois' budget stalemate emerged Monday in the Illinois Senate. But, the plan has been put on hold.

Rube Goldberg would be impressed by this budget plan. It's got cuts to government pensions, six new casino licenses, and a gradual minimum wage hike.

Illinois State Capitol exterior
Justin Brocke / Flickr

The Illinois Senate has moved legislation to the floor that would address the long-running state budget stalemate.  

The Assignments Committee has approved eight measures that include an increase in the income tax rate to 4.95 percent, up from 3.75 percent.

Illinois State University

Three members of the Illinois State University Board of Trustees are ending long service on that panel.

ISU President Larry Dietz said businessman J.D. Bergman and former educators Betty Kinser and Anne Davis are stepping down.

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner
Staff / WGLT

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner will hold his State of the City address at the start of tonight's Council meeting.

Renner's speech comes just over a month before he will face four other candidates in Bloomington's Mayoral Primary election.

Karen Stauffer

The Mayoral race in the town of Normal is in one sense a referendum on a whole slew of town council decisions to stimulate development and work on the quality of life.

I Voted stickers on a roll
Staff / WGLT

The Libertarian Party of McLean County has three candidates running for Normal Township Trustee in April.

This is a further sign the November election season has prompted greater grass roots involvement in politics. In many past cycles such positions were hard to fill. This year, Democrats are running some candidates for Township offices as well as the candidates fielded by the Republican Party.

A petition from residents in the Spring Ridge subdivision influenced the Bloomington City Council to reduce the speed limit on a section of Hershey Road.

WGLT Staff

Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner believes the Twin Cities may work toward a shared tax agreement following the next mayoral election.

Michael Bentley / Flickr

The Bloomington Election Commission has dismissed one of the petition challenges to Mayor Tari Renner's candidacy.

The commission did toss out some of the signatures Kevin Gerrard had questioned, but not nearly enough to reduce the number of valid signatures below the legal threshold to remain on the ballot.

Staff / WGLT

ISU Faculty and staff will see more in their paychecks next year.

University President Larry Dietz has announced raises up to two percent will begin in January.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Exelon Corporation says it is hiring more than 200 people at the Clinton nuclear power plant, a significant number of them permanent positions.

The company had held off on a number of capital projects and on hiring as plant jobs came open from resignations or retirements for much of the last year.

WGLT Staff

District 87 is working to enhance the quality of education for students from all economic backgrounds. 

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Bloomington's five year parks plan would cost 21.2 million dollars if funded through the period.

But, in presenting the priority list to the city council, Parks and Rec Director Jay Tetzloff said nearly half the eggs go in one basket.

The Mayor of Normal said twin cities officials checked into negative news reports about Rivian Automotive and there is nothing there.

Koos made the case for proceeding with a million dollar cash grant and five year tax abatement to encourage Rivian to buy the former Mitsubishi plant.

Staff / WGLT

McLean County Prosecutors have now filed a formal charge of theft of government property against a former manager of U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington.

Back in July, Curtis Webb told GLT one of his goals was to be a good public steward of funds and to reduce the operating deficit at the venue.

Charlie Schlenker / WGLT

Republicans and Democrats worked at grass roots democracy in Normal Township slating candidates for local offices.

There were several new faces on the Democrat side including Arlene Hosea who is running for Township Trustee.

Sarah Grammer

There will be a contest for the office of Normal Township Supervisor. Sarah Grammer is currently serving on the Normal Library Board and has announced plans to run as a Democrat.

Grammer said she hopes to improve public assistance.

Lance Cheung / U.S. Department of Agriculture

The chief lobbyist at the Illinois Farm Bureau still thinks the nation will see comprehensive immigration reform.

But, it may take several more years because the incoming Trump administration may not take on the entire question right away.

WGLT

A frequent critic of the Bloomington Mayor and Council has filed a challenge to the nominating petitions of Mayor Tari Renner.

Kevin Gerrard's objection to Renner's candidacy will be heard Monday morning at the County Government Complex in downtown Bloomington in the Commission offices, according to Bloomington Election Commission Director Paul Shannon.

Jim Meadows / IPR

One of the goals of Governor Bruce Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda is to reduce the number of local units of government.

Illinois has more of those than any other state. 

City of Bloomington

Waste collected in Bloomington will need a new destination in the near future.State regulators expect the McLean County landfill to run out of space next year.

Staff / WGLT

A Bloomington High School Science Teacher said he believes the Town of Normal is heading down an unsustainable path.

Marc Tiritilli has filed petitions to run for Mayor against incumbent Chris Koos.

Congressman Rodney Davis at a microphone.
Staff / WGLT

GOP Congressman Rodney Davis said he looks forward to the Republican Congress led repeal of Obamacare. Davis represents a part of Bloomington-Normal in the House.

Davis said he favors the road map put forward by House Speaker Paul Ryan which would continue a prohibition on denial of insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions after a single new enrollment period.

"We can also address some of the problems that were in place before Obamacare was shoved onto families in this country with promises that were never meant to be kept," said Davis

Emma Shores/WGLT

In the last decade, the Bloomington Police Department has seized more than one point-one-million-dollars in property through asset forfeiture laws. The city has kept more than half of that money.

The Town of Normal has seized more than 800-thousand dollars in property.

Ralph Weisheit

Early filings are  slow for Town of Normal municipal elections next year. Today is the first day candidates can file petitions to appear on the ballot. 

Only incumbent Scott Preston and candidate Ron Ulmer had filed for Town Council as of mid-morning.

Staff / WGLT

There will likely be a need for a run-off election for Bloomington mayor. 

Five candidates have filed petitions to run for mayor on the opening day of the period to be on the ballot for the April municipal contests. Today is the first day candidates can officially file for office.

Staff / WGLT

Elections are always polarizing. Elections are always bruising.

But, a Normal Community High School Teacher said this is the most extreme he has seen and one that has had a pronounced effect on students.

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